Monday, November 5, 2018

Miriam Haefner: Recording the Sky

One of Miri's Moons

I have been fascinated by the moon pretty much my whole life!

An early recollection?  When I was about 8 years old, I summoned my older brother to my bedroom.  He was six years older and could solve problems for me. I wondered what the light was that glowed on my blanket.  He took one look outside, saw the bright full moon in the sky and declared that the moon was actually shining down in through my bedroom window onto my bed.  I wondered how that could be. The moon was so far away, up in the sky.  I used my hand to create a shadow – and I did. There were no outside lights on the house and no street lights.  I actually had the moon light shining in my bedroom. Awesome!

On July 20th, 1969 - I recall sitting on the living room floor in my parents' house, watching television as the first men walked on the moon.  My father insisted that this was a big moment.  He was right.

When my sister had kids, I often would point out the moon to them as we walked in their local neighborhood.  The days came when they had to move out of the United States, over the Atlantic Ocean, to the country of Luxembourg.  I burst into tears when I saw the semi-trailer moving van in their driveway.  They were really leaving.

For three years I would not see these kids that I had known since their births.  How would we stay connected?  Before they left the U.S., I told them to notice the moon, especially the full moons.  When they saw the moon up in their skies on Luxembourg nights; it was the same moon that I would have here.  I told them that I would talk to the moon and tell it to take care of my kids – so far away.  I told the kids to talk to the moon and tell “Miri’s moon” to watch over me.

I even looked up the names of the monthly moons: Harvest Moons, Blue Moons...  Why does the moon sometimes look especially large and close, and sometimes so far away?  An orange glowing moon is really special as it fills the sky.  So much can be learned about the moon!

While my sister's family was living in Luxembourg, my sister, Lori Runk, was aware of her kids' and my fascination with the moon.  She painted this picture for me.

Painting by Lori Runk
Photo by Miriam Haefner

I love teddy bears and she added a bear to the picture, which has the full moon shining bright outside in the night.  The picture still hangs in my computer room.  The kids are all grown, but they remember the story surrounding my picture.  “Miri’s Moon.”

Back on December 20, 2017, I decided that I would like to see if December 21st was really the date that the days started getting longer in Buffalo, NY.  I had always been told it was so.  Technically, yes is the answer.  Daylight is shortest on December 20th at 9 hours, 1 minute and six seconds.  Daylight is longest on June 20th at 15 hours and 21 minutes.

But, if you look at sunrise and sunset numbers, the story changes a bit.  On December 8th, 2017 - sunset times started getting later from an earliest time of 4:41:11pm.  Sunrise times started getting earlier from a latest time of 7:47:26am on January 2nd.

So, even though December 20th is the day noted for being the shortest, other features of sunrise and sunset are in play.

Since December 2017, I have been making daily listings of sunrise and sunset times.   I decided that I wanted to know when I was losing the darkness!  I enjoy dark mornings when I can sleep in so snugly!  To my delight, from December 20th until January 2nd, sunrise kept getting later.  It did not come earlier on December 21st!  On December 20th, sunrise was at 7:43am; January 2nd, it was 7:47am.  I got three more minutes of darkness – for sleeping!  Sunrise did not get back to 7:43am, until January 16th.  Who would have guessed?

So I checked the sunset times.  From November 26th, sunset went from 4:44pm to the earliest of 4:41pm on December 8th.  By December 20th, three minutes of daylight had been added to my day – back to 4:44pm.  By January 2nd, sunset was at 4:53pm.

Over the years, I have found many moon items.  Halloween has many full moons!  Jewelry can be purchased with all the phases of the moon.  The full moon is my favorite.

Here are 3 pages of my daily notes, from June 17th to August 31st, 2018.  

Miri's Notes
Photo by Miriam Haefner

For sunrise and sunset hours, I used the daily edition of THE BUFFALO NEWS, but a smart phone will have the information as well.  For purposes of writing this article, I supplemented my time recordings with full hours, minutes and seconds found online.




THE BUFFALO NEWS
Photo by Miriam Haefner

Being an accountant, tracking numbers interested me!  I have now tracked the sunrise and sunset numbers, as published in THE BUFFALO NEWS on a daily basis, since December 20th, 2017. 


