My Daughter, The Teacher

Super proud dad moment that I have to tell the world about. for some background, we are in our third year of raising monarch butterflies for release. By gathering the eggs and caterpillars we find in the wild, we can make sure they grow up predator free and released healthy into the wild as butterflies.

My 5 year old daughter, Emma, is why we started doing this. For her third birthday, we got one of those mail order kits. She fell in love with watching and helping those caterpillars become butterflies.

The Agricultural teacher at the local school asked if Emma would bring in some of her caterpillars (we are at almost 500 this season so far at various stages). Part of this would be Emma giving a talk about the life cycle of these beautiful creatures.

On her way to her classroom.

She took to the idea with gusto. This topic is a passion of hers and she was beyond excited to share it with her “students”. She gave her presentation and shared her caterpillars with two classes that day.

Ready for her students to arrive.

Her classes loved it and they really enjoyed getting to hold the larger, 5th Instar, caterpillars she brought with her.

5th Instar Monarch Caterpillar.

After her lessons, she checked over the school’s milkweed plants to see if there were any “friends” there to help.

Inspecting the milkweed.

She amazes me everyday with her drive and passion for you interests. I can’t wait to see what adventures she takes us on next.

Side note: this teacher used Emma’s YouTube channel in her Food Science class for the cooking shows Emma has there. The fun part was that Emma’s older brother took that class, and therefore had to watch his sister as part of his class curriculum.

If you’d be interested in checking out her videos, you can find (and Subscribe) to her channel HERE.

You can also check out some of her adventures on her Facebook page.


Decorating the mind…

A dear friend of mine shared a tweet that got me thinking. I’m sharing the tweet as I’ve tracked down the original author and followed him and his friend he mentions. It’s, to me at least, a very powerful way to look at two of the arts.

For myself, as I have trouble drawing stick figures, and my musical talents were left behind in high school band, I thought, how does this apply to me?

The answer became clear quickly. Writing is how we decorate the mind. Writers take a complex idea, and distill it down into words that, when ingested, fill a room within your mind, even if only for a little while.

Some of these keep these rooms throughout our life and they form a part of who we are. Perhaps they help us deal with a difficult or painful situation. Maybe they form a basis for how we react to something in our lives, or how we perceive justice or what we consider our moral right.

Writers entertain us, inform us, and, if we let them, teach us something. These lessons may be about our world, or just their world. But either way, they can leave this room within us, decorated with their words. With the emotions and images they co hire within us. These rooms are just as powerful as a master’s painting, or a composer’s magnum opus.

So if you’re a writer like me, don’t give up on your creations. Someone out there is waiting for you to decorate a room in their mind, whether they know it now or not.

Spell a Day – Feb 6th 2016

Gentle Readers, I am stumped today. The topic of the day is to bless your body, as that is your temple, your sanctuary, your without it you are nothing. There is a recommendation to take a cue from Rastafarianism, which sadly, I could google all day but really don’t know much about. Apparently it is also the birthday of Bob Marley. Him I know a little about.

So today, I am deviating from the norm a little, and going to talk about something slightly related. I am a member of several facebook groups for authors, readers and such. I enjoy the antics and fodder these groups provide in observing the great social experiment we call life. I have always been a people watcher, a bystander if you will. I find that when you stop and observe the goings on around you, you learn about people. Just sit down in a coffee shop and enjoy your coffee slowly, maybe a bagel as well. Go to a mall and savor that sandwich and soda in the food court. People watching can be highly entertaining.

But I digress. In one of the groups I am in recently we had a little spat between two “writers”. I sat back and watched these two grown women, both a bit older than me and one would hope wiser, go at each other like a couple of teenage girls fighting over prom dates. All because of a third member of the group who is the classic case of creepy internet troll. He posts ranting videos (claiming he is mentally ill) all over people’s on topic posts. He makes personal attacks and threats against anyone he can find in his blast zone. The guy may or may not be mentally ill, clinically speaking, but he is clearly a lunatic and a sociopath. So Woman B says that she doesn’t believe Woman A about Lunatic needing professional psychiatric help. This degenerates into Woman A bashing free verse poetry posted by Woman B, and Woman B calling Woman A derogatory names. The internet is like a giant mall where you can sit in the food court and be entertained for hours. How these two function in normal life I would like to see. If they are like this in their real life, they must be quite sad offline.

Anyway, the moral of my little laughter this morning is to just let it roll off your shoulders. Whether it is an online bully calling you names from the safety of their keyboard, or some real life asshat who needs an attitude adjustment, if you feed the trolls in your life, they will scare off the good things.


Writing Prompt: Specific 8 words, 15 min, Less than 500 Words

So I joined a few new groups on Facebook for writers and one of them had a Monday Challenge Writing Prompt. You had 15 minutes to write something (short story/poem/whatever), less than 500 words. You were to use the following 8 words: pizza, summon, rigid, rose, evaluate, shallow, cap, beg.

I rose from my slumber
Rigid joints crack as I walk
What to eat, I ponder
I calmly evaluate my options
The shallow cupboard holds little
An idea strikes me in the head
I grab my phone elated
Using it to summon pizza on the double
Impatiently I await the delivery
I beg time to fly
The man arrives and doffs his cap
I pay him quickly and that is that
I eat it all in ten minutes flat

I look forward to more of these prompts. It was fun.