Thursday, September 27, 2007

Once upon a time I had the goal of blogging at least every other day. That is a fairy tale these days with too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Spending way too much time in doctor's offices isn't helping any either. Saw my GP yesterday and she thinks the pain and numbness in my neck and right arm may be due to an artery problem. So now I wait to get in to the next specialist. The vertigo comes and go and the headache just never goes away, it just varies in intensity. So I and the pain pills wait for the next potential diagnosis. It is all happening to my right side. Mousing with my left hand is almost becoming easy!

Been busy working on the handout for a presentation on new children's books at the North Carolina Library Association Conference next month and came across a book that caused me to pause and say, "Oh my!" Run Far, Run Fast by Timothy Decker is a cross between a picture book and a graphic novel and addresses the bubonic plague but refers to it as the Pestilence. It is stunning in the sparseness of the text and the starkness of the black and white line drawings. The left side of the page has a larger illustration and the hand written text. The right side of the page looks more like a graphic novel with the illustrations adding depth to the story of a ten-year-old girl who is sent away by her mother when the Pestilence visits their home and her father gets sick. They are boarded into their home, but the mother pulled lose a board and pushed her daughter out. The girl wanders past a monastery and walked all the way to the sea but the Pestilence had made it there before her. Travelers on the road sometimes help her but it isn't until the man who narrates the tale meets her in the forest and offers to help her and her little brother that she has a future. It is a gentle but very arresting tale. I can't get it out of my mind. I find myself picking it up over and over as it is so unique. Is this a children's book? I don't think so, but what a great resource to introduce the Middle Ages and the Plague to middle school and older.

We finally got rain today. It was wonderful to see it come down for more than a few moments. It has been such a dry summer the trees have lost some of their leaves already. Our neighbors' birch trees lost most of their leaves last month. The weather has been very hot again but it is supposed to cool of into the 70s this weekend. We went down to the reenactment of the battle between the Indians and settlers at the Boonesborough settlement last weekend and it was a lot hotter than it should be for this time of the year. We wandered through the fort but left before the actual reenactment as I hate loud noises and there was going to be a lot of that. I enjoyed listening to and watching the spinner and weaver, but most of it was gift shop type places. People were walking around in time period clothes. One of the male Indians had the funniest looking leggings on - he looked like he had bumblebee legs! Made me think of the Renaissance fairs I have been to in the past and loved, but a different atmosphere. Came home smelling like wood smoke. Made me lonesome for the smell of woodsmoke rising from the sauna in the evening when I was growing up. Mom also cooked on a wood stove so the kitchen often smelled of woodsmoke. I wonder if I went to school smelling like woodsmoke and didn't know it. I close my eyes and smell her homemade bread though, not woodsmoke. Selective memory!