An Interview with Pippa Chorley
Meet Pippa Chorley! Her interview is now On the Scene, on the blog button. Pippa answered 6 questions about her writing life. She started young, as a child.
I think the most interesting thing about Pippa is that she hails from Cheshire, England. Now she lives in Singapore with her husband, 3 young children, and her dog Jasper. He’s her writing buddy. Pippa finds her best ideas when she’s taking Jasper for a walk. Her debut book comes out April 5th. I wonder who found the sheep first, Jasper or Pippa.
This is Pippa’s debut book! I love the cover! Poor Sam, she can’t go to sleep. Her mum suggests counting sheep. Sam tries but gets stuck when Little Shep can’t jump over the fence. Join Sam and her flock in this frolicking rhyming farmyard adventure.
Fun Fact: I met Pippa when I met Susan Jacobs Lipshaw. We were all on Kid Lit 411. I’ve only been outside the US twice, and now I have a writing friend from Singapore. I love her ‘mum’ instead of my ‘mom.’ I’m fascinated with the small things that make us a little different and a lot special.
An Interview with June Smalls
Meet June Smalls! Her interview is up on our website blog. She answered 6 questions about her life as a writer. If you want to write, her answers might help you start. June’s debut book comes out April 2nd. I’m so glad it’s not April 1st because her book is a fun way to learn something new.
The most important thing to know about June is that she’s always loved animals, and that she’s been making up stories about them for as long as she can remember. I think it’s perfect that her first book is about animals!
This is June’s debut book, and it HAS odd animals! Not an alligator or bear to be found, but you can meet an Aye-Aye or a Fossa. Not only are her animals odd, but they introduce their letters in their own unique, but odd way. If you want to find out what Aye-Ayes and Fossae are, you can preorder this book now or wait till it comes out April 2nd.
Fun Fact: I met June back in June of 2016, no pun intended. We both were taking a class with the Highlights Foundation in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. I think it’s great that we get to be debut authors the same year and with the same debut group. It’s a ‘small’ world after all. All puns intended!
Have you ever read a book that you love? You can’t stop reading it, even if it’s time for bed. You HAVE to read the next page, the next chapter. When you finish, you HAVE to read it again. It might make you laugh, or cry, or both. It might even turn you topsy-turvy! If you have, then you should review that book.
Why should you write a review? You loved the book. Isn’t that enough?
It could be, but if you take the time to write a couple of sentences, you’d help the book. You’d help its author. You’d help someone on the other side of the world find this book too.
I’ve heard that writing a good review for a book is like chocolate for an author. Imagine, you, giving your favorite author, your favorite book a box of chocolate just by writing a review. It doesn’t cost you anything but time, and authors love it. What a great thing to do!
I hope I’ve convinced you to write a review. The next step is to write it, but you’re probably wondering HOW?
Start by writing it online. If you don’t feel comfortable, write it on paper or on your computer first. Then go into Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Cut and paste your review into their link. Actually, confession time, that’s what I do. I write them first for My Reads, my website book review. I do it in My Newsletter form. Then I cut and paste them to My Reads, and then into Amazon. It’s easy peasy because I’ve worked out my words in advance.
Still worried? Here are some tips . . .
2. Make sure you’re accurate about what you write. I know an author who got a bad review. It said there was a walrus or seal in her story. There wasn’t. Writing something that’s false isn’t fair to you or to the author. You might not read the story, and the author may not sell books because of bad information.
3. If you post a review on Amazon, be ready to grade the story. Fours are good. Fives are great. Those are the only books I review.
4. Next think about why you liked or loved this story. It’s an easy place to start. It’s also what I’m looking for if I read your review. What’s so great about this book?
5. Think about the characters. Was there something that made you want to read about them? When I choose a new book, I look at characters and how they’re developed to make my decision.
Think about the plot, how the story moves from the problem to the solution. What kept you reading? I want to know that too. Make sure you tell me what you liked/loved about the plot and the characters, and I might buy the book you reviewed.
6. Finally, what makes this book special? How is it unusual? What caught your attention? When you proofread your review, you want to make sure it’s there. If you’re good at writing reviews, you might even become one of Amazon’s top reviewers.
BTW, I’m not a top reviewer, but in the last couple months, I’ve had 2 people reach out to me to review their books. I guess they liked how I write reviews.
Beach’s Best Tip – I just discovered this a month or two ago. When I edit ANYTHING, I click on narrator in Microsoft Word. It makes it so easy to hear my mistakes and improve them.
For me that’s the best part about writing, always pushing to write my very best. Good luck! Happy Reviewing!
We’re live now!
Come visit our brand new web site:
We’re also on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/OntheScenein19
And on Instagram too: https://www.instagram.com/onthescenein19
What's On the Scene? A creative group of debut picture book and middle grade authors publishing in 2019, and I’m one of them. I’m so happy to be in this great group of writers!
