Archive for November, 2007

Bannocks for the Feast of St. Andrew

November 30, 2007 @ 12:14 am | Filed under:

I was reading a lovely post about St. Andrew by Elena at My Domestic Church and, to my surprise, stumbled upon my own name. Elena mentions that St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and adds:

Our family has been reading Melissa Wiley’s Martha
Books for almost nine months now and these stories are set in Scotland.
Young Martha, the laird’s daughter, is always helping in the kitchen
with baking bannocks, or eating bannocks, so the kids and I have
decided to actually make bannocks tomorrow in celebration of the feast
day. I’ll post pictures and let you know if they turn out okay!

I look forward to seeing those pictures!

I posted a recipe for bannocks here a long while back.

And here’s a Martha/Scotland-related resource & activities page.

There Is No Hot-Air Balloon Like a Book…

November 27, 2007 @ 4:51 pm | Filed under:

…to take us lands away.

I keep meaning to finish entering our books into LibraryThing. I’m not sure why. It doesn’t help me keep them better organized. It’s just satisfying to see the list, I guess.

I started cataloging the books months ago, and then about three hundred books in, I rearranged all the bookcases and mixed up the catalogued books with the not-yet-entered ones. And now all my rearranging has begun to be undone, too, because I’m the only one who remembers where to properly reshelve things, and I seldom bother to do it.

Ah, well. I can still have the fun of LTing them, can’t I?

Jane and I had been working a shelf at a time. She likes to use the CueCat (that would be Laurie’s CueCat, STILL) and when she gets going, she can barrel through a bookcase in no time.

I have this crazy notion involving reading all the books we own before I acquire any more. I know, it’s nutty, isn’t it?

I was looking at the shelves today and realizing how many favorite read-alouds we have that Beanie has never heard, or has no memory of hearing because she was itty bitty when Jane and Rose enjoyed them. I got all giddy, thinking of the fun in store for us.

For example: we (Bean and Rose and I) started William Pène du Bois’s The Twenty-One Balloons this morning. It grabbed them immediately. How could it not? A guy sets out to cross the Pacific by hot air balloon, and three weeks later is found floating in the Atlantic amid the debris of twenty deflated balloons?

And he won’t tell his story to anyone except his pals in the Explorers Club? No matter how persuasive or prestigious the people who urge him to spill ASAP, because the world is dying of suspense to hear his tale?

My girls were deeply impressed by Professor Sherman’s fidelity to his Explorers Club oath. Not even the Mayor of New York City can persuade him to break his promise. Nor can the President of the United States, who has his secretary invite the balloonist to the White House!

"Will he get in trouble, Mommy?" Beanie worried.

"The President can’t force him to break his promise, honey."


Beanie likes to know in advance how worried to be about a main character. She was greatly relieved to hear the President’s response to the good professor’s "I’m not talking" reply. The President respects the Professor’s position and offers the him use of the presidential train for speedy passage to San Francisco where the Explorers Club is waiting.

This is good stuff.

Of course then we had to Google the presidential train, and the kids wanted to see pictures of Air Force One’s interior.

Rose wants to start our own Explorers Club. "We can give speeches about our adventures! Like when we looked through the spyglass at the hills at Mission Trails!"

There’s an idea with promise…

I can’t wait for Chapter 2.

Speaking of the Funny

November 26, 2007 @ 11:22 pm | Filed under:

Beanie said to me tonight, "Did you know I saw a moose at the park today?"

Me: "A moose? Really."

Bean: "I think so. It was big like a moose, and it had a moose’s tail."

(Because, you know, a moose’s tail is its distinguishing characteristic.)

Bean, continuing: "But it was a long way away."

Me: "Like, say, in Maine?"

Beanie (laughs): "No, Mommy, at the park. Here."

Me: "Ah, yes. You said that. Here. In San Diego. A moose. How did I miss it?"

Bean: "You were at the swings. I saw it from the climby thing. It might have been a dog. But I’m pretty sure it was a moose."

Me: "Well."

Bean: "Or…it could have been a person."

Hmm. Could it be that we are not quite the astute observers of nature I had supposed we were? I mean, there I was all proud of myself for identifying a viceroy butterfly on a eucalyptus tree, and I completely missed seeing the large dog-man with the tail of a moose.


A tiger? In Africa?