Springtime: Flowers, Fun Run and Art

The sun has been shining, the temperatures have warmed and the parking lot gardens are overgrown with bluebells! I must have discarded 1,000 bulbs last year but still they bloom!

Last Sunday, my daughter and I participated in the annual Sun Run. We walked 10 kilometres together with 41,000 other walkers and runners. Actually, the first runner had crossed the finish line
before we started.  Since I started working at the beginning of November, the weather has not really
been pleasant for walking. I have found employment takes a lot more energy than I did when I was in my fifties. Hopefully, longer, sunny days will revitalize me

We've been taking our mini-dachshund Tilde to obedience classes. She's learned to walk without pulling on the leash, to sit, stay and heel. Monsieur is the principal caregiver and he is quite the
adoring "dog parent". Tilde is a friendly little dog but she will bark at strangers. A few private sessions with the trainer are in her future.

This week, I had a Scholastic Book Fair at school. It has been a great success but I have found that the heavy metal book cases and the endless boxes of merchandise hard to manage. As I started midyear in the school, I have no parent volunteers. Today is the last day so I will have to pack up before I leave. The students really enjoy the event and it brings the entire student population into the library.

book club choice
My United Readers Book Club read Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. I enjoyed her other book, The Paris Wife more than this book which is a fiction work based on the early life of the the aviatrix and horse trainer, Beryl Markham. The book, set mostly in 1920's Kenya, reminded me a lot of Out of Africa, the 1985 movie whose characters Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton feature prominently in the novel. Beryl Markham held a horse trainer's license at the age of 18 and flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean but the novel focussed on her emotional neediness and poor relationship choices.

I follow Casita Colibri, a blog based in Oaxaca. This week is a celebration of regional cookery in Oaxaca state. I attended last year and the colour and flavours were exciting. I really miss the constant
celebrations and the noise of Mexico.
photo from Noticias, a Oaxacan newspaper

Almost a month has passed since I returned home from Mexico and only 2 months remain of my temporary teaching contract. I'll miss the primary children most. A little boy asked me the other day if I would come to his birthday party and read a story and another called me into the classroom to his the 'Van Gogh' painting that he was creating. Since coming home, my focus in the library has been art and colour around the world. Two great children's books that I highly recommend are:

an excellent book showing the link between children's imagination and architecture

the story of art and community involvement
It is important to me to bring part of my travels home and to find a way to share that colour and excitement.


  1. I think I will buy the book by Hadid ,the architect, for our grandchildren...it looks good!
    The Scholastic book fairs ARE a lot of work and volunteers really help...I loved organizing them when I was in the library...kids got so excited about the books...and whats not to love about fostering the love of reading?

    Our son is running in the TC 10k tomorrow morning and he runs by the top of our street so we plan to go out and watch with the grandchildren...congratulations on walking The Sun Run.

    Take care and hope that you have a restful Sunday...

  2. You would enjoy sharing the Hadid book with the grandchildren as it is a fascinating story of a woman born in Iraq whose works can be found in every corner of the world. What amazing structures! I ordered my copy from Vancouver Kidsbooks with another architecture for children book Dreaming Up by Christy Hale. My kindergarten FI class invited me in to see the city that they had built using so many different classroom objects. They are also building an "Alphabet House" with rooms for every letter. The power of story!

    It's a good day for a run today. Not too hot. enjoy the time with your grandchildren.

  3. Always glad to read reviews for excellent children's books. Haven't heard of either of these so will investigate further. I am familiar with Jeanette Winter from other books. Both covers beg to be opened and read!!

    I loved the book fair but it was hard work. My sister is a book fair queen and a librarian in Houston, Texas.

    I appreciate your comments about Mexico. Clicked on the Oaxaca blog link. Oh, the food pictured there. I live on the U.S.-Mexico border and used to travel to Ciudad Juarez several times of year for the same noise and celebrations you miss.

    Glad to have connected with you!

    1. Forgot to click notify me. So clicking on it with this comment.

  4. I just discovered your blog as well. I like how it is multi-faceted. I really like Jeanette Winter's Biblioburro book. So many books that I love to share with children.

  5. Working with books and children all day would be both exhausting and inspiring. I think our grandchildren would enjoy those books you've recommended. The weather has been glorious again this week. I took my Spanish students down to Fisherman's Wharf to the Mexican food restaurant there. I arranged ahead to have the servers speak Spanish to my students so that they could place their orders and practice Spanish. It worked well. The restaurant workers were so gracious.


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