How did we meet? In a writer’s site! Someone in our group was wondering what to do because the 3 other debut groups were closed. Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw saw the post, and came up with a solution…make our own group. We started with 5 and closed out at 20. This is so exciting!
Come take a tour of the site with me. Do you see HOME? Click on WHO WE ARE to see our pictures and biographies.
Click BOOKS to see the covers and synopses. We have everything from picture books to middle grade novels. The best part about being in this group…I get to read them all. I can’t wait!
Cole Roberts is working on the cover and illustrations for my chapter book for grades 3-5. It’s amazing to see him turn my words into pictures. NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM will debut in May, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
Thanks to Neil Armstrong, not only do I have a book coming out, but I also have a publishing company. When I decided to write about Neil last May, I couldn’t publish traditionally in time for his anniversary. That takes 2-3 years so I started looking at self-publishing houses. It’s expensive, but thanks to my friend, Donna, I realized I could do it cheaper, and better, by myself.
I didn’t realize how hard it could be. I’ve already hired and lost 3 illustrators, but it looks like #4 will be the charm. I’ve learned how to put together a contract for Cole and how to evaluate his art.
I bought a template for my story. I’ve had it for over a month. Today I got brave and transferred my words. I’m so glad there’s a you-tube video to help. So far so good! Tomorrow I’ll try to manage chapters template-style. The biggest piece yet to learn, how to input the illustrations when Cole’s done. Another adventure!
I’ve bought ISBN numbers. They track book purchases, and I started registering them. Almost finished! I also had to get an EIN number. EIN stands for employer identification number. It’s official! I have a business. If I make money on this book, I’ll get to pay taxes on the profit. Yay!
My latest adventure is learning how to market and sell a book. How? I’ll get publicity so that people hear about Neil’s story. I’ll tell them why it’s terrific and why they should buy their own copy. On the Scene is a fun way to get publicity for my book and for the books of my fellow authors.
Literary Festivals are another way. Donna suggested I do the one at Rose Glenn February 23rd. I was scared to death, but after some shopping today I feel better. I have a business card and a banner for my publishing house.
I’ve never done a festival so I’m glad I have friends to help me. And if I fail, Donna said I can learn from my mistakes. Here’s to my newest adventure, as publisher at Beach House books.
An Interview with Connie Bergstein Dow
Meet Connie Bergstein Dow through her interview on our website. She answered 6 questions about what it’s like to be an almost published writer. Her debut book comes out in March. The most important thing you should know about Connie is that she’s a dancer, that she’s always been a dancer, and that her debut book was inspired by dance.
This is Connie’s debut book, and it HAS energy! Her characters leap their way around the cover and through the pages. It’s a 4-fer for kids! They can learn their alphabet, be creative, get physically fit, and best of all, have fun. If you teach young children, this is the perfect book for you!
WELCOME. We Are Officially On-The-Scene
This was our first post, up yesterday. Today it’s below Connie’s, but it’s a great introduction to our group, and to the reason we all write . . . to have a child read your words. Here’s to being on the scene in 2019!
I had never heard about King Day. A writer friend, Keila Dawson, published this book 2 years ago. I read it and thought it was just a funny story. Thanks to Keila, this year I put king cake together with the holiday. It’s the reason for the season, for cake and for babies.
If you’re like me, read on and discover King Day. If you’re hungry, make one for yourself. And if you’re adventurous, take a trip down to New Orleans and meet one of its best traditions…King Cake!
Can you guess what King Day is about now? Google pulled up Martin Luther King, but that’s wrong.
King Day is about the 3 kings, the 3 wise men. Yesterday in church I finally put it all together. I knew King Day was January 6th. So is Epiphany. Our church sermon said it’s always January 6th, this year, next year, and in 2040. Epiphany and King Day are always January 6th. They’re the same holiday.
Here’s a link for more information:
I always think of the 3 kings arriving with the shepherds at about the time Baby Jesus was born. That was the Nativity scene I grew up with.
Now I’m wondering. Maybe the shepherds stuck around for the kings, maybe not. I know from my research and from sitting in church, that the kings followed the star from their own countries. They went to see King Herod. He asked them to find out about the new baby king and to report back. Then the kings continued on, following the star till they came to Bethlehem, to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. It would have taken a while to get there since they traveled by camel. It doesn’t matter if the shepherds were there. What’s important is that the kings gave him kingly gifts—gold, frankincense, myrrh.
We all know gold is perfect for a king. Frankincense and myrrh I’d never thought about. I googled them for you! Frankincense is a gum or resin. It’s used in making perfume and incense. People wear perfume and it smells good, but incense also burns. Back in Old Testament times, frankincense was part of the sacrifices burned for God, for Yahweh. That made it a perfect gift for baby Jesus, part God, part man.
Myrrh is a gum resin. It was used for making perfume, incense, medicine, and for annoiting the dead. Back in Old Testament times, myrrh was a popular perfume, perfect for a king. After crucifixion, Jesus’ body was annointed with myrrh. Symbolically it points towards Jesus’ death.
