Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Lesson 1555 – Lessons Learned from Charlotte’s Web – Chapter 14

Charlotte’s Web Chapter 14 – Dr. Dorian  

Fern’s mother is upset that Fern spends so much time in the barn with the animals and not with her friends.

 

When Fern tells her about Charlotte’s relatives making a web that caught a fish and a web that acted like a balloon, Mrs. Arable doubts the story even though she admits that she’d also like to float away. Still, she thinks it not’s normal for Fern to spend so much time with animals so she decides to talk to Dr. Dorian, the family doctor about the situation.

 

Mrs. Arable tells Dr. Dorian that she’s worried about Fern spending time at the barn.

“How enchanting” he replies. “It must be real nice and quiet down there.”

 

Mrs. Arable then brings up the mysterious writing in the web. Dr. Dorian tells her that not only is writing in a web a miracle, but that the web itself is a miracle. Unlike knitting and crochet, no one teaches a spider how to weave a web, they just know.

 

It’s miraculous.

 

“I suppose,” says Mrs. Arable. “Still I don’t understand how those words got into the web. I don’t understand it and I don’t like anything I can’t understand.”

 

“None of us do,” said Dr. Dorian, sighing. “I’m a doctor. Doctors are supposed to understand everything. But I don’t understand everything and I don’t intend to let it worry me.”

 

Mrs. Arable then asks if Dr. Dorian believes that animals can talk. “I have never heard one say anything” he replied. “But that proves nothing. It is quite possible that an animal has spoken civilly to me and that I didn’t catch the remark because I wasn’t paying attention.”

 

After asking if Fern looks well, has a good appetite, and sleeps well. Dr. Dorian tells Mrs. Arable that she has nothing to worry about. Fern would not always be focused on animals – “it’s amazing how children change from year to year.”

 

Mrs. Arable leaves the doctor’s office, greatly relieved.

 

Chapter 14 Lessons Learned

 

Fern tells her mother the stories that Charlotte had told about her relatives.

Lesson Learned –.You know it’s a good story when the retelling can evoke emotion.

 

Mrs. Arable decides to check in with Dr. Dorian about Fern’s behavior.

Lesson Learned –.When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to get a second opinion.

 

Dr. Dorian imagines that the barn must be nice and quiet.

Lesson Learned – Perspective. Problems are almost always about perspective.

 

Mrs. Arable admits that she has concerns about the printing in the spider’s web.

Lesson Learned: A work of art is a miracle. Just because you don’t understand it, it doesn’t mean you have to fear it.

 

Dr. Dorian tells Mrs. Arable that although he hasn’t heard an animal talk it may be because he hasn’t paid close enough attention.

Lessons Learned: In order to hear others, you need to be quiet.

 

Dr. Dorian ascertains that Fern is well.

Lessons Learned: As long as you look (and feel healthy) have a good appetite and sleep well, you’ll be just fine. Focus on that.

 

Dr. Dorian assures Mrs. Arable that Fern is fine and that there is nothing to be worried about. When she got older, he assures her, she’ll change her focus from animals to boys.

Lesson Learned: Let your kids enjoy the magic of childhood for as long as they can. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

And then come the boys.

 

 

 

 

 

***

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1554 – Lessons Learned from Charlotte’s Web – Chapter 13

Charlotte’s Web Chapter 13 – Good Progress 

Charlotte spends the next night on her new creation, a web that spells out “Terrific.” She decides to use her thick dry web strands instead of her sticky ones to form the letters so that bugs wouldn’t get caught in the message. The little spider gets so absorbed in her work that she talks out loud all night as she spins her web.

 

Lurvy discovers the web the next morning. He tells Mr. Zuckerman who tells Mrs, Zuckerman who calls the Arables to tell them the miraculous news.

 

They all gather at Wilbur’s stall to look at the web in front of Wilbur who certainly felt terrific and puffed out his chest. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1553 – Lessons Learned from Charlotte’s Web – Chapter 12

Charlotte’s Web Chapter 12 – A Meeting 

 

 

 

A few days after the writing had appeared in Charlotte’s web, she calls a meeting for all the animals in the barn. She called the meeting to get new suggestions for a new message. “People are already getting sick of reading the words ‘Some Pig!’

A lamb suggests ‘Supreme Pig’ but that gets shot down. Then the goose suggests ‘Terrific’ which everyone thinks is a wonderful suggestion.

“But Charlotte,” said Wilbur. “I’m not terrific.”

“That doesn’t make a particle of difference,” replied Charlotte. “Not a particle. People believe almost anything they see in print.”

There is a discussion about how to spell “terrific” and the old sheep suggests that Templeton the rat who visits the dump can bring back bits of magazines with words they can use.

