Friday, November 17, 2023

No Thanksgiving plans

 Our plans are no plans. For years I helped my mother with Thanksgiving.  

Then i became THAT mom and was up at 6:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving day to prepare everything - having already baked 4 pies the day before. 

Then I retired from work, moved to California to be near my children. (Could they have moved any further away from Maryland? geezzzz.) Then I retired from doing Thanksgiving and turned it over to my oldest daughter. 

This year I retired from Thanksgiving completely. Oldest daughter is going skiing. (broke both her legs skiing last year but hey, she loves skiing. She says she'll be careful) Second child is married to a Native American and therefore does NOT celebrate Thanksgiving. (Whatever happened to the historical fact of pilgrims and native Americans having a harvest celebration together?) My third child doesn't want to have Thanksgiving with her friends this year, so she has promised to bake pumpkin pies for me. 


Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Talking to Middle Schoolers about the writing profession

 I always ask for two tables whenever I'm asked to participate in the local Middle School display of different professions in the Springtime. (It has a different name, but I forget) It exposes those kids to a variety of jobs they could think about.  We always try to make it fun for them.

I have a video running that answers all the questions their teachers have printed out and they have to answer about my profession. (I ask for the list ahead of time) 

I have a three foot model of the Wright Brother's Flyer alongside my books about them plus some of the awards those books have been given. I have copies of my books. I have examples of editor's notes on manuscripts. Plus I have a galley sheet from a picture book that shows how they are printed. Plus some folded and gathered samples. (F&Gs)

It's a madhouse of classes flowing in and out , talking to them, and answering questions.


Friday, November 10, 2023

Telling time these days

 When I used to wear a watch (when we all wore watches), I insisted on a water resistant one because having babies and toddlers in the house, I was constantly dunking them in water to wash body parts off as they explored the world or needed bathroom stuff.  

It wasn't until my watch stopped working on a trip that my granddaughter convinced me that - actually grandma - we carried cell phones all the time and cell phones told us the time, so why wear a watch? I haven't worn a watch since. 

I do have a clock in my bedroom from way back when we used those to set alarms to wake us up. (replaced by cell phone alarm) plus the stove and microwaves also tell the time. By now, I've actually stopped looking at my wrist when I want to know the time.

Monday, November 6, 2023

President Kennedy shot November 22, 1963

There are certain events in your life that you never forget.  A friend on FaceBook brought this up and we chimed in with our own memories.

I was in college, practicing my bassoon in the music building in college when someone ran down the hall, knocking at everyone's practice room door yelling that President Kennedy had been killed. We didn't believe him. Then another person announced it and another and we slowly came to the realization that it might be true.

This was a few days before Thanksgiving, November 22, 1963. I lived in a house full of girls, not the dorm, so we had to rent a TV set so we could watch the news. For hours we watched. Nobody went to classes. Finally the University simply declared classes closed and said we could all go home early for Thanksgiving.  

At that time I had been knitting a scarf for my current boyfriend and continued to knit it as we watched TV for hours for several days. Yes, we saw Oswald being shot, live, on TV. My knitting became quite tight and after I finished the scarf later, I noticed that the foot length of scarf that I knitted during that time period was tighter making the scarf about an inch narrower at that point.

So many other drastic events happened in the 1960s, so it's no wonder those of us who lived thru them have stark memories of them:

The Cuban missile crisis in October of '62. 
The Birmingham Church bombing in Sept. of '63.
 JFK - November 22 of '63.
 Lee Harvey Oswald killed two days later. 
Martin Luther King in April of '68. Robert Kennedy in June of '68.
 Sharon Tate in August of '69. 
Students at Kent State College in May of '70.
 Underneath all of this rumbled the background news from Viet Nam. 
Many felt that the 60s ended what had been a kind of national euphoria of emerging from WWII. Adults in their 40s in 1960 grew up during the Great Depression. The contrast between how they lived before WWII and the economic boom after the war must have been a constant surprise. 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Asking for the wrong person

 I was awoken from my morning nap with a call from Social Security asking for Francis. Big red flag.  

1) my husband, Francis, has been dead for quite a few years and the real social security knows this. 

2) My husband never used my cell phone or ever put my cell phone number down as his phone number. 

3) I could hear lots of other people on telephones in the background. (a boiler room of scammers or a call center of scammers) 

4) I wish I had been awake enough to give a clever answer. All I said was, "Francis has been dead and the REAL social security knows this," and I hung up.  

But couldn't get back to sleep, darn it.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Do not feed wild animals

 Too many people don't know the difference between wild animals and Build-a-bear stuffed animals. 

No, a bear is not a nice doggie.  

Let's break it to you quickly - bears would like to kill you if you get in their way or think you're threatening her children.  

Secondly. if you feed wild animals, they will stop avoiding people (to stay safe) and will begin approaching people - Demanding food and not caring if they injure a hiker just to get into their backpack to get the FOOD.  

And if they decide that YOU taste good, that ruins the whole area for any other people. (not to mention the damage to you.)

Guess what?  EIGHT MILES of the most beautiful and colorful part of the Blue Ridge Parkway has been closed due to tourists feeding bears. !!!