Monday, December 31, 2012

Redwork

One of the things I'd like to learn more about in 2013 is redwork.  There are many websites online that teach about redwork, but I really like the site prettyimpressivestuff by Rissa Peace Root.  Rissa gives us a little background information on redwork embroidery, the best threads to use and tips and tricks. 

Last spring-into-summer I made some window valences for my kitchen with red gingham on the bottoms of each valence.  I made two cafe curtains, one for each side of the window above my kitchen sink.  I transferred some fruit motifs onto them using Aunt Martha iron-on transfer "Fanciful Fruits for Tea Towels" #3749.  I started embroidering them in red thread...so I figure this could be considered redwork.



It's a UFO (unfinished object) as I have just a little bit left to embroider on this curtain.  Oh, and one more whole curtain to embroider.  But you never know, I just might finish them this year! 

Happy Stitching Everyone!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cowboy Dog Embroidery

This dish towel is one I whipped up for a friend for Christmas.  I had so much fun with this one!
On his lasso rope, I used a chain stitch.  Almost everything else was done in stem stitch.  I enjoyed using a bit of DMC Gold thread (that I borrowed from my daughter's stash) on the belt buckle and buttons.  And this was an easy patten to do too!  It only took a couple of hours to stitch!
   Have a happy, stitching day!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cats

The patty-cake cats to cheer you this morning. 
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and it makes me laugh everytime I see it!  Enjoy!

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Out of the Frame

Been thinking a little bit about train travel today.
If I am ever able to travel by train (and I hope that someday that I will), this is one of the songs I would listen to.
I love this song and it is easily in my to ten picks for best songs of all time. 
Call me crazy, but the rhythm of the song reminds me of a train. 
And suddenly, I'm in a passenger car rolling over the Montana plains (Philip Aaberg is from Montana, so it only makes sense that the train would be there also).  We passengers would see grassland, fence lines, and maybe a pickup hauling a horse trailer.
As the train rolls through a small town we glimpse for just a second a view down main street and busy people going about their lives.  Perhaps we see a man stopping by the post office to get his mail, another man stepping out of a blue pickup, and a woman watering some storefront flowers.  It is a moment, a tiny slice of someone else's life that passes by our eyes so quickly.
Then at about 5:20 (in the song) the train begins to slow and then stop.  People on the platform below look up at us through the window and wonder where we've come from.  We folks in the cars have seen miles of country in just a few hours, while those standing still on the platform have seen only their everyday routine of morning donuts, coffee and the two block trip to the railway station.  
I myself am getting off at this station.  This looks like a quiet little town.  As I stand on the platform, I turn around to look at the train that brought me here and the people who are now sitting in my seat.  Their adventure is just beginning.  Soon they will be moving quickly and I will be the one left standing still. 
Steadily, the train begins to pick up speed.  I watch as it continues on it's journey across the prairie until, like the music, it slowly fades away.

Yep.  I like that song.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Caldecott Picks for 2013

It's December...and that means I'd better start thinking about my Caldecott picks for the year of 2012.  The winner and honorees will be announced on January 28th, 2013.  It's like my Academy Awards.

The first two books pictured below are the two books that I'd like to see win.  If the judges choose either one of these, I will be a happy camper.

Extra Yarn Written by Mac Barnett and Illustrated by Jon Klasssen
And/or The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore written and Illustrated by William Joyce.
I love this book!  Even if is doesn't win...the illustrations are top-notch in my book.


This year, I had a difficult time choosing a runner up.  But I do like the simplicity of  This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen.  It's kinda cute.


This year I'd like to see something with richer, thicker and more detailed illustrations win the Caldecott....a book so heavy with ink that it weighs 3 pounds....a book so detailed that each time I look at it I see something I hadn't noticed before!  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is just that kind of book!

We'll just have to wait and see.

Until another day,
Happy Reading Everyone!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Checkin' In, Quilled Flakes, and Stevan Dohanos

Just checkin' in.  It's been a busy week...plus it's been a "full moon" week (those of you who work in an emergency room or work with children know exactly what I'm talking about *wink*). 
My evenings have been spent quietly quilling snowflakes, and doing laundry.

Here are some of the flakes I've been working on.  Some of them I did in October.
 
Hobby Lobby had some little hot fix crystals that are meant to be ironed onto clothing. But I've found they can easily be glued onto the flakes to add a bit of "bling" and sparkle to a few of them.
 
