Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reading Challenge 2010

Well, don't click to look inside...I borrowed the picture from Amazon.com. Since I have retired I have a lot of time to think up fun stuff for the family to do. This October 1st we began our first annual reading challenge.
It all began when I decided to set a goal of reading 500 books in a year. OK, everyone Laugh out Loud now. What was I thinking? That would be about 41.+ books per month average. Mission Impossible.....so I set out the rules for our reading challenge and offered it up to my grandkids and my sons and daughters. We're aiming to read 100 books in a year for the adults, an average of 8.3 books per month. The grandkids goal is 50 books in a year. They each get a participation prize, a book and bookmarks that I will be making them and there are other prizes in the challenge too.
Amanda was the first to complete a book in October, so she won a prize for that and my boys have done excedingly well. In October, Storm read 3 book and a total of 483 pages, Kane read two books totalling 416 pages and Noah read 8 books for a total of 919 pages! A total of 1,818 pages were read in October by my three champions! They certainly exceded my expectations.
Grandma Beth and Grandma Mary each read 8 books and Miff read 5 books! I am so excited about our project. I felt this was a pretty great start!
Everyone has to report the name of the book, the author, (# of pages read for the boys) and they send me a one paragraph summary of each book. The purpose is two fold. It will help me to know what they are interested in when reading and it will hopefully enhance their reading skills.
Reading is fundamental and if they can read, they can succeed and accomplish anything!
I remember as a kid I was a total book worm...I loved Walter Farley's Black Stallion stories. I can remember the smell of the old Indianola Library every Saturday when we made the journey to town to shop and browse. I loved that Library! And so did my brothers!
I collected the Cherry Ames nurse stories by Helen Wells and I convinced everyone I would be a nurse by having my nose in those books every minute of my spare time. Then my Grandma Dillard turned me on to the Emilie Loring romance stories set during the WWI and II eras. Oh yes, I loved to read!
What I have found during my retirement days here of late is, I still want to write a book and I don't like only romance stories.....there had better be a mystery thread or I feel like I'm looking into someone else's daydreams. I really enjoy having the time to read now too!
I want to extend the challenge to my friends too, so I'll be sending my blog URL out to more folks and we'll see who wants to participate with this and share their monthly readings. I know it is difficult to find the time to read when you work and are busy with holidays and family, but it is interesting to see what everyone is reading.
So I'm off to send out my email invite! I can't tell you how much fun I'm having with this!
Til next time!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

40 years later

Recently I was contacted by a former classmate who is spearheading our 40th Class Reunion. Better her than me. Thank you Renee. I can not imagine the time you have invested in this event. I do appreciate your efforts!
I hated school. Kindergarten for me was an every other day session. On the day I wasn't in school, another kindergarten class entered our classroom, sat in our chairs and shared our teacher Mrs Johnson. It was most unpleasant to meet the girl who also used my desk when we had our Christmas pageant and we both claimed ownership of said desk. Another kindergarten classmate I well remember was Peggy with her long curly perfect blonde hair. She was the prettiest and most proper girl in my class and all the boys loved her. Kindergarten was my first school scar I wore.
We moved to Ackworth half way through kindergarten and I finished kindergarten and half of first grade at the old country school. The building looked like a little white church on a hill. I remember lots of earaches and going home alot and the scar from this school was the school superintendant who visited monthly and carried a wooden paddle with holes in it. I was never
designated as recipient of his wrath, but I feared that man with great intensity. Scar # 2
I finished first grade at Emerson elementary and remember I cried the first day we had to take the bus to school. I wanted no part of the education system from that point on......I wanted to stay home where it was safe with my mom......but it was the LAW. You had to go to school and so my journey through the Indianola school system was definitely underway. First Scar there was Sheri K in my second grade class. I got in so much trouble for cheating when it was her that cheated off of me!!! The following summer she died in a tractor accident at a grandparents farm. I was totally devastated to learn children do not live forever. I would've let her cheat forever if she could have only lived. Third grade brought new friends at a new school, but in fourth I was back at Emerson....I was always in trouble for talking.
Junior high brought out the first of the clicks to my knowledge and school definitely took a turn for the worst in my eyes. We were thrown together by circumstance, sports kids found each other, cheerleaders found each other, braniacs drifted together; I considered my set of kids normals; and there were the less fortunate/popular. Territorial bonding= scar #4 and it lasted through high school.
I had friends. Some I was close to, some I dearly loved. I got along ok with the popular kids and I got along with the less poular kids. I didn't feel threatened of either.....mostly I was way in tune with apathy. Graduation day came and my mom said you will cry. I said nope....I'm glad it ended.
And college wasn't any better. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I couldn't quite find where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do, so after 2 and a half years of college, I decided to go to work. I liked working and You earned money for it.
But to think that forty years have passed? How did that happen? When did it happen and why was I so unaware of it? You know I like to think that my horizons have broadened, my thinking is a little more liberated, I'm more understanding and accepting of the world around me, but am I still in that "world where life is my own little world and it circles around me?"
When Renee first contacted me, I was bound and determined I would not attend the fortieth reunion. I had attended the fifth anniversary out at Gary's farm and a classmate asked who that large woman over there was. They were drinking and I did arrive plenty early. As far as I knew no one I knew would be there, so the comment from a mean spirited young man was enough to send me packing for home. Good riddance and I never looked back. That is until Renee set up our class website and I looked at the listing of classmates and saw that 15 or so of our classmates have passed away. I think we were 200 or 221 that graduated. Fifteen who have passed, seems inordinately high to me!
Time is so precious. If the time to reconnect was ever to be, the time seemed like now. I have emailed several of my classmates from the website and several responded. Some have not. That's ok. I still cloak myself with protective apathy, but I am going to attend.
To my delight, I had lunch yesterday with Louise M, Paula G, and Kathy M at Crouse's Cafe' in Indianola. For me, that was a giant step forward! And we had a wonderful time sharing memories and reconnecting. I wasn't the only one with fears and trepidation of our school days and upcoming reunion! Kathy won't be able to stay in town for the reunion although we tried our darnedest to twist her arm and make her stay! Paula and Louise and I will be there though and that should in and of itself make it a do-able and fun event! Many many good memories!
One thing that struck me was how we were so young together and ornery and now we are middle aged women with mostly grown kids, empty nester's and ready to reconnect. Interesting.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Babies X Two

Wow has it been a long time since I blogged or what?! My blog page had cobwebs and spiders lurking in it. That's what living on FarmTown will do to you. Such a waste of time, but so addicting!
Seriously alot has happened since last I blogged. First and foremost is the shower invitation that Amanda and Gayle (Emily's mother) made for Emily's baby shower in May. We had a blast making the shower invitations and visiting. It was awesome. So seldom do we get to see Gayle now that we have both moved onto different parts of town than the old homey East side!
And I am so envious....I have three wonderful grandsons who I adore as much as can be adored, but she's gonna be grandma to TWO baby girls. Wish there was a granddaughter in my future. Maybe better there isn't because the boys would probably suffer that she was so spoiled! But we wish the best for Mama Emily and for Grandma Gayle!! Stamps are from Stampin Up retired: Soft and Sweet.
I gave up my Stampin Up Coach part time job in January...stress was greatly relieved. I love the product, but don't feel that I am much of a salesperson. I just want to enjoy the hobby again. And I am getting there....Will be stamping up Erik's birthday card later today.
But the biggest news for me is that I have also decided to retire from my day job after 31 years.
I have so much I want to do and I don't want to be stressed out to the nth degree any longer....
so in about 6 weeks I will be able to sleep in, prioritize my health concerns, take a refresher knitting class and crochet class, write the book that begs to be written from within my being, and hopefully keep up with my housework! Oh for the day!!
Wish me luck folks. I'll never know if I sink or swim if I don't make the decision to do it and now I have made the decision, we'll see how it goes. It will definitely mean tightening our belts, but we can do this. Life has always been a challenge for us, what else is new? And if it wasn't we'd be totally bored. I feel better just knowing 6 weeks will pass quickly. But please don't ask me to assist in making your decisions....I have struggled with this for months. I am glad my mind is settled....finally. :)