12

A Little This And Little That

     For the last little while, I’ve been way too busy.  There have been deadlines and updates and all kinds of things to do and I haven’t had much chance to blog.  More than that, I haven’t been able to do much in the way of commenting on any of your blogs.  I’m really sorry about that.  I love going to your blogs and reading what you’ve been up to.

     Last night, I started moving furniture around.  It was great fun; always is.  Just knowing that my new look is gonna’ brighten up the room always makes me wanna’ hurry.  Do you feel that way when you rearrange a room?  Do you imagine, ahead of time, how lovely everything will be?  I used to have a friend who would suddenly start shifting everything around and, just as suddenly, she would stop.  She never seemed to plan ahead and there was no rhyme or reason in the way she worked; just suddenly started and suddenly stopped.  When she stopped, though, it was as if everything quickly fell into place; even the dust bunnies knew where they belonged to best enhance the room.

     When you come to visit, I do hope you know that, though I don’t always get to read my comments immediately, I do always read them.  I enjoy your visits so much and, in case you don’t know, I send a virtual hug to each and every one of you.  Thank you so much.

     Lynette at Crazed Mind made some very nice comments and I’d like to say thank you.  Thank you, Lynette.

     I was also blessed with a Virtual Easter Basket from Debby at Just Breathe.  I’m afraid I don’t entirely understand how the Virtual Easter Basket works, but I do wanna’ help The Children’s Miracle Network and Hershey’s is donating $10 for each blog that links to them (I think).  Please help by going to Debby’s blog and reading up on the rules, then linking up.  I’d love it if each of you would take a basket and share.  Thank you for your help.

     I’m gonna’ try to get back into posting more often.  Oh, yeah.  And I almost forgot to tell you about the fun, fun site that has some of the puzzles I created.  Its at scriptures4kids.com.  When you get there, go to the bottom of the page and click on About Us.  Next, look to the left and you’ll see several places where you can go on the site.  Choose Conference Packet.  When you get to that page, you will have several choices, so just have fun.  It would really be great if you could become a fan of the site, too.  Thanks for looking.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

Yaya

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6

What IS That, Anyway?

     I’ve been gone from Bloggy World for a few days.  As a dedicated writer, I find myself happily faced with deadlines and new venues for writing.  Blogging has become one of my very favorite activities and I thank my Heavenly Father, every single day, for this new way of meeting and making friends with so many wonderful people.

     I’d like to introduce you to the world that bloglandia has become to me.  Picture, if you can, a quiet, sort of quiet, not entirely quiet, shy, slightly outspoken, rather talkative author and cruciverbalist, sitting home with her good hubby-buddy, writing stories that might be read by as many as twenty, twelve, one person.

     There she was, whiling away her life, with no one to visit and no one to talk to, except Hubby-Buddy, who didn’t really talk all that much.  So, she wrote stories and dabbled in cruciverbalist games.

     What?  What’s that you’re asking?  What’s a cruciverbalist?  You don’t know what a cruciverbalist is?  Have you been here before?  Unh, huh.  So, this is your first time here?  Oh.  Well, then I guess you haven’t heard me tell about what I do, have you?  Have a seat, there, why don’tcha’?

     You see, I am an author.  I have always thought of myself as an author…

     What?  You can’t tell that I’m an author from my writing?  You don’t think I’m a real author?  What do you do?  You’re an astronaut?  Unh, huh.  You’re an astronaut.  You’re not wearing one-uh those funny little suitsWhy should I think you’re an astronaut?  Just fly in from space, did you?

     Just take my word for it; I’m an author.  I was published in the family newsletter, I’ll have you knowThat means I’ve been published, so I’m an author, thank you very much.  You just haven’t been reading my work long enough to recognize my writing or you would know that I’m an author.  You still wanna’ know what a cruciverbalist is?  You do?  Okay, then, no more interruptions.

     You ever read the Sunday Paper and do the crossword puzzle?  How about a word search puzzle?  You like doing them?  There are lots and lots of different kinds of word puzzles and that’s where a cruciverbalist comes in.  See, the person who creates word puzzles or does them a lot is called a cruciverbalist.  And that’s what I do; create word puzzles.

     What?  You haven’t seen any evidence that I’m a cruciverbalist, either?  You will, you will.  In fact, if you come back, I’ll show you where you can see several of my puzzles.  If you keep cutting in, though, I might not tell ya’.

     Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah; the beautiful place that is Bloglandia.  Let’s see, now.  How do I explain this so you get the real picture?  hmmmmm.  Oh, here ya’ go:

     Once upon a time, a girl with red hair, riding in a Little Red Wagon, loved to play in her back yard.  Her very favorite thing to do was to play in her sandbox.  She played with cars and trucks.  She played with shovels and scoops.  Sometimes, she even pretended to take her dolly to the beach in her sandbox.  She had heard that the beach was a marvelous and magical place to visit, but never having been to a beach, the little girl with red-hair could only imagine how wonderful it must be.

     One day, the little red-haired girl was invited to a party at the beach.  She was told to bring a towel and to wear her bathing suit.  When she finally arrived, she was so surprised that she almost couldn’t breathe.  The beach was more wonderful than anything she had ever imagined.  No matter which direction she looked, the sandbox went on forever.  There were people building castles and some who were digging holes; BIG holes.  Some people were running up and down the beach and others were playing in the water.  The little girl with red-hair vowed that she could never feel this much happiness again, in her entire life.

     Many years later, after writing yet one more story for an audience of twelve, one, she stumbled onto a brand new world on the internet; Bloggy World.  Upon entering Bloglandia, the little girl with red-hair was filled with joy such as she had not felt since that first visit to the beach.

     With a blog, the girl with red-hair could write every single day, if she wanted to.  And not only did no one try to stop her, but some people actually came to visit and read what she had written.  In case you haven’t figured out the end of the story, here it is: 

     The girl with red hair, riding in the Little Red Wagon began going to Bloglandia nearly every day to write and she lived happily, ever after.

     And that’s how I feel about finding Bloglandia.  Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

10

The Comment Queen Has Noticed Me!

     I am very grateful and honored to have been chosen by Lynette, The Comment Queen over at Crazed Mind, for the lovely Lemonade Stand Award.  Thank you, Lynette.  There’s only one tiny little drawback; mine is an award-free blog.  However, I am very happy to link to Lynette and have added her to the links in my alphabetical collection of photos that follow below. 

     Unfortunately, my blog is not letting me upload pictures, at the moment, so to see the award, please click on the Lemonade Stand Award link, above.  I don’t know why I suddenly cannot upload pictures.  Very frustrating.

     Lynette is quite entertaining and, in fact, you won’t want to miss out on the fun to be found at her home on the web.  One of her more comical posts involved the joy of this most recent winter and how she manages to stay warm on those cold, cold nights.  You’ll be surprised by her ingenuity and even more amazed at what a thoughtful wife she is.

     No, no.  I can’t tell you more than that.  You’ll just have to go take a peek for yourself.  Its always fun to visit Lynette, so I do hope you’ll head on over there and check out her home on the web.  You’ll be glad you did.

     Now, because mine is an award-free blog, I wouldn’t feel right in passing out individual awards.  On the other hand, there’s this lovely award, just looking for a new home.  I enjoy reading all of your blogs, so I hope you’ll consider this as my award to you.  Please take it and pass it on to others whom you feel are doing their part in making Bloglandia a better community.  As for my part, I am making an effort to make life easier by creating a shortcut to each of your homes on the web.

     And, Lynette, thank you so much for your kindness.  I am truly touched by your generosity.  To each of you, be happy and ’til the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

8

That’s One Amazing Log!

     Its Spring!  Well, almost, anyway.  The snow is almost gone and I can see dirt.  Dirt, dirt, dirt.  I never thought I’d be so happy to see dirt.  We are s’posed to have rain tonight, turning to snow.  I’m thrilled.  NOT!  Ah, well.  Maybe this is the last-ditch effort of Mother Nature for this year’s winter blast, ya’ think?  I surely hope so.  I love winter, but I am waaaaaaaaay tired of struggling to get out of my driveway.

     Wanna’ hear somethin’ funny?  We have a woodburning stove.  We’ve been very thankful for it, since this is how we’ve kept warm, this winter.  Well, its still kinda’ chilly, so of course, we’re still burning wood.  Running dangerously low, so I really hope we will get to stop soon.  I mean, we will get to stop burning wood on accounta’ we’re about to run out.  But I mean, I hope the weather cooperates so we can stop burning wood ’cause we wanna’ and not because we hafta’, ya’ know?

     Anyway, the night before last we put the largest piece of wood we could into the stove.  Its one of those old-fashioned cookstoves with the little shelf.  To load the wood, we lift two little round parts and a center piece, all of which keep the fire from letting smoke into the room.  So we loaded this piece of wood, about a foot and a half long and a little bigger around than a large coffee can.  Since there were coals left-over from the previous sticks of wood, it wasn’t necessary to go through the steps of starting a fire under the new wood… we thought.

     Naturally, we did add a little bit of extra paper to the coals, just to be sure.  After we were sure the fire was going good, we went upstairs; each to our own office to write.  That’s what we enjoy doing, writing.  In about an hour, we heard the sound of treats and drinks, calling our names.  Back downstairs and, as long as we were there, anyway, we checked the stove to see if more wood was needed.  More wood was NOT necessary because that one log was just setting there.  NOT burning.

     Now, I could stretch this story out for forty years and forty nights, giving you every little detail during my long and ridiculous night-fight with the woodstove.  I don’t wanna’ do that, though, on accounta’ you might get bored and just up and leave.  So I’m gonna’ give you the shorter version.

     Eight times, throughout the night, I poked and prodded, stabbed and fed that woodstove with everything I could think of to get that fire going.  I am not one to use ugly names, but I can tell you, I was sorely tempted to give that stove and/or that log a whole new vocabulary.  When my good hubby-buddy woke up, it was his turn to play at keeping the stove lit.

     So, here’s the short version (finally?).  Thirty-one hours ago, we started burning that log.  It burned so slowly (yes, it actually burned the whole night and day) that there are still, now, embers from that same log.  I have never seen a log burn that slowly.  If you ask me, that’s something of a miracle.  After all, we’re running out of wood and tonight its gonna’ snow.  Wouldn’t you say that’s a miracle?  Stay warm and ’til the next time, keep a hug on.

Yaya

7

Thank Goodness, Its Monday!

     Whew!  The weekend is, more or less, over.  Sunday is my absolute busiest day of the week.  Well, that is, unless you count Monday through Saturday… then, its just a contest as to which day is the busiest.  I don’t know if you manage to stay that busy.  I often wonder if the reason I’m so busy is because I don’t think like other people; you know, organized.  Actually, I don’t really think that’s the reason, though, because I know so many people who are just up to their earlobes in busy.

     How d’ya’ s’pose we got this way?  So busy, I mean?  As I understand it, our ancestors did all their own baking and cooking, cleaning, making their own clothes… by hand, hunting, fishing and who knows WHAT ALL.  Still, they had time to sit down in the evening and enjoy a sunset, once in awhile.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Or, Anne of Greene Gables.  They knew how to find time for relaxing.

     So, what am I doing wrong?  I mean, my good hubby-buddy does everything in the house, just so I will have time to sit and write.  And that’s pretty-much all I do, too.  Yet, here I am, scrambling to keep up with… MYSELF.  There’s gotta’ be something wrong with that.

     If you happen to walk by and see me doing something that is counter-productive, won’t you please just step in and get me pointed in the right direction?  Surely, you could help a fellow-blogger get back on track, couldn’t you?  Thanks.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

Yaya

15

Books In The Water-Closet

     I work in a  H – U – U – U – G – E  office, the likes of which would drive you insane with jealousy, if you could see it.  Here, let me give you a mental image.  Close your eyes and picture, if you can, a room the size of two small water-closets… if your water-closet is a three-quarter, like ours is.  No, no.  Let me correct that.  This room is so big, it could almost be called a walk-in closet… except, its too small for that.

     “What’s that,” you ask?  Am I complaining?  No, of course not.  That’s just jealousy speaking, isn’t it?  I love my house.  Truly, I do.  I live in a big ol’ 1906 Sears and Roebuck Kit House on two-and-a-half acres of land.  Not quite as much land as I would prefer, but I’m not complaining.  I consider my life one continuous blessing.  But that’s another story.

     Okay, we were talking about my office.  You’re jealous, right?  You wish your office were as big as two small water-closets, don’t you?  Well, I’m really sorry you don’t have this kind of luxury.  Yeah, I am.  Whaddya’ mean?  No, I’m not being sarcastic.  I don’t DOOOO sarcasm.  Why, you can very plainly see that I am just over-flowing with sweetness.  Look at this smile:  🙂  Now, I ask you, doesn’t that look like the sweetest smile you’ve ever seen?  See?  I’m over-flowing with sweetness.

     Oh, yeah; the office.  So, here in this H – U – U – U – G – E  office, you know what surrounds me?  Books.  Books.  Books and more books.  And ya’ know what?  I still want more books.  Yeah, its true.  More books.  Just as if I don’t have enough, already.  Are you like that?  Do you live and breathe books?  Aw, c’mon.  You know you do.

     Don’t you love it when you walk into a bookstore and the smell of new print meets you?  Inhale.  Deep.  Deep.  Inhale, deep.  There ya’ go.  You’re with me, aren’t you?  Now, you’re in the mood, too, huh?  You want more books.  Good.  Let’s all meet at Barnes and Nobles.  They have bigger water-closets.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

Yaya

16

An Update And A Drawing

     Yesterday, Donna Aviles was back with us and shared more about her family and the many experiences that developed as a result of her grampa’s trip on an Orphan Train.  I have tried to imagine what it must have been like for so many children to be separated from everything they knew and be dropped down among strangers.  There simply is no way I can draw a proper image of how difficult it must have been for those children, even in the best of circumstances.

     Of course Oliver, Donna’s granddad, and her Uncle Edward fell far-shy of the best circumstances and it affected them in every aspect for the rest of their lives.

     After Donna left, yesterday, I thought of more questions I wanted answers to and she was kind enough to allow me some extended time for answers.  In fact, she has been most helpful and encouraging since I met her.  Below are her responses.  You’ll want to read to the end because there is a surprise at the end of this post and I truly hope you will join in for some fun.

     Here, then, are the things I still wanted to know and Donna’s very informative replies.  Don’t forget to read yesterday’s interview to learn quite a bit more about Donna’s family and the Orphan Train experience.  Now, let’s begin.

Yaya:  Donna, this is the most intriguing title from any of the three books. PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES.  Could you please tell us how you came up with this and was this something that popped into your mind, long after you began writing. Or, did the name of the book come first?

Donna:  The “working title” was OLIVER’S CHILDREN.  The idea for the title, PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES, came to me after I wrote about the time Benny was in school and for lunch he brought his usual, peanut butter on bread.  It was all he ever brought.  Another student – one of wealthier means – opened up his lunch bag and brought out 2 cupcakes with green icing.  Benny tried and tried to convince the boy to trade a cupcake…or even part of a cupcake… for his “delicious, creamy peanut butter” but to no avail.  He told himself that someday, he’d have all the cupcakes he wanted. (and as my father, I know that he still has an insatiable sweet tooth to this day and he just turned 81!)  So the title refers to that story.  But in fact, it has a second meaning as well. Oliver’s children lived what could be categorized as a “peanut butter” sort of life.  But in the end, they all found the sweetness of “cupcakes” through hard work and love of family.

Yaya:  Do you have any of the items that were owned by Oliver from his childhood or any of his children’s articles from their childhood?

Donna:  Yes, we have his tiny, pocket size book of Bible verses and prayers that he carried with him on the train. He carried it with him even as an adult. We also have his favorite belt buckle.

Yaya:  I don’t know if Donna will be able to stop in, but if you’re listening, Donna, this has truly been a wonderful time of learning for me.  As much as I thought I knew about the Orphan Trains, my education has been increased so much by visiting your blog and your website and having you here to share your story.  I am anxious to have you back here soon to talk to us about your last book, some more.  I feel that there is so much more to discuss.  You have certainly enlightened me on many aspects of what the children went through during that forgotten period in American history.  I am, in fact, in the process of reading your books again.  I’m sure that anyone who reads them will learn a great deal and enjoy the trip, in the process.
 
     Now, my friends, I promised you a surprise.  You see, I so believe in Donna’s books and in the work she is doing in spreading the word about seventy-five years of forgotten history that I want to help her in her efforts by having a giveaway.
 
     So, here’s what I’ve come up with.  Donna is a new blogger and I remember how difficult it was when I was starting out.  The most mysterious part of blogging, for me, was the elusive Follower.  Donna has no idea that I am posting this message on my blog, but I really want to help her out.
 
     These books are amazing.  I think everyone should have a chance to read them.  Now, I can’t quite afford to get the whole set and give away, but I will buy Donna’s third book, PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES and give it away to the winner of this next contest.
 
     All you have to do is follow Donna’s blog and get one other person to follow her blog (and if you aren’t yet a follower on mine, it would sure make me feel good if you followed me, as well).  I don’t want to go into a lot of elaborate rules for entering.
 
     1) All I’m asking is for you to follow this blog.
     2) Follow Donna’s blog and
     3) get one more person to follow Donna’s blog
          and you will be entered to win her book, PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES.  
     Drawing ends on Tax Day.

     Please tell me in a comment on This Post that you have met these three requirements because I’m kinda’ lazy not able to find everyone in posts all over the place.  Whoever wins this book is in for some exciting reading, so please tell your friends.  And you might enjoy checking out Donna’s website, too.
 
     I look forward to reading all your comments.  Now, hurry out and follow Donna’s blog and get one friend to follow her, as well.  You’ll be glad you did.  Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 
Yaya