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Marvelous Mom Makes My Day



We have a lovely lake right in the heart of Seattle. Actually we have more than one, but this one is called Greenlake. To walk all the way around is almost 3 miles, so it is much bigger than Puddlefoot Pond down on Runt Farm.

I love to walk around this place, take pictures, catch snippets of conversation, and check out the turtles that congregate on a certain log. There are even a number of Geo Caches along the way, but that’s a subject for another time.

One day walking along I saw a young Mom who was a few steps ahead of her toddler. Just as we passed the little one bent down, picked up a little rock, and held it up. She made a totally unintelligible, but clearly important statement about her find. At that her mother turned and said, “Is that a good one?”

The answer came swiftly and was certainly in the affirmative, though again it was given in child-speak.

In an instant I was charmed by both of these strangers – especially a Mom who allowed her daughter to explore the world at her own speed, was not alarmed about a little playing in the dirt, and who promptly affirmed her child’s amazing discovery. I suspect this child is headed for a remarkable adulthood.

Hats off to this Greenlake Mom.

Wii Doggy

A friend’s Samoyed shows his deep appreciation for the Wii Fit Plus system.

I just read that by adding 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week a 70 year old can return brain function to that of a 30 year old. Hey, get off the coach!


Moonbeam Photo Op

Hi there readers.

Here are a few shots of Amanda Lorenzo in Traverse City, Michigan getting her just rewards (a real Gold Medal) and just plain goofing off for the camera.

Amanda at the City Opera House

Amanda at the City Opera House

Cool Opera House Seating

Cool Opera House Seating


Yup, angels on the ceiling!

Yup, angels on the ceiling!

Under New Management Wins Gold

Under New Management Wins Gold

Amanda with Moonbeam director, Jim Barnes

Amanda with Moonbeam director, Jim Barnes

Lots of winners (but Amanda has the best hat)

Lots of winners (but Amanda has the best hat)


Kids Are Smart About Viral Vids

Berries and Cream? Hey anyone whose read Runt Farm knows it’s Berry and Cream!

If you think kids are taken in by commercials and videos, take a look at this. These youngsters are definitely seeing between the lines.

Runt Farm Wins Gold Medal


Amanda in Traverse City, Michigan

Hello darlings,

Here we are in lovely Traverse City, Michigan for the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards ceremony. Thrills, chills, and such fun for a kid from Runt Farm. This place is famous for its cherries. I promised Tooth I’d bring back several varieties for her to use in cooking up some lovely cherry anythings. Because that’s what I like, cherries in just about anything. Here you can get Cherry Salsa, Cherry Coffee, Cherry Fudge, 5 different┬átypes of dried cherries (including one that originally came from Hungary and now only grows in one US state – you guessed it – Michigan!), and the best ol’ cherry pie in the mid-west. I know, because I had some just last night at the Cherry Stop.

This afternoon we’ll troop over to the opera house to recieve the . . . ta da . . . Gold Medal for Runt Farm: Under New Management. (Beatrice and Blossom brought along special trooping clothes for the occasion.) Then we’ll spend the next few days tasting more cherry things. Yum!

More pictures soon – I promise!

Read On!

Runt Farm Gets a Medal

The whole Runt Farm family is hopping up and down right now. Why?

Because the first Runt Farm book, Under New Management has been named a medalist by Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Will it be a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal? We don’t know yet. Oh, the suspense!

Why not cast your vote here in a comment (just for fun.)

The results will be announced in a big award ceremony on October 15th in Traverse City, Michigan.

Here is a look at the beautiful seal of a medal winner.

And this is a link to the listing of all the medalists in every category:
Moonbeam Awards List for 2010

A big thank you to all our readers out there. You have our seal of approval

Read on!

My Grandma’s Teeth

A day or two ago I was walking the grounds of a lovely retreat site in New York state with Tooth. You know Tooth don’t you? She’s one of the super smart mice in my Runt Farm children’s book series. As we ambled along I told her stories from my childhood. Fond memories.

Then just around a bend in the path we spotted this little guy. I think his name is Larry. At least that’s what it sounded like. He and Tooth had a bit of a chat. We watched as he munched a lovely purple flower. One moment it was there, then poof, down the hatch. I didn’t exatly see his teeth, but they seemed to work quite well.

Omega Groundhog

And that reminded me of my grandma’s teeth. We used to go out to dinner now and then, and for such occasions Grandma would wear her false teeth. All the better to eat the food, you understand. But she didn’t really like those teeth. I think they didn’t fit well and her mouth would get tired of them before long. Eventually she would slip them out and hide them under her napkin. We were all so used to how she looked without them, her mouth a tad wrinkly and so often open to laugh out loud, that we didn’t even notice.

After a while it was time for the kids, grandkids, aunts and uncles to go to their respective homes. Grandpa would guide Grandma out to the car and they would zoom off to their little house on the corner. Sometime later we, or someone in the family, would get a call. Grandma had left her teeth under a napkin . . . again. One of us would drive back to the dinner house and alert the staff. Usually we were lucky and grandma’s teeth would be located in the trash and we would ferry them back home to sit in the glass jar by her bed. No matter how many times we suggested she simply keep them in place, they would find that favorite hiding place.

Do you have teeth? I’m sure you do, and you probably have them with you all the time. Good for you. They sure do come in handy, don’t they? Teeth are cool. Tooth thinks so too.

Kauai Kid Likes Runt Farm

Kauai Kid

Now here is a classy guy from Kauai, Hawaii who loves his Runt Farm books! Hey, thanks for the picture. And we got a fantastic review from another reader too that I’ll be sharing with you very soon.

Books 1 and 2 have reached the finalist stage in the judging for Book of the Year Awards by Foreword Magazine. Should I go to New York for the big announcement? What do you think?

Cletus Welcomes Trish Dziko to Runt Farm


Trish Dziko created the Technology Access Foundation to assist young people of color to acquire the skills they need to be future leaders, and to pursue careers in technology. Cletus, the resident techno-mouse of the Runt Farm book series, would like to introduce you to Trish here and thank her for becoming the most recent Runt Farm Family Advisor. Take a look at this video to learn more about TAF and Trish.

Cletus: Ms. Dziko, so nice of you to stop by the Runt Farm for a chat.

Trish: Well, it’s my pleasure. Nice place you have here.

Cletus: Oh, it nothing like the lab I had at NAARF, but I make do. Some of the rejectamenta around this old barn has come in handy.

Trish: I can imagine. And I understand you built your own computer? How did that work out for you?

Cletus: Well, it was a modest undertaking really, but it got me into quite a pickle with Tooth.

Trish: Hmm yes, so it seems. What did you learn from that experience?

Cletus: To be more respectful of the power of cheese to lead one astray. But really I’d much rather hear about your work, um . . . if you don’t mind. What does TAF do?

Trish: The Technology Access Foundation prepares students of color for success in today’s technology-driven world. Our goal is to see that more students graduate from high school ready to go on to college.

Cletus: I understand you have a Degrees Matter Campaign, tell me more about that.

Trish: We have set a goal to change the trajectory of 20,000 students of color in Washington State public schools every year by 2020 by providing mentoring, classes and hands-on experience, improving math and technical skills, and setting high performance standards.

Cletus: Bravo to you and TAF! Wouldn’t mind having some of your students intern here at Runt Farm sometime. I have a lot of high tech projects planned around here.

Trish: Thanks, I look forward to that.

You can also learn more about Trish Dziko and TAF at RuntFarm.com or on the TAF website at TechAccess.org.