The Sunday Salon

Several years ago, on another blog over at Blogger, I tried a weekly post for The Sunday Salon. I am going to commit again to this new weekly post. What I hesitate about is I am not always sure that my little life holds an interest for my readers. I feel that most days are everyday living. The Sunday Salon might post on a Saturday or a Sunday, it depends on the schedule.

What was my week like?

My world revolves around the days and hours that I babysit our four-year-old granddaughter named Charlotte. She will start pre-k in August. This little moment in time for us will end when she starts school. When Charlotte is here, we eat snacks, watch the Disney Plus channel, read books, work puzzles, and pretend we are hunting for dragons. The dragon is usually in the bathtub and when we scare him, he goes down the drainpipe.

Charlotte at the splash pad that’s near the zoo.

My husband and I have fostered 5 baby kitties since Easter. I found homes for two and they are living with a new family. The other three are staying with us. Finn and Quinn (brothers), we’ve cared for since they were between 2 and 3 weeks old. I bottle fed them until they ate gruel. We’ve had Wyatt since she was about 4 weeks old. All of them are wonderful, sweet, playful; and we’ve bonded quick. They are a joy to us. Meanwhile, our beloved cat, Bogie, died June 2. I dropped him off at the veterinarian clinic for what we thought was an infected broke tooth. Instead, Bogie had a fast-growing cancer tumor in his mouth. Bogie was only 9. Our heart is broken but warmed by our new babies.

New baby kitties:

Finn and Quinn. They are 12 weeks old. They are brothers.
Finn
Quinn
Our newest addition is Wyatt. She is about 8 weeks. She is Miss Big eyes.

I came across a YouTube channel that I am in love with! I have been binge watching episodes this past week. It is called Forgotten Way Farms. While watching her cook, bake, garden, show me her cottage, or thrift store shop, I am transported on a mini vacation. Her voice is soothing. She is gentle and kind. And I always learn something new.

I am not a big tv watcher. I prefer a quiet evening reading. However, in the past week I have watched several movies-all on Amazon Prime.

1. We Were Soldiers with Mel Gibson. Excellent.

2. The Thomas Crown Affair-the remake with Renee Russo and Pierce Brosnan. Excellent.

3. No Time to Die with Daniel Craig. Very good.

4. Quantum of Solace with Daniel Craig. Very good.

5. Marathon Man with Dustin Hoffman. Very good.

6. Mr. Jones with James Norton. Excellent.

7. Val. A documentary of Val Kilmer. If you’ve not watched this, I highly recommend. Excellent.

8. Last Call with Jeremy Irons. Good.

9. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back with Tom Cruise. Okay to Good.

10. 3 Days of the Condor with Robert Redford. Excellent.

I’m thinking of making a list of movies from the 1970s that I’ve never watched or want to watch again. I was a kid in this era. It’s a nostalgic kind of thing to watch movies from this period in time.

The temperatures are HOT. Stifling. Sizzling. Today’s high temp is 102. Humidity is 19%. It will be 102 tomorrow and then a front comes through-temps will be in the mid to upper 90s during the next week except for Monday’s high of 90. No rain is expected. It will remain hot in my area of the world until mid-September when it will become tolerable.

This time of the year I don’t always cook supper everyday as it doesn’t just heat up the kitchen but the whole house. I try to keep the house as cool as possible. My husband will barbecue, or I will cook something that we can eat on for a few days. Simple meals.

Until next time on The Sunday Salon. Take care!

The host for The Sunday Salon is Readerbuzz.

[Review] The Teacher of Warsaw by Mario Escobar

Publisher and Publication Date: Harper Muse/HarperCollins Publisher. June 7, 2022.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Pages: 368.
Format: NetGalley e-book.
Source: I received a complimentary e-book copy from Harper Muse and NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of historical fiction and Holocaust stories.
Rating: Excellent.

Link for the book at Christian Book.

Link at Amazon.

To read more information about The Teacher of Warsaw at Harper Muse. At this link is an author bio and an excerpt.

Further links to read about Janusz Korczak.

  1. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  2. Holocaust Matters.
  3. YadVashem.org
  4. Jewish Virtual Library.
  5. This is a link to read an account from a person who knew Janusz Korczak. It is twenty pages in length write-up.
His birth name was Henryk Goldszmit. In 1899, he changed his name to Janusz Korczak. He was born 1878 and died 1942.

Summary:

Janusz Korczak was a pediatric physician, pioneer of social work with children, teacher, writer, civic leader, radio speaker, war veteran, and director of the orphanage in Warsaw, Poland named, Dom Sierot from 1911 to 1942. Later he took charge of another orphanage in Warsaw.

The Teacher of Warsaw starts at the time when the Germans invaded Poland, September 1, 1939. The story stops in the late summer of 1942 when the Warsaw ghetto had mass deportations of Jews to Treblinka.

Janusz Korczak had a staff of courageous people who dedicated their lives to the welfare of the children. Janusz took care of the children’s basic needs, but he also took care of their educational needs. He strived to teach them how to become healthy functioning and productive citizens. The children had chores, they had a newspaper, and they held a court of their peers.

Stefania “Stefa” Wilczynska was Janusz partner in the orphanage. She was the Deputy Director and House Mother.

The Teacher of Warsaw shares life inside the orphanage among the children and teachers, it shares Janusz story, and it shares the worsening conditions for the Jews that eventually lead to the emptying of the Warsaw ghetto.

My Thoughts:

The first line of the story made an impression on me: “I have heard that when you say the names of the dead, you bring them back to life again.” It is words and phrases like this that held me and impacted me throughout the book.

Several reasons why I love this book-and-why it is so memorable!

1. I believe The Teacher of Warsaw captures the main character, Janusz Korczak. I read the above links for further information about him. The twenty-page memoir written by a person who knew Janusz gave me a solid grasp of his personality. He was socially conscious, especially of children when he was only a young boy. Further personality traits: emotional but in control, intelligent, intellectual, a brilliant and quick mind, astute judge of character, compassionate, dedicated, a communicator, defiant, brave, committed, willing to do labor, and a deep thinker.

2. In The Teacher of Warsaw, I am able to know Janusz’s thoughts because he is the narrator. He is an intellectual and philosophical person, and this came across as an important feature of the book. I’ve read some reviewers remark they don’t like the philosophical thoughts of Janusz. However, this is a strong part of the sharing of his personality and of bringing him to life in the story. It is also those philosophical words that create my favorite quotes in the book.

3. The story shares the spread of anti-Semitism in Europe during Janusz’s lifetime.

4. Janusz is not the norm for a male hero in a book. The book is also not the norm for a love story. I love this! I love Janusz as an older man with health problems. He is honest. Vulnerable and frail. He wrestles with the suffering that he witnesses. His great love is not a romantic interest. His great love is the children that he is willing to lay down his life for. For Janusz, there is no other choice but to remain with his children.

5. The story shares the fears, anxiety, worsening conditions, and panic in the ghetto. The Jews talk of what they hear about the extermination of Jews. Some don’t believe it. Others do believe it. There are several scenes in the book when I just cried. For example, the frozen dead child on the street. Janusz had seen this child begging and now he is dead. When Janusz finds him. He rocks him and recites Kaddish.

6. There are substories of the various secondary characters. For example, Irena Sendler.

Further Thoughts:

I have no idea if Janusz and Stefa were in a physically intimate relationship. I don’t know how they felt about one another in the romantic aspect. What is fact, is they both were very dedicated to the children. They complimented one another in their roles. Where one of them was weak, the other picked up the slack. They were true partners in their love for the children. This point is beautifully depicted.

Janusz was Jewish but not a practicing Jew. In The Teacher of Warsaw, Janusz knew some Bible verses. The verses are sprinkled in a couple of places in the book. But he does not state his belief in Jesus as the Son of God. I do not consider this book to be Christian historical fiction. I don’t believe it is a turn-off for a reader who does not want to read a Christian book.

Historical fiction is heavy with World War II/Holocaust stories. The focus on children in these stories is rarer because it usually features the lead role as a woman who falls in love. The Teacher of Warsaw stands proudly with a few other books featuring love and dedication to children. This is a big reason why this book is a gem!

Quote of the Week

“My love she is a kitten,
And my heart’s a ball of string.”

“My Love and My Heart.” Stanza 1.

Henry Sambrooke Leigh [1837-1883]

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett.
Published by Little, Brown and Company. 1955.
Page 690.

Quote of the Week

“I have been here before,
But when or how I can not tell;
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.”

“Sudden Light” [1881]. Stanza 1.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti [1828-1882].

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett.
Published by Little, Brown and Company. 1955
Page 640.

To read the full poem: Poetry Foundation.