Category Archives: Uncategorized

So You’ve Graduated…Congratulations!!!!!

jimjams – noun


( used with a plural verb) Slang.
1.  extreme nervousness; jitters.
tassel – noun, verb
[tasuh l]
1.   a decoration made of a bunch of strings fastened at one end
2.   a flower or group of flowers at the top of a cornstalk
3.   (used with object) to furnish or adorn with tassels.
4.   (used with object) to form into a tassel or tassels.
5.   (used with object) to remove the tassel from (growing corn) in order to improve the crop.
6.   (used without object) (of corn) to put forth tassels (often followed by out).
So you’ve graduated. You’ve turned that tassel to the other side. Congratulations on a new phase in your life. congrats grad (photo credit:
If you’re a college graduate, you know everything you need to know about living on your own independently. Right? Probably not. Well, you’re not alone. Though I can tell you, your school years were your easiest part of your life in the grand scope of things.
If you graduated kindergarten, fifth or eighth grade, you now move on to  higher education within your school system but you get to make more of your own choices.
Maybe you graduated high school. That is fantastic!  You have two options really, get a job and get an early start into independent adult life or go to college, technical school, etc. and learn a career or trade. All are great options so make your choice based on you, not what everyone else thinks you should do.
technical school(photo credit:
Turning that tassel is when the jimjams set in. Especially if you are a college graduate. Plenty of college students pay for their own college education, living expenses, etc. and understand the financial burden of doing such. They also know the extreme importance of how far a dollar stretches. They too have a chunk of financial debt to pay for that new found knowledge that is supposed to land them a great job for the independent adult world. College students who paid little to none of their education but took out loans and had parents help  offset the cost are the ones who are in for more of a shell shock upon college graduation.
graduation ride(photo credit:
Their ride into the post college world is often anxiety ridden. These college grads did not do internships to get a taste of the working world or work steady jobs in college to help pay part of their bills. In fact, these grads were done a disservice by their parents helping them out so much. These grads now have to ‘adult up’ in a hurry like their ‘high school graduate’ counterparts did when they chose to enter the workforce following high school graduation.
The new world is daunting, especially if the graduate did not make plans during college to get themselves a job in their field post graduation. There is help for you though to figure it out. Maybe you don’t want to rely on your parents to do your thinking for you anymore so you can flex your independence.
Well, now you have to find a job. Can you move back home to your parents or crash with friends until you find a job? If so, then immediately start sending out job applications and resumes to every place close to where you’re living. Then apply for temp jobs or any job you can do and work that until you land a job in the field of work you want to get into. The pro of this is it gets you making money that you can save for when you move out on your own finally and also to start paying for those bills you’re parents have been paying for you to help you out. After all, you are out of school now and the only reason you went to college in the first place was to get an education to get you a decent paying job when you became independent. Your parents would like to retire someday and paying for their grown kids bills will not allow them to do that. (Your parents could then become your financial burden later on if they cannot continue to save for retirement because they’ve helped you out too long)
Next, once you have applied for your dream jobs, follow up with them if you do not hear anything from them in a week. Do not be a pest but do be persistent. This let’s the employer know you are a serious contender and willing and wanting to work.
If you have aspirations to live somewhere else, then do your research online and find jobs in that area and apply. Follow through. Make sure you have saved enough money to move there when you land the job. This takes planning so research that too and listen to parents on this one if they have advice to give. Their advice is free. Most everything else in life is not. You don’t have to take their advice but chances are they have been there, done that and have wisdom to back them up. (someday you will be the wise parent)
Every one has a dream and every one should go after that dream. Use your wits and knowledge to land that dream and make it happen. It lands on you. No one else is responsible for making your dream come true. It’s all you!
promised land (photo credit:
Once you have landed a job you like, pay your bills and save up enough money to move out. You may have to get a roommate and that’s just fine. That cuts your living expenses so you can save money for your retirement. Yes, I said retirement.
Here are more websites on gaining independence that can help you should you seek it:
If you are unsure, ask someone who can actually help. Talk to trusted people. (Every one has an opinion so don’t ask every one. )
You now have more tools in place to help you succeed so embrace your jimjams now that you’ve turned that tassel and be who you were meant to be. You can do it! You have it in you. But YOU have to take charge and make it happen. Congratulations Graduate now grab your place in the world!  earth (photo credit:

Your Adventure Awaits

pumped – adjective, verb



excited and enthusiastic about something


  1.   to raise, drive, etc., with a pump.
  2.   to free from water or other liquid by means of a pump.
  3.   to operate or move by an up-and-down or back-and-forth action.
  4.   to supply with air, as an organ, by means of a pumplike device.
  5.   to drive, force, etc., as if from a pump.
  6.   to supply or inject as if by using a pump.
  7.   to work a pump; raise or move water, oil, etc., with a pump.
  8.   to move up and down like a pump handle.
  9.   to seek to elicit information from a person.

panjandrum – noun

[pan-jan-druh m]

  1.   a self-important or pretentious official.


Today’s post is not about the all new adventure of the world of politicians (or panjandrums as I like to call most of them) though that may be fun. No today  I am pumped to share with you my favorite place for adventure when I have no money to go too far: the Hedberg Public Library. I will visit any library, anywhere and find adventure.

Ahhh, you think I am just a bookworm maybe? True but I also enjoy the artwork featured by local artists as well as just one of the many features our library has to offer. In fact, this month one of the librarians, Helene Ramsdell, who is also a fabulous artist, has her work featured at our library. Here are a few samples of her work:

fox print helene ramsdell Filbert street animal prints

Artists are featured every month at our library. Therefore, not only is it a library but also an art gallery that changes monthly.

The library also offers classes in their computer lab, usually for free for any number of things. Programs for toddlers and young readers are offered weekly, story time during summer goes on, young adult programs are offered throughout the year and family programs, adult programs, author visits and so much more can be found at our library.

Besides books, you can check out toys at the library for your children, parenting material, DVD’s, Blu-Ray movies, magazines, CD’s, and audio books.library lion

If a title cannot be found at the library itself, they can use the Interlibrary Loan feature, WISCAT and even WorldCat to get in the material of your choice. Need something copied or printed, the library offers that too for a minimal fee. Don’t have time to peruse the shelves for your favorite book, request it online through their online catalog and pick it up when it arrives at the library within the allotted grace period.

If this isn’t enough to entice you to find your next adventure at the library, then check out these picture books about libraries. Not only are the stories unique, they offer a new perspective you and I may have overlooked.

a library book for bear wild about books

the lonely book Miss Dorothy

when the library lights go out the library doors

the library gingerbread man quiet theres a canary

the book boat's in waiting for biblioburro

I’m sure there are many more and these are all tried and true but that’s just my opinion. Go find your adventure at the library, until you absorb yourself in it you never know what awaits you.

What’s in your public library?

Happy reading!



Horrible Feelings!

Having a preteen daughter means that I’ve been having lots of conversations lately about FEELINGS. I find myself saying the following things on a regular basis… “It is totally normal to feel this w…

Source: Horrible Feelings!

Create Tension by Using Character Stand-ins — Read to Write Stories

For my money, one of the most intense scenes in any film is the moment in Ridley Scott’s Alien when a character goes into an air duct with the goal of pushing the Alien toward an air lock so it can be sucked out into space. (If you’ve seen the film, you know the scene; it’s everybody’s favorite.) […]

via Create Tension by Using Character Stand-ins — Read to Write Stories

Top Shelf in May: LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren — BookPeople’s Blog

This review comes from BookPeople Inventory Manager Jan Day Shaking off the dregs of winter, we’ve finally shed our coats and exposed our naked limbs to the sun, shining more on our upturned faces. Sunshine is never more welcome than in springtime. (We haven’t been crushed by those three-digit heat waves that will inevitably arrive within […]

via Top Shelf in May: LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren — BookPeople’s Blog

155 years ago today, Fort Sumter was fired upon– 10 Interesting facts — Bob Mayer

This was officially the beginning of the Civil War; in reality, that war was almost inevitable from the founding of the United States when the issue of slavery wasn’t dealt with. The Founding Fathers, while greatly revered, knew they were postponing an issue that later generations would have to solve with blood and generations in…

via 155 years ago today, Fort Sumter was fired upon– 10 Interesting facts — Bob Mayer

So Much to See and Do in St. Lou (is)

[all photos in this blog are the property of Traci and Kevin Bold (copyrighted) except for the top image which is from]

confluence – noun

[kon-floo-uh ns]

  1.   a flowing together of two or more streams, rivers, or the like:
    the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
  2. their place of junction:
    St. Louis is at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
  3. a body of water formed by the flowing together of two or more streams, rivers, or the like.
  4. a coming together of people or things; concourse.
  5. a crowd or throng; assemblage. 

ninnyhammer – noun


  1.   a fool or simpleton; ninny.

foolish – adjective


  1.   having or showing a lack of good sense or judgment
  2.   lacking forethought or caution.
  3.   trifling, insignificant, or paltry.



Actually St. Louis is going to wait. Along with my husband, we discovered a cool little town across the Mississippi River and just north from St. Louis. This little town is dubbed, ‘One of the most haunted towns in America’. For good reason too.


