Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Learning | Eastertide Musings

Eastertide is upon us!

I found myself using the word Eastertide in a conversation recently. I know it means the Easter season, just as Christmastide is the Christmas season. Why does the suffix -tide mean season?

The word has Germanic origins; it is related to the modern German word Zeit, which translates to the English time. 

After I learned that, I began to wonder about the use of the word tide  to describe the movements of water.  



Watching the tide come in and go out from the slough in my backyard makes me think how logical it would be (especially for those to live near water) to associate marking time with the movements of the tides. 

Here are two children's books for those who want to learn about tides.  Note: the second one is in Vietnamese; it is about a grandmother who explains tides to a small child.

If you would like to learn more about Easter, or just read some fun stories, follow this link for books about Easter.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Just Life | Beautiful Pictures


Let's kick start this week with some beautiful pictures.


Oak Grove Regional Park



MY coworker planted 300 of these tulips in her garden 
 
 

My father planted two small pomegranate trees in our backyard. Here is the outcome.
 

From our garden. I have nothing to do with this beauty.

 
From my husband to my mom on her arrival from Iran


Happy Monday everyone.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha









Saturday, April 12, 2014

Books On Film | We Can Remember It For You Wholesale

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One of my favorite science fiction films is Total Recall (1990), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone.  The film is based on a short-story titled We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by popular science fiction author Philip K. Dick. 

The story, originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1966, is a futuristic tale about Douglas Quail who wishes to visit the Mars colony. Unable to actually afford to he visits REKAL, a company specializing in implanting fake memories as a sort of virtual adventure.

Things turn dangerous for Quail when it turns out his planned fake trip to Mars as a secret agent may have actually already happened in real life.

A second adaptation of he book, Total Recall (2012), was also released starring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale. Don't watch either movie expecting a page by page adaptation. Both films keep to the main premise of the short-story, but, of course, they make changes the way that movie adaptions seem to do.

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Covers courtesy of LibraryThing.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Reader Digests | Green Eggs and Ham

I've said before that I don't discriminate against food, but unfortunately the rest of my family kind of does.  My husband will try new foods, but there are a few things that he absolutely does not like (even though I've never seen him try them).  One of those things is sushi.  So, when we started expanding our family one of my goals was to introduce my kids to new foods - and to create a little sushi connoisseur, like me!  It started out great.  When my oldest daughter (now 5) was a  toddler, I gave her rice, seaweed, eggplant, ginger, soy sauce, soy beans, and fish.  She loved it all. 
Then something terrible happened.  I don't know when it happened, or why, but one day it just stopped.  No more unique and exciting foods.  She started eating only macaroni and cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets, pasta with alfredo, and surprisingly, tri-tip.  She would rather go to bed hungry than try something new. I had to start hiding veggies in her food. Her pickiness got to the point that we started lying to her!  I got really good at hiding foods under sauce. Chicken? "It's tri-tip!"  Shrimp? "It's tri-tip!" Broccoli? "Ummm...tri-tip???"
"Enough!", I said.  I decided that she and I were going to have special storytime. One all about trying new foods. It started promisingly with Green Eggs and Ham (which I am proud to say she read to me!).  We talked about how important it is not to knock something before you've tried it.
We followed this with The Sandwich Swap, about two little girls disgusted by each other's food at lunch time.  Everyday, one watches the other eat a hummus sandwich and the other eats a PBJ sandwich until they finally break down and admit they think each other's lunch looks disgusting.  Chaos ensues, but all is resolved in the end. So, my daughter started talking about different foods and how she would like to see what they taste like.  This storytime idea was totally going to work!
I ended with a special humdinger of a book that would surely convince her that she just had to eat sushi with me!  Yoko, by Rosemary Wells, about an adorable little kitten who brings sushi for school lunchtime and is teased by the other kids at school. That is until the teacher assigns everyone to bring an international food so they can all try something new.  And of course, little Yoko shares her sushi and makes a new lunch buddy.  It's great book about acceptance, tolerance, sensitivity, and giving everything (and everyone) a chance.  It also makes me VERY hungry for sushi.  We finished the book and discussed how important it is to try new things and experience all types of food.    This was my moment, I asked her if she wanted to go to sushi with me.  
"No," she said.
"Why not?  We just talked about trying all these new types of foods!"
"Because we read Yoko at school and I tried it at international food day and I just don't like it."
Okay, it's genetic, but I still have my youngest!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Bucket List | Divergent: Abnegation

A few weeks ago, Panteha wrote a post about the popular YA series, Divergent.  For those of you who have already read the books, the short stories, and seen the movie, you can still enjoy the world of Divergent.

First of all, if you haven't already, take a quiz to find out which faction you're suited for.  There's a great quiz on Buzzfeed that will tell you where you'd probably belong.  I just got Dauntless.  


So let's pretend we live in a factioned society like our friends from Divergent.  We'd all have separate interests, jobs, and even friends.

For example, if you were living in Abnegation, the selfless group that does volunteer work and works for the government,  you might be interested in these titles below:

Something Like Hope by Shawn Goodwin  A young girl in lockup wants to turn her life around, and she finds out the best way to do this is helping others.


Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen. This book mirrors the story of Robin Hood, but this time the story features a young woman who sacrifices herself for the good of others.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman .  This heart wrenching book is about a girl's choices to support her family over her own wants and needs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Learning | Poetry Month

It's April already! Time for asparagus, sunshine, flowers and poetry!

April is poetry month.  That means you have an especially good excuse for borrowing and reading poetry books, or writing your own poems.

One of the easiest forms of poetry to write is the haiku.  A traditional haiku does not even need to rhyme; all it needs is 17 syllables, divided into three lines, containing 5, 7 and 5 syllables. Here is an example I just made up: 

Sunshine through windshield
You could cook an egg in here
Where is that sun shade?

Let me tell you about a beautiful new picture book written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth. It's called Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons, and it arrived just in time for Poetry Month! It's loaded with beautiful watercolor illustrations of a Panda bear named Koo, who apparently makes up poems as he experiences the four seasons.  

In the introduction to the book, we learn that many modern poets choose to follow the five-seven-five structure loosely. So I guess that means this poem I made up in fourth grade really could be a haiku:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Daisies are mixtures

I did a search for the subject "poetry" in our catalog. That search returned more than three thousand titles.  I've only read a small fraction of those, and I enjoy reading poetry!  

"Poetry Books" from chillihead's photostream on Flickr.com.
  Some rights reserved.


Looking for poetry, but don't have a specific book in mind? You can browse the library shelves in the area with Dewey Decimal numbers that begin with 811. Or ask at your library's information desk--the reference staff can show you those areas, or even help you find picture books with poetry.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Flora and Ulysses: the Illuminated Adventures One of the many charming aspects of this 2014 Newbery Award winner is Ulysses, the squirrel who types poetry.  If you haven't read it, do.

Anything by Jack Prelutsky. He writes hilarious poems for kids. His "As Soon as Fred Gets Out of Bed" poem actually made one of my sons laugh so hard that he, er, never mind....

The Poet Laureate Anthology is a collection of works from the American Poet Laureates since 1937 (although the title "Poet Laureate" has only been used since 1985, previous appointees were called the "Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.") Each poem is introduced by editor Elizabeth Hun Schmidt, giving us literary and historical contexts.

Caroline Kennedy's Poems to Learn by Heart is a fine collection, but it is greatly enhanced by more watercolor illustrations by Jon J. Muth, the author of the first book I mentioned in this post: Hi, Koo!

My mother would be disappointed if I forgot to mention Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses, which we often read together during my childhood.  It's an oldie, but goodie.  

What are your favorite poems, poets, or poetry books? How do you celebrate Poetry Month?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

She's Crafty | My Tangled Journey

It all started while browsing the craft books at my local library. Scanning the spines for something new, I noticed the title The Art of Zentangle. Covered in swirling black lines, paisley shapes and circles, the book went immediately to the top of my take-home pile.

After bringing the Art of Zentangle home then began a time that I knew of the word Zentangle® (which, I found out, is a trademarked word and the name of a company) but had no clue what it meant. Before me sat a book inspired by Zentangle art. Ooookay, so what is the original inspiration?! No matter, before I delved deeper into the secrets of the Zentangle world I grabbed sketchbook and pen and let the book inspire some meditative drawings. For as little as I knew, I did gather that drawing using the Zentangle method was about reaching a meditative state through simple pattern creation, also known as making tangles. It was fun taking time out of my day to copy some of the tangle patterns found in the book, in my environment, and in my head.

True to my nature, I wanted more information about the Zentangle method and began to feel as if I was glimpsing merely a pixel of a much larger picture. More books were found and more websites were visited and the world of Zentangle art became clearer.

The Zentangle method of art was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. According to their website zentangle.com, Maria was drawing a pattern and described having, "Feelings of timelessness, freedom and well-being and complete focus on what she was doing with no thought or worry about anything else." Rick informed Maria she was describing meditation and they decided to develop a method of drawing structured patterns as a creative and meditative practice.

According to Rick and Maria, you don't need much to draw a Zentangle. A 3.5" square paper tile on which you tangle, a pencil to draw a string and shade your drawing, a pen to draw tangles and sign your artwork, and some knowledge of different tangles to draw. I started out even simpler by purchasing a small sketchbook and marking off a 3.5" inch square on a page.
After a while I wanted the paper tile experience and bought a kit from the Zentangle website. It came with a stack of paper tiles, pencils, pens, a shading tortillon, a pattern legend, and a 20-sided die to help you figure out which of the patterns on the legend to draw next if you get stumped. I liked the legend and die idea so much, I made a few of my own legends with patterns I enjoy making.
 
If you want to learn more about the specific process of creating a piece of Zentangle art, you can check out zentangle.com and poke around or just Google the word Zentangle and you'll have no problem finding information--it's quite popular. I've found the website, Tangle Patterns, extremely informative and helpful. I am the Diva is an incredibly popular blog with daily challenges and tons of inspiration and information.
 
At the moment we only have one title pertaining to Zentangle available at our library. However, if you click here you can get a sneak peek at a whole treasure trove of titles that will be available shortly! You can even place holds on these titles.

If you just can't wait, Link+ has a few offerings to keep you busy:

Happy crafting!
Kaye & Malia