Anyone fascinated by the history of transportation as I am should plan a visit to the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, Germany. If you are unable to travel to Germany visit the great website that they have designed. The Museum has an extraordinary collection of technical exhibits which include a Concorde, a Mercedes-Benz 770K Cabriolet as well as a huge collection of trains. My own personal favorites (if forced to choose) are the Junkers JU-87(of which there are only two other examples in museums elsewhere in the world) and the famous Crocodile Locomotive from the Swiss Federal Railways.
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There has been a renewal of interest in Norwegian cooking largely due to the efforts of Andreas Viestad. He is a Norwegian food columnist and TV chef. He is one of the hosts of New Scandavian Cooking and is a delightful host and guide to the new wonders of Scandanavian cooking. He has a wonderful sense of humor and is insistent on always cooking outdoors. On one of the episodes he was on a cruise ship in one of the magnificent Norwegian fjords and cooked a roast suckling pig in the teeth of a major gale!
Well, it’s officially the winter season according to the calendar. Winter runs from December 21st through March 19th (though we can all hope for that cute little groundhog to not see his shadow and indicate an early onset of warmer weather). Regardless of how long the cold weather will continue for, we must come to terms with the fact that over the next several weeks many things will keep us inside our homes and community centers. For those households with children, this can be a nightmare. Trying to entertain children when a snow day occurs or even after school when the wind is blowing too hard for them to play outside can be a very difficult feat.
Of course, there are always those common snowy day ideas on how to use the snow to your advantage; go out and make a snowman or snow angel, have a snowball fight or even take the kids sledding down a steep hill nearby. These are all great ideas to occupy children during the winter, but they are not always a parent or caregivers favorite choice. Not everybody wants to trample through the snow in a snowsuit, gloves and a funny hat (that will always give you crazy hair afterwards). So, what are some other ideas for how to occupy your child when the weather doesn’t cooperate?
At this point you’ll expect me to scream out, “BRING YOUR KIDS TO THE LIBRARY,” and while yes, that is a GREAT idea due to all of the fun activities they can take part in, the toys they can play with and of course the books they can explore, I understand caregivers will sometimes want to be in the comfort of their own homes on these chillingly cold days of winter. Therefore, here is my suggestion. Come to the library, even for just a few minutes to pick some books out with your child, take those books home and use them as a way to bond with them. How? You ask.
Here at the Danbury Public Library, we have a large selection of books in the junior department for children to explore their favorite topics. Take your child up to this department and head over to our Junior Non-Fiction books. There, use our Dewey Decimal system and locate the 745’s. This is the area for decorative arts where you will find books on various crafting ideas. Books on art crafts, jewelry making, paper crafts, and all different activities you can take part in with your child on a snowy day while staying in the comfort of your warm home can be found in this section. We even have a book on how to make crafts out of Duct Tape!
So, as winter has fallen upon us, come on in to the library and seek out some crafting books for you and your child to explore your imaginations together on the next frigidly cold day. And while you’re here, maybe even pick out a book for yourself for those nights where all you want to do is curl up next to a warm fire with a cozy blanket and a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Believe me, a book can be one of the greatest winter companions.
James Tissot (1836-1902) was a skilled French artist who was a friend of Whistler and Degas. He had an enormously important career in France and then decided to move to England in 1871 where he replicated his previous success as a skilled society painter. He met Kathleen Newton who became his model, mistress, muse and the great love of his life. She died tragically in 1882 and he immediately returned to France. He had a profound religious experience in a Parisian Church where he saw a vision of Christ as the Comforter, with His arms around the homeless people of Paris. Thereafter he devoted his life to painting religious subjects and visited the Holy Land twice. The Brooklyn Museum has a large collection of his series on the Life of Christ. One of his greatest Biblical paintings is Saint Joseph Seeks a Lodging in Bethlehem.
The recent tragic derailment of a Metro-North train took place in the Spuyten Dyvil section of the Bronx. This is a section of New York City which many people are not familiar with. I am familiar with the name because when I was growing up my Mother used to talk about it because she had relatives who lived there and she used to go from Brooklyn to Spuyten Dyvil frequently. I was very impressed with the name but thought that it was German. However it is Dutch and basically means Spinning Devil in reference to the roughness of the waters nearby. It was also the site of the first recorded shark attack in the New World.