Favorite Childhood Books

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Hello!

Back in December, on the post about how to wrap Christmas presents, my nana and I ordered little JD some books. We found some very cheap set of books, she ordered a pack that could be categorized in the “baby” section whereas mine were based for toddlers I think!

I’ve talked about my issues of being a very difficult reader growing up, but I do remember some books of my childhood–granted I may have seen the movies a lot more–and I wanted to share some of my favorites! I grew up in the 90’s and was in grade school in early 2000’s so the amount of books that I read as a kid are sort of different compared to what the little ones read now. I don’t necessarily know why I suddenly wanted to discuss this, I just thought it was be fun and somewhat nostalgic too! While you read the list below, maybe you’ll remember some you used to read as a youngster and share what you liked in the comments!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

I have to point out that almost every children’s book on this list is a classic! I think this was always a cute and sweet book. Very easy to keep up with, if your child had trouble keeping up. I do remember becoming interested in butterflies after reading this book, caterpillars were another though! My sister and I only liked one worm in our whole lives and it was fuzzy and ombre before it was ever in style, sadly I don’t know what the exact name of the worm nor do I know if it actually changes into a butterfly – mom could never explain that question!

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laure Joffe Numeroff

This was actually one of the books I think my cousin Kristi got for JD, all I remember was a mouse, but that’s about it! My memory of this one is a little fuzzy, but I liked the illustrations included in the book. They were nice bolder colors that weren’t too obnoxious. It seemed like a fun book!

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Phister

If you were a child of the 80’s and/or 90’s then you are familiar with The Rainbow Fish books! Since I always hated reading, what I mostly remember are the video tapes we use to rent for the weekend from the library! These were a favorite with me, but I do remember Blondie liking the books a little more though!

The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss

You know I had to put a Dr. Seuss book on here! We had quite a few Dr. Seuss books in our collection! When you’re in preschool at the school Blondie and I went to, we have a “Green Eggs and Ham” day and our teachers would literally make it for us! I don’t really have any memories of it but I do remember seeing the other generations fall in love with the idea of bringing this to life. I don’t think many preschool would actually eat it, since at that age, anything green is considered disgusting!

Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Now this was a very beloved book in our household! I used to get confused about the fact that a “frog” and a “toad” were different when they looked the same. I’m not saying how many years it took me to realize the difference! I think it is a very sweet book though!

What kind of books did your parents read to you as a child? 

snowflake

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Anne Boleyn: More Than The “Second Wife”

Hi 🙂

Today is an interesting day and in ways kind of morbid too. Why? Because it is the anniversary of Anne Boleyn’s death. The second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I.

Since I am so into history, especially British royals I feel like Anne and Henry’s love story is probably the most interesting! I have over 7 different groups and like pages just on Tudor royals, whether they’re a bunch of authors and historians or actors who make their own Tudor dresses and parade around at fairs, it’s an exciting escape from the boredom I tend to find on my Facebook! I think for fans who love celebrities they either find the person from the end or in the middle of their careers. I have certain “obsessions” like that too, but Anne and Henry’s relationship is something totally different. I know how it got started, when they were finally married, when she was banished from court to finally her execution.

I feel conflicted when I play with the question if I were alive at the time of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII’s reign, how much would I support the marriage and future Queen of England. I also think that if I was transported there I would either be studied by the want-to-be-physicians or left for dead by my family because you know I’d be born with my disability! I just feel like I wouldn’t probably feel as I do about Anne, which sucks because I would believe all of the rumors than the woman that is our Queen. However, since I’m not, I get to show my support to this woman of power in her right.

She was one of the most influential women of that time period; some people would consider the amount of control she had over the king as witchcraft, but I think it was a partnership, between these two power houses. First you have, King Henry VIII being controlled by the Catholic church and the Pope, while Anne is part of the Reformation and is Anglican. As much as he found Anne attractive, she was of different religion and one that was unfavorable to the people of England. The fact that she broke him away from the Catholic way and his most trusted Cardinal Wolsey (he did that all on his own when he failed to get an annulment from Katherine) is amazing!

The second is that she never fully gave herself to him in the beginning and this is probably the most fascinating part of the whole thing considering while being married to Katherine of Aragon, he had multiple mistresses, not just Anne. She was the only bold one to tell him “no” whenever he offered more. We know that because he had a relationship with Lady Elizabeth Blount, while she was one of Katherine’s ladies in waiting, but she also gave him a living son. Despite the fact that she was already married and the child was considered a bastard, he was loved by his father, the King.

