I usually avoid having my picture taken but the last couple months I’ve grinned and said ‘cheese.’
This is me at the Rose Blenn Literary Festival. Neil wasn’t out yet, but my critique partners talked me into going. They said it was good practice for the future. They were right!
You can’t see Debbie and Rick, but Donna’s behind me, to the left of the Story Catcher Publishing sign. She’s been my self-publishing guru. I couldn’t have made this journey without her advice!
This is me at the Marvelous Midwest SCBWI conference. I’m with my friend and conference roommate, Aileen. Without her, Neil might never have been published.
In November I was ready to quit. Then I went to the Helen Hunt Circle to talk about being a writer. I told them about losing my 3rd illustrator. Those ladies wouldn’t let me give up. Before I left, they gave me three names.
I also decided to reach out to Aileen. She had an illustrator she thought would be great, It was Cole Roberts, and that’s how I met my illustrator.
These pictures came from that same SCBWI conference in early May. I took my proof of Neil so I could get pictures with a few writing friends, BUT I couldn’t share them.
Why not? Purdue has a trademark on Neil’s name and his image. I found out in early April that I had to get permission from Purdue to use them in my book. Without that permission, I couldn’t sell my book, and I couldn’t share these pictures with you.
BUT I saved them, and now I CAN share them. The first friend is Jarm. She’s in my debut group, On the Scene in 2019. Her debut book, THE HEART CHANGER, was for sale at the conference bookstore. She didn’t have a copy so she used her tablet. I think it’s a great photo!
The second friend is Shirin. I met her last year in The Children’s Book Academy class, the 12 x 12 writing group, and my Writing Magic critique group. I hadn’t met either Jarm or Sharin in person before, but it was great to meet both of them!
Donna, Charlotte, Carolyn K, Carolyn C, Alex, Mira, Callie, Melissa, Candice, Candace, Sandra, Theresa, Nancy, Patricia, Karen, and Shirin. They are my writing community, and my book is better because they commented on what to keep, what to change, and what to delete.
It meant the world that two of my school friends made time to see me and my book. I’ve known Laura and Fran since I moved into Elida Elementary back in 1999. Fran is in the first picture. She was the school secretary, and she took great care of me and my students. Thanks, Fran!
The second is one of my 2nd grade teaching friends, Laura. I remember the 1st time I met her . . . she smacked me/my arm. I was so shocked! Normally that’s not how you make friends, but with Laura it was like becoming an honorary sister.
I owe another friend an apology. Becky came down to Wapak, and I forgot to get a picture. I’m so sorry! Becky taught me how to be a teacher back in 1983 when I was brand-new. She was one of my mentors, and I’m grateful for everything she taught me. Thanks, Becky!
Here are a few more shots from this month’s Meet the Author/book signings. Thanks to my hosts at the Wapakoneta library, Riverside Art Center, and Casa Chic. They welcomed me in and made each event special.They made sure I left with photo memories that included a smile. I am grateful to them for the opportunity to share NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
I started a business that produces a new product to sell, what am I?
A Manager Bureaucrat Entrepreneur Salesman Inventor
Tomorrow . . . The paperbacks are here!
Did you know books have birthdays just like people do? Neil was supposed to have his book birthday, or his book launch on May 1st. Then I pushed it back to May 7th. That’s my birthday, but that didn’t work out either so I set it up for today, May 17th. This time IT WORKED!
This is the full cover PDF for my hardback book. I have another one for the paperback. I took a picture of it because I couldn’t upload a PDF into Weebly or Word. Cole did both covers. Do you see sets of lines around it. These are Cole’s guide lines for Ingram. They help them print the cover. I didn’t know about any of this till I decided to self-publish this book, and Cole showed me how all this worked, BEAUTIFULLY! I’m a fan of his work!
This is the back cover. I wanted you to be able to read it. The top lines in black are a summary of the story.
In aqua there’s a quote from Mr. Robert G. Bryant, PhD, Eagle Scout, NASA Senior Research Engineer, and in the Space Hall of Fame. WOW!
I asked Rob to do a quote for my book because I know him. How? I’m a 2nd grade teacher, remember? His son is marrying my daughter. I asked him, but with the condition he didn’t have to do it, especially if he didn’t like the book.
I was so relieved that he did! My guess is that his favorite part is the back matter. That’s where I have directions for making your own wind tunnel. REALLY!
The last quote in aqua is from Patricia A Johnson. She wasn’t a rocket scientist, but, she was my middle school English teacher. Would you believe when she read it, she found 3 mistakes? I corrected 2. I didn’t on the 3rd because it made me add words that didn’t move the story, so I kept it as is.
This is Amazon’s link for the paperback book. I couldn’t believe when I went in today and found it. Wow! What a feeling! Amazon has it in both hardback and paperback form. It says it ships in a few days. Why? My printer is IngramSparks, and they print on demand.
Here’s the link for Barnes and Noble. They have the hardback and paperback books too.
Both Amazon and Barnes will have an eBook available soon. It’s cheaper if you want to wait. Ingram is adding in a Trademark to the copyright page. That’s the reason I had to hold off on Neil’s book birthday since May 1st. The Foundation at Purdue was given Trademark authority in 2015 by Neil Armstrong’s family, and yesterday I got my permission agreement. HOORAY! I put in the change for the copyright on the paper and hardback copies. They came through last night so I put them into sell. Now the only other thing missing is my bio information. That will be one of my next projects!
If you would like an autographed plate, just email me, and I’ll be glad to snail mail it to you. If you live near Wapak, you can get a copy from me directly, autographed of course! They’ll also be on sale locally at Casa Chic and at Riverside Art Center. I can work with them to get you an autographed copy. I am SO thrilled to celebrate Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream’s book birthday with all of you!
What five-finger exercise is a piece of music written for the purpose of practicing on what instrument?
Sax Trombone Violin Piano
The Answer: The Piano
I didn’t know Chopin’s etudes are also designed to train the fingers. Etude opus 10 is his best set of exercises, according to my source. They also suggested that Fur Elise by Beethoven may have been written to promote piano dexterity. I played it, loved it, but never guessed it was about fingering, not Elise. Would you believe science has studied piano exercises? George A. Kochevitsky wrote a book about it, and it even includes his thoughts about Chopin and his etudes.
I started lessons in 3rd grade with Mrs. Cliffwell. I took lessons for 2 years until she retired. I don’t remember my 2nd teacher. I think it’s because I developed some bad habits like the girl in the picture. Her hands are flat, and her arms are slumped down.
Mrs. Frazier whipped me back into shape. She taught me to hold my fingers like claws, using my hand and arm like 1 long lever to control those fingers. You can’t play fast or complicated pieces with slumping hands. I blossomed under her teaching. I did district solo contests where judges rated my performances. I always got 1’s or 2’s. I also accompanied the middle school choir. That led to playing for a few vocal contest soloists. I loved Mrs. Frazier! Then she retired too!
Did you guess which 2 instruments I played in concert and in marching band? I played the clarinet and the alto saxophone. They’re the 2 instruments to the left of the trombone.
I started playing the clarinet in 4th grade, a year after I started piano lessons. A lot of kids struggled to learn their instrument and the notes. I had it easy. I only had to learn the clarinet.
It made clarinet easy and helped me to win 1st chair when we started competing for seats. I still remember my band teacher from elementary school. Mr. Trunk directed our first concert with all the instruments put together. It was a horrible version of something like MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB.
In middle school my band teacher was Miss Souder. She scared the bejesus out of me till the candy run-in. You fund band by doing things like selling candy bars. My dad wouldn’t let me sell so I had to go in and tell Miss Souder. OH MY! She was furious, and I burst into tears. She reined in her temper, and she soon became one of my all-time favorite teachers.
Miss Souder gave private lessons, and she was strict, but she always pushed you to do your best. She pushed me to go to district solo contests. I was first-chair through middle school because of piano training, my drive, and Miss Souder’s lessons. She pushed me to do an all-district band. I wasn’t first chair, but I was still in the first section.
Each spring Miss Souder gave away scholarships for Ball State’s music summer camp to one 8th grader, one 9th. I won in 9th grade, and it gave me a musical peek outside Northwest Ohio. I discovered I was good, but everyone else was better. I wasn’t 1st chair or even 1st section. I was third. It was a humbling experience, but I learned a lot, and I was determined to get better.
This is me in marching band. I picked up the alto saxophone because clarinets weren’t brass instruments. Mr. Trunk from elementary school was my band teacher again, and he wanted an all brass band like the Ohio State Marching Band. I played saxophone during marching season, from June till November. Then I switched back to clarinet for concert band.
In high school I found my last piano teacher, Mrs. Skinner, but I called her Anita. She played violin and piano. She was younger than all my other teachers. She had two little kids, and I wanted to be like her.
I kept doing contest with piano and clarinet, but never with saxophone, and I continued to do well with 1’s and 2’s, till my senior year. That’s when I met a boy.
Everything changed after that, I spent less time with my music and more time with the boy. That year I went to a piano solo contest. For the first time I wasn’t ready. I had to memorize the piece, and I didn’t spend enough time on it. I fell apart and forgot where I was. Somehow, I managed to finish.
The judge was a music professor from Bowling Green University. He gave me a 3, my worst score ever, but he gave me the kindest comment. He told me I had potential, but I needed to invest the time, 1-2 hours per instrument, per day.
