Archive for the ‘Life’ category

A Time of Reflection

May 30, 2019

This past Memorial Day weekend, I had the opportunity to see “The Moving Wall.” It was set up on the Village Green in our town. The wall is a half-size version of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and it tours the country. You can read more about it here.

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I was surprised by how I reacted when I saw the wall. It brought back memories of the late sixties when there were many protests going on – both peaceful and violent. It was a time when the Selective Service used lottery numbers to determine which men of draft age would be called to duty. My brother had a number, and we prayed he would never be called.

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Young men, many of whom had never been far from home, found themselves in a country filled with the unknown. Danger was everywhere. Besides the enemy, there were monsoon rains, insects, dense jungle foliage, heat, humidity, and the horrors of combat. It felt like an endless war – an unpopular war that did not end well.

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Looking at “The Moving Wall” brought sadness to my heart. It was a quiet, reflective time, as I thought of all those young people who left home to fulfill their duty to their country but never returned.

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“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.” –Colonel David Hackworth

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What Is A Home?

March 21, 2019

In one week, my daughter and her family are moving.

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Big deal you may say. For them, it is a big deal. With many moves behind them in both their single and married lives, they are now moving to a permanent home. No one is more excited than my husband and I are. No more storing their stuff at our house.

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We can now reclaim our basement. Yipee!!

I’ve always believed a home is where your heart is and what you make of it. It can be a cozy reading corner with your favorite chair, a kitchen where you can pump out delicious smells, a spectacular view from a window, a bedroom of your own, but most of all a home, no matter how big or how small, is a place where family gathers together.

Click on the covers below to discover which picture books you connect with?

 

 

Resolved!

January 3, 2019

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Image result for free pictures of the world

 

If we all do and be the best we can every single day with kindness toward all, the heart of the world would beat with peace and happiness.

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Be sure not to miss next week’s blog post. I’ll be interviewing the talented author, Alexandria LaFaye, and she has a fabulous giveaway you’ll want to enter. 

 

 

 

 

It’s Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day!

November 15, 2018

Beware! This could happen to you.

You open your refrigerator and your olfactory sensory neurons are suddenly attacked by a horrendous smell. Your refrigerator stinks! It’s time to clean it out.

Pull out those veggie, fruit, and cheese drawers. Dump and examine the contents. Who knows what you may find – petrified peas, a hairy strawberry, moldy cheese. And what’s on those overcrowded refrigerator shelves? Leftover Chinese takeout from last month, a piece of not-so-fresh fish you forgot to fry, chunky milk? Take it out. Get rid of that grub and scrub-a-dub-dub! Warm soapy water and a fresh sponge will clean up those spills in no time. And don’t forget to replace that two-year-old box of baking soda that supposed to keep your refrigerator smelling clean. Now that your refrigerator sparkles and you have received the Good Housekeeping Award, give yourself a pat on the back, and quick – empty out the garbage!

 

Speaking of stinky refrigerators, check out these two books by Josh Funk. Smells like a good deal.

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The Case of the Stinky Stench written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kearney, Sterling Children’s Books, 2017

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Mission Defrostable written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kearney, Sterling Children’s Books, 2018

Happy Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day!

 

Memories and Egg Magic

March 29, 2018

My grandmother came to America from what is now called Slovakia. She was a thrifty woman. She lived in a small bungalow in the city of Milwaukee. She never owned a car. Instead, she walked everywhere or took public transportation.  She made her own clothes and poo-pooed spending money on frivolous things. Her backyard was a garden filled with fruits, herbs, and vegetables. We ate them fresh in the summer and canned in the winter. The aroma from her kitchen was always inviting – especially during the holidays. Her breads and pastries were to die for. I was convinced my grandmother could do anything. She even made magic with Easter eggs. She used natural dyes – onion skins, cut beets, spinach … I was always amazed to see what color the eggs would be when they came out of the pot. Whether it be taking a special bus trip downtown, picking vegetables from the garden, or helping make apple strudel, being with my grandmother was always a magical and memorable experience.

Make a magical and memorable experience with your kids. Try using natural dyes to color your eggs. It’s a great science project!

https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/2012/03/28/day-4-egg-week-dying-easter-eggs-naturally/

Below are some other links to help you along the way to beautifully-colored eggs.

https://www.mommypotamus.com/how-to-dye-easter-eggs-naturally-with-everyday-ingredients/

http://www.kaleyann.com/naturally-dyed-easter-eggs/

https://whatscookingamerica.net/Eggs/EasterEggDye.htm

Speaking of memorable, here are some of my favorite classic books for this season.

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The Golden Egg Book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Leonard Weisgard, Golden Books, 2004

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The Country Bunny and the Little Golden Shoes written by Du Bose Heyward and illustrated by Marjorie Flack, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1939

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Rechenka’s Eggs written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco, Philomel Books, 1988

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The Velveteen Rabbit written by Margery Williams and illustrated by William Nicholson, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 1958

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The Tale of Peter Rabbit written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter, Warne Frederick & Company, 2009

 

The Relatives Came

February 8, 2018

“One of the things that binds us as a family is a shared sense of humor.” ~Ralph Finnes

We came from California, from Texas, from New Hampshire, from Massachusetts, from Florida, from Washington state, and from Washington D.C.  The core group: A brother and his wife. Three sisters and their husbands. Along with us came our daughters, their husbands, and their children. Three generations of the family were together again. We hugged. We kissed. We laughed. We cried. We’re a small family with big hearts. In all, there were nineteen of us plus one on the way. We were missing only two who were unable to attend. While the children played, the adults gabbed, ate, drank, and laughed some more. For one long weekend, we were a wild and crazy family again.

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Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss your family until you come together, and the love that surrounds you is magical.

 

“You go through life wondering what is it all about but at the end of the day it’s all about family.” ~ Rod Stewart

One of my favorite books is The Relatives Came written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Stephen Gammell.  It’s a Caldecott Honor book filled with charming illustrations and a story with heart.

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Embrace your family!

“I think the family is the place where the most ridiculous and least respectable things in the world go on.” ~ Ugo Betti

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts from this Year

December 21, 2017

My love of picture books has made me realize our lives are imitating the art and text found in picture books.

Two-year-old twins and a four-month-old have reduced my daughter and son-in-law into babbling, sleep-deprived parents. They now greet us with, “Welcome to the circus!” Yup, Dr. Seuss’ If I Ran the Circus pretty much says it all for them!

As for Mimi and Poppy (a.k.a. grandma (me) and grandpa), The Poky Little Puppy and The Little Engine that Could aptly describe us as we try to keep up with the endless energy of the little ones. There’s never a dull moment when it comes to babysitting. Our only downtime is when all three are asleep. That’s when Mimi and Poppy enjoy a glass of wine and do a happy dance before we collapse.

The twins are a mixture of classic picture books. They can…

be great friends like Frog and Toad

cause a rumpus like Max in Where the Wild Things Are

misbehave like David in No, David!

share like in A Weekend with Wendell

have a cranky day like Alexander, and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Or they can be adorable and loving like in Guess How Much I Love You

Our newest granddaughter takes it all in and holds her own. She’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, slowly finding her place in the world until she joins the “Twin Pack,” and they become “Three Amigos,” who, undoubtedly, will be up to some mischief.

We love being close to our family, but it’s also nice to be surrounded with the peace and quiet of our home, to enjoy our friends, and to reminisce about our youthful days when we, too, had an endless supply of energy. Luckily for us, we struck gold with our family and friends. Life is good. We hope yours is too!

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Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

 

 


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