Sunday, June 18, 2017

Home Sweet Home

Ah, June! One of the most beautiful months, and one that also saw the birth of the sweetest woman, my mother June, on the 13th. She would have loved our gardens today.










Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Visitors

I had just sat down in my rocker on the porch, when I looked over to the birdfeeder and saw this looking at me:


I don't know if he/she was after seeds or birds, but I would bet the latter.


What did I do? Why, of course I called for Larry, who took an old mop handle and nudged the snake off the rail--which made it fall about 8 feet to the ground, poor thing.


The black snake (fairly harmless to humans) didn't appreciate the treatment and left lickety-split.


The dogs came running but after sniffing around decided they didn't want anything to do with that visitor.

A few minutes later the skies opened and Little Mister, as we call this male hummingbird who hangs around the porch, came and perched on a nail under the eaves,


right beside Larry. This little guy is so comfortable with us around that he often perches only inches from us, and sometimes offers commentary on what we're doing.


He was quite wet! He didn't stay long, and like the snake soon went lickety-split about his business.



Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Telling Tales in Craigsville

And my goodness it was fun!

Every year I plan a new program that reflects the national library summer reading theme. This year's theme is Build a Better World. I took a little different approach, at the request of one library; rather than addressing bricks-and-mortar building, I planned a program that focused on building community and working together to make this world a better place. 

And stories teach this so well, not in a beat-you-over-the head way, but with humor and excitement and thoughtfulness. Research proves that we learn best through stories, after all, and the best part of that is that we enjoy the learning. 
  
To illustrate my theme, I used cardboard blocks (ordered some sturdy ones meant for children's play) on which I attached a world map cut into pieces. I told stories from all around the world: from Ghana and Burma and China, the US and Thailand, India and France. 




I used puppets, chants, drums, mbira (thumb piano), a flannelboard story and songs to keep the audience engaged since there is usually all ages present, and we all learn differently. 

Telling Margaret Read MacDonald's story Grandfather Bear is Hungry, using puppets and audience participation

Handing out feathers for the story How Vulture Got His Bald Head. We also used little plush birds that "sing" the bird's call, adding a little more learning to the story.

This time I also used a crankie story, something most children have not seen.

 
Not the best photo as this was between frames. The pictures scroll as I tell the story and turn the crank.
At the end of the program, we used the blocks to put the world back together again, building a world that I hope might be a tiny bit better because of the stories we shared.

We had a blast at the Craigsville library, and I am looking forward to presenting this program at more libraries around West Virginia. Truly, the world will be a better place if we will listen to each other's stories.


 


Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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