What Do You Hear?

We seem to ignore and take for granted our five senses until we start to lose them.
We seldom give them a second of our time to think about them. One of our most simple
sense that we rely on the most, yet abuse, is hearing.

When do you stop hearing the sounds around you?
When do you stop hearing the sounds of the birds when you wake up in the morning?
When do you stop hearing the bees buzzing as they start their day early taking the nectar from the flowers that have just opened to face the morning sun?
When do you stop hearing the dog barking in the yard next door to greet you good morning as you pass by on your daily trip to the bus stop?

When do you start hearing the voices of other boys and girls?
What do you hear when your mother or father tell you to do your chores for the fifth time today?
Is it the muffled sound of ducks quacking?
Is it total silence?
Or does their request fall on deaf ears?

As you get older you will be forced to play life by ear because you turned a deaf ear to the instructions you received when you were younger.
The walls have ears and if they could talk!
You will stop listening to your friends’ advice because it will sound like they had nothing between their ears and you were hearing things!

You will then become all ears to people who are more seasoned than you and keep one ear to the ground for further directions.
Everything the seniors have been saying all along will become new like you just put on a fresh set of ears!
I heard that!
Did you?

If you’re lucky, you will end up grinning from ear to ear because you think you have figured life out!
This will be music to your ears and you will probably lend an ear to one of your friends who is still playing life by ear.
By this time you will have children of your own who will play their strange music so loud that you can’t hear yourself think!
Silence will be music to your ears!
And you will remember why your grandmother used to yell that children should be seen and not heard!
Don’t throw them out on their ears!
They will still be wet behind their ears.
Maybe by then, you will know when to turn a deaf ear.
You will hear it again for the first time because you ain’t heard nothin’ yet!

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SIGHT

“I see!”, said the blind man when he picked up the saw and sawed the log.

How do we see?

Are our eyes the mirrors of our souls?
Do we see with just our eyes?
Can we believe our eyes?
Can we see with our fingers as we listen to a song or story and paint or draw a painting?
Do we get the picture?
Or is it out of sight and out of mind?
Do we see with our imagination?
Is our imagination powerful and vivid?
Should we keep an eye on our imagination?
Out of sight!

Do we see with our minds?
Do we see the same things in the same way?
Do we see eye to eye?
Do we see with our ears?
Can we believe our ears?
Are we all eyes and ears?
Are we seeing the same thing when we all look at something?
Or are our eyes closed to everything?
Are we looking with the naked eye?
In a blink of an eye?

Are we so skillful at living, that we can live each day with our eyes closed?
Sight unseen?
It’s not a pretty sight.
Don’t cry your eyes out!
Do we have insight?
How much do we know by sight?
As far as the eyes can see.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder with a twinkle of an eye.
A sight for sore eyes to see.
Love at first sight.
The apple of your eye.
In the public eyes.
Sight unseen.
It’s right before your eyes.
See the sights!
No end in sight.
There’s more to this than meets the eye.
Are we dreaming?
Are we beginning to see the light?
Or is this thing called sight just an optical illusion?
Have we shed some light on sight?

Time

Time.

It doesn’t travel in a line.
When we are young, it slowly passes.
The older we get, the faster it flies by!

We can’t see it.
We can’t smell it.
We can’t taste it.
We can’t feel it or hear it, but like the wind, we know it’s there.

It’s round like the face of a clock,
Or a sundial or the sun as it travels across the sky.
Round like a baseball, basketball, soccer ball or the moon.

Time waits for no one.
It passes invisibly, quietly without any sound.
Time sneaks upon us.

We only see the results after it has passed.
We lose time.
We save time, but we can’t show it.
We can’t find time.
We can’t count time.
We try to take time, but we can’t hold it.
We are out of time.
We only see the results of time as it passes us by.
Time’s up!

We can’t wait on time.
Time is a second.
Time is a minute.
Time is an hour.
Time is a day.
Time was yesterday.
Time was last week.
Time was last month.
Time was last year.
Tomorrow comes but is never here.
Time is today.
Time is now!

Things to Know About Our Fifty States: Part Two

It has been a fun, long and interesting trip and we are not even at the end yet! We have some more stops to make!

Our next stop will be Ohio. The birthplace of two astronauts several presidents and inventors. It provided us with the first professional baseball team, the automobile, the traffic light, full-time automobile service station, ambulance service, pop-top can and the cash register. Fifty percent of the US population lives within a 500-mile radius from the capital city of Ohio. it is the home of aviation, rock and roll hall of fame, football hall of fame, the hot dog, and the largest basket in the world. Teflon, chewing gum, and the first self-starting automobile. It is also the home of two African-American Olympic gold award winning Athletes. Ohio is known for its corn, soybean, wheat crops. It is also the nation’s second-largest producer of eggs and number one producer of Swiss cheese!

