Gustav James Fehlhaber, 1930-2008

Sophie, Leo and I just got back from a week in California with my dad. He died yesterday while we were still there. Leo has lots of great memories of him from his 11 trips to California. Instead of something new, here are some old posts about my dad. We will all miss him a lot.

His obituary will appear in the paper on Sunday — here’s what it will say —

Swampy the Snow Plow — A Real Life Katy in Massachusetts!

We’re not sure that’s really its name, but that’s what we’ll call it. Here in Swampscott, at our very own Department of Public Works, we just discovered that we have a crawler tractor with a “V-type” snow plow and eyes painted on. Leo, with his blue Tootsie Pop (which lasted our whole 2 hour, 2 mile walk — that’s 1 m.p.h!), was excited to see it. I think he should come down in his Katy the Snowplow costume sometime soon.


Rainy Saturday

Finn and his man purse

We met up with Finn & Steph at the A&J King Bakery in Salem, MA where they make the world’s best sticky buns. Finn does a good job here of trying to fit it into his mouth


Leo does his best Tom Brady impression


Leo and Finn show off their unique sense of style on Front Street.


Finn getting up close & personal with the folk art Noah’s Ark at the Peabody Essex


Leo admiring his favorite museum object, the model of the Cunard Line RMS Queen Elizabeth, built in 1949 by Bassett-Lowke Ltd. 


Finn, with his man purse, takes a break from all the art.


‘If children are to become readers for life, they must first love stories’

from Michael Morpurgo in the Guardian:

Of course we must and should study literature in our schools, but first we have to imbue our children with a love of stories.

And to do that, parents and teachers have to have a passion for stories themselves: they have to pass it on. The children have to know that you mean it, you feel it, you love it…

In Finland they do things differently. Finnish children stay at home much longer. They play and tell stories years after ours are sitting down in school to a target-driven curriculum. Maybe that’s partly why Finnish children are happier, and maybe that’s why they rate higher in the literacy stakes. Maybe they haven’t put the cart before the horse as we do. They give their children the time and space to grow up with stories, to enjoy them, so that the association develops slowly, organically, is not imposed. read more here

TVs in Children’s Bedrooms

It’s true. Not only is it true, up to 70% of children have televisions in their bedrooms. Honestly, I had no idea. But, studies have found if the TV viewing is reduced, the kids get thinner (not because they exercise more, but because they eat less).

Do you think they used the decal below to get kids to not watch tv?

Actually, they used a device called TV Allowance.

Limiting TV, Screen Time Curbs Childhood Obesity, Study Finds

By Michelle Fay Cortez

March 3 (Bloomberg) — Limiting the time that young children spend with television and computers shaves calories from their diets and reduces their risk of becoming obese, researchers said.

Investigators attached a $100 electronic device called the TV Allowance to televisions and computers in the homes of 70 volunteer families. The device controls the amount of screen time users have and was programmed to cut the allotment by 10 percent monthly, for several months, for children aged 4 to 7.

Children whose viewing was eventually cut in half ate less, spent less time on sedentary activities and developed a healthier body mass index, a ratio of height to weight. The reduction in screen time didn’t translate into additional physical activity, providing insight into how sitting in front of a television or computer contributes to obesity in children, the researchers said.

“It looks like screen time is influencing eating more than physical activity,” said Leonard Epstein, a professor of pediatrics at the State University of New York at Buffalo. “It’s possible that when there is a regular pairing of eating and watching TV, just watching television becomes a cue for eating,” he said. “And television can also be a distraction from how much you are eating.”

More on the study here:

A One-Eyed Invader in the Bedroom (from the New York Times)

Device helps fat kids cut TV time

Maori Tattoo Exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum

There’s a new show at the PEM on Maori facial tattoos.  The photos are beautiful — you can see some here:

or even more here

If you want your own, you can go visit Trevor Marshall just up the road in New Hampshire