Talula’s Barefoot Books Blog

A running commentary on life as an online bookstore owner after 25 years in Early Childhood Education.

Posts Tagged ‘Grandchildren’

Ta Da! Talula’s Writing Room Now Has A Color!

Posted by Talula on May 5, 2009

Ok; folks – I knew that i would have to make some actual progess on this project; even though I was drawn away from the project for a couple of days  (and resting sore muscles & back from moving furniture).

So Ta Da! I hear the trumpets blaring here! I have picked the colors to use in my writing room. They are ~ Drum roll please, Maestro!

Turquoise Mist (for the pale base color) and Aqua Bay (for the highlights) From Olympic Paints  at Lowes.    And I will use an accent of Blackberry Jam! Doesn’t that sound yummy? But that will probably be in lampshades or fabric, small touches.


OK – Now I have a sample of the Aqua Bay walls with the accent color in Blackberry Jam. This room sample would only show 2 colors – but I used this one to show the cream colored furniture & if you look close in the background,  the wood floor is close to the clay pot color of my actual room’s rug.  this is NOT MY OFFICE – but as close as I could get to the actual color combination to show you.

Olympic Paint Sample Room

Olympic Paint Sample Room

This was a much harder task than i thought it would be. I took one trip to 2 home improvement stores to scour their paint sample aisles. took about an hour altogether to choose samples. Then in Monday’s morning light – I sat with my main art piece, the furniture (creamy white) and rug (clay pot color) and tried approx 40 different shades of the mixture of blue & green. I wanted two shades – one a deep turquoise to bring out the main color thrown all over the Native American art pieces. And the second one for a very pale compliment, with the exact same color tone to make the main wall color and set off all the combination of colors (sort of like the canvas of the artist’s work).

One thing that most people don’t realize; is the fact that Desert Southwest colors are not originally the faded-out muted version that most think of in SW art. The original colors are very vivid (think Spanish/Mexican influence) like the very flora and fauna of the desert actually are in reality. the beauty in the desert comes fast and furious after a quick rainshower. However the Blazing sun & unbearable heat take turns blasting the colors and then they begin to look faint & washed out over time. The same as any old paint – it just happens faster in the arid SW.

So I now have my jeweled color pallete of  Creamy White (like the color of the Adobe), Orange/rust (clay pot), 2 shades of Turquoise (the sky color and the most famous jewel-stone of the area), and   a touch of deep purple/lilac accent (some of the desert flowers and the color strewn about in the artwork/native weavings/stone colors/dawn colors).  I hope the walls turn out to look a little like the swirls of the open ocean.

Edit here: I think it may end up like a waterfall design! We will see if I can translate that to canvas (wall, that is).

It shouldn’t be too hard – as I have already done a similar room for my grandkids to have as a play room.  I painted a mural around a very tall narrow window to make the (faux) door of an adobe house, with the distant background showing cliff houses like the ancient Anastazi dwellings on one side and central plains scenes on the right side. Turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself! The funny thing is that this is my Mom’s Country French Design house –so I have now taken two rooms to place my individual stamp on!

Ok if ALL that was confusing let me say it this way:

Carpet = Clay Pot color

Furniture = Creamy White color

Wall & Trim = 2 shades of turquoise colors Aqua Bay & Turquoise Mist from Olympic paint

Accent pieces (maybe fabric, lamps, or my own art) = Deep Lilac

Pottery, weavings & Misc. Art pieces = All of the Above!

Lest you think me wacky – the clay (orange) and lilac (purple) are the opposites of the turquoise on the tri-color wheel for balance! I may be a writer; but I have always had an artist’s inner color sense. ( I can carry exact tones of color in my mind’s eye all during shopping trips for decorating, crafting or sewing.)  The creamy white of the furniture then becomes the room’s neutral balance. See ~ I like strong colors but do use them with an artist’s hand.  