Check out these links to see Frankincense and myrrh, and to learn more about them.
This is King Cake! I can tell because it’s yellow, purple, and green. Those are Mardi Gras colors. It looks like someone already found the baby in the center. Do you see him?
You can make your own King Cake. Google a recipe, or try this one from Keila Dawson. It’s easy enough that a preschooler can make it with you, easy enough that a classroom could make one too. Keila once made 50 cakes with her son’s class. They sent them off to some wounded warriers in Germany. I bet they loved them!
This is Keila’s king baby, but this isn’t King Day, and there’s no King Cake. Keila’s baby travels everywhere with her, to places like tennis tournaments and restaurants. Lucky baby! Keila gave me permission to share these pictures. I wonder where they’ll go next. I hope it’s New Orleans!
Do you remember the King Cake colors, purple, green, and gold? They’re the colors of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. They come out for King Day and hang around till Fat Tuesday. This year that’s March 5th, but it changes every year. King Day is always January 6th.
Here’s a link if you’d like to learn more about king cake:
King Cake has been around a long time, for over 300 years in France. The cake was made with French bread-dough. Sugar was sprinkled on top, and a bean was hidden somewhere inside. Whoever found the bean got to be king for the day. Tomorrow he/she was expected to buy or make the next cake.
This painting is from 1774. Its name— Le gateau des Rois. That’s French. In English that means the cake of the king. Click this link to learn more about the history of king cake:
King Day and King Cake are New Orleans traditions. Did you know that it was once a French colony? If you go to New Orleans you’ll meet a lot of French culture.
One of the traditions still around is celebrating Joan of Arc’s birthday. It’s January 6th. To the left is a statue of Joan. She’s famous because she liberated France from English rule.
The first parade of the Mardi Gras season is for Joan of Arc. It’s always on her birthday, January 6th. Here’s the link for the 2019 parade schedule: http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/schedule.html
King Day dates back to the old French and English holiday, Twelfth Night. In 567 the Catholic Church established The Twelve Days of Christmas, and they let you decide when to start your count, December 25th or 26th. That meant you celebrated Twelfth Night on either January 5th or 6th.
Twelfth Night is part of our culture. Shakespeare wrote about it in a play that was first performed in 1602. The song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, was published in 1780, but its roots go farther back into French and English history.
If you celebrated Twelfth Night in 2019 you probably ate king cake, and you probably took down your Christmas decorations. I hope so…it’s bad luck if you didn’t.
Here are two links if you’d like to read more about Twelfth Night:
Here’s a Mardi Gras question from Traveltrivia.com. Only 41% of those who answered got it right. I didn’t. Maybe you will! The answer’s at the bottom of this post. Good luck!
Which city hosted the 1st Mardi Gras celebration in the US?
The first parades of Mardi Gras were on January 6th, King Day. There were 3 of them in 2019. This float wasn’t there, but it helps you picture what might have been.
The Joan of Arc parade was first. It’s a walking parade. If you want to join in, dress in gold, and bring lots of king cake to share.
The Société Des Champs Elysée parade is one of the newest ones. It’s named after a famous street in Paris, France. 40 people will ride in this parade. I wonder if their float will look anything like the famous French street.
The third parade is the Phunny Phorty Phellows. What a name! They’re one of the oldest krewes (crews) around. The Fellows believe in fun so they dress accordingly.
Bands and dance teams are also part of the parade. If you want to march, check the link below. Then apply between August and November.
There are 3 ways to watch the parade. It’s free if you pick a place along the street. If you want a balcony or grand stand seat, you can buy your spot. The better it is, the more it costs. The best place is aboard a float. It’s the most expensive, but you’re part of the parade. Start searching after Easter if you want to float down the street.
This site has the parade schedule, plus more information:
One of the best parts of the parade is all the free stuff. The people riding aboard the floats buy bags of cheap treasures. They throw out necklaces and toys. Always catch them. Don’t reach down to pick up them up. Your fingers might be caught. If it’s on the ground, put a foot on it. Then pick it up between floats.
Here’s one last link from New Orleans:
Here’s your answer from Traveltrivia.com correctly. Which city hosted the first Mardi Gras celebration?
Mobile, Alabama, hosted the first Mardi Gras festival in the U.S. back in 1703. Mardi Gras originated as a Christian celebration between the Feast of the Epiphany and Ash Wednesday. The very first Mardi Gras parade was held in 1711 and featured a papier-maché cow head.
I started by doing 3 things to my blank canvas. I drew lines for 3 trees, that’s the white areas. I painted the sky blue and the trees white using the biggest brush.
This is what I used to give the trees color. I was given white, black, and brown. I mixed white and black to get gray. Then white and brown to get tan.
I picked up three colors at a time on my knife. I pushed them from one side of the tree to the middle. Then I repeated it on the other side. Sometimes I loaded my knife with white, gray, and black. Other times I used white, tan, and brown.
