If you are between 8 and 108 years old and like to read middle grade books, then you are especially welcome here!

Gnome home

Posted: June 14th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Tree stumps.

They’re everywhere.

And they always look a little sad and forlorn.

Luckily, gnomes (and fairies, to be fair) are always in need of housing. And there’s nothing they like better than to move into one of these babies. With planning, imagination, and spare time for fun, anyone can transform a sad-looking tree stump into an inviting home for wee members of the magical realm.

(This excellent gnome home found here)


(This roomier gnome mansion found here)

Whether or not a gnome (or fairy, to be fair) chooses to move into one of these fantastic creations, I would much rather see a gnome home than a forlorn stump, so I’d better get building. For tips on how to build a gnome home, there is no better resource than Jennifer Pilcher. She will break it down for you with pictures of homes so charming you will want to send the gnomes packing and move in yourself!


King of the Wild Things

Posted: April 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

There’s a Wild Thing in the White House!

When reading a book aloud, it’s always fun to act it out. President Obama showed bad boy Max who the REAL King of the Wild Things is when he read Where the Wild Things Are to participants in the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the nation’s capitol. Grrr!


April Fool’s!

Posted: April 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , | No Comments »


When old sounds new

Posted: August 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra is a children’s musical group that plays instruments made from recycled trash. The instruments incorporate everything from tin paint containers to spatulas.

The idea of turning something discarded into something uplifting came when music teacher Favio Chávez and trash picker Nicolás Gómez  joined forces in the city of Cateura to find a way to teach economically disadvantaged kids to play music in a place where a real violin costs more than a house.

The idea is nothing new, but the instruments are!

“Repurposing materials that are part of your everyday culture has been something that a lot of cultures have done for thousands of years,” says Dr. Daniel Piper, curator of musical instruments at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.


Making the best of a bad situation

Posted: July 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Fun can always turn a frown upside-down, and it sometimes helps to use a Sharpie. But only on your own things!


When small is big

Posted: June 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

⌃Paedophryne amauensis is a species of frog from Papua New Guinea. It is the world’s smallest vertebrate.

⌃The Lilliputian Violet, found in the Peruvian Andes mountains, grows to be only one centimeter tall.

New York City’s Little Free Library may be the world’s smallest lending library. Designed by Venezuelan architects Marcelo Ertorteguy and Sara Valente, it is one of ten mini-libraries in the city.


⌃This is the view upon entering this single-person space. It already looks crowded!

It has what we want, though. Books! And the instructions couldn’t be simpler. This library for people on the go is definitely a case where big things have come from something small.


Yoda in a jar

Posted: October 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Yoda looks at home in this terrarium by Minneapolis artist Tony Larson, and no wonder. It’s a recreation of the Master Jedi’s planet, Dagobah. Stop by Tony’s Etsy store, and you can enjoy a bit of your favorite Star Wars planetary system in your own home. Tony’s amazing terrariums include the Forest of Endor and the desert of Tatooine, where R2D2 is just about to meet his fateful encounter with scavenging Jawas. Watch out, R2!


Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted: May 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

On a beautiful day like today, I suggest you take your mom to a National Park!

Find a National Park near you.


Just kidding!

Posted: April 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »


Sometimes it’s okay to play with your food

Posted: March 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I’m gonna be round my vegetables

I’m gonna chow down my vegetables

I love you most of all

my favorite vegetable…

So sang The Beach Boys in their song “Vegetables.” Beatle Paul McCartney joined the band to chew raw vegetables for percussion effects on the recording.

The Vegetable Orchestra is an Austrian musical group that uses instruments made entirely from fresh vegetables. The group consists of ten musicians, one cook, and one sound engineer. A concert of the Vegetable Orchestra appeals to all the senses. As an encore at the end of the concert and the video performance, the audience is offered fresh vegetable soup.

Two brothers in China have caught the vegetable music bug. They’ve carved out an odd career, turning vegetables into musical instruments. The creative pair began their craft two years ago and spend most of their time scouring food stalls for the perfect pieces.

I’m never going to look at the veggies on my plate the same way again!