Monday, February 27, 2017

baby moose in town

Yesterday morning I watched this baby moose behind the Boise Co-Op, chewing the bushes at Dr. Bodily's dentist office. He was scruffy adorable. Seeing wildlife in town however, may become a joy of the past, with no more stewardship of our environment.
The president's new puppet, Scott Pruitt, says eliminating the EPA "is justified" -- that Americans look at it "much like they look at the IRS." Words fail.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

boys who read

Josh, Joel and J.D. Frees, now college graduates
One summer day years ago, friends from Colorado drove through Idaho and stopped in Boise to visit us. During our lunch of BBQ'd hamburgers we somehow got on the subject of books so I showed the brothers to our shelves. After an hour the adults realized the house had grown quiet and the boys had vanished. We found them out front in the backseat of their van. Seeing them engrossed in reading warmed my heart then and does to this day. This photo [ABOVE] is still on our fridge; their books: Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, 1847. These brothers obviously kept reading and reading because they're now college graduates -- and happen to be married to lovely, smart women. I'm so delighted for them!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

mem fox

Mem Fox

My favorite children's book author from Australia, Mem Fox, doubts she'll ever visit our country again. On her way to Milwaukee to address a convention she and a room-full of travelers were detained at LAX for visa checks. She said the border agents acted as if they'd been given "turbocharged power" by the president's executive order. 

Afterward she said, "I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness."

I am so ashamed of the White House puppet show.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

letter from U.S. Senator

I love receiving personal letters.

Especially from a United States Senator.

This one is from my Idaho representative, James Risch. I had written requesting a NO vote for Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary because of her zero time in public schools. He voted YES, however. Well, now that he and she will share time in Washington, D.C., perhaps she'll offer tips about how to actually read his letters before signing his name.

Oh wait! Idaho is 46th in the country in education, so maybe this is the best he can do.

Monday, February 13, 2017


When I heard that letters to Washington, D.C. go through anthrax screening and take longer to be read, I pulled out my stash of souvenir postcards, many of scenic Idaho, and bought a bunch of 34-cent stamps. Here goes!

Monday, January 30, 2017

getting off my duff

I am a daughter of American Revolutionary War soldiers. To honor their sacrifice and for the future of my children and grandchildren, I'm getting off my duff.

Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, said, "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty."

So today some brand new friends and I visited our U.S. Senators, Mike Crapo and James Risch at their offices in Boise, Idaho. Urged a NO vote for Betsy DeVos as Education Sec'y, NO to immigration ban, and chatted up other issues. Sooooo much work ahead, but I'm psyched.
Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, closeup and indoor

Saturday, January 28, 2017

NEW study guides, Revolutionary War series

Hello Teachers and Parents!

I'm happy to announce new study guides for Hope's Revolutionary War Diaries #1-3: Five Smooth Stones, We Are Patriots, and When Freedom Comes. It was a lot of fun revisiting my research and travel to historic Philadelphia. I've included writing and drawing prompts, ideas for discussion, some activities, a recipe in each, and tidbits about myself. The free guides are on my website. I hope they're fun for you and your readers!