Category Archives: Children

San Juan Cosala Kids Art Camp

https://issuu.com/lakechapalasociety/docs/conecciones_agosto_2019_digitalI forgot to post photos of some of the kids enjoying the many activities at art camp two weeks ago. I taught earring and bracelet-making and egg-carton flower making. Useful skills in life. Here they are. Better late than never.

Click on any photo to enlarge all.

 


Go HERE to see an article I wrote about Operation Feed, the volunteer organization that sponsored this camp. The article is on pages 26 and 27, but when you slide the bar to get to the page, it will say it is 28. Miracles of the media.

Skating Lessons

photo by Gloria Palazzo

Skating Lessons

Bazooka or Double Bubble
the biggest decision I had to make that June,
my mentor was the girl six years my senior
who lived two houses away.
Brown braids and freckles,
her calm made order out of mayhem,
her smile resolving daily skinned knees and bruises.
A skate key on a cord around her neck—
always dependable,
like some preteen utilitarian angel.

I skated through July,
hanging my last
in a long line
of replacement skate keys
securely around my neck
from my dad’s old compass cord,

knowing by some prescience
far beyond my years
that mentors, like meteors,
streak by quickly and are soon out of sight.

 

And…..remember this song very pertinent to the topic at hand?

Prompt words are mentor, compass, mayhem and bazooka.
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/rdp-wednesday-mentor/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/your-daily-word-prompt-mayhem-may-1-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/bazooka/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/05/01/fowc-with-fandango-compass/

Playing in the Air

Two children fell from the top of this slide in the playground across from the house where I grew up. One of them was my sister Patti, pictured nearest the top in this photo. The second child to fall tragically died, but the slide was not removed or altered until the old school building was replaced years after I had grown up and moved away. I am the third and lowest child in this photo, following along, as usual.        photo circa 1949/50 by my other sister, Betty Dykstra Wilcox

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/26/rdp-friday-slide/

Sunup Sundown Song: My New Book!!! Now in Print

My newest children’s book is now available on Amazon. Go HERE to order.

sunup cover final (Judy)

“Wake up, wake up, my buttercup, my flutterdown and flutterup, my painter and my cutterup, your sleepy time is done.” So begins this silly rhymed storybook by Judy Dykstra-Brown that takes a child from waking up to a go-to-sleep-lullaby, chronicling in between a day full of activities and then the bedding down of the child along with a recap of all the creatures they have encountered during the day at their grandparents’ farm, the zoo and in storybooks. “Humpa, humpa, haravan, the camels in their caravan and puppies on the spare divan are falling fast asleep . . . like the foxes in their lairs, with the fleas down in their hairs. . . . Like your playmates, your teacher, and every living creature.” Sunup Sundown Song takes a child through the entire busy day and lulls them to sleep. Charmingly illustrated with fine details by artist Isidro Xilonzochitl. Meant to be read to children of all ages.

Past Prime

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Past Prime

She stamps her little foot down. A tantrum, I would guess.
She will not put these panties on. She will not wear this dress.
She doesn’t want to brush her teeth. Tangles swathe her head.
She doesn’t want her breakfast. She doesn’t want her bed.
Her grandma shuts the door on her. She’ll wait until she’s grown.
She used up all her patience on kids who were her own!!!

 

With tongue in cheek, I’d like to dedicate this blog to Karen over at her Momshieb blog. You might want to read her link as well!  She’s crazy about her grandkids but even grandmas have their limits. The WordPress prompt word today is tantrum.

Ellie, Ilsa and Elsie––Visitors

IMG_8028
— Ilsa, damp and determined.

This little girl is Ilsa, the daughter of Ellie, the young lady who comes to clean my rental house once a week. Last year Ilsa was very shy and either hid behind her mother  or sat in a corner playing with her phone whenever I tried to talk to her.  This year, however, at the mature age of 4, she is an affectionate chatterbox, following me around, chatting me up, smiling a lot, even before I gave her the red licorice that she seemed not to realize she could chew and swallow.  An hour after I gave it to her, she was still sucking on the end,, her lips stained with what looked like a very unskillful application of red lip gloss  Staying near.  When I heard her humming, I asked if she knew any songs.  She proceeded to sing a very involved song that lasted at least five minutes.  Either she was making it up or has an excellent memory.  It was in Spanish, so I didn’t follow it as my mind tunes out and I forget to listen closely enough to try to make out the lyrics.

Afterwards, we talked about cars and dogs and cats and crocodiles and I showed her photos of Morrie on my computer. Her mother called her in twice, telling her to let me work (on blogging) but each time she eventually came back out to stand near and smile and talk and smile and play cocoon with the hanging towels and sheets that hung all around me on lines strung across the porch. Finally, she wrapped herself in a damp-sheet hanging on the line near me and started singing the same three-word line over and over again.  I strained to hear it.  It sounded like “Hunta para siete,” so I Google translated, but got no answer.  She came close, touched my arm and continued to sing it, over and over.  When I asked her mom what it could mean, she had no idea.  Then, suddenly, I heard it correctly and with the correct spelling.  She was singing “Junta para siempre”—“Together forever.”  How sweet is that?

When she and her mom left, almost immediately, another  little girl walked up to the steps leading up from the sand and climbed up to my porch.  Fresh from the ocean, still in her suit, she dripped water from suit, hair and body.  In one hand she held a strand of long black hair, sucking on the tip.  

She is the little girl who last year had entered the house, poured four cups of dogfood into Morrie’s dish and locked him inside his cage with it.  She was also the little girl who would let him off his long lead every time she walked by the porch, freeing him to come play with her on the beach. When their play ceased, she left him to run free, with several potentially dangerous situations arising.  So, it became necessary for me to never put Morrie out on his own.  It was a very limiting plan–for me.  I ended up not going on any of the day excursions Tess and Rita and John planned because… I had to stay home with Morrie

I gave Elsie the sad news that Morrie wasn’t here this year and neglected, on purpose, to tell her I had a cat with me and she eventually climbed down the stairs and slipped away like the accomplished little cat burglar she is. No, I didn’t tell her I had a cat along with me this year.

Elsie, wet and wily.