And that’s how I shaded the trees. All 3 are different, depending on the colors I put on the knife.
The next step was to add brown branches to the painting. I laid the cardinal on the right where that big empty space is. Then I sketched in lines and painted them brown. This time I used the green handled brush.
I painted the branches bigger, and I added smaller twigs, all in brown. With the yellow brush I swept in black lines to give the trees more definition.
I added dots of snow to the top of the branches. Do you see the wisp of white in the top right corner? It was a mistake. I asked Melanie about covering it up. I decided to keep it. Take a look at the picture below…she was right. It blends right in!
Let it snow! I dotted and swirled in more snow to the branches with the green and yellow brushes.
I used the biggest brush to add snow to the sky. How? It’s called dry brush. I dried off the brush, dipped it in white, and dotted my plate till I was happy with the snow. Then I repeated the technique on my canvas till my sky filled with snow.
At last! The cardinal’s here! I drew it in first. Then I outlined it in red, except for the beak. Three coats of red covered the background.
And of course, I did the beak with the same procedure…outline, then 3 coats of orange.
The finale! It was all about the bird! I added a black mask for his face and a white dot for his eye. Then I outlined his wings with brown. It reminded me of making ( )’s. Then I swept in more feather lines with brown. I added orange accents for the feathers.
Confession—I didn’t like his beak or his mask so I fixed them with sharpie markers. Of my 3 paintings, this is my favorite.
My take-away, relax and enjoy! This time I didn’t worry about every line. I didn’t worry about what everyone else’s painting looked like. I trusted the process, and my teacher. It worked so don’t worry! Be happy! Enjoy the journey!
The story behind this post: It all started with a publicist, not mine, Riley’s. Riley’s owner, Jill Mangel Weisfield , had a publicist for her book, and she emailed me and asked if I’d review it. She sent me a copy to read. I loved it so much I decided to review it for My Reads and write a post about working dogs.
In her adventure Riley searched for the right job. She imagined pulling a sled, guarding the president, competing in a dog show, guiding a blind person, working at a fire house, and becoming a therapy dog.
I researched and found even more job opportunities for Riley! It’s true— a dog is man’s best friend! Keep reading to find out why dogs are the best pet ever!
Sled Dogs: Long ago dogs pulled sleds in cold and snowy places like Alaska. Mushing peaked during the 1880’s gold rush. In the early 1900’s dogs still delivered mail until planes took over. Sometimes dogs still help out by moving people and supplies.
Dog sledding was a popular sport until snowmobiles appeared in the 1960’s, but in 1973 the Iditarod revived dog sledding. It takes 8-15 days to race from Anchorage to Nome. It may be early March, but the dogs race through blizzards and gale-force winds. The wind chill can drop to −100 °F. Yikes!
Carting: Carting or dryland mushing is a sport found all over the world. It looks like dog sledding without the snow, and it keeps the dogs in racing form during the off-season.
Draught Animals: These are draught (draft) dogs from long ago. I’d never seen the word draught before. It means that they’d pull carts for their owners, usually farmers or peddlers. Sometimes they carried mail or people.
In WWI they pulled small field guns. The Soviet Army in WWII used them to pull carts with stretchers for wounded soldiers. Would you believe the military dogs had guard dogs to protect them too. They were valuable!
Turnspit dogs: Can you find him in the picture? He’s inside the wheel, and he’s running to get some meat. He reminds me of a hamster on a wheel, except hamsters do it by choice, for fun.
Now can you see the spit on the fire? It’s cooking some meat. The dog’s wheel is connected to the spit.
When the dog runs, it turns the meat so it won’t get burned. In today’s world, that seems mean, but if you were a kid back in the day, you’d rather have a dog turn the spit than you. This picture was from a book about a tour to North/South Wales in 1797 by Henry Wigstead. I wonder if George Washington had a turnspit dog.
Turnspit dogs were also called Kitchen Dogs or Canis Vertigus, but no one’s sure what breed they were because no one recorded that information. Some people think they might be related to the Glen of Imaal Terrier or the Welsh Corgi. I think both are too cute to be put to work!
Hunting Dogs: Dogs have been helping people hunt since before bows and arrows. Hunters love their dogs. They can find, track, and bring back the animal you shot. Sometimes they chase away animals you don’t want like mice or cockroaches.
Dogs are trained to hold big animals like bears or wild boars in place until you arrive.
Bird Dogs: These dogs were bred to point hunters toward the game and to retrieve it. They’re energetic, and they love water. Bird dogs are great with kids, and they’re great as therapy dogs.
Here are some of the most popular bird dogs. Do you recognize any of them? Do you have one?
My dad’s favorite dog was a Brittany. She was his best friend and a family legend, pointing out pheasants hidden in the woods.
Sight Dogs: I’d never heard of Sight dogs till this post, but they have great eyes and great speed. They can chase down things that move fast like cats, squirrels, even kids. They love to play games like fetch. Sight dogs love to run, but if there’s nothing to chase, they’re happy laying by your feet. Here are a few sight dogs.
Herding Dogs: Everyone can picture them. They’re Biblical! Remember, the shepherds watching their flocks by night? I picture them with a dog or two. Don’t forget cowboys and their dogs herding cattle. I’ve never pictured dogs herding geese, but they are in the first picture below. I’ve seen dogs herd kids. My border terrier, Leia ,used to herd me if there was something she wanted me to do.
Did you know there’s actually a herding group of dogs? There are 80 different breeds in this group! But not all herding dogs turn out to be good herders. Some are better as pets. Click on the next link and you can read the whole list. Link: https://www.dogbreedinfo.com/h/herdingdogs.ht
Did you know herding dogs have trials? To win one, a dog must move the sheep when their handler is farther away. BTW a handler can be the owner or a professional hired by the owner. The dog must control the sheep and take them to the handler, and then repeat, by doing the opposite. It’s interesting that the away drive is harder. It’s against instinct for a dog to move the sheep away from the handler. The final task for the team is to move the sheep into a space like a pen or a cart.
Sometimes the dog must separate the sheep into 2 groups according to a judge’s directions. It’s called shedding. Singling is when the dog and handler work together to pull a few sheep out of a large group. They may also do a cross drive where the dog moves the sheep from one side of the field to the other, in front of the handler, but at a distance from him.
The picture above is from a 2010 trial in Utah. I found it, plus more information at this link.
Fire House Dogs: That’s the one and only Dalmatian. You know as in 101 Dalmatians? I’ve never seen a live one at my home fire house. They’re just statues. Read on and discover how Dalmatians became fire station dogs.
Back in the days of fire carriages in merry old England, the firemen would get the call, throw in a steam pump, hitch up the horses, and take off. The Dalmatians kept the horses from spooking and they could run forever beside the coach.
I love this fact! Dalmatians were the first siren. Their bark warned people to get out of the way because a fire carriage was coming. They also kept the horses calm when they arrived, and they guarded the equipment. Back at the fire house, they took care of vermin like rats.
But when fire trucks were invented, Dalmatians weren’t needed to bark or calm the horses. Any dog would do, but firemen have kept Dalmatians around. They’re tradition! I hope it never changes! Here’s the link that helped me write this post. It has more information than I could share.
Show Dogs: Have you ever seen dog shows on TV? The dogs are shampooed, trimmed, combed, and primped until they’re perfect. It looks like a beauty contest, but it’s not.
The AKC, American Kennel Association, says dog shows are about finding the dog that best fits the breed standards. That’s a list of physical traits, movement, and temperament. Each breed has its own standards. A Cocker and a Brittany are both spaniels, but they have different standards. A judge picks a winner based on those standards. A handler preps their dog to show off their best traits and to minimize others.
The AKC, American Kennel Association, says dog shows are about finding the dog that best fits the breed standards. That’s a list of their physical traits, how they move, and their personality. Each breed has its own standards. Boston and Border are both terriers, but with different standards. A judge picks a winner based on which dog fits the most standards. A handler preps their dog to show off their best traits, and to minimize others.
Did you know there are 340 recognized breeds world-wide? The AKC recognizes 192. Each breed has its own American club. There’s one club for Boston Terriers, and another for Border Terriers. A dog that conforms to standards will do well in shows. Winning means your dog is worth more money. Their puppies are worth more too. Winning might even get them a dog food commercial, and more money.
Some shows are small local events with just one breed. Others, like the one at Westminster feature all 192. They might have more than 3000 dogs entered in them. Here are 2 links to the AKC: https://www.akc.org/sports/conformation/ and https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/
If a dog doesn’t have enough traits, or it’s a mix of breeds, they can’t be in dog shows, but don’t worry! They can still be a great pet, and here’s another possibility.
Agility Dogs: Agility contests are for all dogs. It’s a growing sport across the US with over a million entries a year. Winning is strictly about how fast and how accurately a dog can race. It reminds me of the obstacle courses some people do on TV. Fast and accurate is the way to go! Each mistake is subtracted from your score.
The course is too complicated for a lone dog. They need a handler to guide them through a series of jumps, dog walks, seesaws, tunnels, pause tables, and weave poles.
The handler gets to walk through the course before the race, without their dog, but during the competition they’ll work together as a team. The dog will race off leash, without rewards like food or toys. The handler can’t touch the dog or anything on the course, but they’re allowed to use voice or hand signals. It must be hard for them to do this cold without running the actual course, but at least at home the handlers can prepare their dogs by using different obstacles, and by changing the order. Training, obedience, and working together is key!
To learn more, click on:
https://www.akc.org/sports/agility/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_agility
Guard Dogs: Dogs have been guarding people and their possessions since the shepherds watched their flocks, since dalmatians became fire house dogs.
