Thursday, March 23, 2006

Another 6 a.m. morning. I am trying to put in two days a week at Montessori so I can get this darn library online. Tuesday was a difficult day with lots of students in the library so it was hard to concentrate with interruptions so often. One of the classroom bathrooms wasn't working so I had bunches of 6-9 year olds coming in to use the library bathroom and then hanging around. They have a substitute teacher for the next two weeks so today could be as bad. Kids who know the check out process seem to forget on the days I am there so I have to stop what I am doing to help them. Oh the joys!

I finally found the top of my desk yesterday and found the pamphlet I picked up at St. Maarten Park - the island's small zoo. I felt like I was back at the Royale Turtle Inn with the 200 birds, most squawking at the same time. The peacock was incredible though - he was just wandering around the zoo and I steered clear of him. There is a restaurant in Houston that has peacocks in the parking lot and they are known to chase people! Wild boars, an ocelot, a caiman, several types of tropical region monkeys, a reptile house (Steve left the door open for a quick escape - he does not like snakes), a bat house (I wanted to leave the door open for a quick escape - I detest bats), and lots of different types of tropical birds. The parrots and macaws were of every color you could imagine and I have never seen an ibis the intense orangish pink that we saw. I was talking to all of the animals as we walked through, while Steve smiled at my enjoyment. Although a small zoo and in need of painting, etc. it was clean and clearly the animals were well cared for. Last stop was the restrooms and Steve calls over the partition that he has a cat sitting on the commode in his. I wondered what the heck he was talking about until I was washing my hands and saw that I too had an animal on the commode - mine was a baby elephant. The pictures behind the commodes certainly caused us to chuckle. The people in the gift shop were a delight and we had great fun talking to them about how it is so essential that you are able to speak Dutch, the national language, or you will be working as a maid in one of the hotels. We did hear Dutch spoken but overall it was English on the Dutch side of the island.

So many of the teen novels have partial face shots. The cover of Forbidden by Judy Waite has the right side of a teenage girl's face, with her looking down. In the book Elinor, the main character, has very light blonde hair but the photograph of the girl on the cover does not. Little things like that bug me. I know - I am anal! But, what a great book! I couldn't put it down - it creeped me out that all these people could follow Howard, the psychologically unbalanced leader of the True Cause cult. Elinor was initiated into the cult when she was a young child and both she and her mother were snatched from the street while they were selling the True Cause Word by the man and son who loved them, but they were found again and brought back to the cult. Elinor is still there several years later, destined to be one of Howard's Brides. When it is time for her to go through the ceremony to join the other Brides she finally opens her eyes a bit to what is going on around her. This is due to her meetings with Jamie, a young man who seems familiar to her. She realizes that Howard is a very old man and that lying with him is not what she wants, but she has no choice. Elinor's awakening from the mindlessness of this cult is heartbreaking. I wanted to hug her and tell her it was going to be okay. Nothing horrible was going to happen to her for asking questions or thinking for herself. The ending had me gasping.

Dang it - Steve just scared the pee-willies out of me! He startled me as I was typing and I shrieked like one of the birds on Sint Maarten! He told me it was a sign of senility to be talking to inanimate objects. I had just told his Roomba to back off while it was bumping against the legs of my chair. The cat hates that thing and I am not too far behind her. It gets stuck under the couch and I have to move it to get it out. It also tries to eat Sophie's food and she gets really bent out of shape about that! Off to Montessori.