Posted tagged ‘Memories’

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.

golden

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

country

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

eggs

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

velvet

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

peter

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

 

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What Makes a Writer?

March 22, 2018

someone like

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a writer, award-winning author, Patricia MacLachlan’s Someone Like Me is a book that will touch your heart. This charming, lyrical tale is about a little girl who listens to stories told over and over, reads book after book, observes how people talk and laugh, dreams of a white horse, and carries memories of her great-grandmother’s love of the prairie earth and nature. This semi-autobiographical story gives the reader a peek into Patricia MacLachlan’s childhood and how the simple things in life made a lasting impression on her. Chris Sheban’s beautiful illustrations are rendered in soft watercolors, colored pencils, and graphite. The text and illustrations evoke memories of a young girl’s life journey that influenced her life as a writer.

An Interview with Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan

 

Christmas Treasures

December 14, 2017

With the holidays upon and preparations in full swing, I came across one of my favorite Christmas treasures. It always makes me pause as memories of past Christmases crowd into my mind. Below is a post from 2011 that I’d like to share once again.

Behold one of the Christmas treasures I rescued from my parents’ house before it was sold. It’s the 1948 Christmas Annual Edition of the Louis Allis Messenger. I wasn’t around in 1948, but this particular book made an appearance every Christmas for as long as I can remember. I loved the contents of the book with its Christmas carols, poems, customs from other lands, and beautiful art. But it was the cover illustrations and the double page spread in the middle of the book that kept me fascinated for hours. I immersed myself in George Hinke’s illustrations and became part of the enchanting world he created.

 

cover

Front Cover

back cover

Back Cover

beard

Inside Front Cover

elves

Inside Back Cover

double

Double-Page Spread

I spent hours examining every tiny detail in the scenes. I named the elves and made myself a secret elf, feeding the cats, joining in the pillow fight, opening letters for Santa, and counting the good girls and boys. This book still has the power to evoke delightful memories and the feeling of magic that was part of my childhood.

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

I wish you wonderful childhood memories.

Memories From A Long Weekend

April 25, 2013

It’s a mother’s dream to be actively involved with her daughter’s wedding plans. Mother and daughter shopping for wedding dresses, looking for flowers, choosing invitations … I was eagerly looking forward to all of that.

Our visit to the east coast was set. My husband and I got great airline fares. It was going to be a perfect long weekend of wedding planning with our daughter and her fiancé. It was a dream come true.

STOP!!!

Rewind.

Not a dream.

A nightmare.

It began with our arrival at O’Hare Airport in the pouring rain. The day before our airline had experienced a system failure. Travelers were still trying to get out of Chicago. HA! No problem for us. Our 8:20 evening flight was on time. The rain continued, but we were safe and comfortable as we waited to board.

We watched buckets of rain splash on the tarmac. It looked like we needed an ark not an airplane. Lightning flashed, thunder rumbled, and the deluge continued. On-time flights suddenly became canceled flights. Along with hundreds of other people, we found ourselves up a creek without a paddle.

There was a mad dash to get into the rescheduling line. To be safe, we also used our phone to reschedule. We did everything we possibly could to get a flight out of Chicago. Bad news.  According to the airlines, there were no flights available for us until Friday morning. FRIDAY? FRIDAY? That was two days away! Appointments we had scheduled for wedding plans would be missed!

It was 10:30 in the evening — time to rethink our situation. We decided to get a hotel room and keep on phoning the airlines. Alas, there were no rooms at the inns. Full, full, full was the word, and the roads around O’Hare were flooded. With no place to go, we chose the next best thing to pass the time. We headed to the airport hotel. Following suitcases being pulled by other weary travelers, we went straight to the bar. We remained there until it closed. It was then my wonderful husband took me to a cozy corner in the hotel lobby where we camped out on the floor for the night. We were not alone. There were many other flightless people littering the lobby floor. It was romance at its best!

As I watched the lightning and rain, my husband continued to call the airlines to reschedule our flight. At 2:45 am success was ours! He had managed to obtain a flight for us early the next morning. Being persistent does pay off.

I’d like to erase that night from my memory bank, but the memories from the visit with our daughter and her fiancé made up for the stressful events that had previously happened. AND after visiting numerous bridal stores, the dress choice is down to two. Now that’s success!

If you like flying and airplanes, check this book out.

