Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Editor

At the end of Port Chicago 50, in the acknowledgements, Author Steve Sheinkin thanks his editor Deirdre Langeland for her "insightful and demanding" edits.  I love reading about an author's gratitude to an editor for her contributions to a published text.

I'm getting back into my author/editor writing project today.  Teaching the Thirdlanders has been a dream come true in every respect except for one.  They've gotten into my brain and heart so completely that I've not pursued my writing project.  I am taking it up again today.  Not because I have any big aspirations for it, but because I enjoy it.  I'm a writer and this is Writer's Wednesday.  So here we go.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


20 Something got this beautiful pie plate for Christmas.  I think it's so cheerful.  So Pie Plate and Popcorn it is.  You can serve popcorn in your pie plates if you feel like it. It might surprise your guests and keep them on their toes. A cheerful #TwinTuesday to you all.  Expect the unexpected.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #20

So this is it.  The end of the Wishes, Lies and Dreams challenge.  It's been way fun.

Come to find out, today also marks the end of this blog.  I think I've said all I have to say.  Thanks for reading along and giving me a little leeway with this creative project.  I'm taking up woodworking in 2015 and I plan to give woodworking all the gusto I have.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #19

I am dreaming up a pretty good invention for driving and eating at the same time.  It's called The WristWich.  It's a special wristband with a clasp that holds a sandwich.  Your sandwich fits right into the WristWich and that way you can still use both hands while you're driving and take bites of your sandwich whenever the mood strikes you.

To be honest, I was inspired by #1 Son's idea to make some type of ring pop with hunks of chicken instead of candy.  I think my invention is a little more practical because with the WristWich you have a whole sandwich sitting there.  Not just a bite of chicken.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #18

My parents and their 3 AWESOME grandkids. 
People, Listen up.  On our drive back from Georgia, I read a book aloud to Husbandman.  The book is called The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights.  This book is the best book ever.  I dream of living in a land where everyone reads this book and everyone knows about the Port Chicago 50, and everyone honors their bravery and everyone treats all people with respect.  Thank you 20 Something for giving me this fabulous book.  And for helping me dream big.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #17

Dad and 20 Something
Husbandman, 20 Something and #1 ventured out to see Into the Woods today.  I love the cast of that movie, but I wish it weren't a musical.  I always feel so uncomfortable when the singing begins in musical film or theater.  I just want it to stop.  It feels so awkward.

I'm hanging with my mom and dad this afternoon.  My mom made me tea and a great grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.   Sometimes I get nervous about getting old, but when I hang out with my parents, I relax about it. They still know how to have a good time.

My mom has some serious hearing loss, but she's usually fairly amused about it.  Yesterday I commented to her about a fave kin who is into meditation now.

"What for?"  asked my mom, sounding kind of upset.
"I guess because she likes it," I responded.
"That's not good!" She replied emphatically.
"What's wrong with meditation?" I asked back.
"Oh!" my mom laughed.  "I thought you said medication."  Then we laughed for a long time.  My mom says that hearing loss can be hilarious.  Last week, my brother remarked, "Lots of millionaires in this country now."  My mom heard, "Lots of mayonnaise in this country now." She asked why mayonnaise was getting so popular all of a sudden.  I'm kind of looking forward to losing my hearing.  That's going to be good blogging material.

I wish my parents lived a little closer to me.  We've had a lovely holiday together.  Thanks, M and D.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #16

Celebrating International Blogging Day AKA Christmas EVE!
We're watching The Lego Movie.  It's hilarious.  The point of the movie is this:  We all have to decide to believe that we're special.

We're going to another movie called The Top 5.  20 Something Daughter has wished aloud for her own bucket of popcorn at this movie.  I personally can make come true.  I'm wishing for a small diet coke with extra ice.  The TheaterFolk usually don't fill the whole cup up with ice, so my wish might not come true, but that's okay.

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #15

Eve is in the Caribbean, promoting this blog right now!!!!
My dad has a pay per view thing where you can scroll through about 500 movies.  As with all our visits, we just spent 2 hours scrolling through all the films and discussing each one.  We all jump in with comments like, "Hey that's good, let's watch that!"

Then my dad says something like, "Sure!  You can watch it any time you like!"  Then he keeps scrolling.  So we do this for a few hours, and then we end up watching Family Feud.

I wish we could just watch any of the movies  on the pay per view thing and not keep scrolling, but it's kind of a family tradition to scroll and discuss so that's how it is.   If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

Thursday Creativity Share: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

This is my favorite song today.  I've been listening to some Ella Fitzgerald holiday music lately and honestly, you can't go wrong.  Did you know Ella Fitzgerald's vocal range spanned 3 octaves?  That's extremely good.