Alton sits on the east side near the Great Rivers confluence of the Mississippi River, Missouri River and the Illinois River. With numerous floodings since the beginning of Alton’s birth, and the fires and of course Ellis Island by Melvin Price Lock and Dam No. 26 hauntings are bound to happen. This little island housed the hospital for confederate POW’s between 1863 and 1865 who contracted mainly smallpox but other diseases as well. Close to two hundred soldiers died there and were buried. Locals told us that they do not go to the Island at night because of the hauntings. This little island is now a park and is a sanctuary for many birds.IMG_1900

Behind the bridge to St. Louis is a small island, Ellis Island, to which I refer. This is where the original lock and dam 26 was built.

Besides numerous haunted buildings and such in Alton there are many quaint antique shops (one of which is haunted) , good food such as Fast Eddie’s Bon-Air20160311_125815 (Fast Eddie’s is for the 21 and over crowd, sorry kiddos) and so much history.

For more on the hauntings:

Let’s get back to history. When two rivers converge into one bigger river only a few miles apart (confluence), areas surrounding that can become big targets for flooding, being ports for merchant barges and then of course great habitat for fish and animals and birds. (Not to mention mosquitoes.)

The Mississippi and Missouri River have seen their fare share of natural disasters and the Illinois River has seen some as well, but in this area, when they all flood, catastrophe happens. The Lock and dam system from the North Mississippi River to just below Alton, Il was built to help the barges through to the upper part of the Mississippi River which is actually a shallower river. These dams were not built to control the flooding.

The Melvin Price Locks and Dam (No.26) has seen it’s share of flooding since being moved to its’ current location. There is a marker on the side of the cement elevator (which is still out of order) from the water level the river got to in 1993. In fact, today there is still a lot of wood caught up in the holding area of the dams that has been there since that flood. IMG_1903

This mess of wood is now home to numerous wildlife species. Now when I saw this, I immediately thought of all the crafting people out there who would love to have this wood but I believe to try to retrieve it at whim would be foolish as this is a highly protected government facility.

Recently in late 2015 15″ of rain fell so sand bags were filled and brought in feeling that another 1993 flood was going to happen but thankfully, it did not. IMG_1898


The dam is attached to the National Great Rivers Museum which gives so much information about this area as well as the lock and dam. You can tour the dam to a certain point but then to try to go further, you would be a ninnyhammer to do so however you can visit the museum and then mark it off of your National Museum Passport if you have one.


In one of the holding areas past the first lock is a perfect spot to spy a blue heron.


He knows where to fish for his dinner. The picture below is the area of the dam where this heron is. IMG_1901

Alton and the surrounding area have so much more to offer and to see and do but that is for another time.

Stay tuned for more about the fun St. Louis has to offer.







Oooooo. Eyes widen.

Smooth milky fudge woos and waits.

Yes please! Are the words for a slice.

Mmmm! Taste buds revel in the richness.

Yummm! Tummy rumbles filled with gobbled goodness.

Ahhh. Heart flutters with fulfillment.

Fudge reigns.


Thank you Vivian Kirkfield for the inspiration to write this short short #kidlit story.


PPBF: Brave Girl PLUS 50 Precious Words Contest


Lost and Found

sylvan – adjective, noun

[sil-vuh n]


  1.   of, relating to, or inhabiting the woods.
  2.   consisting of or abounding in woods or trees; wooded; woody:
    a shady, sylvan glade.
  3.   made of trees, branches, boughs, etc.


4.   a person dwelling in a woodland region.

5.   a mythical deity or spirit of the woods.


relieved– adjective


  1.   feeling relaxed and happy because something difficult or unpleasant has been stopped, avoided, or made easier : feeling relief



Jolene stepped into the meadow. On the other side were the woods. Behind her a group of kids ran after her chanting mean horrible things. She scanned the meadow; no where to hide there. Right then she knew she had to make it to the woods to drown out the meanies and their chants or she would lose her temper causing even more chaos.


Only a few yards in, the chants grew quieter as the woods ate up the sounds past it’s borders. Jolene breathed in deep. Ahhhhhhhhh. Much better. The only sounds were squirrels chattering and rustling in the foilage and something small scampering across the forest floor.

The air was crisp and piney, her favorite smell as it reminded her of Christmas time, a time that was always magical no matter whose home she was at. She closed her eyes and reveled momentarily in Christmases gone by.


Her eyes flew open. Was that a lightning strike? Jolene knew that sound all too well. She looked up to the sky. Blue skies still spilled through some of the gaping treetops and sunshine peeked through here and there. Not thunder, not this time.


The sound came from in front of her. She scoured the trees for falling limbs and branches.


Now this was different. The sound was directly in front of her somewhere behind the oak and pine trees.

SNAP! A flash of electric blue light shot out from the wide oak.

