LIKE A JAR OF CHUTNEY

Being older than Forest’s Momma could ever have been, had she actually been, and have clocked more miles, I’d like to amend that. I say:

Life is like a jar of chutney, sour vinegar, bitter zest, sugar, salt and seeds and spices blended together. With age the flavors meld & mellow, ripen, like memories.

Usually, I stuff my holiday turkey with a sort of Waldorf salad—apples, oranges, onions, celery, paprika, salt, butter, sage—and slow cook the bird breast down. The turkey comes out juicy and slightly citrus, and the drippings make an especially tasty dark golden gravy. The cooked fruit, however, goes to waste. This year, I decided to try something different. Instead of stuffing the turkey with Waldorf, I stuffed it with the makings of cranberry-apple chutney. In my mind, it was sooooo tasty!

FYI: Cranberries don’t grow in Trinidad, they are imported. And this year, it seems, only a few bags made it. A flurry of text messages went around as frantic cooks in the American Woman’s Association searched Port of Spain for them. One AWA neighbor, Becky, posted that she had a bag of cranberries, thus initiating a bidding war. She ended up selling her bag for TT100 (US$ 16.00). Her teenage son said he’s bringing back a suitcase full of cranberries to sell next fall. The winning bid was not mine (I didn’t even try.)

Canned whole cranberries were available, so I made due by cutting the sugar from my chutney recipe and using the canned. The Turkey Cranberry Chutney looked and tasted great, but… The drippings were too sweet for gravy, so we added more salt, pepper, brandy, but it still wasn’t right. As much as it’s about the chutney, it’s about the gravy.  So maybe life’s like gravy, too. A balancing act.

Going into the holiday season,  we’ve had so much bitter and salty already. On this second night of Hanukkah, with less than a week until Christmas we welcome—and are so ready to add—Spicy & Sweet! A new baby, family & friend time, and maybe some chocolates!

Here’s wishing us all Spicy & Sweet!

Cranberry-Apple Chutney

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 green apple peeled, cored & chopped
  • 1 sweet apple peeled, cored & chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Orange cut off the remaining peel, seed & chop flesh
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup white or apple vinegar
  • Salt
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Whole mustard seed: yellow, black, white or a mix
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Nuts: chopped pecans, walnuts, pinenuts

Put all the ingredients into a heavy brassier or wide-bottomed pot, stir, heat to boiling, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 2 or 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve warm or cold. Mellows with time.

 

Jar of Chutney Playlist:

Happy Holidays!

Mashed Potatoes

I've been thinking "Thanksgiving" all wrong. I’d been thinking “Stuffed Turkey, Stuffed People, Macy’s Day Parade, Football, Pumpkin and Pecan Pie” Thanksgiving. Which makes for—especially as we are in Trinidad, where “American Thanksgiving” is just another Thursday—lonely, lots-of-work-for-only-2-people-so-why-bother thoughts. Sigh . . .

Want to learn the Truth about Thanksgiving? 

Want to learn the Truth about Thanksgiving? 

The original “American” Thanksgiving Day may have been a Pilgrims and Indians Thank you for teaching us and helping us survive feast but it’s since morphed into a Feast and Football holiday.

We change and grow; holidays do—can—too.  It’s natural. That wasn't the problem, I was.

I was preparing for a Thanksgiving feast just as I had for the last 45 years or so—actually walking down the grocery store aisles, tossing items into my cart and crossing them off my list—without any of the enthusiasm of Thanksgiving past, when it dawned on me that things that traditions that change, can change back. It may well have been the potatoes . . .  

I decided to go back to the root of Thanksgiving: Thanks. Giving. Starting now, going forward—whether cooking or not—I am setting aside this day to give thanks. (And wow, do I have soooo much to be grateful for.) To christen my new-old Thanks giving tradition, I’m sharing a schmaltzy-poignant perfect song from my must watch every year holiday move. You’ll have to wait for it. Because first, I need to share a story about a family and how a family—our Tulsa Village—was made.

Back in the before time, due to circumstances and choices, I found myself far from family, friends, the ocean and all things familiar, in the smack dab middle of the United States—Tulsa, Oklahoma—with 2 small children, few friends and too many jobs.


Far far away in the center of the continent...

