Do books shape our lives?

It is a strange question with a million varied answers but I will be brief.

If books help shape our lives does this mean that our choice dictates the type of person we are… light weight romance – dreamer and not grounded?

Horror stories – hard skinned and insensitive?

I don’t think fiction shapes our lives but that is my opinion. However, non-fiction is a different story and I think it plays a bigger part.

What do you think?

And what is the one book from your childhood you remember most?

I read avidly and I loved re reading Roald Dahl to my kids – The Twits remaining a favorite of mine.a-roald-dahl-childrens-book-called-the-twits-on-a-white-background-dfxea2

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Maria’s Stuff Playing with Pictures

I have been having fun at a photography class. Basically learning how to make better use of my camera.

But in the process I discovered some old photos’ and have started to play around with them. This one reminded me of how much fun, kids get out of the simple things in life,

in this case it was: Boxes.

What do you think?boxes

Children’s Story: Millie Plants Ideas

 

Millie loves to help in the garden.  “Squish, squash,” Millie sang as she jumped up and down on the seeds she planted.  She wore her favorite bright green boots.

Granddad said, “be kind to them Millie.”

“I am. See, first I dig a hole, then I cover them up with a blanket of soil. Then I make sure they are tucked in good and safe.”

Granddad said, “Jumping on them and shouting isn’t being gentle. If you are gentle surprising things can happen,” Granddad said. “Try it and see.”

Millie loves surprises. She decided to try being gentle to the animals around her. She sat on the grass whispering to Bob, (her dog) , Brandy (Granddad’s lazy cat) and a fat blackbird who sat on the fence.

Millie said, “Brandy I know you would love to catch the biggest mouse in the whole world.” He looked at her then went back to washing his paws.

“Mr. Blackbird, I know you will sing the best song ever.” The blackbird flew away.

“Bob you will learn to smile.” Millie said. “And I will plant my ideas in the garden to grow.”

Granddad looked at his garden. It was very neat, “but perhaps not in the vegetable beds.”

Millie went into the house to find ideas to plant.

She found a cupcake recipe. She folded it over and sprinkled it with sugar.

Outside in the garden she picked the sunniest spot in the flower bed. She dug a large hole. Millie pressed the folded recipe into the earth. On top of it she placed a red cherry. “I love cherries.”

In the house she found an old hat. “I love hats but you need a scarf,” she murmured carrying it outside. With a soft ‘plonk’ it went into the ground.

After their lunch of tomato soup and fruitcake Millie went to help Granddad with his digging.

By five o clock that evening she was tired. She sat on an old bucket and asked the blackbird. “Did you learn a sweet song?”

His answer was a sweet musical song. Millie smiled.

Granddad said, “I told you, being kind and gentle works.”

Millie went in search of Brandy. She discovered he had found and eaten her two chocolate mice. “Don’t be sick,” she warned him.

She went in search of Bob. She searched the whole house for him but could not find him.

“Millie, come and look at this.” Granddad shouted.

Down in Millie’s special flower bed she discovered a smiling Bob wearing a straw hat with a red scarf tied dangling from the brim. Bob was eating a large cherry cupcake. Granddad was sitting beside him on the grass minding four cherry cupcakes.

“Great work Millie. Try the hat on.”

She did. “You were right Granddad. Surprising things happen when you are gentle and kind.”

They sat wearing big smiles as they ate cherry cupcakes in the evening sun.

A Moment with Maria while Bob is busy waiting for an Ogre.

A defining moment or challenge was experienced today. We were giving an athletic session to a group of 26 kids, my 13 were high on life. The three boys refused to calm down, stop was not in their vocabulary, pause was left outside the door. On the third reprimand I had enough of them, “Please return to your class room.” I twittered in my sternest (birdlike voice).

Suddenly the three villains wore angelic expressions and professed there love for staying in the gym with us. I wavered for a nano-second then caught the glint of amusement in their eyes. I stuck to my guns and they left the room. To return with an apology at the end of class.

It was clear that they were not used to an adult doing what they said, that is, empty threats often given and never carried out. Which leads to the question if the future generation cannot do what they are asked, is there any hope for us?

Race Day: a true tale witnessed by me,

Annie was hopping about. The mat on the ground was nice and soft.  “Good to bounce on”, she muttered, bouncing about.

This was Race Day. She had to win. She knew she could. She was fast. Even Jill, the tall girl standing beside her, said so. Annie liked Jill but she wanted to beat her to the line.

Annie’s palms were sweating. Her mouth was dry. Somewhere in the stand was her mum, dad, grannies and granddad’s along with most of her family. But she couldn’t think of them.

The man with the whistle was telling them to pay attention and get ready. She didn’t know if she liked him, she couldn’t see his eyes they were hidden under a huge peaked cap. Seeing people’s eyes was a deciding factor for Annie, because you knew by their eyes what they were thinking.

Annie was ready. They had practiced in the back garden and at school. Annie always won.

“Get set!” His voice boomed at her.

Annie faced the rippling tape at the end of the track. It looked very far away. She took a deep breath. The whistle blew.

Annie ran. She pushed her legs out as far as she could. She stared at that line. Tongue out, heart racing, it was getting nearer.

She was halfway down the track when she heard a shout, ” Come on Annie!”
Annie risked a peep to her right. There they were, Mum , Dad, her brothers and sisters, everyone. They were shouting her name. She stopped and squinted at them. They were shouting something at her and waving their arms. She waved back. She felt good. But then she heard the other runners catching up on her. She shouldn’t have stopped, should she? Annie felt afraid, so afraid she couldn’t move. Then she heard someone else say “Come on Annie, why did you stop!”

Taking hold of her hand, Jill looked down at Annie and smiled.
Together they trotted through the tape.

 

Note:

I have had the privilege of witnessing many events like this at Special Olympics, and my main stream athletes who came to assist on the day  were blown away by the fun and competition.

Bob’s Diary: Halloween Night – I luv it

I’ve avoided all her silly dress up ideas.

bob normal

I mean….. isn’t this face scary enough ?

But I’ve a plan….. I’m concentrating on the important stuff….

goodie bucket close up

Unlike Ellie and Kevin

Make your own mind up. Which house is rockin?

kev in party mode 1

Oops sorry that is only the 1st stage: Ellie says, hang on more coming….

kev 2

 

Scary but how about this for Awesome Sauce?

bob beside kennel

 

I told them the party starts on the 31st but they showed up at 2 minutes past midnight, so it’s ..Party time.

camping out

 

But I’m waiting to catch a witch

waiting 2

 

snag some Jelly babies and marshmallows

waiting 3

 

from the tail of her broomstick..

waiting 1

Bob’s Diary.

A Bob’s worst nightmare has begun.

The preparation for Halloween.

IMG_6233

I mean what does she think I am? A doll? A pumpkin?  And I believe this is only the beginning….

IMG_6234

 

I think it’s time to move out or get Kevin to step in…

IMG_6235

Bob’s Bouncing Birthday Bundle.

Bob arrived like a hurricane,

big and bold he ate sampling everything,

brown electric gates included,

barked at bigger dogs, adored little dogs,

Birthday time arrived for me

Bob travelled with us to Sligo to choose a

black and white

bundle of mayhem – Ellie

Best buddies for life?

recovered_2875904

Posted as part of the Daily Prompt Challenge: at this link

The Trouble With Trees

Breeze loved to sit in trees.

It was generally regarded by those who believed they knew Ogres, that Ogres hated trees, but he was the exception to the rule. The bonus for sitting in trees was; he could spy on his neighbors.

It was Monday afternoon. Breeze climbed his favourite tree in the forest and almost crashed to the ground. His favourite branch was bent at an ninty degree angle which meant he could not sit on it.

He grinned, then said, “I could use it as a slide.” And he did.

On his third slide to the ground, he let out a tremendous roar of ‘Wheeeeee.’

The female voice that roared back was not tiny or polite. When she had his attention, Fairy Tulip declared,

“You sank an entire batch of fairy cakes so you can come to the party and explain why they look like pancakes.”  Her foot was tapping the air as her wings flapped close to his nose.”Stop scowling at me. You thundering big oaf.”

“Ogre” he corrected her. “I’m a thundering big Ogre.”

Her answer surprised him.

She laughed, so hard she tumbled upwards until she was level with his eyes. “Well for a TBO you have surprisingly nice eyes.”

They went to the party together.

Days passed before Tulip met Breeze. “I have an order for two hundred cakes. Come to the tree at two o clock, I will sit with you to protect the slide and my cakes.”

He scratched his head. “Ok,  if you bring a large fairy cake for me.”

Tulip said “Yes.”

At two o’clock he saw her struggling with a huge package. She said, “I couldn’t carry the cake up to the branch but you could.”

He climbed to the branch below his favourite one, in case he was tempted to slide.

“This cake is huge.” He said.

“Don’t worry I’ll help.”

They sat for a long time eating and talking.

It was late when Tulip said, “this is odd,  we are sitting high in the sky and we are sinking instead of the sun.”

“That can’t be right.” Breeze said and finished the last of the giant cake.

Tulip looked down and smiled. She said. “Getting back on the ground is usually a long flight for me. But watch.”

With a flick of her wings she took a step and landed on the ground. Breeze stood up and walked after her. Together they looked at the tree. Instead of one branch bent towards the ground now there was two branches bent over like steps on stairs.

Breeze smiled at her. “Tulip you have solved the mystery. Thank you.”

“You are very welcome, but perhaps you should stop eating fairy cakes for the next few weeks.”

Together they strolled off into the forest.

 

This story was inspired by pictures on miartedoris.wordpress.com site.

Two Days Sixteen hours and thirty three seconds

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/writing-challenge-1000-words-four/

Photo by Michelle Weber.

I don’t get it , if grown ups can feel sad, why can’t we? Anyway, I don’t really feel sad, I just want this day to be over. My birthday is two days, sixteen hours and thirty three seconds – There is no point being smart if you can’t use it, and I do.

I know I drive my mum nuts but….. Amy sat and turned her back on Tigger, he was her favourite character and her best friend. It was her secret. If anyone else knew she had an invisible famous best friend she knew she would be laughed at and that wasn’t going to happen today when it was two days, fifteen hours, fifty minutes and fifty five seconds till BD.

She couldn’t wait until she was six years old. Then she would be allowed to do much more important and better stuff. She wanted to learn how to use an iPad, or a phone but everyone said five was too young. When she asked her bigger brother Josh how old she would have to be before that magic day arrived, he winked and whispered, “You will have to wait and see.”

At this moment in time with two days fifteen hours forty eight minutes and two seconds, she decided it was time to take a deep breath, suck it in and hope no one would remind her that her BD was happening. “Perhaps if I keep distracting them with silly questions then they will forget. I don’t want Josh to tease me again.” Amy said to the very stiff fat looking Winnie the Pooh.

She giggled and said, “You are just like Uncle George – you should go on a diet.”

For a while she sat there on the cool steel round-a-bout watching the other kids walk home with their mums. She wished her mum would hurry, but today was her day for volunteering in the kitchen. With any luck that would mean left over cookies for Amy and Josh.

She sat, with her feet dangling towards the ground flicking them backwards and forwards and trying not to think of anything at all. It was hard. Too hard, Amy decided.

She focused on solving the problem of Emma who had threatened to cut off Amy’s pig tails if she didn’t share her lunch with Emma tomorrow. Amy wondered what Josh would do, she would ask him.

Last time Josh had said, “you get in there first,” that was when Andre threatened to eat her icecream. Amy had swiped his and run away to eat it. She smiled at the memory it had been worth the tummy ache.

Cutting Emma’s pig tails was a scary thought but if it stopped Emma then it would be worth the punishment. She hoped.

“Hi Amy are you ready to leave?” Mum’s hand was warm after spending time washing dishes and pans.

Amy nodded and jumped off her round about seat.

“What were you thinking about?”

“Tigger and …. making some cards with my play sissors. ” She looked at her mum, “and trying not to  think what will happen in two days fifteen hours and….”

Mum smiled, “I have no idea, but it will be interesting to see. But remember you have to be on your best behaviour.”

Amy’s smile faded, ah no she thought. This will make the next two days even worse and I’ll have to keep out of Emma’s way.  Crossing her fingers of her free hand Amy smiled and said, “I’ll do my best.”