Monday, January 31

January books

Where Rainbows End Cecelia Ahern

Awful. The story was passable. Character voices were barely distinguishable. Characters didn't sound much different at age 15 and age 40. The correspondence style was only partially believable. I enjoy trash fiction on occasion, but not this poor.

Daughter of Fortune, Isabel Allende Photobucket

I enjoyed this. Very distinct characters, writing flows, story is intriguing. After reading a couple of Allende's books though, I'm disappointed that I don't find her as great as many people do. Yet she writes very well and writes passionate and romantic tales without the convoluted mental gymnastics of Marquez and with more likeable characters. It's quite a journey our heroine takes, and I was pleased with the romantic twist.

Water, Stone, Heart, Will North Photobucket

This was so dull. A romance brought to it's climax by a freak flood. The only aspect I enjoyed was recalling the magic of an area of England I adore (Cornwall). The romance was lukewarm and the general story-telling wet.


A Kitten Called Moonlight, Martin Waddell Photobucket
age: 3-5

A lovely, gentle story about a girl who spots a kitten all alone. She and her mummy go out to look for it, find it, and bring it back to their middle-class home. ahem
The constant 'mummy said' and 'the girl said' style is grating and I tend to skip most of it so that it flows better. But the story is sweet and wonderful for any child who loves animals and 'rescuing'.

Mog at the Zoo, Helen Nicoll Photobucket
age: 2-4

The Wildflower loves Meg & Mog antics from the TV series, which she only saw for the first time here in England. I always look for books connected to TV/DVDs, but I won't be buying more than the 3 she has now. They're really dull. Neither of us are interested.

The Gruffalo Magnet Book, Julia Donaldson Photobucket
age: 3-6

A nice gift for Gruffalo fans. Lots of magnets to play with. The downside is that there's not much to the book, and some of the pieces are tiny and easily lost (two searches already for the nut). It's also too big for travel, which in my mind is the selling point for magnet books.

The Tickle Book, Ian Whybrow Photobucket
age: 3-4

Many children enjoy pull-the-tab books and mine is one of them. I've searched around for the better ones and found a few. This one is very good. I'm sure she recognises the creatures, as a fan of Axel Scheffler illustrated books. Plenty to pull and poke at, and tickling fun between you and your child.

Meeow and the Pots and Pans

Meeow and the Pots and Pans, Sebastien Braun Photobucket
age: 1-3

My girl is a little old for this but still enjoyed it's simplicity. Reminds me of Maisy books - very simple text and story, with characters engaging in easily identifiable behaviours. I would have liked finding these (there's a few) for when she was 18mths or thereabouts.

Broken Bird (Picture Puffins)

Broken Bird, Michael Broad Photobucket
age: 4-7

A rather long tale of a bird who is 'different' and feels it. He leaves home and eventually finds a girl bird who is also different. In their mutual sadness they become friends and remain together ever after. I think this could be nice for children who are/feel different, especially in a physical way. A bit much for my 2.5yr-old.

Read anything good this month?

p.s, I'll get a month in review done in next two days. Join me if you like.

Friday, January 28

joy pockets

It's after a tough week that writing up my joy pockets really comes into its own.

made-up impromptu yoga
enjoying a novel
the buzz from a new idea
small market towns
3 for the price of 2
"I'm ready for brekets (breakfast) now mama"

share with me your joy pockets this week

Dreaming Aloud
Raising a Sensitive Child
My World Edenwild
The Curious Kitty
Wander Wonder Discover
Maggie's Nest

Monday, January 24

room for books

The time is really flying by here in England - a month has passed in a blink. We've been busy in a non-rushed sort of way. January is a bit of a social month, much like most people's December. So lots of food and chatter.

After the purchase of my camera, I can't say I've had the courage (or cash) to purchase anything else. But there's always room and money for books. Charity shops to the rescue, as well as Amazon 2nd-hand.

The luggage is reaching capacity, what with gifts for the Wildflower from friends and family. We've also bought several jigsaw puzzles for her.