Oops – I think you are supposed to wait to actually inherit a house before you start re-designing it, aren’t you?? Oh well — I do enough for my Mom that she deals with it, to a certain extent. And I doubled the square footage when I helped finance the expansion in 1978. And due to some (un?) fortunate stormy hurricane weather back then – my losses paid for the rest of the remodel and eventually paid off the morgage. Yay! So even though  the house is really part mine, as long as it mostly still says HER HOUSE, she’s ok with it!

This is the what i will be working on for the next month; Hey! Now don’t grumble. it takes awhile when you are the only one moving each piece of furniture by yourself AND doing the painting a section at a time.  Will try to let you in on the progress with photos, but I don’t own a digital camera. I have to borrow one to take them, then upload. So I will get them when i can. 

Ok, have to go do my shift with the ‘Grand’ baby that is staying with us today, while her mommy is sick; see you later. Talula

EDIT: Well I have now added 2 more “Sick Kid Days” this time with one of the same little guys who was sick last week. What we thought might be Swine Flu last week, turned out to be very Bad case of strep throat; but this week he spent with a stomack virus! Poor little fellow only had 2 and a half days of school in 2 weeks.  Only this week was his grade’s field trip and outdoor play day ~ he missed both! Plus his beloved baseball games. Granny tried to play video games to help him pass the time (Lego Star Wars) but only succeeded on one level before he just told me to ‘drop out’ and let him do it all.  Yeah Right kid — I used to hold my own with his uncle’s Dungeons & Dragons – so “NO WAY!”  and then he got smart and shut off my controller. Smartypants 6 year old! At least he could have been polite about it — but I guess I deserved it for challenging him and draggin him into battles.  Welll…I will just have to practice without him knowing and get him next time. No..our family is NOT at all competitive! HEH HEH!

Second Edit: I spent almost 3 weeks with various sick grandkids, one sick virusy & and down-in-her-back mommy, and one afternoon watching 2 little ones while their house was being rid of  honey bees who had recently taken up residence in their outer wall. This had to done immediately upon discovery as the daddy is allergic to bee stings of any kind and the girls may also be allergic. Thankfully they have never been stung so we are not sure yet.  So now the planned Dual Tinkerbell birthday party can proceed on schedule for this weekend. Yay for the 3 yr old “Grands”, not so much for the fat Granny’s & Grandpa’s as its a pool party!


Posted in Children & Grandchildren, childrens writer, Families, Preschool | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Final Chance To Order Barefoot For Christmas 2008!

Posted by Talula on December 18, 2008

 Holiday Share Barefoot Banner US 468x60
Ok Last Shot Here For All You Last Minute Shoppers…and you know who you are!

Barefoot Books Last Date to Order and Still Have Delivery Prior to Christmas 2008 is Almost Here!


That leaves Friday (Dec.19), Saturday (Dec. 20) & Sunday (Dec. 21) to browse and find what you need to delight those little folks or those older folks who collect children’s literature/ great poetry volumes/or beautifully illustrated classics! And remember our puppets, multi-cultural music, and audio-books to add to the package and create a stunning gift surprise!

Then hurry to beat the final shipping date and you will get ‘rush’ delivery for the standard shipping cost!

How’s that for a last-minute bargain! Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you find a good read here for your beautiful child!


Posted in Barefoot Books, Bedtime Stories & Lullabye Songs, Books with CD, Children & Grandchildren, Children's Books, Early Literacy, Fairytales & Faeries, Families, friends, Great Books For Grown-Ups, India, Multi-Cultural, Musical Escapades, Picture Books, Preschool, Putumayo Kids Music, Reading, reading with children, Spanish, Teacher's Gifts, Teachers, Early Childhood ED. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Summer 2008 – Beijing Olympics – Chinese/Asian Stories For Kids and Other News!

