I’m Honored

wordpress-family-award-1-11Sue Morris at KitLitReviews has honored me with an award! I am now officially part of her lovely family. Ms Morris has become a welcome friend and voice of inspiration in my virtual world here. Her posts and comments bring a smile to my face each day.

“The WordPress Family Award is reserved for folks in Cyberspace who are  unceasingly kind, sympathetic, encouraging, and open to laughter—and who keep each other going by sharing, commenting, and making personal connections even though they may actually be virtual strangers.”

Thank you Ms Morris for your support and encouragement. I am proud to be a part of your family in WordPress.

Please visit Ms Morris at http://kid-lit-reviews.com/

And to all who are reading this right now — I share this award with you. You have all become “family” and I appreciate all the comments and support. Thank you all.

World Labyrinth Day!

Yes, that’s today, May 4! I hope you remembered! I hope you have a labyrinth to walk at 1:00 today! This is a big deal here at the 7 Acre Wood. We have a labyrinth that we walk most every evening. It’s supposed to help you feel calm and peaceful. For me it’s a pleasant walk with the Mom Person.

CIMG7265This is a 7 circuit labyrinth built by the Mom Person with rocks collected from our property. A labyrinth is supposed to be a meditative device. You follow the circular path to the center and then you wind back out again. There is only one path and you don’t have to think about how you’re going to get out of the thing.

That kind of thing would be a maze. A maze is not a meditative device. Mazes are designed to drive you crazy, I think. I’ve never actually been in a maze. I have visited some hospitals that seemed like mazes. And sometimes i find myself on the wrong side of the fence and then I feel like I’m in a maze trying to find the gate.

Anyway, today is World Labyrinth Day and at 1:00, whatever time zone you’re in, labyrinth walkers will be doing their circuits. This will supposedly generate a wave of peaceful energy that will circle the globe. If you do not have a labyrinth to walk, you might just stop for a moment at 1:00 and see if you feel that wave.

In honor of World Labyrinth Day, we found a picture book called Labyrinths.

labyrinth alphabet

It’s not really a book of labyrinths. It’s a book of mazes. But it’s a really cool book of mazes. It’s an alphabet book! I can’t do mazes. It makes me dizzy to look at them. But I know several kids who LOVE mazes. And I like alphabet books. This book was designed by Philippe Mignon. It was published by Firefly Books, Ltd. in 2002.

Each page spread has a maze incorporating a letter with an object associated with that letter at the center. There is also an accompanying poem about the object. It’s a lovely, clever book.

You can find out more about World Labyrinth Day and labyrinths in general by visiting the Labyrinth Society website.

A rather unique video labyrinth walk —

My Buddy

My Buddy Walker went to West today and had a big day. He visited the life skills class and had a great time playing games with the boys there. And then he got in some reading in the library with some 3rd graders and some kindergarteners. He says they were all very kind and respectful. The librarian chose a book called My Buddy. This is a book that we actually have in our home library and is one of our favorites.

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It’s written by Audrey Osofsky and illustrated by Ted Rand. It was published by Henry Holt and Co. in 1992. It’s about a boy with muscular dystrophy and his service dog, Buddy.

Walker happens to carry a few pictures with him of his time as a Guide Dog in Training and he shared them with the kids. They thought it was pretty fun that Walker did some of the same things that Buddy did! Like going to a mall!  Buddy knows 60 commands and the kids figured that Walker knows about 30. But they thought that was pretty smart!

We like this book because it’s about a service dog and Walker and I come from that background. This is a really nice book to read with kids that shows them how special service dogs can be. It talks about some of the training that Buddy goes through and also how Buddy and his boy have to train together. At first they had a hard time trusting each other. The boy tied Buddy to his wrist so that they had to spend every moment together. Even taking showers together! I used to take showers with the Mom Person. I liked that. Now I’m too big.

Buddy does a lot of stuff for his boy that makes life easier and more fun. He becomes just like one of “the guys”.

IMG_1742Buddy and the boy go shopping at the mall and Buddy gives the money to the shop lady! That’s not something Walker ever learned! I think this book helps kids appreciate what a dog can do for people. And I think that these kids in West really appreciate our visits. It’s been fun going there.

We couldn’t find any information on the author of this fine little book. Ms Osofsky has written a couple of other books, but seems to be rather elusive! We did find a nice review of My Buddy with a little about how she came to write it. You might check it out here.

For more information about service dogs visit Canine Companions for Independence.

And for Guide Dog information visit Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.

And a little video from Canine Companions for Independence —

Lots of Hands On Love in West!

This was my day today —

This morning we visited the West Elementary School in West, Tx. The 1st half of the morning I was in the library. About 50 kids at a time came in and listened to an audio CD of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was kind of hard for me to follow with no pictures. And with hands massaging my whole body while the CD was kind of droning on, I confess that I went right to sleep!

For the 2nd half of the morning we moved to the music room and got to listen to recorder music and singing. Those kids were really pretty good! Didn’t hurt my ears one bit! And if my singing was not on the blink, I would have been singing along!

It was a good day for all!! Hope yours was too!

This is not the West music group, but this is pretty much what I listened to —

Yankee Doodle on recorder

Bark!!

I don’t bark. Not usually anyway. I tend to sing alot. I have found that that translates into more treats than does barking. But lately my singer isn’t working quite right and it comes out as a bark. It’s embarrassing.

But this really has nothing to do with today’s post. Today’s post is about a BOOK.

bark

The book is titled BARK and the detention boys read it to us this evening. It was “stress reduction” evening for the boys. I think that this is the same thing as recess at school. Some of the boys took turns reading this book to us. Some of them brushed us. Some played dominoes or cards. It was a pleasant evening.

Anyway, back to the book! Bark is subtitled Selected Poems About Dogs. It was compiled and illustrated by Ferris Cook who has a very good eye for dogs. It was published by Little, Brown and Company in 2000.

The book contains 26 poems from all sorts of poets — Dorothy Parker, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, John Updike, Louise Gluck, Ogden Nash, William Wordsworth and some others that I am not familiar with. Like Marck Beggs. I like his name.

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Some are very short — like this one from Robert Frost —
The Span of Life
The old dog barks backward without getting up.
I can remember when he was a pup.

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Or this one by Langston Hughes

Poor Rover
Rover was in clover
With a bone
On the front lawn —
But Rover’s fun was over
When his bone
Was gone.
Poor Rover!

Some of the poems are quite long. The poem by Marck Beggs is titled Kilty Sue and is a sort of long poem about an overprotective border collie.

The boys all liked the poems a lot. It’s kind of funny and cool to hear these “gangster” boys reading dog poems. I’m hoping maybe it will inspire them to write some.

And tomorrow we are heading back to West for a visit. I’m hoping we get to hang out in the library. We’ll see when we get there. I’m noticing on Facebook that a lot of dogs and cats are being reunited with their families! So there should be some happy kids in West.

I’ll keep you posted. Be sure and say your prayers today and remember the folks in West.