I’ve posted a few times about our efforts to help save the endangered Monarch Butterfly. By planting milkweed, the insect population will lay eggs and produce the caterpillars that make the next generation. While these butterflies might be attracted to other plants like the popular Butterfly Bush, they ONLY LAY EGGS ON THE MILKWEED. AND THE CATERPILLAR ONLY EATS THE LEAVES OF THIS PLANT.
Perhaps because we’ve had such a mild fall, the last Monarch cycle occurred just a couple weeks ago. And, I am happy to say, we “hatched” SIX butterflies this season- up from TWO last year.
That may not seem like much, but every bit adds to the total.
After the caterpillar is done feeding, it attaches its chrysalis underneath the siding of our house. We went out and checked them each morning and one day…three weeks ago…we found this:
It’s a small effort, with such a beautiful reward. Long may these lovely creatures live!
To learn about the monarch and how you can help save this endangered species and to get free milkweed seeds to plant for next year visit: http://www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm
Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. Contrary to many people, 13 has always been a LUCKY number for me. I was born on the 13th of March and nothing bad has ever happened to me on that day. But there is a long, ominous history surrounding the number 13…especially when it occurs on a Friday.
Throughout most of recorded history, the number 13 has been seen as an unlucky number. If you fear the number 13, you suffer from Triskaidekaphobia.
The ancient Babylonian Code of Hammurah omitted the #13 in it’s list of laws. Written in 1,700 B.C., it suggests ancient Babylonians considered the #13 to be unlucky.
- Many buildings and skyscrapers do not have a 13th floor.
- Some people will not allow 13 people at the table. An extra table will be set up if 13 people need to dine together.
- Captains would not go out to sea with a crew of 12. (The captain made 13).
- Ancient Mayans of Central America were the most advanced culture in all of the Americas. They considered the number 13 sacred.
Historically, Friday has been viewed as an unlucky day of the week as well. Combined with 13, it’s a “double whammy” for those who are superstitious. Maybe they’d never heard of “TGIF”.
Here are future “Friday the 13th dates:
- 2017: January, October
- 2018: April, July
- 2019: September, December
- 2020: March, November
For more fun facts about Friday the 13th, visit: http://www.holidayinsights.com/other/fridaythe13th.htm
How do you feel about 13?
The winner of a signed copy of Barbara DiLorenzo’s beautifully illustrated picture book RENATO AND THE LION is Claire Lordon. Please contact me so I can pass on the information to Barbara.
On Saturday, October 7, 2017, I attended my 4th Collingswood Book Festival as an author and this one was finally held outdoors thanks to the beautiful, sun-filled day. And, as one of the featured authors at this year’s event, I was privileged and thrilled to talk about WHEELS OF CHANGE with many 4th and 5th graders from the local schools, as well as to reconnect with fellow authors and friends.
Here are a few photo highlights:
During the Wheels of Change “Book Talk”
Meeting with some enthusiastic students after the book talk.
With fellow children’s book author Patricia Lugo.
Finally meeting Liza Royce Agency sibling and my favorite YA sci-fi author: Joshua David Bellin
YA panel on writing fantasy.
Kid Lit Author’s Club author David Teague
IF you missed this year’s event, mark your calendar for next year. For a lover of books, it’s one of the best festivals around.
Picture Book Author Colleen Kosinski and her husband keeping cool.
Hanging out with my daughter and “gal Friday” before the festival started.
Today is DO SOMETHING NICE DAY and WORLD TEACHER’S DAY. I thought it might be special to combine the two and do something nice for a teacher. We sometimes take our children’s teachers for granted, forgetting the dedication and hard work they put in each day to make learning possible. We often read stories in the media about the “bad” teachers – the ones who do little for, or maybe even harm, those in their care. For every one of those teachers, there are hundreds who nurture and lead children on a path of success and accomplishment.
When was the last time you thanked a teacher? A verbal thanks is good. A letter or phone call is better. A small token is great. Home baked cookies, a bouquet of flowers, a cup of tea or coffee and a bagel. A gift card for a treat at a local coffee shop or Staples.. Volunteering to help in the classroom is also great. With tight budgets and staff cuts, many classrooms no longer have aides to assist teachers with their many jobs. An extra pair of hands in the classroom now and then is always welcome and much appreciated by the teachers I know. You don’t need special training to cut, paste, laminate, or assist with lesson preparations.
If you’re artistic, volunteer to teach an art lesson in a Kindergarten class without an art program. Many schools no longer have libraries. Offer to read and do storytime activities with kids. Have musical talent? Bring it to school. Offer to put up a bulletin board, paint a bookshelf, make curtains for a classroom window, or teach kids to bake soft pretzels. Share your own time and talent with your children’s teachers. Your life and their life will be richer for it.
There is a wonderful site that I go to now and then to challenge my vocabulary. It’s called Free Rice. Not only are there levels of difficulty to help develop vocabulary skills, every time you successfully define words, grains of rice are added to your account. This number quickly adds up.
Where does this “Rice Money” go? To those in need. For each answer you get right, they donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.
We spend so much time on social media and computers. Why not take a few minutes to help ease hunger while doing it. Here’s the link to the site:
Over 96 billion grains have been donated to date
WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance. It also makes you feel good.