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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: weather, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 93
1. The Death of a Cow

From the archives of the Portsong Guardian, dated May 1924:

 

A great loss occurred in Portsong today. Mae Wilkin’s cow, Flossie, took ill several weeks ago and poor Mae found her hooves up in her pen this morning. Since Flossie routinely slept in that position, Doc Harkins is not quite sure of the time of death as Mae can’t seem to recall the last time she saw her upright. The old doc is quite sure she has passed, though.

The death of Flossie not only leaves an empty stall in Mae’s stable, it leaves a great loss to the farming community at large. In 1908, Mae’s late husband, Homer discovered Flossie had quite a knack for weather prognostication. While his peers mostly considered him a lunatic, Homer persevered in honing the skills of his heifer until he finally won over believers after she correctly predicted the great hailstorm of March 1910.

Cow

His description of her amazing talent was detailed in the transcript of a radio interview by noted Savannah broadcaster Edwin F. Teague:

EFT: How did you come upon the discover of her ability?

HW: I began to noticin’ she always worked her cud on the left. I thought that to be a might peculiar, so I asked her about it one day.

EFT: You talk to her?

HW: Why sure I do. I talk to all of ’em. It sooths ‘em to hear my voice. No good milkin’ ’em without talkin’ sweet to ’em first. They’d squirt out beans or nothing at all if they weren’t peaceful! Anyhow, she didn’t have no answer. But the nexday, just by chance, I noticed she were workin’ it on the right. On about noontime, the sky opened up and cut loose a fierce storm.

EFT: So you noticed a pattern after that day?

HW: Yesir. It happened thataway every time. In fact, when it got to be planting season, I went out to see which side she was chewin’ on before I did anythin’.

EFT: Did you have trouble convincing other farmers about this skill?

HW: At first. If I were at the feed store out yonder in Linkston, I’d tell ’em what the day held and they’d laugh at old Homer. But after I was right so many a time, they had to listen to me. When I told ‘em it were Flossie, they laughed at me until the big storm in 19 and 10 turned out to be the Mighty Hailer! They quit their laughing after that.

EFT: Yes, how did you get from rain prediction to a storm of such magnitude?

HW: Well, it goed like this. When I went out to the field that day to check the weather, she had her mouth filled triple full and slop were coming out both sides. So I know’d it were something unusual coming. I asked her if it were so and she just lowered her big, soft brown eyes to the ground and I knew. I went running around town tell folks to tie down the winders, ‘cause I knew a big ‘un was on its way.

EFT: She prevented a great deal of loss that day. Thank you for your fascinating story, Mr. Wilkins.

 

Ironically, directly across from the story on page 13 was the following advertisement:

Wanted: The Portsong Guardian is seeking a weatherman for immediate duty. Part time - morning hours. Pay commensurate with experience. Bovine preferred.

 

Photo credit: William Warby (Flickr: Cow)

Filed under: Stories

5 Comments on The Death of a Cow, last added: 6/5/2014
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2. Science Poetry Pairings - Rain

I may have grown up where snow was the weather that was most talked about, but my favorite form of precipitation has always been the rain. In our old house in the city I used to love to sit outside on the porch swing when it rained and rock to the beat of the drops, and sometimes the thunder. William and I still like to play in the rain in the summer and jump in puddles in our bare feet. My favorite rain is quiet rain, early in the morning.

Today's book trio celebrates rain in all its wonder. 

Poetry Book
One Big Rain: Poems for a Rainy Days, compiled by Rita Gray and illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke, is a collection of 20 poems about rain through the seasons. Beginning with autumn, each section opens with a haiku about the season. Four additional poems follow. Gray includes eight haiku, two poems translated from other languages (Norwegian and Spanish), works by well-known poets like Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and Eve Merriam, as well as works by poets whose names may not be familiar to readers. The illustrations in muted browns, grays, blacks and greens beautifully capture the mood and subject of the poems.

The book opens with an introduction that describes rain through the seasons. The introduction closes with these thoughts.
A gentle rain can shower, sprinkle, drizzle, or mist. Powerful rains beat down in storms and downpours, fall in streams and sheets, or race, rush, and gush in torrents. Rain can play a pinging beat as it falls will-nilly from the sky: pitter-patter, plip-plop, drip-drop, plink-plink. And puddles are perfect to splish-splosh. Poets have captured the language and rhythm of the rain, creating images that stay with us throughout the year.
          As you read about the rain, in various poetic forms,
          Ripple in it, float in it, boat in it.
          Go on, get wet.
Text © Rita Gray. All rights reserved.

Following the introduction is a note about haiku translations. Adapted from a work by poet and translator William J. Higginson, the emphasis is not on counting syllables, but on finding the best rhythm for the haiku in the new language.

Here's the poem that opens the season of spring.
Haiku—Rogetsu  
tree-frogs
calling . . . in the young leaves
a passing shower
And here's another poem from spring.
Little Snail—Hilda Conkling 
I saw a little snail
Come down the garden walk.
He wagged his head this way . . . that way . . .
Like a clown in a circus.
He looked from side to side
As though he were from a different country.
I have always said he carries his house on his back . . .
To-day in the rain
I saw that it was his umbrella!
Here's a sample spread from the book. You can download this from the Charlesbridge site as a double-sided poster.

The small trim size may make this one go unnoticed, but don't pass it up. It's a lovely little book of poems.

Nonfiction Picture Books
This Is The Rain, written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Jane Wattenberg, is a picture book about the water cycle that uses the familiar cumulative pattern of "The House That Jack Built." Bold, vibrant photo-collages accompany the text. It begins this way.
This is the ocean,
blue and vast,
that holds the rainwater from the past.
Can you guess where this goes? Next comes the sun to warm the oceans, which eventually forms vapor that fills the clouds, which produce the rain that falls. Here's the text from the page on rain.
This is the rain,
falling all day,
the forms in clouds,
low and gray,
full of vapor, moist and light
made when sunshine,
hot and bright,
warms the ocean, blue and vast,
that holds the rainwater from the past.
Text © Lola Schaefer. All rights reserved.

After passing through all stages of the water cycle, Schaefer circles back to the rain falling "somewhere every day." The book ends with a short note about the water cycle on planet earth.

When Rain Falls, written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Constance Bergum, is a picture book that explains what happens to animals in different habitats when it rains. Each habitat section begins with the words "When rain falls ..." and goes on to describe how different animals respond. Stewart provides readers with glimpses of 22 different animals in a forest, field, wetland, and desert. The soft, watercolor illustrations are realistic and provide subtle details regarding each habitat.

Here's an excerpt from the section on a field.
When rain falls on a field . . . 
...plump little caterpillars crawl under leaves and cling to stems. Adult butterflies dangle from brightly colored heads. 
A raindrop knocks a ladybug off a slippery stem. The insect bounces into the air and then tumbles to the ground.  
A spider watches and waits as the rain beats down on its carefully built web.
Text © Melissa Stewart. All rights reserved.

The text is clear, concise, engaging, and easy to understand. Readers will learn much about how animals adapt to inclement weather.

Perfect Together
All three of these books explore rain in different forms. Whether studying weather or the water cycle (really, they should be taught together, but often aren't!) students can learn about what causes the rain and how people and animals react to the weather. In my classroom I'd start with Schaefer's book and look closely at the water cycle. Then I'd focus specifically on rain by reading a few poems and following up with Stewart's look at how animals respond to the rain.

For additional resources, consider these sites.

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3. An Autumn Stroll

It’s pouring outside here in Boulder (really pouring…like a monsoon. Seriously, there are flash flood warnings in effect.) This turn of events has ended a streak of blistering hot days and put me in the mood for autumn. Bring out the galoshes and wool sweaters! Serve up the hot tea and warm soup! I’m ready.

So, without further ado, here is an illustration I made at work today to celebrate the changing of the seasons:

Watercolor ilustration of 1940s couple strolling down the road in autumn

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t updated my website since February. Yes, February. As in, A LONG TIME AGO. My only excuse is that I became slightly busy with little things like changing jobs and getting married. (I know, some people manage to still update their websites while doing other things, but some of us are a little more bloggingly-challenged.) Anyway, that’s what I have been up to. I can now happily say that I am now a full-time professional illustrator for a company here in Boulder, and I can also happily say that I have been married for a whole 10 days. Hooray!

My new employer is called Mocavo and is a genealogy web searching service where you can find out all sorts of delightful secrets about your great aunt Mildred and so forth. Unlike other web start-up companies I have encountered, this one had the good taste to hire a full-time illustrator to be on staff. Brilliant! You can find the Mocavo website here.

So, folks, I’m glad to be back here posting again. I have a ton of illustrations to share since I draw and paint almost every day now, so stay tuned for more to come!

The post An Autumn Stroll appeared first on Jessica Lanan Illustration.

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4. The Calm After the Storm

Over the past few weeks, we have experienced a lot of showers and storms rolling through the Mount Pleasant area. Lucky for us, we have been busy inside the office, but it brings up the question what happens to the animals during or after a storm?

A recent news article from FOX 25 in Oklahoma City discusses one organization, Wild Care Oklahoma, that has taken in over 700 animals since the end of May. Wild Care has stepped in to provide care for many animals directly affected by the damaging tornadoes, many of which were babies. The recent storms hit during the peak of “baby” season. This left many young animals orphaned in the aftermath of the tornadoes. A litter of skunks, two racoons, and species of birds, turtles, coyotes, and foxes have been taken in by Wild Care after the destructive storms hit. The organization’s Facebook page frequently posts pictures and videos of their in treatment or newly released animals each day. I highly recommend checking out this page and all the adorable animal babies! You can also check-out ways to help Wild Care or their upcoming events.

Also, Author Patti R. Zelch in her book Ready, Set…Wait!, illustrated by Connie McLennan, gives insight into what happens to animals during storms. This picture book follows nine different wild animals as they sense, prepare, and react to an approaching hurricane. Definitely a good read for a rainy day inside!

Image

Link to the Wild Care Oklahoma Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WildCareOklahoma

Wishing everyone a good day and stay dry wherever you are!


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5. Harts Pass No. 138

OK. Since my wife and daughter couldn't decipher this: Thor (the wolverine) doesn't want winter to end -- so he eats the marmot (pseudo Cascadian groundhog) before he can properly prognosticate. Thusly, the happy ending with a grizzly middle. Six more weeks of winter!

Note to self: I probably should have drawn some flailing limbs, snarling wolverine teeth, or a flying marmot hat to make it more clear that the little guy was eaten alive. Learning something new with every edition...

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6. Celebrate Groundhog Day!