Posted by Talula on August 14, 2008

Semi-autobiographical story of lesson in freedom
Semi-autobiographical story of lesson in freedom

 To watch the youTube video of Little Leap Forward (Barefoot Books first entry into YA – Chapter books) by the author with his own flute music background and in his own words < Author Go Ye > you can find it here!

Teachers – Need Current Facts About China?  <Click Here> for pdf on “Today’s China”.

 Find This & Other Asian Folktale Books At My Barefoot Books site HERE! <<<< Or Asia for Kids HERE! <<<< 

Oooh! It has been way too long since my last post! Let’s see what all has happened since I last wrote here.

  • I spent 2 & 1/2 months organizing and running an American Legion Youth fundraiser ( a golf tournament, 3 meals, with a silent & live auction) to buy uniforms and equipment for Pony League Teams and provide scholarships for 2 Boys & 2 Girls (high School seniors) to go to Boy’s State and Girl’s State for a week to learn all about how government works. I have to say that charity org stuff is a heck of a lot of WORK – in more ways than one. My hat is off to those professional fundraisers; listen people – I wouldn’t want to do that for a living! However, if I do say so myself (ahem) we rocked! We raised over $32,000 dollars for a one day event; the most ever for any American Legion in Texas history. Oh! BTW – I will never, ever be responsible for that much admin of an event again!
  • Had lots of Grandbabies birthday parties in the Spring & Summer. Way too much cake & ice cream ( I have gained ten pounds) and there is still one more for the year tomorrow evening at a park for the NASCAR kid. I don’t know if there is anything licensed by NASCAR that he doesn’t already have; so guess we will be shopping Friday morning for something!
  • I have started another online store at Talulas Wagon but it will probably the end of August before it looks presentable enough to really market. It will expand the children’s book offerings of multi-cultural and environmental subject matter and I will be adding some of the links from here and other sources for parent & teacher tips & products. I want to add other toys, games, gift items and more companies to shop for childrens books. So many parents and teachers had asked for items I didn’t have; that it pushed me into expansion mode!
  • On that note; I have dropped my Barefoot Books website; although I am still selling Barefoot Books. For now, at least; it was not getting the traffic I had hoped after 2 years, so I decided to build my own site. As it will take me a while to change all the linked buttons from here at Talula’s Blog; please bear with me. If you have any questions when a link doesn’t work – just leave me a comment and I will try to jump on that one for you.  I hope to see you there!
  • Lastly — The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing are off to a great start this week. China and the U.S.A. are in a neck-to-neck battle for the most gold medals. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Chinese government will handle all this spotlight on their country. I do hope for all the athletes & coaches (from all the countries) the problems will be minimized so their individual & collective efforts shine through.

To honor the host country of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and to help children learn about the Chinese culture while it will be in the news and in peoples conversations for a few months; Barefoot Books is highlighting their titles with Chinese stories.   Teachers; these will make great additions to classrooms for units on China! Add the Red Dragon puppet for story time fun!  Teach your classes about Chinese culture AND enjoy the 20% Off Barefoot Books listed price for my limited time offer!*

To Purchase These Titles – Click On Talula’s Wagon above!

Posted in Barefoot Books, Children's Books, Children's Global Issues, Early Literacy, Families, Multi-Cultural, reading with children, Teacher's Gifts, Teachers, Early Childhood ED. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Grandchildren; gotta love’em!

Posted by Talula on November 11, 2007

Yesterday I had the fortunate (?) opportunity to care for 3 of my “grands” at once while their mommies ran a vendor booth at a local show all day & most of the night. This time it was the queenly 3 year old “Miss M.” and her tiny tornado 18-month old sister “Little M”, plus their always dancing & curious (make that mischevius) 17-month-old first cousin “Little Lizzy”.  I love them all bunches; but granny is getting a little too out of shape to do this very often! The knees silently scream when I get on the floor with the babies and toddlers and the back screams even louder when I try to get UP off the floor.  For the most part the day went pretty well; starting off around 8am with sleepy littles girls grabbing quick kisses from mommies, waving bye-bye and then using sign language for telling granny it was time for breakfast. They don’t use  much sign language anymore since they have begun to talk a little — but food, eat, drink, more and all done are still very clearly in use. So I scrambled to hand out apple slices and milk cups to hold them off from taking bites of me; while I baked their cinnamin rolls that mom left in the fridge for the tiny hungry bears.

We played with everything in sight in the downstairs of the house; went outside for an hour between rain showers and came back in to scrounge up lunch. Not too bad to deal with, since the mommies had fortunately left a little pre-packed lunch. Nap-time was extremely easy (oddly so) and all three were in a coma within 15 minutes. That left time for me to do the dishes, pick up toys missed during the clean-up song and restore the house to some order (grabbing me a sandwich in the process). Next I decided to get a head-start on dinner by stir-frying the chicken, and prepping the veggies before the hungry horde woke up wanting  the baby/toddler all inportant “SNACK”. This left me feeling pretty smug that I still had some of the “teacher” classroom organization skills left in my bag of tricks. Little did I realize the odds (3 to 1) were against me making through the whole day with my self-congratulatory smug-ness!

 After their 2 hour nap; we all had a great snack time and then spent the next 2 hours reading everybook in the house; with my lap being traded off for the prized location as fast an E-bay auction item with 3 high bidders. Then we did clean up of books (approximately 50 books of various sizes) from the 3 rooms they had mysteriously migrated to and then gave the babies a few things to occupy them while “Miss M” and I proceeded to start the dinner meal. She loves to help cook and I have been letting her help since she was a baby; so I had already set out everything she was going to prepare. I did decide to go into the pantry for some cooking oil; so I managed to undo the baby locks and as soon as the door opened — 3 liitle laughing monsters ran over, grabbed something from the wire rack on the pantry door and ran off giggling; holding their precious “loot” close to their tummies. Of course, i ran after them as they circled through 4 rooms; calling out to bring my goodies back (laughing as well).  And with lots more giggles; captured all the “loot” ; or so I thought!

We quickly managed the rest of dinner preparations without further incident. Food was on the table, booster chairs and spoons in place and 2 of the girls were popped into their chairs (Miss M and Little Lizzy) when I turned around calling out for Little M. I don’t see her & before I can take a step — I hear a sound something like cereal pouring into a cereal bowl. I go around the corner in the dining room and there is Little M. staring down at the wonder of the just-opened whole package of tiny orange “feesh” (goldfish crackers to the un-informed) spread in a 8 foot circle round her.   I checked my almost uttered 4-lettered word beginning with “S” and say instead “Wow! That is a lot of fish!” “Little M –it;s time to eat. Let’s go!” and take her to the table and buckle her in; only to see the 3 year old jump down off her chair to see what happened. she runs into the dining room and screams “M! I’m calling Mommy!” and proceeds to call mommy on her pretend cell phone and describes the mess her little sister has made and then males sure she is not punished by adding ” Me and Lizzy did’nt do it! You need to put Little M in time out!” Then Miss M sets the pretend phone down and helps me to start picking it up. I quickly scooped most of it up and then suggested we go back to the table for dinner; where the little two have quietly been eating properly as if nothing had happened.

This proper behavior lasts about 15 minutes and then all three start banging their spoons on the table like cons at a prison protest. I state No, No several times to no avail — their grinning faces telling me the inmates are really in control here. So I decide to use logical consequences like I was successful with in my classrooms for nearly 30 years. I get up and scoot all 3 of their chairs far back away from the table and then I sat down back in my chair and proceeded to eat my dinner. Their faces look astonished then perplexed. It is all I can do to keep from laughing. Miss M says “Hey! I want my food!” , with the other two silently waiting to see what is going to happen. I asked if everyone is ready to eat without banging their spoons; Miss M emphatically says Yes! and the babies clearly state “Eat!” while shaking their heads up & down for yes. Miss M proceeds to calmly tell me that I am now on her “Sh__” list by saying “I don’t love you as much as Mommy anymore!” I just as calmly inform her that’s ok; I sometimes have to make her follow the rules and that I still love HER! 

With no further remarks about the behavior; I slide their chairs up to the table and we finsh eating, and talking  and I feel like I at least won the point, if not the battle! I wash all six hands and faces, then set them down while I pick up the plates to put in the sink.  Then I hear the pouring sound again and panic — did I not bring the package into the kitchen to throw it away & how was there any left in the package if I did? As I run into the dining room yet for the second time within 30 minutes — I see that the package was indeed left in the dining room and Little Lizzy has found that yes, there were about 25 little “feesh” were in it that are now spread all around HER on the floor.   I bend down to try to scoop them up with both babies grabbing as fast as their little hands can grab and stuff the little “feesh” into their tiny mouths; meanwhile Miss M is screaming at the top of her lungs that she is going to call mommy again and tell her that “the babies” have made a mess AGAIN! and of course she states again that “Miss M did’nt do it! Only Little M and Lizzy! The babies should be in time-out!” . At this point; I lose it and slap the side of the bookcase demanding that “Miss M stop screaming because it hurts my ears and would she please help me get the babies busy with something else so I can pick this up. I mention ice cream for dessert; which sends all 3 little “grands” to pound the refridgerator/freezer doors with their tiny fists while I use the extra 30 seconds to grab the last of the “feesh” and throw them away. then I have to make good on my promise and find cups, scoop & ice cream QUICKLY to satiate the little dessert-monsters.

When the ice cream is in the cups, I hand one to Miss M. and use one to feed the babies., with different spoons. I quickly realized I have mixed up their spoons; say “to heck with it” and spoon feed them both. It starts to look just like little birds standing infront of me, open mouths chasing the spoon. Little M keeps saying “Mom!” when she thinks I am taking too long for her spoonful! This scene transports me back 31 years to when their mothers (Identical twins) were babies; I never worried about their germ-sharing and frequently fed them both with the same spoon for my own speed & sanity! (Note – the pediatrician said itwas alright because twins would always be physically close enough to share all their germs anyway.)

After dessert; we go back to play and read books for a half hour, then it’s bathime. So I let the babies crawl up the carpeted stairs with me and Miss M right behind to catch them if the slip. Everybody is excited about bathtime, so I lock the child gate on top of the stairs and find diapers and pajamas, or fascimile thereof. I searched for 25 minutes for pj’s for 3 and finally settle on cotton stretch shorts and tees. we all pile into the bathroom where Miss M promptly falls in (with clothes on) before the water is turned on. I kiss what hurts; undress her, then the babies and  everybody is finally in  the tub. And trust me , 2 babies are not what Miss M thinks are her ideal bath companions. She decides to pour water on top of the head of one then the other, and then scream when they fight back. since she is outnumbered — she decides to play with the bath puppet to make them laugh again. Everybody finally gets soaped, the taken out and dressed. I will leave that part to your imagination, but it too is hilarious with 3 wiggly, giggly girls.

when we finally get done; Daddy of Miss M and Little M arrives home and that is exciting until Daddy gets a call to go help all the mommies to load up after the vendor show. Miss M asks if I am going to stay all night and I tell her no, that mommy will be home soon. I think she looks a little relieved, but snuggles up next to me on the couch anyway.  They stay a little low- key for an hour; but then true to form; that last burst of energy kicks in and they run endless circles around the 4 rooms; gigling all the way. When the mommies finally make it home; babies are sleepy grumpy amd Miss M is still asking me to stay the night, I give hugs and kisses and all prepare to go to bed or home for the night. I trudge up the stairs to bed at home; glad that I don’t do this everyday in a classroom anymore, my lower back and knees letting me know that couldn’t even if I wanted to!    

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