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8/25/07

The Craziest Experience of My Life




I had one of the craziest experiences of my life on the same night I graduated from high school. Therefore, at every high school reunion or when I run into someone who witnessed the event, they tell me about it as if it happened to someone else. In fact an old friend did just that the other day. Except, this buddy suggested I write about it, hence, here is my article about the craziest thing that ever happened to me on the night I graduated from high school:

Aside from my weird experience, the evening I graduated from high school started out magical; the weather was breezy, and the sky was as dark as the deepest part of the ocean.

Although, I did have a case of graduation jitters. My stomach felt ticklish and jumpy, like it did when I was a child and my parents drove our car over a steep hill, or when I rode certain rides at the fair.

Hence, as a result, I held my hand on my abdomen throughout the ceremony, and thought about how close I was to graduating from high school. In addition, I couldn't wait to leave and listen to the radio in the car with my friends.

Because, after all, it might be the last time we would all be together for awhile, since some of us would be going to college out of state. I thought about the future and daydreamed about the past throughout the ceremony...

In my minds eye I remembered the things we did...

We drove down the Mississippi River road to our states capital building nearly every week-end during our high school years. The courtyard that surrounded the capital building was full of rolling hills, azalea bushes, and moss covered oaks- It was our home away from home, stomping ground, pop-stand, cool place in the shade, or nice place in the sun-




On dark nights, we imagined the trees shadows were ghostly southern belles dancing in moss stitched dresses; the sight of which sent shivers down our spines. We decided the shadows were the images of Southern belles who refused to leave the ball. My friends and I created characters from the shadows at night, like a clown shapes animals from balloons during the day. There were so many shadows from the giant trees, because there were so many trees on the capital grounds. Therefore, at night, a vivid imagination could shape the trees into an array of images, much like you can with the stars on starry nights.

On the week-ends we couldn't wait to drive to the State Capital grounds. The minute the car stopped in front of the courtyard, we flew out of the doors, jumped the well kept hedges, turned cartwheels on the clover, played touch football, rested under the trees, and kissed under the stars until daylight.


Then, I was shocked back to the present when I heard our class presidents shrill voice over the microphone.

Thinking of the years that passed, I began to get misty eyed with nostalgia, but I managed to hold my stomach in place through the rest of the ceremony. Although, afterward, my stomach felt wrapped as tight as a ball of rubber bands. I guess I had a bad case of graduation jitters, and I was worried about what would happen to all of us in the future. I wondered how the world would react to our southern accents, moody undercurrents, and muddy water attitude, but I quickly shrugged it off like a typical southern girl; who had an evening to enjoy in spite of it all.


After graduation, we piled into whatever car the ferryboat captain wouldn't recognize, (my mothers) and headed toward the river road for one last ride on the ferry, before it was our generations turn to conquer the world.

But, as I drove down our driveway, my eager foot pressed the accelerator too hard, and I smashed my mothers car into her well nurtured apple-pear tree, knocking apples and pears onto the windshield.

Our house sat on a tiny hill, therefore, it turned out to be the most dramatic setting in our household. The driveway tempted you to zoom your car up or down it, depending on what direction you were going, and the speed at which you traveled illustrated your mood to others, a lot like a mood ring.

Truly, others could tell when you were mad, happy, excited, scared, or, in our case, in a mad dash to get out of there, by how fast you drove up or down the driveway. Whereas, in the case of a mood ring, your mood is determined by the changes in color.

Anyway, we borrowed my mothers car in an effort to fool certain ferryboat captains, who may not have let us board the ferry if they recognized any of our cars.

Because, for some reason, when it came to us, the captains had a short fuse. Maybe, because we had a tendency to get out of the car and ride the ferry all night, or because I used to stand on the front of the boat and sing the Barbra Streisand song On A Clear Day. I sang my heart out, imagining I was on the boat in the movie Funny Girl.

In retrospect, I don't blame the ferryboat captains for having a short fuse, and kicking us off the ferry, but you did have to admire our ingenuity when it came to showing up in different cars. I remember one of our parents saying, "But, honey you have your own car. I don't understand...you. But, you will not borrow my car, not under any circumstances." Actually, when I think of it, I'm not sure how we managed to get down my parents driveway in my mothers car either-

Anyhow, after hitting my mothers apple pear tree, singing and getting kicked off the ferry again, we pulled the car over, parked and climbed to the top of the levee to get a better view of the river. From the levee we could hear the river wind howl through the trees, but it was gentle; the wind from the river sounded like the roar of a mighty lion, when in fact, it felt as gentle as the whiskers on a kitten.



I watched my friends lean against the barbed wire fence with their faces to the sky, and their arms out to their sides, like the wings on a plane; I could hear the sleeves of their jackets clap against the speed of the wind, as if the river were returning their farewell embrace.


We stood speechless as the generous Mississippi sashayed beneath the silver stars and honey colored moon, sharing its amenities with humans, tug boats, barges, ferries and teenagers, year after year, again, and again, and again.

