A Look At A Book 12

Not So Tall For Six written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Frank W. Dormer is a wonderfull book about being brave and smart and big at heart.

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Meet Kylie Bell, the not-so-tallest one in the first grade. She might be small but she never lets size get her down. Nope. Kylie Bell is brave.

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When that bully-boy Rusty Jacks slithers around her like a half-starved rattlesnake, what is Kylie Bell to do? Can she keep hold of her courage, not to mention her good manners

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Take a fresh and funny look at bravery in this heartwarming book

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As a child author Dianna Hutts Aston was afraid of clowns, ducks and oral reports. Since then she has learned that no one is born with courage. As Kylie Bell finds out, courage takes practice.

Illustrator Frank W. Dormer says he is not afraid of anything. Well, maybe he’s afraid of rickets. And scurvy. He overcomes his fears by sitting in the sun with a tall glass of orange juice.

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What are you afraid of and how do you overcome your fears?

The Grandparent Book

G BookGrandparents’ Day is coming soon. September 11 to be exact. Want to get a great gift for yourself or any other grandparent in your life? I have a wonderful suggestion: The Grandparent Book by Amy Brouse Rosenthal.

This is not a book about grandparenting skills. It is not a humorous book about funny interactions between grandparents and their almost always funny grandchildren. It is not a book about famous grandparents.

It is however, a place to record those precious family memories and special traditions you would like to pass along to the next generations.

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It is most definitely a platform for sharing the lifetime of wisdom you have surely accumulated and that your family needs you to share.

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It is absolutely a keepsake in the making. Your own personal legacy of memories, thoughts, cares, wisdom and learning, all stored in one easily transferrable book.

The book starts out with the basic statistics of who you are and where you come from. Then comes page after page of leading questions to be answered. . . . . or not. It’s a free country! There are plenty of spaces for photos and souvenirs to be added to the written words.

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Some of the great topics are: The Inside Scoop On My Siblings, Life At The Family Dinner Table, What Drew Me To My Future Spouse. There’s even space for family members to write special notes and comments.

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When filled in, this book becomes a treasure trove of memories, thoughts, feelings, traditions and unique family moments to be gifted and shared with those you love the most.

First it is a gift for the grandparent and then it becomes an incredible inheritance for the grandchild.  What other book could do more than that?

I Have Food Issues

During the last year and a half, I have lost about fifty pounds. However, two months ago, to my surprise, my family doctor told me I had gained eight pounds back. His diagnosis – I have food issues. His remedy – counseling.

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Now I am familiar with counseling for problems in a marriage, issues of depression or even loss of self-esteem. But food issues? Well, evidently it is true. There is counseling for people like me, people with food issues.

So counseling it is. Not a diet. Not a food plan. Not a calorie counter. Counseling!

I have a special counselor now, because . . . . .  I have food issues. She is very nice and we get along well. We do not, however, exchange recipes or talk about Grandma’s best Angel food cake or give each other chocolate treats. That would be out of bounds for people like me – people with food issues.

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We spend my fifty minutes of therapy talking about all the foods I do eat, all the foods I shouldn’t eat, all the foods I want to eat, and why. “Why” is the biggest food issue so far.

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Why I do what I know I shouldn’t and why I don’t do what I know I should. You know, why I have food issues. Somehow we never have an answer for that. Do all people with food issues have trouble with why?

I know what a healthy diet looks like and I am aware of harmful foods, thanks to the media. (Even though that list changes from week to week). I know the calorie count of most of the foods I eat and I exercise three times a week. How can this be such a problem?

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Well, you guessed it – I MUST HAVE FOOD ISSUES! At sixty-nine years of age I’m in counseling for my “issues” with food, which I was completely unaware of until two months ago!

Every two weeks I see my food counselor. We talk and sometimes laugh. She always asks how I feel about food (love it!), how I feel about depriving myself of certain foods (hate it!) and how I feel about managing my food intake (annoyed!). Do all people with food issues have such strong feelings about food?

Maybe not. I don’t know, since I’m the only one I’ve ever known who has been clinically diagnosed with food issues. I’m charting new territory here. I’m blazing a new trail – for me anyway.

I guess the counseling must be working because I haven’t gained any more weight. I think I still have food issues though, because the counseling continues.

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Will I need counseling for the rest of my life? I’m unsure. I don’t know if food issues is curable or just manageable. I guess I will see.

I don’t mind talking with my counselor so much – she’s pleasant and all. I do dislike talking about, thinking about and planning for food all the time. That really is MY biggest food issue.

I’m going to tell my doctor so, the next time I see him. I hope he doesn’t recommend more counseling for that!!

Happy Birthday To You!

Birthdays come every year. When we are young, we can hardly wait for this annual event to occur. When we get older, we can hardly believe another year has passed so quickly. Birthdays are a reminder, not only to tell us we are getting older but that we are still alive.

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Gramps celebrated a birthday this week. He is now 73 years old. Neither of us, in our youth, imagined getting this old, but here we are. We had a wonderful BBQ dinner with all the extras, including a cake made by our daughter. (Mac says his mom makes the “best cakes ever”. I agree.) Family and friends joined us.

We ate, we laughed, we told “you know you’re old when” jokes, we gave gifts and we ate again. We sang “Happy Birthday” even though there were no candles on the cake. After all, a birthday is all about having fun and sharing it with others. And truly it has very little to do with presents.

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For kids, birthdays are especially important. Each one is a consistent marker of time and growth. It is a permanent memory, like a tree ring, of the past year of gain, loss, growth, learning and change. It is also a tiding of the future’s possibilities, the year to come, the time until the next birthday.The birthday itself should be a wonderful celebration of life. It can be of any sort to suit the child and/or the family – a party, a special meal, a sleepover, an outing, a movie, balloons, a cake, anything, anything out the ordinary.

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Children need to feel every day, but especially on their day of birth, that they are loved and valued. They need some extra attention sometimes and this is the perfect day to do it!

I write a note to each of my grandchildren on their birthday. I tell them how much I love them, how glad I am they were born and how proud I am of them. Presents come and go, but they will always have my birthday notes. If they are ever feeling down or unsure of themselves, they can read my little letters and hopefully feel the love in my words.

Every birthday should make the recipient feel better, happier, appreciated and loved. Remembering our loved ones’ special days is our duty and should be our delight.

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Children adore being remembered and fussed over. I adore remembering and fussing over my grandchildren, so it is a win-win situation for us.

Wishing all my Sweeties a Happy Birthday, whenever it is!!!