February 28, 2012

Art courtesy of the Long Island Sound

And the serendipity of a found heart on a rock to celebrate Leap Year!

February 26, 2012

Sunday Quote

There is no failure except in no longer trying.

-Elbert Hubbard

February 23, 2012

The Last Cake

The Don't Worry, Be Happy cake also known as the Don't Worry, Be Happy, Dammit! cake or the Irony cake as the baker of the happy cake is deeply unhappy and cursing up a blue streak as it is sliding into oblivion. I think I didn't let the cake cool enough before I put the layers (3) together. And someone took the packet of long wooden skewers I was counting on in case of slidage (I am assuming the birthday boy himself is guilty of this as he is a big marshmallow over the stovetop flame fan). Will the cake be in one piece by the time he gets home at 8? This last cake on his golden birthday (same age as date of birthday according to Urban Dictionary, my pal Joan says in Spain it is called something as well and is good luck) is the LAST cake for the oldest son and not up to creative standards perhaps as some of the earlier ventures. Still. 23 on 23, a carrot cake with dyed yellow cream cheese frosting sliding into oblivion - the good thing? Cake, even sliding in Titanic proportions, still tastes good.

February 21, 2012

old stomping grounds

Warm day on Sunday, took a stroll with the husband and the youngest to Manor Park. My childhood years going to this same park blend in with memories of my children at various ages teetering on the rocks and running across the ledges while I call out a warning; the adults walking on the sedate lawns, the usual route from one gazebo to the next, now a bit gingerly, the careful footing on the rocks I used to gazelle across. The way memories shift and blend is kindred to water on rocks, variations on a theme both familiar and unfathomable, on a sunny Sunday with a mind to get the scent of salt water and a handful of sunlight.

February 19, 2012

Sunday Quote

Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.

- Abraham Lincoln

February 17, 2012

Rethinking textbooks with an eye on the iPad

Watching my 12 year old hoist his absurdly heavy backpack on his shoulders this morning makes this older article from School Library Journal particularly interesting to me. From the September 2010 issue, library media specialist Jeff Hastings writes in his article Test Driving the iPad:
"As a school librarian, even doing something routine on the iPad, like browsing articles using the USA Today app - one of 150,000 apps available...reminds me of how static and lame school textbooks are in comparison. As I tap my way through its daily crossword, I imagine textbooks similarly retooled for the iPad platform, complete with interactive quizzes, personal and locational customizations, scalable text, curriculum-based games, videos, and live web links...Imagine a talking language textbook that also used speech recognition to coach pronunciation, a social studies text with interactive maps, a violin primer that would patiently teach you to join it in a duet as it accompanies on cello. There are so many possibilities. And even though there are already digital textbooks...available...most are no more interactive than their print counterparts. There may be a big career opportunity wrapped in that last sentence..." I couldn't agree more. One of my younger son's many textbooks costs $75 to replace and is heavy and cumbersome and anything but user-friendly for today's kids. As a librarian and a book lover, I am not for replacing books with all their tactile papery goodness with nothing but kindles and nooks, but I feel there is room for both books and computers to co-exist in the same harmony in the real world as in my messy house. And what a joy it would be to see my kid tuck his slim, light as a feather iPad into his backpack as he heads out to school in the morning.

Bin there and back again

February 12, 2012

Sunday Quote

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

February 8, 2012

The geese are too early

Two geese, not this exact pair, appear every year on a large vee of grass in between connecting roads about two thirds of a mile from my house. Once we realized this was an every Spring thing, we started looking for them in March or April, enjoying the way they herald Spring for us more than the robins. I was sad to see them today standing on their same spot at least a month sooner than they should be here. I worry for them; the weather suddenly now remembering it is winter, halfway into a walk today I turned back, my yoga pants no match for the thirty-something temperature. I hope these geese are wintering geese who know how to deal with the cold and possible snow like some of the ones who seem to never leave, like the rest of us middle-class folk, summering where they winter and vice versa (with a nod to Fran Lebowitz).

February 5, 2012

Sunday Quote

Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement.

- Christopher Fry

February 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Gertrude Stein.

I am Rose and when I sing, I am Rose like anything!