I thought about what he said, and I left music behind. I didn’t want to invest the time to become a musician or a music teacher. After high school I quit the piano and clarinet, but I never stopped loving music. It’s the gift that keeps giving whenever I turn on the radio.
I became an elementary teacher and taught 2nd grade. One of the gifts I gave my students was the gift of music. I never played for them, but I was known for occasionally singing and dancing around the room, with whatever song crossed my mind. Tonight, in the words of Kiki Dee, I still have the music in me. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLQRW7J_D0U
My birthday was yesterday, May 7th, but this is me and my birthday suit on May 3rd. My mother gave me shopping money as a birthday present . . . she does know me well! There’s nothing better than shopping, the hunt for a deal, for something that makes me feel 40, no LOL! I shopped till I had $12 left, just enough money to buy a book at the Marvelous Midwest SCBWI conference.
I took the first picture on Friday. I can’t do selfies so I took a picture using the mirror. Did you notice there’s no smile? I have to concentrate so hard that there’s no room for my brain to smile, really! The other 3 pictures were taken by friends. I can smile when someone else takes the picture.
So what did I buy with my mother’s gift money? I went to Casa Chic, one of my favorite Wapak stores. There was a poncho I looked at two weeks ago, but I couldn’t spend the money for it. Now thanks to my mom, I did! I love it! I feel like I’m wearing a Tiffany lamp, poncho-style.
My book is a library book, and it’s my mentor text for the middle grade manuscript I’ve worked on for 8 years. Thanks to ESCAPE FROM BAXTER’S BARN, I wrote the first chapter well enough that my Writing Magic Critique Group told me I’d finally achieved middle grade quality. YES!
Now I’m buying the book so I can mark it up to help me write the rest of my manuscript. I hope with the help of this great mentor text, that my story will finally be good enough to tempt an agent or editor, but first, I have lots of hard work to do.
This is the rest of my birthday suit. The jewelry and dress are more treasures from Casa Chic. I’ve been looking for a necklace that reminds me of the earth. This one swirled with blue and aqua, plus two sets of earrings matched it. I bought them all!
And the dress, WOW! I loved it at first sight. Then I put it on. I felt cute! Like I was young again, and that’s a great thing! Plus look at the sleeves and that 60’s pattern. I couldn’t resist!
These pictures were from the Marvelous Midwest SCBWI conference. It was carnival night, and Merrill Rainey drew caricatures. He’s a talented illustrator who donated his services FREE for the carnival. I think he got me, but I had to edit the text . . . Merrill wrote, “It’s THE POOP DECK! NOT! I have a dock at the lake, and the ducks think it’s their personal poop deck. Merrill remembered that part, but forgot the ‘NOT!’ Don’t worry! I added it later, in RED!
Earth Day 2019 was April 22, but every day should be Earth Day. Do you know which country puts out the most carbon?
USA China India Japan Russia
The answer: China
Tomorrow: Details about each country and tips to be a good Earth citizen every day.
Can you find the countries below? Start on the western side of the Earth. Find a light green country. That’s the United States.
Now go east across the ocean to a huge yellow country at the top of the world. That’s Russia. Go south to an orange country. That’s China.
Next go east of China and Russia into the ocean. Find a chain of islands that’s half pink, half purple. That’s Japan.
Finally go back to China. Travel south to a large green peninsula. That’s India. These are the world’s 5 top polluters. I don’t think any of them want to be on this list. Here are 2 charts that show 2 different ways to wrap your head around the numbers.
2015 Total Emissions Country Rank Carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion (million metric tons)
Sources: - https://www.traveltrivia.com/answer-which-country-has-the-most-carbon-emissions/
- Union of Concerned Scientists Last Updated: April 19, 2019
So what does all this mean? Is the USA alright? Do we need to do better? How? What do you think?
There’s always room for improvement, for me as a person. For the US as a country. We span across a continent with miles of highway to connect us. We don’t have mass transit, except in our large cities or on the east coast.
If you look at this link: Union of Concerned Scientists, there are 2 other countries in the 15 metric ton per capita range. Canada is at 15.32, and Australia’s at 15. 83. They’re like us, continent-wide with miles of highway to cross. The biggest surprise on this page, Saudia Arabia’s at 16.85 and tops the per capita list.
One of the nice things about aging is watching things get better. When I grew up in the 60’s, people were becoming aware of pollution. As a country we stopped using DDT. We put animals on the endangered list and worked to protect them. Back then there was no recycling, and now I see it around my little town. Yay! We’ve gotten better at taking care of our planet since the 60’s. But, we still have room to grow.
Now, how can YOU help the Earth? My friends at Traveltrivia.com had a couple suggestions. 1) Ride your bike whenever it’s possible. I have to confess I’m not a bike rider, but I try to watch my car trips so that I accomplish as much as possible in 1 trip. I used to carpool to work. We drove 1 car, not 2. These are simple things, but if everyone does the simple things, we can have a big effect.
2) Turn off the water. Don’t let it drip! Water is a natural resource. Don’t waste it. I also try to watch what I throw out into my yard. Whatever goes into the ground can go into our water system, and it can pollute your water.
3) Turn off the lights when you leave the room. The same is true for anything that uses electricity. Turning it off saves the natural resources that make your electricity. Saving water and electricity also saves money, and that’s a great thing! Money saved is money you can spend on something else that YOU want or need.
4) Reuse something instead of throwing it away. If it’s broken, can you fix it? Turn it into something else? I saved a card from my father’s funeral. I cut it into pieces, glued it onto a frame, and now it’s a treasured possession. Another great thing!
5) If you can’t use it, recycle it! I don’t throw out my newspapers – I recycle them. Did you know paper is one of the biggest things going into the garbage dumps? I can’t recycle old clothes, but I give them to places like Goodwill. You can get things there free or at a great price. Sometimes you even find treasures! Happy Hunting!
If you have other suggestions, please comment or email me. I’d love to share them so we can all make Earth Day every day.!
Sources: - https://www.traveltrivia.com/answer-which-country-has-the-most-carbon-emissions/
- Union of Concerned Scientists Last Updated: April 19, 2019
Usually I don’t get comments, but I thought I’d share this one with you, along with my answer.
Daniel: It is interesting to see the “emissions from fuel combustion per capita”. Regarding greenhouse emissions and global warming: This is the possibility that each of every American has an impact on carbon pollution. Instead of working against this outrageous number, people get more, bigger pick-ups, companies discontinue fuel saving vehicles like Ford Focus...Strange new world, and I’m disappointed about Americans who seem to not care.
Rinda: Daniel, I agree that every American has an impact on carbon pollution. I understand your concern about the big pick-ups versus the economy cars. I drive a Honda Crosstour. I’m not sure what my mileage is, but it’s better than our Honda Pilot (my husband worked at Honda, and they’re great cars).
I think Americans do care about the environment, but it’s one choice among a million you might make in a day. I was a soccer mom. Having a car big enough to haul my 3 kids around, plus any of their friends, was huge back in the day.
Our next car will probably be a truck, sorry! It’s not because we don’t care about the environment, but because we have a boat to move around. We also have a trailer that helps us move anything from tree limbs to furniture. In America, we don’t have the luxury of taking a train so we want a car that’s comfortable. I spent an hour in my car, round trip 5 days a week for 33 years. Now I substitute teach. I sub in Wapak, not my old district because it saves time, energy, and money, all things valued by Americans.
I hope my response will redeem truck-driving Americans in your eyes. At least in my family, we have a good reason for our choices. And Daniel, if you need a car, take a look at the Hondas! They’re fuel efficient, and last forever. Our Pilot has almost 300,000 miles. It’s a gem!
This is the exhibit that started it all. I volunteer at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. I was thinking about becoming a docent. That didn’t happen, but the experience led to a book idea.
In early 2018 I remembered seeing a remnant of Neil Armstrong’s original wind tunnel. I couldn’t believe he did it for his senior physics project. He was only 16. I don’t think I could have done it at age 18. Neil must have been incredible!
On the far left is what’s left of the wind tunnel . . . the cover to the motor and a piece of track. That’s it!
To the right is his Boy Scout Scarf from middle school. Neil was in a troop in Upper Sandusky. When he moved to Wapak, his whole troop signed it. The wooden square is part of a generator Neil built when he was still in Upper. It’s a different project, but a great story. Maybe someday I’ll write it.
Here’s a close up of the scarf and the generator.
In April of 2018 I started a class with Mira Reisburg and the Children’s Book Academy. In the first webinar Mira asked for two opposite ideas. She said they could lead to a story. I didn’t know it then, but she was right!
I told Mira the first thing that came into my head . . . Neil Armstrong built a wind tunnel in his basement, and his mom didn’t know the details until she came down and saw it in action. Mira liked the idea, and it wouldn’t leave me alone. It grew, and it grew until I knew I had to write the story of Neil Armstrong’s wind tunnel.
In May I started to research my idea with one of the museum volunteers. He asked me about this book. I thought my idea had been taken, and that I needed to let it go.
I talked to a friend who said, maybe, just maybe, my idea was different from this one. I bought the book and discovered it was a biography of Neil Armstrong. My idea was about the wind tunnel only! What a relief!
I went to work researching Neil and his wind tunnel. I checked out books from the library. I googled websites, and I read an interview Neil did for NASA.
I discovered Neil was inspired by the Wright Brothers. Their wind tunnel is to the left, but I never found a picture of Neil’s.
Here are the only three facts I could find: 1. Neil used stovepipe, a motor, a rheostat, and a propeller. He got the stovepipe at the junkyard. 2. Neil blew lots of fuses by adding in the rheostat. 3. When Neil showed his Mom the wind tunnel, he sent her robe flying and broke a basement window.
Photo Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers#/media/File:WB_Wind_Tunnel.jpg
I used those 3 facts to start writing Neil’s story at the beginning of June. I also spent the summer looking for an illustrator and for a way to publish this story. It was a busy summer!
I started out to come up with 10, but I wound up with 13. Thirteen favorite things, in the order that I thought of them. Maybe it tells you something about me, or something about where my head was today. Here goes . . .
My 1st favorite thought – CHOCOLATE! This is a chocolate caramel, one of my favorite chocolates! I also love chocolate almonds, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cakes. Let’s face it . . . I love chocolate! When you’re having a bad day, there’s nothing better, and on a good day, it’s a great reward. Chocolate is one of the best things in life. It gives you endorphins and makes everything better. It’s a very good thing!
My 2nd favorite thought – DOGS! To the left is my shrine (really) to my dog Leia. I said goodbye to her in 2014, but I’ve never forgotten her. She was a border terrier, and she was almost 15 when we said goodbye.
She was my best friend ever. She always slept outside my room and waited for me to get up. She even has her own story. It’s cute, but cute isn’t enough to get it published. Sorry, Leia! Someday, I promise.
To the left is the dog I’d get if my husband agreed. He’s never been a dog lover. It’s a poodle! I know, a she-she-poo dog, but they’re so trainable. I miss having a canine friend. Maybe someday!
My 3rd favorite – BOOKS! I have loved them forever. My childhood favorites included Dr. Suess, The Snowy Day, Charlotte’s Web, and The Little House books.
As a teacher I had 9 boxes of books by monthly units, 2 drawers of holiday stories, and 2 boxes of chapter books.
Now I read for fun and to stay current with the kids’ market. I’m fascinated with ideas and where they come from. I just finished Dragon Night. It started with the homonyms night and knight, added a little fear of both, and stirred in the legend of St. George and the Dragon. Clever!
Fourth – SUBBING! I thought when I retired I would never, EVER sub, but it’s fun once a week. I get to hang out with teachers and kids.
I stayed in 2nd grade for 28 years. Now I love bouncing from Kindergarten one week to 4th grade the next. I’m amazed by what these teachers and kids accomplish, and I love being part of the action for a day. Then I go home and focus on writing the stories they want and need.
Here’s #5 – MY FAMILY! I can’t believe they didn’t come up sooner. They’re my base. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t a wife and mother. My children are now grown up and scattered across the country.
This photo is from a wedding last April. From left to right – Andy, Ashley, Jaclyn, Alex, me, and Wayne.
Alex and Jaclyn live in Houston, Texas. Ashley is in Clarksville, Tennessee, and Andy’s in Columbus, Ohio. My husband and I travel between Wapakoneta, Ohio and Norris Lake in Tennessee. I love when everyone’s all together. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, there’s nothing better.
#6 – TRAVELING! I love going places! Most of my travels are to see my children or to visit our lake house. Occasionally we fly, but usually we drive. It’s cheaper!
We made 2 big trips when our kids were still home. We did a historic loop of Washington, DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. We went out west to see Glacier, Yellow Stone, and the Grand Canyon, but our favorite family trips were to the beaches of South Carolina and to Norris Lake in Tennessee. We loved it so much we have a house there.
I’ve been overseas a couple times. I love visiting other countries and talking to people. I love seeing how we’re the same and different. I’ve been to England, Germany, and the Bahamas in a plane. I’ve sailed on a cruise ship to ports of call in Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Grand Cayman, and Cuba. There are so many places to see. I hope they’re part of my future, whether I travel by car, by plane, or by boat.
#7 – BEACHES! I love to travel, especially to beaches! The first one is in the Carolinas. I’m not a big city or big beach girl. Our favorite was Ocean Isle Beach, at the bottom of North Carolina. In the 90’s and early 2000’s it wasn’t crowded. My kids loved finding sea shells and hunting hermit crabs. It was the perfect vacation!.
The second beach is St. Augustine Beach. We only went there once, but I remember it wasn’t crowded and its beautiful white sand. It’s my kind of beach! I couldn’t believe you could actually drive your car on it. Surprise!
#8 – Germany! I have been there 4 times for about a month each time with Wapakoneta, Ohio’s sister cities program. Our sister city is Lengerich. It’s in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen or North Rhine Westphalia.
This is one of their famous half-timbered houses. I love the style! This one is a business in downtown Lengerich. I’ve parked and walked by it.
This photo and these maps were at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lengerich%2C_Westphalia
The file photo is listed as Fachwerkhaus or half-timber house. Its address is Im Hook 5 in Lengerich. My sister teacher lives on that street in Lengerich.
Lengerich is in the district of Steinfurt. That’s one section of North Rhine Westphalia.
I’ve visited Tecklenburg to the north. It’s a touristy sort of town famous for its castle ruins. I saw the German version of the Jungle book there.
I’ve been to Ibbenburen. One of the kids I hosted traveled there each day for a couple years for high school.
If you look east of Lengerich, you’ll see Lienen. It’s the sister city of our our next-door neighbor, St. Marys. Lienen is horse country.
Ladbergen is sister city to New Knoxville, another close neighbor of Wapakoneta. If I remember correctly, part of Neil Armstrong’s family came from Ladbergen.
Go south of Ladbergen, and you’ll find Munster. There’s a university there that’s housed in an old castle. I love Germany!
This is a map of Germany. When I was there 5 years ago, we did a lap around the country. We flew into Frankfurt. That’s in Hessen. Its river front is gorgeous. We traveled onto Cologne in North Rhine Westphalia. Its medieval cathedral is a World Heritage site.
We went north to Bremen and Hamburg. You know Bremen’s capital from THE BREMEN TOWN MUSICIANS. I had my picture taken next to the statue.
Bremen has a great harbor. Did you know it’s where most Germans said goodbye to come to the US? It’s on the North Sea, and it’s much colder than the Carolina Coast. Hamburg has a harbor too. It’s the 3rd largest in Europe.
I traveled across to Brandenburg and down to Berlin. It’s an amazing city. I’ve been there 4 times, but I’d return in a heartbeat. There is so much history. Travel south to find more in cities like Nuremburg.
Go further south and you’re in the state of Bayern. That’s where Munich is, and their famous soccer team, Bayern Munich. Munich is incredible. It’s the heart of what Americans think of as German culture, and it’s completely different from the North. Someday I want to visit during Octoberfest.
The first picture is from my bedroom at the lake. I bought a special fold-up chair for it, but I usually don’t write in it. I sit in the family room in my lazy-boy, feet up, view of the lake.
The second picture is from downstairs in Wapakoneta looking out at our backyard. I sit in another lazy-boy. I used to write upstairs till we moved the furniture. It’s back but I’m still downstairs with my great view.
Favorite #10 – NORRIS LAKE! This is our view the first year. We saw more trees and forest than lake and water. I took the squirrel picture 2 days after we’d moved in. Our house was empty for 3 years so the critters felt at home. The second picture is my husband. He cut down a lot of trees that first year. Most were tiny. A few were big. The biggest ones we had a professional cut down. The last picture is my husband with his pride and joy, the boat.
I don’t care if it’s fall, winter, spring or summer! I love the lake. This is our 4th year. It hasn’t grown old.
I’m named after my Grandmother, Rinda Hoskins Wilson. I didn’t know she died near Norris. Moving here gave me a chance to learn more about her, and it’s been a wonderful surprise.
#11 – MUSIC! I discovered music in 3rd grade when I started taking piano lessons. Then in 4th grade I joined band. Guess what I played . . . clarinet!
I stayed with marching band through high school graduation. I did solo contests with both instruments. I thought I’d become a musician, maybe a music teacher. Then I discovered that you need to practice an hour a day, per instrument. I was a high school senior, and I loved music, but not enough to practice 2 hours per day. Instead I became a fan of other peoples music.
Here's a clue to my favorite song. It’s by Steve Windwood. I looked hard to find the original version. Enjoy! And don’t forget . . . roll with it! https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1847979958580985
#12 – COLORING! I’d forgotten how much I love to color. When I first retired, I needed something to do in the evenings, and adult coloring books were popular. I love coordinating colors and designs. It helped me connect to my artistic side. It also gave me enough confidence to take a painting class.
And lucky number 13 – COCA COLA! It’s the real thing! I’ve loved Coke since I was little! When I had my 3 kids, I knew my husband loved me . . . he brought me a Coke after I had each baby. It’s the little things! For those of you who’ve been around as long as me, enjoy this blast from the past, another favorite song . . .
Who orbited the earth first?
Ham the Chimp John Glenn Yuri Gagarin Laika the Dog
Did you guess Laika? I did, and I was right. Laika was the first living creature to orbit the earth. She was launched on November 3, 1957, two years before I was born. Her achievement was also the beginning of the Space Race between the US and the USSR.
Spaceships back then weren’t well built. We have more than 60 years of experience so we build better spaceships now. We even have a space station where people can live for months at a time.
Poor Laika! She only lived a couple hours after launch. This is a model of Sputnik 2. It doesn’t look very comfortable. I hope Laika was treated well before becoming a dog-o-naut. Before that Laika was a stray living in the streets of Moscow. Russian scientists thought a stray dog would have an easier time living in the harsh conditions in space. If you visit Star City, Russia, you’ll find a statue and plaque that honors Laika and her contributions to space science. Her statue is next door to where she trained for her space adventure and where Russian cosmonauts still train today.
Now, can you guess who was 2nd to orbit the earth?
Ham or John or Yuri
I hope you guessed Ham. He won 2nd place, but only by a couple months. Ham was born in Cameroon in 1957, captured by trappers, and sent to a Rare Bird Farm in Florida. Really! The US Air Force bought him in 1959. He and 39 other chimps were sent to the Holloman Air Force Base. Ham made the top 18, then the top 6, then 1st prize. Back in 1959 he was known as #65 because the air force didn’t want a chimp, with a name, dying in space.
Ham blasted off January 31, 1961 and returned 17 minutes later. I was almost 2 by then. The biggest difference between Ham’s flight and those of previous chimps was his ability to push levers. Ham was a fraction of a second slower in space than on earth. That was a big deal because he showed scientists that astronauts could work in space. Ham’s flight led to the launch of the first American astronaut. Alan Shepherd blasted off May 5, 1961. Thanks, Ham!
Best of all, Ham lived to tell, another 22 years, first at the National Zoo in Washington DC, then at a zoo in North Carolina. If you’d like to visit Ham, go to the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
So, who was 3rd? Was it John Glenn, the American?
Or was it Yuri Gagaran, the Russian? Good Luck!
Yuri came in 3rd. He orbited the Earth on April 12, 1961 in Vostok 1. He instantly became a world-wide celebrity, winning both medals and titles. Yuri never made it back into space again. He died in 1968 when his training jet crashed. It was only 7 years after his historic flight.
I didn’t know that in 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin honored Yuri. They left a memorial satchel with Yuri Gagarin and Vladimir Komarov’s medals on the moon. In 1971 David Scott and James Irwin from Apollo 15 left the Fallen Angel Memorial behind. They didn’t tell anyone until they returned to earth.
This is the Fallen Angel Memorial. It honors 14 American and Russian astronauts.
Theodore C. Freeman - 1964 aircraft accident
Charles A. Bassett III and Elliott M. See Jr. - 1966 aircraft accident
Virgil I. Grissom, Roger B. Chaffee, and Edward H. White II - 1967 Apollo 1 fire
Vladimir M. Komarov - 1967 Soyuz I re-entry parachute failure
Edward G. Givens Jr. - 1967 car accident
Cliffton C. Williams Jr - 1967 aircraft accident
Yuri Gagarin - 1968 aircraft accident
Pavel I Belyayev - 1970 illness
Georgily T Dobrovolsky, Viktor I. Patsayev, and Vladislav N Volkov – 1971 Soyuz 11 re-entry pressurization failure
And, last but not least, John Glenn. Sometimes it’s good to be last . . . John lived to the age of 95.
Meet John Glenn, the 4th to orbit the earth, but the first American. John was ready to go in January of 1962, but his flight was delayed 11 times because of equipment malfunctions, improvements, and the weather. John didn’t worry. He flew 70 more missions in the simulator and reacted to 189 simulation system failures. John was ready to go!
Finally on February 20, 1962, Friendship 7 lifted off. Would you believe there were two failures during the flight? The automatic control system had problems. John had to manually control the 2nd and 3rd orbit and the reentry into the earth’s atmosphere. Sensors also said that the heat shield was loose. John talked with the ground controllers at NASA. They decided to leave a retrorocket pack in place, and John lived to tell. If the shield had been loose, Friendship 7 would have burned up on the way into the atmosphere, but John returned a national hero. He got a ticker tape parade in New York City. Confetti rained down on John to celebrate his 4 hour and 55-minute flight.
John was such a hero he wasn’t allowed to go up into space again. After he retired from the military, John got interested in politics. He served Ohio in the United States Senate from 1974 until 1999. He ran for president once but didn’t win the Democratic nomination.
But he was successful in returning to space. In 1995 John read a book by NASA doctors about bone and muscle mass loss in space. That happens to older people too so John started lobbying NASA to let him return to space. He said they could experiment on him. NASA agreed, but John had to have a scientific reason to go, and he had to pass the same physical exam that the younger astronauts did.
John did the research and passed the exam. In January of 1998 John got the announcement that at 77, he’d be the oldest person to fly in space. On October 29, 1998 John blasted off as a payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery. In 2012 John said his biggest regret was that NASA didn’t continue to research aging by sending additional senior citizens into space.
John died on December 8, 2016. The phrase, “Godspeed, John Glenn,” was given to him by Scott Carpenter back in 1962. It followed him through his life and was part of his funeral too. When John died, he was the last of the Mercury Seven Astronauts. They were NASA’s founding space team.
Here are the Mercury 7 from their photo taken on April 9, 1959. That was a month before I was born.
Front row, left to right: Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, John H. Glenn, Jr., and M. Scott Carpenter;
Back row, Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, and L. Gordon Cooper, Jr.
Last February I found a post about treats and what kind of people like them. It caught my eye. With Valentines Day coming up, I decided to share what I read, then tell what I think. Here’s the link. It’s no longer up, but I wanted to give it credit.
I read lollipop lovers are reserved. They take their time with lollipops, with other things too.
I think they’re just young. I loved lollipops when I was little. So did my second graders. Why? I think it’s because they love sweets that last a while.
Most adults don’t eat lollipops. Me neither. There are other sweets I’d rather eat.
I read dark chocolate lovers tend to be health nuts. They’re mature with a good head on their shoulders.
I think they’re just older. My second graders never brought in dark chocolate candy bars for a Halloween party, but my friends have it around. Me too! I started buying it when I needed to eat less sugar. Now I just like how it tastes.
I read that M&M’s are perfect for travelers, for people on the go. They’re ready to eat anytime, and they’re colorful like you.
I think they’re the perfect candy. I’ve loved them since I was a kid. I bought them to treat my 2nd graders, but teachers would also come in and leave with a few. I think kids love their color. They also love eating one, or a whole handful. Now that I’m grown-up, I still like M&M’s, but I don’t love them like I used to. Taste changes as you age. You discover new flavors, and that’s a great thing!
I read gumball lovers are full of energy and ambition. They spring out of bed no matter how little sleep they’ve had. They lack only patience.
I think gumball lovers are full of energy because they’re young. When I was a kid, I loved them. You crunched them open and chewed them up like bubble gum. Now when I see gumball machines, I see kids. Adults get their gum by the checkout stand at the grocery store. No crunch necessary.
I read Reese Cup lovers are bold. They know what they want and go after it. Sometimes they’re called intimidating, but they’re a friend for life.
Wow! That’s a lot to get from peanut butter and chocolate. I’ve loved Reese’s Cups since I was a kid, and they’re still one of my favorites. Sometimes I’m bold. Sometimes I’m shy, but I think it boils down to Reese’s taste great, and they’re fun to eat. My take-away – they’re a life-long friend!
I read Starburst people are vibrant, yet easy going. People turn to you for advice, and you were a cool kid back in the day.
Frankly, I’ve never liked Starbursts. I thought they were boring, with their sweet fruit taste. Maybe that makes you easy going, but vibrant? Those are opposites. Maybe a Starburst lover can explain this to me because I just don’t get it.
I read licorice lovers are old school. They love black-and-white movies, hard-cover books, and following rules. They have a work ethic and discipline.
I should be a licorice lover. I’m into work and discipline, but not licorice. I don’t even know what it tastes like, but my kids do. They’re new school and modern technology. They love Twizzlers. Go figure! Maybe licorice is just a great mix of old and new.
I read Raisinettes bring out buttoned-up people who keep their personal and work life separate. They’re quiet till they’re ready to open up and have fun.
Raisinettes are chocolate-covered raisins. They’re traditional, and they’ve been around forever. I like them, but it’s not love. They’re sweet because they’re part fruit, part chocolate. Maybe that’s why when I eat one, I might eat ten.
I read people who eat Sour Gummies are impulsive, outgoing, and fearless. They live on the edge. They’re the life of the party.
Really? Just because you eat Sour Gummies! But I think you just might be fearless. You are eating something sour. And gummies, they stick to your teeth. YUCK! I’m not a fan of sour or gummy, and I’m definitely not impulsive, outgoing, or fearless. Maybe there is something to this candy stuff after all.
Are you an athlete or into sports? If you are, you might be a Snicker lover. I read Snicker people are also dog lovers.
I like Snickers, but I don’t love them. I’m not an athlete, but I like to watch sports. I love dogs, big time! Maybe I like Snickers more than I think. I’ll have to try one the next time I’m at the grocery store.
I read caramel lovers love learning. They’re the smart ones in your circle of friends. They like to learn from you. They’re shy in big groups, but outgoing with close friends.
Oh my gosh! I’m a caramel lover. I do trivia questions online. I don’t mind missing a question or two because I learn something new. Back in college I used to play down my grades. I didn’t want to seem too smart. I’m shy in a new or big group, but I love to laugh with friends. I think I’d better buy some caramels next time I’m at the store.
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!