PrairieStorms_Pic1What do John Dalton, Al Roker, and Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog have in common? They’re all famous weathermen! Groundhogs, which also go by the name woodchucks, are ground squirrels related to chipmunks and prairie dogs. They live in the North East of the United States and in Canada, where they feed on wild grasses and insects and live in burrows they dig for themselves. Sometimes the tunnels that make up their homes can interfere with the homes of humans by making the ground under buildings unstable. Some farmers and homeowners get mad at Groundhogs for damaging their property. However, other people believe that Groundhogs provide a useful service for humans: they predict the weather!

In the 1800’s, German immigrants in Pennsylvania started a tradition where, every February 2nd, they watched the behavior of a special Groundhog to tell them how soon Spring would begin. They would gather around the weatherman-Groundhog’s burrow and watch as he emerged. If the day was sunny, the groundhog might see his shadow, become afraid, and retreat into his burrow. According to the tradition, this is his way of telling people that Winter will last for another six weeks. If the Groundhog doesn’t see his shadow and leaves his burrow, then Spring will come early! Instead of using graphs and images for his weather forecast, the Groundhog communicates with his emotions!

This tradition was “Candlemas” to the German immigrants, but now we know it as “Groundhog Day.” Every February 2nd, people still look to famous Weather-Groundhogs such as Punxsutawney Phil, Western Maryland Murray, and Chattanooga Chuck to tell them how soon spring will come. The weathermen-Groundhogs are never completely accurate with their predictions, but then again, neither are human weathermen!

Learn more about groundhogs in Prairie Storms by Darcy Pattison and click on the picture below to print this great coloring page by Kathleen Rietz.

February-Coloring-Page-72


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7. The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–January 13th Edition

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

Wow! The crazy weather has returned.  It was in the upper 50s the last two days, which meant lots of fog and melting snow.  Oh, yeah, and tons of puppy pooh.  These guys must poop 15 times a day!  I have spent the last few days cleaning up the yard, and let me tell you, it has not been pleasant!  Where does it all come from!  They don’t even eat that much!  Hopefully you enjoyed the warm weather (if you had it), doing something more exciting than yard maintenance and avoiding the flu, which is going around the office like crazy.

Check out my current contests! See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library. Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi – Nabbed this with an Amazon gift card

Lush by Lauren Dane

Odette’s Secrets by Maryann MacDonald

Stung by Bethany Wiggins

Married in Haste (Marriage) by Cathy Maxwell

Kiss of the Betrayer by Boone Brux

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

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8. Q&A With Character Chase Danger, Super Spy

……… Today we have a fun interview with a powerful character. His name is Chase Danger and he is a seven-year-old Super Spy. Yes, you read that correctly, he is seven-years-old, 7!  And he is a super spy.  Here with Chase Danger is one of the co-authors of the second book in the series., Chase [...]

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9. Lightning Strikes is Featured in Guardian Angel Kids Ezine



Hi All
I just wanted to share a nice surprise regarding one of my previously published books! I just found out that my book, Lightning Strikes is being featured in this month's edition of Guardian Angel Kids ezine. The theme is "weather", so my little rhyming counting book fits right in there. If you get a chance, stop by and check it out at http://guardian-angel-kids.com. The full press release is below.


M E D I A R E L E A S E
CONTACT: Donna McDine, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian Angel Kids Ezine
Email: submissions@ guardian- angel-kids. com

Website: http://guardian-angel-kids.com

For Immediate Release

Children's Ezine Guardian Angel Kids: Weather - September 2012 Issue

Welcome to the GAK September 2012 issue all about the weather.

The weather often times sets our mood. Editor-in-chief, Donna McDine enjoys

a cool autumn day with the wonderful visual of the colorful leafs

immediately relaxes me. With summer rapidly coming to an end McDine is

looking forward to the next change of seasons. While she enjoys the so

called lazy days of summer, McDine embraces the opportunity for a regular

school schedule affording her the time to focus on her own writing, and

continued work at GAK and private client publicity work.

The GAK staff invites you to sit for a spell and enjoy the every changing

world of weather. Take a ride on a cloud and dance in the rain through

poetry, experience the apprehension of a thunderstorm and competition

amongst friends at the school science fair through engaging stories. Or look

through the fog and learn how it helps the giant redwood trees of California

grow and learn tornado safety tips.

Visit the writers and illustrators in the Guardian Angel Kids September 2012

issue and enjoy the alluring poetry, stories, articles and activities,

www.guardian- angel-kids. com.

Letter from the EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Donna M. McDine

Featured BookS:

Lighting Strikes Flip Book by Kevin McNamee and art by Eugene Ruble

Cloud Jumpers Flip Book by Tracy Ahrens and art by Eugene Ruble

Children'S poetry, ACTIVITIES, SHORT STORIES, and articleS:

"One Little Cloud," by Barbara Bockman - the every changing cycle of clouds.

"Weather Wisdom," by Guy Belleranti - changing seasons.

"Crack Boom Crash," by Rose Thoman - how to stay safe in a lighting storm.

"Fair-Weather Friends," by Jennifer A. Buchet - science fair competition.

"When You Can't See the Water," by Mary Reina - how fog affects your life.

"A Dark Furious Looking Monster," by Irene S. Roth - the importance of

knowing what to do before a tornado hits.

Visit Guardian Angel Kid today and

www.guardian- angel-kids. com and enjoy a child safe and ad free Ezine.

We also invite you to stay connected with Guardian Angel Kids through our

Facebook Fan Page



http://www.facebook .com/pages/ Guardian- Angel-Kids- Ezine/1637850803 46247.

Please feel free to drop Editor-in-Chief, Donna McDine an email at



submissions@ guardian- angel-kids. com and let them know what you think of

Guardian Angel Kids and what you'd like to see in the future. They aim to

please.

The Guardian Angel Kids Ezine staff and contributors look forward to your

visit. Thank you for your time and interest.



###

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10. Over the Hump

I think we are over the hump of summer here in Minneapolis and I can’t begin to say what a great relief it is. Today was the kind of day I wish every summer day could be, sunny with a bright blue sky with puffy clouds scuttling across it, a cool breeze and a temperature of 76F (24C). Bookman and I did lots of outside work in the garden and between that and the fact that my end of summer allergies have kicked in and will continue until we get a hard frost sometime the end of September or beginning of October, I am done for today. Pooped, tired, tuckered out, exhausted, weary, zonked, beat, whipped, bushed. You get the idea. Interesting, isn’t it, that there are so many variations on being tired.

To be sure, there are still more hot days ahead in August, days we reach 90 (32) or warmer, but they will be fewer and fewer and days like today will be more and more. Heck, The maple tree in the yard across the street already has a few leaves on it turning red.

Enough rhapsodizing about the weather, though if you ever visit Minnesota, be prepared to talk about the weather a lot. People here love to talk about it especially with visitors. There is a certain pleasure taken in talking up how cold it gets here in the winter. We like to see the looks on visitor’s faces. The people in charge of tourism for the state have tried to tell us we shouldn’t do that because it scares people away. Yes, that’s the point. That way only the truly worthy and brave will venture here in winter and the wimps will go to Florida or California.

Wait, didn’t I say I was going to stop going on about the weather. Right.

So to give you something bookish today, Arti at Ripple Effects is hosting an Anna Karenina read along. I’m usually not one to join read alongs, but Arti caught me at the right time and I’ve been meaning to read Anna K for ages so, why not?

The reading takes place September – October. The goal is to read parts 1-4 by September 30th and parts 5-8 by October 31st. Pretty doable I think even if you are planning to take part in Carl’s annual RIP Challenge, which I am. So if you have been planning on reading Anna K and felt intimidated, need and extra push to get going on it, or just want to read it along with others for the fun of the discussion, consider joining in.

Now to go collapse on the couch and read a little Prisoner of Heaven, Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s latest. Hope you all had a lovely weekend!


Filed under: Books, Challenges, Personal Tagged: Anna Karenina, weather

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11. OIK Tuesday: sky mice

This week I'm sharing a poem that the Might Minnows discovered, hiding in plain sight, in the Leo Lionni book Frederick. We read it in November, when the change of seasons was unmistakable here in the mid-Atlantic and it was important to think about storing up food--and sunrays, colors and words!--in preparation for the long winter.  This book also served as our first introduction into what it is to be a poet.



I won't post the well-known "Five Little Pumpkins" rhyme that came before this one--it can be found enough places.  But I will point out that our poetry anthology, when completed, deliberately included both simpler poems like "Five Little Pumpkins" and more complex ones like the one below that I titled "Frederick's Sky Mice."  Sometimes we all learned the poem by heart, and sometimes it was enough to hear it over and over again and complete each line as the teacher read it.  When we reviewed our anthologies at the end of the year, some children were surprised to find that they could read this one independently now!

Frederick’s Sky Mice
by Leo Lionni

Who scatters snowflakes? Who melts the ice?
Who spoils the weather? Who makes it nice?
Who grows the four-leaf clovers in June?
Who dims the daylight? Who lights the moon?

Four little field mice who live in the sky.
Four little field mice … like you and I.

One is the Springmouse who turns on the showers.
Then comes the Summermouse who paints in the flowers.
The Fallmouse is next with walnuts and wheat.
And Wintermouse is last … with little cold feet.

Aren’t we lucky the seasons are four?
Think of a year with one less … or one more!

Teachers, go here and here for great resources on Lionni's books, and enjoy the photos of mice visiting the Mighty Minnows!

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12. Working at Home in the Heat

 

Trail of the Cedars, Glacier National Park

By now nearly everyone across the country has been to a stage of sweltering in the heat. It doesn’t matter where you live, except maybe in Western Washington, you’ve worked at staying cool.

When I talk about working in the heat, I’m not talking necessarily about laboring outside in it. Those who seldom leave the house, except for errands, are also at risk from heat. It depends on how cool the building is and how much air flow there is.

The heat affects all of us in similar ways. We get cranky when we get too hot. Tempers shorten as temperatures rise.

Attention wanders. Staying focused is possible but much more tiring at 95° than when at 70°. Dehydration begins to make its move and assaults the body, which has specific requirements. Thirst drives a person to intake more fluids, which results in more trips to the bathroom, which also pulls the attention away from your keyboard.

Sleep doesn’t come easily in the heat. There is no such thing as a comfortable position on the bed, couch, floor, hammock, or whatever reclined surface you can find. Sleeping on the porch isn’t an option either. It’s rarely much cooler out there than inside the house and other considerations remain; mosquitos, the odd stray dog, or worse, cat on the prowl.

Solutions? Oh, there are a few, but not many aside from air conditioning.

Let’s face it. We’ve become a society of wimps. Our pioneer ancestors—yes, even those in the 1940’s—didn’t need air conditioning. They worked, cooked, played outside with the kids, went to ballgames, etc. and all of it in the heat.