I think Anne Boleyn deserves an award for keeping her chastity during the relationship! For a man, who obviously didn’t have any control on his sexual appetite, I find this long wait to be almost frightening – I’m imagining this King who knows he can get anything he wants and can get bored easily with the ones he has relations with, as we see later in his life. I wonder how much confidence she truly had within herself to keep this relationship going. That’s something we’ll never really know, because I mean we know they “loved” each other, but he had six wives and two of those wives were beheaded!

She made a mistake shortly after giving birth, she gave birth to a girl: Princess Elizabeth, not a strong male heir like Henry had wanted from the get-go. This was another reasons why he wanted an divorce from his first wife Katherine of Aragon, mother to his other daughter Princess Mary. Katherine was previous married to his older brother Prince Arthur, but he died and Henry had married her but later feared that the first marriage was consummated, which he used against her to fight the Pope. Once Elizabeth was born, Anne would have miscarriages. She still wasn’t fulfilling the dream for the both of them. Shortly after that, he started seeking the affection from one of her own ladies-in-waiting, Jane Seymour. The theories are that the accusations of Anne convicting of adultery, incest and plotting to kill the king were enough to see a future with Jane, while Anne and the other unfortunate souls were arrested and sent to the Tower of London and they were all eventually beheaded in 1536,

As far as my opinions of her downfall, I think she was tricked. She wasn’t supported among the king’s people for the obvious reasons, so I think they were out to get her from the start of everything and once she wasn’t having any sons, people sort of put their plans in motion. However, as influential as she was with her husband, I have to keep an open mind of her making a mistake, I feel she might’ve gotten cocky in her role and panicked after when he became interested in Jane Seymour. I think she was desperate to give him a son an heir plus if she did this, she could be able to stay at court with her husband and children.

I often wonder if the Queens knew their husbands were sleeping with their ladies in waiting, why didn’t they just sent them away? If Katherine of Aragon had dome this to Anne, would she have been queen and given birth to Elizabeth? Again, another theory I’ve always had!

If I could get myself to sit down and write out a whole post or possibly multiple blog posts on the amount of history I have learned since I was a kid, I would do it in a heartbeat. After being able to share my knowledge about the vegan world, I would like to explore that side of myself with you, take you into what’s really stored inside my brain. You should feel thankful that I’m even considering this idea at all, but it is still early and you could not even like this post and then I wouldn’t have to say anything. I guess we’ll just have to find out what sort of information you would like to see more!

Would you like to read more historical posts on here? I would share how I got started on each one. I’ll also try to include some references as well! Let me know!

snowflake

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From The Days Of Courting

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Howdy!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my readers out there. Whether you’re in a relationship going out for date later tonight or sitting at home on your couch drinking a glass (or a whole bottle) of wine, I just wanted to tell you that you’re beautiful and loved just the way you are! ♥

I wanted to do something a little differently for Valentine’s Day. We need to talk about a time where “courting” wasn’t such an old couple, grandparent kind of thing. You never really hear the word unless you watch the many TV shows about the Duggars, as they don’t use the term “dating” they say “courting” because it has a different meaning entirely. Dating could be for a couple of months to a year whereas courting is being with someone with the intention of marrying.

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Today, I’m talking about the days of my grandparents’s days of courting. I wanted to say a little bit after my papaw passed away last year, someone found a strange long box that was used to store Penicillin. It was fastened together a few rubberbands with the words, “save” and “mom + dad, love letters” and at the other side of the lid there is a medium size heart filled in with a red marker. I remember looking through it because it reminded me of my Great Grand-Uncle Gen and Aunt Mary’s love letters that they had written to each other. I think the only difference is that theirs were written while they were married, and my grandparents started to write while she lived up north and he worked down south, it’s roughly 2-3 hours between both places depending on how fast you drive!

When she showed me the box for the first time, I wanted to write up the blog post that day but I kept putting it off for some reason. And then while everybody was down for his birthday, my nana brought it out of his room and showed them to my mom and Aunt Laurie. They spent a good half hour just reading different ones and realized that my nana was a little minx while reading several of the letters! The first time they wrote to each other was Christmas Day 1961 and they stopped in 1962 when they were engaged and married. The big story is that my papaw was going to propose to her in March, the 13th to be exact, but he’s always been a little superstitious so he ended up waiting until the last of March or first week of April to ask for her hand and then they finally married that summer.

My papaw always had “bad” handwriting since I’ve known him. It was brought on by his work as a pharmacist, he had to write pretty small on everything. We still have big pieces of paper where you have very tiny handwriting in different places. So when I went through the box to take pictures, I wasn’t finding any of his letters, just nana’s. My nana doesn’t have this problem, she has very sophisticated cursive and whenever she goes quickly that’s when it can get really hard to read. Trust me, everybody has to ask her what a certain word is on her grocery list if they cannot read it themselves. The really sad part about it is that sometimes she doesn’t even know what she was saying! So we have to guess or just cross it off until two days later, she’ll figure it out!

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One thing that I think is very cute, and nana still think it is too! At the end of the of their letters, besides a “PS” section here and there, they’d end the letters with a “I love you” of course but she would add a hundred “xoxo” signs but she found one of his with the hugs and kisses basically trailing off the page when he ran out of room. I’ve done that before, but it’s a pretty sweet gesture coming from him!

Hope you enjoyed this post and didn’t think it was too sappy for your tastes!

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Have you ever found old letters from your parents or grandparents before? What are your thoughts on the whole “dating” vs. “courting” thing? I want to know where you stand as far your opinions of how dating has become and what we see as “courting” in the older generations?

snowflake

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The Definition Of A Love Letter

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Howdy!

I know a lot about writing love letters, but I tend to think they were more like little notes that you folded up so small they could fit into the palm of your hand or in my case in between my toes! I think an actual love letter is different. I look at soldiers years ago and their wives or girlfriends, writing back and forth to each other throughout the course of a few months or a year while they’re away.

In November 2015, my nana was busy cleaning out a section of her office. She went through her drawers and found a lot of things belonging to the aunts. I’ve tried to do a few posts of the aunts here and there. I like the fact that they are considered “The Aunts” in my family, even though they’re like my great-great aunts. They were my papaw’s aunts, as his father was their brother.

The aunts were very proper, like extreme! However, I’ve been told they are also very sweet too. I had a total of four aunts: Mary, Regina (Ra-kee-na), Elsaleah, and Lula. The one I am going to be talking about on today’s post is Aunt Mary, she married a man named General, and we thought the recent generations were bad! He was mainly called “Gen” in the family. He died sometime in the 80’s, way before I was born, but they had been married for 77 years! Mary died in the early 00’s, because I remember seeing her a couple of times in the nursing home and going to her funeral. It was my first funeral and surprisingly, I remember a lot more than I probably should since I was like in the first grade!

While my nana was going through the drawer, she found a huge envelope full of Aunt Mary’s things. According to her, she wanted to be buried with them. including her love letters that were from and to her husband Gen. I thought it was a sweet gesture to want to be laid to rest with them by her side, but somehow in the process of dying and having the funeral, the letters were never sent with her, which is really sad if you think about it. However, when nana showed me her pictures of her life as both a teacher and wife to Gen, she has a totally different personality as I thought as a child. She was a scary woman whenever we’d visit her at the home!

As much as I wanted to respect their privacy, I wanted to do a blog post about these letters. My nana found these old torn up letters written by Gen himself. There was one she could tell he had written it to her before they were married because it still had the date on it, the rest we had trouble decoding! My nana attempted to read the torn up letter, there were a few words ripped out of it but I have to say they were so sweet! It was strange to read somebody’s words in such a loving way. He called her different names like “sweetie pie” and “marigold” and he wrote the letters as if he was talking to her face-to-face. They were deeply in love. I understood why she wanted these things to be buried with her, she wanted these things close to her. This was the definition of a love letter to me.

They never had children, but he had a son with his first wife, by the name of Bruce. He married and had a son himself, named PM. Do you remember that name from my summary post? He is the grandson of Uncle Gen. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to explain how that works after I put it into that post! Gen and Mary were both teachers, both had their master’s degree! She taught sixth grade and could he taught a math and science teacher, plus he was a track coach (he coached his grandson PM when he was in school!) and Mary was a librarian in our hometown.

There was something else that I thought was a little adorable was the fact that they both loved to garden. They would raise rose bushes, at one time they had over 200 roses in various colors! My nana said that Gen would get really into it and would have hybrid roses, which I thought was pretty cool!

What do you think defines a love letter? Do you have any cringing moments in school where you sent a note to a boy or even a girl that you liked them?

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snowflake

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Roaring Of Trains

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Hi everybody!

