L is for Longstocking…as in Pippi


‘No, I don’t suffer from freckles,’ said Pippi.

Then the lady understood, but she took one look at Pippi and burst out, ‘But, my dear child, your whole face is covered with freckles!’

‘I know that,’ said Pippi, ‘but I don’t suffer from them. I love them. Good morning.’

She turned to leave, but when she got to the door she looked back and cried, ‘But if you should happen to get in any salve that gives people more freckles, then you can send me seven or eight jars.’

-Astrid Lingren, Pippi Longstocking

pippi longstocking


Being a freckle face myself, I’ve always felt a kinship with Pippi Longstocking. I loved reading about her antics and what kid didn’t want to live in a house with unlimited funds and no parental supervision! I found some younger kid friendly versions of Pippi’s stories to read to Beej and he gets a kick out everything she does.


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Have a great day!


K is for Karen


Karen Killilea* was born in 1940. Being premature, she developed cerebral palsy as an infant. In the 40’s doctors advised parents to institutionalize their children. Karen’s parents refused to accept that as the right thing to do for their daughter. They searched until they found a doctor who recommended something unheard of at that time- physical therapy. They learned to do it at home and took care of Karen themselves. Because of her parents’ commitment to giving her a chance at a better life and years of hard work, Karen was able to have that life. She beat the odds and all expectations that people had of children with cerebral palsy at that time.

Karen, written by Marie Killilea, influenced the way I looked at people with disabilities. Throughout my childhood I had limited experiences with people who were different than I was and most of my knowledge came from reading. This book had a major impact on how I viewed other people. Karen was a real person. And she was an inspiration. Her mother, Marie, made an impact too. I was raised by a mother who loved me and did everything she could for me, without spoiling me. I didn’t require the level of care and time and energy that Marie put into raising Karen but I knew that if I did, my own mom would do it.

If Karen was born much later, her story would have been vastly different. But for a child growing up in the 1940’s, her story is inspirational.

“I can walk, I can talk. I can read. I can write. I can do anything.” -Karen


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Stay safe,


*My theme is Female Fictional Characters but I’m making an exception for Karen.

J is for Jones- Bridget Jones

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”
― Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary

Bridget Jones- I met her first in the movie Bridget Jones’s Diary and then later in the books written by Helen Fielding. I’m not usually a fan of books made into movies but I adore Bridget in any form. I don’t mind the differences between the books and movies.

I find Bridget to be so human. So relatable. She struggles with her weight, smoking and men. She messes up. She embarrasses herself. She has parents who are anyone’s parents and friends like everyone else.

And isn’t that quote the truth? The minute something seems to be going right, something else is not.

I have been thinking a lot about this quote because right now there is so much that doesn’t seem to be right. People are struggling. My own family and friends are struggling, either emotionally, financially or both. And so I have to search for the good because there has to be good.

After giving it some thought and as a reminder to myself, here is my list


  • My family is safe.
  • My family is healthy.
  • We have food.
  • We have a roof over our heads.
  • We are learning to coexist at a time when anxiety can run rampant.
  • I’m getting to spend unexpected time with my youngest son, Andy, as he finishes up his degree at home.
  • I’m getting some much needed decluttering done.
  • I’m finally getting the hang of e-learning with the little guys when they are here.

Bridget might get herself into some unusual fixes but she always seems to land on her feet in the end, even if she does have to scramble a bit to get there. I like that.


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I is for Ingalls- Laura Ingalls

laura ingall quote“This is now.” When I finished reading Little House in the Big Woods to five year old, Beej, the ending gave my heart a pang. As I gave this more thought, I realized that there were so many reasons it touched me so deeply.

I grew up reading the Little House books over and over again. It’s one of many things I share with my sisters. We read the books, watched the tv show and played out scenes repeatedly throughout our childhood. I felt so attached to Mary and Laura. Who didn’t love Laura, little half-pint? She was feisty, adventurous, impulsive…. and for me, once again as was in the case with Betsy Ray, she was a writer. But when we played Little House, I was always Mary, my sister was Laura and our youngest sister was Baby Carrie, which is why she didn’t play with us often. Because let’s be honest here, did anyone ever really want to be poor Carrie? We played these parts because of birth order but I believe that if our order had been different, I would still be Mary. I was more like her in personality while my sister was more like Laura.

I couldn’t wait to share my love of these books with Kris, when she was young. I remember purchasing her a hardcover copy of Little House in the Big Woods when she was around seven years old. We settled in for a cozy bonding experience and I began reading it to her….. and she was bored stiff. I had forgotten how descriptive the books were. She couldn’t get into the book and I didn’t push the issue, although I was disappointed. These books had played a big part in my life.

Fast forward 20 years and while looking for short chapter books to read to Beej, I came across a few Little House books that were simpler and revised. Each book had a theme-  Laura and Jack stories, School Days, and Pioneer Sisters. We read the first Laura and Jack story and Beej was hooked!! His thirst for learning new things was being quenched by the same descriptive writing that didn’t keep Kris’s attention. We read at breakfast and having completed Little House in the Big Woods, we are over halfway through Little House on the Prairie. In this book, they have moved to Indian country so this is a strong underlying theme throughout. At times I have to read ahead quickly so I can edit what he hears since the book does hold the long held view on the subject.

As we read and come across parts that my sisters and I loved as children, I’ve been sending my sisters screenshots of those favorite passages. It’s fun to share those memories and reminisce.

And I come back to that simple sentence. “This is now.” It seems so appropriate to be reading about a time long ago when, for very different reasons, life was similar in many ways to the lives some of us are living right now. The majority of my human contact is the people in my house. Although the boys come and go depending on their dad’s work schedule (which does not stop for pandemics or anything else, for the matter). We might not be building our own house, growing or hunting for food and living primitively, but our lives are very different than they were even a month ago. We are doing without things we thought were necessary. And reading about a very different time so many years ago makes me think about how much things have changed, and yet stayed the same.

How very much we are living for today. Now.


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Stay safe!


H is for Hermione

“Oh, are you doing magic? Let’s see it, then.”
She sat down. Ron looked taken aback.
“Er — all right.”
He cleared his throat.

“Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow,
Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.”

He waved his wand, but nothing happened. Scabbers stayed gray and fast asleep.
“Are you sure that’s a real spell?” said the girl. “Well, it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and it’s all worked for me. I’ve learned all our course books by heart, of course.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

And this was my introduction to Hermione Granger. She was intelligent, read A LOT, could be annoying but was fiercely loyal to those she loved. In the first book alone she grew as a person and by the end of the book, she was off and running. I connected with her because she was prepared for classes (and everything else) and she was always annoyed when others were not as prepared. Boy, is that me! Throughout my education and even in my adult life at meetings… She is also fearless, strong and tough but not afraid to cry. I want to be like her when I grow up!


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Have a nice weekend!