Showing posts with label #chaptertwo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #chaptertwo. Show all posts

Thursday, March 27, 2014

even if she's small!

There is something formidable about a women when her mind is set.  A woman on a "mission" can't be talked out of it or distracted or convinced to walk away.  The world is a better place because of women like this.

This is not Eva but the hair is similar

I've read the histories of such ladies and have known a few personally, but the other day in the library I saw one who was still very young, a "formidable woman" in the making.  I will call her Eva.

Eva is a "woman" with a purpose.  She is going to be a reader. Every morning she comes up to the library and hands me her finished book. She points out that not only has she finished her book but she's scored 100% on her comprehension quiz.  I smile and congratulate her. She gets a new book and literally skips out of the library, her long dark brown naturally curly hair bobbing up and down. She is adorable.

Her little face is full of light and the look in her eye says... "I know where I'm going and what I have to do to get there!"
Eva has this look in her eyes
The other day I saw a bigger piece of Eva's personality when her whole class was in the library.  We have two big doors, one east and one west.  For whatever reason the younger kids struggle with the doors.  Let me explain...

When a child asked me to use the bathroom I NEVER say no. I just point to one of the doors and say hurry back.  Nine times out of ten they can't open the door because they are pulling on it instead of pushing. I have given multiple mini lessons on push/pull but the struggle continues.

One day last week a boy in Eva's class was struggling with the door as Eva was standing in front of me at the circulation desk. I said to him. Push on it, don't pull.  That just made him pull all the harder.  Before I could stand up to go rescue him Eva let out a big sigh and headed for the door.

"Look" she said... "you're pulling not pushing" Then she took over, turned the handle, pushed the door open and stood there to let him walk through. Then she let out another sigh and rolled her eyes. I couldn't even laugh, I just starred with my mouth open. The thought went through my head... "Sometimes it just takes a women, even if she's small."

Little Eva... I suspect you will be a formidable woman one day.  You might even change the world!

Monday, March 24, 2014

saw a need and filled it... a truly remarkable woman

Life in the mid 1800's was filled with hard work and deeply rooted Christian beliefs. Political passions and a sense of right and wrong grounded these early Americans. But nothing in their lives could have prepared them for what was about to happen ...

The American Civil War 

Approximately 750,000 lives would be lost over a four year period. That is the equivalent of us suddenly losing two million Americans. No one predicted that number and NO ONE was prepared to deal with the casualties.

It would shatter almost every family and change the way the people viewed their government and the way the government viewed its responsibility toward its citizens.

Prior to the war there were no large hospitals, no ambulance system, no antibiotics and no information about the transfer of communicable diseases. There were no national cemeteries, no honoring the dead or pensions for the families. There was also no organized way to record the dead. All of that would change as Americans were stunned by the statistics of war.

People living at this time were keenly aware that life could be short and they had little or no control over when someone would be taken. They valued what they called the "GOOD DEATH" ... passing with loved ones around, final farewells, and being buried in a family plot. People were horrified as their loved ones lay rotting on battlefield and thousand and thousand were buried in unmarked graves. The notion of a "Good Death" was no longer available.

A government clerk working in the US patent office saw this overwhelming calamity and decided she would do something to help. Her name was CLARA BARTON.

When the Civil War broke out, she was one of the first volunteers to appear at the Infirmary in Washington where she cared for the wounded soldiers. When word came of the destitute conditions on the front and the shocking lack of medical supplies, Clara filled three army wagons with supplies and rode into the Battle of Antietam. There she found the surgeons trying to make bandages out of corn husks.

She was referred to as the "Angel of the Battlefield."

She made trip after trip, putting her life in danger while bringing aid to the Union casualties and the Confederate prisoners.. In 1864 as she was nursing a wounded soldier, a bullet tore through the sleeve of her dress. It did not strike her but killed the man she was caring for.

Burying the dead was a monumental task but identifying them was even more difficult. Clara worked tirelessly to aide the friends and families of missing soldiers by locating them among prison rolls or casualty lists.

She established the Bureau of Records of Missing Men and it was with her insistence that as many graves as possible were identified and marked.
By the end of the war she was exhausted. At her doctors insistence she went to Geneva, Switzerland to recover. There she discovered an organization called the Red Cross. She joined their ranks and even helped in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870.

Beyond her compassionate heart, Clara was a talented organizer. She had put people to work during two wars and now, upon her return and with the financial help of a friend she organized the AMERICAN RED CROSS and served as its leader for the next 20 years. She saw needs, she took action!

She was there in 1881 to aid the victims of a devastating forest fire in Michigan. In 1884 she chartered steamers to carry supplies up and down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to help the flood victims and in 1889 she and 50 volunteers rode the first train into Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to assist the survivors of a dam break that caused over 2,000 deaths.

Clara Barton spent her life helping others in times of catastrophe. She was a true humanitarian and a remarkable woman!

Watch this mini-biography about her life...

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Homeward Bound

by Marta Keen Thompson

This is one of my favorite songs of all time. Hope you enjoy it!

“In the quiet misty morning
When the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing
And the sky is clear and red,
When the summer’s ceased its gleaming,
When the corn is past its prime,
When adventure’s lost its meaning,
I’ll be homeward bound in time.
Bind me not to the pasture;
Chain me not to the plow.
Set me free to find my calling
And I’ll return to you somehow.
If you find it’s me you’re missing,
If you’re hoping I’ll return,
To your thoughts I’ll soon be list’ning,
In the road I’ll stop and turn.
Then the wind will set me racing
As my journey nears its end,
And the path I’ll be retracing
When I’m homeward bound again.
Bind me not to pasture;
Chain me not to the plow.
Set me free to find my calling
And I’ll return to you somehow.
In the quiet misty morning
When the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing,
I’ll be homeward bound again.

Monday, March 17, 2014


In the early 80's my brother moved his animation company to Ireland. At one point or another we all went to visit Uncle Don. I even let my 8 year old daughter fly over with Grandma and Grandpa.  My heart nearly stopped when her plane took off. She came home singing and dancing and Ireland has been a little part of our family ever since.

When you visit Ireland don't miss the "Dublin Doors."  It is said, mostly by tour guides, that the citizens, were ordered to paint all of their doors black, in mourning for the passing of Prince Albert. Instead, to show their rebellion toward the crown, they painted them in a rainbow of colors. 
Another story has it that the wives decided to paint their doors bright colors so that their drunken husbands wouldn't enter the wrong house and crawl in bed with the wrong women. 

I painted my front door blue.

Either way... don't miss the "DUBLIN DOORS"

A limerick gets its name from Limerick, Ireland where this type of poetry was popular in the pubs and taverns. It dates back to the 14th century.

There once was a lady from Leeds,
Rashly swallowed six packets of seeds,
In a month, silly lass,
She was covered in grass,
And she couldn't sit down for the weeds.


A flea and a fly in a flue,
Were imprisoned so what could they do?
Said the fly, "Let us flee."
"Let us fly" said the flea,
So the flew through a flaw in the flue.

Here's Brigham Young University "Vocal Point" singing 
On a side note (no pun intended) the lead singer on this song, Kieth, is the son of one of my good friends. It is so satisfying to watch our kids be successful!

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


The Irish are full of music. On my mother's first trip to Ireland (mid 80's) she came home singing this little song. My children immediately latched on to "grandma's song." I can remember them giggling about "the hands or paws, or anything you've got now" It's become part of our family culture.

 Have a Happy Sunday!

Sadly, I just learned that principal singer George Donaldson passed away from a massive heart attack on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at his home in Glasgow, Scotland. He leaves behind his wife, Carolyn and daughter, Sarah, 13, who he described as the "light of my life" He was 46 years old.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Better get your green on!




  • 1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 teaspoons of salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups beef stock or broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup of Guinness extra stout (optional)
  • 1 cup of hearty red wine (sub with tomato juice)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots (3 to 4 carrots, can substitute some of the carrot with parsnips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1 Sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt over the beef pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large (6 to 8 quart), thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Pat dry the beef with paper towels and working in batches, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over and brown on another side.
2 Add garlic to the pot with the beef and sauté 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the beef stock, water, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, then cover and cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
3 While the pot of meat and stock is simmering, melt the butter in another pot over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Sauté the onions and carrots until the onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step 2 has simmered for one hour.
4 Add the onions, carrots, and the potatoes to the beef stew. Add black pepper and two teaspoons of salt. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off any excess fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


So comfortable for warmer weather, this skirt from Boden USA is destined to be a summer favorite. Top it with a sweater set (there's many blues to choose from) or pair it with a striped t-shirt for a trendy look. You will be the hit of the "Boardwalk."

To shop, follow the links below...

SKIRT - Boden USA  $98.00
FLATS - Mod Cloth $29.99
SWEATERS - Talbots $39.50 - $62.50
STRAW BAG - Dillards $198.00

 Add a personal touch to your wardrobe with a custom made initial necklace or bracelet from Tom Design. Debbie, the owner makes each piece by hand. They start at $15.00 +