 Moon Plane, written and illustrated by Peter McCarty, was a 2006 Charlotte Zolotow Award winner. A young boy sees an airplane in the sky and wonders what it would be like to be on it. Using muted colors, McCarty depicts the boy on the plane flying over a car, a train, a boat, and all the way to the moon and back home to his mother. The illustrations and simple text produce an overall good feeling. That’s the type of flying experience I would have liked to have had!

Faded Memories

June 5, 2012

In the past three weeks I’ve been to three graduations – college, high school, and grade school. On Sunday, one of the young speakers at the grade school graduation I attended told his classmates that their graduation would be something they would always remember and they would maintain their friendships throughout the years.

I scoured my brain for graduation memories. This is what I came up with. In grade school, we wore royal blue caps and gowns and there were four-two graduates – all from one eighth grade class. My high school graduation was hot. The only picture I have of my graduation shows me in an orange, sleeveless dress with perspiration stains under my arms. Not cool! At my college graduation, we sweltered in the football stadium stands, and my family celebrated by taking me out to Roy Roger’s Roast Beef. Not too memorable!

And what about those friendships the young speaker spoke of maintaining throughout the years? In reality, true-blue friends are hard to find. People change. Times change. You lose contact. A friendship that weathers the test of time is a true friendship. Consider yourself successful if you have one of those priceless friends.

Memories of graduations fade, but friends don’t. I hope those grade school graduates work to keep their special friendships because, no matter what, a true friend will always be there with you.

What are your graduation memories?

Books for Graduation Gifts:

Yay, You! : Moving Out, Moving Up, Moving On  written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton (Little Simon, 2001)

I Knew You Could!  written by Craig Dorfman and illustrated by Christina Ong (Grosset & Dunlap, 2003)

Reach for the Stars: and Other Advice for Life’s Journey  written and illustrated by Serge Bloch (Sterling, 2010)

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!  written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 1990)

Food, Friendship, and Books

May 18, 2012

Yesterday I had lunch with my friend, Karen. I’ve known her ever since I can remember. She lived one house away from me on Vliet Street in Milwaukee. We were together almost every day. We played in the hollow across the street. We climbed trees there. We sledded down Buffalo Hill. We walked to the old Washington Park Zoo to see the animals. And we dressed-up in our mom’s clothes and strutted up and down the street.

Karen and Me

When we entered kindergarten, we went to different schools, but we still remained friends. When I was in second grade we moved, but we remained friends. When we moved out of state, we remained friends. After years of living long distances from one another other, we are now living close enough to meet for lunch. We are still friends.

Lois Wyse said, “A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”

That’s a perfect description of Karen.

During lunch she took out some old pictures taken on Vliet Street.  There was the hollow with its climbing trees, the zoo, and her backyard. Oh, the memories!

So many years have passed since we first became friends. We’ve changed – yet we haven’t changed. We talked. We laughed. We made profound observations about life and family, and then it was time to go.

Friends are good for the soul. On cloudy days, they can make the sun shine. Hug your friend today!

Here are some terrific friend books for beginning readers. They are all series. Read one! Read them all!

Frog and Toad

Cork and Fuzz

Henry and Mudge

George and Martha

Mouse and Mole

Houndsley and Catina

Mr. Putter and Tabby

Pinky and Rex

Iris and Walter

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa

Minnie and Moo

Ivy and Bean

Christmas Past with Rye and Bourbon

December 16, 2011

I’m on a mission. With so few days left before Christmas, I have things to do, places to go, and people to see. I have no time to waste, but when I found a relic from my past tucked away in an old Christmas box, I paused to reminisce.

 

In my hands, I held an envelope with my name on it. Inside was a 3-D Christmas Book given to me by Santa when I went to visit him eons ago. Imagine that!

 

The book is filled with a variety of Christmas stories and poems by some well-known authors.

 

It has carols, craft ideas,

 

 a pop-up Christmas scene,

 

 and a pair of 3-D glasses.

 Santa is so clever!

There is also a recipe for eggnog included on the last page of the book. It calls for the “best of Rye or Bourbon!” Who knew we were so liberal back then? Including this recipe in a children’s publication today would probably be considered politically and socially incorrect. Hmmm …  

Reminiscing time is up. I have lots to do, and the first thing on my list is to try out that eggnog recipe. A little pick-me-up might be just the ticket to keep me chugging down the right track. Cheers!


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