All agree that Templeton would never help out.

The old sheep begs to differ telling everyone that all he has to do is appeal to Templeton’s baser instincts.

When Templeton joins the group, the old sheep asks him to bring back magazine clippings for Charlotte to use in order to save Wilbur’s life.

“Let him die,” the rat declares.

It is only when the old sheep reminds Templeton that his destiny is tied with Wilbur’s in that if Wilbur dies, there will be no daily leftover food for Templeton that he changes his mind.

The meeting is adjourned so that Charlotte can get to work on creating “terrific” in her web.

But I’m not terrific, Charlotte, I’m just an average pig.”

“You’re terrific as far as I’m concerned,” replied Charlotte, sweetly, “and that’s what counts. You’re my best friend, and I think you’re sensational. Now story arguing and get some sleep.”

 

Chapter 12 Lessons Learned

 

Charlotte calls a barn meeting to get ideas.

Lesson Learned –. The more people who contribute, the more ideas from which you have to choose.

 

People believe almost anything they see in print.

Lesson Learned – Geesh – some things never change.

 

Templeton only agrees to get magazine clippings when he realizes what he will lose if Wilbur is killed.

Lesson Learned –If you want people to change their behavior then you need to point out what’s in it for them.

 

When Wilbur doubts that he is terrific. Charlotte comforts him by telling him that she thinks he is terrific and that’s what counts.

Lessons Learned: Never underestimate the power of a best friend.

***

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1552 – Lessons Learned from Charlotte’s Web – Chapter 11

Charlotte’s Web Chapter 11 – The Miracle 

The next morning was foggy which meant that tiny beads of water attached themselves to Charlotte’s web making it sparkle in the sun and stand out.

Lurvy notices the web when he brings Wilbur his breakfast and he sees “Some Pig” woven into the stands. This is the message that Charlotte had worked all night as her plan to save Wilbur.

Lurvy alerts Mr. Zuckerman to the web who then tells Mrs. Zuckerman about it letting her know that they have “no ordinary pig.”

“Seems to me,” Mrs Zuckerman replies “that it means we have no ordinary spider.”

“Oh no,” said Zuckerman. “It’s the pig that unusual. It says so right there in the middle of the web.”

Luvry, and Mr. and Mrs. Zuckerman go to the barn and spend time looking at the web.

“You know,” he said in an important voice, “I’ve thought all along that that pig of ours was an extra good one. He’s a solid pig”

Lurvy gets into his Sunday suit and goes to the minister’s house to tell him about the miracle had happened in the barn.

“Don’t’ tell anybody else,: said the minister.” We don’t know what it means yet, but perhaps if I give though to it, I can explain it in my sermon next Sunday.”

But secrets are hard to keep. Before long news spread and everyone in the county knew that a sign had appeared in a spider’s web.

When Fern tells her mother that Avery had tried to knock the spider down with a stick, she sends him to bed without his supper as punishment.

With everyone visiting the barn, things that normally got done did not. Blackberries ripened and left unpicked meaning no blackberry jam was put up. The corn needed hoeing but Lurvy couldn’t find the time to hoe it.

On Sunday the minister announced to his flock that the words on the spider’s web proved that human being must always be on the watch for the coming of wonders.

 

Chapter 11 Lessons Learned

 

When Charlotte writes “Some Pig” in her web it gets noticed.

Lesson Learned – Never underestimate the power of the written word.

 

Mr. Zukerman tells Mrs. Zuckerman that the sign means that they have an unusual pig, but she thinks it means that they have an unusual spider.

Lesson Learned –. Sure, the woman does the work, but the man gets the credit. Some things never change.

 

Mr. Zuckerman changes his mind about Wilbur and now thinks that he’s a special pig.

Lesson Learned –Sensationalism often convinces people of things they might never have believed.

 

The minister tells Zuckerman to not let anyone know about the sign so that he could think on it and talk about it at the next sermon.

Lesson Learned –Sometimes signs are for everyone. .

 

So many people come to the barn that the regular farm work is interrupted and food planned for the winter does not get picked. .

Lesson Learned – Being famous is no good if you don’t have food on the table.

 

On Sunday the minister tells everyone that the sign in the web means that humans must be on the lookout for other signs indicating the “coming of wonders.”

Lessons Learned: It’s easy to overlook the little details when all you focus on is the big picture.

 

***

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1551 – Lessons Learned from Charlotte’s Web – Chapter 10

Charlotte’s Web Chapter 10 – An Explosion 

Charlotte, after spending lots of time upside down (so that the blood will go to her head and she could think better), comes up with a plan to save her friend Wilbur.

Meanwhile Fern and her brother Avery spend the day having fun. First they visit the kitchen where their mother offers them a slice of fresh blueberry pie. Avery’s frog escapes and causes havoc resulting in them being thrown out of the kitchen.

The two go to the barn and spend an hour swinging on a scary, but fun rope swing.

They then go to the fields and eat raspberries until Fern eats one with a bug in it.

Next they go to the barn where Avery spots Charlotte and wants to capture her. He grabs a stick intending to knock her down and climbs onto the trough to reach her. The trough turns over breaking the unhatched egg and releasing all kinds of horrible gases and smells.

The children run home in disgust leaving the animals in the barn to discuss their situation.

“I’m delighted that the egg never hatched,” said the goose when told the story, proud that she had played a part in Charlotte’s rescue.

Wilbur is fed dinner by Lurvey and decides to leave some aside for Templeton who lost his egg but saved the day.

Now that everything has calmed down in the barn and the animals are going to sleep, Charlotte begins work on her plan to save her friend.

 

Chapter 10 Lessons Learned

 

After thinking for many days, Charlotte finally comes up with a plan to save Wilbur’s life.

Lesson Learned – Give it time, if you stick with it, you’ll be able to figure a way out of your mess.

 

Avery brings his frog into the kitchen and it jumps into soapy water which gets on the blueberry pie.

Lesson Learned –. A little obvious, but seriously, frogs do not belong in the kitchen.

 

Even though local mothers worried about their children playing on the “dangerous” Zuckerman swing, no child had ever gotten hurt.

Lesson Learned – Children almost always hold onto things tighter than their parents think they will.

 

Fern eats a raspberry with a bug in it.

Lesson Learned – Hey, sometimes raspberries have bugs, next time look before you eat.

 

When Avery fell onto the rotten egg, it broke releasing a horrible smell which ended up saving Charlotte’s life.

Lesson Learned – Sometimes things happen for a reason.

 

Templeton was happy about his role in saving Charlotte’s life. “It pays to save things. I never throw anything away.”

Lesson Learned –. Even though the egg helped save Charlotte, it pays to save things *within* reason. Useless things need to go sooner rather than later. He got lucky with this one.

 

Wilbur is fed dinner by Farmer Lurvey and remembering that Templeton’s egg had saved Charlotte’s life, leave a whole noodle for his friend.

Lesson Learned –. Remember to thank your friends when they do something nice.

 

Once everyone starts to nod off, Charlotte begins work on her plan to save Wilbur’s life.

Lesson Learned –.Some of your best work can often be done once the kids go to sleep.

 

***

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1550 – Lessons Learned from Charlotte’s Web – Chapter 9

Charlotte’s Web Chapter 9 – Wilbur’s Boast

Routines are established in the barn. Wilbur naps and Charlotte repairs her web (even though spider webs are strong) from the daily damage caused by flies being caught.

To Wilbur, it looks easy making a web and so he asks Charlotte for instructions.

“First, you have to go somewhere high and then attach your spinneret and hurl yourself out into space, leaving a dragline as you go.” she explains.

Wilbur goes to the top of the manure pile and tries to start a web but when by hurling himself off the pile. He lands face first with no web for his effort.

Even after he attaches a bit of string given to him by Templeton, to his tail, he still can’t start a web.

Wilbur becomes dejected at his poor web building skills.

“Cheer up” rallies Charlotte, “the farmer brings you three big meals a day, you don’t need a web to catch your food.”

Charlotte comforts Wilbur by telling him that although he could try, in the end it’s spiders who make the best webs. She tells him about the Queensborough bridge, a large man-made web that took 8 years to build. “They don’t even catch anything on the bridge,” she tells him, “they just trot back and forth looking for something better on the other side.”

Wilbur decides to take a nap. He listens to the barn noises and smells Lurvey outside under the tree with his pipe. He is content but then he thinks of his conversation with the goose and he suddenly realizes that he doesn’t want to die.

Wilbur asks if Charlotte was serious when she said that she would come up with a plan to save him.

“I was never more serious in my life. I am not going to let you die Wilbur.”

But Charlotte needs to think more about her plan and tells Wilbur that the way he can help her is to try and build himself up. “I want you to get plenty of sleep, and stop worrying, Never hurry and never worry. Chew your food thoroughly and eat every bit of it, except you must leave just enough for Templeton. Gain weight and stay well – that’s the way you can help. Keep fit and don’t lose your nerve.”

Wilbur accepts her advice and after getting up to eat the last bit of mashed potatoes in his trough, he, Fern, and Charlotte say Good night to each other.

 

Chapter 9 Lessons Learned

 

Charlotte can make a web and although Wilbur tries, he can’t.

Lesson Learned – We all have individual gifts, it’s up to us to use those gifts in order to make our and other lives better. If you were born a weaver then weave.

 

The Queensborough bride, a manmade web, seems pointless as no food ever gets caught. People just go back and forth on it all day.

Lesson Learned –Sometimes a web is not a web.

 

Wilbur is afraid of dying.

Lesson Learned –When faced with mortality, it’s okay to be afraid.

 

Charlotte comforts Wilbur by telling him that she is working on a plan. “I will not let you die” She tells him.

Lesson Learned –Hope is the ultimate slayer of all darkness.

 

Charlotte isn’t a mother but she sure could be one.

Bonus Lesson – When things seem a little overwhelming, it’s best to:

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Stop worrying
  • Never hurry and never worry
  • Chew your food thoroughly
  • Eat every bit of it – don’t be wasteful
  • Share food and good times with friends.
  • Gain weight
  • Stay well
  • Keep fit
  • Don’t lose your nerve

***

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1549: 2017 NH Border-to-border walk

Griffin and I are back from our 2017 Border-to-border New Hampshire walk.  As always we returned with lots of lessons learned. I’ll be writing up our adventures (just like I did from last year’s), but for now here are some tips for anyone who might be planning day-long walks.

 

  1. Water – make sure you start the day off with at least 2 liters of water. Large, tall slim water bottles (for example Smart water) fit well into backpack side pockets. For a daily 12 mile walk, we’d allocate ½ bottle of water for every 3 miles. Small sips are better than drinking a lot at once, however, always drink if you are thirsty and never refuse a glass of water or drink when in a restaurant or at a store.

Related: Always stash toilet paper and napkins in your pack. Often when you drink that amount of water quickly, you need to pee. Out of necessity, true hikers learn how to quickly pee in the woods.

 

  1. A hat – I had some skin cancer surgery prior to our walk. My doctor advised I used a strong sun block (50 SPF) as well as sunglasses and wear a hat with at least a 3 inch brim all around (baseball caps are no good.) I used two different hats, one was water-proof on the days I needed to keep the rain out of my eyes, and the other was a cotton floppy hat with ventilation near the crown. My hat had a chin strap which came in handy when large trucks drove by and the wind threatened to blow my hat away. When we walked through the woods, bug spray on the hat kept insects away from my face and ears.

 

  1. Food – Don’t’ worry so much about food. Always carry some kind of power bar, but if you eat a breakfast and then start your day, worst case is that you’ll not eat until the evening (at which point that food is going to taste great.) If there’s food, eat it, if not, no worries, there will be some soon. One of our most memorable lunches was the day we spent walking for 10 miles in the woods. There were no stores. Lunch was a power bar with water in a quiet peaceful cemetery. We survived.

 

  1. Rewards – Early on we discovered that motivational candy did wonders. Each day we’d squirrel away 3 pieces of hard candy and we’d break them out when we had 4 then 2 miles to go and then we’d eat the last candy in celebration of having reached our goal at the end of our day.

 

  1. Blisters – be prepared for them. The best defense is to get used to the socks and shoes you will be wearing. But even if you are used to the shoes, there’s a good chance you’ll get blisters. Make sure you carry blister bandages (they have a “jell” section that goes over the blister), regular bandages, tape, moleskin and scissors. If you can take your shoes off at stops and be sure to change into open sandals (flip-flops work well) at the end of the day.

 

  1. Ground cloth – Quite by accident I had packed a plastic bag in which to roll my raincoat in so I could carry it outside of my pack. I ditched the raincoat, but the bag stayed in my pack. Early on in our walk when we were looking for a dry place to sit, I pulled the bag out, ripped it in half and for the rest of the trip we used it every time we sat on the ground. It weighed nothing and provided a lot of bug and moisture protection when we took breaks.

 

  1. Pockets – During one walk I made the mistake of wearing shorts that didn’t have any pockets. Big problem. I couldn’t carry my chapstick or my phone for taking photos. Deep pockets are a must.

 

  1. Zip plastic bags – we ran into a lot of rain. Our packs had rain covers but had we not also packed everything inside of zip plastic bags it would have been soaking. We also had extra bags to protect our phones when it rained.

 

  1. Music – In the morning when it was cooler and our legs were rested we had conversations. After lunch when we’d start to get tired, we’d plug into music (using only one earbud so we could still hear things around us.) It’s quite the experience to walk through the woods listening to the musical Pippin. On the trail I lost my original MP3 player, a small replacement was well worth its $15 price tag.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized