November 9, 2011 @ 9:17 pm | Filed under:

I’m reading The Cottage at Bantry Bay to Rose, Beanie, and Rilla. Funny to think that in all these years, I’ve never read it aloud. It’s lovely this way: makes me glad I took all those theater classes in college and learned to fake my way through accents. The problem with my Irish brogue is it keeps slipping into a Scottish burr. Back when I was doing lots of readings for the Martha books, I used to listen to an actor’s dialect tape to coach me in the accent. It’s awfully rusty, but it keeps wanting to sneak in when I’m trying to read the Sullivan family.

I hadn’t planned to start this book last week, but one morning Rose said she’d like to learn more about Ireland—she has recently taken up pennywhistle, so Ireland’s in the air, so to speak. We were between read-alouds just then, and sure and wasn’t Bantry Bay looking at me from across the room? Jane read the whole series long ago, but none of the others had tried it. It’s perfect for the rather wide age range we’re spanning—13, nearly 11, and 5 1/2 (oh my)—with that blend of comical domestic adventures and interesting historical detail that I especially enjoy, and enjoy sharing with my kids.

Jane’s busy with a Python programming class she’s taking (Great Campus Academy online, if you’re interested—we give them high marks) and other Jane pursuits. Wonderboy’s new favorite hobby is writing out math problems: things like 3 + Beanie = car.

Huck and I picked peas this afternoon. Well, that’s stretching it a bit—we picked a single pea pod, and he looked at the tiny not-quite-ready peas and pronounced them “sticky,” which is his word for “icky,” I think. So I ate them all myself: sweet, sunwarm, crisp. Little crunches of summer on this blue-gold autumn day.

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7 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Erin says:

    We’ve just finished the whole series, my children love family series, we read so many from that genre. Had to giggle at your Irish sentence there, found myself talking like that all the time when reading that series, to be sure;)

  2. Laura Hodgins says:

    When my oldest wanted more information about Ireland and I wanted to sneak in a little Norway history too(my husband’s side is Irish, mine Norweigan)she really enjoyed the Viking Quest series by Lois Walfrid Johnson, first one is Raiders From the Sea. I enjoyed it too!

  3. Sheila says:

    I’m reading the James Herriot omnibus out loud right now and this is how I do the Irish and the Scots accents: Irish – channel Branson; Scots – channel Mrs Hughes. Easy peasy, although there are times when I have to prevent myself from adding “We’ll manage, Mr Carrrrrson.”

  4. Hannah @ Lovely Woods says:

    Lissa, Jane is learning Python? Normally that snippet would whoosh right over my head, but … as of July, Tim works for the small software firm here in Austin that developed Python! He went from being a Mechanical Engineering postdoc to a software developer. I’ll have to tell him she’s learning that — between that and the fact that his own dad just took a course in it, he’ll get a kick out of it!

  5. Melissa Wiley says:

    Hannah, that’s too cool! She took a short summer course in C++ and now this semester-long Python class. She’s loving it. Spends a big chunk of the day working on coding projects.

    If Tim has any advice about where to go from this intro class—books, other languages, what have you—we would welcome it! She’s interested in programming for games, apps, etc, as well as web animation. I’m hoping the community college will offer something suitable this spring (much cheaper option than Giant Campus).

  6. Hannah @ Lovely Woods says:

    OK, first of all, Tim immediately said, “Did you tell her we’ve hired high-school age summer interns before???”

    No. But now I have! Consider yourself told. We would love having her in Austin.

    He is thrilled to hear that she’s doing this, and says that the developer world need girls. 🙂 He says she should check out, where people store open source projects. You can share your code and get feedback from other people, and see what other folks are working on.

    He also says she should feel free to email him with any questions. tdiller at enthought dot com.

  7. susan t says:

    If you want some enjoyable Irish Christmas music, check out Irish singer/songwriters Keith & Kristyn Getty. Their new CD “Joy, An Irish Christmas” is beautiful… they have such a way with lyrics. (Most famous song is “In Christ Alone”) You can usually hear one whole song a week, sometimes w/video on their website or via facebook page or via weekly e-mail if you sign up. Also, their Irish Pipes player, also plays the Penny Whistle… just enjoyed their concert at our church last month. 🙂