Standing there as we did on graduation night, I think we realized how small we were in the grand scheme of things, and how little we knew about ourselves and the world. It was the first time in all the years we spent on the banks of the Mississippi River that we felt in awe of its presence. It's funny how we take what we loved the most for granted, especially the most precious to us...I will always wonder why?...

In conclusion, it began to get late, so we rode down the river road, like we had a million times before, singing and talking on our way to the State Capital grounds, only this time we listened to my boyfriends eight-tracks, instead of the radio. He had a ton of them, but he was bossy about what songs we could play.

His eight-tracks were a big thing then, and listening to them was something I hated to interrupt,(a lie) but I needed to use a restroom. Hence, I asked my friends, and Mr. Congeniality, if they would mind waiting in the car when we stopped on the State Capital grounds, so that I could pee under one of the Oak trees-

Hence, my southern gentleman began to drive around the grounds looking for a place to park, where he could keep an eye on me in the huge courtyard.

I remember asking him to play I’m a Believer by The Monkees, over and over again, but he kept saying he lost the tape. The conversation went something like this:

"I know you didn’t lose the tape, Steve, because I saw it in your glove compartment last week," I said, while the rest of my friends laughed, including him.

"Annie, you've heard that song at least a thousand times, will you please give it a rest? You are the only person I know who would listen to a broken record-" he said, with a smile that I didn't think was cute at the moment.

Then, a friend of ours interrupted the conversation:

"Oh, Steve, she’s not the only one who wants to hear that song, and you know it. Stop picking on her and play the tape."

"I’m telling ya'll the tape is gone and I don’t know where it is," said the most generous man on earth.

At which point, I said, trying to give him a dirty look-

"Oh, for crying out loud, I know I'll find it, and I know you hid it...but at the moment I don't care,(I lied) because I have to go to the bathroom, so will you please stop and park? Like I said, I know where the tape is anyway...and I'll show you when I get back..."

Steve smiled and said, "Don't count on it."

Rolling my eyes, I spouted back, "I'm going under the oak trees in the side yard. I’ll be right back, mean jerk man."

Then, off I went into the same dark night, that didn't seem as kind as it had earlier. Therefore, my pulse quickened as I searched, and then found, the perfect spot beneath an oak tree branch to do my business...(like my golden retriever.)

As I started to pee I could hear The Monkee's tape playing from the car. That jerk, I thought, then I heard what sounded like birds chirping in the branches.

They were chirping loud and it was nighttime... I thought, this is bizarre, what kind of bird chirps at night? I sensed they were flying close to me and around the tree...then the chirping grew louder...thinking I felt something close to my face, I put my hand on my head, and began to pull up my pants, while the chirping got louder.

I couldn't tell if they were in the tree or literally flying around my head...and I still couldn't wrap my head around birds that were so jolly in the middle of the night. I kept mumbling to myself, while I looked at the car parked for my safety, "golly, these birds are too friendly." In addition, I could hear them chirping bird talk in the trees branches, then pieces of tree limbs started falling on me-

Okay, this is it, I said to myself, and at the same moment I sensed the presence of something over my head- My hands started shaking so bad forgot how to pull my pants over my knees, which obviously made one bird really mad. Because I heard a shrill chirping over my head that sounded like an aggressive shriek for a bird, even a really mad bird.

By this time, I was so petrified I tried to run, but I'm not sure if I even moved, then I put my hand on my head and something hard and feathery was fluttering around in my hair, so I started running straight to the car, pants down or not-

I kept trying to put my pants on, but something was still on my head, and when I tried to hit it, I fell down...so I just picked myself up and ran, in addition, to screaming to the top of my lungs with my pants around my ankles.

I believe I made a mistake hitting the mean bird the first time, because after I tried to slug it, the monster was so furious it started zooming around my head like a bully with wings. I could feel it zoom past my ears, like a gigantic fly, screaming its earsplitting squeals.

I was afraid it was going to grab a chuck of my hair, or poke my eyes out, like in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds.

I looked in the direction of the car, and I saw Steve and my friends laughing...and I couldn’t understand why... It didn’t occur to me at the time that I was running with my pants to my knees and bats, yes BATS, chasing me-

I dismissed their laughing, because I didn't have time, what with birds chasing me and all, plus, I felt like I had cobwebs on my face, so I kept wiping my face as I ran.

I couldn’t coordinate my legs with my pants to my knees, so I ran like a penguin until I fell, that is, until I saw the bats shrieking and encircling the sky above my head, then I managed to get one leg out of my pants and wobble without my pants at all.

Then, I was free to run faster, even if I was dragging one pants leg behind me, to the safety of the car. Nevertheless, the bats were still encircling me from the sky and screaming these awful otherworldly calls for help from their bat friends in the trees.

While my human friends stayed locked in the car laughing...and every time I approached the car door, Steve drove a few feet forward, hoping the bats would fly away...(or so he said...)

