We’re Giving Something Away to These Lucky Winners…

Today I am happy to announce the 3 winners of the GIVE SOMETHING AWAY DAY give-away that Kim Pfennigworth blogged about on July 15.

A copy of WE ARE THE RAINBOW We are the rainbow by Claire Winslow goes to:  Helen Hill.

A $25.00 Amazon Gift Card goes to: Michele Prestininzi.

And, a copy of BLOB by Anne Appert goes to: Lisa Billa. Blob by Anne Appert Please email me with your mailing address so Kim and I can send you your items. Thanks for all who commented and shared things that gave and received. Make kindness contagious…keep on giving!

Starry, Starry Night: Stargazing 101

For a unique and fun-filled family evening, pack up a thermos of your favorite beverage, some cookies or other snacks, flashlights, and a few blankets.  Then head out to an open field or playground where you can view the stars.  The best viewing sites are those where there is little interference from ground lighting.

Kids will enjoy using binoculars as well or a portable telescope if you have one.  Leave electronic devices in the car.  All you really need is your eyes and  a willingness to relax, lie down on the blanket and watch the sky.  Play a game of “connect the stars” to make figures like ancient astronomers did with the constellations.

milky-way-071015-1

For serious star gazers, the best spots to view them around the country can be found here:

https://www.timeout.com/usa/things-to-do/best-places-to-stargaze-in-us

https://koa.com/blog/the-12-best-places-to-stargaze-in-america/

How about this view of the Milky Way?

milky way

Do you have a favorite spot ideal for stargazing? Care to share?

Good Fortune Lurks Inside Tasty Treats by Marilyn Ostermiller

         

Fortune cookies are the anticipated treat at the end of a dinner in an Asian restaurant. It’s fun to slip out the slim strip of paper and read what the future holds.

fortune-cookie-pile

          Traditionally, the fortunes were based on sayings by Chinese philosopher Confucius, These days, the fortunes are crafted by writers who have a flair for brevity with a twist. The fortunes range in tone from profound to bits of common sense and even riddles. For example:

          — A feather in the hand is better than a bird in the air.

          — A friend is a present you give yourself.

          — A golden egg of opportunity falls into your lap this afternoon.

          National Fortune Day is celebrated on July 20 to recognize these crisp, folded cookies with a hint of sweetness.

          Sources say the distinctively folded cookie originated in Japan, where elaborate desserts and folding techniques are enjoyed. The cookie migrated to the United States in the late 1800s. It became increasingly popular during World War II.

          What better way to celebrate the cookie’s big day than to bake a batch at home? A recipe with photos and an instructional video can be found at the food blog, http://www.fifteenspatulas.com. The ingredients are staples in most well-stocked kitchens — eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla and almond extract, water and flour.

          Before embarking on this baking venture, it’s best to have the fortunes printed on slender paper strips. Need some ideas to get started? Visit fortunecookiemessage.com where the messages range from cryptic to optimistic

          —Your shoes will make you happy today

          — The greatest risk is not taking one.

          — Wealth awaits you.

          An alternative to baked cookies are paper fortune cookies that incorporate origami, the ancient Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures. The specifics can be found at unsophisticook.com.

Children are fascinated with fortune cookies as well. The book, “Fortune Cookie Fortunes,” written by Grace Lin, is an engaging story about two sisters who want to know if their cookie fortune will come true. It’s suitable for kids from five to eight years old.

 

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Marilyn Ostermiller is a long-time journalist who also writes stories for children.

 

 

GET READY FOR: GIVE SOMETHING AWAY DAY! By Kim Pfennigwerth

                                                                                               

For the 7th year (Hooray!), Darlene and I are celebrating July 15th’s Give Something Away Day.

I have given away and donated many items over the years—to shelters, thrift stores, libraries, etc.

For our celebration, Darlene and I have given away different items and many books. Books on writing, kidlit books from author friends, and especially books by diversified writers and/or illustrators.

This year will be more of the same, but in case you didn’t know…

Give Something Away Day is the chance to clear out clutter, clean out closets or drawers, and donate to a shelter or food bank. Or you could give away something a little more magical. Give a helping hand, a smile, a hug, some thoughtfulness, or time. By giving something away, you can brighten someone else’s day and it works pretty well at giving yourself a lift!

The pandemic and social unrest has brought a lot of turmoil into our daily lives, schedules, and emotions. We have witnessed an unprecedented hike in racism, anti-Asian hate, violence, bigotry, and intolerance that benefits no one.

Like most people I know, I treasure feeling validated, loved, and receiving unconditional support. So does everyone in the LGTBQ community—our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. This year my giveaway is directed to support and highlight their talents. Whether a preferred pronoun use is she/her, they/them, he/him, zie/zim, give someone validation, recognition, and brighten their day. What better opportunity to give support than Give Something Away Day.

diverse-hands

This year, three lucky people in the USA will have a chance at one of our giveaways.

