Wednesday, April 26, 2023

A cage for our cutie

I am thrilled with my latest purchase. Lately I have been discouraged with the outrageous prices at the Goodwill Stores in our town. I know all about inflation, but who wants to pay $12 for a used, donated blouse because of its brand name? The rest of the blouses/shirts on the rack were about $5.00.

Used books used to cost a dollar, now they are up to $3.00. It makes me want to express my opinion. 

At the register, the clerk asked if I wished to donate my change. I replied, "Not since the prices have increased so much." 

I know it wasn't her fault, but I needed to be heard. And I was. Got a chorus of 
"Uh huhs!" and "That's right!" from others in line. However...

 I did hit the jackpot with this purchase. I saw a small, flat carrying case on a shelf. Unzipped it and knew if I released the folded up cage inside, I would never get it back in. There was an original sales tag on the unused, NEW item for our sweet, Sassy Boy, who loves-loves-loves his "dad."  When Bill goes to the back yard or sits on the patio, this sweet kitty sits at the back door and cries to come out. 

He was one happy cat when we took him outside. He resisted his removal with all of his fifteen pounds when it was time to go inside. I think it is going to be a great summer for all of us. He will be next to his "buddy" and be able to view the backyard birds and bunnies. 

I paid $5.99 for this collapsible Ruff and Rufus cage. Bill researched it on line. Retail price $50.00.

 I'd say that was a bit of good will for Goodwill to sell it at such a discount.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Beloved television teachers

 I have been cleaning out closets and discovered these treasured books from the time of my childhood. I am certain they came from yard sales. I bought them because they were so near and dear to my heart. 

Romper Room was an early childhood television series in the U.S. from 1953-1994. Miss Lois (there were several teachers over the years) who used a magic mirror to "see" her viewers. She called the names of children she "saw" watching her show. She insisted they be good "Do Bees." 

Before Sesame Street, which was released in 1969, (when I was pregnant in Alaska and I had nothing elese to view) there was Romper Room which my kids and grandkids watched. 

Then Barney the big purple dinosaur made his debut. My granddaughter, Ashley, the boys' mom, loved Barney so much Papa Bill took her to the mall and bought her a stuffed Barney. When giant Barney was scheduled to make an appearance at the mall, the crowd was unbelievable; they had traffic cops at all entrances. The line to see Barney wound around the first floor of the mall three times. I took Ashley to get a bite to eat, and happened to see Barney stick his head out a door to take a peek. I grabbed her up and beat a path over. When he exited with his handler, he greeted Ashley first! We headed home and did not have to wait in a three hour line. Leave it to Nana Linda.

Prior to these wonderful early learning shows there was Ding Dong School. The nursery school of my childhood debuted as a morning show in 1952 on NBC. Early childhood educator, Dr. Frances Horwich, was known as beloved Miss Frances. I waited each day for her to ring the bell and start Ding Dong school. These books are
L to R from 1953, 1954, 1935, and 1940. So many little hands must have turned these pages. 

I am certain Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans had an influence on me, too, but not like Miss Frances who reminded me of my grandma. 

I beleieve that in my forty year career as an early childhood educator, I was influenced by these nursery programs. 

Do you remember them?

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

It wasn't Peter Cotton Tail

While waiting for the Easter Bunny, we had a visit from a turkey. This guy wandered up the block, stopped in our driveway and looked at me, then moseyed on past four more houses. He stopped in his tracks when he saw his reflection in the  neighbor's glass storm door and preened for a while. He let me get very close before turkey trotting on up the block.  

I just love this photo taken by my daughter when the boys visited at her house. 

 I received an acceptance from Guideposts, Angels on Earth for one of my stories to be released in August. I am delighted to break into this publication. Hopefully many more.

Spring has arrived and I have sat on the patio and read five books in two weeks. My leisure activity.

For those of you who may have known prolific writer, Georgia Hubley, sadly she passed away last week. 

Friday, April 7, 2023

Writers can play, too

Charlie was delighted with the wind-up chickie. As it hopped all over his ABC paper, he soon discovered that as much as he tried to get it to go to a particular letter, it often veered. 

Writing is sometimes that way. You intend to go in one direction and your story goes off in another. And what do you do? Well, you probably go with it, and in doing so, you discover something else.

Alex is mechanically inclined, enjoys building and balancing blocks and desinging things. I made a game I call The Jelly Bean Drop. I used a box, three doll rods, and six ketchup cups I got from Wendy's when we ate there a couple weeks ago. Added a bunny, glued the cups to the sticks top and bottom and in various positions. Sort of like Foos Ball standing on end, he had to maneuver the cups of jelly beans to drop to the next level, and eventually fill the jelly bean tray on the bottom. This is the face of excitement at being successful. Many times he was not. He did not give up. He tried again and again. Hard work!

Writers attempt new genres, themes,  feel overwhelmed when things don't go as planned. The secret to success is to keep trying. 

I found a Jell-O jelly bean mold tray at Goodwill for 50 cents. But anything would do. Being able to improvise, think out of the box, and try something new can be its own reward. Take a short essay, condense it to as few words as possible and you will have a poem. As you tinker with it, you will discover new ways to rephrase with fewer words. Like finding a hidden colored egg!

    Charlie's hands are not as well developed as Alex's because he is a year younger. He thinks he is just feeding the bunny (paper bunny cut-out taped to a plastic bottle). 

Printing and coloring require small hand and finger muscles. He is getting there, but being a lefty is an added frustration for him. He is unaware that he is strengthening those little hands as he drops jelly beans into the bunny's "mouth".

 Writers must develop their skills, too. Learning the fundamentals is the groundwork for improvement. Every little thing you write, tweak, or try, helps strengthen your writing. 

Wishing you a happy spring, happy Easter, happy day! 

Happy writing. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Maybe and maybe not

The neighbors' fruit-bearing pear tree is almost as pretty as our red bud tree blossoming out nicely.

This evening our area is under a severe storm and tornado risk. Then again, it could miss us completely. I hope damaging winds don't strip our beautiful babies of their blooms.

Because it is supposed to be 86 degrees today, we may pay the price with predicted, yet unpredictable storms. Stay safe folks. Climate change is evident.