I've been listening to a station on my computer that plays Traditional Country Classics from the 1940s--1970s.  Here is the LINK if you'd like to take a listen.
I like it because they really do play the oldies such as Hank Snow, Hank Williams and Marty Robbins.  It's neat to think that these songs could be the songs my grandparents listened to when they were my age.  There were a lot of sad songs...cheatin' songs, and songs about lovin' another, etc.  But there were some funny ones too! 
Like this one from Roger Miller called "Dang Me"
                                      
"Roses are red, violets are purple, sugar is sweet and so is maple syrple"....Dude must have been smokin' some wacky tobacky when he wrote that one.  Haha. 
 
Wanted to take a bit of time to share a bit of art by Stevan Dohanos.  Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Stevan Dohanos.  He painted 123 covers for the Saturday Evening Post and many paintings for different companies and advertisements.  He was born in Lorain, Ohio.
Here are just a few of his Saturday Evening Post Covers that I enjoy looking at. 
This one is a gal and her friends in the middle of a bridal shower.  Don't even get me started on how they just aren't the same as they used to be....now-a-days the bride seems to have most everything she needs before she even has a ring.  But I love that she received a set of 4 Pyrex mixing bowls!
 
This one from 1944 is entitled "Penny Candy".  It's a cute one and reminds me of the little grocery store we had in Epping. 
This one, from 1952,  is one of my absolute favorites.  Going outside to fetch the laundry is something so everyday, so mundane and yet in this painting it is so interesting.  I like the shadows made by the late afternoon or evening sun, I like the woman's scarf and the fact that even though it is cold, she's wearing a dress (Women back then usually did).  I like the yellow glow from the window, although I can't tell if it is the glow of light or just the color of the curtain's lining. 
This one speaks volumes!  Look at the calendar it is June 1945 and just after victory in Europe.  The picture of the hands holding up a loaf of bread hint at a future of prosperity.  No more rationing!!  The baker looks like this is just one of many wedding cakes he's made this year...just look at those arm muscles, he's iced a few cakes, I'd say.  You can tell that the cake it is for a soldier and his bride by the cake topper.  The future looks bright again.
 
Well, that's all for today.  Until another day,
Have a Happy Vintage Day! 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm Not Into Black Friday...And I Despise The Idea of a Gray Thursday!

As much as I love Thanksgiving Day....I don't like what's happening to it.
It seems that Thanksgiving is becoming synonymous with black Friday. I don't like the words "black Friday" either...it brings thoughts of plague, dread, dust, and death even though I know it has nothing to do with any of those things. Black Friday is actually about money, stores making a profit, and being "in the black".

For the last 10...maybe 15 years I've noticed this black Friday phenomenon boom (some say it's been around since the mid-70s). I've read news reports of people being shoved, bruised and even trampled to death (yes, to death) by eager shoppers rushing through the doors of a discount store to do what?  Save 10$ on a blender?  Really? This is where we are headed as a society?

I didn't mind so much when the line between Thanksgiving Day and black Friday was clear. Ten years ago or so it seemed that sales usually started at 5AM Friday morning (long after the turkey coma had worn off).  This didn't seem greedy, it seemed good for business, good for the economy, and good for people who like to get their Christmas shopping done early.
But now the line has begun to fade...stores want to be open earlier to gain the hard-core bargain shoppers.   And now, it is greed. 
A few years ago one well loved discount store even started to open their doors ON Thanksgiving. Now, more and more stores are following suit. Soon we'll be glossing over Thanksgiving completely, lumping Thursday and Friday together as one giant day of greed instead of thankfulness. How opposite can we get.

I'm reminded of the dad in the movie, That Thing You Do and his quote about the local discount store, Telemart.  "Open Saturday ten to ten. Open Sunday twelve to six... open on Sunday from twelve to six! You know, I don't believe I want to live in a country where you have to stay open on Sunday to business. You shouldn't have to work on Sunday to support your family."

I feel the same way about stores being open on Thanksgiving.

This quote was floating around Facebook the other day and pretty much sums my feelings towards black Friday.


It's meant to be cheeky, but it really does say it all...doesn't it?

Again, our grandparents who lived through the great depression and the years of WWII would probably click their tongues in disgust if they knew the chaos of black Friday.

Tomorrow's post will be more cheerful (I promise) I just HAD to get that off of my chest.
Until tomorrow,
Have a Happy, Vintage Day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Books for Children

Here are some wonderful children's books for the Thanksgiving holiday ahead.

