Love. Listen/Observe/Read. Act. Repeat.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Writing Prompt #16, secret to coolness

The penultimate entry in Sam's summer school journal:

If I could change my name, I would change it to Donald Duck because of my middle name and it sounds very cool. Donald Duck turns out to be a cartoon, but he is erasable! -- July 22, 2002

From "How to Draw Guide," learn to draw Donald Duck

Friday, June 29, 2012

Writing Prompt #15

From Sam's summer school journal, proving metaphorical questions do not have to be answered metaphorically.

I would rather be a passenger on the plane because I look rather young to be the pilot. -- July 19, 2002

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Writing Prompt #14

From Sam's summer school journal, previously unknown occupational aspirations:

It would be a lot of fun to work at the zoo. The best part of the job is that I would keep the endangered species away from everyone. I would also feed all the animals from outside of their space. -- July 28, 2002

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Writing Prompt #13

From Sam's summer school journal -- problem-solving that need for another big plate of red ants:

I would find an orange because it tastes probably good for ants. Perhaps roast beef, ants would probably love to eat meat. Or even bacon, bacon would appear very sweet to humans, but very good to ants. -- July 17, 2002

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Overheard in the Wolfe House #183

Peggy (talking via Skype): There's a turkey hen living on our land.
Grandma: Oh, I saw a documentary about turkeys recently. It was called, "My Life as a Turkey."
Michael: Was that about George W. Bush?

Overheard in the Wolfe House #182

Grandma (updating us on all the news via Skype): The neighbor is getting new siding, so that's going to be cool and fun to watch.
Sam: Well, we aren't going to be able to do that. Mom can't afford to buy plane tickets.

Writing Prompt #12

From Sam' summer school journal:

I would rather eat a tomato because it is a fruit and I love fruit. Also a tomato can be very sweet. My family has been eating tomatoes and they told me they taste good. -- July 15, 2002

(Note for June 26, 2012. Sam eats things with tomato sauce, and ketchup is one of his top three favorite condiments. But he has yet to try a tomato.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Writing Prompt #10 and #11

These entries from Sam's summer school journal seem about right for our first 100-degree day of the summer:

I would use sunscreen or sun tan lotion. If I didn't have any of that, I could wear a hat or stay in the shade. -- July 10, 2002

My favorite ways to cool down is to drink plenty of cold water or stay in my air-conditioned house. I could swim in a swimming pool. -- July 12, 2002

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Writing Prompt #9

I asked Sam if he could remember what the prompt was for this entry in his summer school journal. He couldn't. I've read this before and I still can't even come up with a guess what the kids were shown and asked to write about. Here it is:

I would have a sign that says "do not eat" or "I don't taste very good." I could even have it say "I am made of fake meat and bread." Probably would say, "Too late, I am rotten." It would even say "Frozen rock solid." -- July 8, 2002

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Writing Prompt #8

From Sam's summer school journal:

One of my wishes would be that I could have a teleportation to relatives in other states. I would also wish for a counter-curse and even a half-life. -- June 27, 2002

Friday, June 22, 2012

Writing Prompt #7, or Explaining Frisbees on Mars

From Sam's summer school journal:

If I threw a frisbee into the air and it kept going up until I could no longer see it, it probably went into outer space and might've landed on Mars. -- June 26, 2002

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Writing Prompt #6

From Sam's summer school journal:

A way bears and people are alike is that they are both warm-blooded. Another way they are alike is that they both eat and sleep. They also stay with a family and are related.  -- June 24, 2002

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Writing Prompt #5, apropos today's summer solstice

From Sam's summer school journal:

In the summertime, there is hardly any rain. In the summer, I can swim. In the evening, after dinner, there's still daylight, but in the winter, it is dark. I also can go on summer vacation and even work with my mother and father and mow lawns.  -- June 21, 2002

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Writing Prompt #3 and #4

From Sam's summer school journal:

My favorite fruit would be apples and bananas. My favorite vegetables are carrots. I would have the advertisement to buy a red, juicy apple. Try to find this in an ad which will be shown in a T.V. commercial. -- June 17, 2002

I would ask Garfield what he likes to do or why he's mean to Odie. If I were a cat, I would go "Meeeeeeyowwwww" all day long to drive people berserk. Cats don't even have to do homework, they like to sleep all day. -- June 19, 2002

Cookies 'n Cream recipe for Texas expats

I really missed Blue Bell Cookies 'n Cream when we were living in California. Once, on a drive back from a visit to Texas, Mark tried to figure out where the last stop in order to bring back two half gallon cartons. He didn't want to risk not finding it in Amarillo, so he picked it up before then and packed it in ice. 

What a wonderful surprise! He was bummed that it had nearly melted by the time he got to Sacramento, but I didn't care. I refroze it in our little ice cream maker and, other than not have the satisfying crunch of a cookie in the middle of a smooth ice cream bite, it tasted wonderful. 

Blue Bell is still just in 20 states, mostly southern. But now that Trader Joe's has opened in Fort Worth, I'd almost think the world was righting itself. But then, Mark would have to be here, too. 

God, I miss him still. 

Here's a cookies 'n' cream recipe we'd make in California. I still make it here from time to time, like I will later tonight, since I was able to pick up some Newman O's on sale. (Note: this recipe calls for raw eggs. Know your source. Also, if you use the little Cuisinart freezer, you'll need to cut this recipe in half.)

Mark and Peggy's Original Cookies N' Cream

4 eggs, beaten
2 1/4 cup sugar
5 cups milk
4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 T. vanilla 
1/2 tsp. salt
One-pound bag of chocolate sandwich cookies

Crumble the cookies in bits and put in freezer to chill. Add sugar to eggs and beat until stiff. Stir in milk, cream, salt and vanilla. Freeze mix according to manufacturer's directions.

About 3-4 minutes before its finished freezing, drop in the cookie bits a little at a time. The dasher should push them evenly throughout, but if it doesn't, stir it by hand a little. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Writing Prompt #2, or why Texans love Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Sam opened his journal, which I'm now realizing must have been for summer school his freshman year, not high school English, given the date, by describing himself.

"My name is Samuel Donald Wolfe. I am 14 years old. So far my hobbies turn up to be games. I happen to like apples and bananas. My brother is 11 years old. My sister is 8 years old. My mother is 41 years old. She now works in Gainesville. My father is 45 years old He mows lawns, plays the tuba in concerts, and teaches in Arlington. I now have three dogs. I have two black dogs and one brown one."

Not sure why he has me working in Gainesville. I never did.

Below is the result of his second writing prompt:

My favorite ice cream is Vanilla, Peppermint, White Chocolate Almond, Orange and Strawberry Sherbet with Starburst pieces. There will probably be a new flavor ice cream. I would try to invent grape ice cream or blackberry ice cream. -- June 12, 2002

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Writing prompts

I am cleaning out a closet this week. I kid myself. This closet will take more than a week to comb through. It is full of material meant to be the foundation for future writings.

I stumbled across some of Sam's things I kept, just in case there was another book to follow See Sam Run. In high school English, Sam had writing prompts, too. I will be rolling these out over the next days and weeks.

As it customary with Sam's writing, no editing is required.

If I were a cow, I would wake up before sun up. I would also take a day off to get fed. My favorite dairy product is, of course, fresh milk. I would also have Parmesan cheese as a second favorite dairy product. If I were a cow, I wouldn't have to worry about homework.  - June 11, 2002

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where running meets writing

It used to be that I ran with RunnerSusan
It was easy. We were neighbors. Not in the Yankee way, (which we both are, by the way), living next door or across the street from each other, but in the Texas way, where we could be like the two trains in a story problem with 4th grade math. If two runners leave the house at the same time, and one heads west on Frenchtown Road and the other heads east, where and what time will they meet?
And then we'd keep running for an hour.
She moved to a new place, with a peach tree and a patio. It would take more than an hour to meet, so now I  race alone.
It's ok.
One day soon, we'll figure out how to start the way we started last summer, trail running. Trail running is the best, anyways. If we get going good enough, we might race together this fall, through trails in the woods in East Texas, or up around Lake Ray Roberts.
I'd love to run the Palo Duro Canyon race in October, but a professional conference sneaked onto the calendar that weekend.
Maybe next year.
By the way, fellow Mayborn School of Journalism pals Valerie Gordon Garcia and Sarah Perry joined team-in-training.
We care about blood cancers in the Wolfe house.
A good friend is living with it.
And so is my dad.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Overheard in the Wolfe House #181

Peggy: Hey, Sam, why don't you help out here and dry some silverware? I don't have room for one more piece in the rack.
Sam: Ok.
(sometime later) I don't have to do all. I can just do enough that you have more room.
Peggy: Well, that's true. But if you want to do the minimum, then just dry the big cooking and serving spoons. You'll be done after just two or three pieces, then.
Sam: I'm afraid I'm just picking random pieces of silverware.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Overheard in the Wolfe House #180

Peggy: (whistling Orinoco Flow)
Sam (in a stage whisper): Oh, mom whistles off-key.

Overheard in the Wolfe House #179

Sam (after an upsetting morning): And don't put that as an Overheard.
Peggy: I won't.