I've been trying to read fiction while I'm here, so that I can leave those books behind. I read an awful Cecelia Ahern, completely not my thing. I'm enjoying Isabel Allende's, Daughter of Fortune. The Wildflower has fallen in love with A Kitten Called Moonlight - she's into the whole rescuing idea (Dora influence).

It'll probably be 6 months before we buy anything again!

My youngest niece made me proud by suggesting I leave some clothes behind to make room for more books.

Life Up Close:
The Awakened Heart

Friday, January 21

joy pockets

toddler time at the library
my stomach feeling 100% better
"The best part of unschooling is when there is no judgement
between the busiest day, and the laziest day."
{Wander Wonder Discover}
congrats + love Carin!
crisp, cold sunny days
naan bread
good luck with your new cyberhome Amy
getting on with family

share with me your joy pockets this week

The Curious Kitty
Dreaming Aloud

Monday, January 17


How do couples reconcile their very different needs and desires? It's all very well ticking your boxes when in search of a mate, but thing is, people change. A decade can shift a person from 'I don't want kids', to, 'Let's try for a 3rd'.

Husband and I, whatever our differences, do share the same or similar desires for our basic lifestyle - we both want to travel, we're open to living almost anywhere in the world, he supports me in my parenting choices (homeschooling, and such). Problems lie in other areas... but at least neither feels stuck in an inauthentic life course.

[no, not with my new camera yet]
join me in Life Up Close

I'm currently witness to two marriages where this isn't the case. One man wants to live in a different country, wants to sell his current home, wants to travel, and to socialise with his wife. She is a homebody, says she'll leave her house only in a coffin (only the kind of thing those over 60 tend to spout), and generally wants nothing but to wait for death.

He's miserable.

There was a time I was pained at my Husband's lack of spiritual inclinations. Truly pained. I let that go. I came to shift my view of what was truly necessary. For me, this was; showing me respect, affection, support, and now, being an attentive father.

I have no idea when or how this shift occurred. I do recall coming to one understanding, that spirituality is deeply personal. That while sharing our spiritual lives would be magical, it was not what mattered, ultimately. Meaning, it's between him and his belief, or lack of.

But how does a couple settle on where to live, or how to parent if both feel strongly about one way or another, or if one feels the family ought to be greener/more charitable/more or less sociable/vegetarian.......?

What happens when the contrasts no longer work alongside each other? Is there always a way to make self-contained circles ripple in the same waters?

Life Up Close:

Friday, January 14

joy pockets

a new camera
reading trash fiction
dirtgirlworld {hat tip antoinette terrey}
in-laws I love
charity shops (thrift stores)
750 yr-old cathedrals
pecan danish
writing joy pockets again
working on the astro site

share with me your joy pockets this week

Bohemian Single Mom
My World Edenwild
Dreaming Aloud

Tuesday, January 11

moving forward

So here we are, a new year, lots of hope floating about with many people striving or dreaming of a 'better' year ahead. It was a whopper last year, wasn't it?

I'm not much of a goal maker. I tend to have visionary dreams and hopes and charge in with full enthusiasm, and accept things if life has other plans. But occasionally I like to take stock of what I have and haven't done or worked through, and consider how I want to move forward.

For me, the solstice and two lunar eclipses were points of attention, and what came up was the desire to apply what I learnt last year. Namely, simplification and focus. Learning it's not only okay but essential to regularly do nothing.

Learning concepts is the first step, taking them into our every cell and soul. And then we start to actually practice. Of course, it's not so distinct, it's a process of many overlaps. I've been simplifying throughout the previous year.

Being away from the 'net and my usual routine has been a gift. (We'll be in the UK another month). As well as being ill for 2 months. Many times, when we refuse to listen, our bodies will force us to. I'm happy to be back online, and overjoyed to feel better, but am also clearer about what I want and, more to the point, what I need to do.

Despite the 3.7million ideas swimming 'round in my head, tempting me away from inner peace, I must choose 2-3. Put my energies into them, focus, and finally, produce something soul-satisfying.

Two of these are, writing my book (mothering + astrology) and the other is a website/blog connected to that.

And if I get to live to 113 years, like my maternal great-great-mother, I may just have time to get to another dozen ideas.

Have missed you guys.
What are you putting into practice in the year ahead?