Yesterday, I posted about the song "Over the River and Through the Wood" and now, here is a beautifully illustrated version of the book by L. Maria Child and Matt Tavares that I found on Amazon.com.  If you follow this Amazon link and then click on the book you can view the pages inside!


Here is one that Autumn and I like very much.  And even though she is older now, we still grab it off the shelf to read it every week before Thanksgiving.  The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing, and Illustrated by Tammie Lyon.  You can see it here at Amazon.com.  The book is all about the hustle and bustle that accompanies Thanksgiving for the family in the book.  They bake, watch a bit of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, play with their cousins and finally eat. 
 
 

Here's another cute one for Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Is For Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland and Illustrated by Sonja Lamut
 

And finally, this is one of my favorite books for the fall and winter season.  It's not necessarily about Thanksgiving but it does make a person thankful for the folks who have braved the prairies back in the 1800s.  We are here because of their hard work and perseverance.
It is a My First Little House Book called Winter Days in the Big Woods.  It was written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Illustrated by Renee Graef.
You can take a sneak peek here on Amazon.


These are just a few of my favorite books to read during the time before Thanksgiving and  I hope you enjoy them too!  I'm sure there are many many more that I haven't discovered yet!
Until tomorrow,
Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stitching Practice: Long and Short Stitch and Bullion Stitch

There is a new project hanging out in the train case. I've been practicing the long and short stitch and more of the bullion knot roses.  I'm using a little piece of scrap towel that I've been practicing a number of different stitches on.
 
The pattern came from Flickr Group Vintage Embroidery Pattern Pool.

Transfered onto the fabric using a Pilot FriXion pen that disappears with ironing.
 

 
And here is my progress so far.  This was one of my first "real" attempts at doing the long and short stitch and I really enjoy doing it, although I'm not very good at it yet.
To learn more about the long and short stitch check out Mary Corbet's Needle & Thread site.  She has a group of lessons all about creating the long and short stitch.  This site is amazing!  I was wishing for a place in town that might be giving embroidery classes but then I found Mary's site and it is like an embroidery class right on the computer!  And it's in the comfort of your own home so you don't have to drive out into the blowing snow and cold!  I can't wait to get started on learning how to create beautiful leaves and flower petals!

Until another day!
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November TUSAL

It's TUSAL time and I realized that I totally forgot to post a picture of my OTR (Old Ratty Threads) jar for October.  But, I really didn't stitch much in October, I quilled instead.
So here is November's Totally Useless Stitch Along!
To read more about TUSAL, visit Daffycat's link here.
And if you like stitching you might enjoy reading her blog, http://itsdaffycat.blogspot.com/.

Until another day!
Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Where Can't You Rollerskate?

Just a quick post today.  I came across this funny song, "You Can't Rollerskate In A Buffalo Herd"  by Roger Miller and just had to share.
The pictures in the video are a little goofy...the song is goofy enough without the pictures.
You can read all about Roger Miller HERE.

Until another day,
Keep Your Toes a Tappin'

Monday, November 12, 2012

Snowed In and Embroidery

This past weekend brought quite a few inches of snow over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We were "snowed in" with no travel advised in the area, and therefore spent the weekend watching vintage TV (Lucy, Andy Griffith and Bewitched), embroidering and crafting. 

Autumn switched from one thing to another (gee, I wonder who she gets that from) but she did do quite a bit of coloring in her new color book.


And here is what I worked on...

A little blue bird singing with musical daisy notes.

I zipped into Hobby Lobby Thursday night to get a craft to keep Autumn busy through the snow storm. This 1/2 yard of daisy fabric was my treat! I think it matches the embroidered picture pretty well.

 
 
I spent some time practicing Bullion Knots by making these little Bullion Roses. 
Here is a nice tutorial on how to make a Bullion Knot.  The tutorial is from Mary Corbet's Needle n Tread site and is probably one of the best video of how to make a bullion stitch that I've found so far.
 
Here is another video showing how to make Bullion Roses.  She uses yarn and embroiders the roses onto a sock.  She shows how to make a French Knot and Bullion Rose.  It's kinda fun to watch.
 
A little more practice with roses and tiny flowers. 

On Sunday, I did get my snow boots and parka on and walked Autumn down the block to the neighbor boy's birthday party. It wasn't so bad going, but coming back I faced the cold, west wind. I was reminded of my childhood in Epping, walking the two long blocks to school every morning, with my little brother. Then once inside the school we'd put our mittens on the big antique radiators to burn...I mean dry. Walking to school on the plowed roads in Epping was nothing compared to the distance our grandparents had to walk through fields of fresh, deep snow. They talked of having to walk at least two miles in snow up to their knees. If they were lucky they got to ride to school in a sled. Thinking about that made walking down the street to the neighbor's place seem like a piece of lemon cake.
How easy we have it now! Back when I was first married I had a car starter. I'd point the little remote out the window and in five minutes my car would be nice and toasty warm and ready to roll. And now they make cars with seat warmers...really?
Horse drawn sleds didn't have heaters, and they especially didn't have built-in butt warmers. However, I have heard stories of kids taking baked potatoes, fresh from the oven, and putting them in their pockets to keep their hands warm. Then, they could place them on the stove at school to stay warm until lunch. Yum! How delicious that would be as a mid-day lunch. I'd eat mine just like an apple. (I actually do that from time-to-time, skin and all).

What a fun weekend!
 
Until another day,
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Blackout and Axle Annie!

Some women get flowers or candy "just because".  But I get Children's books!!!  Shannan surprised me last evening with these two books off of my wish list.  Thanks Hon!  I am so happy to add these to my collection! (BTW, I still think Blackout should have won last year's Caldecott...just sayin').
 

You can read my thoughts about Blackout on one of my previous posts here.

Until Tomorrow,
Have a great day!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gene Autry Christmas Album? Yes, Please!

Saturday, I had to make a trip over to Walmart.  I'm not a fan of discount stores.  I'd much rather find what I need at the cute little shops downtown.  But, this is the real world...it isn't 1950, or Garrison ND, and the idea of finding everything we need downtown just doesn't always work here in the city...sometimes ya just gotta go to Walmart.  *sigh*
So, in an attempt to cheer myself up over the idea of having to be there, I decide to just peek at the cheezy, plastic, glittered Christmas ornaments.  I soon found myself in front of a large bin full of unorganized Christmas CDs strewn in all directions.  You know the type of bin...you have to dig for 5 minutes to find something recognizable?  Well, my persistence paid off because at the bottom of the bin I found this!!  And wouldn't you know it was the only one!
Gene Autry Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and other Christmas Classics!  YeeHaw!
All of the songs are sung by Gene Autry and friends and all of the songs are from the late 40s, early 50s (1947-1953) with just a couple from 1956.  It will be a fun CD to listen too as the holidays approach.

Now, I know that it's not even Thanksgiving yet, and I am usually a stickler about not listening to any Christmas music until Thanksgiving is over, but I just have to share one little song.  This song is NOT on the album shown above but it is on Youtube and I like it very much!

Have a happy day!

A Snoopy Birthday

Autumn's birthday party came and went.  She had a snoopy party, and there was plenty of house cleaning, baking and decorating to do.
On of the fun little things I made for her was a Snoopy pillow from her beloved Snoopy sweatshirt.  She grew out of the shirt last year but refused to part with it.  It's been hanging in her closet ever since, taking up space.
1.  Simply cut a square from both the front and back.
2.  Place the front and back together with the good sides facing each other (because you will be turning it inside out to hide the seams. 
3.  Sew around all sides, leaving a small hole to turn the pillow right side out.
4.  Fill the pillow with batting or fluff.
5.  Sew the little hole shut.
It's as easy as that!
A squishy pillow!
 
Pin the nose on the Snoopy game.

Decorated kitchen ceiling.  She had black and white silverware, plates and cups with B&W polka dotted napkins for cake time.

Cookies for Autumn's classmates.
The local grocery store couldn't make us a Snoopy cake because of copyright laws.  So, we had them make us a plain white cake with red trim and we added a WWI Flying Ace Snoopy plush from the local Hallmark store!  She loved it AND got a cool stuffed animal!
Goody bags.  I found these great little bags for the right price at Hobby Lobby.  Printed the little Snoopy message and sticky taped them to the bags. 
 It was nice to see so many of our friends an relatives and a fun time was had by all!
Until another day!
Have a great crafting day!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Barn Dances

Another "Oldie but a Goodie".  This one is also from 1952.  
This one is "Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes" sung by Skeets McDonald.  The song was actually written by Slim Willet (Don't 'cha just love these names?)