We are now on our way to Oklahoma! The state with the most man-made lakes. It is the only state in the US that produces iodine and the US is the third largest producer in the world! The first shopping cart, electric guitar, and the first traffic yield sign were invented there.It is the home of the world’s first parking meter and the world’s longest multiple arch dam. It provided the first tornado warning system. Oklahoma is the only state capital with an oil well underneath it! Oklahoma is known for growing wheat, hay, soybean, corn for grain, pecans, watermelons, peanuts, peaches, and oats.They also supply the nation with cattle and hogs for meat.

We are headed to Oregon. The state has the deepest lake in the United States. It has more ghost towns than any other state, the shortest river in the US, the deepest river gorge in North America and the largest sea cave in America. Oregon is the home of “The Simpsons” and its co-creator. It has the first city to have one-way streets, and it is the first state to conduct all elections by mail. Oregon is number one in the nation for its blackberries, black raspberries, boysenberries, Christmas trees, grass seeds, hay, hazelnuts, and storage onions.

We must be headed to our next stop, Pennsylvania! It is the first state to list its website URL on a license plate. It is where the first gas station in the nation was operated. It is home to the oldest continuously operating bookstore, the liberty bell, the only museum dedicated only to Harry Houdini and the first zoo in America. Pennsylvania was also home to the first electronic general-purpose computer, the first hospital and medical library, the first medical school, the first stock exchange, the first mint, and the first professional baseball park in the nation. It had the first successful oil well, the first theater, the first passenger train, and received the first telegraph message in the USA. The state also is home to the chocolate capital of the USA! Pennsylvania is known for its dairy products, eggs, beef, chicken, corn for animal feed, soybeans, hay,and flowers.

We must not forget about Rhode Island. The state’s true name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and it is the longest name of any of the states. It has no county governments. It is the smallest state in size in the US. It was the first colony to declare independence from Britain and the last colony to become a state. It is home to the Tennis Hall of Fame. The Industrial Revolution started in Rhode Island with the first successful water-powered cotton mill. It is also the home of Hasbro toys, the first Baptist Church, the oldest synagogue with the oldest Torah in North America. It also hosted the first circus. Rhode Island is known for its dairy, sweet corn, potatoes, and oysters.

Next, we will move along to South Carolina. The first opera in the US was performed in the state. It was the first state to leave the Union and fired the first shots during the Civil War. South Carolina is the nation’s largest peach producer and is home to the tobacco capital of the state.
It is also home to the only working tea plantation in the United States and the world’s hottest chili pepper according to Guinness Book of World Records!

Our next stop is South Dakota. It is the home of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial. The second largest cave in the US and the third largest in the world is located in South Dakota. The largest and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil and Colombian and Wooly Mammoth bones in the world was found in South Dakota. It also is home to the largest petrified wood park in the world. It is also home to the largest drug store, the corn palace, and the cave with the world’s largest display of a rare formation called boxwork. It is home to Badland’s Park, which contains the richest fossil beds in the world and the largest protected grasslands in the US. The state also is home to the most endangered land mammal in North America. The largest underground gold mine is in South Dakota! It is known for its wheat, oats, alfalfa, rye, corn, potatoes, soybeans, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds.

We are now going down to Tennessee, the country music capital of the world! “Grand Ole Opry” is the longest continuously running live radio program in the world. It was home to the first female US senator. The largest earthquake in US history formed a lake that is now the turtle capital of the world. Tennessee is also the mule capital of the world. It is the home of the largest freshwater aquarium in the world, the only replica of the Greek Parthenon. Tennessee is also the home of the facilities that built the first atomic bomb and is now known as the energy capital of the world. It is also home to Jack Daniel’s, the world’s best-selling whiskey, Mountain Dew, Maxwell House Coffee, Cotton Candy, and Graceland, the second most visited private home in the United States. It is also the home of the first male African-American millionaire of the South, the first state-owned historic site devoted to African-Americans in the state, the oldest African-American architectural firm, and the oldest African-American financial institution in the nation. It is also known for its cotton, wheat, dairy, corn, beef, timber, and tomatoes.

We’re headed to Texas! The Lone Star State! It is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the USA and the home of the first enclosed sports stadium and NASA headquarters. Texas is the Helium Capital of the World. It also has the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in the US. Texas is the only state to serve under six countries. It has the largest herd of white deer in the nation. It has the fastest highway with the speed limit of 85 miles per hour in the nation. The first suspension bridge built in the US is still being used in Texas. It is home to the soda Dr. Pepper. It has the highest number of airports and the second largest by area with the largest public parking area in the United States. Texas has only one natural lake. It has the most farmland in the US and the largest rose garden in the USA. Texas is the birthplace of the integrated circuit that is now used in all computers and electronic technology. The state is known as the “Silicon Valley of the South”.The only president sworn into office on a plane was performed in Texas. It also is home to the tallest masonry column in the world. It is known for its sheep and wool production, citrus fruit, vegetable, pecan, cotton, rice, corn, horses, and wheat.
It is the winter home of the only remaining flock of whooping cranes and has more species of birds and bats than anywhere in North America. Texas has the largest inland port in the world. The first rodeo was held in Texas. It is also considered the Capital of Live Music.