Also today, Husbandman and my mom made a lasagna with butternut squash.  I feel like eating it right now.

Last but not least, I just won a caption contest, which I think was a very creative thing to do.

I wish Paul didn't have to explain my caption, because I think it stands on its own, but the point is, I won the caption contest and that's all there is to it. I can't wait to get an original KILDUFF KARTOON!!!!!  It truly was one of the happiest moments of my life when I learned that I won the contest.  

So Thursday Creativity Share is a wrap.  Ella Fitzgerald, the First Lady of Jazz. A seasonal song to sing. Lasagna.  Kilduff Kartoons.  Life couldn't be better

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #13

I read 410 books this year.

Crazy, right?

I actually read more than one a day on several occasions.  I just got crazy obsessed with reading books.

I'm talking full length adult novels and challenging non-fiction.  If I included the picture books I also read, the number would be more like 685.

I plowed through books like there was no tomorrow.

Right now I'm reading 5 different books and I expect to finish 2 of these by evening time.  The other 3 I'll complete by noon tomorrow.

I'm a fast reader, but I also have incredible recall of the details of the books I read.  I'm not sure how I could read more in 2015, but I'm going to give it a go and aim for 1,000 books.  That's going to take a little doing, but the sky's the limit when your heart is in it.  And my heart's in it, my friends.  My heart is in it.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #12

Good news.  I don't have chilblains.

Bad news.  I do have a cruddy cold that has kept me kind of down and out today.  I actually might have the first adult case of bronchiopulmonary dysplasia.

Good news.  Husbandman is home and he's probably going to make hot toddies tonight. He said he might.

Bad news.  There really is no other bad news. Being on the couch has been a dream come true.  We've had a rip roaring fire.  We watched an okay movie called Stuck In Love.  We're going to read books.

Wish:  I wish I could have the hot toddy now. 

Lie:  Toddies are medicinal.

Dream:  I am dreaming of the toddies.  I can't wait until Husbandman is done watching Colbert Report highlights and will start making the toddies.  I think it will happen soon.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #11

I dropped the Thirdlanders off at the cafeteria today and stopped to chat with a colleague for a moment.  A Thirdlander interrupted us and said, "You know sometimes you have to go to something important.  Like two years ago I wanted to see the birth of my baby brother.  So I couldn't go to something else that afternoon.  Because you have to make choices when things are important."

I looked at him and said, "Yeah, I get that."  Then I suggested he return to his table to eat his lunch.

I'm not going to lie.  I am ready for winter break.  I think we probably all are.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday Creativity Share: Toshiko Akiyoshi

On a long drive back from Indianapolis Eye Center this week, I learned about Toshiko Akiyoshi.  She's a jazz master.  She composed a lot of music, but her Kogun piece was inspired by the story of a Japanese soldier who hid out in a cave in The Phillipines  for 30 years because he didn't know that WWII ended.  It seems like the guy would have noticed that the war was no longer in full swing, but I guess he just had other things on his mind. I think Kogun is a beautiful piece and I liked reading more about this composer's life.

I went on Pinterest and found this melting snow man craft.  The Thirdlanders taught their first grade buddies how to make it. Sweet, right?

I have an illness.  Low grade fever, sore throat, stuffy nose, tragic fatigue.  Yet, I carry on, stoically sharing creativity on this Thursday evening.  Husbandman is out of town, so it's just me here.  Blowing my nose and watching TV and wondering how much longer I have to live. I have a lot of admiration for myself right now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #10

I wish I could get back into slogging.

I used to like slogging and when I see people zipping down the street in front of my house, I always think, "Well done, you!"

For the most part, I have fond memories of plugging away down the open road.

But I also wish I could slog a little faster because every time I used to slog people would stop their cars and ask, "Do you need help?" or sometimes they stopped their cars and yelled out, "Good for you!  You're really trying!"  The constant interactions with kind strangers really slowed me down.

I wish people wouldn't talk to me or look at me when I'm slogging. But because of my slowness, I really stand out.   On average, people stop me 8 to 9 times every time I slog.  So sometimes I think it's just not worth it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Hold the phones.  It's #TwinTuesday.  We've got a rock and a fitbit.  Not even sure what to say about this unexpected pairing.  I think I'm going to have to sit with the image awhile and let its glory and pathos sink in and percolate.  I've got a lot of extra time today, so why not?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #9

I wish I had time to pick up a latte this morning.  I'm very tired for some reason, but I'm determined to perk it up.

If you teach in a school, you can imagine that the 5 days before winter break bring extraordinary cheer into the lives of young children. There's wishing and dreaming going on like nobody's business.  I sincerely wish that I can help the Thirdlanders focus their cheer on meaningful learning.  If you teach in a school, you know this is easier said than done.  But that's why I get paid the big bucks, and that's what I'm heading in to do.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #8

First off, I bought this green guitar yesterday.  How could I not?

And B.  We saw Birdman last night.  I wish everyone would see this movie if they feel like it.  It's a strange movie, but a good one.

In summary, I wish I didn't have to work on report cards today, but it must be done.  I dream of the report cards being done completely and part of that dream is a sugarplum vision of not having to work on school work (very much) on winter break.  I hope you too will visualize the report cards being done today. In short, dream a little dream of me.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #7

Remember when I used to work in the cafeteria at my old school and I would bring puppets on occasion?  When I got back to my new school, I was unsure about the puppets, so I put them in a big tub and hoisted them up on a high shelf away from everyone.  But then one day, I had to bring out Jack the terrier at morning meeting.  I just had to do it.  Then the next week, Mousey made an appearance.  Now the Thirdlanders have dubbed all Fridays to be Puppet Fridays.  So Mookie the Chimp showed up last week.  Yesterday, Kelpie the Sea Otter spent time with us.  The Thirdlanders flipped out over Kelpie.  They hugged and held him at morning meeting. They requested his presence at Writer's Workshop.  They patted and tickled him while he looked over their stories.  To a thirdlander, they all groaned when it was time to put Kelpie back up on the shelf with his puppet pals.
      One of the Thirdlanders stood next to me rubbing Kelpie's head, preventing me from putting Kelpie away.  "I wish we all could have Kelpies.  Can you get 24 Kelpies so we can all have one?"
     This idea was completely preposterous, but I responded with calm matter of factitude. "Well, probably not.  But I get it.  Kelpie is very cute."
    He screamed back at me, "He's not cute!  He's adorable!"
    I reminded him that a gift giving occasion was coming up and maybe he should share his wish with his family.  That's how #1 got all these puppets, so the wishing out loud could work for others as well.  I wish all the Thirdlanders could have a Kelpie of their own.  I may write a grant to give puppets to all of them in the New Year.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday Creativity Share: Carol of the Bells and Cranberry Cookies

You know what's great about having a son who's a phenomenal jazz musician?  Among other excellent attributes, this son tells me about great jazz music and then I go ahead and buy it.  This week I bought this CD called Carol of the Bells. I even bought an extra to give as a gift in the future. Carol of the Bells is a collection of holiday songs arranged and performed by some of our very own fab IU Jacobs School faculty with a jazzy big band sound.  We love it.  Get this CD and start getting merry like Christmas.

While we played Carol of the Bells last night, we created some oatmeal cranberry cookies which were delicious.  I can't tell you the recipe because it's been in my family for generations.  Let's just say they turned out delicious and now I'm ready for the cookie swap at school today.  Cookie swaps are creative endeavors where community baking artisans share their culinary creations.
      At the end of the baking workshop, I asked Husbandman, "When was the last time I made cookies?"
     "You've never made cookies," he replied, but I don't think he can be right about that.  I have a vague memory of making cookies once or twice.  I need to step up my game.  Come to find out,  I'm an amazing baker of artisanal cookies.

Thursday Creativity Share is a wrap.  Jazzy holiday tunes. Baked goods created out of raw materials and shared with other culinary artists. Knock it and lock it.  Put it in your pocket.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #6

I was poking around on the Animal Shelter web page yesterday and come to find out, they had a corgi puppy there for adoption.  We drove down there and now we are responsible pet owners.  The shelter called our corgi Tanner, but that's obviously not going to work.  We're calling him Earl.  He's a great dog.  Usually corgis bark a lot, but Earl doesn't.  He's content to sit with us and play with his toys.  We went for a walk this morning and Earl seems to love the neighborhood.  We have a crate for Earl and he loves going in there.  We're going to keep Earl in his crate today with some toys and treats.  We'll be back to see him at the end of the day.  Corgis like to spend time by themselves so this is a win win situation.  Welcome Earl!  We wish you a fine day and we'll see you later.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Monday, December 08, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #5

The procedure beginning with C went well.  I've been napping cheerfully all afternoon. It's really not that big a deal, so I wish everyone would just calm down about it.

Now is the time for treating myself with extra care and devotion and thus I am avoiding all obligations and watching Pride and Prejudice.  I quite enjoy retiring at my leisure in order to view that greatest of films, Pride and Prejudice. Indeed, I wish I could partake of this very pleasure every day for the rest of my life.  This truly is my greatest dream.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #4

You know what I wish?  I wish I didn't have to have a procedure tomorrow that starts with c and ends with olonoscopy.   I also wish I didn't have to only eat gummy bears today.  I like gummy bears, but a few go a long way.

