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Showing posts from June, 2016

A Blanding's Turtle Story by Melissa Kim

My twin brother Matthew and I rescued frogs and turtles each summer in Castine Maine. "Stop the car," we'd screech if a small animal was hopping or crawling in the road. My mother would pull over dutifully while we carefully moved the small animal from the tar to the other side of the road. We learned quickly which turtles snapped, which frogs peed in our hands, and which snakes were harmless Garters. We mostly learned by experience, but occasionally we visited the library to learn more.

Melissa Kim has written a new board book called A Blanding's Turtle Story. I'm planning to give it to a friend whose young son is also a lover of small animals. Kim's storyline is simple and easy to follow. She answers the questions kids would typically have about a Blanding's Turtle. What does the turtle do all day? What places are safe for a turtle? When should a human move a turtle if found in the road or the woods? Jada Fitch's illustrations are beautiful. The co…

Moo by Sharon Creech

I moved to Maine in 1982. I was a thirteen year old freshman in high school fresh out of a childhood in New York City. It sounds more exotic than it really was. The Maine I moved into wasn't so rustic. The town, Cape Elizabeth, is quite upwardly mobile––think Boston suburb. I remember distinctly the day my friends told me we were headed to the Fryeburg Fair. I had been to a few Maine county fairs over the summers I spent Downeast on the coast of Maine, so I knew what to expect. The 4H clubs mesmerized me. These kids who took such control of large livestock were amazing. They knew what they were doing. They were all pig whisperers and lamb crooners. These animals I knew nothing about in the real world were kept clean, safe and show-worthy by kids who looked to be no more than nine or ten years old. At sixteen or so, I felt too old to learn how but man did I want to join that club.
Wordsmith Sharon Creech has come out with the new middle grade novel, Moo. It is kind of a verse nove…

Choosing a Hero

A hero is a noun meaning a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. The other night we had some people over for dinner. The wife said that when she was little she was able to state one or even two heroes in her life. I cocked my head and squinted my eyes, but I couldn't think of anyone. 

The thought did not leave my mind easily.

When I was single, my friend Lisa and I would go to bars and say, "if you HAD to go home with someone tonight, who would it be?" So I gave myself this ultimatum this week. If I HAD to choose a hero, who would it be?

I choose Tara Smith. She is quite possibly one of the most extraordinary teachers I have ever been lucky enough to call a friend. She is in a very special Voxer group with me so I get to learn more about her than many of you ever will. While I can't divulge too much because it isn't my story to tell, I want to share some reasons why Tara is my hero.

1. Personalized Learning She …

A LOT of Weight

As I walk into the room, you might want to avert your eyes. It's painful to watch, I imagine.

I've gained a lot of weight. A lot. Let's not quibble about numbers and what a lot means, okay? My weight is the bane of my existence. It is completely reflective of where I am in the moments of my life and that irritates me. I should just invent forehead banners for people: TOO MUCH STRESS or CHOSE FAMILY-CARE OVER SELF-CARE or NOT SURE HOW TO DEAL WITH FAMILY ISSUES.

I eat to make myself feel good but clearly I've overdone it. My stomach is resting on the tops of my thighs when I sit. It is not attractive and it feels terrible. My body is stressed from it as well. My creaking joints and achy muscles must carry around A LOT (no numbers please) of weight these days and I've got a lot to do.

I used to watch people who were really overweight and think, at what point is enough enough? I think I'm there. This is going to be my summer. My summer to learn how to be moderate…

Turning 9

Do you ever think about the childhood your children are having? I do.

I wonder if they'll remember me as someone who yelled at them a lot. I kind of do.

I know that the majority of our life is spent doing happy things that make all of us have a better life.

Like last night, for instance. We'd had a late dinner of cold turkey breast, watermelon, and homemade bread. We were sitting in the kitchen arguing over what time they had to go to bed because

apparently

I had no idea that EVERYONE else in our town goes to bed at 8:30. I don't care.

When suddenly Annie got the idea that since it was her last day being 8, we should break out some sparklers which her father had purchased at the grocery store the day before. Though it wasn't on the list.

It's good to be 8. It's going to be great to be 9. I can already tell.



Happy birthday to my 9 year old Annie.