Monday, February 25, 2008

The Latest Pics

I have a few unrelated pictures from the past couple of days that I want to share, so we're just going to have a little photo posting.

First off: the two deranged animals who live with us. Bandit is the orange beast and Smokey is the grey one. Yes, our cats are Smokey and the Bandit. Hardy-har-har! Bandit has no shame. He is a slave to the love, and he must be draped over Markus at every opportunity. Smokey is slightly more dignified about it, preferring to snuggle in the crook behind the knees. I know the photo is blurry, but sometimes you just have to photograph your cats. Cat people know and understand this. I know the rest of you never will, so just skip right along to photo #2.

Those of you familiar with my passion for education are also aware of my enthusiasm for the Montessori method for children 5 and under. I have recently learned that Maria Montessori was living in The Netherlands at the time of her death, and she had requested to be buried where she died rather than returned to her homeland of Italy. The little town where she was living is Noordwijk aan Zee, a small beach town not far from The Hague. When I learned this, I knew I'd have to find the spot and pay my respects. Maria Montessori was an innovative and dedicated educator, committed to helping children develop into respectful, peaceful, independent contributors to their families, society, and (together) the world. Her methodology was radical for its time and continues to be highly relevant (though underutilized) today. She was a great lady, and I am happy I was able to go visit her resting place this past Sunday afternoon and tell her thank you.

Last but certainly never least, Ellie and I made our weekly Monday trip to the zoo today. The weather was sunny and pleasant and schools are out on holiday (unbeknownst to me until this morning), so most of Holland decided to do the same thing. The zoo was a ZOO! We tried to see a few of our favorites, and then we stopped for lunch in the Riverhall, where we made the best discovery of all: the prismatic effect! Sunlight streaming through a window and glancing off the edge of a large fish tank produced a rainbow on the floor. I tried explaining it to Ellie, but she was far more fascinated that I could make the rainbow appear on my hand. Who knew it would get extra thrilling when she made it appear on her shoes and pants?! We played in that rainbow for at least 5 minutes until the sun dipped behind the clouds.

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