Old Mirror Frame Repurposed

I was driving past a local antique store and this piece caught my eye.

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I can’t really explain why.  It just did.  It’s part of a frame of an old mirror that was built to sit atop a dresser.
I like it upside down.  It looks like someone cut a sliver off  an old table or something.  I bought it.

I liked the detail on the wood, too.

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I also like the distressed edges (of course).

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I’m trying to do a better job of purchasing only things that will be useful, things that I have a purpose for (and space too!).  I confess this piece was one that I had no clue what to do with.  I brought it home and put it in my office to think about it.

And then I looked about 2 feet to my left and saw the mirror leaning on the wall atop my fabric cabinet.
And I thought “I wonder….”

And what do you know, it fits perfectly atop the mirror.

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I think I like it.  It’s a little unexpected, but I sort of like that.

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Yes, I know the window needs curtains.  It’s on my list.  The only trouble is, the room has 6 windows, which is probably a major reason why there still aren’t any.  Plus, I love all the natural light in that room.

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So there’s my old mirror frame turned architectural detail.  Kind of fun.
It’s also the record holder for the fastest time in going from “where to put it” to “aha!”

I can handle that.

The Giant Jam Sandwich

Fresh rolls and strawberry jam always make me want to read this book.
I think it is my favorite book from childhood.
I really love it.

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First published in 1972, I’m so glad it’s still around.

It’s called the Giant Jam Sandwich, by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway.

The story begins with this verse:
“One hot summer in Itching Down,
Four million wasps flew into town.”

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In a fun, rhyming, sing-song text the book chronicles the disruptions of the wasps.
The town gathers to find a solution, but no one has any good ideas.
Until… the baker suggests making a giant jam sandwich to catch the wasps.

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They set to work baking a two-story sized loaf of bread, which is then sliced
and hauled to a farmer’s field where they spread out the jam.

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“Suddenly the sky was humming!
All four million wasps were coming!
They smelled that jam, they dived and struck!
And they ate so much that they all got stuck.”

You learn how they ultimately get rid of the wasps and the wasp-filled sandwich, and the town returns to normal.  It’s a great story of cooperation and creativity.
This book is so much fun to read aloud.   I have always loved reading it to my kids.
My children love finding silly things in the illustrations, like the farmer whose tractor is somehow flying with the help of balloons and a propeller.
In all my years as a mother, I have never met anyone who knows of this book, but I think it’s a gem.
Enjoy your jam sandwiches!

When Dinosaurs Came With Everything

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This is a great “mom” book.

It’s not written for moms, but I give it to moms.
It’s called When Dinosaurs Came with Everything, by Elise Broach.
David Small is the illustrator, and I like a lot of his work.
The book begins with a boy who is, as usual, unhappy about running errands with his mother.  But the tables are turned when they discover that this day is different.

They walk into the doughnut shop, buy a box of doughnuts, and a dinosaur comes with the purchase.

A real dinosaur.  A huge dinosaur.
The boy and his mother quickly discover that every purchase or service that day comes with a complimentary dinosaur.  The boy is celebrating; the mom is panicking.

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This continues as they complete their checklist of errands, and you see happy kids all over town and tired looking moms with dinosaurs following them.  At last they go home, and mom sends the boy and his new pets to the backyard while she tries to recover.  After a little while, she comes to the window to watch, and sees one dinosaur fly to the roof to fetch a frisbee for her son.

She watches for a long time, and an idea is born.

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She puts the dinosaurs to work, coming up with a way to use each dinosaur’s strengths to her advantage.

I love the last page of the book.

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She calls the doughnut shop to see if they have any doughnuts left.
They do.
So they go buy the rest of the doughnuts, which means they get the rest of the dinosaurs.
And her son knows that everything will work out fine.

Whenever I finish reading this book I think to myself  “What a great mom!”
Last May I had a breakfast for some mothers that I really admire.
I read this book to them and gave them each a copy of it.

Motherhood brings a lot of dinosaurs into your life.
Not bad things, necessarily, but unplanned things, big things, things that make us tired.
Many of them are things that our children will love, but they sure complicate life.
I think one of the signs of a great mom is one who can take the overwhelming things and learn to use them for good.
I am thankful for all the moms I know who handle their dinosaurs with determination, wisdom and grace.
They give me courage to handle my own.

So if you’re dealing with some dinosaurs today, see if you can’t get your hands on a copy of this book soon, and it will warm your heart.

I’m off to brainstorm ways to put my dinosaurs to work!

Jennifer

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