I am giving away:

One board book: WE ARE THE RAINBOW by Claire Winslow Illus. by Riley Samels

We are the rainbow

And one picture book: BLOB written and illustrated by Anne Appert

Blob by Anne Appert

Darlene will be giving away a: $25.00 Amazon Gift card.

This year, as in years past, I am including community links. I hope you explore some or all of them and possibly find a way to support one, two, or more. 

So give something meaningful away and make GIVE SOMETHING AWAY DAY a mood-lifting day for yourself and someone else!

To be eligible for the giveaway, please leave a comment telling us about a kindness you recently gave or received. It will give our day a boost reading your comments!

 

beachwalkWillKim

Kim Pfennigwerth lives in South Carolina and enjoys walks with her dog on the beach or going for a paddle in her kayak. She is a lover of books, animals, children, and kindness in no particular order. She is often spotted participating in writing workshops or in a bookstore or library reading piles of picture books while writing and revising her own manuscripts. 

 
 
Warm regards,

 

 

Gender Spectrum: https://genderspectrum.org/articles/understanding-gender 

The Matthew Shephard Foundation: https://www.matthewshepard.org/

PLFAG: https://pflag.org/

The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Right To Be: https://righttobe.org/

The Innocence Project: https://www.innocenceproject.org/

The National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/

The Loveland Foundation: https://thelovelandfoundation.org/

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum: https://www.napawf.org/

Embrace Race: https://www.embracerace.org/

Books for Soldiers: http://booksforsoldiers.com/donate_to_the_soldiers/

Donate Books – Find your public library: http://www.publiclibraries.com/

Dress For Success: https://www.dressforsuccess.org/

Food Bank: http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-localfoodbank/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

How to “BEE” Kind to Bees.

For thousands of years, honeybees have transformed flower nectar into that wonderful sweetness called honey.  Not only is honey a delicious treat in recipes or to sweeten a cup of tea, it has many medicinal properties as well.  Due to its sterile qualities, doctors used it as wound dressings during the civil war.

honey bee

Honeybees are important in another crucial way – as pollinators of our food supply.  The USDA estimates that “about one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from honeybee pollination”.  Some crops, such as almonds, rely completely upon honeybees for propagation.

So what, you might ask?  Honeybee populations are dwindling worldwide from a combination of factors that contribute to Colony Collapse Disorder. This happens when worker bees leave behind a colony with only a queen and a few immature bees, resulting in death of the colony. Currently the main factors are thought to be: viruses, parasites, management stressors, migratory stress and pesticides.  To view a film on CCD: http://www.vanishingbees.com

Honeybees are one of many indicators of a healthy environment.  A disturbance in their life cycle, could be a symptom of larger issues.           

HOW CAN WE HELP?

  1. Buy organic to help reduce pesticide use.  Refrain from use of pesticides in your own yard and garden.
  2. Plant pollinator-friendly plants such as bee balm and red clover.
  3. Buy local and single producer honey to support small scale bee keepers in your own community.
  4. Enjoy the wonderful taste of local honey in your own recipes.
  5. Give bees a place to stay. You can find “bee hive kits” like the one pictured below in any garden center. Mason bees will use the cavities to lay their eggs and emerging bees will visit your garden.

bee hive

BEE KIND TO BEES…Our Food Supply Depends on it!

Wowie…Boom. A Poem For July 4th

The following poem is taken from my novel-in-verse WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY (Creston). WoCCover01

On this July 4th, I am dedicating it to all those who mourn a loved one, those who have lost someone, those who grieve for a better world, those who celebrate kindness, friendship, and love.

BOOM
Wowee booms are what Katy calls
fireworks since she learned
to talk. Wowee for what you see
bursting in the sky and boom for the
noise it makes a few seconds later.

It’s the best definition
for something spectacular,
not like anything else.

Dad is the one
who likes to celebrate things
in a big wowee boom kind of way.

Even though these fireworks
are just as spectacular as ever,
there is something missing.

Someone who made
everything around us seem
louder
brighter
shinier.
I miss that kind of boom.

I imagine Dad staring at the
same moon, watching fireworks
like us, imagining that we are together.

Where are you Dad? Are you MIA
in a place that has fireworks?
Can you see them, hear them?
Are you someplace safe?

This is my wish for all on this Fourth of July, this day we set aside to celebrate our nation’s birthday:  May you all be safe, may you all feel love, may you all be kind and treat your fellow men and women as you wish to be treated. May you have a “WOWIE BOOM” kind of day.

fireworks

Want Clean Beaches? How You Can Help.

Clean Beaches Week is the “Earth Day” for beaches. 

Held annually from July 1-7, it is a celebration of the clean beaches lifestyle.  Founded in 2003, the week has drawn enormous public support: over 150 coastal governors, mayors, and county commissions have now issued proclamations in support of the week.  In 2007, both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed resolutions enacting the week by unanimous consent.

Beaches, provide recreation, supply us with a variety of delicious and nutritious food. They need our protection. You can celebrate CLEAN BEACHES WEEK by

Show beaches the love they deserve. beach

While you get ready for a day at the beach, here are some books to get kids excited about the day.

Beach Day cover jpeg