Illustration & Design
PAUL REETZ, born in Southern California, traveled all over the United States with his family before they settled in Austin, Minnesota. He graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and currently works from his home in Charleston, South Carolina. Paul is the illustrator and designer of the Dreamland Books children's book A Granny's Heart. Paul's work can be found at: www.paulreetz.com and www.thegrannies.net. MICHELLE EGGAN both lives and has her art studio on a hobby farm not far from Minneapolis. She is inspired by nature and emotion, but also by the mixing of imagination. Michelle's world is nurtured by her relationships, animals, gardens, folk art, beautiful little things and the joy of creating. Michelle's work can be found at: www.heartatplay.com. JANA SCHWEISS is both illustrator and self-employed graphic designer. She was the superstar who created the beautiful Dreamland Books logo. She is extremely talented, fast, and affordable, not to mention the founder and owner of JES Graphics. JES Graphics creates quality design including custom logos and brochures to book layout and illustration. JES Graphics can be found at: www.jesgraphics.com.
CATHY ISLES has enjoyed children’s books her whole life and feels they are amongst her favorite things. She is a lover of animals, especially greyhounds and calico cats, values diversity and believes in lifelong learning. Originally from Pittsburgh, she now resides in the Twin Cities. She is the owner of Bridging the Universe Greeting Cards.
ANNE SCHECHTER grew up in Minneapolis and her passion is not only writing, but children, and health and wellness. She is the second of four children and loved her career as a nanny before she became a personal chef, with the philosophy that food is medicine tailoring nutrition plans to the individual. She loves the outdoors, social time, and travel.
MELESSA HENDERSON grew up on a farm just outside of Lafayette in southern Minnesota. She is the author of A Granny's Heart. She has a Juris Doctorate and has been an adjunct professor of writing, literature, and ethics. She most loves to play with her children, Curtis & Annie, in the summer sun! See: www.melessahenderson.com.
I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company!I gazed, and gazed,
but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
The Size of Happiness
Another thirty cows - another seven
acres fenced for grazing, in a field
that last year looked a good halfway to heaven;
but the very week the sixty yield
that extra hundredweight of milk, already
I'm looking beyond that pasture, where the hill
runs right into the sky: It's not enough.
That's happiness. You never drink your fill -
love, money, land. The milk you're dreaming of?
Even before production's holding steady
way beyond what you'd have ever thought:
Couldn't your herd-average be higher?
Fields that once you never could have bought;
lovers that once you hardly dared desire;
visions - gallons - once they're in the can -
the very afternoon your new tank's full
of fresh ambition: Sixty Ayrshires -
impossible? Not only possible
but insufficient. Dream of mountain pastures;
own them, and you're back where you began.
Contentment is the only kind of plenty,
and that's the domain of cows, who know the size
of happiness. With ten - a hundred twenty -
no matter how many cows your new barn ties,
you're several acres short of paradise.
Were You to Die
Were you to die I'd be free to go off
and see the world, and sleep in every elsewhere
I might never arrive
— yet I might choose to travel alone
from window to window looking out
on the streets of your city
where your friends still expect to see you sometimes
or mistake you for someone, out of custom — love —
Without your thrashing, manic dreams, my body
would sleep better
but wake more tired. I'd let the garden go to seed
the way I always meant to
and when I looked out the window into the yard
I'd never miss the snowpeas, beets and roses
but your sunhat I might miss — you hunkered down
in a summer dress, your fingers
grouped like roots in the raised beds,
your stooped, stubborn nape, your cinnamon-
freckled shoulders —
Were you to die, my heart
would be free to pack a bag
and book passage for the riot of islands
I might have been, and shared
with the one and numberless "beloved" we fumble
our whole lives glimpsing
a moment too late
when Eden was always the one who stayed
rooted in her changes, and gave you
the island in her arms, and when you slept
somehow she travelled, and when you woke
she was changed —
Were you to die, my mind
would be free to twist inward
the way fingers fist, and fasten pat
on its own taut notions, theorems, palm shut fast
to the snow that pooled there and seemed to flow through
when the skin still flowered in fullest winter
and I loved you, and thoughts, like books,
were doors that opened outward
not coffins, closed,
not cells —
Were you to die and free me
my body would follow you down into the cold
prison of your passing, and warm you when all the others
had turned away, and try bribing
the keeper with a poem, or fool him
with keychains of chiming words — an elegy
so pure he'd be pressed to cry, eyes
thawing and the earth warmed, April
when rain falls like a ransom, through opened arms
that bore the sun down with you, warm.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 sticks butter
2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
6 cups dry oatmeal
2 cups chocolate chips
Mix all together, but make sure to put softened/melted butter in first so to not melt the chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.