Max was 3; Lexi was 1; I was 26. Back then, I wasn’t the “fancy free, successful picture book author” I was a sometimes cook-waitron-bartender-bookkeeper of a restaurant my husband and I owned called “The New Harvest.”  

And, as it happened (I won’t going into how it happened, now, as that’s a story for other times and a Lifetime movie), a man-boy named John (about 23), at his mother’s urging, answered a “Chef Wanted” ad we’d placed. In short—for it was a quick decision—John sign on as the chef and, along with his younger sister, Rhonda, moved from their hometown of Muskogee, Oklahoma.

The red line heading southeast from the pin falls off the page just before Muskogee . . . 


Although Muskogee, about an hour southeast of Tulsa, isn’t as far away as California, it may well have been. For the first time, John and Rhonda were away from their family and friends, just as I was away from mine. For whatever reason—maybe because making friend with a chatty toddler and a chubby 1-year-old elbow deep in a jar of baby food plums was easy, and said tots were adorable—John took a shine to Max and Lexi at an all-employee spruce-up the restaurant day. What’s more, Rhonda, not yet 21, so she couldn’t work in or frequent the restaurant bar, could babysit—and did those nights I had to work. Thus, as strangers in this strange new land do, we banded together.  Before long, John & Rhonda were more like Unk and Auntie, Brother and Sister—family.

Fast forward to when—I don’t know how or why, exactly—John took Max and Lexi home to Muskogee—for the weekend! Imagine yourself as John and Rhonda’s parents, Don & Bonnie: your 23 year-old son drives up with 2 strange tots in tow??? What must the Briscoes, a traditional two parent, small town family have thought of us? Of me as a mother? Sending her babies off to Muskogee for the weekend?  This is pre-cell phones, pre-email, pre-instant info anything. . . (Calling DHS!)...

Whatever Bonnie & Don thought, it’s what they did that matters. On that weekend, and many that came after, they loved those babies up. Bonnie and Granny fed them; “Those babies love to eat! And that Lexi sure loves her mashed potatoes,” Bonnie said—still says—whenever we talk about those visits. Don, and brother Ron, when he was home, played and watched sports with Max, “That Max sure could talk!” Don says of those weekends. It wasn’t babysitting. It was more. The Briscoe family drew a circle and pulled Max and Lexi (Me and Steven by extension), Chelsie and her mom, Barbara—who came with the restaurant and stayed—in like, well, kin: Family.

Bonnie & Don Briscoe

Bonnie & Don Briscoe

And now, 30 years later, spouses, children, grands . . .  It’s easy to understand how we “kids” in Tulsa became friends. The part others don’t understand is the Muskogee glue. How Bonnie & Don, who knew us only by extension, who had all the family and friends right there in Muskogee they could ever need or want, made room for more. Why bother?

Just looking at Bonnie, anyone could get how she'd pull us all in. She's 100% mama, soft and sweet as marshmallow. Don, however is the "EF Hutton" type: when he speaks, you listen. As patriarch of the family, he could have told John and Rhonda not to bring Max and Lexi to Muskogee anymore. "He could have said "too much of a liability" "What if something happens" "Why the heck should we be fussing over those kids? They aren't ours, aren't blood.  Why didn't he?

Maybe because Don knew lonely and homeless and what it feels like not to have family. An orphan and only son, sent to live with a grandmother, who died, then shipped to California to relatives, teen Don, in search of a home, returned to Oklahoma. He met Bonnie, wooed and won her. Together they made their own family. Anywhere they were became “Home." A home filled with love, room for a more, and plenty of mashed potatoes. 
 

Now, today, this Thanksgiving, Don and Bonnie, John, Rhonda, Ron and Sherry, and their 4 grand babies are together in their retirement home on Fort Gibson. 

Don isn't well. He has cancer. Hospice volunteers are helping. Our Tulsa Village, while scattered, is with them, too, via text, via email, in spirit. Even as a teen, Don knew what we—with him and Bonnie as our models—learned: There is always room and food and love enough for a few more. 

Mashed Potato Playlist:

 Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep) from “White Christmas,” written by Irving Berlin, sung by Bing Crosby

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Unfold Fate

"There is something in me maybe someday
to be written; now it is folded, and folded,
and folded, like a note in school." -Sharon Olds

Sharon Olds, the first woman to win the T.S.Eliot Prize for Poetry wrote that. It made me think of so many grubby folded notes I confiscated after having rescued them from the dirty clothes pile. Max, especially, was an avid note collector. Out of self preservation, I never read any of those confiscated notes. Not because I was respectful of my children's privacy, but because I was protecting my innocence. What I didn't know couldn't hurt/worry me. . . 

Looks like she like she wore an Ali   Magraw's Love Story-ish crocheted caps, no?

Looks like she like she wore an Ali   Magraw's Love Story-ish crocheted caps, no?

The award was for a poetry collection entitled "Stag's Leap." (Yesterday, Nov. 19th, is Sharon's birthday, which is how the "folded notes" came to my attention--a Goodreads gift) She's a California girl, too, born in San Francisco, maybe that's why she feels familiar.

Folded notes, strips of words, pluck one and see  . . . 

Folded notes, strips of words, pluck one and see  . . . 

Guardian article noted the title refers to "her husband's leap for freedom." (If you Google "Stag's Leap," even with the possessive, a link to the winery of that name--sans possessive--pops up.  I have a sign about that too, it reads, "No good story ever started over a bowl of salad".... I'll leave you to take that leap.

Stag's Leap was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Penned while/after going through her own divorce. Fab interview about it in the Huffington Post.

 Did Sharon dash off notes before? Scribble them during? Crunch them in anger? Frustration? Maybe even hurl them in anger? Were they--those reminder notes--tear stained? How many other ran through the wash? Dryer Confetti?

While searching for the origin of that Sharon Olds quote, I googled "folded note" and up popped a post by John Findura called "Simple Twists of Fate."  The "note" in it turned out to be a folded doctor's note in his father's pocket when he went for his induction physical. His father didn't want to go to Vietnam and fight, he wanted to be a teacher. Though the contents of the note wasn't revealed in the post, I imagine whatever was in that note determined his fate. 

Notes of mine that spring to mind are not all on paper. Some are: to-do lists, story ideas, groceries to buy. Others are piles of stuff mounded and waiting on my desk, the work bench, heaped in the basement closet. More are "want tos" "bucket list" items, waiting...

The mounds of stuff, the lists, the bag of notes can be promises...but are also, often weights. Grounding? Or pinning us down? To keep us from flying? Or keep us from flying away?

What if we pick one from the pile. Uncrinkle it. Spread it out flat. Consider it, and then . . . 

Unfold Fate Playlist:

 

Guts, Not Buts

She was bashing her forehead against the wall. 

It was the January VCFA Writing for Children & Young Adults MFA residency in Montpellier, Vermont. Ice, cold, snow, fraught with plagues: illness, broken bones, death, disease . . .  

In her post, Uma writes:

Uma's newest title...slightly heroic is something she knows about . . . 

Uma's newest title...slightly heroic is something she knows about . . . 

Give yourself a boost and read at least as far down as that quote in Uma's post. You'll be glad you did.  Here's the link:

Encouragement is something everyone needs all through life. Encouragement is just a damn nice thing to do for another person.
— Uma Kirishwami in her post

Writing, Encouragement, and “Poetry” on Write at Your own Risk blog post. 

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My Necessary Evil . . . IS IT YOURS?

I wish company was coming! (But not for the reason you may think . . .) Papers are stacking—spilling—off the dining room table, again. . . The potted plants are dying—dead . . . I still haven’t sewn the tassel back on that throw pillow.

Come visit! 

Not because I like or miss you--which I may or may not--but because:  I NEED A DEADLINE!

My friend Shona Skyped me last week. I could hardly understand her because she had pins in her mouth and one foot on the sewing machine pedal. I told her I couldn’t hear her for all the noise, but she didn’t stop sewing. She couldn’t; she was on a deadline. She just had to get those new shades made "Today!" (No matter that they’d needed making for months already, or that the windows were curtained) I didn’t fuss, "Shut that thing off and talk to me!” I turned up my volume and carried on while she sewed. 

THOU SHALT NOT INTERFERE WITH DEADLINES

Were you one of those who did your homework right after school? In the bus on the way home? Typed and proofread your term papers weeks before they were due? Studied a-little-every-day instead of cramming? If you are, click off NOW! This post is not for you.

Admittedly, not all deadlines carry the same heft. A deadline is, after all, just a date on the calendar. A “suggestion.” Less significant perhaps, than the suggested sell-by date on milk cartons.  

