Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Very good news...And weird happenings

A while back, Beth told us about a call for animal stories, put out by the Henry Ford Centennial Library in Dearborn. I submitted the poem that I wrote...a eulogy my recently departed cat. I think all of you, with the possible exception of Meg, have read it. In retrospect, it dwells a lot about how she is still with me, not just in my memory, but physically and in my actions as well.

"Why do I still see you,
 though I know that you are gone?
 You aren’t perched on the back porch rail any more,
  yet there’s your shadow stretched ‘cross the lawn."

Anyway, I received word the other day that my poem is going to be published in the first book ever published by the Dearborn library. Beth has said that the initial notice was sent out to all the libraries in Michigan and that it was a juried competition. The gentleman that notified me called my poem "powerful". I'm pretty happy right now.

At the time when the call went out for entries they said that artwork and photographs could accompany the writing and I submitted a photo of my Fi to go with the poem. The gentleman that I have been talking to asked me for another copy of the pic the other day, which I took as a good sign. You folks know me and know that I don't see boundaries between art forms (lucky for you, I can't see the boundaries between the art of writing and the art of food), so the possibility of having both a poem and a photo published together pleases me no end. I want to thank all former and especially the current members of our writer's group for encouraging and helping me.

But here's the weird thing...

"Occasionally I will find a grey hair on my robe
  Too long, so I know it isn’t mine.
  But it’s like you’ve sent a message to me
  Thru some weird portal in time."

Since being notified of my inclusion in their book, I have been finding Fi's claws around the house. She has been gone for almost a year and a half, but I find these mementos in frequently traveled and used areas, not some obscure nook that I don't go to. Hey, I'm just a guy that lives alone, but I must have vacuumed the steps a half dozen times or more since her passing, but there's one on the landing. I found one on the rug under the dining room table and I've vacuumed under there several times too.

Now, I don't believe in any of that kinda stuff. Heck, I don't believe in anything. But I can't help but believe that Fiona is sending me congratulations on finally being published. A cranky, half feral cat may just cause me to reevaluate my belief system.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dangerous Creatures Book Review

What I most enjoyed about Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's new book "Dangerous Creatures", the first book in the "Dangerous Creatures" series a companion series of  the "Beautiful Creatures" series is the character of Ridley and exploring Ridley and Link's relationship beyond the original "Beautiful Creature" series.  I appreciated the complexity of Ridley's character.  In the "Beautiful Creatures" series, the reader gets a taste of the battle between the dark and light sides of her character. In this book, through dream flashbacks, a reader sees why Ridley so thoroughly believes that she is completely bad, while she in fact is basically trying to do her best with what she has to work with. In my opinion, complex characters such as Ridley allow teens to explore their own conflicted feelings as they learn to navigate life and be self-directed.

Path Publishing: Review and Giveaway!

Be sure to head over to my blog, Because I Said So (and Other Mommyisms) for a review and giveaway sponsored by Path Publishing. "Journals to fill. Memories to hold. And, sometimes history books to read." Path Publishing puts out several blank journals. With topics like, gardening, kidisms, recipes, and advice, there is something for everyone! Be sure to check out the link and see how you can win your own free copy of the blank book of your choice.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Meg's Play Dough Article

Yay for Meg -- article in the Sunday, April 20, 2014, issue of Fowlerville News and Views.  Congratulations!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


The room holds its breath.
A bedside lamp glows softly against the dark, no one is home.
The bed is made in anticipation to a soul to embrace.
A beloved teddy bear sits in the center, longing for a hug.

With stiff smiles, keeping watch, loved ones stare from frames.
The alarm clock sounds an unending alarm; it relentlessly blinks.

The room holds its breath, waiting.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Tool Bag Craft

This week, Mrs. D. had a theme of "Construction Site." Naturally, my little man was very excited by the books she read. Also, in case you can't tell, he enjoyed using many of the foam vehicle stickers that she provided! I can't think of a better craft for her to have created than this fun tool bag, which is just the right size for little hands.



  1. Print off as many tools templates as desired. You can use either plain white paper or card stock for this. If doing this project with young children, you will need to first cut out the tools. If older kids are making the craft, they may be able to cut them out for themselves.
  2. This step is optional. If you would like a label that reads "Tools" for the front of your bag, you will need to make it on your computer. Mrs. D. added clip art of a hammer and screwdriver. You can fit several per page. After printing them out, cut around the edges, and adhere to the bag using a glue stick. (Another option would be to print these on self-adhesive labels if you are planning to make lots and want to save time by skipping the cutting and gluing.)
  3. Cut a one-inch wide strip off the top of a brown paper bag. Do not discard this piece because it will become the bag's strap! (Another option would be to cut a one-inch wide strip of brown paper.)
  4. Tuck the strip inside the bag and staple each end to make the strap. You should have one staple on either side of the bag.
  5. Have your child color the tools and decorate the bag as desired. Slip the tools into the bag and he is now ready for some creative play.