March 19, 2005

the end result Posted by Hello


who’s your lawn boy?

March 19, 2005

Spring has sprung—or at least in my yard, it has, judging from the newly-cut jonquils in my kitchen. So, in honor of the day, I had my first date of the year with my lawn mower. And it made me realize that I owe my old mower an apology. All this time, I thought that it was the ancient machine we had at my old house that caused the rapid gasoline consumption. But it seems I am the one to blame. I went through not 1, not 2, not even 3—no, 4 tanks of gas this morning. So much so that my Grandfather told me, as he got the gas can out of the truck again, that he was going to have to start charging my for his service calls.
Thankfully, he was there by the time I had used up my first tank, and of course was well equipped—he can always be counted upon to carry with him every possible tool, machine, and fuel, that one could possibly have a need for. The only thing I had to be wary of was choosing the wrong type of fuel out of the back of his truck—thus his assistance in the matter, considering it was a shame for me to break him out of his masked, ear-muffed, and gloved hedge-trimming. But I didn’t feel too badly really, as the truth is that he absolutely loves it when I ask for his help, and he has an infinite amount of patience for such interruptions.
At any rate, considering the fact that my lawn is about 1 and ½ hours worth of mowing when I do it all in one fell swoop like this, 4 tanks was certainly more than I should have needed. So, the only logical conclusion seems to be that something about my mowing method leaves something to be desired. Granted, I get a bit too gung-ho at times, doing silly things like going at a pace slightly faster than the average walk, which I realize is not the smartest thing to do with anything composed of whirling blades.
But the end result is such that, upon her arrival to survey our progress, my GramBea told me I was “the best lawn boy” she knew. Well, compliment or no, I am darn proud of my lovely lawn

March 19, 2005

The presence of little Caroline, while distracting me from participating much in game night, did make for some rather appealing photos, I dare say . . . Posted by Hello

March 18, 2005

So maybe Aslan doesn’t quite understand posing for a picture–we’ll have to work on that one . . . Posted by Hello

out of the silence

March 16, 2005

I was recently informed that my blog has been “silent” lately. And, I know, it is true–and frankly, I am honoured that I am read enough for anyone to notice this recent lack of prolific activity. As I have been expending a great deal of writing energy recently on term papers and midterms, I figured I would use this occasion of needing-to-add to my blog as a time to post a portion of one of my term papers–especially since it was a particularly fun one to write. Don’t worry, I will not bog down my blog ;-) with all 20 pages of the paper, but I will post the intro, as it is a fun plot summary, intended to entice youngsters to read this particular novel–Out of the Dust. I also figured it was timely to post this, as I am sort of blown away right now by a request made of me to be a guest lecturer on the topic of children’s lit–I am thrilled, honoured, excited, and frightened at the prospect . . .
Anyhow, here’s the plot summary:

Part A: Plot Summary for Potential Young Readers
Have you ever felt misunderstood, or unappreciated, by grown-ups? Have you had feelings so strong you just felt like you’d burst with them, and normal words just didn’t seem to work for getting those feelings out? Have you ever wondered why people in the world—grown people—sometimes do such strange things? And have you, all the same, desperately wanted these same strange grown-ups to acknowledge, and need you?
If any of those questions warranted a yes response, then you would get along just fine with Billie Jo, the main character in Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse. Billie Jo is 14 years old, and life in Oklahoma is a difficult one for her and her family. In this book, she tells us about her life on the farm during the years of the Great depression. Her tale carries us through death in the family, scarring injury, financial hardship, catastrophic events of nature, and the plain old normal problems that go along with growing up. But, it does not stop with the problems. Somehow, through it all, there is hope, though, and good things to learn and figure out along the way. And the best part about the hopefulness is that it is not unrealistically rosy—just a solid sort of hope that you will be able to sympathize easily with.
Finally, the other great thing about this book is that, amazingly enough, Billie Jo writes the whole thing in poetry! Now, I know this may scare you away by making you think that it will be either difficult to understand or silly-sounding. But it certainly is not! In fact, this is freely flowing poetry that adds to the story rather than making it difficult to follow. This free verse form makes it so that Billie Jo’s words will catch you up with her and carry you away, helping you to feel her emotions in a way that normal words would not be able to do. And who knows, you may just find yourself inspired to write poetry thanks to this book. So, read Out of the Dust, and enjoy it!

once upon a story

March 1, 2005

There was once a little girl with a hunger for stories and a head full of words. Then one day, when she was not quite so little anymore but still very much a girl, she realized that she had a story–her story–to tell. And it was indeed a story, and a story that needed to be told. And of course, there was none to tell it if she did not. And so she did . . .