Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Kids make birthdays better

 Sunday was my birthday and today my grandchildren came over and gifted me with some yardwork.  

I now have a well-swept front patio. (Two tall long- needle pines keep dumping stuff there) Plus they attacked the spider plants that had put out long stems with baby spider plants on the ends looking for a good place to grow. The kids managed to trim every one. (I already have a side bed full of spider plants and really don't need more - so snip, snip and toss)

Friday, May 28, 2021

Too many Jennifers

 My daughter didn't have a name for several days after she was born. Her wrist band said, Baby Old.  

Why? Because we had only arrived at the hospital with boy's names because his mom insisted that their family only had boys. Well, she was a girl. I waited until my husband came to visit us in the hospital so we could discuss girl's names and we settled on Jennifer. So I called down to the hospital register's office and told her we'd decided on Jennifer and it was spelled.... She stopped me right there. Very patiently she told me that she knew how it was spelled. How? Because of a popular movie in 1972, Jennifer was the top baby girl's name.  

Jen had 5 Jennifers in her elementary school class, over 25 in her middle school class and graduated high school with over 100 Jennifers. !!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

My garage

In my garage  I have a guitar. I do not play that instrument. Nor the piano keyboard that is in a box, leaning up against the wall. Both are in my garage. Plus a violin.  

Did I ever play those instruments? No. I played woodwinds - bassoon and clarinet. Relatives played those other instruments. Oh - let's put them into grandma's garage.  

Some people store their car in their garage. Is that was a garage is for? Not my garage. My garage is where others store their things. Luckily I do have a driveway where I can park my car.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

George Washington Carver Program

When I worked as a children's librarian, I would do a program for Black History month about George Washington Carver and the many improvements he made. I also talked about peanuts and we did experiments comparing roasted peanuts (in the shell) with raw peanuts (in the shell).  

After the kids had taken the shells off of a lot of them, I took some of the roasted ones, tossed them into a blender and made peanut butter.  

Then I held a peanut butter tasting contest. I had previously bought a variety of types of peanut butter - 'natural,' famous brands, chunky, and creamy. I then had all the kids come up and taste each one and vote on the one they thought was the best. (if the homemade peanut butter had turned out okay, I would also include that one.) For sanitary reasons, I had bought a box of hundreds of spoons (from Costco) so they could use a spoon to taste, throw it into the trash can, then pick up a clean spoon for the next taste. Talley the votes. Proclaim a winner.  

Then hold a raffle to give out the remaining peanut butter jars plus send the kids home with the extra peanuts.  

Anyone who wanted to grow peanuts went home with some raw peanuts. They would come back later to tell me about how the plant grew.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Gary Paulsen - Gone to the Woods

 Once, a publisher asked me to write a biography of Gary Paulsen.  I wasn't sure how to go about it; how to contact him. And because there was very little already written about him, I had no resources to draw from.  At that point computers were white letters on a blue screen or black letters on a green screen and the internet was just being organized - just words, no pages, no pictures. So I went on to other projects.

But today you can read his life story as written by himself.

Gone to the Woods, Surviving a Lost Childhood (NY: Farrar Straus Giroux publisher) is the autobiography you should read.  Full of grit and growing up, this tale tells how he practically raised himself because his parents were drunks.  And he tells it like an adventure tale, even referring to himself as 'the boy.' 

He preferred to be in the woods or working on someone else's farm and kept running away from home. From school.  Finally, when he was a teen, he discovered that libraries were warm places to lurk in. Then -- the librarian gave him a book.  He couldn't read well, but the librarian gave him more books and he became a person who devoured books. And then -- the librarian gave him a notebook and he wrote a story. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Treat everyone like they are Real People

After I retired from being a children's librarian, I stopped by the library where I had worked to pick up a book and ran into a boy who is intellectually disabled who used to come into the library a lot when I worked there.  He was so happy to see me He had thought I was dead, because I hadn't been there to help him find the books he liked.  But the part that melted my heart was when he said that I was the only one there who treated him like a Real Person. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

It's all the fault of Easter Eggs

So many people are complaining that they've gained weight during the pandemic.  Me?  I've been losing weight for the past five years -- 20 pounds so far.

But - the reason I'm gaining weight this past month is the usual one for this time of year - Easter Candy.  Sees has the most delicious easter eggs and  I love the Mayfair ones - dark chocolate covered easter egg with cream filling stuffed with nuts, candied cherries and other good stuff.  Yum. 

Since I always eat salad for lunch, when I run out of my Sees Mayfair easter egg stash, my weight will get back on it's gradual losing weight thing again.