National Library Week – Blogging From A to Z Challenge

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This week is National Library Week. This is the time to take the opportunity to thank your local librarian or to have your community become involved in your local library. I grew up two doors down from a library, so I’ve spent many, many days curled up in a corner of the library, with my nose in a book, capturing an imaginative moment with each page I turned. My librarian, Mrs. Zoch, who has since passed away, would help me find the perfect book to captivate my attention. I’m deeply thankful to her in helping me get to where I am today. Because of her, I found a love for books. And because of that, I have become a published author for children. I find the use of imagination helpful in creative thinking.

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Literacy is an important tool in a person’s life. It helps in our advancement in the workplace. It helps us obtain the right jobs for us. As a blooming anthropologist, I’ll be spending many hours in a library, amongst the research materials, trying to uncover the mystery behind whatever group of people I’ll be writing about. Libraries play a crucial role in my job. For years I’ve been working on my genealogy and have noticed that everything isn’t found on the internet. I spent an entire day on vacation, researching my genealogy at a library in Georgia. They have a room that is specifically for ancestry.

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I stared into the library from the doorway and was captivated by the numerous shelves full of records, books, journals, newspapers, and other items, as well as several shelves full of film. None of these items would be found on the internet. After several roles of film, then thumbing through a few records, I found some important documents on a couple of my grandparents. I had searched for years on the internet for these documents, only to find them from taking a trip to Georgia from Arkansas. I actually went to Georgia to visit with my sister and some cousins of ours, but once I learned about the library in Macon, Georgia, I had to make a trip.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

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The Monument to Christ in Lisbon, Portugal, was built in 1959, giving thanks to God for sparing Portugal during WWII. I had the chance to visit the monument and was quite in awe of it.

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Machine Show – Blogging From A to Z Challenge

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During the Spring, Summer, and Autumn months, my daughter and I usually take a drive on the weekends, ending up at some destination where a civil war re-enactment, historical event, or any type of festival that is occurring. This past weekend, we ended up in Sheridan, Arkansas, stumbling upon their 22nd Annual Antique Machine and Tractor Show. I decided to drive a few miles down the road to pick up my nephew and have him join us.

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My daughter was in awe of the many tractors lined up around the courthouse square. Then she saw a train, set up with a passenger car and caboose and immediately wanted to get on it. It was a very windy day, so they weren’t able to set up the inflatables, but they did have a few other activities set up for children. I let the kids play for a little while, then we walked around the square, looking at all the tractors and machines and as well as a few antique cars. They had a few booths set up with knick knacks, crafts, jewelry, clothes, shoes, and home made baked goodies.

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We followed our tractor tour with a trip to a few antique shops adjacent from the courthouse square. It didn’t take too long for the kids to become bored and for me to notice just how warm it was outside. We headed back to my sister’s house where we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

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A few pictures of the Vatican to share with you all. Please excuse the time stamps on the photos. At one point I was using a regular film camera until I dropped it on the ground while visiting Rome. I borrowed someone’s digital camera so that I could continue taking pictures. I’m glad I did, as I got quite a lot of great pictures.ImageImageImageImage

Digging for Diamonds

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There is a small town in the Southwestern corner of Arkansas, called Murfreesboro where you can dig for diamonds, for a small price, and keep what you find. It’s the 8th largest diamond mine in the world, but it’s the only diamond mine open to the public. Crater of Diamonds became a State Park in the mid 1970′s. Since then people have been finding diamonds of many sizes; at least two diamonds a day can be found.

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This Spring Break, I took a few friends to hunt for diamonds. It was their first time and my second time. Though we found many color rocks, such as Jasper, quartz, and calcite, but no diamonds. The park has a desk, made specific to help you go through your finds and tell you what each rock is and if you have found a diamond or not. They also have a museum to help you distinguish what the diamonds look like there at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

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The digging areas are marked where all of the diamonds have been found, and a bulletin board showing how many diamonds were found on what day and how big the were; this bulletin board is updated daily. You can rent sifting screens, shovels, and buckets or you can bring your own. They have water tubs,that make sifting through some of the tougher clay, much easier. It also helps the shiny rocks become more noticeable.

Even though the only shiny rocks I found were quartz crystal and calcite, I still enjoyed myself and didn’t mind get dirty. I’m hoping to make another trip in May with my youngest sister when she comes up from Georgia to visit.

Note: Even though they say they plow the 37 1/2 acres weekly or daily, the best time to go digging for diamonds is right after it rains. This allows some of the sediments to wash away and help the diamonds become more noticeable. The best clothes to wear for digging diamonds are, a pair of boots (trust me on this one) and a pair of jeans and a tee that you don’t mind getting dirty. You can bring a sack lunch, umbrella, and a lawn chair out on the field with you and they are pet friendly (I’ve seen many dogs out there having a great time).

For more information about the park, prices, location, etc. visit their website.

Comic Books Aren’t Just For Boys

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I can remember the first time I begged my mom to buy me a box of cereal. She relentlessly told me no, but I kept on and on, until she gave in. I honestly didn’t want the cereal, it was the toy that was inside the box that I wanted. She knew I didn’t like the cereal, that was why she kept telling me no. It was also the last time I would beg for a box of cereal too, as I sat at the table with a bowl of it in front of me for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m not sure if they still make that particular cereal, but I hated it before I was forced to eat it – Sugar Crisp was what it was called, it had a bear on the front of the box. They also had another name for it, made by another company – Sugar Smacks, it had a frog on the front of the box.

A week ago I was browsing the cereal aisle for myself and for my daughter, when my eye caught Batman and Superman on a few of the General Mills cereal boxes. I looked closely and it said that there was a comic book inside each box. That inner child in me came out and I smiled so big. I had a few comic books growing up, but I didn’t really get into them until I was old enough to start buying them myself. I had quite a few of them too, though I don’t have them anymore as someone thought they needed them more than I did. I quickly picked out a few boxes. I was anxious to see my daughter’s reaction when I showed her one of the comic books I got out of the cereal box. She’s really into superheros and comic book movies, especially Hulk, Spiderman, and The Avengers.

I opened the cereal box, pulled out the comic book and took off the packaging that was protecting it. I handed it to my daughter, who took off with it. I followed her into her room and watched with delight as she was thumbing the pages carefully, looking over each page with curiosity. Later that night at bedtime she asked me to read it to her. My heart leaped with joy, why, sure I would.

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A few days later we were walking around a book store when she noticed the comic books and asked to go down that aisle. I pushed the buggy into the aisle as we looked around, more specifically for something that might interest her. Her eyes quickly found the Hulk and so I gave her one to look at. She wanted me to read it to her right then, so I did. She had picked out three Hulk comics that she decided she couldn’t part with and I gladly bought them for her. As soon as we got into the car, she asked for them, and I happily gave them to her. I watched her for a few minutes as she opened one, turning the pages with that childlike curiosity. She still thumbs through them today, though she makes up her own story as she turns the pages.

Blue is for National Autism Awareness Day

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Blue is the color that represents Autism and today is National Autism Awareness Day. People all over the world are ‘lighting it up blue’ to show support or to honor someone they know with Autism. A lot of people are wearing blue today for the same reason.

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Today My daughter and I wore blue, as well as some of my friends. Those that work at my daughter’s daycare wore blue, as well as light up a blue light bulb and a string of blue rope lights.

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For more information on how you can light it up blue, or learn more about it, click here.

Image found on google images
Image found on google images