Archive for May 2011

A Time to Weed

May 31, 2011

Inventory time has arrived in our school library. Books need to be put in the correct order. Others need to be repaired and spruced up. And missing books need to be tracked down or removed from the inventory list.

I’ve been very lucky. When many schools no longer have money to purchase new books, our Home and School Association has generously provided money for our school library. For the past few years, I’ve been filling the library bookshelves with some outstanding titles. In fact, I’ve purchased so many books for our small library our shelves are bursting. It’s time for me to do some major weeding.

Weeding my garden of books is going to be difficult because there are some books that I just can’t make myself pull from the shelves. Our computerized library has enabled me to determine which books are the most popular reads with children and which reads have rarely been chosen. Of course that doesn’t mean just because some books haven’t been checked out in awhile it’s time to get rid of them. It means that I, as the librarian, should reintroduce those books to young readers and see if they spark new interest. But there are still those books that need to go – books with outdated covers and information, books with yellowing pages, and books that haven’t seen the light of day in years.  

If you’re looking for me in the next few weeks, I’ll be in my garden of books weeding so the other books can continue to blossom and spread cheer among young readers!


Memorial Day

May 27, 2011

“The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.” — William Havard

Celebrate Memorial Day with freedom and peace.

Oh, The Rapture Of It All

May 24, 2011

At six o’clock on Saturday, May 21, 2011, the world was supposed to end. It was Judgment Day. I pondered what to do with the end of the world approaching. I decided the best thing to do was nothing. And that’s what I did – nothing. I didn’t grocery shop. I didn’t do the laundry. I didn’t clean the house. I waited.

On Saturday, six o’clock came and went. I remained – all intact. It was a Judgment Day misjudgment.

Sunday morning came. There was nothing in the house to eat. There wasn’t even a drop of milk to put into coffee. There weren’t any clean Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes, and dust bunnies were hopping all over the house. That just goes to show you what doing nothing will get you — nothing!

For centuries, there have been predictions as to when the end of the world would come. Take a look at Nostradamus. Now there was a prophetic guy.  

Some people get caught up in predictions about the end of the world. Truthfully, I like surprises. I don’t want to know when I’m going to die. I just want to wake up one morning and know that I’m dead. Done. Finished. The end.

If you’re still waiting for the end to come, take time and enjoy our wonderful world while you wait. What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele and illustrated by Ashley Bryan (Atheneum, 1995)

Fat Cell Explosion and Wholesome Books

May 20, 2011

Recently, I bought boneless chicken breasts at a grocery store that looked more like turkey breasts. If those chickens wore bras, Mother Hen would have had to special order bras to fit their fifty-two double F breast size. To put it simply, one breast could have easily fed a family of four.

What’s happening to our food?

This past week there was a newspaper article about watermelons exploding in China. It seems that farmers fed the melons overdoses of growth chemicals during rainy weather.

Plants + Water + Chemicals = BOOM!

Fat cells are becoming the new fad in our population. Why? This is my highly unscientific theory. First of all, many of us don’t eat right. Eating large portions of fast food too often and making poor snack choices have become a way of life for many. Secondly, chemicals are fed to plants and animals to plump them up and get them to the market faster. We ingest those chemicals which, in turn, cause us to “grow.” If we don’t make healthy food choices and we continue to eat the fast food way, we’re getting a double whammy of enhanced foods.  

There will be consequences if we don’t start to change our ways. I can see the headlines now:  “BOOM! American Population Literally Explodes!” And there we are – all over the front page! 

Don’t wait a minute longer. We may not be able to save ourselves, but we can save our kids by getting them on the road to healthy eating. You can start by following these tongue-in-cheek suggestions.

Eat oatmeal because your mother said it was good for you.

Buy organic, but be prepared to pay through the nose and have little left to feed the stomach.

Grow your own food. Note:  Chickens and cows are not easy to grow.

Better yet, stop eating food and feed your brain. Have your kids devour these wholesome books instead.

For Girls:  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Heidi by Johanna Spyri

For Boys:  Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge, Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London, Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Spring Takes A Vacation

May 17, 2011

Spring is off on a junket to Las Vegas, gambling on “weather” it will come back or leave winter in its place. My odds are on winter. In the last two weeks, we’ve had rain, wind, sleet, cloud cover, frost, temperatures below normal, and only an occasional appearance of the sun.

Okay, there was one teaser day in among all the rest. It came suddenly out of the ugly, grey skies. Heat and humidity embraced the day, convincing us that spring was here at last, but within twenty-four hours the icy fingers of winter were holding us hostage again. The birds were skating on ice in the birdbath, and the buds on the trees and bushes were bundled up tight, refusing to reveal their splendor.  