So today, I have a very sweet post to share with you. Back in July, I guess some of my northern family found this event floating around on Facebook, it was called “Fort Wayne Railroad Open House” and it was a fundraiser ran by the people of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. They restored a Nickel Plate steam locomotive called the 767, after it was in a really bad accident in 1951, which you can read about here.

Trains were a little popular in my family, reason being my papaw grew up in the late 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. At the time, trains were used quite a bit, but I don’t necessarily remember him ever having to ride a train. I’m pretty sure it was always a bus whenever he’d visit both sides of his family. If he did or didn’t ride one, he still loved the crap out of them! So the fact that several members of my family went to this was kind of cool and bittersweet at the same time. We all knew that my papaw was with them, probably having a field day too!

There were three different trains on the grounds. A diesel passenger caboose, The Wabash, and The 767 which was the main event because it’s huge! I’ve always considered my cousin Chris pretty tall, but when a train makes him look like a shrimp, that’s big! My family took a short ride on the caboose, it was a cute thing for my younger cousins. They’re not that old to think riding on a train is weird.

Unfortunately, I don’t know much about trains. I think they’re cool, but mostly because it’s a traditional way of mobility before they came up with automobiles and airplanes. The only trains that I see are the ones that stops us in the afternoon, bringing coal out of the mines. I wish there were more passenger trains around, because I’ve always thought they were interesting! Which is one of the reasons why I’ve always loved the beginning of the Harry Potter films, because they have to go to Hogwarts Express and sit on the beautiful red and black train to go to school, whereas I had to ride on the short bus!

The 767’s a steam locomotive and the railroad is connected from Chicago to Fort Wayne and then finally stopping in Buffalo, New York. So if you’re going from Chicago, IL to Buffalo, NY that is a long trip! I’m guessing probably three or four days on a train. Luckily, I love cruising, so that wouldn’t bother me too much!

Below are several photos that my family let me use for this post!

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Why I Won’t Use Audible

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Hi 🙂

Audible seems to be something that people enjoy, they use it on their phones to read a book. You hear a voice and it tells you the story while you’re working or driving in the car. For a lot of people, it’s a good investment, but for me this invention makes me relive bad memories of my childhood.

When I was in elementary school, I had a tough time reading. My family really tried everything to get me to read to the point we went to the library a few times and brought home those little cassette tapes with the book itself. Old school Audible! Since I was already a slow reader, I was even worse with this. I made a habit of losing my place and finding it way later. Whenever we used the tapes in school, I’d be the one who would be way behind or whenever we’d turn the pages I’d end up getting two because they would get caught in the sleeves of my pants! It was embarrassing!

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Now as I’ve gotten older and seeing the advertisements for Audible every time I go on Goodreads or watch one of my favorite Booktuber channels, I still cringe. I don’t think I’d like it. Even though I wouldn’t be in a big group of people, but in some cases, I wasn’t in a large group of kids while we sat hearing the book. I just don’t think it would be good on my self-esteem. I think I’d go back to feeling dumb again. I also think I wouldn’t know what the book was about if I use it either. I’ll just stick to my Kindle and paperbacks if you don’t mind!

I just feel better sitting there silently reading to myself. I can comprehend what I am reading and what is going on in the story, whereas I have no idea whether I used the tapes or read it out loud, my brain would be off in Neverland I guess! It’s hard to explain because I feel I was the only one who was going through this and everybody was buzzing by without a problem. I know that’s not exactly true, but for a while that’s how I felt.

I hope I haven’t offended anybody by writing this post. I just decided I needed to voice my opinion on the growing popularity of the app.

I am interested in hearing of your thoughts about Audible? Do you use it? If not, why keeps you away from it?

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snowflake

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Top 9 Favorite Vampires!

Okay, technically I should have had this list created and published by now, but I’ve been trying really hard to watch as many vampire related shows or films lately.

I honestly don’t know how it all started but the first time I had ever seen “vampires” that were animated on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? and surprisingly I kind of grew to enjoy them. Since then I’ve been interested in The Vampire Diaries, Twilight, The Originals, and Underworld series. Now I’m in the middle of True Blood and recently finished both Queen Of The Damned and Dracula Untold films. So I thought I’d write up a little list of favorites from all of them or at least try to!

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Charles Dance – “Thomas” in Underworld: Awakening (2012-16), “Master Vampire” in Dracula Untold (2014)

So this is going to sound a bit strange, but I have a small crush on Charles Dance. It’s small! And no, he’s not my first “older man” crush I’ve ever had…

I technically put him on this list because he’s managed to play a vampire in two films and found a way to make both roles stand out from each other! Charles as “Thomas” was stern but loved his son David and cared for the other vamps in his coven. His role in Dracula Untold, he’s basically alone. He is definitely more “scary” as the “Master Vampire” in that film!

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Peter Facinelli – “Carlisle Cullen” in Twilight series (2008-12)

I wasn’t really into the whole Twilight hype, at the time I already had given my heart to the Salvatore brothers so I thought that was good enough! I didn’t start watching the series until 3 years later!

I wasn’t into who everybody was crushing over. The whole divide of Team Edward or Team Jacob was not for me. My cousin Kristi and I were more interested in Carlisle.The reason why he’s at the bottom of the list is because even though he’s a favorite, I still think he was too soft. However, the goodness of his heart was a reason why I liked him so much. He didn’t scare me or come across as a regular vampire.

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 Deborah Ann Woll – “Jessica Hamby” in True Blood (2008-14)

I’m stuck on Season 5 of True Blood and considering from the first episode I watched with Jessica in it, I’ve been really into her character!! I’ve seen her grow into her vampire self and it’s been very interesting to see how much she’s changed.

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Paul Wesley – “Stefan Salvatore” in The Vampire Diaries (2009-present)

I know, you’re probably surprised that I’ve added Stefan onto this list and not Damon, Klaus, or hell Katherine! In all honesty, if I really wanted to, I would add all three but I don’t think anybody is as good as Stefan. I mean, he’s learned how to control himself numerous times but I have to say seeing him lose it defines a vampire for me.

I give Paul lots of credit for being able to do so much for this role and when he played “Silas” in season four too!

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Dakota Fanning – “Jane” from Twilight (2009-12)

I had a hard time getting into the whole Twilight scene. I didn’t actually watch the first movie until the franchise was starting the Breaking Dawn films.

Despite the fact I had a couple favorites on the “good” side of vampirism, Jane was my favorite of the Voultri. She was a badass from the very first time she’s introduced in New Moon. I almost felt scared with her fierce command as she walked into a room and then she brought different amounts of pain upon her victims and those red eyes alone could memorize you to obey her. I thought Dakota Fanning was a great choice for this role!

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Julie Benz – “Darla” in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel (1997-2004)

The first time I ever watched anything about vampires as a teenager was from getting up at 5am for Angel, which if you didn’t know was the spin-off of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I feel this show was a good choice for me to really test if I could get through the whole thing of vampires, witches, etc. Not to mention the first show I watch has the characters in full makeup, they do not look like people as vampires they generally look like demons I guess you would say and as I watched this show I grew to love Darla a lot and she scared the living shit out of me at times!

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Alexander Skarsgård – “Eric Northman” in True Blood (2008-2014)

I’ve been watching True Blood lately but as my friends all told me by season five I’ll be addicted to it, I’m at that season and I’ve sort of lost my interest for it unfortunately.

I’ve been on the fence about Mr. Northman though. From the very first episode I thought he was very intimidating and powerful, but as the first season dragged on I didn’t think he had that sort of attachment with me he once had and I feel bad saying that now, but it’s true. Alexander playing Eric though, hot!

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Kate Beckinsale – “Selene” in Underworld series (2003-2016)

I still can’t believe my dad got me interested in the Underworld series. It just seems so weird because it’s always been opposite.

I honestly love the characters of the entire series, each one has their own power and brings something different to the role of a vampire. I really love Kate Beckinsale as “Selene” though, I feel in ways I wish I could be that demanding and respected as a both fighter and survivor. I can’t wait for the new film this fall!

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Sebastian Roché – “Mikael Mikaelson” in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals (2011-15)

Surprisingly, Mikael wasn’t my first choice to lead the pack as the best vampire, but as I started to really think about it. Nobody really made me freak out longer than this man did especially when Davina brought him back to life. She’s gotta stop bringing the Mikaelson boys back to life!

Anyways, from the time we heard about the original vampire family and why Klaus, Elijah, and the whole crew were basically on the run from him. You know this isn’t somebody you want to mess with and the fact he managed to come around in both TVD and TO was pretty interesting! Despite him being such a feared character he’s reaction to see his daughter Freya in previous season of The Originals was very different, we actually saw emotion and him hugging her!! What the hell? Of course, he did end up being killed at the hands of Klaus  in front of Freya, the man still lives on in the mind’s of the remaining originals.

snowflake

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