April 23rd, 2008

20111112, Marilee

Out and About

I put down two dishes with a wet pouch-worth on each, and Spirit has eaten from both. Shiva keeps looking at me longingly.

ETA: It occurred to me to grab Shiva in a towel and look at his mouth again. Yuck. I called the vet. He lapped some ice cream last night, I'll try some of that.

I went out to run errands -- drop the condo fee return envelope (I don't use these, they might as well have them back) and the proof that I had my dryer vent cleaned myself. I could have waited for now, I suppose, it would be cheaper, but I might have completely lost drying capability. Then I dropped by Hancock Fabrics where I found batik fabric just the right colors for my BFAC project, then on to the library to drop off a book.

On the way home, I picked up two days-worth of mail because we never saw the maillady yesterday. I got coupons for two new restaurants in the mail, so I'll try them before Rick and family come to see if we want to go to one of them and use the coupon (coupons rarely work for single people who don't eat much). I have small presents for the kids (from Merimask) -- a blue dragon keychain for my nephew and a small luna moth barrette for my niece -- but I'm not my dad, I wouldn't make them come in order to get them.

It's a lovely day -- warm and sunny, lots of dandelion fluff in the air -- and will be a bit hotter tomorrow. We have the windows open again. I'm wearing one of the new tops I got and was noticing that they really do expect large women to be shaped differently than I am. The two front pockets are about a third around to my side. They think when you gain weight, you get wide and flat, but I kept my hourglass shape -- it's just a centuryglass now.
20111112, Marilee

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

I've had more unsettling dreams and I'm pretty sure it's because I was reading this WWII book before bed. Diane Ackerman uses Antonina Zabinski's memoirs as well as interviews and many other references to tell us Antonina's story when Warsaw was taken by the Nazis through the Uprising and the end of their war.

Jan Zabinski was the zookeeper of the major European zoo in Warsaw. His wife Antonina was not only spouse and mother, but cared for sick and young animals. Jan had made a zoo with different environments for set of animals and things were wonderful until the Nazis entered the city. Jan, Antonina, and their son Rys were Polish Christians but Jan worked in the underground and they hid more than 300 Guests in their villa and zoo houses during the war. They had a lot of help from other Christians -- many wanted the Jews to escape -- but the Nazis had more weapons.

The book tells this horrible tale from Antonina's view in the villa, the zoo, and near the end of the war, in exile. We learn about not only the Guests (who frequently acquired animal names) and the animals, but the long numbers that the Nazis lined up and sent to death camps. My heart sank over and over. I knew this intellectually, but Ackerman gave me a story that grabbed me -- both in intensity and desolation. There's no actual blood in the book, but the tension and the massive numbers of the dead walking in front of you is devastating. Still highly recommended.