Saturday, April 4, 2020

Holy moley scholars! You need a whole other section of the Pantone chart to match the sky today! It’s such a beautiful blue! Actually, that’s a great idea. What color would you say this is? Let’s keep the pantone challenge going.

And speaking of challenges – who out there has been working on the writing challenges?  I’m adding a new one today, so you have many from which to choose. Send me your work so I can read it – and maybe we publish!

And speaking of publishing, scholars! Have you seen all the new work being published from the library? There’s so much I had t make a whole new section of the webpage. We have nonfiction research papers – including a brand new one all about the importance of sleep; we have fiction stories too. I’m hoping for a poem or two soon.

Hey, I’ve heard of another challenge going around, the “bear hunt.” Have you guys been following? People are putting bears in their windows and people have to go on a scavenger hunt around town (maintaining safe distances from other people of course) to find them. Well, as luck would have it, I’ve had a bear in my window ever since I moved to Brunswick! Scholars, meet Denver Bear.  Denver bear is a replica of the big one at the Denver Convention Center. The original is so big I was able to walk under his legs without ducking. The one in Denver is peering in, mine is peering out to all of you, and he’s been with me ever since my summer working at the Denver Art Museum.

Take some time today to get out into the fresh, clean air and sun. Notice what’s happening around you. Do you hear birds? Are things coming up? Any plants in bloom?  What does the air feel like? Take some notes. Make some observations.

Friday, April 3, 2020

What a grey morning! I looked outside my window, and things seemed all much the same. Which got me thinking and wondering about color.

Check out this Pantone chart online. In among all the gorgeous reds,

and mystical blues,


you’ll find the quiet greys.  

What color code matches the sky today? Make a note. Check again in a while. Keep a sky color journal going with the date & time. What stories might you write? Or draw using these colors? There is beauty in the subtle.


HEY! What are you reading??? If you look over to the left and click on the “What I’m Reading” you’ll see a few posts about it, but I want to know more! Send me news of what you are reading, include a photo if you want. Those I already have there, send me an update! I know you’re on to something new…

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Happening TODAY at 1:00 our time (it says noon, but that’s central time, an hour behind us),  POLAR BEAR LIVE CHAT! has many other cool things to check out too, I could spend all day on their site, but this is extra neat – and perfect for a cold and rainy day.

*Pssstttttt!  Hey, have you checked out the new “eBook of the Day?”  It shows you cool books available for free download to read, or listen to, at home, on CloudLibrary. Look to your left, see it? Click it!

Meanwhile, we are continuing to celebrate National Poetry Month and Mrs. Reich (keeper of the new Poetry Corner section which you should totally go investigate) brings us this gem of a poem….

Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face

By Jack Prelutsky

Be glad your nose is on your face,

not pasted on some other place,

for if it were where it is not,

you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose

were sandwiched in between your toes,

that clearly would not be a treat,

for you’d be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread

were it attached atop your head,

it soon would drive you to despair,

forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be

an absolute catastrophe,

for when you were obliged to sneeze,

your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,

remains between your eyes and chin,

not pasted on some other place–

be glad your nose is on your face!


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Happy April 1st!

Granted, it is possible that this year, no one feels much like playing pranks (or maybe it is just that since we are all together none of us can get away after the prank) but let’s take a moment to look at why we celebrate this day: the hero of folk and myth, Till Eulenspiegel! Prankster extraordinaire, from Brunswick!!  Ok, not our Brunswick, but still…  Click on his name to learn more, see what other info you can find, report back! And tell me about your best ever merry prank.



Today is also the start of National Poetry Month! What better way to kick off the month that with a classic and a favorite:

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.


For more poems, and to start your investigation into poetry as a form, check out

And, BONUS: because this is just too cool, check out Shel Silversetein’s former houseboat, this is where the great man lived. 


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Calling all scientists (that’s you!)

Yes, it is true we are all under “stay home” guidelines – BUT – that does not mean you can’t still be doing science!  You all know Atlas Obscura as the source for our Place of the Moment entries. Well, they’ve just posted this fantastic Guide to Citizen Science from Home!

Here you will find all kinds of ideas where the actual data actually matters.

Projects include galaxy gazing, light pollution monitors, plant tracking, bird notices and more.

And hey, this ties in beautifully with our Site of the Day: A Beginner’s Guide to Tree Identification, – and to several earlier posts & challenges. 

Today promises to be absolutely gorgeous – so grab a notebook or scrap piece of paper, grab a pen or pencil, walk the yard and take some field notes! Let me know what you’re finding:

Monday, March 30, 2020

Well!  Who knew when I chose out Word of the Week, back 3 weeks ago, how appropriate “sodden” would be to today?

In honor of this gloomy, rainy day (or, as I like to think of it, perfect curl up and read weather), I thought a poem about rain from our own Henry Wadsworth Longfellow would be in order. I found this one on a site of 10 Classic Poems About Rain.

 ‘The Rainy Day‘.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.


First off  – check it out. A phrase we use everyday begins its life here in a poem by a man from Maine. Dive deeper. Click on his name to read more about Longfellow himself. I wonder, is this poem, perhaps, about more than the weather outside the window?

Weekend Post

My dog Tug is totally a-ok with this whole “everyone stay home” thing. Here he is practicing his Olympic level snuggle technique.

The rest of us are getting a bit jittery. I’m curing my jitters with solo walks (dogs don’t count), baking things, and lots of good books. I am also LOVING reading the work you all are writing, so keep it comin’.

Rainy snuggle up weather in moving in, so get out there this morning to catch some fresh air and sun while you can – even if its just the yard. Then send me your writing. 🙂

Friday, March 27, 2020

Scholars, the Maine Student Book Award vote is coming up next week, so all of you who submitted, stay tuned for details and the rest, stay tuned to hear the results! Maybe even use this time to catch up on some fantastic reads!

But meanwhile… today is shaping up to be a gorgeous day! Warm, sunny… and with a few perfect “stay inside with a quilt and a good book” days after it, so I hope you all manage to find a time to get outside – safely, with distance from non-family and all, but outside none the less. Speaking of which, look what our fantastic Mr. Harpell, Head Custodian found on his travels at school! Spring really is here. Thank you for the photo Mr. Harpell – and thanks to you and all of the team for keeping our school attractive always, and safe in these weird days.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Out walking the trails (many, many feet from any other human – couldn’t even see another person), my dog Ankaa and I came across three different types of conifer.

All three have similar things about them, but all three are different types.

What do you notice that’s the same? What’s different? How are the branches arranged? How are the needles grouped? Send your field notes to me in an email ( with “Conifer” in the subject line

Example A:

Example B:

and last, but not least…

Example C:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Happy Wednesday everyone!

One thing I know about all of you is that you are fantastic, and creative, writers. So, today, I have a special writing challenge. It’s a take-off of a popular game for writers – ok, it’s actually more of a direct copy. I will provide a first line. Your job is to build on that line and create your own story from it. Will be be work of humor? SciFi? Sports? Horror? Historical? Realistic? Fantasy? Mystery? That part is up to you.

Today’s first line challenge is: Stevie looked up into a sky bright and blue with fat, puffy clouds drifting past.

Email your story with “First Line” in the subject to: