Homemade ice cream!

Hi everyone,

I’ve been wanting homemade ice cream all summer and this morning Sandy finally found the recipe she’s been looking for tucked into one of her cookbooks. Hooray! This afternoon I’ll go to the store for the ingredients and then get out the electric freezer. When Robin, Tim, and maybe Kris come over for dinner this evening, we’ll have the ice cream for desert!

Yesterday Sandy and I worked for hours getting the patio vacuumed and the leaves out of the pool. I turned up the heater so the water should be perfect for an afternoon swim. It’s going to be a beautiful day for a fall family pool party.

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Pssst. Wanna see a happy guy?

Hi everyone,

Saturday we celebrated Tim Williams’ birthday here. Tim is our son-in-law and no one could wish for a better one. Tim and Robin’s son Kris was there along with his parents Claire and Fred Williams.

The delectable meal was made possible, of course, by none other than Sandy, my gorgeous M.O.W.

Today will have to go some to beat yesterday

Hi everyone,

Does my wife make pretty children or what? Happy birthday yesterday, sweet Robin. We loved sharing it with you!

Not only did I have a good evening, the day was fine too. It began with a SKYPE session with my writing partner, Mary Jo Fresch, about the book we’re winding up for Scholastic, BEFORE THE FIRST DRAFT, that’s due out next spring. Several teachers are involved with that one and it’s looking good.

Within hours apart I received the jacket copy for CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS, due out next spring, and hi-res art for the whole book of A PLACE TO START A FAMILY, also due next spring. Both books are looking glorious.

While I was walking around the house grinning into mirrors, I heard from a music professor in Texas that she is writing a score for men’s chorus based on my poem, “I’m Signing on a Crew,” (from PIRATES), which she found on The Poetry Foundation website. She attached the first few pages of the sheet music. So I stopped grinning and starting singing”Argh!”

And then I heard back from someone who can be helpful to me as I consider the possibility of a new nonfiction book that may take a few years to develop. So “Argh!” turned into “Wowzers!” It was a good day for vocalizing. Oh, got a school visit invitation in there too.

I also completed my part of the three-way poetry manuscript with Steve Withrow and J. Patrick Lewis.

Today I’ll get back to tweaking the poetry chapter for CHILDRENS’ LITERATURE IN THE READING PROGRAM. (Yup, due out next spring.) My deadline is May 12 but I’ve got Chicago to do between now and then.