Gulping sour milk is one consequence I won't risk again.

Gulping sour milk is one consequence I won't risk again.

For a deadline to count it must carry CONSEQUENCES!!!!!!!

For the past while or so, for the first time in forever, I haven't had a writing deadline. I was free! Free! Free! to write what I wanted, when I wanted.

No one to answer to.

No one waiting, wanting, needing—expecting a word from me. No guilt over not writing what I was “supposed to be” writing.         

 

What joy!

What a joke!

All that writing freedom, what did it get me? NOTHING!

I’m A Deadline Junkie.

I LOVE DEADLINES! I NEED DEADLINES! (Didn’t know how much until they were gone Whoa-ohh-o-ohhhh...)

Sure, Deadlines are stressful. Deadlines make us crazy. But, having a deadline is better than NOTHING . . . 

paula.jpg

 I comfort myself with the thought that I'm not alone in my need.

Paula Danziger, beloved author of such perennial favorites as The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, The Amber Brown series (ongoing, thanks to her close friends, Elizabeth Levy and Bruce Coville, who channel Paula as they write new books), and The United Tates of America—my personal favorite because it reminds me of the punster-scrap booker, Paula. 

Paula—was a self-professed DEADLINE PUSHER-AVOIDER!

Maybe it was the rebel in Paula. Maybe it was the kid in Paula. But, she would do almost anything to avoid writing. Yet, in spite of herself, Paula wrote and published more than 30 books, with more in the works when she died. 

How did Paula make herself sit down and write???

By setting “mini” deadlines with consequences & rewards!

However it came to pass, pre-Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Paula and Bruce Coville, devised the Phone-A-Friend Method to hold each other accountable. (Maybe, like Paula, prolific award-winning author Bruce Coville is a Deadline Avoider. Hopefully I’ll get to ask him one day.)

We’d always call each other and read what we were working on.
— Bruce on their "Phone-A-Friend" Method

What Bruce didn’t say in that article, but Paula shared, is that the consequence she and Bruce set each other was a fine. Not just any piddly fine either. They set a fine that hit both die-hard Democrats where it hurt. The fine for not meeting their daily writing goal was a donation payable to the Republican Party. (Read more in the Bruce said in the Publisher’s Weekly article announcing the revival of Amber Brown. )

They set a fine that hit both die-hard Democrats where it hurt. 

They set a fine that hit both die-hard Democrats where it hurt. 

Beyond these daily deadlines, Paula dangled proverbial carrots to give her something, beyond the satisfaction of words on the page, to strive toward. Paula’s favorite brand of carrot was amber, as in amber jewelry. She’d spot a bracelet or ring she liked, buy it for herself and then give it to her editor, the late Margaret Frith, to “hold” under strict orders NOT TO RETURN IT until Paula met her deadline. Judging by the number of gorgeous amber pieces Paula wore, it worked—most of the time . . . prior to writing this, I asked Susan Kochan, Senior Editor at Putnam, who worked with both Margaret and Paula about this. Margaret Firth confirmed adding, “It didn't always work - they were often late - but who knows how late they would have been without that carrot dangling”

It didn’t always work - they were often late - but who knows how late they would have been without that carrot dangling
— Margaret Firth on Paula's "Reward" Method

Don’t ask me why it’s taken me this long to realize it, but, now I know: Deadlines were my necessary evil. 

So, in keeping with Paula & Bruce's Phone-A-Friend, I've I partnered up with my writing pal, Marty to devise our own "Dangling Carrot" Method: . Each Thursday we set ourselves an assignment and a deadline by which it must be completed—Or Else . . .  (Fill in your own blank, Dear Reader. Our consequence is of no consequence to you.)

Oh sure, we tried to cheat. What self-respecting Deadline Pusher wouldn’t? We had to test the boundaries:

 Marty sent me a whinny note about how busy she was, blah, blah, blah….

I sent her one back, sort of letting her off the hook, but not, buy saying, the assignment didn't have to be good, it just had to be sent… (Okay, so maybe in it I did try to lay groundwork for Deadline Delay by mentioning Internet connectivity issues and blackouts we’d been having.)

Marty and I both called “bull” and held ourselves and each other accountable. And it worked.  So far, we’ve met our Deadlines. And, we’re tickled pink* with the results. 

Deadlines: Love um! Hate um! Need um!

Set One! You might be glad you did . . . 

“The Necessary Evil” Playlist:

 “Amber Brown is Tickled Pink  is one of the new Amber Browns by Liz & Bruce channeling Paula.

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And the Winners Are . . .

Drumroll Please . . . Winners in the VAMPIRE BABY I Vant Books for My Library Giveaway are: 

1.    Guthrie Memorial Library, Hanover, Pennsylvania 

I Vant Books for Guthrie Memorial

I Vant Books for Guthrie Memorial

2.    Jericho Public Library, Jericho, New York

CAUTION: VE VILL BITE UNLESS WE VIN BOOKS FOR JERICHO LIBRARY!

CAUTION: VE VILL BITE UNLESS WE VIN BOOKS FOR JERICHO LIBRARY!

3.    Moreland Notre Dame Academy, Watsonville, California

GRANDMA MADE ME DO IT . . . 

GRANDMA MADE ME DO IT . . . 

4.    Tulsa Educare, Tulsa, Oklahoma

I WANT TOOTIE!        I NEED TOOTIE!          I LOVE TOOTIE!

I WANT TOOTIE!        I NEED TOOTIE!          I LOVE TOOTIE!

5.    Cobleskill Community Library, Coblehill, New York 

DON'T THINK I VILL NOT BITE FOR BOOKS!

DON'T THINK I VILL NOT BITE FOR BOOKS!


6.    Harry S. Truman Public Library, Annapolis, MD

BEHIND THIS LIP BROOM I'M 100% BOOK VAMPIRE--SUCKING OUT EVER DROP OF KNOWLEDGE!

BEHIND THIS LIP BROOM I'M 100% BOOK VAMPIRE--SUCKING OUT EVER DROP OF KNOWLEDGE!

7.    Maud Smith Marks Library, Katy, TX

I VANT TO BITE er... REVEALING MY TRUE IDENTITY TO WIN BOOKS FOR MAUD MARKS LIBRARY

I VANT TO BITE er... REVEALING MY TRUE IDENTITY TO WIN BOOKS FOR MAUD MARKS LIBRARY

8.    Norwich Public Library, Norwich, VT

LOOK INTO MY EYES AND REPEAT AFTER ME: SEND NORWICH VAMPIRE BABY! SEND NORWICH VAMPIRE BABY!

LOOK INTO MY EYES AND REPEAT AFTER ME: SEND NORWICH VAMPIRE BABY! SEND NORWICH VAMPIRE BABY!

9.    Orion Library, Lake Orion, Michigan

BENEATH THESE FANGS WE'RE NICE .  WE WON'T BITE . .  . UNLESS YOU MESS WITH OUR SHELVES!

BENEATH THESE FANGS WE'RE NICE .  WE WON'T BITE . .  . UNLESS YOU MESS WITH OUR SHELVES!

10.    Herbert Hoover Elementary, Tulsa, OK

I Vant Books for Hoover Kindergartners!

I Vant Books for Hoover Kindergartners!

Each winner will receive a copy of Vampire Baby (from Candlewick Press)  and collection of Kelly Bennett Books for the library listed above! 

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When it's gone-gone-gone . . .Whoa-ohh-ooo?

I was chatting with my friend Shona the other Monday and something she said touch a nerve.  Let me set the scene so you’ll know where this is coming from: Shona and I used to be part a creativity group in Jakarta, called the “GGs,” that met every Monday. Our weekly meeting began with creativity recovery study and morphed into everything chats a la “The View.” 

Sending Wind Wishes for GG Joy upon leaving Jakarta

Sending Wind Wishes for GG Joy upon leaving Jakarta

Reflexology is Grand for Creative Recovery!  

Reflexology is Grand for Creative Recovery!

 

Anyway, now the GGs have scattered, we are all recreating our lives in various places. Consequently, Monday groups have morphed into occasional social media meetings.

Shona and hold GG Skype-a-thons—Shona from South Africa, me from WHB or Trinidad—by carting our devices around we make the most of our face time. We chat, show each other recent remodel progress—or not . . . make coffee & tea, take occasional potty breaks (blank screen), holler at each other from various parts of the room, commiserate, rejoice, problem solve, inspire, motivate . . . It’s not ideal, but it keeps us in touch.

