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Archive for April, 2012

The sortable literature list was down for a few months, it is now working again.

Also, my web hosting company had a technical failure on the server that hosted this blog, so Satori Smiles was down or very slow/unresponsive for the past few weeks. They finally moved my sites to a new server and it seems to be working fast once again. Now, to ask for a month or two credit for it being down so long!

I will slowly start blogging once again. Satori also has a new blog she started this spring for her stories, I will share that URL soon. In the meantime, we are in the process of building her a new computer. Daddy took her old one into his office, but it will be nice to have her computer be right next to mine in the Learning Loft once again.

Yes, we are still alive and still homeschooling! I actually forgot the password to this blog for awhile. Everyday Satori types out mini-stories on her computer, I thought I would update our blog with one of her latest stories. She types these all by herself.

 

Stella the steller jay. By Satori. Age seven.

Chapter one

Stella Stella was still in egg in the  cool, and   sunny, fresh, summery air of the Rocky Mountains. Her lovely mother was gentle and kind, strong and never grumpy or fussy, and so she built a nest full and sticky with mud, grass, sticks and twigs. Mrs. Jay laid four eggs, and it took her sixteen days to lay them. She was exhausted, but she never fussed or complained.

Stella’s egg was brown marked, easy to crack, thin, and wore a coat of pale greenish blue. She happened to have two sisters, and one, selfish, jokey brother. She was born in spring-the day before five year old Satori had a spring break from kindergarten. Soon she was fat, and was very beautiful for a steller jay: she had a dark crest arching beautifully over her silver beak and black head. Next came her deep, velvet, dazzling jewel, and thin, quick, steady and good at balancing legs that clung to her favorite twig which was close to the nest, and twisted in other thick twigs, too hard to cling to. It always was in the sunshine, because it was facing the sunny porch which shimmered with the glow of the sunlight.

Soon summer came, and Stella was stunning. It was the time when young birds hopped over to Mr. Crow’s classroom, near the hole where scientists dug, trying to find something, but had no succeed. It was perched on a tangle of twigs, and mother said that Mr. Crow was cranky and ugly, but he was patient and was the only teacher near, and his classroom wasn’t very far. For birds that had fell or missed school, he let them take a nap or miss the daily singing. Stella had a striking voice, and was full of so many songs, that one day she tried to sneak into the house, and steal the guitar, but she was trapped, and when she finally found it, she could not carry it.

It was the first day of school, and Mrs. Jay felt worried for the four, and she warned them a long list of warnings. “Watch out for Miss Foxy, and keep a good eye out for humans, bears, and bees. Don’t fly there or try to until you know fully. Avoid bullies, ants, grasshoppers, and make sure to take a bath in the bird bath, and steal your lunch and snacks from the bird feeders. Keep your cloaks tied around you, and watch it because it might slip off easily. Now, be good, and keep a good and sharp eye out for the cats.” She gave Stella her sky blue cloak, and kissed her good-bye. Stella chirped her way outside, and thought if she was ever going to be the first bird singer. Her whistle was very sweet and charming, that it sounded like a piano. She looked at the bird feeders, no bridge. Then Stella instantly remembered what mother had said that there was stairs carved down the trunk, and rocks holding animals that scurried quickly across it. The stairs were chipped and someone could easily attach to a thin or fat sliver. The rocks were rough and white. The black dirt was cool, and tiny rocks mixed in it. The sweet, delicious, taste entered her beak, and the coolness of the crystal clear bath water. The tub had two rocks in it, perfect for a young steller jay to perch on.

Mr. Crow was dark and shaggy, and his beak snapped. “Good morning, class. I am Mr. Crow, and let’s begin with our flutter in the twist. Watch me, and then do it. We will not stop until night, and BEGIN!!!” His voice was craggily and dark, evil at least. His beak clucked and whenever he opened it, saliva stretched like a spider’s web. The place was dark and dreary. He motioned for the class to follow, and then let them at the edge of the cliff. He sprang from his steady perch, and then beat his wings hard on the air. He rested on a log, and Stella leaped and beat the wind, and then flew higher and farther. The class clapped curiously, some in envy. Mr. Crow formed a sweet smile, and Stella did a loop in the air. She flew all the way until night, and then tried to see in the blue dusk. The gate of trees formed more shadows on the ground which made it harder for Stella to see the dog, Maddie, or Miss Foxy. She plucked some food for her dinner, and tried to catch an ant, but her sister, ten minutes older than her, caught it. It was six o’clock, and Satori was eating dinner. Stella peered in each hole, but she was on the side of the house. She heard Mr. Bear’s feet pounding the porch just as she remembered where her home was. She zoomed to it, meeting her mother’s worried face, changing into a happy, cheerful laugh. Before she knew it, she was at the mushroom table, eating the crisp, crunchy, brown worms mother cooked. “I learned how to fly, and we even got to eat lunch at the cliff, but I ate it in the air. Good job!!!”

Stella turned on her acorn nightlights with fireflies in it, and climbed into her cozy, comfy acorn shell and a worn out blanket that was cut enough to cover her pillow and her bed. She hugged her steller jay made out of acorn top pin eyes, and a mouth and dress drawn on the pom-pom and one purple handkerchief. Soon, she silently fell to sleep.

 

Chapter two

Hunting lesson Stella did not like to go out when Satori was out for two hours. It was the warmest day in July, and it was too hot to wear a cloak and the rays beated the ground. Stella chose a wise minute when Satori went in for a glass of water. Fast as lightning, she zoomed face to face with Mr. Crow. He managed a twisted smile, but Stella was interested in the leaf behind him. “This is your flying diploma, Stella. CONGRATS!!!” He said in his most sweetly way. He handed it to her, and then sat at the cliff. Stella sat next to Ella, and then flew to Cassia. Mr. Crow leaped into the air, and dashed to the brown weed. “Now ya all do it, but then, follow my directions.” He said in a high ladybug voice. Stella zoomed to the weed, and then listened carefully. “Go to the bird feeders, and get the biggest mouthful you can get. Whoever gets the biggest, best, crunchiest mouthful wins, and gets to share it with his or her family. Ready, set, GO!!!” Mr. Crow screamed in a way that hurt everybody’s ears, but brave Stella dashed to the bird feeder, tested each hole, grabbed a mouthful, and raced back. Emma, an American Robin, was too shy and scared to fly out, but she had to do it and she won. Stella put away her crumbs, then joined the flying test.

“On a sunny day, the blue jay flew away,” she sang as Stella flew to the broadest tree trunk, with rich, smooth bark and branches like thorns and prickly needles. “Mother, mother!” Stella chirped. Mother hurried to the door. “Stella, what is the matter? I don’t see anything wrong. It’s not a problem! We get to choose a job for living, and Mr. Crow gave us thousands of bird food for our jobs and houses!” Stella screamed excitedly. She knew what she was going to be-a nice, lovely teacher. Teacher, teacher, teacher! She thought, but then she was suddenly nervous. What if the class didn’t like her school? What if her class was mean, or what if all jobs were already taken? She pictured herself alone on a branch, chirping out words-images of her job as a teacher.

“Here’s the nicest house we have. The tree is wide, the branches are rich, and it goes underground. But its eight hundred and fifty two bird food.” Said the house bird. “I’d rather have a house in Wisconsin. Alright, but you have to change into a goldfinch, and study the whole book about goldfinches. Choose the birdhouse that is hidden by the branches-Satori made it.” Stella wondered how she could ever change into a goldfinch, and then fly all the way to Wisconsin. She would miss her family so much, and also miss Grandma Dandelion.

Doctor Elbertsondue led her to a dark place where spider webs crowded down the hallway. “Step here.” He said, pointing to a long piece of thin air. Stella stepped onto the air, and it quickly turned into a cage of metal bars. Her feathers grew glowing gold, her body shrank; her feathers were rich and sweet like honey. Now she was a jewel. A topaz. Her beak and legs were a bit rosy; her snow white bars formed on her midnight black wings, and her yellow-green upper parts shown like dazzling jewels. A door lifted itself up to the rusty bars, and Stella stepped out. She tried her voice. It sweetly slid out of her beak, and welcomed itself at her ears. She couldn’t describe it.

 

The snow was beating her hard, and she was shivering out of her mind. She slid into a steller jay. “Ooh, mommy, ahhh! A poor little blue jay is out in the freezing cold! I want to keep it as a pet until it’s a nice, sunny day in Minnesota.” Cried a little girl, scooping up Stella with a soft, furry blanket. Stella nestled herself in the blanket, then perked up. She was in a glass cage with clear water, bird food, and lots of blankets. It contained a metal bird perch, and a pool, and next to the pool was a cushion, where a little macaw huddled in.