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BOOK REVIEW - The Very Busy Spider

The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle

I enjoy this book, Baby enjoys this book, but my husband has some trouble with the protagonist - that very busy spider.  As she spins her web, several farm yard animals stop by and invite her to join in their favorite activities.  Does she join?



Nourishing Mother

The three of us went to Kenyon for a wedding a couple of weeks ago.   The morning after the wedding, we were up early - of course - and on the hunt for breakfast - of course.  The inn where we stayed did not serve anything until 10 or 11... so we put Baby in the stroller and began our trek around Gambier, Ohio to find nourishment.  The local coffee shop was closed; no students yet, so no coffee on weekends.  The Deli was closed.  The Market was closed.  The bookstore looked so different from when we were there as students that my husband and I assumed we would  not find any bagels in there either.

We went back to the lobby of the inn to re-group.


COMMUNITY NEWS: After-school art program

A new after-school art program for 7-11 year olds starts this fall at the Old Stone House in JJ Byrne Park in Park Slope:  Art in the House!  The program will use the American Revolution, colonial life, and the Park Slope/Brooklyn community as a springboard for "fun and funky hands-on art activities."

Kids in the program will work on painting, print-making, sculptures, and a weekly group mural.  The last day of the program will be an art opening party for family and friends.

I am a fan of the arts, and my husband (the history teacher) is excited about using history as inspiration for kids' art... so please check it out!

Also, stay tuned for arts-related posts...

(yesterday, Baby ate some chalk at the playground, which is a start if nothing else)


Seeking The Joy

When my husband was growing up, he went to summer camp and then became a leader at that camp.  One of the traditions at Camp Belknap is lighting the lamp of love.  One of the rays from this lamp of love is the instruction to be joyful - specifically, to seek the joy of being alive.

At our wedding, we lit the lamp of love (of course).  Later, one of our favorite wedding presents came from a former Belknap leader: two hammers, one for each of us, with handles that were engraved with the reminder to "Seek the Joy."  

It is not always easy to remember to seek the joy of being alive.  In fact, it is often much easier to feel as if joys and sorrows come to each of us regardless of whether or not we seek them.  But, as he often does, Baby recently reminded me that seeking the joy is a much better way to live.

Baby learned to wave a little while ago, and when he did it was his favorite activity for the next few days.  He would wave to us at dinner.  He would wave to us in the bath.  He would wave to himself while he rode in his stroller.  And, one night, on his way to sleep, eyes closed, fully relaxed, he waved to nothing in particular.  He was - very simply - seeking the joy.  


BREAKING NEWS... and Update

Fire and huge amounts of smoke pouring out of building near Waverly and Myrtle...

Waverly between Myrtle and Willoughby is already closed off with a fire truck and two police cars on one end (the Willoughby end).

Hoping that no one was hurt...


From the Myrtle Ave blog, and The Local, it seems the fire was on the roof of a building near Myrtle and Waverly, and that there were no serious injuries.


RED JACKET ORCHARDS CSA - Carroll Gardens and East Village Pick-Up!

I just received the following tip about a CSA with pick-ups in Carroll Gardens and the East Village...

Interested in getting farm fresh fruit at an affordable price?  Would you like to support a local, family farm?  These are two great reasons to sign up for a CSA!  Through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), members pay a farm up front for share of produce that they can pick up from a distribution location once a week.  The price they pay for this share is cheaper than purchasing the same quality of produce at a grocery store or farmers' market.  At the same time, a CSA ensures a certain amount of revenue for the farm.  By joining a CSA, members can also familiarize themselves with their farmer: they can learn more about how their food is grown and who grows it.    


Though most vegetable CSAs are sold out in the city, you now have an opportunity to sign up for something completely new - a fruit CSA!  The Red Jacket Orchards Fruit CSA will provide members with weekly shares of farm-fresh fruit from August - November.  Fruit CSA shares in the city are currently additional product shares of vegetable CSAs - you must be a member of a vegetable CSA to partake in the fruit share; this is not the case for the Red Jacket Orchards Fruit CSA, who is completely independent of any vegetable CSA.  The Red Jacket Orchards Fruit CSA shares will have a variety of fruits grown on their orchards in upstate NY, such as peaches, plums, pears, apples, and grapes.  In addition to fruits, members will receive apple sauces, jams, and fruit juices.      

The Red Jacket Orchards CSA will have two distribution locations, which are listed below.  Full and half shares are available.  Full shares are priced at $22 per week and half shares are $13 per week.    Membership applications should be sent in by August 5th.  To see a sample share list and for more information on how to sign up, visit  or e-mail

Distribution Locations:

1.  Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain
513 Henry Street, Brooklyn (Carroll Gardens)
Corner of Henry Street and Sackett Street
Tuesdays, August 10 – November 9 from 4:00pm – 6:45pm

2.  Jimmy’s No.43
43 E. 7th Street, Manhattan (East Village)
Corner of 7th Street and 2nd Ave
Saturdays, August 14 – November 13  from 12:30pm – 3:30pm