Next stop is Utah. It is the only state in the union that the majority of the people are of one single religion. It is the only state with a national forest in every county. The federal government owns 65% of the state’s land. It has the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. It has the largest city to ever host the Winter Olympic Games. It is the site where the Transcontinental Railroad connected the United States Eastern Coast with the Western Coast. Utah has the highest literacy rate in the USA. It is home to the Rainbow Bridge, the largest natural bridge in the world. Utah and its borders with Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico form four corners, the only states to do this in the US. Utah has the highest birthrate and the youngest population in the United States. It is home to the nation’s first department store! The Mormon Temple took 40 years to complete. Utah is the birthplace of the inventor of the television and a famous outlaw. Utah is known for its meat-beef, pork, mutton as well as its cherries, apples, apricots and mink production.

Now we will travel across the country to Vermont. It has the least populous state capital in the United States. Its capital is the only one in the US that does not have a McDonald’s Restaurant. It is one of four states that were once independent nations. The state’s capital is the smallest one in the United States. Vermont was the first state after the original 13 colonies to join the United States. It is the largest producing state of maple syrup in the US. It is the largest producer of marble in the USA. Vermont is the most rural of all the states in the nation. It was the first state to outlaw adult slavery. Vermont does not have any skyscrapers! It is home to IBM and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream!

We are headed to Virginia! It is known as the birthplace of the nation! It is home to the first permanent English settlement in America and the American revolution ended there. Virginia is also the re-birthplace since the Civil War ended there. It produced more presidents than any other state. Virginia is home to the largest office building in the world. It had the first theater in America in 1716. The state was the first to elect an African-American governor in the US. Fort Monroe and the Casemate Museum of Virginia is the largest stone fort ever built in the US and the only moat-encircled fort still in active use. Virginia is known for its tobacco, tomatoes, meat, turkeys, Christmas trees, lumber, furniture and apple production. Its largest private employer is also the world’s largest shipbuilding yard. The first Thanksgiving in North America was celebrated in Virginia. It is also known as the “Internet Capital of the world”. Virginia has the largest bridge-tunnel complex in the world. It’s home to the world’s only oyster museum. Virginia has been home to an island of wild ponies for centuries.

Our next stop will be Washington. It is the only state named after a president. Washington is the largest producer of apples, pears, sweet cherries, red raspberries and hops in the United States.
It is home to the first revolving restaurant in the continental US. Its capital is the last state capital in the USA to be built with a rotunda. It is home to the world’s largest building and the United States’ wealthiest man. It is home to the longest floating bridge in the world, the oldest operating gas station, and the first soft ice cream machine in the USA. Washington was the birthplace of guitarist Jimi Hendrix and entertainer Bing Crosby. It is also the home of Boeing Airplane Company, Amazon.com, Whitepages.com, Classmates.com and Microsoft. Popular games Pictionary, Pickle-ball and Cranium were invented there!

We are winding down our trip with a stop in West Virginia. It has the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere. It is the first of two states that joined the Union during the Civil War. Two apple varieties originated in West Virginia: the Grimes Golden apple and the Golden Delicious apple. It also had the oldest governor elected in the nation at the age of 84. It was the first state to establish a state sales tax in the US. Coal House is the only residence in the world built entirely of coal is located in West Virginia. The first brick street in the world was built in West Virginia. It has the only city in the US that extends from one state border to another. The first commercial electric railroad in the world was constructed in West Virginia. The longest city block in the world is in the state. It is the site of North America’s largest cone-shaped prehistoric burial mound. It is home to the youngest elected lawmaker in the United States. She was 17 years old when she was elected to the state House of Delegates.Mother’s Day was first celebrated in West Virginia! It is home to the only woman in the US who was daughter, wife, and mother to United States Senators! Her father, husband, and son all served as Senators, the first African-American woman to become a member of a legislative body in the United States, and to the man who piloted the world’s first supersonic flight in the Bell X-1! It has the oldest population of any of the states in the nation. It is home to the largest Sycamore Tree in the world. The first rural free mail delivery started in West Virginia.

The next to the last stop is Wisconsin. The state is known as the largest cheese producing state in the United States. It is known as the Jump Rope Capital of the world, the Inner Tubing Capital of the world, Spelling Capital of the world, and the Snowmobile Capital of the world. It is the home of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, the largest mustard collection in the world, the Republican Political Party, the Morel Mushroom Capital, the Bratwurst Capital and the Toilet Paper Capital of the world. The Ringling Brothers gave their first circus show in Wisconsin. The first commercially successful typewriter was created in Wisconsin. It also is home to the first American kindergarten.The state has a county with the most continuous shoreline and the most state parks than any other in the USA! Wisconsin has the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes, including endangered Whooping Cranes. It has the largest water park in the United States. The first hydroelectric plant in the US was built there by inventor Thomas Edison. The state is also home to the Hamburger Hall of Fame!