I learned some fun things:
  • Daylight times change from a high range of 2, 3 or 4 minutes per day (never 5 minutes), to a low of 0, 1 or 2 minutes per day. 
  • Between February 14th (Valentine’s Day) and February 20th - over 7 days we gained 21 minutes of daylight.  Days were changing quickly.
  • March 17th had sunrise and sunset times of 7:24 - am and pm.
  • September 26th had sunrise and sunset times of 7:07am and 7:06pm.
  • May 4th, was the last day we gained 4 minutes of daylight – in one day - (the usual was 2,3 or 4 minutes per day) before heading into summer. 
  • From June 18th to 23rd, there were 6 days that sunrise and sunset times did not lengthen or shorten the daylight hours.  Hmmm…  Talk about the seemingly long days of summer?  It is true. It feels like the days are long – and there are many of them.  
  • From June 20th until 14 days later – on July 3rd, sunset stayed at 8:58pm.  Over those 14 days, we only lost 5 minutes of daylight from our mornings.  Note:  Remember to appreciate June 20th to July 3rd each year – time is yours to spend freely on long days!
  • It wasn’t until August 2nd that we started losing 4 minutes of daylight in one day.  August has a knack for catching us off guard – summer is fading away.  It really does.
  • Between October 14th and October 20th - over 7 days we lost 20 minutes of daylight.
  • Our earliest sunrise was 5:36am on June 11th.  Our latest sunrise was Jan 2nd at 7:47am.
  • Our earliest sunset was 4:41pm on December 8th.  Our latest sunset was June 26th at 8:58:27pm.

Additionally:
  • Around April 16th, I decided to start tracking the moon phases.  New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon and Last Quarter.  Honestly, I could not have told you the difference between a crescent moon of the First Quarter and the Last Quarter.  The difference?  The brightness of the moon you see on the First Quarter in on the right side of the moon.  Brightness is on the left side for the Last Quarter.  So when you look up in the sky at night, you can tell by looking at a crescent moon, as to whether the Full Moon has passed you by or if it is coming up within a few days.
  • I find the full moon fascinating.  The brightness is intriguing.  Have more odd events seemed to happen in your life on days when the moon was full?  Hmmm….
  • If someone comments on what time sunset is – you know the answer; if you can remember what you wrote down on your daily note pad.
  • I came to notice that there was extra light in the sky 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset – “Twilight”.  Extra minutes every day.  I can finish cutting my lawn on cool fall evenings.
Even when life doesn’t go the way we like at times, it is important to remember that each night the moon will still be waiting for us up in the sky.

Try It:

On your own, try tracking sunrise and sunset numbers on a daily basis.  I did not track the differences in daylight each day until a month into the process.  I became curious as to the numerical patterns.  Warning - the math does get a little confusing when sunrise and sunset are not both increasing or decreasing at the same time!  I could have used a spreadsheet to track the numbers, but did not.  I kept the note pad on my refrigerator, so that I could easily record the numbers daily.

No rules – create your own format!


Note from Amy:

You might also find inspiration through NASA - don't miss this Moon Observation Journal!

Miriam Haefner is a moon-interested aunt and accountant living in the Buffalo, NY area.

With gratitude to Miriam, I will be offering a giveaway of a beautiful moon journal (recycled paper & silver ink) made by blackbird letterpress to a commenter on this post.  Please comment by Friday, November 30th with a way to contact you, and I will announce the winner's name on Saturday, December 1.

Notebook by blackbird letterpress

Please know that Sharing Our Notebooks welcomes all kinds of notebook keepers - of any age and interest - to open up their pages and share their process.  At the present time, I am accepting all notebook entries and am especially hoping to receive some entries from boys and men who keep any kind of notebooks.  If you are interested in writing in this space, please contact me, Amy, directly.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


Monday, August 27, 2018

New Year...New Notebooks!

Beginning Again
Photo by Amy LV

Dear Notebooking Friends,

Happy New School Year to many of us!  This year I look forward to spending time here, sharing more posts about keeping notebooks, celebrating the notebooks of writers, artists, and collectors of all ages.

Writing in a notebook can be a funny thing.  At times, I find it difficult to begin. But once I'm off...I'm off, and the more frequently I write, the more at home I feel in my book.  It helps me to set aside time each day to write, and it is during this time that I discover who I am right now, what means most to me on this day now.  My best rhythm is to begin each day by writing three pages, as I learned to do long ago from Julia Cameron's book THE ARTIST'S WAY.  Right now I am writing in this leather notebook.  I love that it is refillable and hope to write in it for years to come.

Tree Notebook!
Photo by Amy LV

I always save the first few pages of a notebook for quotes which I gather from my reading and listening.  These are word treasures.  I tuck photographs, cards, and other snips of paperlife into my notebook and sometimes glue these right to the pages.

Quotes & Bits of Life
Photo by Amy LV

At the moment, I am also keeping another small notebook, one I owned for a long time and kept empty for a long time. This notebook I am keeping for 100 days. I am keeping it for a special project, one I simply call 100 Carved Erasers.

Long Fabric Notebook
Photo by Amy LV

Each day for 100 days (today is Day #39), I am carving an eraser into a rubber stamp.  I stamp each one into this book, four per page.

4 Stamps per Page x 25 Pages =100 Stamps!
Photo by Amy LV

I will use some of these stamps to make cards and perhaps some to make wrapping paper.  Mostly, I like carving them because doing this each day forces me to think in images and to play with shape in new and surprising ways. 

Weekend Stamps
Photo by Amy LV

I am also learning that some designs look snazzy when they repeat, and so I play with the stamps in my big writing notebook too.

Saturday's Stamp 8 Times
Photo by Amy LV

The blank pages of notebooks provide endless possibility and place for play. Last year at The Poem Farm, I shared this poem about how even though I may struggle when facing the blank page, I love it all the same...


I love peeking into others' notebooks and having the opportunity to share many pages here at Sharing Our Notebooks. Please know that I extend this sharing invitation to you, whether you are an individual or a class of students.  If you wish to share pages with readers here, please just send me an e-mail, and I will get back to you.  If you are under 18, please send the e-mail with a parent or teacher as I will only respond to e-mails from adults.

Please make yourself at home exploring this space; you will find many notebook photos and videos and lists of great books about notebooking. And as the year goes on, I'll be tidying and moving things around a bit to make the site even more friendly.

Every page is a new beginning, and I am grateful to my notebooks for teaching me this over and over and over again.

Peace,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Reflection on a Takeover

How is it possible that May has ended? Amy & I stumbled onto this idea of inviting my sixth-grade students to take over this space and boy did they rise to the challenge. They hustled to get these blog posts written and revised and edited. They did this in a month filled with state tests and end of year craziness. They did this as an invitation with no grade or points attached. They did this with joy and persistence and enthusiasm. Each post inspired me. Each word carefully was chosen. Each photograph picked, especially for the post. 

I learned things about my students that I didn't know before this #6thgradeblogtakeover. I learned how many of them didn't consider themselves writers before this year. I learned how they share an addiction to pens with me. I learned their passion for writing comes from the freedom to express themselves inside the pages of their notebooks. 

Each entry delighted me. Each comment brought me such joy. My students. My bloggers. My writers. My notebookers. They showed up. They wrote and they accomplished so much. This challenge reminded me to give them more opportunities for an authentic audience to read their writing. It showed me, once again, how vital that is to writers.

Notebookers unite. We notebook-ed all year and we are so grateful for the chance to share our notebooks with the world! Thank you to each and every reader who read our words, especially those readers who left comments. Comments feed writers! We are leaving this month changed and inspired. If we weren't writers before, we are certainly writers now. Let's do it again sometime!

Thank you again to these writers from Michelle Haseltine's sixth-grade classes, for taking over Sharing Our Notebooks this month.  What a delight! Please check in each Saturday morning in May to see who wins each week's notebook giveaway!

Please know that Sharing Our Notebooks welcomes all kinds of notebook keepers - of any age and interest - to open up their pages and share their process.  If you are interested in writing in this space, please contact me, Amy, directly.  I welcome you!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Finding Beauty in the Pages of My Notebook


I love poetry and I totally forgot. What I mean by that is, last year we did poetry at the beginning of the year but, this unit is lasting longer than I expected. I really thought that I stunk at it, but when I tried harder I figured out that I can write it pretty decently.


I have enjoyed poetry so much recently that any time I hear or see something good I fall right in and I get stuck inside my happy place and decide to write a poem or two. Also, it's almost my birthday so if you want to check out my birthday blog post, visit my blog at Dreamers Blog. Thanks for reading my Blog Takeover!


Thank you again to these writers from Michelle Haseltine's sixth-grade classes, for taking over Sharing Our Notebooks this month.  What a delight! Please check in each Saturday morning in May to see who wins each week's notebook giveaway!

Please know that Sharing Our Notebooks welcomes all kinds of notebook keepers - of any age and interest - to open up their pages and share their process.  If you are interested in writing in this space, please contact me, Amy, directly.  I welcome you!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Notebook Poetry

Hello, My name is Faith! In my notebook, I love writing poetry. I usually just think of random things that interest me and write a poem about it! Here’s one of my favorites:

PENS

Pens, pens
Wonderful pens.

You can draw lions-
Even their dens.

They can be
ANGRY

They can be
MAD

They can be
HAPPY,

But they can also be
Sad.

You can draw roosters,
You can draw hens

Pens, pens
Wonderful pens.

I hope you liked it! I always write poems that rhyme. It is so much easier for me than free verse. I am always stumped on what to write about, but when I am stumped I just look around the room or think of things that I like. In my notebook, I like making a list of the ideas that I would want to use one day if I am REALLY stumped. One day I had no idea what to write about, and I looked out the window and it was raining! I then created this poem:

RAIN
Rain, rain
Please go away.

