All posts tagged: nature

Can bees save you? Absolutely. Meredith May talks about her glowing memoir, THE HONEY BUS, what we can do to save the bees, and how hard writing can be

By Leslie Lindsay  A glowing, powerful memoir about one girl’s courage to overcome her mother’s dysfunction under the tutelage of her bee keeper grandfather.  I was absolutely entranced by THE HONEY BUS (HarperCollins/Park Row April 2), which is a memoir at heart, but so much more. Meredith May is 5 when her parents divorce and she, her mother, and younger brother leave Rhode Island for California where May’s grandparents live. The setting–Big Sur, Carmel, and the Palo Colorado Canyon–oh! I could taste the sea salt, smell the wild sage and eucalyptus. These sensory details were like a warm, languid summer’s day. But things weren’t all that great for Meredith and her younger brother, Matthew. Living with their maternal grandparents in a small home was tense. Meredith had to share a bed with her highly dysfunctional and despondent mother. Still, she had something–and someone–her rugged and caring grandfather, Frank, a beekeeper. Through a very touching narrative, Meredith leads readers through the ‘honey bus,’ and we experience, through her young eyes, the miraculous abilities of bees. Part ‘bee-keeping 101,’ THE HONEY BUS is about the wisdom …

In My Brain Today: Gettin’ Green Book Give-a-Way

By Leslie Lindsay ***Be sure to comment on this post to be considered for a FREE copy of the book!*** Growing up, I am sad to say that there wasn’t much in terms of living a greener life.  Sure, there were the “Don’t be a litterbug” signs plastered about, but the big movement of really transforming your life to a greener one really didn’t happen until much later.  So, when I learned of this new book by Kim Cecchi, I was intrigued.  Getting Green Now:  Tips for a Greener Life Quick hit the shelves in February 2012.  Written by mom, environmentalist, and yoga instructor, you will find plenty of great–and quick–tips in this handy little book.  No worries about drastically changing the way you live, this book is peppered with really snappy little changes that you can adapt in a heartbeat. (image retrieved from Amazon on 8.2.12) The book is simple to use.  It’s layed out in sections of your life from “green home” to “beauty” (also includes office, enviroment, recycling, green living).  Just flip …

The Teacher is Talking: The Longest Day

By Leslie Lindsay If you have been awaiting the first day of summer as my children have, then you’re in luck: the longest day of the year is tomorrow, Wednesday June 20th at 7:09pm EST.  The idea of “when summer begins” has been a question at my house for awhile now.  And the answer isn’t as clear as you’d think. One daughter thought it was summer back in March when the temperatures in suburban Chicago reached an all-time high of near 85 degrees.  No doubt it felt like summer, but it wasn’t.  Oh, no…just early spring.  Another daughter–precocious that she is–told me that Memorial Day is the “kick-off” to summer.  And she would be pretty darn close to right.  Does summer begin when we flip the calendar to June?  Well, yes and no…at least we can don our white clothing. Still yet, I was holding out to call it “summer” when school was officially out for the year–early June, neverminding the fact that preschool ended a full two weeks before elementary school.  See the confusion?  …

The Teacher is Talking: The Longest Day

By Leslie Lindsay (image retrieved 6.5.12 from Amazon.com) I came across this book, The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Linda Bleck.  I presented it to my daughters about two years ago as the longest day of the year rolled around.  At the time, they were probably a bit too young to really understand and appreciate the book, but today–at 5 and 7 years old–they curled up next to me as I read from the colorful pages. And now that most kids are out of school for the summer, it may just be a good time to introduce the reason why we have summer in the first place.  And that is just what the “teacher” will be talking about here on Practical Parenting…with a Twist for the next couple of weeks. The official first day of summer this year is Wednesday, June 20th.  That is, the northern half of the earth tilts toward the sun and so it gets more sunshine than the southern half (that’s why it’s summer in …

Apraxia Monday: Welcome to Better Speech & Hearing Month

By Leslie Lindsay Welcome to the month of May. For a lot of you, this is the month of crazy last days of school, Mother’s Day, Graduations, and perhaps birthdays…it’s busy.  And it’s also “Better Speech and Hearing Month.”  This annual event, sponsored by ASHA (American Speech-language Hearing Association) is a way to generate awareness and promote better treatment options for folks–big and little–who have trouble communicating and hearing.  http://www.asha.org/bhsm/.  You may also be interested in reading ASHA’s blog on the event, http://blog.asha.org/ So let’s kick off this 85-year event with a little tip sheet on how you can help your own little kiddo(s) with their speech concerns, namely CAS (childhood apraxia of speech).  DO A LITTLE DANCE, MAKE A LITTLE WORD What you need: Adult and child. What you do: The adult calls out different kinds of movements: “Touch the sky way up high—touch your toes way down low—wiggle your hips—rub your tummy.” Child plays along and can repeat words as she feels ready. Add in other body parts like nose, ears, hair, mouth, …

Terrificial Trees: Tree Sitting Woman

By Leslie Lindsay This is the last day of “Terrifical Trees,” a series devoted to Earth Day/Arbor Day and the magnificent tree.  (We’ll be moving into the Mother’s Day series next Friday and continue through the month of May). Flipping through a semi-recent issue of The Sun, I came across a story I just had to share:  it was about a woman who felt so strongly about the redwood forests that she volunteerily climbed into a tree and lived there for two years!!  Seems the lumber industry wanted to chop the tree down.  If someone was living in the tree–and refusing to come out–it was nearly impossible to cut the thing down.  A little bold, huh? Well, according to Julia ‘Butterfly’ Hill the 30-something vegan who sat in the tree–affectionately referred to as ‘Luna’–for 738 days (yes, I remembered that number because it was a childhood street address), it was all out of love.  She didn’t intend to sit in the tree for that long, however.  She recalls that it was intended to be a two-week tree sit.  …

Terrifical Trees: Celebritrees–Historic & Famous Trees of the World

By Leslie Lindsay Call us tree huggers, but my family loves trees.  We love to sit in their shade and read a book (me), climb them (my 7-year old), talk about raising them–as in a tree farm (hubby), and collect things from them such as leaves and pine cones (my 5-year old). Last year–about this time–I purchased this book Celebritrees:  Historic & Famous Trees of the World (Marji Preus and Rebecca Gibbon, Henry Holt & Company, 2010) as  little family gift to celebrate Arbor Day.  I pasted some photos of us surveying tree farms as well as my daughters’ drawings of pine trees and sunshine.  It serves as a sweet momento of our love of trees. But the book also has some really great tid-bits about trees; things I never knew.  We’ve been reading a blurb or two to our daughters over the course of the year and I thought I’d share some with you and your family–seeing how Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd and Arbor Day (at least here in Illinois) is April 27th. (image retrieved from Amazon …

Terrifical Trees: Arbor Day History & Celebration

By Leslie Lindsay April.  The month of rain; the month of newness and growth.  So, why not celebrate the almighty tree?  We do just that with the annual tradition of Arbor Day and Earth Day.  Interestingly, though Arbor Day is celebrated at different times of the year for each state.  For example, here in Illinois we celebrate Arbor Day the last Friday of the month, but Missouri celebrates it the first Friday of April.  Floridians are honoring trees the third Friday of January and some states not until May, depending on the climate and best times of year to plant trees. Originating in Nebraska City, Nebraska by J. Sterling Morton on April 10, 1872 where an estimated 1 million trees were planted on that particular day.  Since then, Americans have marked the day a way to plant and care for trees. But just who was this J. Stirling Morton guy?! Seems he was was a college-educated Nebraska newpaper editor (by way of Michiagn) who served as President Grover Cleaveland’s secretary of Agriculture.   In 1897, he started a weekly conservative …