Friday, February 25, 2011

book reviewing

Now I'm working on a book review of Roald Dahl's Matilda.  It's the best children's book I've read in a long time.  I'm not much of a fan of Roald Dahl's, but I visited his home in England in 2008.  It's a museum now, with rooms for children to do activities with their teachers, etc.  A great place to take children.  There's the chair he sat in while he wrote his books.  It's quite comfortable-looking, I guess, but not my style.  It has a board across the front to be used as a desk.  He used to tell children there were wolves in his little writing cabin, so they wouldn't peek inside or come to bother him while he was writing. 

The History and Meaning of Irish Claddagh Rings

In 1991, we visited Ireland and I bought myself a Claddagh ring at Blarney Castle.  I hinted broadly to my husband that he ought to buy it for me, but all he said was, "If you want it, why don't you buy it?"  So I did.  Now I find out that it's "bad luck" to buy a Claddagh ring for yourself.  Oh well.  Too late now.  I've been wearing it for twenty years!  While we were in Ireland, I looked for a nice little concise booklet that would tell me the meaning of the ring.  But all I could find was a big thick book on the subject, and I didn't want to tote that around in my luggage.  So, here's some of the information I was looking for way back then.

The History and Meaning of Irish Claddagh Rings

Thursday, February 17, 2011


We've never done much with birthdays in our family.  When the children were little--really little--we had parties with games and prizes and cakes with candles.  But by the time they turned ten, it was all over.  I'm not sure our youngest child ever had a birthday party, now that I think about it.  Maybe he did.  As for gifts, they were always minimal if they existed at all.  A card--maybe, but probably not.  How could a card really express what I felt?  If it said that the child was special, what did that say about the others?  Weren't they all special?  What if one card was better for one child than for another later in the year?  Would they compare and feel that one was loved more than the other?  No, birthdays are acknowledged with a hug and the phrase "Happy Birthday" and that's it.  For those who live far apart, then a phone call will have to say it--even if it's just a message on the answering machine.  It's just to say, "I'm glad you were born." 
Today was my husband's birthday.  We all said Happy Birthday, and hugged him. Last week one of our sons "celebrated" his birthday, and got the same good wishes.  Yesterday was my eldest son's birthday, but he is no longer with us, having died of cancer in 2005.  We "celebrated" his birthday with the same sentiment: We're glad he was born and we miss him.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

another suite 101 article

Lately I've been writing book reviews for Suite 101.  So far I've reviewed these:  St. Francis and the Nativity, Honey Cake, Compost Stew, Nannycatch, & The Tree Suitcase.  All are children's books, of course.  I wrote the last one yesterday.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

the play

Yesterday, at long last, I mailed off a query letter with sample pages of The Wolf and the Saint, The Life of St. Francis of Assisi as Told by The Wolf of Gubbio.  I sent it to Baker's Plays in New York.

this time last year

I think it was February 4th that we went to Bethlehem and Hebron.  Elsewhere on this blog you'll find entries about that--with pictures.  I could look up in my journal exactly where we were on the 5th, 6th, and so on.  But I won't.  It really doesn't matter that I celebrate these life-changing events on the right dates.  The ads from the Israelis inviting people to come as tourists promise that "you'll never be the same" and it's true.  If you are a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim, I don't see how seeing, experiencing the Holy Land can leave you unchanged. 
One of the important places we visited was Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

this time last year

This time last year I was in Heathrow Airport, waiting to board a plane to Israel.  Having left Vancouver on the evening of February 1st, and arriving in Tel Aviv early morning of February 3rd, we lost February 2, 2010 altogether. :))