Here we are, subject to heat, many without blessed air conditioning. Take a crack at what the oldsters did. Put a big bowl of ice in front of the fan and let simple evaporation help cool you off.

Rearrange your work schedule, if you can, to move the most active part of your day to the cooler pre-dawn and early morning hours. Shift your priorities to help yourself. Decide how many cold meals you can prepare at one time. Cold soups, meats, fruits, etc. can help you think you’re cooler, even if you aren’t.

For those who snicker because they have air conditioning, remember this. You still have to go outside in it to get from point A to point B. That’s at least one chance to get your hand burned on a door handle, to burn the backs of your legs when derriere meets car seat or bench, to inhale vaporous flame upon ordering that snow cone from the corner vendor, who’s stood out in that heat to provide you with cold, soon-to-be-liquid refreshment.

But above all, realize that you’re not alone. Heat drains your energy. Even when you’re working at home or at the office, if you don’t have air conditioning, take it easy on yourself. A cool washcloth on the back of the neck does help. Keeping your feet cool drains more heat from the body than you might think, and make sure that keep sw

4 Comments on Working at Home in the Heat, last added: 7/12/2012
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13. Working at Home in the Heat

 

Trail of the Cedars, Glacier National Park

By now nearly everyone across the country has been to a stage of sweltering in the heat. It doesn’t matter where you live, except maybe in Western Washington, you’ve worked at staying cool.

When I talk about working in the heat, I’m not talking necessarily about laboring outside in it. Those who seldom leave the house, except for errands, are also at risk from heat. It depends on how cool the building is and how much air flow there is.

The heat affects all of us in similar ways. We get cranky when we get too hot. Tempers shorten as temperatures rise.

Attention wanders. Staying focused is possible but much more tiring at 95° than when at 70°. Dehydration begins to make its move and assaults the body, which has specific requirements. Thirst drives a person to intake more fluids, which results in more trips to the bathroom, which also pulls the attention away from your keyboard.

Sleep doesn’t come easily in the heat. There is no such thing as a comfortable position on the bed, couch, floor, hammock, or whatever reclined surface you can find. Sleeping on the porch isn’t an option either. It’s rarely much cooler out there than inside the house and other considerations remain; mosquitos, the odd stray dog, or worse, cat on the prowl.

Solutions? Oh, there are a few, but not many aside from air conditioning.

Let’s face it. We’ve become a society of wimps. Our pioneer ancestors—yes, even those in the 1940’s—didn’t need air conditioning. They worked, cooked, played outside with the kids, went to ballgames, etc. and all of it in the heat.

Here we are, subject to heat, many without blessed air conditioning. Take a crack at what the oldsters did. Put a big bowl of ice in front of the fan and let simple evaporation help cool you off.

Rearrange your work schedule, if you can, to move the most active part of your day to the cooler pre-dawn and early morning hours. Shift your priorities to help yourself. Decide how many cold meals you can prepare at one time. Cold soups, meats, fruits, etc. can help you think you’re cooler, even if you aren’t.

For those who snicker because they have air conditioning, remember this. You still have to go outside in it to get from point A to point B. That’s at least one chance to get your hand burned on a door handle, to burn the backs of your legs when derriere meets car seat or bench, to inhale vaporous flame upon ordering that snow cone from the corner vendor, who’s stood out in that heat to provide you with cold, soon-to-be-liquid refreshment.

But above all, realize that you’re not alone. Heat drains your energy. Even when you’re working at home or at the office, if you don’t have air conditioning, take it easy on yourself. A cool washcloth on the back of the neck does help. Keeping your feet cool drains more heat from the body than you might think, and make sure that keep sw

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14. Winning the Weather Wars

I live in northern Ohio, which for some reason isn't known for its great weather. In fact, we have great weather for, well, most of the year. For instance, today it's sunny and breezy, 75 degrees, and I'm sitting on the side porch drinking iced tea and I can't think of too many places where the weather is better than this.

We don't get credit for that.
When friends and family move away to what they consider to be a better climate, they tend to monitor the weather back here. Then, during one of our especially nasty winter storms in January, they call up and say, "Hey! How's the weather there? I hear it's really awful." Even though I don't ask, they say, "It's 80 degrees here, gonna play a little tennis later on. So glad I don't have to go out and shovel! HaHa, loser." Well, maybe they don't say "loser," but that's what I hear.
I've found there's no winning this weather game. Even when the weather is bad there, it's better than here.
When it's 115 degrees there, you say, "It's a dry heat."
When it's 25 below, you say, "At least it's sunny."
When a blizzard blows in out of the Rockies, you say, "It never lasts very long around here."
I guess I have some options. In mid summer, I could call up and say, "Hey, I hear your whole state is charred to a crisp! It's really green here, just brought in another armload of flowers. Well, I'll let you go, you better go out and swat some sparks and hose down the outbuildings again." Or during the hurricane, I could call and say, "How's the weather? I heard you were having some trouble. What? I can't hear you, sounds like it's blowing up a storm. Yeah, it's pretty calm here. Still got our siding and everything." 
Or I could email a link to this great new tarantula and scorpion repellant I came across. Thought you could use this. Us? Yeah, here we had a bit of an ant problem in the spring. Nothing like YOUR ants, a course.
But I wasn't raised that way.

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15. Tradebook Tips for Teachers from Children’s Author Mayra Calvani

Tradebook Tips for Teachers from Children’s Author Mayra Calvani

The water cycle is included in every science curriculum. Here in Belgium it is taught to fourth grade students. Both elementary and middle school teachers will benefit from my new nonfiction picture book, The Water Cycle. It is the first in a series of four about the weather.

There are many water cycle books out there. My book takes a new angle because in addition to describing the journey of the water droplets from the clouds to the earth and back to the clouds again, it explores the feelings that the different types of weather can evoke in people. The pictures and questions invite children to ponder. For example, rain can make you happy if you’re playing outside in your shiny new boots, but it can make you feel sad and melancholic if you’re indoors and watching from the window. If rain turns into a downpour and eventually a flood, it can evoke in you a whole new set of feelings. The same goes for snow, hail, a blizzard, etc. At the end of the book there are vocabulary activities. At the moment, I’m planning on hiring a teacher to create a complete teacher’s guide. When it’s ready it’ll be available free via my blog and website.

Here are some links to activities about the water cycle that parents and educators can use to complement my book:

Diagram, word search crossword, cloze and other worksheets at
http://bogglesworldesl.com/watercycle_worksheets.htm

More water cycle activity pages, http://www.kidzone.ws/water/

Free power point presentations of the water cycle at http://science.pppst.com/watercycle.html

Finally, teachers and parents can show students what they can do to become more ecologically responsible and be ‘hydro-logical’: http://water.epa.gov/learn/kids/drinkingwater/behyrdological.cfm

Thank you, Karen, for this opportunity to talk about my book on your blog!

About the book: The Water Cycle: Water Play Series Book 1, for ages 4-8, follows the water droplets in their journey from the clouds to the earth and back to the clouds again. Written in a lyrical style, the book takes a new angle on the water cycle by showing the feelings it evokes in people. It also has fun learning activities at the end.

What reviewers are saying…

 “Written in Calvani’s delightful prose, “Huddle inside the CLOUD high up in the sky, the water droplets are excited,” While also complemented by the imaginative artwork of Alexander Morris’ fun illustrations, makes this book both easy to read and informative. The author also includes for her young readers a word search and glossary learning activity—a great addition to every teacher and homeschool parents’ teaching library.” –Carol Fraser Hagen, reading specialist and special education teacher.

You can read the complete review at http://www.carolfraserhagen.com/2012/04/30/reading-about-science-book-recommendation


And, you can check out my review of The Water Cycle at:
http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2012/05/review-of-water-cycle-book-1.html

Purchase The Water Cycle: Water Play Series Book 1 from Guardian Angel Publishing: 14 Comments on Tradebook Tips for Teachers from Children’s Author Mayra Calvani, last added: 5/11/2012
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16. Children's Book Week, Day 1: Release announcement: Water Play, Book I: The Water Cycle

Hello all,

Today is the first day of Children's Book Week and to kick-start it I'd like to announce the release of my children's nonfiction picture book, Water Play, Book I: The Water Cycle.

Don't forget to enter below for a chance to win a totebag full of Guardian Angel Publishing children's books OR a critique from children's author Margot Finke. Good luck!

The Water Cycle is the first in a series of four about the weather, published by Guardian Angel Publishing.



THE WATER CYCLE: 
WATER PLAY SERIES BOOK 1
Academic Wings

Author: Mayra Calvani   www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com
Artist: Alex Morris www.alexrmorris.com
Print ISBN: 9781616332372; 1616332379
eBook ISBN: 9781616332389; 1616332387 
Follow the water droplets in their journey from the clouds to the earth and back to the clouds again. Written in a lyrical style, the book takes a new angle on the water cycle by showing the feelings it evokes in people.




Review by Carol Frazer Hagen, reading specialist and special education teacher:


"Teaching the water cycle, most often referred to as the hydrologic cycle in classroom science lessons, is the topic of Mayra Calvani’s latest book The Water Cycle: Water Play Series 1.

 "Teaching students about the Earth’s atmosphere and its role in providing water to our planet is included in every Earth Science curriculum. Fortunately, both teachers and parents now have a wonderful resource to help them teach this aspect of science. Elementary, as well as middle school teachers will welcome this creatively written book, which introduces students to the continuous cycle of rain, water vapor and cloud formation.

 "Written in Calvani’s delightful prose, “Huddle inside the CLOUD high up in the sk

20 Comments on Children's Book Week, Day 1: Release announcement: Water Play, Book I: The Water Cycle, last added: 5/8/2012
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17. Name that cloud

By Storm Dunlop

World Meteorology Day marks a highly successful collaboration under the World Meteorological Organization, involving every country, large or small, rich or poor. Weather affects every single person (every living being) on the planet, but why do people feel meteorology is not for them? Why do they even find it so difficult to identify different types of cloud? Or at least they claim that it is difficult. The average person, it would seem, looks at the sky and simply thinks ‘clouds’. (Just as they look at the night sky and think nothing more than ‘stars’).

What type of clouds are these?

Is it because they think there are so many — too many to remember? Yet there are just ten major types, and most people can recognize ten different makes of cars, ten different dogs, or ten different flowers. Can’t they? Perhaps not. Some people do have poor visual discrimination: my father for one. Show him a piece of oak and a piece of pine, and he would not know, by sight, which was which. To him, it was ‘wood’. Then some people apparently suffer from a difficulty in transferring what they see in a photograph or illustration to the real world. I can think of an experienced amateur astronomer who cannot match a photograph of the night sky that he has taken to the actual constellations above his head.

There is the old philosophical argument about whether one can even think about an object or concept, without having a name for it in one’s head. Surely, however, one can have a mental image of a physical object, such as (say) a sea-cucumber, without knowing that it is called a sea-cucumber or even a holothurian? As an author, my brain functions with words, not images. I suppose that conversely, perhaps if people are unable to hold a mental image of a cumulonimbus cloud, they cannot assimilate its name.

Or is it the words themselves that put them off? Luke Howard in his seminal work On the Modification of Clouds (1802) introduced Latin terms, following the tradition set by Linnaeus. Scientifically, that was (and remains) perfectly sensible. But is that the root of the problem? It seems to be a modern myth that all Latin is ‘difficult’, and the hoi polloi — sorry, that’s Greek! — (‘the masses’) avoid it in all forms. Perhaps this fear arises because it is no longer taught widely, no longer a requirement for university entrance, and no longer (for Catholics) heard in the Latin mass. But it is at the root of so many languages and so many scientific terms that this phobia is deeply regrettable.

The words for clouds themselves are hardly difficult: terms such as nimbostratus are hardly pronounceable mouthfuls. Do people worry that, like Silas Wegg in Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend, who turned the Greek historian Polybius into the Roman virgin Polly Beeious, they will get even these wrong? I suppose I am fortunate, because I did learn Latin at school, and I speak and read various languages, so words, from whatever source, don’t frighten me. And I like to get any pronunciation right. I also have to admit that if I know a word, I tend to use it. That may be why people look at me a bit oddly w

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18. Nonfiction Monday: Tornado

Tornado!: The Story Behind These Twisting, Turning, Spinning, and Spiraling Storms Judith Bloom Frandin and Dennis Brindell Frandin

Do you know what's more terrifying than a tornado? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

One of the nice things about moving from the Midwest to the DC area is I no longer spend all my time in the basement, freaking out about a Tornado Warning. Or ready to sprint to the basement because of a Tornado Watch.

Tornadoes scare the ever-long !@!@#@#% out of me.

This book full of science, facts, survivor stories, and giant pictures of TORNADOES.

It's pretty cool and, if you're me, a little terrifying. I do really like how much it covers in the different areas while not being overwhelming or too advanced for solidly middle grade readers. I also think the design is wonderful-- large pictures, good graphics, great pull quotes and pull-out boxes make for a wonderful design.


Today's Nonfiction Monday round up is over at

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

2 Comments on Nonfiction Monday: Tornado, last added: 1/30/2012
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19. What is up with the WEATHER?


The new picture book, "Carla's Cloud Catastrophe" has been released.  Beth Bence Reinke's delightful, "WHAT IF" kind of story comes from a question that children may often ask.  "What if, one day, all the clouds fell from the sky?"




Carla's solution to the problem is the perfect ending to a fun filled adventure.  The book is available from 4RV PUBLISHING LLC and Amazon.com as well as any and all bookstores. All you need to do is give your bookstore the ISBN number for them to order the book.  OR, you can go directly to the 4RV Publishing site and get your copy.

What on earth will the Mayor of Clarksville do with all those clouds?  Carla knows!


I always get excited when a book I was chosen to illustrate is released. This book has great appeal for boys and girls alike.  It is always a pleasure for an illustrator to receive a manuscript that has so many ideas for illustrations that you have to choose from the dozens of image that pop into your head as you read the manuscript.  It also meant that I had to stretch a bit to create some of the images.  My research included asking permission of certain people to use them as subjects in the book.  It also meant a trip to our recycling center and town DPW to get photos and sketches of heavy road equipment.  I was fortunate enough, at the same time, to have an entire road crew working on our road.  The machines they were using were perfect sources for some of the illustrations.

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20. Video Preview of "Prairie Storms"

Watch this exciting book preview video of my new book, Prairie Storms, written by Darcy Pattison and illustrated by me.  The book is just weeks away from its release date.  I am so excited.  Watch the video HERE!  (Thanks to Darcy for putting together this video.)

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21. ¿La Nada?

 



Please do not think that I have been transferred from Amsco’s science department to the foreign language department. Earth science has a number of Spanish terms in its lexicon: El Niño, La Niña, and now La Nada. Yes, I checked with Florencia, Amsco’s Spanish editor, and “nada” does mean “nothing.” The next question is: What does “nothing” have to do with Earth science?


In December 2010, La Niña was in full swing. The image on the left shows cold water (the blue and purple band) flowing across the Pacific Ocean. Under ordinary circumstances, when La Niña begins to fade, El Niño, which brings warm water, takes its place. However, by April 2011, there was no sign of El Niño, as shown in the image on the right. These images were taken by the Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite, NASA JPL.

You may be asking: What has La Nada to do with me? Well, remember all those snow storms and cold weather last January and February? They may have been caused by La Nada. According to NASA climatologist Bill Patzert, “La Niña was strong in December, but back in January it pulled a disappearing act and left us with nothing—La Nada—to constrain the jet stream. Like an unruly teenager, the jet stream took advantage of the newfound freedom—and the results were disastrous.” The jet stream meandered wildly around the United States and the weather pattern became dominated by strong outbreaks of frigid polar air, producing blizzards across the West, Upper Midwest, and Northeast in the United States.

In the spring, there were many strong thunderstorms and tornados. Russell Schneider, Director of the NOAA-NWS Storm Prediction Center, explains: “First, very strong winds out of the south carrying warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico met cold jet stream winds racing in from the west. Stacking these two air masses on top of each other created the degree of instability that fuels intense thunderstorms.”

According to Patzert, “The jet stream—on steroids—acted as an atmospheric mix master, causing tornadoes to explode across Dixie and Tornado Alleys, and even into Massachusetts.”

The next time someone asks you: What’s up with the weather? You can say: “It’s nothing,” and smile sweetly.



1 Comments on ¿La Nada?, last added: 7/19/2011
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22. I am...

All last week I was on holidays! And it was awesome. Spent the week at a cottage at Grand Beach, MB. Strangely, we had a heat wave at the beginning of the week, and then it cooled right down and it was cold! I really can't complain cuz the charming, warm weather has returned, although not at the heat wave magnitude. Not sure how I feel about that… =)

I don’t know how many people know this about me, but I love to run. And I woke up every day on my holidays at 6:30 a.m. just so I could beat the heat. My running route was along the water on the beach. I love running on the beach. There’s nothing like it.

I’m back at work this week, but working towards yet another week of holidays, next week. Très sah-weeeet!

So I have discovered that I am truly crazy about Twitter and have become a wee bit addicted. Okay, okay, I’m a lot twaddicted. Wow, it’s worse than I thought… Anyway, tweeting is always on my mind now. Everything I do, or see, or hear, or say, is fodder for my next tweet. My friends may wanna keep that in mind. Hee hee. =D

So my new writing exercise is based on my thoughts around the fantasy genre image I chose. It was really difficult to go in only one direction, cuz my mind was buzzing with this image. Check out the exercise and enjoy!











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23. New Coloring Page...FREE!

Feel free to click the pic to download my latest Prairie Storms coloring page!  In this scene, we see a cougar taking refuge from a chilly, November hail storm.


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24. Hurricane update

The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit us early Sunday morning, and in my neck of the woods (northern Manhattan), it was pretty much just a strong thunderstorm that I slept right through. I didn’t lose power and it was sunny by 11 am.

However, not as much can be said for other areas of the greater NYC area—New Jersey, Queens, and Brooklyn all had areas with power outages, downed trees, and flooding, and it was even worse in upstate New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and some parts of Massachusetts, where they’re still recovering from flooding and power outages. But the worst part of the storm for New England seems to be in Vermont, at least according to the reports I’ve seen from friends who are currently trapped in their house (thankfully on a hill) because their whole road just washed away; bridges are washed away and in nearby towns the whole downtown is flooded. I hope that despite the millions in damage to farms and businesses, that the people and animals who live there are okay.

Here are a few links and videos from Jo Knowles, a YA author who lives in Vermont, who is the friend I heard about the situation in VT from:

The Bennington, VT Banner reporting on damage in that area

Ottauquechee Over Banks Flooding Rt. 4 West

 

 

This one gets down to show how it’s affecting Vermonters on a personal level—their whole road is washed away.

Originally published at Stacy Whitman's Grimoire. Please leave any comments there.

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25. It's December Already?

I can't believe July 30 was my last blog post. How have you been?

Here's what I've been doing:

1) Surviving the new school year. It amazes me how much homework a third and sixth grader can have each day. You'd think they were in college. AND it amazes me how much I'd be helping them. I feel like I'm back in school with all the book reports and writing happening this year. Thank God my hubby helps them in the math department. Not my strongest subject for sure.

2) Taking online writing classes. Well, I actually am back in school. I took my first online UCLA writing class this summer with the UCLA Writers Extension program, Writing the Young Adult Novel with Beth Ann Bauman. I just completed a fall quarter class, Novel Planning: Writing Order out of Chaos with Lynn Hightower. These classes just keep getting better and better. I've been pushed and stretched to places I'd thought my writing couldn't go. Each class is seriously tough, but worth it. I've got an edgy novel pretty much figured out. I never thought I'd want to write a novel, but I've never been more excited about a writing project and I'm putting my all into it. I'll be enrolling in the winter quarter soon. If you don't hear from me for a while again, you'll know why.

3) Attending sporting events. Hockey and football. I've been chauffeuring my boys to practices and games nonstop. We even attended our first Baron's hockey game a few weeks ago on free jersey night and hope to attend a OKC Thunder games soon once the NBA games get going again. Whew. It's a good thing I like sports being in an all-boy family.

4) Adding a new family member. In August, the Rogers' added a very cute furry addition to the family that we adopted from the Bella Foundation. Our oldest son, Big C named our new Chiweenie puppy, Lucky. "Mom, I hope he brings us luck," he said. Big C even wrote an essay about him for his English class. I was one proud mama when he brought home an A. I'm hoping this streak of good grade luck will continue.

Here's Lucky... Isn't he a cutie?




5) Experiencing Earthquakes. In Oklahoma. During November, Hubby and I were jolted awake at 2:15 a.m. by our first earthquake, a 4.7 one Saturday night. Then the next night, the biggest earthquake in Oklahoma history, a 5.6 rocked our house for a minute. Our youngest son, Little C came running down the stairs in a panic asking us what was happening. Big C slept right through it. Then another night we had a 4.7 earthquake during a tornado and flash flood watch. I felt another small one a few days ago. We are expecting the volcano to erupt any minute now.

Well, that's just a small serving of what's been on my plate lately. How are you? Writing lots? Taken any great writing classes lately? I'd love to hear all about it. Display Comments Add a Comment

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