Wednesday, June 24, 2009

much-needed vacation

Presque Isle, Erie, PA

The Erie Zoo & Botanical Garden

This zoo felt like a storybook zoo. It was somewhat tucked away in a neighborhood. The entrance was nice, not extravagant or flashy, parking was free in a little lot across the street, and it just gave off a welcoming, old-timey vibe. I liked it! We were mesmerized by the giraffes for some time.

I guess you'd call this male bonding. A lesson in skipping stones.
I love J's posture in the next image. I felt like I captured his energy--and a special moment, flinging all his hopes and joys into the water like wishes.

Anybody know the significance of all the frog and fish statues in Erie? I didn't get around to asking about them or trying to look them up. They were everywhere. This one has been decoupaged with pages and covers from old books. He sat outside the library/Erie Maritime Museum.

Parts of Erie have an older feel. We hit this light a lot, and I really just liked looking at the one single traffic light and the buildings around.

You've got to look closely at this next image, of these amazing whirligig lighthouse displays at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (The TREC). Although it's free like all state park nature centers, that term just doesn't cut in when describing this facility. It's not dark and dingy and full of taxidermied wildlife. It's a LEED building; it harnesses wind power; and there's an IMAX theatre inside that holds a 4-story Big Green Screen.
At the base of this lighthouse model was a wheel, and when turned, every whirligig in the display was set in motion. It was really impressive to see them all moving in sync, and they were very finely crafted and detailed whirligigs to start with. My grandfather used to make whirligigs, and recently he's started making a few more. I think one was of a man canoeing, and the other was the 'classic' Mallard. I hope to convince him to take a shot at making us one with that features J's favorite bird, the Downy Woodpecker!
Happy Summer, readers! Where are you vacationing to?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

disastrous news for ohio libraries

THE BASICS: Governor Strickland has recommended the elimination of $200+ million from the Public Library Fund over the next two years.

WHAT IT MEANS: This proposal by the Governor cuts Columbus Metropolitan Library's state funding by 50%. These proposed 11 + million dollar cuts will be devastating: closing branches, halting new books and materials, and shutting down programs and services that are so vital to our community!

Please help! Tell the Ohio government to find another solution.

Email all your legislators at once by visiting CML's homepage.

Call the Governor's office at 614-466-3555.

For more information, please visit the Ohio Library Council website.


Here's what I had to say. I hope you'll participate and encourage others too.

I am writing to express my utmost concern about the Governor's proposed cuts to library funding. The news of it comes as quite a shock, as well as a disappointment from a Governor I had confidence in.

Of course, in tough economic times, we need to look for ways to cut back, but we expect that the Ohio government recognize the immense value and importance that our libraries hold for us. As you know, for many years Ohio has topped the Hennen Library Rankings, and was just recently named a 5 star library by Library Journal. What better way to live up to that ranking, and more importantly to the communities the libraries serve, than to conserve money and resources for Ohio libraries.

Libraries have already received a 20% cut in funding; a 50% cut will have drastic consequences to our libraries and our communities: branches will close and services will be cut.

These cuts would have devastating consequences to our libraries when our community needs them more than ever. Libraries are busier than ever. Children, teachers, parents, students, job-seekers flood Ohio libraries every day to take advantage of the information, resources, and sense of community that our libraries promote.

This is the time to rally around the truly exceptional and truly meaningful services available to Ohioans. Libraries are just that. There is an engraving above the door to the Columbus Metropolitan Library in downtown Columbus that simply reads: 'Open To All'. Please reject this proposal and keep that statement true; save our libraries from closing many of their doors.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

quick tag

a bloggy friend tagged me with this quick little meme, and i thought i'd churn it out to leave you with some fun before we head out on vacation. apparently, the categories have been narrowed from 8 responses down to 4, which i fully support. (some of these tag games are so fun, but also sooooo loooong!)

4 things i'm looking forward to

::finishing the book i'm currently reading (water for elephants--it is so good!)

::taking pictures of J's feet as he walks in the sand on vacation

::taking J to his first baseball game tomorrow

::remodeling our bathroom (someday)

4 things i did yesterday

::went to the zoo

::took a nap

::ate a piece of pattycake vegan bakery's chocolate-raspberry cake

::laughed A LOT, especially when J and the two boys we were babysitting did this:

4 things i wish i could do

::travel more often


::get a weekly massage

::live near water

4 tv shows i watch

::the office

::30 rock


::i want to start watching 'a place of our own' on pbs

4 places i'd like to travel




::yellowstone national park

4 places i've lived

::columbus, ohio is actually the only place i've lived, so the next 3 are places i'd love to live

::camden, maine

::santa fe, new mexico

::portland, or

OK, your turn! If you're reading this, you're tagged!

Karma Wilson Winners!

Thanks to all who entered my giveaway. It's clear there are a lot of Karma Wilson fans out there, and I wish I could have awarded each of you!

The lucky winner of Bear Feels Scared is Cheryl and the winner of Mama Always Comes Home is Stacy! Congrats mamas!