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New Hardcover Edition of Edison the Christmas Elf Now Available

The new hardcover edition (8 ½ X 12) of Edison the Christmas Elf and the Imperfect Perfect Toy is now available from the author (that’s me) for $19.95 with free shipping. I will sign and add a personalized inscription at no additional charge. Signed limited editions are also available for $22. If you wish to order, or if you have any questions please send an email to vaitonis39@gmail.com. Edison is also available at Amazon.com and eBay.com.

 


A Walk in the Park

I spent a sunny and breezy Wednesday afternoon at a small park in Wakefield, MA. The park sits on the west side of a small lake, and is bordered on the north by a series of cemeteries surrounded by black wrought iron fences. I didn’t go inside – didn’t want to intrude – but looking through the fences I saw monuments with dates in the early 1800s. About two-dozen benches each bearing a small oval dedication plaque are scattered throughout the park. One dedication bearing the names Herb & Eve Standke 1947 – 1997 included the first two lines of the song Till: “Till the moon deserts the sky, Till the seas run dry…” I thought that anyone who had earned these lines would be good people to sit with – figuratively – so I spent part of my afternoon sitting on this bench writing while my daughter and granddaughter followed the three-mile long path around the lake. I left the bench hoping that the Standke’s had as much sunshine in their lives as was present in the park that day.


Minnie Minoso – Mr. White Sox

 

When I was growing up I was an avid White Sox fan. I wore my Sox hat all day, every day. More than one person told me that if I didn’t take it off I would be bald before I got to high school. I guess they were right although their time estimate was off – it took many decades before I started losing my hair. Anyway, the hat stayed on my head. After all, I had to support my team. More to the point, one of my favorite players was Minnie Minoso who was known as the Cuban Comet for his speed and Mr. White Sox for his record-setting contributions to the team. Mr. Minoso died in Chicago on February 28, 2015 at the age of 93. Like Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub, Minnie Minoso was an incredibly popular and dynamic player. I once met Mr. Minoso while I was working at a small pharmaceutical company based in Skokie. He had come for the launch of a company fund-raising campaign. The moment he stepped out on the stage to speak, his smile and personality lit up the entire auditorium. I don’t remember what he said, but I’ll never forget that smile and his warm. I have never met anyone so full of joy and enthusiasm. He was a remarkable player and person. The world is a sadder place with his passing.


Christmas Dog Biscuit Recipe

Christmas is near and while it’s a time for family and friends, it’s also a time to remember the family dog. So here’s a recipe for dog biscuits guaranteed to delight your four-footed friend.

Dog Biscuit Recipe (from D. Barchus)

Ingredients

4 Cups whole-wheat flour

2 Cups quick-cooking oats

2 & ½ Cups warm water

½ Cup natural peanut butter

Baking instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine all ingredients

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until it is firm. If the dough is too sticky, add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time

Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut with a cookie cutter of your choice; transfer to cookie sheet

Bake for 40 minutes

Turn off heat and let biscuits stand in oven until hard (about 1 to 2 hours)

Enjoy!


author

Welcome to my author page

I want to introduce you to my new e-book: Edison the Christmas Elf and the Imperfect Perfect Toy. It’s the story of the unforeseen problems and consequences caused by the elf’s attempts to make the perfect Christmas toy. You can read chapter one by clicking on the Books link at the top of this page. The Books page also contains information on how to order the e-book (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, I-tunes).

Elsewhere on the site (Kid’s Zone) you’ll find free puzzles, mazes, and coloring pages that you can download and links to kid-friendly crafts and games.

You’ll find reviews of children’s books, book recommendations, and resources on encouraging children to read, and on counteracting bullying in the Parent’s Zone.

Please visit often as I will be adding new items to both the Kid’s and Parent’s Zones.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the site or the resources it contains, or if you want me to speak at an event, please use the email form on the Contact page. I do not share contact information.