Well, last week’s Show & Tell Friday was postponed due to the fact that I was at the beach with my family. And it was good to take a much-needed break from my laptop. But this week it’s back, and I’ve got a few things to share. I’ve also got a nasty cold–preschool, and its myriad of little person germs, has begun again–so bear with me if today’s post doesn’t have quite the same pep. I promise to make up for it later.
Yes, it’s the same old story, retold, but still true to the original. But what’s wonderfully different about this version are Brett’s incredibly beautiful illustrations. Here, the bears are outfitted like medieval monarchs and Goldilocks looks like a Swedish princess. The illustrations are so rich and nuanced that they seem as if they’d jump from the page.
My 4 year-old received this book in the mail because she’s a part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which sends a free book to children in any county in the U.S. willing to partner with her each month from birth to age 5. I worship at the altar of Dolly Parton, I am not ashamed to stay. She is an American treasure. So more on the Imagination Library maybe at a later date. This version of Goldilocks, however, belongs on every young reader’s Christmas list.
2.) Cocomide Diethanolamine (cocomide DEA)
The other day I walked into our one bathroom to find my husband dumping bottles of my shampoo into the trash. When I protested, he pointed me toward this article about cocomide DEA, a “cancer-causing chemical” found in many different shampoos and hair products (Healthline News, Aug. 29, 2013). The chemical is used as a thickening agent, and can be found not only in shampoo but in soaps and other beauty products.
Here’s what the Center for Environmental Health had to say after several products were pulled from the shelves at places like Trader Joe’s, Wal-Mart and Babies-R-Us: “The state has not set a [safety] level specific to cocamide DEA,” says Charles Margulis, Communications Director and Food Program Director of CEH, “but the levels we found exceed levels typical for carcinogens.”
3.) On my bedside table, to be read
I’m currently taking a leave of absence from my graduate program in writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, what with just having had a baby and all. I’m also taking a break from teaching. However, next semester I’ll be back to teaching, back in my last semester of graduate school, and will still have a new baby (and a 4 year-old). So I figure I’d better get my for-fun reading done now.
Here’s what’s on my to-be-read list: Natural Saints: How People of Faith are Working to
Save God’s Earth by Mallory McDuff (I got to meet and hang out with McDuff recently at the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival and she seems to me to be genuine, cool, and full of grace); Charles F. Price’s Nor the Battle to the Strong: A Novel of the American Revolution in the South (I met Charles at the festival, too, and he generously sent me a copy of the novel–into which, loving this period in American history like I do, I can’t wait to dive in); and Kathryn Newfont’s Blue Ridge Commons: Environmental Activism and Forest History in Western North Carolina (Kathryn, too, I had the pleasure of meeting last weekend, and hearing her speak so passionately and with such a familiar voice–filled with my own longing for and love of the woods–made me want to immediately buy her book).
It could be weeks or months from now, or it could be next week by the time I get these read. I promise to fill y’all in when I do. But if I forget, remind. Again, I have a baby.
4.) Some September quotes for this glorious time of year:
“Outside the leaves on the trees constricted slightly; they were the deep done green of the beginning of autumn. It was a Sunday in September. There would only be four. The clouds were high and the swallows would be here for another month or so before they left for the south before they returned again next summer.”
~ Ali Smith, The Whole Story and Other Stories
“Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us …”
~ Autumn Equinox Ritual
“Lord, it is time. The summer was very big. Lay thy shadow on the sundials, and on the meadows let the winds go loose. Command the last fruits that they shall be full; give them another two more southerly days, press them on to fulfillment and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke