Wednesday, October 6, 2010


After a month of looking for it, I saw the first tree changing color on our street last week. I squealed and pointed it out for the children. This early maple is already spilling pink leaves on the sidewalk for us to crunch through.

The road refinishing on our street is finally done and it's time to get a celebratory car wash. Getting a little hard to see through the streaky dust on my windows. I am not about to wish for rain. This dry air is so delightful.

I read The Wolves of Wilhoughby Chase by Joan Aiken to my kids and they loved it as much as I hoped they would. Katy told me it was too exciting for bedtime reading. (And though I couldn't argue with that, I was sorry for the delay as I could hardly wait to get to the ending.) We got through it last weekend and now I know where my phantom egg eating orphan comes from. When I was starting to read Jane Eyre last Feb. I wasn't sure I wanted to read about her terrible time as a foster child and at the abusive school. I was sure I remembered an episode where a half starved student eats a raw egg from the henhouse to keep going. Then when I got through reading Jane I was puzzled because there wasn't any egg incident to be found. But it is Bonnie in WoWC who eats raw eggs, not Jane! Anyway, WoWC is good melodrama, everything is over the top and the descriptions are very sensual. At one point the girls have escaped from the orphanage/workhouse with the help of their friend the goose herder. Sylvia is tucked into a donkey-drawn wagon, under down filled quilts and then the live sleepy geese are settled around her. It sounds deliciously cosy and safe especially in contrast with the cold and deprivations they've been through. I wondered if it would all be too much for Lexi but she was interested in the story and just wanted reassurance from time to time that there would be a happy ending. There is and it's a good one.

Dull at work right now. I described the beginning of fall semester as a tidal wave. I think I'm sitting on a sand bar now, at calm low tide. But if I was really on a sand bar I could dig for shells or at least feel the sand between my toes.

Halloween costumes are in the works. I lobbied for Totoro over vampire for Katy. I decided I could live with her being a vamp if she insisted, but she didn't. Now how can we get a tiny red umbrella for her to hold? Lexi has known since August that she would be the Lollipop Princess from Candyland. I'm sewing a skirt that we'll put over a dress she already has and cover with paper lollipops. The crown will be the next piece.


amenaneri said...

Totoro! How awesome--I love that movie. I am always amazed at what you create for your kids for Halloween costumes.

I've never heard of the book of which you speak, and I must say, I'm disappointed you never told me about it as a child! ;-) I do remember being delighted by most books you aimed my way (then and now). So, I think I'll have to find it.

Happy Midwestern fall to you--I'm jealous--fall was the only good thing about living in the Midwest. Play in the leaves for me.

Nimble said...

Oooooh, serious oversight on my part, AM. Joan Aiken is really good and really prolific. In fact I'm scared to read much of her oeuvre because considering its vastness there must be some clunkers. But this one was absolutely as good as I remembered and you will LOVE it. I also re read a short story collection, A Necklace of Rain and other stories, which is excellent.

Most of the trees here are still in the green and waiting stage. I'm looking forward to the full turning leaves panorama. Hope it stays dry for that. Much love to you - enjoy the last dry month in SF.

Bee said...

I've never heard of the Aiken book. Was that one of your childhood favorites? I'm always impressed by how far-ranging your reading tastes are.

Our leaves are well-advanced -- and not only changing, but also falling off the tree. It is strangely warm and muggy, though, and I'm actually wanting colder weather.

Any chance that you are in Texas for Thanksgiving? Simon and I may come for the week of 18-25. We will have to fly back on Thanksgiving itself because R gets out of school at noon the next day. I would really like to get together with you.

The Subtle Rudder said...

Ah, you just shook loose the Joan Aiken connection in my brain. Maybe this winter I can focus in on all my favorite chapter books from way back when--the Joan Aikens, the Zilpha Keatley Snyders, the Dark is Rising series. It would probably tell me a lot about what I love today. Hope all's well...I've been a bad blogger and blogreader of late.

Nimble said...

Hey Bee, nope no Texas in our immediate future. I'm sorry about that, I'd love to see you in any state or continent. Aiken is a very fond memory from my childhood. There are other books in the Wolves series but as I recall none of them quite live up to the first one.

Hi TSR: yes, I'm fully enjoying the parent's luxury of reliving some of my favorite things. For Halloween chapter book reading, did you ever read The House with a Clock in its Walls by Bellairs? I remember delicious shudders ca. 5th grade. We'll enjoy your blog posts when you're in that space again.