Our final stop, but not our least important stop is in Wyoming! Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote. It has the first official National Park and the first National Monument. It leads the country in mining coal and has the largest coal mine in the country! JC Penney stores were started in Wyoming. The Red Desert in south central Wyoming drains neither to the east nor the west. The Continental Divide splits and goes around the desert on all sides and leaves the basin without normal drainage. The first National Forest was established in Wyoming. It elected the first woman governor of a state and she was the only female governor to serve Wyoming. It is home to the pronghorn, the fastest mammal in the Western Hemisphere!. It has the largest hot spring in the United States.

We must remember that most of our states and rivers in the United States were named by the Native Americans who were the first to inhabit this land. We should give them respect and thank them for what they have done for the country, because without their knowledge and skills, we would not be here today!

Now that we are pulling into the station, because our trip has come to the end of the tracks, I would like to encourage you all to meet with your families, take a map and plan a vacation to some of these great places that we saw and learned about. Use pennies to mark some of your favorite places as you plan!

References:

http://www.facts.co

http://www.farmflavor.com

http://www.50states.com

Things to Know About Our Fifty States: Part One

All aboard Students! Everyone on this train? We are going across this country to visit every state and find at least two important things about each state!
So, have your tablets and cameras ready as we take this trip across the North American continent. You will not want to miss a thing! All of the states have something interesting they are known for.

Our first state is Alabama. One of our southern states. It is known for its NASA facilities, auto manufacturing and its iron and steel products. It was the birthplace of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Our next stop is Alaska. It is our largest state. It is known for it’s beautiful scenery with the Aurora Borealis. It is usually the only place in the USA where the Northern Lights can be seen. It also supplies oil to the mainland. The mainland of Alaska has only one time zone which causes northwest Alaska to experience two sunsets in one day each year. It is also the only state in the nation to experience 24 hours of daylight and 24 hours of night! At their closest point, Alaska and Russia are only three miles apart!

We move on to one of our desert states known as Arizona. Home to the Grand Canyon. It is one of the richest mineral zones and grows vegetables and fruit for our country. It has the most solar observatories in the United States.

Now it’s time for Arkansas. It’s known for its parks, caves and hot springs. It is our largest producer of poultry, dairy goods, and bauxite.

Next, we will visit California! It’s our golden state! Known for its gold, music, movies, wine, food, amusement parks and beautiful sequoia trees. It has the second largest city in the USA and also the state with the largest population.

On to Colorado. It is a beautiful mountainous state! Gold and uranium were once mined and supplied to the United States. Denver houses the US Mint.

Next, to Connecticut a state to the north. It has the largest maritime museum in the world. It was one of the original thirteen colonies and it is home to the oldest public library. It is home to the first frisbee, hamburger, Polaroid Land Camera, insurance company, FM radio station, and the arsenal for the thirteen colonies.

Down to Delaware! It is another one of the thirteen colonies. Home of the Nemours Foundation started by Alfred Du Pont, the inventor of the first combustion locomotive, the state has only three counties and the only state without National Parks or Monuments.

Now to Sunny Florida! Home to large citrus and avocado crops, amusement parks, car racing, NASA space program, water sports, tropical warm weather, and alligators. The oldest city in the USA is located here.

It’s up to Georgia, another southern state and the last of the thirteen colonies! It is known for its sweet peaches, pecans, peanuts, cotton, hogs, automobile manufacturing, southern fried chicken and soul food. Home to Martin Luther King, Coke, and Girl Scouts.

We will have to board a ship to take that trip to our fiftieth state Hawaii. It is the last state to be added to the union and the only set of islands. Known for its beautiful beaches, mountains, and scenery. It also gives us those sweet pineapples, coffee, cocoa and vanilla beans. Home to Pearl Harbor and the World War II museum, the only royal palace and tropical rainforest in the US. It has taught us how to surf, given us the largest volcano on earth and honors a royal monarchy.

We will now take our ship back to the mainland and board the train to Idaho. It’s known for its potatoes, water rafting, fishing, winter sports and more than 72 kinds of precious and semi-precious gemstones are mined there. Idaho has the deepest river gorge in North America.

Now traveling over to Illinois, Illinois had the first “skyscraper”, back then it was a building over ten floors. Now it has the tallest building in North America in Chicago. It had the first aquarium and is home to the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico. Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution abolishing slavery.

Moving on to Indiana, where the first professional baseball game was played! Ninety percent of the world’s popcorn comes from Indiana. It is the home state of “The King of Pop”, Michael Jackson and his family. It is also known for its covered bridges. Speaking of building, it has provided the limestone blocks that were used on the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Pentagon, the US Mint and many other building in Washington DC.

Next, we are headed to Iowa. It is the only state with two borders that are rivers. It is the largest producer of pork, corn, eggs, and ethanol in the USA. The first female lawyer to practice in the United States was from Iowa. Fenton Place Elevator is the world’s steepest and shortest railway. It is also home to Quaker Oats, the largest cereal company in the world. Iowa is also known for its camper and motorhome production in Winnebago.

We will now stop in Kansas for a short break. It is famous for beer, wheat, and private aircraft production. Home of the designers of the helicopter, Amelia Earhart-the first licensed female pilot, Pizza Hut, and the inventor of the dial telephone. It also has the windiest city in the USA!

Our next stop is Kentucky. Kentucky is home to the Kentucky Derby, Mammoth Cave-the longest cave in the world and the US gold reserve, Fort Knox. It was the first state to observe Mother’s Day and has the only US city built in a meteor crater. It is also the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, the key leaders in the Civil War.

Moving deep down south to Louisiana. It is known for its cotton fields, oil, and gas refinery and production, giving us jazz music, the French Quarter, Mardi Gras and spicy cajun cooking! It also holds some world records. The Superdome in New Orleans is the largest steel-constructed room unobstructed by posts in the world. Its capital building is the tallest in the USA. It also has the longest bridge over water in the world. Louisiana has the Crawfish and the Frog Capitals of the world.

Next, we will be stopping in Maine, the only state with one state at its border. It is the blueberry capital of the world. Maine is the biggest harvester of lobsters in the USA. It is home to the smallest lighthouse in the USA and the largest globe in the world.

We are on our way to Maryland! Maryland is home to the first school and the first dental school in the USA. It is home to the sailing capital of the world. It is also home to the production of the first umbrellas in the USA and Babe Ruth and Edgar Allen Poe. Maryland is home to the first railroad station.

Now pulling into the station in Massachusetts, one of the original thirteen colonies! It’s known for its cranberries, toll house chocolate cookies, cod fishing and Boston Cream Pie. It is known for having the first subway system. It is where the first basketball game was played and home to the basketball hall of fame. It is home to the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane!

All aboard! We are on our way to Michigan! It’s the home of the car capital, the largest cement plant, the largest limestone quarry, the largest registered Holstein dairy herd, and the largest producer of magic supplies in the world! It is home to the first university in the USA. Michigan is the cereal capital of the world and home to the first soda pop. It has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world and has the world’s only floating post office! Michigan is also known for its cherries and the ‘Motown Sound” of the sixties and seventies!

We have to keep this train moving, so we are almost at our next stop, Minnesota! It is the land of more than 10,000 lakes, the source of the Mississippi River, the largest shopping mall in the USA, the largest skyway system in the world and the 3M company-makers of scotch tape and post-its notes. It’s home to the Milky Way, Snickers and 3 Musketeers candy bars! Minnesota is also home to the first bus service in the USA and the first supercomputer in the world. It is also where the first pacemaker was invented and placed on a patient and the place of the first open heart surgery. It is also the home of the musician Prince and actress Judy Garland.

Our next stop will be Mississippi! It is the home of the first teddy bear! The birthplace of the blues music and one of four cities sanctioned to host the International Ballet Competition. It is also where the first lung transplant was performed. It is also the catfish, cotton and pecan capital of the world.Mississippi is the birthplace of Elvis Presley, Morgan Freeman, and Walter Payton- the first football player to have his picture on a box of Wheaties cereal.

We are stopping now in the state of Missouri. It has the tallest man-made national monument in the USA. It has the largest beer producing plant in the United States. It also was the first to host the Olympic Games in the United States. Missouri is the home of the “Live Music Show Capital of the World” and the first public kindergarten in the United States. It is also home of the first ice cream and waffle cone, cotton candy and Dr. Pepper.

Now we are moving west to Montana, the largest landlocked state in the USA! Montana is the only state whose constitution recognizes the cultural heritage of the Native Americans and is committed to the preservation of their cultural integrity.It is also home to Yellowstone National Park and the geyser called “Old Faithful”. Montana is known for its gold and the sapphire from the state is the only gem from the US to be included in the Crown Jewels of England.

Next stop on this trip is Nebraska. It is home to the largest indoor rainforest and the largest hand planted forest in the USA. Nebraska is also home to the largest Mammoth fossil in the world. It is also where Kool-Aid started, the world’s largest railroad classification yard where railcars are repaired and serviced, and the birthplace of billionaire Warren Buffett.

Now we have arrived at Nevada. It is the largest gold and silver producing state in the USA. The federal government owns 85% of the land in Nevada. It has more hotel rooms than any other city in the world. It has more mountain ranges than any other state! It has the tallest freestanding observation tower in the US. It was the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution prohibiting the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on his or her “race, color or previous condition of servitude.” Nevada is also the driest state in the nation and it also has the most hot springs. It is home to half of America’s wild horses and burros.

Now we will be stopping in New Hampshire. It was the first of the thirteen colonies to declare independence from Great Britain. The first successful planting of the potato was made in New Hampshire. The first alarm clock was invented in the state. It is also the only state that does not require by law for adult drivers to wear seatbelts while driving. New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of all the coastal states in the nation.

Our next stop is New Jersey. New Jersey has the most diners in the world and the most shopping malls in one area in the world. It is the only state that has had every one of its counties deemed “urban” as defined by the Census Bureau. It is the most densely populated state in the USA. New Jersey was the first state to sign the Bill of Rights. It was also the place of the first professional basketball game. New Jersey has more horses per square mile than any other state. Thomas Edison created most of his inventions in New Jersey. It is against the law for drivers to self-serve themselves gasoline. It is the only state the have full-service gasoline stations!

We are on our way to New Mexico! It has the highest and oldest state capital in the nation. Microsoft was founded in the state. It has the largest Latino population in the USA. New Mexico has the largest hot air balloon convention.

Next, we will be in New York, home to the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, and the largest city in the USA! It has the longest toll road, the first steam boat, and the oldest chartered city. It was the first state to require license plates on automobiles! It was the home to the first railroad with a locomotive engine. It has also been the birthplace of the most governors in the USA. New York is home to the most visited waterfall in the world.

We’re on our way down south to North Carolina. The first airplane was successfully flown from there by Wilbur and Orville Wright. The first English colony in America was in North Carolina. The first English child born in America was born in North Carolina. The state is the largest producer of sweet potatoes, tobacco, furniture, bricks and textiles in the nation. It also has the highest waterfall and tallest dam in the Eastern USA. The state is the home of Pepsi Cola and Krispy Kreme Doughnut.

We now will be making our way to North Dakota. It is the largest producer of spring wheat, durum wheat, sunflower seeds, oats, barley, lentils, honey, edible beans, canola, and flaxseed in the United States. North Dakota is the second largest oil producing state in the nation. It is home to more wildlife refuges than any other state. It is home to the largest buffalo statue and the inventor of the roll film camera.

Our next stop will take some days to travel so we will continue next week with great things to know about our fifty states!

References:

http://www.50states.com
http://www.funfacts.co

The Thumbprint Detective: What’s That Flying in the House?

I just got a call from 7777 South Bay Dr.
The owners of the house have a mystery they cannot solve and is not right.
It appears that there’s something dark and spooky going on at night.
I’ll pack up my things and head to the house to investigate.

It is dark outside with a full moon and many stars.
It seems rather quiet considering there are a lot of small people in costumes in the streets walking from house to house and cutting through the yards.

Now that I’m at 7777 South Bay Dr. tonight, I’ll ask one of these small people if they have seen anything here that wasn’t right.

The Costumed Pirate:

I came to the door and rang the bell. When the owner answered it looked like a dark cloud of something flew out at the top of the door! It scared us so bad that the owner hit the floor and I ran from the door! I hope you find out what that was soon! You know strange things happen during a full moon!

The Costumed Fairy and the sheep:

We were walking down the sidewalk to the house where the pirate stood when a dark cloud of something flew quickly out of the door. The dark cloud flew up high into the sky and left in a hurry and then it wasn’t there anymore!

I’ll talk with the occupants of the house to see what they saw.

The cat Sox:

I was sitting in the window watching these strange people go by when all of a sudden there was this great dark whooshing and gush of wind in the house then Chris opened the door and it all went out! It was the scariest thing so I hid under the chair! Go ask Chewy! He was there!

The dog Chewy:

I was sitting in the living room playing tug of war with Chris when the doorbell rang and Chris stopped and went to the door with a bucket of candy and a lot of sweet smelling things! When Chris walked to the door there was this dark cloud and lots of clatter then the cloud flew out the door over Chris’ head. I ran and hid in my bed! Ask Squawker he was close to the door.

The bird Squawker:

I was on my perch in the living room enjoying my seeds when a dark cloud of black bird looking beings flew from the kitchen ceiling and to the front door and when the door opened, I didn’t see them anymore!

Nephew Chris:

I was playing with Chewy while waiting to see if any costumed candy lovers would stop at our door. The doorbell rang and I answered it ready to dish out candy when I heard this loud whooshing and flapping and a dark mass came over my head and out of the door. I immediately fell to the floor and covered my head. I heard Kelsey screaming as if she found something dead!

Niece Kelsey:

I was in the kitchen getting more candy for Chris when I opened the pantry and out came a dark cloud of dark things with wings. I knew they weren’t birds. They have never been in our kitchen. I’ve never seen them before. That’s when I called you as they left out the front door!

I’ll ask the fish if they saw anything. I want to be sure I’m not missing a thing!

The fish Fish and Bowl:

We were swimming around and through our castle when it suddenly got dark and our water got rough! We started to think things were going to get tough! Then it got quiet as the dark left through the door. We don’t want to experience that anymore!

Let me look in the pantry again. If I look up I can see a big dark hole. I must see where this leads. I’ll climb up, up and up…..
I’m in the attic and it is dark as it can be at the end I can see a small amount of moonlight through the small hole in the soffit. As I turn on my flashlight I can see that a cloud of bats has been living here. They sleep during the day and find food in the night. The timing must have been just right when Kelsey opened the pantry door and the bats left into the night. There is an old bat hanging from a corner rafter. I’ll see if the bat will talk to me.

The perpetrator Old Bat:

We found this old attic a wonderful place to be! There was a tiny opening for our family to enter and live here. Then one day last week there was some house repair and we figured we needed to find a second way out so we found a large opening at the other end of the attic, our new living space had two exits and we could use either place! One to enter and one to exit, but we weren’t counting on people, animals, and birds in the space. Now we will have to find a new place!

Well, it looks like the owners will need some assistance from a bat moving team to assist with this mess since bats are protected animals and are guaranteed the best! Now that my obligations tonight have been filled. I will call you tomorrow with my bill!

This is another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective!

The Thumbprint Detective: Why the Fireworks?

I just got a call from 4444 Lakeshore Dr.
The owners at their lake house have a mystery to solve.
I wonder why a mystery shake on a holiday fling?
I will gather my things and head to the lake to get a new take on things.
There are beautiful fireworks in the sky over the lake.
I don’t see anyone outside or is it a mistake?
I will go to the backyard. Everything looks to be at peace. Oh! I see my first interview with the niece!

Niece Kelsey:

We were just beginning to enjoy our grilled meal when suddenly there were fireworks that looked like they were coming from the grill! There were ground spinners, sparklers, poppers, snappers, and snakes! The noise and the mess was threatening our meal. That’s why I called you to find out what is the deal?

There is the nephew on the lawnchair. I’ll ask him for anything new.

 

Nephew Chris:

We were all here in the backyard grilling some food when all of a sudden there was a loud boom and fireworks started shooting in the sky from everywhere.It really surprised and startled our guest. I tried my best to keep the guest at rest. I stored the box of fireworks near the shed far from the house and any fire. I wonder who moved them and started the fire?

 

It’s time I question some of the other witnesses on this matter. I’ll start with the bird he always has chatter.

 

The bird Squawker:

I was sitting on my perch eating my seed treat when all of a sudden there was this loud clap of thunder and whistles in the air! I flew to my cage and hid until nothing was there. I’m glad you came. I thought I was cooked! Ask fish and bowl they saw it too!

 

The fish Fish and Bowl:

We had just finished our wonderful meal when our tank shook and all of these colors glowed outside our tank! We thought we went to heaven! I hope you find out what happened and tell us if it was real!

 

There appear to be two missing. I wonder where they can be? Has anyone seen them? Where are Sox and Chewy? I must search the house.

 

Why Chewy’s in the bathroom hiding between the toilet and the sink and Sox has tucked himself tightly under Kelsey’s bed. I wonder what these two have to dread?

The perpetrator: The dog Chewy:

I was outside in the yard just doing my thing when Sox and I found this box with some really nifty things in it. The box had brightly colored toys and nice large bones to chew so Sox and I thought we would take just a few over to the porch where there would be more light, but when we passed the grill……

 

The perpetrator: The cat Sox:

A spark from the grill must have fallen on one of the toys and they popped, boomed and lighted up the sky! It scared us so badly that we ran inside! Chewy ran to the bathroom and I hid under the bed. I’ve never been so frightened! I’ll never touch those kinds of toys again!

 

Well the owners will have quite a clean up. At least it’s in the back. I must be going! I’ll leave my bill on the adirondack!

 

It looks like another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective.

 

The Thumbprint Detective: The Missing Shoes

I got a call from 7777 South Bay Dr,
Everyone in the house is missing one shoe and the owners do not know why.
I am on my way to the site to investigate.

There are shoes on the front lawn all singles and not pairs.  I better start looking for clues.
There is the dog. I will ask him if he has heard any news.

The dog Chewy:

It was late in the evening. I was eating my treat when I saw an army of short strange creatures with bird-like features march into the house. They went to the bedrooms like they owned the house! Ask Sox he saw them! Someone needs to take them away!

The cat Sox:

I was eating my fish dinner. It was totally divine when a group of tourists that looked like birds just walked through the house! They went to the bedrooms! I thought if I could catch them, they would be great deserts, but they kept walking and one pecked me! That should be a crime!

Maybe the fish saw more of what happened.

The fish Fish and Bowl:

We were swimming along quietly, we had not long been fed, when a large school of bird fish came walking into the house like they were going to bed! I’m glad they did not come to our room. We would have to push them out with our broom!  Squawker can tell you more!

The bird Squawker:

I was in my cage, almost ready for bed when it looked like all of my distant cousins came suddenly to visit. They walked to the bedrooms like they were in a hotel. Then one by one they walked out the front door with everyone’s shoes!

Nephew Chris:

I came home from my day at the park and I found most of my shoes scattered all around! Some of these were my one of a kind mark basketball shoes!

Niece Kelsey:

I just came home from the beach and saw all of my designer shoes bleaching on the lawn! That’s when I called you. Can you leach out the scoundrels who created this mess?

There appears to be a trail of shoes that leads next door. It goes up the front steps and stops at the doggie door. I’ll open the door and take a peek.

The perpetrators African Penguins:

We came to our normal daily places to nest. We found there are now houses where we used to rest. Our nests can be replaced by these nice strange cups, you call them shoes with strings, we can use for making new nests and other great things. We only took one on each foot and left the rest for next year’s nests.

Well, it looks like there will be some new shoe shopping needed soon. The braying African Penguins are an endangered species and need the room. Since your house is built on their nests, it may be best that you give up your shoes to help them make new nests!

Here is my bill and just give me a call when you have another mystery that you need me to solve!

It looks like another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective.

The Thumbprint Detective: What’s That Stink in the House?

I got a call from 7777 South Bay Dr.
The house is stinky and funky and the owner does not know why.
I’ll pack up my things and head out to the house to investigate.

Everyone is out on the front lawn. It looks like a great evacuation!
I will talk to Chris first to understand the situation!

Nephew Chris:
I came home from school, opened the front door and ran out because of the stink. My eyes and nose were burning so much, that I could not think! Ask Kelsey, she experienced the stink!

Niece Kelsey:
I came home from the library with a great recipe to cook. I opened the front door and the stink was so bad, my whole body shook! That’s when I called you!

The cat Sox:
It started after my afternoon nap. I came down the stairs and the stink was so bad, it raised the hairs on my neck and back! Ask Squawker, he would have tried to help me attack!

The bird Squawker:
It was late in the afternoon and I was sitting on my perch about to sing when the stink cloud came in. Oh, what a terrible thing!

The fish Fish and Bowl:
All we saw was Chewy run outside and this strange looking creature with tail held high walked by!

The dog Chewy:
I was looking for my afternoon bone to chew, when in walked this four legged black thing with this very long white stripe down his middle. I barked out a warning to all that there was a stranger walking in our hall!

I believe I have found the origin of the stink. I will carefully lure our perpetrator out from under the kitchen sink!

The perpetrator: the skunk Funky:
I was on my way to my uncle’s when I must have turned left instead of right. I walked through the small door and received a big fright when the large four legged beast yelled at me! I’m so sorry! It was a reflex and I sprayed!
I am so lost, please show me the way to my uncle’s house today!

Well, it looks like you will need a lot of tomatoes to clean out the funk on the walls. I must be going and I’ll leave my bill in the hall!

It looks like another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective!

The Thumbprint Detective: The Broken Vase

I just received the call from 7777 South Bay Drive.
They have a mystery on their hands that they cannot solve.
The mystery of the broken vase.
I will pay a visit to the site and begin to investigate.

I see the pieces of the vase on the floor in the living room near the front door.

I will find out who did it. I’ll begin interviewing the suspects and witnesses.

The goldfish: Fish and Bowl:

It was Saturday afternoon. It suddenly got dark and we could hear the rain falling on the roof of the house. Then there was a flash of light and a loud BOOM!
And the next thing we knew, the vase was in pieces on the floor.

The Nephew: Chris:

I was in my room playing my latest video game when it gotdark and there was lightening and a large clap of thunder and I heard a crash downstairs. That’s when I called you to find out what was going on up there.

The Niece: Kelsey:

I was in my room, writing my latest short story on my laptop, when the rain started and then the lightening and loud rumbling of thunder with a crash. There was no one in the room or near the door, just the broken vase on the floor.

The Dog: Chewy:

I was laying in the hallway for my afternoon nap when all of a sudden there was this loud BOOM! It was so loud it gave me the shakes and I gave one of my best guard barks! I let everyone in the house know that I was awake.

The Mouse: Squealer:

I was making my way to the kitchen for some really good snacks. Then there was a large BOOM just as I was almost to my room, with my snacks in the living room wall. The next thing I know that loud mouth Chewy is yelling and crazy Sox starts chasing me down the hall to the living room wall where I make it just in the nick of time.

The Cat: Sox:
I remember the day really well. It was a stormy Saturday afternoon. The house suddenly got dark and the rain started coming down. Then there was a flash of lightening, a loud BOOM and a loud bark from that crazy dog Chewy. I was in the middle of chasing Squealer when Chewy’s bark scared me so, that I hit the table with my tail and the vase fell and broke into a million pieces!

Can we silence that dog?

Well, it looks like another clean up and a redecoration will be involved. Maybe consider replacing the vase with something wooden or metal so that it will not break when it falls. Next time you have a mystery that you are unable to solve, don’t forget to give me a call!

Another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective.