Thursday, October 30, 2014

Who are you gonna call? YOU know who!

White Ghost is a take off of a favorite children's book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
 I used a large sheet of construction paper, placed the child's forearms and hands on the far edges of the paper and drew around them. Then I used the remaining paper as the ghost. I drew lines for them to practice their cutting skills. Last I cut out and glued the arms on and interlocked the fingers. We chanted, "White ghost, white ghost what do you see?" They opened the arms wide and told me a color or shape that I had drawn inside on their hand prints.
 I sent this home as a fun family game.
 It wouldn't be Halloween without a little ghost play. I prepared a sheet of paper with letters A-F for each student, and covered the papers and the table with clear adhesive. Next I put a shaving cream ghost in right hands and left hands, and the children finger painted with their ghosts, covering up their letters. I would shout a letter/sound and they'd have to uncover it. What fun!
The 3 year olds opened the class pumpkin, but first, we guessed what could be inside. Someone thought a ghost, but most knew it was seeds. We took turns inserting our hands and removing the seeds. When someone said, "I don't want to!" I replied, "Ewww! Neither did I. Look how messy my hands are, but we will wash them off, and then we'll make pretend pumpkin seed soup, so please get your seeds. WOW! You got a big handful. You tried! Look at your seeds!" While recognizing feelings and encouraging them to try new things instead of accepting an automatic no, everyone decided to reach inside. This activity generated lots of language and vocabulary: icky, sticky, wet, slimey, cold, yuck. The water play with small cups, spoons, ladles and colanders led to a fun sensory experience that lasted for half an hour for some of the children.
And because this is the season for ghosts, who are you gonna call?
This car pulled up across the street at a small automotive repair shop.
                                 Now, I would say that was my Halloween treat! Wouldn't you?


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Did I ever tell you about the time...

I still get a flush thinking about how embarrassing it could have been at the book launch party when Dianna Graveman and I released and promoted Not Your Mother's Book...On Family, and Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Mom, (Publishing Syndicate).

I was so nervous and excited as we greeted patrons outside StL Books in Kirkwood, MO, I wanted to raise my arm pits to the gentle evening breeze on July 15th. But, I didn't. Like Anne Lamott, I must have lipstick on. I discreetly reapplied frequently, then stuffed the tube back into my teeny tiny sweater pocket.

At the specified time, we invited everyone indoors for a raffle and readings. I stood at the entrance, and as the throng proceeded into the small bookstore I smiled, nodded, greeted; repeated...and then I felt it! Panic set in, and I almost lost it (literally). I saw Lynn's adult daughter, Jessica, making her way through the line and mouthed HELP ME? I hugged her as if we were old friends, even though I'd only met her recently. She looked surprised when I leaned in and whispered in her ear.

"Please, do me a favor. Bend down and retrieve my cellphone which has been making its way from my waist inside my slacks, and is traveling down my leg. It's almost at my ankle, and will be exiting at any minute."

She laughed, and without missing a stride, bent down, grabbed my phone and handed it to me. I owe that young lady a latte`.

StL Books in Kirkwood, on the corner of Kirkwood Road and W. Jefferson, has Not Your Mother's Books available, so if you are looking for a gift, want to chuckle at the humorous collections of short stories, or would like to support local authors, please stop in, purchase a book or two and say hello to Robin and her family. Tell them Linda and Dianna sent you.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Another candle on her cake

Nicole celebrated her 7th birthday. She loved the cake I made for her. I told her the big ghost on top was her daddy, and one was her mom and another was her brother. She said, "Yeah, and I see me!" She pointed to the witch. 
She is so proud of her new room. She chose the color.
I love how the sun is shining in through the blinds.
I am so proud of my sweetie. She and I both wear glasses now.

I cannot believe how big her 12 year old brother, Nicholas, has grown. 
Time sure is flying by. Seems only yesterday they were babies. I feel so blessed.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Grammy's little pumpkin

My granddaughter, Ashley, and her hubby, Justin, and baby Liam went to the pumpkin patch today. He loved the hayride.
But wasn't too sure about sitting in the hay.
He has recently discovered his hair. When he takes his bottle, he rubs his left hand all over his downy hair. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen.
If you want to see a funny video of him, which made my students laugh and laugh, click onto this Facebook link, and  you can watch what he did. It's a little over one minute.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Medusa has nothing on her!

What makes us say and do these things?
It was another day of belly laughing. I had a two hour lunch with a dear friend. She is hysterically funny, has a wonderful and sometimes warped sense of humor. She said she is concerned that on the verge of her fiftieth birthday, she just might be on the verge of menopause.
"What ARE hot flashes? I don't think I've ever had one. Everything in the lady department seems to be regular. But I think it's menopause causing my erratic symptoms."

"Well, then, what are your symptoms?" I asked.

"This crazy snake lady comes out of my head, (she entwined her hands overhead like she was doing the Flamenco), wraps around anything or anyone that gets in my way and makes me say things I would never say. I am losing my filter."

I told her that I'd read somewhere that elderly Native American women are forgiven all of their foibles. They can get away with saying anything after menopause.

"Since my husband lost his job, he tends bar sometimes at an upscale restaurant. I am not jealous. I knew he would be out late, so I went to bed. During the night our six year old had climbed into bed with me. When he rolled over and plowed into my gut, I sat up and looked at the clock. This snake-head lady erupted out of my head. I dialed my husband's cell phone. He answered after a few rings and sounded groggy (or drunk). I tore into him. 'Do you know how unfair it is of you to make me worry like this? A phone call is all I ask for. There are only two places you could possibly be at this hour, either at a bar or at someone's house. It is 2:30 in the morning and all I want is the truth from you. Where the hell are you?!' "

Quietly, he replied, "In the other room, trying to sleep in our son's small bed."

We were laughing so hard and loud, gasping for air. The manager at Panera Bread Company walked over to us, and when he saw that he did not have to dial 911, he feigned interest in removing our dishes. I teach preschool, and I know the art of distraction vs. confrontation. I'm sure he would have urged us to take it down a notch or leave, except he caught a glimpse of the snakes unfurling from our menopausal heads.

Care to share your embarrassing moment? Laughter is good for the system as long as you're wearing a discreet wet your pants pad.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What happened to you?!

A precocious, pie-faced, blue-eyed, four-year old boy walked up to me and stared.
"Hey, Miss Linda, your new hair color is darker."

"Yes, I got my hair cut and colored."

"SO, I guess they left the color on a little too long?" He looked puzzled.

"Well, it is darker. What do you think of my new hair?"

He walked around me giving me the once over. "I like it! I REALLY like it."

He redeemed himself. One day, that little boy is going to make the headlines, the girl's blush, his mama cringe... the big times. He reminds me of one of the Little Rascals.

He was merely making an observation, so I didn't correct him. My philosophy has always been, children should be seen AND heard. I've heard it all.

If you are a writer, it is important that your character's voice be heard, too. Do you censor your characters or allow them to speak, unfiltered?


Monday, October 20, 2014

It was no masked man

Damn Sam! I held my breath and tried not to move a muscle at 3:30 a.m. when I heard an intruder in the bedroom poking around in my jewelry on the dresser. He who snores loud enough to wake the dead was silent and on the far edge of the queen size bed. I wanted to reach over and poke him to see if he was breathing, but I knew he'd be all goofy upon waking: HUH?WHAT? and probably get us shot. I lay quietly in the pitch dark as the robber rummaged, making his selection. My heart was thumping wildly, and I had to pee so badly. And then I saw him. He thumped all 17 pounds of his fat butt down with a thunk, dragging a necklace across the floor and set off the bathroom motion-activated night light.
Fifteen minutes after his reprimand he assumed this position and snored worse than you know who.
"Yeah!" I said, "Sleep you goofball, now that I'm wide awake."