There is only one sure sign that that spring is here – dandelions. They’re outside, dancing in the wind and having a grand old time. I refuse to let the cold get me down. I’m putting on my hat, scarf, mittens, and coat. With tools in hand, I’m going outside to hunt for spring and wipe the smile off those dandelion faces!

Books on Seasons:

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit:  A Book of Changing Seasons by Il Sung Na (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2011), Everything Spring by Jill Esbaum (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2010), All Around the Seasons by Barney Saltzberg (Candlewick, 2010), Seasons by Blexbolex (Enchanted Lion Books, 2010),   Sharing the Seasons:  A Book of Poems compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Margaret K. McElderry, 2010), Red Sings from Treetops:  A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009)

Tuesday Was A Dinger!

May 13, 2011

Who would have thought words like ball game and baseball could cause such a buzz? Well, that’s exactly what happened when I posted my blog Tuesday morning. For some reason those simple words set the ball in motion. They caught someone’s eye and my blog was posted on WordPress. com’s “Freshly Pressed” page. It was a home run miracle for me. My site stats rose faster than a disgruntled fan’s temper!

Since I started writing my blog, I’ve challenged myself to create interesting posts every Tuesday and Friday because I’m always looking for ways to hook new readers. Then on Tuesday, out of the blue, a curve ball was thrown at me which sent me into a blog game tizzy.

Suddenly there were tons of people reading my blog and posting comments. I’m not crying foul here. You’ll find no complaints from me. It was fun reading what people had to say and finding out there are many, like me, who consider baseball boring, but I also heard from those diehards who love baseball above all else.

One of my favorite comments was from a voracious Red Sox fan that began, “Dear God, your blasphemous mouth, rejecting box seats at Fenway…” I may not love baseball, but I love people who are passionate about what life offers them. So thanks “Freshly Pressed” for putting my blog out there. It’s been fun.

I hear there’s a Red Sox/Yankee’s game tonight, but you won’t catch me watching it. Maybe I’ll read about it in the newspaper tomorrow. Okay, that’s a bunch of bull from the bullpen!

Has anyone heard of this team?

Don’t Take Me Out to the Ball Game

May 10, 2011

The season is upon us. I’m talking about the baseball season. It’s considered one of America’s greatest pastimes. There’s baseball on television, baseball on the radio, baseball in the news.  As fans sing, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” my thoughts are no way, get me out of here, anything but baseball.

Don’t get me wrong. I like sports, but baseball produces an all-time low for me. I don’t want anything to do with it. I’ve tried to figure out what in my past caused me to dislike baseball with such a passion. This is what I discovered.

Strike one:  When I was in second grade, my dad took my brother and me to major league baseball game in Milwaukee. My dad and brother yelled and cheered. We all ate peanuts. I had no clue as to what was going on in the game so I kept myself busy by eating peanuts – lots of peanuts. I threw up!

Strike two:  I didn’t go to another major league baseball game until my dad offered to take my husband and me to a game in Milwaukee. It was a night game. I didn’t eat peanuts, and the game didn’t end at the ninth inning. It went on and on. I was bored. I was tired. We finally left at the 12th inning. It was way too late for me!

And that’s another thing. The baseball season is too long. It begins in April and ends in October with the World Series. Seven months of baseball. I could almost have a baby in that time!!! (Well, maybe not any more…)

Strike three:  In recent years, the company my husband worked for gave him the opportunity to entertain members of his department in their private box at Fenway Park. Now who would say no to seeing the famous Green Monster from a private box? I would. Why not a box at the opera instead? For my husband’s sake, I went. I tried to get into the game, but even the luxury of the private box did nothing for me. I’ve often said I’d rather listen to golf being broadcast on the radio than go to a baseball game! I’m just not a fan. Strike three and I’m out!

For those of you who are ardent baseball fans, here are some books for all ages to enjoy.

Picture Books:

Take Me Out to the Ball Game by Jack Norworth (Imagine, 2011), Bats at the Ballgame by Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010), Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey (Scholastic Press, 2003)

Picture Book Biographies:

She Loved Baseball:  The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick (Collins, 2010), Home Run:  The Story of Babe Ruth by Robert Burleigh (Sandpiper, 2003)


Ballpark:  The Story of  America’s Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee (Atheneum, 2008), We Are the Ship:  The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson (Jump the Sun, 2008)

Also check out Middle-Grade Baseball Series by authors Matt Christopher, Dan Gutman, and Mike Lupica

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