I don't know what it is about these old songs, they are just so darn fun to listen to! They make me wanna get up and dance....
in an old hall, in some little country town...
or maybe in a barn!
My Grandma always talked about the barn dances she attended when she was a teenager and later in her 20s.  A relative of hers had a large barn and held dances there on occasion.
If I were to go to a barn dance....
I'd wear dancin' shoes and a dress like this one I found on Etsy, too small for me of course (Boo Hoo).
I'm doing my best to find out a little bit more about barn dances online, but can't seem to find much about them.  May have to spend an hour or two in the library this weekend in the Heritage Room looking for little articles and such on barn dances. 

Here are some things I did find....
There was a radio program in the 1920s called "Barn Dance"   Here is what Wikipedia had to say about it....
"WLS in Chicago is credited with developing the “barn dance” radio format, which was in large part responsible for the advent of country music in the United States. The "National Barn Dance" began as a program of old-time fiddling on April 19, 1924, with George D. Hay as the show's host and announcer. A year-and-a-half later, Hay moved to Nashville, Tennessee and brought in an old-time fiddler to launch the WSM Barn Dance; this show is now known as the Grand Ole Opry and remains on the air to this day.
National Barn Dance
Here's an old Gene Autry movie called The Old Barn Dance.  I haven't seen it yet but it is available to rent for 7 whole days on Amazon Prime.  (Don't 'cha just love technology sometimes!).  Might rent it sometime just to hear the music.
The Old Barn Dance link to IMBD  Read all about it!

And here is a TV program that ran from July to September 1953 called Old American Barn Dance.  It's about as county as a blue ribbon jar of pickles at the county fair!  Yee-Haw!  There are a whole mess of 'em on youtube if you like 'em.

And in keeping with our barn dance theme...there are even a couple of children's books about barn dances!
Barn Dance!  by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, Illustrated by Ted Rand.  And it's still available on Amazon.com.

And Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
What a hoot!

'Til another day!
Have a great day, ya'll!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blackberry Boogie

Just a song for today.  I've been so busy this past week, I haven't had time to post!  But I'll be back real soon!
Tennesse Ernie Ford's Blackberry Boogie from 1952.  I first heard it on Woodchucky.com and it's a great song for unloading the dishwasher. Ha!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Children's Books About Libraries

There are many books for children about libraries, but here are just a couple of my favorites.
 
Library Lion by Michelle Knutson.
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

The sweet, soft illustrations of Library Lion are what first attracted me to this book (it's no secret that I tend to judge a book by it's cover).  But the story is just as sweet!
There is a lion in the library!  He makes an excellent pillow to lean against during story time and a great foot stool for reaching the highest books on the shelf.  The children who visit the library and the staff who work there love him, all except for Mr. McBee.
Here is a great tool for using Library Lion in the classroom from Candlewick Books.  A Library Lion Story Hour Guide.  Thank you Candlewick for such a neat little guide!
 
 
Our Library by Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Maggie Smith



How cute are these little animals!?  The story is about a group of animals (with opposable thumbs, apparently) trying to save their beloved library, and I think they come up with a pretty nifty solutions. 


That Book Woman by Heather Henson
Illustrated by David Small

 
That Book Woman is about a pack horse librarian in the Appalachian Mountains and a boy named Cal who would rather work than read.  But Cal's sister loves to read, and the book woman comes over the mountains, rain or shine, sleet or snow.  Cal thinks "that book woman" is a mixture of crazy and brave.  I like this book for older children and it's a great way for kids and adults to learn a little more about the pack horse librarians.
Here is a video I found on You Tube of That Book Woman.
 
There are many other books about libraries for children, but I am running out of time.  There's always tomorrow.
So, until then,
Happy reading everyone!
 

Monday, October 22, 2012

College, Children's Literature and Professor Stout

After graduating from high school, I attended the University of North Dakota-Williston (now Williston State College). 
UND-W, Harvard on the Hill, East-side High, the U-dub, whatever you called it, it was the the obvious choice as it was only 22 miles from home.
Williston State College.  It has grown quite a bit since I've been there!
My first year was interesting.  I lived on campus, and when money got tight, worked on campus at the college library.  I told myself it would be great library experience. I'd learn how to check out books, find books for people, re-shelf books, etc.....Ummmm, not exactly.  My job entailed sitting at a small little desk in the back, entering books into the ODIN (Online Dakota Information Network) system.  I don't remember much about it, but I do remember having to place bar code stickers into the corners of each book, and a magnetic strip (I think).  Then I would wave my magic little light wand over the bar code and enter it into the database.  When all of the books on the cart had been entered, I'd get to put them back on the shelf.  To be honest, it was mind numbingly boring.  But it was experience...and a paycheck.

I took two courses at UND-W that involved children's books.  One was called Introduction to Teaching and one of our assignments was to spend time in a local classroom.  Since I thought I wanted to be a school librarian, my professor put me in contact with local school librarian, Beth Darr.  She was such an energetic, neat lady and I learned so much from that experience!

My Freshman year is also the year I took Children's Literature (Engl 215) from Professor Jim Stout.

Part of our 4 page Children's Lit Syllabus! 
The textbook we used!  Totally worth the $58 I paid for it.  I still have it and reference it quite often, especially for poetry.
I couldn't believe there was a class that revolved entirely around Children's Literature, but there it was on my schedule.  Every Monday evening from 6:30-9pm I would enjoy 2 and a half hours of talking and learning about Children's Literature.  It wasn't always easy, but I enjoyed it.  And Mr. Stout (who was also my supervisor) was an excellent professor who didn't seem to be just "going through the motions" with our class.  He really knew and liked children's books, and I found it impressive that he had a Polar Express poster hanging on the wall of his office (this was long before the movie was even a twinkling in Robert Zemeckis' eye, by the way.)
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, winner of the 1986 Caldecott medal and children's book classic.
That poster may not have been a big deal to others, some may not even have noticed.  But to me it was like seeing a Harvard Diploma on your brain surgeon's office wall...at that point, you surmise that your brain is in good hands.  I didn't care where Professor Stout went to college or what kind of diploma he'd gotten, all I needed to see was that poster and I trusted that he had excellent taste in Children's Literature. Not only that, it was framed...in glass...not just sticky-tacked to the wall in a haphazardly fashion like we Freshmen would do it.  It's as though he knew it was to be a classic, deserved a good frame and space on his office wall.   

Because of Mr. Stout, I learned the difference between good children's literature and not so good children's literature.  Because of him, I have never read my daughter the Poky Little Puppy.  It's bad enough I had to suffer through Strawberry Shortcake, Barbie and My Little Pony books, until I wanted to barf rainbows...I'm sorry, but those are not my idea of good children's literature.  They are novelty, fluff books that somehow manage to sneak into our houses and onto our children's bookshelves when they are three and four years old.  And these are the books that leave by way of the 25 cent box, headed to Grandma's garage sale.  In contrast, the good books like Our Friends at Maple Hill FarmLilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Flotsam...these are the books you keep forever, and pass down to the next generation.

Because of Mr. Stout I learned that being an adult who liked children's books is nothing to be ashamed of.  My love of good children's literature didn't make me childish, or a nerd, or a freak.  It made me more like Meg Ryan's character in the movie "You've Got Mail", someone whose mother loved books and passed that love on to her daughter.  (Loved the bookstore in that movie!)

I recently read an article about Williston State College and how they are losing students to the oil fields and big paychecks.  You can read the article here:  America's Oil Boomtown.
Coping with an influx of students, a lack of housing and crowded classrooms are just a few of the struggles facing the professors I remember from my years in Williston.  The oil boom reminds me of a phrase another excellent professor of mine, Richard Stenberg, used when talking about the railroads of the 1800's, "Too much, too fast, too soon".  I hope that the professors at Williston State can work through these oil boom challenges and hang in there a few more years.  Williston is lucky to have such a fine school with such fine faculty.

I never did become a librarian.  I never became a true artist either.  For a few years I floundered, not really knowing what or who I wanted to be.  Instead of dropping out of school to discover myself, I clung to it.  I took as many courses as I could to stay afloat and interested in an education.  I finally listened to what my mother had been telling me all along and switched my major.  I graduated seven (yes, seven) years later with an Elementary Education degree and a hefty student loan.

Now, I am a mother, a daycare mom and teacher of many things.  I am a master at getting knots out of shoes, legos out from under stoves and smiles out of grumpy children on early Monday mornings.  I even get to be a librarian!  My daughter and I share a large children's book collection (no Poky Little Puppy allowed) and we keep a special collection for the daycare kids.  We talk about caring for books, and have discovered that board books are a blessing for the 2 year and under set!  My daughter loves to read to the children and we try to have story time everyday.
 
Autumn reading to the kids.

That's all for today!
Until tomorrow, have a happy reading day!