Tag Archives: Boston Public Library

Today: Library finds.

library finds

Recent library finds:

  • Paper to Petal: 75 Whimsical Flower Ideas to Craft By Hand by Rebecca Thuss // I’m not crafting anything whimsical by hand at the moment… but this book is a great visual reference for a painting class I am taking (Pam Garrison’s Painting Petals class)
  • Cat Says Meow and Other Animalopoea by Michael Arndt // This book is incredibly clever.
  • Fabulous Fishes by Susan Stockdale // Grace really likes the illustrations in this one, and I like the little reference guide at the back.  Apparently the real, common name for pufferfish is… pufferfish.  And they’re poisonous.
  • The Plant Recipe Book by Baylor Chapman // I own the Flower Recipe Book (and love it), so I thought I’d borrow the plant version from the library.  I like this one mostly because I am pretending that a. It’s not winter, and b. I can keep plants alive for more than a week.  Like Paper to Petal, this is a great reference for painting.
  • Anything in the Peas series by Keith Baker // Grace’s cousins got her one of these books for Christmas and we’ve been hooked on the whole series.  Just last week I caught Grace “reading” to Clark, “We are peas!  Alphabet peas!  We work and play in the A-B-Cs!”  
  • I stumbled upon an entire child development section in the children’s library at our local branch in Southie.  It’s skewed a bit older than our children, but I could see it being really helpful in the future (there were a lot of books about helping your children succeed in school, etc.).  
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee // I tried to finish Go Set a Watchman, but I just couldn’t hang.  And I sort of feel like maybe it shouldn’t have been published, especially if it wasn’t intended to be published.  Starting it made me want to re-read To Kill A Mockingbird (one of the very few books I can stand to re-read), though.  So, so good. 

Cleary I don’t read much in the way of normal and grown-up books anymore… but hey.  I know a tiny bit more about pufferfish.  So, there’s that.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you reading these days?


Today: Scenes from the snowiest winter in South Boston.

snowy South Boston

I am not sure which is more unbelievable:

  • It has snowed 7 feet during the last 3 weeks here in Boston
  • I am about to quote a Florida Republican and member of the NRA (on the topic of winter, of all things)  

It has come to this.  My ability to use my own words is buried, along with my car, under all that snow.  However, the former Congressman’s words (in this instance, at least) felt spot on.

After Nick cleared out the SUV and picked up some iced coffees (always iced, even when the thermometer iPhone weather app thing reads 4 degrees), we bundled up Grace and took a quick drive around the neighborhood.

I’m not a betting girl, but if I were, I’d say there will still be snow on the ground come Marathon Monday. [Side note: our friend Sarah is running Boston in support of the MGH Emergency Response Team.  If you’re wondering what marathon training during this historic winter is like… welp, she’ll tell you.]

South Boston Emergency Transportation Reconfiguration

With no room for both cars and snowbanks, driving around here has felt a bit like living in a (mostly super-dangerous) video game.  Last Thursday, it took me two hours to get from the South End to Southie.  I was an hour late for daycare pick-up (fortunately, Nick was able to get there in time).  Most of those two hours were spent in my own neighborhood, trying to navigate too narrow streets, while attempting to neither hit a pedestrian nor get hit by a bus.

Hopefully this weekend’s Emergency Transportation Reconfiguration (doesn’t that sound so… serious?) will help.  Most numbered streets are now one-way (odd numbers head east, even numbers head west), through April 1st.  Ahh, April. That sounds nice.

While I lose my mind keep busy with glamorous things like laundry and pretend a heat wave is moving through, a few photos from our tour of the neighborhood:

Sully's Castle Island snow

Oh.  I saved the best for last.  How awesome (and unsafe, yes, but awesome) is this tunnel at the corner of K & 8th?  I like when people make the most of things.

snow tunnel south boston

With more snow on the way, that’s really all we can do.  Make the most of things.  Hang in there.  And be grateful that we’re warm and safe.  We’re going a little stir-crazy, sure.  

But spring is coming.  Eventually.

Also On Tap for Today:

Share something bright, sunny, warm, tropical, pink, lovely and/or Mean Girls related.  Please.


Today: Read on Memory Lane

MeatballsWe are compiling a list at work, featuring our “must read” books for kids, inspired by our own literary childhoods.  With Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (one of my all-time favorites) and Where the Wild Things Are hitting the theatres, now’s a great time to get nostalgic.

Here are a few picks from my list:

Anne of Green Gables collection, L.M. Montgomery: I wanted to be a red-headed orphan on PEI, with a kindred spirit living nearby and a dying adopted father whose last name sounded like custard.  Except for the orphan/dying parent part.  Actually, I didn’t really want red hair either. I devoured these books, one after another.  My sister and I watched the movies on PBS more times than I should admit.

Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein: I will not go to school today, said little Peggy Ann McKay.  I have the measles and the mumps, a gash, a rash, and purple bumps.  Memorized that bad larry in fourth grade.  Some things just stick.  My bank account number? Can’t remember it because that corner of my brain is occupied by various S.Silverstein poems.

Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe, Vera B. Williams: I took LeVar Burton’s word for it and checked this book out of the Boyden Library the week it was featured on Reading Rainbow.  The illustrations are perfect.

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg: I still daydream of being locked in the Met or the furniture collection at the MFA overnight, thanks to this awesome chapter book.

The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams: I remember this book sending me into a spiraling six year old frenzy, worried that my having strep throat would result in all of our toys being burned in the back yard, only for them to come to life.  I think the coming to life part scared me more than the burning.  Regardless, TVR contains one of my most favorite exchanges of all time:

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

The Frog and Toad collection, Arnold Lobel:  Our maternal grandfather was short and had round cheeks.  His older brother was, and is, much taller, with a lean face.  Both looked good in earth tones.  These books, especially Frog and Toad Together, reminded me of Grandpa and Uncle Mac.  I still think they’d probably like sitting on a log, talking about the season, or swimming, or a lost button.

Frog_and_toad_cover[Frog and Toad photo via wikipedia.org]

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss; and Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McClosky: My dad had this awesome leather chair.  We’d still in his lap, while he read to us–these titles in particular, possibly hundreds of times–in the old house.  I’m very lucky my parents read to us as much as they did.

You can check them all out at your local library, or at Amazon.com by clicking here.  Happy Reading!  I’m off to pick up my first BPL card at our local branch.  Man/woman, I love this city.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Go for a run, but avoid that creepy street I mistakenly ran down last week
  • Make some soup!

What were your favorite books growing up?  And for those of you who, like me, loved Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, what’s up with the 3D animation?  I wish the movie looked more like the book… sigh.  OK.  Bye!