Archive for March 2015

Caught Off Guard

March 26, 2015

Oh, my goodness! It’s Thursday. I’ve lost track of time. I’m shoulder deep in moving boxes, trying to figure out where to put things in our new house. It’s an overwhelming task.

Look at this basement.

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Not only are there things down there I don’t know what to do with, but there are dozens of mystery boxes. I need time. I need help. I need a gigantic dumpster!

I hope by next week I’ll be more organized. This is all you get today.

Something to Cluck About

March 19, 2015

Today is National Poultry Day. Do you know what that means? It’s time to quack, gobble, honk, and cluck because today ducks, turkeys, geese, and chickens are king. Make that Chicken a la King for me. Besides being a healthy alternative to other meat choices, those little peeps can be pretty darn cute.

Chicken is my poultry of choice. In no particular pecking order, I’ve listed some of my favorite picture, chapter, and middle-grade books starring chickens, of course.

Interrupting Chicken written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein

The Plot Chickens written by Mary Jane and illustrated by Herm Auch

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County written by Janice N. Harrington and illustrated by Shelley Jackson

Chicken Dance written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Santat

Bawk & Roll written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Santat

Tough Chicks written by Cece Meng and illustrated by Melissa Suber

Just Plain Fancy written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco

Hen Hears Gossip written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Joung Un Kim

Chicken in the Family written by Mary Amato and illustrated by Delphine Durand

The Chicken Squad:  The First Misadventure written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Kevin Cornell

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency written by Daniel Pinkwater and illustrated by Tony Auth

The Great Chicken Debacle written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Take some time to gobble down some tasty poultry and give one of these books a try, too.

Sold!

March 12, 2015

Readers of this blog may or may not know that we’ve been trying to sell our house so we can move closer to family. The process has been long and arduous.

Reasons why our house was stuck in seller’s limbo:

Glut of houses on the market

Length of driveway

Yard too big

No direct access to the front door from the street except by the driveway (huh?)

Layout

Flow

Price

Too formal

Not enough privacy

Rock walls

Finishes

Too clean

Shared driveway

Not a fan of the dining room columns

Despite all the negative comments, St. Joseph, known to help sell houses, finally came through for us. He sent us a charming couple who loved everything about our house. After ten months on the market, we received a cash offer too good to refuse. We’re leaving our house in good hands.

The house is empty so it’s no longer too formal. My husband and I hugged the columns we loved, admired the finishes in the house, marveled at the stately rock walls in our large yard, and closed the door to our sparkly clean house. As we rolled down the long, shared driveway for the last time, we waved goodbye to our close neighbors. We’re on our way to our new destination in the Live Free or Die state. It’s time to celebrate!

 

The Story Behind the Story

March 5, 2015

A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories have always been a big hit in our home. When my daughter was young, one of her favorite stuffed animals was Pooh Bear. As an adult, she still has a soft place in her heart for Pooh and his stories.

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At her wedding, guests were seated at tables that displayed quotes from A. A. Milne’s books.

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At the dessert table, Tigger had his say.

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My daughter continues to collect Pooh items.

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On a recent visit to the New York Public Library, she was able to see Christopher Robin’s treasures. She was ecstatic.

So when I found a newly published book about Winnie-the-Pooh, I knew I had to get it for my daughter’s collection.

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Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh written by Sally M. Walker and illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss is a heartwarming story about a soldier, a bear cub, and how that cub became famous. It’s the story behind the story.

Harry Colebourn, a soldier in training during World War I, saw a man selling an orphaned bear cub at a train station. As an army veterinarian, Harry knew he could take care of her so he gave the man the money and named her Winnipeg after his company’s hometown in Canada.  “Winnie” became the company’s mascot. When Harry was shipped overseas to England, he took Winnie with him. After he was given orders to care for wounded horses on the battlefield in France, Harry knew it was too dangerous to take Winnie so he contacted the London Zoo. They happily gave Winnie a home with the other cubs in a new area built just for bears. After the war ended and it was time for Harry to return home, he realized Winnie belonged at the zoo and not with him. They sadly parted. Winnie was a gentle and well-loved bear. Youngsters rode on her back and fed her milk. One of Winnie’s friends was a boy named Christopher Robin. He was so fascinated by her, he changed his stuffed bear’s name to Winnie-the-Pooh. Christopher Robin’s father, A. A. Milne, made up stories about Winnie and Christopher. Those stories were turned into books we all know and love.

Voss’s realistic illustrations are done in muted tones. They depict army life and comical scenes with Winnie that add to the warmth of Walker’s story. There is back matter that includes an author’s note providing additional biographical information about Harry Colebourn, Winnie, and A. A. Milne’s books. If you like interesting end pages, this book has a treat for you. There are pictures of Harry Colebourn, Winnie, A. A. Milne with Christopher Robin holding Winnie-the-Pooh, and more. Beneath each picture is an explanatory caption.

That’s the story behind the story. If you’re a Winnie-the-Pooh enthusiast, I recommend this book.


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