Truth be told, I'm kind of feeling a little out of sorts right now.  I've spent the last hour looking at images related to this procedure. The whole thing seems unpleasant.

Why does everything bad happen to me?

Friday, December 05, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #3:

 I read a book to our class this very week called Let's Talk About Race.  It's a simple book but it gets kids talking about why some people think their race is superior.  Maybe people feel badly about themselves.  Maybe they are afraid.  (As I was reading this book, I added, "Maybe people like to have more power than other people?  Thirdlanders agreed that I might be on the mark with that one). The author invites readers to press their fingers softly into their faces and then into someone else's face to feel the hard bones there.  (He suggests we ask first).  We enjoyed doing this. Under our skin we're just bony skeletons.  Basically all the same set of bony bones.

The author is a favorite of mine.  His name is Julius Lester.  I wish I could go out for some coffee with Julius Lester, or invite him over for Hanukah latkes. I know he's Jewish because he mentioned this in his book.

Here's another thing.  I want to tell you about a dream I had last night.  In my dream my back upper right tooth broke into 3 pieces while I was at school.  I wasn't too freaked about it at school, but when I woke up this morning and remembered the dream I started tearing up and had to hold back a potentially inefficient and inexplicable crying jag.  Obviously I have anxiety that my tooth is going to break today, because this dream is clearly an omen of things to come. I hope I can handle this situation with aplomb.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Thursday Creativity Share: The Catfish Palace

We read a terrific picture book called The Catfish Palace.  It's about a young girl who gets upset about how a pet store treats a catfish.  The catfish has a teeny habitat because guess what peeps?  Sometimes animals grow.  The book explores animal abuse and neglect and mentions the SPCA.

We read about the history of the SPCA which is kind of interesting.  In the 1820's in England, the SPCA was formed because people were appalled at the treatment of carriage horses.  There were no cars and the carriage horses were treated cruelly as you can well imagine.

We started imagining and drawing designs for creative aquarium habitats that would help a pet fish feel happy instead of squished and lonely.  Our drawings have evolved and now we're collecting shoe boxes to make 3D models.  We also had the creative idea to connect our aquarium boxes with toilet paper rolls.  Now kids are talking about attaching yarn to our construction paper fish so that we can pull them through the tubes so they can travel to the various cardboard tanks.  It's probably getting to be a bit too creative at this point, but what can you do?  These Thirdlanders are makers and they create with gusto.

Thursday Creativity Share is once again a wrap.  Come to find out, #20 Something's joining in with the December blogging challenge. Way to go, 20 Something! Today we focus on a photograph of part of Nick Cave's SoundSuit.  We learn about a sadly out of print yet still powerful picture book.  We anticipate a crazy maker activity that's probably going to put me over the edge, but will be enjoyed by the Thirdlanders, and that's super important because they're awesome.  Tra la la!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #2

I'm not sure I ever told you this, but when I was 16, I worked in a shop called Portmanteau Polly.  We sold portmanteaus and sundry other leather goods.  Mostly portmanteaus.  I was one of the top portmanteau salespeople in the entire country.  I won a trip to Lake Tahoe because of my stellar sales.

It really wasn't a tough gig because come to find out, portmanteaus basically sold themselves at that time.  Portmanteau Polly went out of business soon after my 17th birthday.  That's when I got a job at Taco Bell.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging challenge to bring you our previously regularly scheduled #TwinTuesday.  Onion and eye glasses.  I would like to point out that these are my new "workspace" glasses that let me work at my computer and see everything around me within a ten foot distance.  Best things ever.

Onion and glasses.  I am cracker jacks about this and I'm sure you are as well.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Wishes, Lies and Dreams #1

Husbandman and I have been spending time with 20 Something and #1 this week.  Throughout the week, we all talked non stop.  When the time for talking is done, and everyone has to leave, I always wish we had a teeny bit more time to keep talking. Did I say everything I needed to say?  Did we cover all the important topics?

 I have a weird greedy relationship with time.  I wish I could have a better attitude of gratitude for all the good times instead of always wishing for more.  But I'd be lying if I pretended that I was completely satisfied with our Thanksgiving visit.  As beautiful as it was, I wish I had more.  Too bad, so sad.  It's time to blog up and deal with it.

The Wishes Lies and Dreams Blogging Challenge has officially begun.  A melancholy beginning, but things will cheer up as we get closer to our next reunion in a few weeks.

The Astronauts

 From a Lynda Barry book, I've used the idea to have the Thirdlanders draw self portraits on occasion.  Draw yourself as Batman, a monst...