In the meantime, I could see my friends in the car laughing hysterically, because I was trying to grab the car door with my pants down, and every few minutes I could feel a bat zoom past my face.

After the incident was over, and I had calmed down, I told Steve not to feel bad about driving forward the way he did, because I understood he was thinking about their safety. After all, I knew they didn’t want the bats to get inside the car-

Well, he smiled and said, "Annie, the bats were long gone by the time you reached the car. We just thought it was funny watching you try to catch the car with your pants down. We were laughing so hard we couldn’t tell you that what you were feeling were the small branches that were still on the top of your head."

"The bats flew off a few yards before you reached the car, well...that is, after you beat the daylights out of the one on your head. We could see you waving your hands trying to knock the branches off after that, but we couldn't stop laughing. I'm sorry honey, I thought you knew, and I hate to laugh, but that was the funniest thing any of us have ever seen."

Well...it was the craziest thing that ever happened to me, but I'm glad my friends got a kick out of it. We still laugh about it to this day...And I suppose that's a good thing, right?

And after writing this I guess the second part of the night is a better story...but the next time someone tells me about it, I'm going to say, "Oh, you thought that happened to me? Oh no, are you kidding? That happened to Steve, and it was the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life. "


Authors note: This article was originally written in blog form for Bobbarama's Humor Carnival in 8/07, so it was a little shorter. However, when I rewrote it for a local magazine I wrote a longer version, so I apologize for the length. I think it's probably too long for a blog post, so bless all of you who are reading this note. Because, if you're reading this, you either skipped a few paragraphs to find out what the 'Craziest Experience of my Life' was, or you read it all the way through. Thank you for doing either one.

I decided to post this version after accidentally deleting the one I wrote for the Humor Carnival and posted on A Nice Place In The Sun. Plus, to be honest, I've been busy being ill for so long, I wanted to post something for you to read. My apologies to those of you who have already read the other version, but I'm hoping you'll forgive me, because at least the story is a little different... :)

Thanks to all of you for your patience and support. And I promise, I'm working on publishing a brand new post soon.

All of you are the greatest...:))

Love,

Annie

8/24/07

Wow! School! And My Afternoon At Barnes And Noble


I read a new children’s picture book entitled, WOW! School, in Barnes and Noble today. I rode with my mother after lunch to the book store, because she had to get some paperbacks for the library. Every year when school starts the library needs more children’s classics in paperback. Therefore, while she went to get the books she needed, I went in the children’s section. The children’s section at Barnes and Noble is one of my favorite places in the world. I ran/walked to the little “barn” bookshelf and stared in wonderment at the miraculous books lining the barnyard wall haystack, or bookcase. I wonder why Barnes and Noble have a model of a barn for the main bookcase? In addition to the barnyard theme, they don’t have a new release bookshelf anywhere in the store and when I asked the little children people who work there, they looked at me like they weren’t sure what I meant. Although they were nice enough sales people, and I think Barnes and Noble is fantastic, I felt as if I were in a time capsule and asked a dumb question. It was as if it I asked an outdated question, a question that would have been popular long ago or at a different time.

However, it doesn’t matter if the children’s book section at Barnes and Noble isn’t doing things the way I think they should. Since it’s still one of my favorite places in the world, and I’m plus I'm not running the department anyway. I’m just researching children’s titles for my manuscripts and A Nice Place In The Sun, so why should I care? I guess because it’s my home away from home, and I think I have the right to decorate what goes on in the book store.

Anyway, after I got over my astonishment at all the wonderful picture book titles they have on the market now, I saw Wow! School, one of the newly published books I've wanted to read. I found myself a spot at a small table in the next to a little girl and a lady with whom she wasn't related, and began to read Wow! School. I wanted to write an unofficial book review, or I guess I should say a book suggestion on the title.

Everyone's first day of school is one of the scariest things we will experience in our lives. I know school already has started in most areas, but Wow! School will still help children adjust to their school days. The first page begins with the beginning of a school day and the rest of the pages take you through different times and activities throughout a typical school day. A great conversation starter after your children start school as well, to find out how school is coming along for them, and give them an opportunity to ask questions. When I read to my son it often provided an opportunity for a conversation about the subject or theme of what book we were reading, and Wow School seemed like a good example.

It’s a big book with extremely colorful and descriptive illustrations showing everything happening in a classroom in just two pages. The illustrations stretch across a two-page spread, so you have to turn the book sideways to read it but it's fun. The book depicts a multicultural theme with big bold images of everything in an ideal classroom, bookcases lined with books, desks with kids behind them taking part in numerous activities. It even shows details of children with their art work on easels, and other art supplies, and books with small titles written on the front. There is a lot to look at but it’s not busy, and again, it encourages conversation while you look into the pictures of what happens inside a school.

Wow! School! follows an entire school day with the perfect amount of text and descriptive illustration to tell a lively and fun story. You open the first page to the beginning of the day, and the second page to a gigantic picture of the teacher and four students, with detailed items in the classroom in the background. Then turn the page to reading time in another double spread illustration, with the image of the teacher sitting on a rug with her students. All of the illustrations have one to six words of text on the outside of the illustration and around the border of the page instead of directly on it. It is great fun, so if you have small children in school go by Barnes and Noble, the library, or shop online but read Wow! School! I think you and your children will enjoy it, and so did the little girl who sat at the reading table with me.

Robert Neubecker (Author)Publisher: Hyperion (June 15, 2007)Ages Baby-Preschool

8/21/07

What Used To Live Under Your Bed, Or In Your Bedroom Closet ?



What used to live under your bed, or in your bedroom closet?

Was it a slimy creepy crawler, the image of a terrifying movie character, or something more horrifying? I asked this question with the idea of childhood memories, however, if you are an impressionable adult, the present will also apply.

When I was a child, I was afraid to close my eyes at bedtime, because I saw the face of the main character in the Phantom of the Opera when I did! A baby sitter let us watch an old version of the movie, and the main characters face stayed with me for many years! It was awful, my poor mother spent countless hours trying to convince me, that movie characters did not come to life, particularly not to visit little girls at bedtime! However, my mother was obviously wasting her time, since twenty something years later, I did the same thing with "Chucky". You know Chucky, that little demon low life doll, that came to life in the nineties?


What used to live under your bed, or in your closet? (Or is now, for that matter?)

8/15/07

Tuesday's Comments, " What is Your Favorite Dialogue In A Book or Movie?"




Here Are A Few Of The Answers in my Comments to my Tuesdays Question:


Every Tuesday evening, I review the answers to my Tuesday's Question in comments, then I choose three of my favorite responses to the question. I wish I could post everyones comments, but in an effort to create a level of apprehension and excitement, I only choose three, but I write a small blog review of each. My Thanks to everyone who participated, and remember, I'll post another question Tuesday, so if your selection wasn't chosen this week, maybe next week it will!

Have a great day and happy reading!

Here is my Question and Answer:

Which is, What is your favorite dialogue from a book or movie?



Here's mine, from the movie As Good As It Gets (1997)

"Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here."


Here are my first three selections:



Polliwogs Pond:




Polliwog’s pond, is the playground of the wonderful,self- proclaimed, oddball Mother of six, Polli , who says the blog is her way to stay sane! The warm title picture of a frog on a Lillie pad, nicely invites you into her world. Polli has plenty of fun, well written, and entertaining, posts. A writer with a caring and articulate voice, that you can tell cares about her readers and people in general. Read Polliwogs Pond when you can get the chance, you will make a return visit.


In response to my question," What is your favorite dialogue in a movie or book,” here is Polli’s comment,




Great fun Ann!

Some of my favorite dialogs from books and movies.

----
From The Cable Guy (1996)

Steven: Can I get a knife or fork?
Wench: There were no utensils in medieval times, hence there are no utensils AT Medieval Times. Would you like a refill on that Pepsi?
Steven: There were no utensils but there was Pepsi?
Wench: Dude, I got a lot of tables.

-----

From Bridges of Madison County

Robert Kincaid: This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime.


I picked this selection strictly due to its romantic nature!

Thank again Polli-


Comedy Plus:




My next blog is returning winner, and good friend, Sandee with Comedy Plus, and I didn't choose her because she gave me an award. I choose her selection for the same exact reason I did Polli 's! There's just something about these guys! You'll see what I mean when you read the selection, but first, here's a little about Comedy Plus.

Comedy Plus is a hilarious, warm, crazy, smart, upbeat and up market, comedy blog! All of Comedy Plus, is warm and smart and most definitely hilarious! One trip, and I promise you'll most certainly leave happy, and then quickly return for more!

Here's Sandee's comment,


Clark Gable (Rhett) in Gone With the Wind:

I want you to faint. This is what you were meant for. None of the fools you've ever know have kissed you like this, have they? Your Charles, or your Frank, or your stupid Ashley!

I have to put in his other one too:

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.


Yep, quite a guy!

Whimsy Gal


My last but certainly not least blogger is, Whimsy gal, from Whimsical Web Design one of the most creative and fun sites I’ve seen in some time. Frustrated with trying to hire others to design her web site, she decided to do it herself, and she does a great job of it. She designs web sites, draws graphics, and writes some of the funniest articles in the blogssphere! If you haven’t been there already, go read her web site as well as her blog it’s great!

Here's Whimsey Gal’s comment:



Ok, I'll play :) This is fun. My favorite movie quote has to depend on my mood of the day - today's is sarcastic LOL!

"Are you with me or do you need me to draw it in crayon like usual?"
from the movie ConAir

Awesome idea - can't wait to see what everyone turns in :) Thanks!

August 14, 2007 3:44 PM



I picked Whimsy Gals comment due to it's rolling on the floor laughing funny charm!

Thanks to everyone who played along with my silliness, and I'm glad I ask you questions, after all if you can't ask your friends, then can you ask?

Have a super fantastic day, and be double decker sure to have a good time! :))

8/14/07

Nice Matters Award! It Makes A Big Difference!


My good friend Sandee from Comedy Plus, send me an e-mail that said she was awarding me the "Nice Matters" award, given to her by Bridget from And Miles To Go Before We Sleep and Express Bee from Muffin. 53 I think it is a great name for an award, and it’s so true, nice really does matter, and make a big difference!

I think I had an angel visit this week since some great things have happened to me. First, my good friend Christy from Christy's Coffee Break and Writers Reviews added me as the co-author on her poetry site, A Hint of Poetry. Then the blog fairy paid me a visit, (sorry Bob) and now this! This has been one of the nicest weeks on my calendar this whole year!



There are so many nice bloggers who have been great to me, and I’m the one getting the nice award? I'm on cloud nine, in the company of great friends, who also believe that nice matters! Your friends have so much to do with your attitude and in turn, you have so much to do with theirs.

The bloggers creating these awards understand the difference we all make, they are the diamonds in the rough, and in every community, they magically show up when we need them.

The bloggers who are given awards, and then passing them on, in addition to sharing a kind word everyday, are making nice matter.

By encouraging niceness, we are empowering each other to live with a positive outlook, and sparking the interest of those who live in a bad mood. It’s harder to be kind when treated unkindly, but at the same time it's hard to be unkind when treated kindly, so it helps when someone is setting a positive example.

For instance, when someone is unkind, if you return the unkindness with a nice word or positive energy, it makes it hard for them to continue being nasty, thereby destroying the opportunity for a negative reaction.

The giving of these positive awards, including this one, supports the positive and kind atmosphere within the blogging community. If the atmosphere is positive and giving, and we're rewarding positive attributes, we're creating a nice place in the world, or to use one of my favorite sayings, A Nice Place In The Sun!

Of course I’m supportive of that idea! Here are the bloggers that I believe make nice matter, either in the blogging community or out in the world we live in-

Christy, From Christy’s Coffee Break
Ellen, from Non-Profit Communication blog

Winston, Eat Your Maths
Monday Morning Power
Kissing The Dogwood





When you are a recipient of the Nice Matters Award, please pass on the niceness, to

five blogs you think are nice and linking back to the blog who passed it to you!


Thank you again, Sandee at Comedy Plus and the blogger responsible for such an outstanding award, and thank you to all my other blogger friends who always make nice matter, I know who you are!

Hooray, It's Time For Another Tuesday Question!



Welcome to A Nice Place In The Sun's third edition of Tuesdays Question! Every Tuesday I ask a question of my readers, friends, and fellow bloggers hoping for an answer in comments, and so far every Tuesday I've had one. Last weeks three winners were,Bob with Bobbarama.comEllen with The Non-Profit Communication Blog and Sandee with Comedy Plus.


Congratulations again bloggers and I hope you'll also answer this weeks question.


Which is, What is your favorite dialogue from a book or movie?




Here's mine, from the movie As Good As It Gets (1997)

"Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here."




If you're wondering why you should take part in this silliness, its because I review the blogs with the best answers, and I only pick three! The blog review includes a link back to your site in addition to your answer posted with Wednesday's post. I'll work real hard on your blogs review so be sure and choose your answers carefully! Thanks for reading and have fun! I hope you'll humor me with a response. :))

8/13/07

Anne Fords On Their Own


Parenting is the most important challenge of any parents life, a never ending job. The challenges are often overwhelming, especially for the parent whose child is diagnosed with ADHD and other learning disabilities.

After receiving the diagnosis of a learning disability parents have many questions, the biggest of which is how their children will ever live On Their Own. How will they learn to live a happy and productive life? How will they find employment or ever truly be self sufficient?


These questions and more are one of the reasons why Anne Fords personal experience is an essential read, especially since in On Their Own she remembers asking those questions herself. In addition, the book is full of informative chapters covering every imaginative avenue and valuable resource available for this disability.

Written with John-Richard Thompson, On Their Own is Anne Fords second book based on her and her daughter Allegra's personal journey. A wonderful family guide full of useful information derived from the compassionate spirit of a good mother and writer.

Rearing a child with ADHD and other learning disabilities, is a lonely and frightening experience Anne Ford has written already, in her first book Laughing Allegra, she vividly recounts every detail of her reaction to a teacher’s insensitive description of her daughter, Allegra’s “problem.”




In the introduction for On Their Own, Anne remembers writing about her long painful journey in Laughing Allegra. She goes on to explain her book tour after the publication of the book. While on a book tour for Laughing Allegra she discovered many of the parents at the LD conferences such as the ones hosted by the National Disabilities Association, were facing many of the same challenges she had, and were grateful to her for telling “their story.” She also noticed on the book tour that the parents at these events were not just parents of small children but also the parents of high school students and older. She then realized that she was not as alone as she thought, in addition to discovering the fact that the challenge never leaves, but instead it is a battle you deal with everyday.

The introduction describes the events that lead Anne to write, On Their Own and how Laughing Allegra motivated her to join such organizations as the National Center for Learning Disabilities, first as a member then as Chairman of the board. On Their Own also addresses the universal fears shared by all parents of children with ADHD and other learning disabilities. All Parents share a concern for their children’s future, even parents whose children do not suffer from learning disabilities. We all worry, prepare our children for the future, and help our adult children when they reach adulthood.

On Their Own is full of useful information, beginning with signs and symptoms of the disability, to making friends, siblings, and even dating. The third part of the book covers graduating from High school, the transition to college, college testing and finding a job.

Sections 4 and 5 of the book, inform parents about motivating their adult child with ADHD and LD, as well as opportunities for employment. The last section follows with life concerns, medications, and estate planning. Anne wraps up her warm-hearted account of a loving mothers in depth personal journey, with the personal accounts of prominent people who have suffered from a learning disability, however moved forward to build successful careers.

For example, the last chapter starts with an introduction by Betsy Morris, and follows through with chapters by former Governor of West Virginia Gaston Caperton, and Charles Schwab Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Charles Schwab and company.

If you are coping with a child of any age with ADHD regardless of age, Anne’s Ford’s Laughing Allegra and On Their Own are a must have for your family's bookshelf.

8/12/07

What Happened To The Paper Bag?



What happened to the paper bag?

Why are grocery stores only using plastic bags?

A long time ago cashiers in grocery stores asked if you wanted a paper or plastic bag after you bought your groceries. Although where I live I'm afraid that shipped has sailed! Our grocery stores give you a flimsy plastic bag that barely holds enough groceries for Stuart Little! In addition, the groceries fall out of the bag and onto the floorboard of the car when you're driving down the road! The plastic bags seem heavier and they're awkward to carry, regardless of the handles. For instance, you can't put your hand under a plastic bag and support the contents, so you're forced to carry them by the handle and they’re still flimsy. I know you’re supposed to like the convenience of carrying more than one bag at a time but I don’t think it’s worth it. I would rather put more in the bag and carry two at a time. The handles aren’t that useful anyway unless you want to wrap a few around your arm and carry them at the same time.

Also for some reason, we miscalculate the amount plastic bags will hold thereby increasing our likelihood of splattered eggs on the kitchen floor! That is if the groceries even survive the ride home since plastic bags haven’t any loyalty to anyone. For example, do you think that a plastic bag is going to care if your groceries fall out on the way home?

Paper bags are friendlier, and they wouldn't allow your groceries to tumble about in the back seat or trunk of your car. Every time, I've used a plastic bag I hear my groceries rolling around on the floorboard while I'm driving, since the plastic bag has let them run around untamed in the backseat! It makes me so mad! I imagine the cheese saying to the bread and the bread to the peanut butter, “Run! We were in a plastic bag and now we are free! Whoopee!”

Then when you get home, you have to search under the seats and on the floorboard of your car to find your groceries while the cheese, the bread, and the peanut butter whisper to each other “sssh be quite and she will never find us” grateful they were not in a paper bag!


Although, I thought of this off the top of my head on the way home from the grocery store it is something I've thought about before. It’s just one of those questions we all think about and haven’t the time to investigate. We accept what we think is a fact or valid explanation since we're too busy to check it out, then we go about our business. When we put these questions in the back of our mind it seems our life will be easier, when in fact it makes our lives harder. Plastic grocery bags could be an advantage to few and a disadvantage to plenty but we are too busy to find out so again we accept it. Hence, I ‘ve always assumed there must be an answer for plastic bags until it became a huge personal inconvenience. In addition, I thought the grocery stores switched to plastic bags because they were better for the environment however I've found that isn't the case.

Maybe it’s because one size fits all or the fact that plastic bags are cheaper to make (probably) but it seems if we all got together, we could find someone to invent a better way to carry groceries. My son said that some people bring their own bags to shop with and I do remember seeing a man when I was a child ride his bike to the grocery store with a cloth bag for his groceries. . I think we need to start weaning off the plastic grocery bag and think about returning to the nostalgic and friendly mom and pop paper bag! It even came in different sizes and like I said would never let your groceries run wild in the back seat of your car! When I was a child, my siblings and I used to save the smaller size paper bags for marbles or candy or fill them with air and pop them to make a loud noise, etc...


The bottom line is I cannot understand why the grocery stores quit asking us if we would like a paper or plastic bag, don’t you think we should at least have a choice?

8/10/07

The Blue Ribbon Blogger Award





The illusive blog fairy honored me with the blue ribbon blogger award! I was down in an unusual way today when I noticed a message in my message box on MyBlogLog from the blog fairy!

It was the kindest message: “Congratulations! You have touched people with your writing. You are a blue-ribbon blogger!

When I was a child, my brothers and I used to catch lightening bugs in mason pickle jars in my grandmothers backyard. We let them go of course, but before we did we would watch them in the jar for a few minutes. I wondered if they were friends with any fairies.

There is an innate goodness about the idea of fairies and the mystical magic they represent. I wished they were more than a dream and now I know that they are! The blog fairy is one incarnation of that dream. I wonder what else may be in store since fairies help us realize our dreams and therefore help us make them come true.

When I went to the blog fairy’s web site and copied this from her profile, "I keep watch over all the blogs and bloggers in the vast blogosphere. It is my joy to shine light on those that show love and kindness and to honor them." Francesca Faerie is written as the name on that profile.


She also has this quote listed by Lynn Holland.

“Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels. But their magic sparkles in nature.” ~ Lynn Holland

Here is what Beatrice Potter thought of fairies,

"I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense...?”

Beatrix Potter’s Journal, 17 November 1896, from the National Trust collection.


Blog fairy thank you for reminding us of the fairies we knew in childhood, we have had them hidden within our grown-up hearts. Thank you for this honorable blue ribbon blogger award!

8/7/07

What Are Your Favorite Opening Lines In a Novel?




Last week, I decided to ask a different question in a post every Tuesday, choose what I thought were the best ones, and lick back to the blogs with the best comments. Everyone was a great sport especially my good friends who took the time to give well written answers! The comments from Sandee at Comedy Plus, Jos at NoDirectOn(not:NoDirection) and Winston at Eat Your Maths were spectacular ! These bloggers did a great job, and deserve a really nice place in the sun! However it is now your turn! All you have to do is answer the following question in comments!

I will judge the authors answers on effort, style, originality, and phrasing! However, since this particular question pertains to a literary quote, the judging will only include original idea and effort !

I can't wait to see the talent roll in! Good luck and Thank you !

The best answers will post tomorrow along with a link back, comment on your response, and small review of your blog! This Tuesdays Question is:

What are your favorite opening lines in fiction? You can pick any novel it does not have to be a classic.

Here are mine from The Prince Of Tides, by Pat Conroy


"My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call. I grew up slowly beside the tides and marshes of Colleton; my arms were tawny and strong from working long days on the shrimp boat in the blazing South Carolina heat."



In an effort to maintain a level of apprehension and excitement, I've limited the best or winning selections to three. In other words, only three comments will be posted with a link and blog review, so choose your lines carefully! And thank you for playing! :))

If you have any questions at all please feel free to ask in my comments. :))


8/6/07

Do You Remember Your First Day Of School?



At the end of every summer, I think of the children who will began their first year of school that year, and remember what a hard job it can be.


If you have a child starting school this year, try to relate by sharing your first day of school. Since we all like to know that someone knows how we feel, especially our parents. This is what I remember...


I wondered why Mrs. Day, my first grade teacher, turned her head from side to side when she walked. I remember her head tossing, her name, and the fact that she told her first grade students we could so anything, even write books when we grew up.

Before the first day of school, my mother brought me on a school visit to meet her and tour the school. Mrs. Day let me pick out my desk and put my name on the front so everyone would know my name. The three of us were the only people in the classroom that day, so my mother and I had my new teachers undivided attention. While my mother spoke to Mrs. Day, I sat at my desk and put my favorite book, a few of my brothers pencils, and a plastic Piglet toy from a cracker jack box in the inside. I will never forget Piglet. I brought him everywhere. The little plastic pig knew all of my secrets, and I tried to talk to him without Mrs. Day or my mother seeing me talk to a toy, though I think they did anyway since they keep looking over in my direction and whispering in grown-up, secret voices. As their conversation rolled along, I decided to leave the little toy inside for safe keeping, and make sure Mrs. Day remembered I picked that particular desk. The desk did wear my name, but it was the best one and someone else may pick it before the next day. It was a shiny tan color and a shade lighter than the other desks. Mrs. Day was attentive and kind, and asked me what my favorite books were, and if I had a dog, etc. She seemed focused on making me happy, and I began to get excited about my first day of school.


The following morning, I moaned while my mother combed the tangles out of my hair and my brothers made faces. The younger of which was complaining of having to watch me on the bus and walk me to my classroom. Every time my brother said, “I don’t want to walk her to class, mom, she’s bad!” my mother would brush MY hair harder! When I said “Mom, ouch!” she brushed it harder still. So by the time I got on the bus I had a sore head in addition to my brother’s comforting sneers. When I got off the bus my brother ran as fast as he could in the opposite direction of me and my classroom. He disappeared, the bell rang, and I was alone. I looked at the ugly red leotards on my legs, put my hand to my sore head, and cried.

Finally the principal found me wailing in the hallway and I joined the other wailers in my first grade classroom. I’m not kidding; when my teacher opened the door, I heard nothing but the sound of wails. It was like a "wailing for attention" contest! It was a real drama, although I could not be bothered, all I wanted was my desk, my books, and Piglet. Mrs. Day said, "Look class, here's Ann. Hello Ann."

But they were still wailing, and she led me to another desk in the corner of the room! It was a big desk with a big, ugly, dark brown top and no Piglet inside! Where were my books ? Where was Piglet? My eyes stung from the sudden impact of tears, until I could not last any longer...

Suddenly the whole classroom was one big wail for all!

(This is the reason my son’s teachers never had to explain what the Kleenex on the materials list is used for!)

Incidentally, I spent my first day of school (and many weeks after) convincing my new friends that I was not a cry baby. I also spent this time trying to find Piglet. I wanted my desk and books back, and even though the pencils belonged to my brothers, I wanted them back too. I do remember getting the desk I wanted but Piglet wasn’t found until the end of the year, when he miraculously showed up in the lost and found!

Well, maybe he made another child happy in the meantime. Do you remember your first day of school?

8/1/07

My Readers Response "What Are Your Parents best and worst Qualities?"



Behind the words of these writers are the voices of children speaking to a parent. I have a passage in my sidebar, “Children govern the heart of a parent regardless of years,” well it seems you can turn that passage around,“Parents govern the heart of a child regardless of years” and still do it justice.

Yesterday, I received valuable insight from these writers, which is that our parents do not leave when they die. They are forever tapping us on the shoulder comforting, lecturing, and tenderly reminding us they care.

My first comment was from Sandee at Comedy Plus, and it is so beautiful that my eyes literary filled with tears as I read it:



Okay, I play along.

My mother’s best quality was her warmth. There were no strangers for her. She would talk to anyone and with all the warmth, they were talking right back. She just never met a stranger. Her worst quality, her sadness from time to time. It was her dark side. I miss her very much.

Father best quality was his ambition. Nothing would/could stop him. I thought he was larger than life most of my life. He was a great provider because of this ambition. His worst quality...His temper. He had a bad one too. I miss him too.
July 31, 2007 10:21 A


And Jos at NoDirectOn(not:NoDirection) who writes the most mesmerizing passage:

Okay, I play along, too.

This time, that's easy. For my mother, just copy what you wrote about your mom. This is NOT a lame excuse, it's true!

My fathers' best quality was his never-ending desire to learn about new things, combined with a terrific memory. He really 'wanted to know', anything would interest him. All for just one reason: he liked to share it with anyone he met.
His worst quality: for an extremely nice and outgoing personality he was ever so 'closed': he would or could never express his feelings.

I always tell my own kids that when parents die, they are not 'gone', they continue to live on in their childrens' hearts. They do.

July 31, 2007 1:58 PM
Delete



And last but certainly not least Mr. Fong at EatYouMaths


Hello here i am,finally.Love the blog.
My mum: Her ability to see the motives behind every act.She can see how an innocuous act is actually one with intention behind it-----but it makes her cynical.

My dad is his warmth! NO dark sides :)

Love the concept of ur blog.Hope u can go Eatyourmaths to give comments and suggestions on how to improve! I want to learn from You!

Thanks and Best wishes1

August 1, 2007 2:17 A




Thank you all for being such great sports and taking part in A Nice Place In The Sun's Tuesday question!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Today's Popular Children's Picture Books

Today's Popular Children's Picture Books
Click on the titles below for the link to Publishers Weekly.com

The Boogeyman Man From Planet-Lackawanna-

You will lose yourself in the imaginative dreams of eleven year old Theodore Wilson's. Don't miss this review coming soon.

More reviews and available for purchase on Amazon .com. Just click on image of book and the link will take you there.

Thank you!

Upcoming Book Review

Upcoming Book Review
Gretchen Zufall (Author) Mike Paar (Illustrator)

Motherhood- Courage


Motherhood is an art impossible to explain, one which requires a vast sea of love, devotion, compassion, and understanding, unmatched by any affection we will ever know again.- Ann Clemmons

Courage-

Courage



Humor-

Humor


Words-

Words are the core of our souls, without written, vocal or lyrical expression we lose sight of one another or worse, ourselves. Words bring forth the essence of the human spirit; so express yourself without abandon.

Ann Clemmons

Written Phrase

Why is it that those we should know or believe turn out to be the ones we least understand? I suppose the world is an illusion until we find our way home.-Ann Clemmons

Favorite Phrase

I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense...

Beatrix Potter’s Journal, 17 November 1896, from the National Trust collection.

Jacket Flap-

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The Storyteller, by Dawn Drover

Alone in her world
of make believe
weaving her stories
of magic and light

She brings joy
to the eyes
of innocent minds
less jaded and free

For only they know
what's in her heart
holding the secrets
she guards so well

Life's hidden mysteries
belong to those
whose wisdom and truth
shine on in imagination


Written for Ann
~Dawn Drover~

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In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”'


F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Lines from The Great Gatsby)
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