Skip to main content

This past January I had put together quite a hefty list of books to read through 2012, and I'm happy to say in the month of January through early February, I have finished four of them. The first one on my list that was crossed off was Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures. Chevalier is the author of "Girl With the Pearl Earring", of movie fame, and I have read all of her books. This one came out in early 2011, and I didn't want to overlook it. She writes exclusively historical fiction, where the novel is based on part truth. Chevalier has the craft of taking an idea out of history--in this case the real Mary Anning--who discovered remains of ancient mammals on the English coast--and writing her tale of friendship with a dash of women's rights for cheeky measure.

This is a story about a spinster who moves out to the coast with her 2 sisters as they are exiled from their brother's London house when he marries. Elizabeth Philpot, has a curious habit of digging in the sand and mud to find fossilized fish, and she comes across a young girl with a very strange history. This girl, Mary, is only a child but already an advanced 'curies finder', who sells them for pennies to visitors who look seaside in the summer. As the novel advances, so do the decades and Mary 'strikes it rich' when she discovers something extraordinary.

There was a time in my life (a decade, really) where I wanted to be an archaeologist, and this novel spoke to that part of my heart. I loved reading about the actual work of finding the fossils, and how a European market, scientific research, and religious awakening happened because of "Mary's eye" and what 'extinct' means.

This story is about women's places in the world, friendship, lost dreams, and life's passionate work. I give this novel 3 1/2 stars out of 5. It was written well, but not Chevalier's best, though I enjoyed it.


Popular posts from this blog

How To: DIY Sand/Water Table

How To: Build A Sand/Water Table for Under $30!
Sorry this took me so long to blog, but I had to have a tool list and full instructions before I could do so.
A little history on my love for the sand/water table. I love the idea behind tools for tiny hands, i.e. the Montessori Method, and like to have Lukka 'figure things out for himself', even when he is playing. I try to have the most simple and basic toys available for 3 reasons: a) simple toys generally have less parts, which means less of a hassle for me
b) simple toys inspire way more creativity and imagination than do 'exact replica' toys
c) they are much more aesthetically pleasing to look at, therefore, not making every nook and cranny of our house an eyesore!
I know the last reason is just for me, but it's true. Plastic things don't generally last 1/2 as long as wooden or fabric toys, and they are unattractive. For this reason, I started to look for a wooden sand/water table as opposed to a plastic one …

The Rule of Threes

Costco aftermath
This is what my kitchen looks like for at least an hour after a Costco trip. I haul in everything after an exhausting journey through the busiest store (seemingly) in this country and I just can't do a dang thing more. For an hour. While I get a breather. And eat some obligatory reward chocolate. Eventually I'll get to those piles and everything will be put in it's proper place, but usually it stays like this for that necessary hour. 
                                                                          *** I don't think I'm alone in sensing that our culture has gone hog-wild with unrealistic expectations in just about every department, and I want to tell my friends, and anyone else who will listen, that we can only do so much in a day.  My husband once told me a friend of his pondered the busy-ness of our modern lives and said something to the effect of, "God gives us just enough time in the day to do only the things we need to do." …

17 in 2017 // What Happened? What Didn't?

one of Ani's goals: learning to bake!
This year was a great one--we did SO much as a family and I really think by setting up some 'Things to Do' with the kids in my goal list for 2017, we made them happen rather than thinking we could do them 'someday'. We traveled a lot in 2017; we hit every state on the West Coast including Alaska! We started our 6th year of homeschooling and went a bit rogue in a few subjects like Math. I started and finished a beloved book series with the kids. There were a few things that didn't happen because of circumstances, but almost everything else DID happen, and I'm proud of that! Intentions + action for the win! 

What Happened

*Learn to make pakora and butter chicken (crock pot): This might be cheating but a friend of mine sells Epicure spice blends and they just came out this past year with a pakora packet. It's healthy, fast, gluten-free, and delicious and I'm counting it! I also made the most delicious butter chicken…