beverly_cl_amhill_custom-b097d453dc478dc87adc8306257bfe25ed697243-s900-c85Guess who is turning 100 in April? The girl from Yamhill, that’s who.

This A-list author has inspired readers and writers since she first put pen to paper.



Have you read Beverly Cleary’s “First Love” series? There are four books: Fifteen (1956); The Luckiest Girl (1958); Jean and Johnny (1959); and Sister of the Bride (1963). They deal with ‘first love’ and ‘coming of age’.  Get a copy or three. They give you a sense of what teens (like some of us) used to read and how they navigated life in a gentler time. Landslides of nostaglia. And still in print.


And, then, of course, there are her standing-ovation getters ~Ramona, Ralph, Beezus, Henry, Ribsy, Maggie, Socks, Ellen, Otis.  Cleary’s glitterati, still going strong, not a sissy in the bunch.

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I feel sometimes that in children’s books there are more and more grim problems, but I don’t know that I want to burden third- and fourth-graders with them.

I’m glad she didn’t.  Cleary saw the world through a child’s eyes and wrapped a comforting arm around their shoulders.  Perfect strokes for little folks.

Toni 3/31/16


WP guru Krista says share a photograph inspired by a favorite poem, verse, story, or song. Capture the beauty of morning or evening half-light in your corner of the globe.


Indian River lagoon, Hutchinson Island © t giarnese


Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

The quote is by Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), an Indian poet, playwright and essayist, and the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.


Photo. Quote. Post. Done.

Oops, not so fast.  I’m curious about Tagore to the point of extreme distraction. You might say, to an indescribable degree. So I go down that online rabbit hole ~ the Internet ~ where all manner of interesting stuff lurks.



I find that Tagore was quite unconventional.  He somehow managed to avoid public classroom schooling, lucky kid.  His brother Hemendranath took the educational reins, tutoring Tagore in drawing, anatomy, geography and history, literature, mathematics, Sanskrit, and English.  He kept Tagore in bang-up shape by making him swim the Ganges and trek through hills, do gymnastics, practice judo, wrestle. No tedious recess or insipid games for him.


From a very young age, Tagore abhorred formal education. He said that proper teaching does not explain things, proper teaching stokes curiosity.  (Who can’t agree with that?) He spent a mere day at the unsatisfactory local college. He even left his brief study of law at University College London, opting instead to study the classics on his own. It comes as no surprise that he later founded a university where he insisted humanity be studied “somewhere beyond the limits of nation and geography”.

Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for she was born in another time.

This post began with a photo, a quote, and that wily ruse, Google.  But, as it turns out, Krista’s challenge wasn’t a just a conduit to some shallow rabbit hole. It invited me ever deeper, true enough, but by stoking my curiosity. Tagore and friends would approve.

Tagore and Ghandi
Tagore and Ghandi
Tagore and Einstein
Tagore and Einstein


But, on occasion, we prefer rabbit holes to sunsets.  I admit, I did click a link or three. And so stumbled onto the site, TV Tropes.Unknown-1

It’s a collaborative encyclopedia of the storytelling conventions used in television and oUnknownther creative works. There is a list of indexes, split into conceptual groups. At the bottom of each trope page you will find beguiling Next or Previous links.


One of the tropes is, you guessed it, “down the rabbit hole.”  


Toni 3/29/16


Mama don’t let your sons (all these brothers; brothers!!) grow up to be terrorists


Aerie shape

depends on the branch point where it’s built.

This one at the Saville Dam is bowl-shaped

because the tree trunk branches off into smaller upright branches

and so too the nurturing of the babies that will issue forth.

Bald Eagle parents are amazing.

Their kids grow up to be National Symbols.

Not so the sets of brothers who grow up to be terrorists.

Why? Were their nests too unstable, too unlike this Aerie?


LIST OF BROTHERS (so far & so sad)

6 of the hijackers.* The Tsarnaevs**. The Kouachis.*** Bakraouis**** 25 to 30%*****


**Boston Marathon bombing

*** Charlie Hebdo

**** Brussels

*****the percentage of of terrorist acts involving members of the same family.

Counterterrorism Chief: Parents Should Watch For ‘Sudden Personality Changes’ In Children