Tag Archives: artwork

King Jalapeno: A Story by Boo

As regular readers know, my son Boo is a prolific writer and illustrator. It’s impossible to keep up with everything he produces, but every once in awhile (such as today, when I was cleaning the house in preparation for my in-laws’ five day visit), I find a gem.

Thankfully, Boo has allowed me to share it with you here. (We’re at the age where I can’t freely blog my kids’ charming ways; I need to ask permission.) He says that the Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” ads were, obviously, his inspiration for this, but King Jalapeno comes straight from his imagination.

He wrote this at the library on Monday, when his summer camp group visited the children’s department. (He had no interest in reading.)


King Jalapeno’s: Episode 1 

Episode 1: They’re spicy. 

He  isn’t a fan of basketball. The basketball is a fan of him. 

His fortunes never come true because of his faith.
Your wish will come true. 

Or is it?

His statue is bigger than Einstein at the library. 

He is King Jalapeno. 

I don’t always eat peppers.
But when I do, I perfer King Jalapeno’s Chili Peppers. 

Stay hungry my friends. The End. 

I may not like jalapeno peppers but my God, I love that kid.

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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How to Catch a Leprechaun, by Boo

Found this while going through some old (as in, from last school year’s) papers of Boo’s.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

How to Catch a Leprhechann
First, run very fast to find a Irish Leprechaunn.
Second, can’t find it, try looking for a Map.
Third, run farther than ever!
Fourth, move fast that your lephrecaun can.
Fifth, there you have to run and catch it.
Finally, congragelations! You have your own lephrecaun.

copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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My Daughter the Philanthropist

Having a fundraiser for a mother has turned my daughter into a budding philanthropist.

On Wednesday I wrote about Betty’s passion for the orcas (killer whales) and I told her that I included the photos from the dolphin show in my blog post that day.

Which prompted her to ask me to set her up with her own blog.  “Because if I have my own blog, I will be able to get more people to help me save the whales.  And the dolphins too.  Because we don’t want to leave them out.”

I set her up on Kidblog.org but since I highlighted Boo’s writing earlier this week, it is only in the interest of fairness that I give you Betty’s pitch.  (Call me biased, but with nearly 20 years in the fundraising profession, I think this appeal letter is pretty damn good.  God knows I’ve seen worse.)

Orca and dolphin saving with Betty

“You see, my new blog is about saving two kinds of mammals that I love, Orcas and dolphins. But there is some bad news: Orcas are endangered! That is why I wanted my mom to make me my first blog. A few weeks ago my grandma and grandpa came to stay for two days. Mommom and I were looking at my grown-up library book Freeing Keiko. Keiko is the orca who plays Willy in the movie Free Willy. When I heard orcas were endangered I was like“I didn`t know orcas were endangered!” So that is why it is important to care about orcas and dolphins and all kinds of se mammals. I went to my class Book Fair and got a diary that said Follow your heart on it. I`m chasing my dream to become an orca trainer and I`m following my heart to do what I want to do about orcas being endangered. When I heard about the oil spill I was just shocked. It got all over the pelicans and the sea creatures that lived in the sea. So here is what I`m going to do about it : I`m going to make a donation to save the orcas that are being caught in fishing nets and being taken away from their familys. The donations will cost money but it won`t cost much. The donations are up to 1 to 10 dollars. That is what you have to do if you want to help me save every orca in the world. Remember this is for dolphins too. But it`s not for the money, it`s for the orcas and the money. I would also like some tips on being an orca traainer, so if you have any for me you can just send it by mail or you can e-mail me about it.“

She’s quite serious about selling some unwanted toys and raising money to send to a charity to help the orcas.  (We’re just not quite sure which one exactly.  We’re researching possibilities.)   She truly believes she can save each and every orca. 

Again, I’m biased (and maybe a bit jaded), but how can you not love the passion? It’s made me think that this spirit, this enthusiasm is what my friend Kathy LeMay had in mind when writing her book, The Generosity Plan.  As a fundraiser, I am drawn to youth philanthropy and I believe that it is our duty as parents and as citizens of the world to allow our kids to develop a sense of giving back, of making a difference.  I see this in my work. I see this in my immediate and extended family.

And during a week where so much has not gone right or as planned, and in a week that has brought much doubt and stress, the orcas make me feel like we are doing one thing right. 

They make me see a little bit of hope.

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo’s Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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Getting My Arts Fix at The Gulf Auction Honoring the 2010 BlogHer Voices of the Year

One of the things I wanted to do while in New York for BlogHer was to visit the Modern Museum of Art.  It wouldn’t have been hard to do, because MoMA was mere steps from the Hilton. There was a Matisse exhibit that I would have loved to have seen, but alas … it didn’t happen. Way too much that I wanted to do, way too little time. Sigh.

I did get a bit of an “art fix” at BlogHer, though.  On Friday evening, I met up with my blogging friend Kablooey at the BlogHer Voices of the Year Art Auction. 

Prior to the conference, bloggers were invited to submit posts for consideration as a Voice of the Year.  Of the more than 1,000 submissions, 90 bloggers were named as Voice of the Year Finalists and several read their posts aloud at the Community Keynote, which was incredibly funny, inspiring, and moving all at the same time.

Also prior to the conference, many artists dedicated their time to create funny, inspiring, and moving images to connect with the funny, inspiring, and moving words. Right after the bloggers read their posts, we went to a reception where all the artwork was displayed. 

And the work?  Looked like it belonged across the street at MoMA.  Seriously, it was amazing and powerful stuff. Photos that made us laugh and made us tear up.  Artwork doing its job.

Now, all of the artwork is being made available via The Gulf Auction honoring the 2010 BlogHer Voices of the Year, an online auction curated by Kirtsy. Each week will feature an auction of the art inspired by a different category, and every dollar will be donated to The Nature Conservancy to help clean up the Gulf of Mexico. You can click on this link for more information.  The auction is open until September 17, but since only a handful of work is being offered per week, you’ll want to check this out NOW and bookmark the site to come back often.  It’s open to the public; you don’t have to have been at BlogHer or be part of the BlogHer site or anything to bid. 

At the reception I took a few photos of some of the artwork that I was especially impressed with (there were so many others, too, but unfortunately my photos don’t do the work justice).  Here are some of the pieces I especially loved (and at least one or two that I might be bidding on).  I wish I had time to look up the artists’ names and link to the bloggers’ posts, but I don’t and I thought it was more important to get this post up and spread the word about the auction.

I love this because Betty’s room is this exact color of pink and she also has the exact same polka-dotted pink wall decals on her walls, too.  Plus, from the back, the little girl in the photo could be my Betty.   
This one is probably my favorite piece in the entire exhibit.  I seriously love this to no end.  I might be bidding on this.  (Where I’d put it, I don’t know … I’d love to hang it in the bathroom on the main floor.)  I love, love, love this. I think it would be perfect in a psychiatrist’s office, don’t you?
Remember when every female Facebook friend of ours was posting status updates that was really the color of her bra?  Susan from Toddler Planet does … and she is a breast cancer survivor who wrote one of my favorite posts EVER.  It’s called In the Name of Awareness” and it is such an emotional piece of writing, just as this is an emotional piece of artwork that connects to it.  (I was honored to meet Susan at BlogHer and tell her how powerful that post was.  Apparently others thought so too – 35,000 people have read it.  You should be the 35,001th.)

Liz Rizzo of Everyday Goddess was one of the BlogHer Voices of the Year and she read her piece, “Phone Karma” at the Community Keynote.  I had a chance to meet Liz at the reception, where she is pictured with the piece inspired by her post. (Florinda and I also sat with Liz, Donna from SoCalMom, and Beth from Fake Plastic Fish at breakfast the next morning. I was definitely in the minority with all the California bloggers at the table!)

As I said previously, The Gulf Auction honoring the 2010 BlogHer Voices of the Year is open to everyone, so check it out if the photos above are to your liking and you’re interested in supporting the cleanup efforts on the Gulf Coast.

I may not have gotten the art fix that I intended to in New York. But these masterpieces are better, as they will help us do our small part to help fix a wrong.

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo’s Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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Best of the Week: September 6-12

I didn’t get to much regular blog reading this week because I spent every night staying up until at least midnight reading through the nominees short-listed for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week awards. (Have you voted yet? If not, time’s a-wastin’! Go! Right here! Right now! There’s only a handful of minutes left before the voting closes tonight at 11:59 p.m. EST.)

But, I did manage to find some great links for you to check out …

Ree from Confessions of a Pioneer Woman certainly doesn’t need the shout-out from little ol’ me to attract you to her blog, but as someone who loved Ed Emberley’s books as a kid, I loved Ree’s post “Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals.”

See, I knew that Facebook can make you smarter (according to this post from Mashable!).

This story from Autism Vox isn’t the best story of the week, but one of the saddest. What the hell is wrong with whomever stole this family’s puppy? The fact the puppy was/is being trained as a service dog for two kids with autism makes this even more infuriating. (And if the thieves knew this was a service dog??! Well, you probably can figure out where I stand on that. There not enough punishment in the world.) I hope this family gets their pet back soon.

And finally, as we know, this week that marked the 8th anniversary since the world changed on September 11. Several items that I found of special interest included Gerald Posner’s piece from The Daily Beast, “The Man Who Saved the Capital” (truly a story worth reading) and Abigail Carter’s blog post from yesterday.

Abby is the author of The Alchemy of Loss (which I reviewed here) and writes the blog of the same name. Abby’s husband Arron died in the World Trade Center where he had been attending a trade show that fateful morning. On her blog yesterday, Abby wrote a powerful post about the 10 things she loves about September 11. I wrote of The Alchemy of Loss that it is “a testament to the power of renewal that life offers,” and so, indeed, is Abby’s post.

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Book Review: A Gift of a Memory: A Keepsake to Commemorate the Loss of a Loved One, by Marianne Richmond

A Gift of a Memory: A Keepsake to Commemorate the Loss of a Loved One, by Marianne Richmond

We spent the night before my grandfather’s funeral at my mother’s house since we all had to be up early. This would have required an inhumane (and quite possibly traffic-jammed) departure time from our home, so it was much easier for all of us to spend the night at my mom’s.

In the guest room, she had a a copy of this wonderful picture book for the kids. Betty, Boo, and I sprawled out on the bed and listened as my mom read it aloud to us. (I wonder how long it had been since my mom read me a bedtime story…?) I was immediately captivated and comforted (by a little more than just the book, I’ll admit.)

Some things seemed so usual
on that remembered day
The sun arose, the birds awoke
and kids came out to play

For most of us, the hours passed
much like the days before
We lost ourselves in busyness
and rushed from task to chore …

This is one of those books that may seem intended for children but is really a comfort for all ages. It gently guides the reader along the grief process, and there’s something soothing about the soft pastel illustrations and gentle lyrical rhymes that is akin to a balm for the grieving heart, whether you’re a child or a grownup. My mom mentioned that she purchased this for a child we know who lost her father very suddenly and unexpectedly, as well as for one of her best friends.

My father died when I was a teenager; had someone given me A Gift of a Memory back then, I would have treasured this.

Included in the book are several blank pages, as would be in a journal, to write memories and special thoughts of the loved one who has passed away. This would be a thoughtful gift for anyone, young or old, who has lost someone special.

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Boo, The Official Beatles Biographer

Going through Boo’s homework folder tonight, I came across a worksheet that he did in class. The bold responses are Boo’s answers.

Choose a book you like. Answer the question.

Book Title: The Life of John Lennon (this is an actual children’s book, for kids ages 9-12.)

What happens in the book? Write or draw details for each part.

Beginning: John Lennon was born in 1940. (Next to this he drew a stick figure labeled Julia and next to Julia, a stick figure labeled Alfred holding baby John.)

Middle: John Lennon met’s Paul McCartney. (Drawing is of a bespectacled, somewhat grim-faced John arm in arm with a open-mouthed singing Paul.)

End: John Lennon dies in age 40 on December 8, 1980. (Drawing is of an angry-looking Mark David Chapman shooting John Lennon, who is pictured sans eyes, nose or mouth.)

I’m guessing that Boo is the only 7 year old in our school’s history who has referenced Julia and Alf Lennon (much less Mark David Chapman) in his homework.

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