Jolene was mesmerized. Her feet happily lead her to the majestic tree.

“Hello? Who’s there and how did you make that blue light?” she asked skirting herself around tree.

CRACK! SNAP! was her reply. Jolene jumped. She scurried to the other side of the tree in time to witness tiny feet like a babies but with only four toes kick forest floor up at her.

“Go away. You scare me,” a tiny yet commanding voice said.

“Who are you? I promise not to hurt you in any way. You made beautiful blue light. Please come out,” Jolene coaxed.

Shuffling sounds grew closer to Jolene.

“I do not have anything but my clothes and shoes. See?” she said holding her hands straight up in the air.

A short, furry person with a cherub face stepped out from the oak tree. This beautiful being radiated a soft glow of white light almost with a bluish tint and was carrying what looked like a bamboo stick.

Jolene immediately felt relieved and at peace, something she had not felt in a long time.

“You have the sweetest face I have ever seen,” Jolene said.

“Thank you,” came the simple reply.

“Most kids do not like these woods. Rumor has it these woods are haunted by ghosts of evil people. I like the woods. I find peace here.”

“As you should.”

“But there are scary creatures and animals in these woods aren’t there?”


“On what?”

“On what you think is scary. Do you think rabbits, squirrels, fox, deer, owls, birds, or Sylvans are scary?”

Jolene thought about this. She really loves all animals but she had never seen a Sylvan before and was not sure what one really was.

“What is a Sylvan?”

“I am a Sylvan. Are you scared of me?”

The Sylvan twirled around emitting a cloud of powder blue dust. As the dust cleared, a taller shape stood in front of Jolene. This shape was just like Jolene’s dream version of a grandmother. This being still held the bamboo looking stick.


The Sylvan swirled in circles again emitting a powder blue dust cloud. Now it was shaped into strange animal that had paws like a kitten, powder puff tail, soft fluffy looking gray fur and the face of a wolf.

“How about now?”

Jolene laughed. “Definitely not.”

Once again, the Sylvan swirled and twirled and when the powder blue dust cloud settled, the group of meanies was standing in front of Jolene.

“And now?” growled the Sylvan.

Jolene trembled. She felt fury rise up in her throat all sense of peace gone. Red was everywhere, she felt it, saw it and tasted the bitterness of it.

“Yes but scared for you, not of you,” she said through clenched teeth closing her eyes, willing the Sylvan to retreat. The heat was rushing through her veins and scorching her eyes. “You need to leave before I hurt you.”


“You can open your eyes, I have changed back.” the Sylvan said.

Slowly Jolene opened her eyes. Her hands trembled, her body shook.

Blue light filled the space around her. The Sylvan was once again the furry, cherub faced short being. It reminded her of everything good  in the world, babies, animals and spirit beings.

Jolene relaxed. Peace was filling her up inside pushing the fury out of her. She sat down on the forest floor grateful for the soft seat it provided.

The Sylvan sat beside her. “You passed the test, you may visit these woods whenever you want Jolene. I know you will bring no harm to the creatures who live here.”

“What is your name?”

“Sylvie. Unoriginal I know but I like it best.”

“Makes sense to me. Why did you change shape? Can all Sylvans change shape?”

Sylvie tilted her head to the side and snapped her stick once.

Snap. A tiny blue streak shot across the air.

Finally she answered.

“We Sylvans change shape to suit our need. If we feel a dangerous being is here, we change into whatever scares them the most. If we feel a good being is here, we change into whatever image brings the happiest thoughts to that being. I imagine this is why these woods are rumored to be haunted.”

“I am so sorry I became so angry. When you changed into the meanies, every horrible thing they have ever done to me, other kids and even animals came to me and my horrible power started kicking in. I cannot control it when it does which scares me the most. I have to either run away or will the target to go away so I cannot harm them.” Jolene explained.

Sylvie squeezed Jolene’s hand. A warm feeling of love flooded Jolene. She hugged Sylvie then stood up to leave.

” I have to get back home Sylvie. My foster Mom will be worried if I am home too late. I promise to keep your secret.”

Sylvie smiled a brilliant smile. “No need to keep the secret. It will just be another rumor but one that will keep the bad beings out. You may visit whenever you like. In fact, coming here will ease your power and help you keep control over it until you learn how to use it wisely.”

Jolene tilted her head and thought a moment. “I’m glad you are my new friend Sylvie. I’ll visit again soon.”

CRACK! SNAP! Beautiful blue light lit up the forest.


Jolene rushed home, just in time to help with dinner.

“Where were you Jolene?” her foster Mom asked.

“Working on my creative writing project with a new friend.”

“New friends are good. What’s her name?”

Jolene beamed at her. “Sylvie.”