Think of all the events that you delay.

You delay swim meets, baseball games, and cross country, too.

Rain, rain
I’m sorry, but no one likes you.


I’ve also written a poem about sunshine!

SUNSHINE

Bright as honey, warm and sunny
The sun shines down on a bunny.

It’s super yellow, like mac ‘n cheese
It makes people happy, especially me!

It smiles down it’s toothy grin
People frolic and dance and spin
The air is warm, and smiles are big
It makes me want to dance a jig!

It’s super fun to play outside
And all the rain on the ground is dried

But when the clouds come rolling in,
I’ll wait for sunshine to come again.

When I’m rhyming, I go through the alphabet and say each word with the letters of the alphabet. I like writing down the alphabet in my notebook, then go through each letter of the it and write down each possible combination for the word I am trying to rhyme with. It looks like this:
Then, I underline (or highlight) The real words or the words that could relate with the poem. Here it is:

Lastly, I love using pens! No matter if it is my rough rough draft or my final final draft, I always love to use pens. In the pages of my notebook, I like to make them as colorful and as lively as possible. Having a ‘testing page’ for pens is awesome because I can test out pens that I’m curious about. I like doing this especially if I get new pens! Here’s another example:

I hope you learned some notebooking tips that incorporate poetry! If you want some more of Faith, follow my blog at Sharpies, Pens, And Everything Else! Thank you for reading!

    -Faith:)


BIOGRAPHY:
My name is Faith! I love writing poetry, playing softball, and doing calligraphy(I would also say I’m pretty good at it). I also love spending time with my family and playing with my guinea pig, Thor. Check out my blog at Sharpies, Pens, And Everything Else!
Thank you again to these writers from Michelle Haseltine's sixth-grade classes, for taking over Sharing Our Notebooks this month.  What a delight! Please check in each Saturday morning in May to see who wins each week's notebook giveaway!

Please know that Sharing Our Notebooks welcomes all kinds of notebook keepers - of any age and interest - to open up their pages and share their process.  If you are interested in writing in this space, please contact me, Amy, directly.  I welcome you!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Most Important and Essential Writing Tools

Every writer needs notebooks and every notebook needs… pens! Notebooks aren’t complete without pens.

There are flair pens.


There are gel pens.

There are brush pens.

There are sharpies.

There are crayola markers.


And then there are just regular pens.

Pens add color to our notebooks. Without pens I wouldn’t enjoy writing in my notebook. I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed writing at all if there were no pens.Your thoughts, words, and expressions all come on the notebook through pens.  Happy and sad, exciting and boring, pens are always with you.

Hi, I am Pen Lover. I am in Ms. Haseltine’s sixth grade English class. Writing is something I love to do, I really can’t do a day without writing. Writing helps me think and express myself.  Other than writing I like to play with my dog, play piano, and dance. If you can’t tell with my name and this blog post, I LOVE pens! I also have a blog called A Journey as a Writer, please make sure to check my blog out.


Thank you again to these writers from Michelle Haseltine's sixth-grade classes, for taking over Sharing Our Notebooks this month.  What a delight! Please check in each Saturday morning in May to see who wins each week's notebook giveaway!

Please know that Sharing Our Notebooks welcomes all kinds of notebook keepers - of any age and interest - to open up their pages and share their process.  If you are interested in writing in this space, please contact me, Amy, directly.  I welcome you!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Express Yourself

At first, before I started notebooking, writing was not something I really enjoyed, and I couldn’t even call it a hobby. When I came into sixth grade English, my love for writing grew tenfold as I got to “know” it better.



Ever since I started keeping a notebook, I always tried to customize it, to make it reflect my personality. I decorated the covers, used my favorite colors, and added tons of drawings. I wanted my notebook to express me, but also be unique. How do you express yourself with your notebook?

Something else that got me thinking about my notebook was a post that one of my fellow classmates had written on May 10th. He said that he had named his notebook and I thought, Well, my current notebook already has eyes, so what if I were to name mine? Do you have any ideas for what I should call it? I would love some suggestions!


Hi! I’m AAA and I am a student in Ms. Haseltine’s sixth grade class. I love to create art, read, and of course, write. When I’m not doing any of those things, I enjoy hanging out with my friends. You can find more of my writing in my blog, The Reader Life.


Thank you again to these writers from Michelle Haseltine's sixth-grade classes, for taking over Sharing Our Notebooks this month.  What a delight! Please check in each Saturday morning in May to see who wins each week's notebook giveaway!

Please know that Sharing Our Notebooks welcomes all kinds of notebook keepers - of any age and interest - to open up their pages and share their process.  If you are interested in writing in this space, please contact me, Amy, directly.  I welcome you!

Please share a comment below if you wish.