So, during our last chat, I asked Shona if she was getting out, making friends. (Yes, it’s the same “Mom Question” regardless of age.) I asked because I’m worried I’m destined for Hermitville. I am not someone who needs anybody to keep me busy. Curtis is the same way.  We can put-put-putter way days and still have room for more. So, making friends doesn't come easy,  it's work.  I’m afraid once we retire to this new village where, as the children like to tease, “the only people we talk to are those we pay—our contractor, George, the Barista, Counter Girl at the cleaners, Recycle Center guy, Hedge Clipper guy . . . We have actually gone to local restaurants where, mid-way through the meal, I've leaned forward and whispered “Once we live here, will any of these people be our friends?”

Shona, however, is much more extroverted. No matter where she is, she seems to find new people. So, I was taken aback when she said, she wasn’t looking for friends. That she “didn’t need anybody” new. She went onto explain: “If I want to talk, I can call you or (she named off several other friends), then concluded with, “So why bother trying to find new people I have anything in common with when all I need to do is skype one of you?”

About the same time, if not the same day, another friend, Jayme, emailed* a New York Times Op Ed piece entitled “Losing our Touch”  which began: 

Are we losing our senses? In our increasingly virtual world, are we losing touch with the sense of touch itself? And if so, so what?”
— Losing Out Touch article

The article went on to note how the term “touched me” as in “A song touched me” or “Wasn’t her speech touching” stems from the way words or a scene trigger an emotional response so visceral we literally feel it.  “Touch is the most universal of the senses,” as Aristotle noted.

Even when we are asleep we are susceptible to changes in temperature and noise. Our bodies are always ‘on.
— Aristotle

Not to dis Aristotle--or more probably, that translation--I think saying touch is the “most universal sense” is incorrect.  Touch isn’t one sense, it’s all 5 senses—taste, sight, sound, smell, tactile—engaged at the same time. Aristotle’s “universal” touch is the full-orchestral performance—including the smell of the crowd and the crush of hot shoulder against shoulder. 

The article is not about  keeping friends connected or about making new friends. It’s about not dating or needing to date. It’s about hooking up via social media to hook up. Which made me think how, conversely—or not—our increasing reliance on social media to keep us in touch is making it easier and easier to be out of touch, literally.

What’s wrong with touching, keeping in touch, staying in touch, touching, connecting via social media?  Not a thing! It’s fabulous for keeping friends and family “In Touch,” as we have already amassed memories and can in essence fill-in the sensory blanks. It might even be, a much needed answer to how people can find each other in these busy times. But it’s not the real thing, baby! 

Play it again, Sam . . . this time with feeling!

Play it again, Sam . . . this time with feeling!

In touch via social media is the “record player” version of touch. At best two of the five senses:, sound & sight,  are engaged in the experience, in essence reducing “touchy-feely” to touchy.

(Obviously, for me,  a touchy subject.)

Be warned, if you have any sensory memories, it will engage them all! 

Be warned, if you have any sensory memories, it will engage them all! 

 

I recently read Meg Rosoff’s debut novel How I Live Now.  (If you haven’t read it, do.) As read, I kept thinking to myself: What must they smell like? 

And then when the girls come upon evidence of recent carnage, the scene Rosoff described was uncomfortably visceral, too vivid. Why?

Because I know what rot smells like. I have amassed a trove of sensory images to call upon.  I've exchanged molecules with gore.

But what of younger readers? 

They may well have the visual memory--in itself disturbing--but what of the visceral?

For me as a person, and as a writer, I’m worried.

How long has it been since they’ve had a bath?

Growing up in our disinfected, anti-bacterial, perfumed, connected world, are people amassing the visceral memories needed to be "touched" the  trove? Are we making time for face-to-face time needed to create memories--sensory and other? 

If we don’t make an effort to keep in touch, how long before we lose touch with touch?

How long before “touch” really does grow cold? And does it matter?

The “In Touch” Playlist:

On a lighter note: When I searched for the utube of Out of Touch I came upon a couple of lists of misheard lyrics: “Banana touch, banana time  . . . “??? Cracks me up!

Thanks for reading! 

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Fang Challenged? Don't Let Fang Envy Stop You

Grow Your Own Pair . . . 

 . . . of Fangs, I mean.

It’s come to my attention that the term “Fang up!” is causing consternation.

i'M TOO SHY TO SHOW MY FANGS! And I've never been to a neighborhood library...

i'M TOO SHY TO SHOW MY FANGS! And I've never been to a neighborhood library...

LOTS OF FOLKS, it seems, are all excited about the Vampire Baby Free Books Giveaway. They are thrilled to share it, tweet it, like it on Facebook, but they can’t bring themselves to ENTER IT . . . 

Seems, along with all the other issues plaguing us, we’re having major FANG Trouble.  

The trouble with Fangs is:

Some don’t have fangs, as in there seems to be a flat out fang shortage.

Others have fangs, but . . . not Fangs long or sharp enough to mention.

Others are worried about what folks might say if they do flash their fangs and Vampire Up!   

Phooey I say! There are FREE books waiting to be scooped up! 40 hardback, full-color picture books, retail price about $16.95 + +  including, Dance, Y’all, Dance, One Day I Went Rambling, Your Daddy Was Just Like You!, Your Mommy Was Just Like You!, Dad & Pop. & Not Norman

And, of course, Vampire Baby

illustrated by Paul Meisel (Candlewick Press)

illustrated by Paul Meisel (Candlewick Press)

Don’t let Fang issues keep you from playing.

Or, as Will Shakespeare so would have said, had he written 13th Night as planned:

Some are born fanged, some achieve fangs, and some have fangs thrust upon them.
— Will Shakespeare so would have said it—if he’d been writing 13th Night

In the interest of fairness I’d like to level the contest-playing field by offering several solutions to this FANG Trouble. Facts first, Joe Friday:

SOME ARE BORN FANGED:

I have it on GOOD AUTHORITY: Baby teeth appear in any order (so don't be scared . . . ). Most times a baby’s bottom two front teeth appear first. Sometimes, it’s the top two incisors. Rarely, molars break through first. And occasionally, a baby sprouts FANGS!

Tootie used to be a cuddly ga-ga-goo-goo I want my bah-bah baby. Then one night . . . 

Tootie used to be a cuddly ga-ga-goo-goo I want my bah-bah baby. Then one night . . . 

Image borrowed from Internet (click photo for link)

Image borrowed from Internet (click photo for link)

That’s human babies! Other species are a whole different, er . . .  animal. 

Hedgehog Vampires are rare but creapy!

Hedgehog Vampires are rare but creapy!

 

 

 

 

SOME ACHIEVE FANGS:

“If you can find a dentist who'll do it, you can have your front teeth shortened and your canines filed.

"File incisors to a point and file down your other front teeth so the fangs will be more prominent."

Yank Your Incisors: Definitely NOT recommended but…
— http://www.vampires.com/want-real-fangs-ask-your-dentist/
Vampire Bat's native to South American Rainforest

Vampire Bat's native to South American Rainforest

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a less permanent alternative, Buy Fangs: 

You'll find all types and prices of Fangs to buy.

You'll find all types and prices of Fangs to buy.


Vampire Fangs come in many styles and price ranges, from long lasting to edible. And for all things Vampire, click over to WWW.VAMPIRE.COM


Buying Fangs is one thing, Putting them on might be a tad bit harder. Here's a How-to Video

DYI: Make Your Own Fangs: 

and more often than one might suppose . . .  or not . . . 

SOME HAVE FANGS THRUST UPON THEM:

What is it? You too shy, too cool, too whatever to Fang up. I totally get it. That needn't stop you from entering the Vampire Baby Free Books Giveaway.

Laugh now....If you Dare. But just wait until I win all those groovy picture books. We'll see who's laughing then . . . 

Laugh now....If you Dare. But just wait until I win all those groovy picture books. We'll see who's laughing then . . . 

Nobody ever said it had to be you.

Grab all the babies, pets, and the old ladies, and make--let--help them Fang Up!

Tripp Vampire Baby.JPG
What are you waiting for? Click on this picture and use the Vampire Baby DYi Fangs--There are a variety of styles to choose

What are you waiting for? Click on this picture and use the Vampire Baby DYi Fangs--There are a variety of styles to choose

 

 

 

Time's Running Out!

Only 10 more days to enter the Vampire Baby Book Give-Away. Winners will be announced at Midnight November 1st, Just after the last stoke of Halloween. 

Enter Now!

Enter Later!

There's not limit to how many times you can enter. Need not be present to win. 

Don't let Lack-o-Fangs Stop You: Vampire Up! 

Wanna keep in touch? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl.