Childhood

Remember the song about “childhood, childhood, little girl and boyhood” that said “Once you’ve crossed its borders you can never return again”?
Well, that’s true, but some of us hang out on the borders.
I read (and write) books for kids and, now that I’m back to teaching preschool, I hang out with kids a lot.
And I still enjoy using my imagination, learning new things, and appreciating the world around me.
I guess, in a way, I’ve never completely grown up and I hope I never do.
Are you still a kid on the inside like me?

What A Day!

It felt so good to hit the snooze alarm and sleep in. But then…

I realized how much I need to do today. Shop, cook, clean house, do yard work, pay bills, etc., etc. And I’ll be sure to turn on the noon news to find out who has been killed and learn about wars, rumors of war, and nasty politics. And I need to try to catch up on all my unread e-mail messages and work on that manuscript and – etc., etc., etc..

What a day!

But wait!

Okay, it’s time to take a deep breath and focus on all I have to be thankful for instead of complaining.
I can afford to buy food, and have a stove and refrigerator. I have a car that will take me safely to the store. I have a house and yard, and utilities. I’ll see lovely trees and plants in my yard and I can communicate with people all over the world on the internet. I have friends and family and live in a nice neighborhood. I can see, and hear, and taste, and smell, and eat, and think, and talk and walk, and read, and write, and …..

I could go on all day about the good things.

What do you have to be thankful for?

Happy Hands

I don’t often post personal information on the internet, but today I’m making an exception.

For years when my daughter was a young kid I had a home preschool called Happy Hands. Later I worked for several years in other preschools as well as substitute teaching in classes of all ages.

I love working with young kids and have stayed in touch with some of the families I worked with for decades.

Today I’m starting another home preschool, also called Happy Hands, many miles and even more years away from the first one.

I may not have time to blog as often as I’ve been doing, but I hope to be a good influence in the lives of lots of kids.

Dog Spit

Do you think dog saliva is gross? Many people do.

But here’s a story that might change your mind.

Many years ago, back in the 1970s, my husband had a horrible infection in his arm. The antibiotic the doctor had prescribed wasn’t helping and my poor husband was so miserable he couldn’t get out of bed.

Our dalmation kept trying to lick the sore and, finally, my poor husband felt too weak to push her away and let her lick it.

To our surprise, the wound began to improve, so he let the dog keep licking it. In a few hours the wound had completely healed.

When we told a doctor friend about that he explained dogs have an enzyme in their saliva that kills the bacteria that cause infections.

So, if a dog licks or slobbers on you or your kids, please don’t worry about it being unsanitary. It’s quite the opposite.

The Girl Who Could See

I usually only review books for kids, but this YA novel by Kara Swanson is so good I couldn’t resist sharing about it.

It’s about Fern, a girl who was considered mentally ill because of her fantasies, but the “imaginary” hero and secret world are real and our world may depend on Fern to survive.

I couldn’t put the book down until I finished reading it because it’s so well written.

There’s some romance in the book, but nothing offensive.

Kara Swanson is a gifted writer and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Climate Change

Spring is officially here, but in the Sierra foothills where I live it doesn’t feel like Spring. We’re having lots of rain and possibly snow in the higher elevations.

I keep reading about climate change. Some people say it’s not happening. Others say it is natural and similar cycles have always happened, while others blame pollution by humans. Or it might be caused by a combination of those factors.

But climate change is real and I can give a definitive answer as to the reason.
It’s the skateboarders. They jump up and down so much they’re tipping the planet!

Presentation

Today I’m doing a presentation of some of my books at the Sacramento Children’s Museum as one of their March Literacy Month programs.

This should be fun for me, and I hope for the kids who attend as well.

I enjoy kids a lot – after all, I’ve been a teacher most of my adult life. That’s one reason why I write books for kids. Don’t tell, but the other reason is that I’m still a kid on the inside. 😉

And I hope the kids who come will all become kids who enjoy reading.

Hubcaps

One day as I walked down a sidewalk in town I started noticing the hubcaps of the vehicles parked along the street.

I couldn’t believe the variety of designs on something so ordinary and practical. Hubcaps all are round, and most have five or six holes, but the number of variations is amazing!

Since then I’ve noticed hubcaps any time I’m in a parking lot and continue to be surprised at how many different ways there are to shape them.

Thinking about the hubcaps reminds me of how different we human beings are from each other. Most of us have the same basic body parts, with some variations for gender, age, race, and special needs. But very few humans look exactly alike, and our minds are all completely unique.

Just as we can come up with many ways to design hubcaps we’ve used our creative abilities in thousands of ways and keep coming up with new things.

People are amazing!

Children’s Theater

Children’s Theater
I grew up in a small town in Marin County, California, which was then a semi-rural area.

Every Summer a group of mothers led Fairfax Junior Theater. Back then most women were stay-at-home moms but, since my mother had been widowed so she had to have a job, she couldn’t participate.

Kids from all over town joined the free group. I loved participating in it!

I never got a staring roll (those always went to kids whose mothers were running the program) but I usually got an important one. I specially enjoyed getting to play the part of an evil character.

Today, since we no longer have many stay-at-home moms, parents must pay for their kids to participate in programs like this. And that means roles are assigned more fairly.

But, otherwise, children’s theater is a lot like it was back in the 1940s and ‘50s.

This afternoon I plan to see a play put on by PAG, the local children’s theater in Grass Valley, where I now live.

I know I’ll enjoy the performance, and it will bring back memories of my own performances as a kid.

5:00 Whistle

When I was a kid I lived in a small town that had a volunteer fire department. The fire chief was paid (I think) and there was a fire station where the fire engine stayed.

Any time there was a fire, a loud whistle that could be heard all over town would sound from the fire house. It used a distinct pattern for every section of town. I think that was so the fire fighters would know where to go to fight the fire. Maybe the volunteers met the truck there, but I’m not sure about that.

The volunteers, who were strong, healthy men, would all have had regular, local day jobs, which allowed them to leave whenever a fire happened.

Perhaps the men met at the firehouse and the whistle was just to warn the neighbors, but most of us didn’t know the sound pattern for our neighborhoods so that doesn’t make sense.

But there’s one thing I am sure of:
That whistle went off every day at exactly 5:00 p.m. as a test to be sure it was working.
And all the kids in town, who were playing outside with adult supervision, knew when they heard that 5:00 whistle they had to stop playing and go home.