Guard dogs and watch dogs are basically the same. They both guard something, but guard dogs work professionally for businesses like security firms and the military. Watch dogs work as pets and as home protectors. If this dog lived at your house, I think I would call and check before coming over. How about you?
Police Dogs: This is a German police dog, but dogs serve policemen world-wide. They can check out crime scenes and track down the bad guys. Dogs can make them freeze until policemen can arrest and handcuff them. Police dogs are also called K9 units. Did you get their joke? Policemen chose K9 because it’s a play on the word for dog…canine. LOL!
Military Dogs: They’re also known as War Dogs or the K9 Corps. Their newest name is Military Working Dogs. Whatever you want to call them, they do many of the same jobs that Police and Guard Dogs do, but these dogs also detect mines and wires. They track or scout for enemy soldiers. They stand guard as sentries. They also serve in search and rescue units. They are truly a soldier’s best friend.
Most military and police dogs are German shepherds, Dutch shepherds, and Malinois (Belgian shepherds). They look like they’re related. That’s probably because they come from the same part of the world.
re’s a map of Western Europe. The part that’s colored is Germany. Each color represents 1 of their 16 states, and that’s where the German Shepherd came from.
Find the northeastern corner of the map. Do you see the Niederlands? That’s the Netherlands where you find all things Dutch, including the Dutch Shepherd.
Go south. Do you see Belgien? That’s Belgium, home of the Belgian Shepherd.
Tao learn more, click or copy this link:
Search and Rescue Dogs: If you’re ever in trouble, you need a search and rescue dog out looking for you. Their sense of smell and hearing are incredible, and they’re so agile, they can find you no matter where you are. They’re trained to specialize in specific kinds of rescues. Read on to find out about these talented dogs.
Tracking Dogs: They track scents, of course! Their skills help them find both people and animals. They can even track down criminals before the police know who they’re looking for.
Detection Dogs: These dogs can sniff out a single ingredient or a mixture of them. Some of the common scents they look for are illegal drugs, bombs, blood, and dead bodies. They can even smell those things inside a suitcase or a trunk. They can also find live bedbugs, termites, or mice from the scent of their waste.
You can find detection dogs working for police departments, for biologists who study living things, and for medical departments.
Hunting truffles was one of the first detection jobs. Truffles are a special fungus that people like to eat, kind of like mushrooms. They’re harder to find because they’re buried underground, but detection dogs can sniff out this hidden treasure.
Cancer Detection Dogs: These dogs can detect certain forms of cancer by smelling your breath or your urine/pee. Research is promising, but it hasn’t been verified by enough studies. Maybe someday dogs will work for your local doctor or medical lab.
Cadaver Dogs: These dogs can find dead bodies or the parts of one. Whenever there’s a disaster like an earthquake or hurricane, dogs can find our loved ones faster than we can. They also work crime scenes and accidents.
This picture shows the site of a plane crash. A dog is looking for bodies that are buried under snow and ice. It’s sad work, but I’m glad dogs are there to help. If you’re looking for a search and rescue dog, these are the best ones around.
Service Dogs: As a retired teacher these dogs are close to my heart. They help you live with a disability, and they can also be your best friend. I researched five of them, and here’s what I discovered.
Seeing Eye Dogs/Guide Dogs: These are the most famous kind of service dogs. This picture is from 1941, but these dogs have been around even longer. They started work in Germany during WWI, about 1914. They were supposed to help veterans adjust to postwar life.
In 1927 Morris Frank brought a German dog home to Nashville, Tennessee. He started a Seeing Eye school for dogs that’s still working today. If you are blind or have trouble seeing, these dogs can guide you through life.
I was surprised to learn that dogs are red/green color blind, and that they don’t understand signs like stop signs. I wondered how they could help blind people with these 2 big disabilities.
Dog schools teach both people and dogs how to work as a team. You are trained to navigate by keeping a map in your head. You must know how many streets to your destination, which ones have stop signs, and which ones have traffic lights. The dog acts as your pilot and directs you around all the obstacles in your way.
Mobility Assistance Dogs: This is not a mobility dog, but it’s wearing a harness like mobility dogs do. Can you imagine how difficult life would be if you had trouble walking or were in a wheelchair?
These dogs are great, especially if your home is dog-ready. They push buttons for doors and lights. They get things that have fallen or are out of reach. They pull wheelchairs up ramps.
They bring family when you need help. They brace you if you have balance problems. A mobility dog could change your life.
Seizure Dog: This isn’t a seizure dog, but it could be. Seizure dogs are tuned into their humans. They detect seizures that are caused by epilepsy or something else.
Seizures are caused by an unexpected electrical charge in the brain. They show up in different ways, with different symptoms. Most are mild and last about 2 minutes, but if they last longer than 5, they can cause long term issues. Seizure dogs are for these patients.
Seizure dogs help in lots of ways. They summon help. They can start emergency response systems. They can help their human out of the seizure or into a better position. They can even help them stand.
Seizure dogs can also get phones or medication. If their human’s in danger like in the middle of the road, they can help them to safety. Some dogs even tell their humans that a seizure’s coming. Can you imagine what a difference these dogs make in the lives of their families?
These are the most common therapy dogs. They’re also the most common working dogs. Why? I think it’s because they’re all smart, obedient, and easily trainable. They’re perfect pets too!
Hearing Dogs: These dogs aren’t as famous, but if you have trouble hearing, a hearing dog would be a god-send. They are trained to nudge their owners and lead them towards a sound, like a doorbell, alarm clock, telephone, crying baby, a smoke alarm, even their human’s name. If you can hear, you’ve probably never thought of how difficult a hearing disability can be.
Therapy Dogs: They are the most common kind of service dog around, and any dog can be a therapy dog. They just have to have the right personality and the right training. Then they must pass a test to prove they have the right stuff.
If your dog passes, they earn a special vest. It tells everyone around that they’re a working dog. Then they can visit hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, schools, and even colleges, anywhere humans need a little TLC…tender loving care.
If you see a dog in a vest, they’re on the job. Always ask if you can greet them. Sometimes their humans will say yes. Other times no. It depends on the situation.
If you’d like to learn more about working dogs, here is the link that helped me get started: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_dog
Click on this one to learn more about the dog breeds that like to get to work:
Meet my teacher, Melanie Sunderland Fullenkamp, owner of Full He’ART Paint and Sip. It’s the second painting I’ve done with her. It’s also the 2nd time I’ve painted since elementary school. That was a long time ago!
Beside Melanie, in the next picture is her daughter, Renae. She helps her mom with painting events. She also teaches classes for kids.
This event was named Winter Moon, and that’s what I was supposed to paint. Melanie painted all 4 of these canvases. Each one is a tiny bit different.
Here are the supplies Melanie set up at each painter. A glass of water, a rag, an easel, 3 paint brushes, 3 plastic plates, a quarter, a pencil, and an easel. On the 1st plate I started with white, light blue, and dark blue. A lot of people used purple and pink. They did Melanie’s original picture. I did it in blue.
Melanie modeled how to paint. I copied her. Light blue in the center. Darker blue around it, and onto the edges of the canvas. I brushed in some white to give it texture and movement. It worked just like Melanie said, even for an amateur like me. I drew in 3 lines for the trees and a triangle for the biggest tree. Sorry, you can’t see them!
Then I painted white down to the bottom and onto the sides. Melanie modeled how to make snow drifts by adding black to her brush. It showed up as gray. To make darker lines, use more black. Whiter, use more white.
The hard part, not using too much paint. That makes it look like dirty slush. When in doubt, ask Melanie. I did, and I stopped here. Do you see the dark gray triangle in the middle? That’s the shadow for the biggest tree.
Remember the 3 lines? Melanie turned them into tree trunks with black and hunter green. I copied her and dotted my way down. I can’t paint a straight line. I’m afraid to make mistakes so I dot my way through.
Then Melanie modeled how to make branches with the same colors. I dotted them in. Next, a little snow. I switched to white, and I dotted that snow in too.
Now time to add in the biggest tree, same colors, same techniques, except this tree is darker. Melanie said that’s because it’s closer to the front of the picture than the other trees.
I added snow to that big tree using the same technique, but I added more white and more snow than I did to the other trees. That’s because it’s in front again.
I added in the moon by tracing a quarter, then painting it white. I tried adding shadows on the moon, but mine wound up all gray. Too much paint! Melanie saved the moon by suggesting that I make it bigger and paint a white ring around it. It worked! My moon looks like it has a white halo.
The next step was to give that big tree colored lights. I used red, yellow, orange, and green. They looked great. I tried blue and purple, but they were too dark.
Here’s the final painting! I followed directions and added white to the dried canvas either in lines for snow banks, or in dots for falling snow.
Do I like my work? It depends. If I’m standing close, I see every flaw. Far away it looks better. When I look at Melanie’s, I know mine is different. It’s fuzzier, more impressionistic. Other people in class liked mine, and so did Facebook friends. I’m learning from painting to like myself, Rinda the impressionist.
Here’s my next painting with Melanie. My goal: To allow myself to be different. To check when I’m feeling insecure. I’m not a painter so I don’t know when to stop painting or to add one more brush stroke. It’s good to be able to ask a teacher. Here’s to my impression of that cardinal!
Hi! This is Beryl! She was created by my Tennessee friend, magician, and sculptor Rick Starkey. In my last post, Beryl needed to find her just right spot at the lake. She did, and she also gave me a book idea that’s sitting in my computer, waiting to be written.
Beryl also taught me how to find the perfect spot. How? By playing! I put Beryl in different positions, then kept moving her until I found the right one. I’ve always done this with clothes. I won’t buy them unless they look great, ON me. If it’s merely good, I can put it back. Really! Who knew it worked with knickknacks inside my house? Try it and see for yourself!
In Wapak, I have my favorite places to shop. Rovals is one of them. Going in and shopping is like treasure hunting. Some days you find treasure. Some days you don’t.
When I went in a few weeks ago, I saw the 2 matching vases pictured here. One was short and fat. The other was tall and thin. They called me. They whispered, "Rinda, come buy us!"
I tried not to listen, but the vases said they were unusual, that I’d never find anything like them again. They said they’d look great in my house. I asked Rochelle, Rovals’ owner extraordinaire, for help. She was supposed to talk me out of them. Not today! She said they’d look great with the giant
wine bottle I’d found at her store. It called me for a month before I'd answer yes. Then...she suggested adding sunflowers to the short one, grass to the tall one.
It was a weak moment! Wet noodle weak! Really! bought the vases, and the idea. I have to be careful when I’m shopping…I’m always tempted. I thought I’d run across the street to Moon Florist, where I’ve never, ever shopped. I thought I’d drop in and admire a friend’s arrangements. Safe? Nope, temptation beckoned, again. Tammy does great arrangements, and before I knew it, she had my vases. I’d pick them up when I returned from the lake.
The pictures to the left show what Tammy did! She’s good, really good! I love her arrangements! So did Rochelle! I stopped in for a little show and tell on my way to the car. Now, all I have to do is get them to the lake, intact. I'm ready for a road trip!
BTW…here’s the link for a post I did on Rovals in July of 2017:
Here’s the wine bottle that started this whole adventure. It’s a unique piece, 3 feet tall, 2 shelves in the middle, and a secret stash on top. I love it!
I took it to the lake, but it looked wrong by itself. So I found two geese at Casa Chic, another favorite shop. The threesome look great together. Did you know why? 3 is a Fibonacci number. When you group things by Fibonacci numbers, they fit together. Usually!
The vases made it to the lake but not beside the bottle. I tried them as a threesome. It didn’t work! I tried each vase with the bottle. It didn’t work either, even though 2 is a Fibonacci number too. Shucks! When you buy something new, things don’t always work out the way you planned.
I put the geese back. They’re just right for the big bottle. I picture them guarding it, and that makes me chuckle. Maybe, there’s a story here too!
I played with the 2 vases, just like I did with Beryl. I thought they’d work together. They didn’t! So I played with 1 vase at a time. These were my just right spots.
It’s funny, Beryl tried both locations, and they didn’t fit. The yellow sunflowers are perfect against the dark couch. The green grass shows up and fills the empty spot behind the love seat.
My take-away from Beryl, if you find something new, don’t despair if it doesn’t fit where you imagine. Play around! Try different spots. You’ll find the perfect place, and don’t forget, have fun playing!
Meet Beryl! Tennessee critique partner and chainsaw sculptor, Rick Starkey carved her, and I picked her out from a collection of siblings. I know…Oh brother! I adopted her, I have the papers to prove it! # 4521 doesn’t fit, but Beryl does. It’s just right!
Beryl needed a just right spot too. I tried different rooms, took pictures, and sent a few to my critique group. Sometimes even grown-ups need to play! The name of the game, Where is Beryl? It led to this blog post, AND a book idea…but I need to play more before I 'm ready to write. For now, can you find Beryl and tell me why each spot wasn't right?
Where is Beryl?
In the laundry room, but she didn’t like it here. She said she blended into the background, AND she’ll have to move every time I need to get in and out of the washer/drier. No, this is not her spot!
How about here?
In the kitchen, on top of the refrigerator? Beryl hated blending into the woodwork, but she loved the view. She decided to keep looking for her just right spot.
What about here?
Next to the kitchen door? Beryl could see outside and across the kitchen. But when you’re short, it’s hard to see. Her eyes barely cleared the bottom of the door. OK, Beryl, next spot!
By the couch and the stairs? Beryl loved the view of the kitchen and the deck, but blending into the couch- NEVER! Beryl likes to stand out!
In the living room, behind the love seat? Beryl thought she looked great beside the the lighter couch and wall, but she lost her view. She could only see the front door and the bedroom hallway. Boring! Beryl said no thanks!
This is the living room window. You can see the dock, the lake, and anything that moves. Beryl said no, again! She can barely see out the window, and her back’s to the room. Plus no one outside can see her. Next spot, please!
What about here?
By the fireplace? It’s nice and cozy with a great view, but Beryl said no. She blends in too much, again. Next!
On the book and toy shelf by the front door? You’d never be bored, but Beryl shook her head. Too dark she said. Beryl needs to stand out.
On top of the living room cupboard? It’s light and bright with a great view. Beryl stopped, thought, then said no. She loved a view where she could see inside and out. BUT, she couldn’t stand out surrounded by trinkets. After all who’d look at Beryl when there’s Coke to be found?
Here, Beryl? Please Beryl!
Outside on the porch? You’ll definitely stand out. You can greet anyone who comes or goes. Growl if you need to, but keep guarding that front door. Beryl looked around and said, this is just right.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!