Monthly Archives: May 2011

Found Items: #3 Mom’s Christmas Card for Her Mother

While going through the attic at my mom’s house last fall, we came across a Christmas card mom made for her mother. As you can tell, my mother missed her calling. She could have made greeting cards for a living. (actually she did make many greeting cards for family and friends when I was a kid)

My Mother! York, NY 46 (unless the 46 means 1946 and NY means New Year?)

The address is interesting, mostly because they lived in Elgin, Illinois. Not New York, NY. I love the drawing with the fashionable hairstyle.

1940's drawing
My grandma in 1946 as drawn by my mother.
She works and works in the kitcion like a slave. Sometimes I wonder if she didn’t once live in a cave She gits after us and gits after us Till she just desides to pick up after us

The drawings on this one are too good to miss so here they are in more detail:

Working in the kitchen like a slave.
Here she is working in the kitchen like a slave. Note her leg is shackled to something


Cave man
Here she’s being dragged by her hair when she lived in a cave
Running after the kids with a belt
Here she’s getting after the kids. With a belt.

I’m guessing mom was about 10 or 11 when she made this card (which would make 1946 reasonable) because all of her siblings are in the drawing. From left to right, (the kids) is Mom. Then Aunt Ginny, then Aunt Nancy, then Uncle Dick and finally Uncle Bud. In 1946, though, Aunt Ginny would have still been an infant and not running.

Here she’s given up and is picking up after the kids. It gives her a backache.
After all that she should think us all rats But I know my mother Beter than all others I know she loves us more in every way She loves us more every day

More details below:

Here she’s chasing the rats away with a flyswatter.
To my mother Because I love her May not miss my loving kiss on Christmas Day Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

The loving kiss:

Here’s she’s rewarded with a loving kiss.
Vahish (?) P.0 Box

Sometimes I’m annoyed that Mom keeps everything — but often I’m pleased. This was a lot of fun to look at with mom and to share with you.

In Which Dona Admits to Loving Dozens of Men

In 1979 I spent a semester in London attending Southlands College and student teaching at a local primary school. The teacher with whom I did my teaching practice had a set of books in her classroom that I fell in love with and when I finished my student teaching, she gave me several titles in the collection. I’m pretty sure that I was the first person in Elgin to have copies of these books because they didn’t hit the States until a few years later. I remember being delighted yet dismayed to see the books being sold in a bookstore in Pittsburgh. Delighted because I could now easily purchase more of the books and dismayed because I was not unique in that respect any longer.

I used these books for lessons when I was a teacher because I loved the simple drawings, the life-lessons and the high vocabulary they offered. The books may have been small picture books, but when I did a readability evaluation on a few passages in several books found they were at the 5th grade reading level.

When my own children were old enough to care about books, I brought the books home and read to them from the books. We had fun laughing over the silly characters and the situations in which they found themselves.

The books are still in the house somewhere and while I’ve not seen them recently, thought about them the other day and made a mental note to blog about the set of books sometime soon.

Today when I saw the series of Google Doodles I knew that today was the day to write about Mr Men.

My favorite was Mr. Chatterbox and I never really liked the Little Miss books. They seemed more like an afterthought to me and not nearly as funny as the originals.


The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

I just got word that Amazon has shipped my copy of The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins. I’ve not been so excited about a book launch since Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (which sort of proves my own geekiness just by admitting that).

Alexandra Robbins, as you may recall, wrote a book about overachieving high school students and based much of her information on our neighborhood high school, since she went to school there herself. I read it, but was not happy with the message. Clare was a junior at the time and miserable. In fact she has few good memories of high school — mostly because that high school is such a pressure-cooker of a school.

Ms Robbins kindly replied to a Facebook comment I made on her wall (that I’d thrown her earlier book across the room more than once) that her new book is more hopeful. I’m glad. And I’m glad she wrote it.

When Clare was in middle school and lamenting her non-popularity and the loss of her best friend to the popular crowd I told her that, although she doesn’t know it now and may not believe it, she will be the successful one later on. She will be happier than the so-called popular kids when she’s grown. I also told her that she will be the more interesting person too — that the popular kids, for the most part, are two-dimensional and shallow and ultimately boring. That she was none of those things. Of course it didn’t help her then to hear me say that, but it helped me that I believed it — having been in a similar situation high school.

Clare’s a sophomore in college now and so far my prediction is right — at least for her. I don’t follow the popular kids. She’s confident, smart, happy and multi-dimensional. She’s a deep thinker and will do great things in life.

I’m going to get two of these books and one will go to Clare with an inscription from the author for her. (I sort of want it to say, “Your mom was right again!” which is a take off of a line from a Dan Bern song).

Stay tuned — I’ll write more about the book when I’ve actually read it. I’m going to a book reading/signing by Ms Robbins on Saturday. I couldn’t be more excited.