Bikes and Bicycling

Love bicycles or, better yet, know of kids who do? My TWO BICYCLES IN BEIJING is included in this grouping of terrific picture books with bikes in them…plus links on activities and bike science!

Science in Storytime

The Magical Yet written by Angela DiTerlizzi

New things can be tricky, but never you fret–it’s time to make friends with the Magical Yet!

Bike & Trike written by Elizabeth Verdick

When Lulu graduates to a bicycle with training wheels, rusty, old Trike feels lonely in the garage and worries about Lulu’s safety on her shiny, new bike.

Two Bicycles in Beijing written by Teresa Robeson

Lunzi and Huangche were made in the same bicycle factory and remained close in a shop, but when Huangche is purchased before Lunzi, she races through Beijing seeking her friend. Includes glossary of Mandarin Chinese terms and descriptions of the places visited.

Bikes for Sale written by Carter Higgins

Maurice rides his bike all over selling lemonade, while Lotta rides her bike collecting sticks as she goes; they ride different routes and are completely unaware of each other–until their bikes are wrecked and they…

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Writing versus Other things…who wins?

It’s apparently a draw. Or a drawing or five. I debated whether I should do the #scbwiartober thing. It’s never been a completely satisfactory experience doing these group challenges, but I still get pulled in every so often.

Then a friend on social media shared about this other challenge, ##autumnwoods2021 , and I stupidly decided that the best thing to do was to combine the two.

No, the best thing to do would be to ignore both altogether and work on my writing. But I never learn from past miserable experiences. 🙄 All is not lost, however, I’ve decided I should stop at 10. I’ll share the first 5 with you today and the last 5 next Friday.

I swear that panther is me. 😐
“Now where was that acorn I’d hidden?”
“Get off my tail, you stupid kids.”
I’ve seen this happen to insects and birds before! 😆

All of these were done with Tombow Dual Brush Pens. And to compensate for my whining, I have to admit that doing these forced me to think creatively when trying to combine the words into an interesting scene. They also gave me some practice with the Tombow markers. I’m not very good at making art with markers.

Have you participated in challenges where you look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “What in the heck were you thinking of???” Tell me about it on Twitter!

The juicer of my dreams

Like all the reviewers on the Lehman’s site said, why didn’t I get this years earlier??

You just put the water in and you don’t have to deal with it for an hour! I cooked down the juice to make a syrup. We also canned several pints of salsa that day.

I’m not the best at gauging headspace though. See how much there is in the jelly versus the salsa (the Spousal Unit canned that while I did the jelly)? He gives me a hard time about it.

The syrup is quite tasty and reminds me of Ribena which I use to drink a lot of as a kid.

Simply 7 with Kirsten Larson–A TRUE WONDER

As a Wonder Woman fan since the 70s, I’m absolutely delighted to see this terrific book by my talented friend Kirsten Larson!

Jena Benton

When I was younger, I was a HUGE fan of Wonder Woman and I had the underoos to prove it!  Every week I would dress up to watch Lynda Carter kick butt and take names.  When I heard there was going to be a picture book biography of Wonder Woman’s story, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself!

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When life gives you lemons…no, wait…apples

Apples, apples, and more apples! It seems like everyone’s apple trees had a good year. We received a ton of them from our good friends Carol and David. Then we picked about the same amount from our trees (and we’re still harvesting).

So we dehydrated some

and they taste amazing!

We also made applesauce that I forgot to take photos of, but fear not, I might still post photos of that since we have at least 50 pounds of apples to deal with.

Food saves the weekend

Sometimes, the day just does NOT go the way you envision or hope. At. All. Last Saturday was one of those days for me.

When that happens, and you want to tear your hair out and scream at the universe, the best thing to do is cook up a storm because keeping physically busy will help dissipate the negative energy AND even better, you get something good to eat at the end.

So I made an apple fritter cake (recipe from King Arthur Flour)

Is there anything better than brown sugar + cinnamon + apples?
Golden deliciousness…
The inside is very pretty, too!

And I also made hot dog buns (because there ain’t nuthin’ nastier than store-bought hot dog rolls). This is also a King Arthur Flour recipe.

I also made raspberry ice cream but didn’t take a photo. Just as well.

Good food makes any crappy situation much more bearable. I hope you’ll try one of the above recipes next time your day turns out sucky!

Marvel-ous…and a bit of DC

With all the recent talk about Shang-shi (and the popularity of Marvel movies), it prompted me to go gaze lovingly at the comic book collection that the Spousal Unit and I have, and I thought you might want to gaze lovingly at them along with me. Or am I over-estimating how many nerdy people read my blog?

The classics:

Still waiting for the big screen adaptation* of this:

And the collection I started on my own:

If you’re salivating over these and thinking how cool I am instead of going “Whaaa?”, then we can be best buds! 😀

* To clarify some more “big screen adaptation” means movie, like traditional theater movie (even if we need some other ways to watch it during the pandemic); I know there’s a Luke Cage series, but I can’t stream it (or anything) due to our very bad rural internet, and I also heard it could be improved. Mainly, I would love to see a Luke Cage movie of The Black Panther magnitude. 🙂

It’s going grape

The grape plant went wild this summer…it dragged down our garden fence with the sheer weight of its fruits and gave me hours and hours of work processing the harvest (thankfully the kids did the harvesting) into jelly. I’m ready for a break from summer now, though we’ll be processing veggies well into October.


Grape pomace (though my family prefers the other P word because scatological humor is ageless)…

And the juice

makes jelly…

Jewel-toned deliciousness…

Apparently some people never eat jelly…and I’m wondering what the heck do they put on their toast? Know what I put on my homemade artisan bread? Butter + Vegemite, and then peanut butter + homemade jelly and/or homemade marmalade.

Thoughts of a butterfly

Hope may be a thing with feathers, but inspiration is a thing with wings!

I saw this Northern Pearly-eye on the rail while I was watering the deck plants. It wanted me to feast my eyes on all its lovely (albeit slightly damaged) parts.

And I happily obliged, snapping photos of it like it was a celebrity and I was the paparazzi. This inspired the following ditty:

Not shy, am I?
Don’t pass me by.
I’m not one to hide…
admire my good side.
You’ll be mesmerized
by my pearly “eyes.”

Ⓒ 2021 Teresa Robeson

Happy weekend!

Sharing knowledge

Last Friday of the month! How did that happen? This past month has been so, so busy for me. One of the things I’m doing is updating my presentation for this class at Highlights Foundation:

If you’re interested in writing nonfiction children’s literature, you won’t want to miss this class. Jen Swanson is an incredible author and teacher!

I’m also preparing talks for a couple of other appearances. One is at the MT-SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) virtual conference in October where I’ll talk about writing biographies for all ages…or at least picture books to middle grade. 😄 It will be a blast! Do join us!

And the other will be next Spring in Davenport, IA (pandemic willing). Registration and info to come.

Hope I will see some of you in one of those workshops/conferences!