Monday, August 18, 2008

BBC Booklist

This is from
Here is what you do:
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize the books you LOVE.
3) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or were forced to read at school and hated.

1 Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations Charles Dickens
11 Little Women Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the d’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy
13 Catch-22 Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare William Shakespeare
15 Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia CS Lewis
34 Emma Jane Austen
35 Persuasion Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis de Bernières
39 Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh AA Milne
41 Animal Farm George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney, John Irving
45 The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies William Golding
50 Atonement Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi Yann Martel
52 Dune Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck
62 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist Charles Dickens
72 Dracula Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory Iain Banks
94 Watership Down Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
100 Les Misérables Victor Hugo

Only I don't know how to strikeout anything, so I made them tiny, the ones I can't stand. But still, even if I'm not capable of managing a blog in the style of others around me, I have read 67 out of those 100 books, which isn't that bad, I think! What about you?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bird Rescue

Here's a picture of the little bird the kids found on the ground, chirping and chirping and chirping away. It hopped around and flapped its wings all afternoon, but never flew. The neighbor girl, who is bossy and a little older than the others informed us that it had fallen out of its nest and had a broken wing and we just had to rescue it. For the record, it was not hurt. Its mother was feeding it and visiting it and flying around and screaming at the kids when they got too close. I talked to the kids about how wild animals need to be wild, and even though we want to help them, it is less traumatic for the bird to just be on its own than to have people (grubby, excited 8 year olds in particular) handling it and holding it and putting it in a box and bringing it inside. That even if it got killed by one of the neighbors awful sandbox-pooping garden roving bird killing cats that at least would be quick and more natural than slowly starving to death in a cardboard box in a house because we wouldn't be able to feed it the right food, etc.. Somehow this was not comforting to the crowd. The bossy girl at the end of the dead end demanded to ask her mother, who immediately and properly came over with a box, dish washing gloves, and a shovel. Luckily I'd gotten a call from a knowledgeable friend who explained that robins take their babies out of their nests a couple of days before they can fly, to protect them from crows, and hide them in the weeds (not a comment on my flower beds, I'm sure) and feed them and protect them from predators until they can fly on their own. Whew!
WAIT! I know this isn't a robin- I think its a house finch? But I'm almost certain other birds must do this as well, right?
So they spent the rest of the afternoon building the baby bird a fort, so it could be safe from cats. I can't imagine why birdie didn't make itself at home there. And they spent hours chasing cats and yelling at them, which, bird or no bird, seems like a wholesome neighborhood activity to me.
And the bird? It was gone in the morning- I'm pretty sure it learned to fly in the night, and that it was NOT ambushed by said cats. Yep, I'm pretty sure.


Here's Mymy and his favorite naughty snack- a stolen block of cheddar cheese from the fridge.
Oh my mousie! Oh my wild one!
Oh My oh My!

Car Wash

Here are the boys washing the car on Friday. There had been thunder, lightning, and lots (well, for us) of rain that night and morning, and would be again the next night and morning, but they were certain that the poor old Volvo needed a bath. ABCD and Foal did a great job, they really did. And ABCD kept talking so sweetly about the car, how good it is, and how strong and safe and how the engine can just keep going and going forever. It made my heart melt. Really. Because the Volvo is 17 years old and has almost 250,000 miles on it and we all love that car ridiculously. When I was a kid I was always embarrassed by our old beater cars. I always thought it would be so glamorous to have new shiny cars all one color, with working radios and what have you. Ha! Well, the radio works, but not the tape player, and CD or MP3 or ipod? Right! The back door doesn't stay open by itself, we have to prop it open with a stick found on a road trip to Montana when the hydraulic door-lift went out. But we love this thing completely. It even has a name:
Rosario Garnet S. Volvo Case. See, its one of the family!

Oregon Trail Resources

1843 Train Members
BLM Oregon Trail
End Of The Oregon Trail Museum
Heritage Gateways
Lesson Plan
Natural Dyes
Oregon Trail School Project
OT Propaganda Lesson
OT Unit Study
PBS The Oregon Trail
Pioneers of Oregon
Recipes and Resources from a HS family
Scholastic Lesson Plans
The Food Timeline
The Fur Trapper
Trails West
Utah Perspective Lesson Plans
Wagons Ho! webquest
Whitman Mission lots of info

Monday, August 4, 2008

Reasons to Love This Place

Because I sometimes need a reminder to love the town where we live:
#1 My brother from Southeast Alaska called the other day and said he was happy- it was the first day all summer it hadn't rained. Well, it rained that morning but it had burned off and the sun was out. It was 55 and everyone was out enjoying the sunshine. Then he made the mistake of asking me how the weather was here, and I made the mistake of answering. 85 degrees and sunny, it hadn't rained in weeks at least, I don't remember the last rain, but there was a little breeze and the kids were bummed it was too cold to go to the outdoor pool. It hadn't been warm enough to go to the pool in days! For some reason he didn't feel all that sorry for us!
#2 Local Produce. Yesterday I bought 63 pounds of produce for $19.27! One 15 lb watermelon, a 6 lb cantaloupe, 5 lbs cucumbers, 5 lbs donut peaches, 4 lbs each Yukon gold potatoes, peaches (one of which was 1 lb all by itself!), nectarines, summer apples, 2 lbs each carrots, yellow plums, and green beans.
#3 My garden. Despite some weird troubles this year (someone ate all of the Yukon gold potatoes I planted but not the red or blue ones, I'm overflowing in green bean vines but not a single flower or bean!) I have a pretty fabulous, easy garden. Not everywhere in the world can you grow bushels of tomatoes just by sticking plants in the ground and occasionally watering. We've got tons of lettuce, basil, onions, millions of cucumbers coming on, summer squash and winter squash and if it stays warm enough melons. We've eaten peas, carrots and spinach. The broccoli I thought was doing nothing but growing leaves finally has little baby heads sprouting up through the middle, there's a whole block of hot peppers turning ripe and a big patch of sweet peppers we haven't given up hope for. But its the tomatoes that save the day, turn pasta into a meal and provide lots of snacks for even the toddler, who loves to go find hidden red jewels and gobble them up before his older brother!
They may seem like small reasons, but weather and food are pretty big parts of our lives, so having those be amazing makes it always bearable, often nice, and sometimes even wonderful to live here. I just need to remind myself sometimes!