27 Oct 2016, 4:08am

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“…Eyeballs…” Bk I. 2. Elytra, the Ladybug

Hey! You Got Eyeballs In There?

By Kate Chamberlin

As Grace grows up, some of her stories are happy, some trying, some enlightening, and a few themes are sad, but, they’re all the warp and woof of what goes into the tapestry of life we call Family. The daily living skills and techniques demonstrated by the fictional characters in these stories are valid, tried and true.


Book I:  The Early Years

  1. If You Can’t See…

#2. Elytra, The Ladybug

Grace not only liked the smell of crayons and paste in her nursery school, she wanted to learn everything about everything. One early fall day, Miss Holmberg and the Mothers volunteering that day, took the children on a walk around to the back of the school building and onto the Nature Trail. Grace and her cousin, Zack were paired up as buddies for the hike.

When they came to a grassy clearing in the woods, Miss Holmberg had everyone sit on the logs they found placed in a circle.

“Put on your listening caps,” she said. “What do you hear?”

“Nothing,” Savannah said quickly.

“Then, close your eyes so your ears can hear,” Miss Holmberg suggested.

“I think I hear little peepers singing. Are we near a pond?” John asked.

“I hear leaves knocking together in the trees,” Grace said.

“I hear a bee buzzing,” Zack said with alarm.

“Sit very still and the bee will keep on going,” Miss Holmberg advised. “Not everything in nature makes a sound. I want to share Elytra’s story with you.”.

“Who is Elytra?” Karrah asked.

“I’ll show you.” Miss Holmberg reached into her pocket and pulled out a puppet. She handed it to Grace.

“Grace, you can feel the round back on the puppet, as the others can see the bright red color with black dots on its back,” she said. “Now, put your hand into the glove part of the puppet, Grace.”

“Hey, it’s got legs!” Fred yelled in excitement.

“It’s a ladybug!” Martha said. “Cool.”

“Yes, it’s a ladybug puppet,” Miss Holmberg agreed.

“This glove has six fingers, but, I don’t have enough fingers,” Grace said.

“That’s because insects have six legs,” Miss Holmberg said. “We’ll put this tissue in the sixth leg so Elytra looks right.”

“Ladybugs are all around here; not making a sound. I have a story about Elytra, The Ladybug.”



Elytra could not remember what had happened or where she was when she woke up. Her head pounded and she was starving.

“A tasty aphid would be good, about now,” she thought.

As she Looked around the garden, other ladybugs slowly tested their legs and wings.

“Elytra is the name given to the 2 front, false wings or shell that covers the true wings used for flying,” Miss Holmberg explained.

Two ladybugs flew up and were carried off by a puff of summer wind. She saw another one get snatched out of the air by a swallow. Elytra wanted to go home, but where was home?

She remembered that all the ladybugs had been herded into a small, stuffy box and mailed off. They must have crammed a hundred or more ladybugs into the mailer. It was no way to treat a ladybug. Or a gentleman bug, for that matter either.

“Ladybugs are not native to every state,” Miss Holmberg said. “They are raised on Ladybug farms and are shipped by mail to those who place an order.”

The mailer sat in the post office for almost four days. Then in the mail box at the end of the lane for two days. The jostling she’d gotten in the boy’s bike basket when he finally did pick them up, was enough to make her pass out. The way he just dumped them all out into the garden was a shock but it brought her to her senses.

Elytra saw well-tended rows of carrots, onions, beets, and beans with patches of tomato, pumpkin and cucumber. Bright mounds of marigolds were scattered in among the vegetables.

“My Grandma Kate plants all kinds of things together so she doesn’t have to weed it so often,” Sarah said. “She says it keeps the bugs confused, so they go away.”


A few weeds grew along the board paths, but that didn’t matter to Elytra. Her mouth was like cotton on a humid summer day. She wanted water, but, where was it?

She walked down the board and noticed a round, puddle. Carefully she dragged herself up onto the edge of the pale, the amber liquid smelled awful. Slugs limp bodies floated on it. Their deaths warned her not to drink the beer.

“Beer?” John exclaimed. “My Dad drinks beer, but he doesn’t fall in or drown.”


Elytra opened her red shell and spread her true wings and hoped the wind wouldn’t take her too far.

She squeezed a bitter juice out of her leg joints. This liquid is actually blood but once a bird tastes its bitter taste, they won’t feed on Ladybugs.

A swallow caught the bright red of her shell and swooped down to snatch her out of the air, but, at the last minute, he remembered how bad the other ladybug had tasted. He knocked Elytra to the ground.

“Wow,” Zack said. “That was close!”


She fell to the dirt. She landed  on  the outer leaf of a fluffy, brilliant yellow flower.

Painfully  she Crawled toward the  main  stem  of  the  dandelion. Sheltered underneath was a small well of water. She took a few cautious sips.

Suddenly, Dirt, roots, pebbles, and Elytra went sailing through the, air. The boy didn’t care how he weeded the garden or what he mashed.

Elytra managed to spread her wings in time to keep herself from smashing against the cement birdbath. she landed on a rock.

The boy’s dog noticed her land and came over to investigate. He sniffed so closely to her, she could feel the smelly wet breath.

“I have a dog,” Fred interrupted. “He stays outside, ‘cause Ma says he’s too stanky.”


When the dog excitedly barked, Elytra was tumbled antennae over wing-tips off the rock.

The punky, fragrant rotting wood softened her fall when she Landed flat on her back. It’s moistness felt cool. Her eyes were soothed by the dark wood shielding her from the glare of the sun.

As she kicked her feet and pumped her wings to right herself, she sensed there were other ladybugs nearby.

Elytra search for them. They were Under the bark. she found many of her travel mates hiding from the boy and his dog, hoping they wouldn’t find their hiding place behind the rock and  under the log. She felt safe within the colony. She was home.


Miss Holmberg put the puppet back in her pocket and said, “Let’s count with the ladybugs. Each time I say a number, you hold up that many fingers to see hominy ladybugs come to the Ladybug Party.”

Ladybug 1,  say how do you do.  Hold up one finger, Savannah.

Ladybug    2,    has    come    to     play     with     you.

Ladybug  3,  has  climbed  a  tree,

Ladybug  4  sadly skinned her knee.

Ladybug     5     is     hiding     under     the      bark.

Ladybug  6  wants  to be  a  lark.

Ladybug  7  got  stuck  in the hay,

Ladybug  8  doesn’t know what  to say.

Ladybug     9     never     knows     the     time,      and

Ladybug  10   only has  a dime.

Ladybugs  1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  7,  8,    9,  10

Do,  come  play again.

Grace and her classmates clapped and laughed as the finger-play ended.

For the next couple of days, the children read books, looked at inter-net pictures and learned more about ladybugs. But, the best time was when they could play with the ladybug puppet with six legs named Elytra.

Science Reference: Coccinella (beetle) septeinpunctata (7 spots)

19 Oct 2016, 4:58pm

Comments Off on Hey! You Got Eyeballs In There?

Hey! You Got Eyeballs In There?

Hey! You Got Eyeballs In There?

By Kate Chamberlin









Blind teacher Kate Chamberlin photographed by Kevin Rivoli for “Blind Ambition” written by Michele Locastro Rivoli, Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper, December 30, 1998.




“Dream it. Write it. Read it.


Copyright © 1996 and July 20, 2016 All Rights Reserved

by Kate Chamberlin

Walworth, NY 14568


Hey! You Got Eyeballs In There?

By Kate Chamberlin


As Grace grows up, some of her stories are happy, some trying, some enlightening, and a few themes are sad, but, they’re all the warp and woof of what goes into the tapestry of life we call Family. The daily living skills and techniques demonstrated by the fictional characters in these stories are  valid, tried and true.



Book I:  The Early Years


#1. If you can’t see

“What do you like about your Teddy Bear Trail Nursery School?” Grandpa asked 4-year old Grace as they waited for Sunday dinner.

“I like the smell of paste, crayons, and peanut butter sandwiches,” she said

“Do you like your teacher?” he asked with a wink.

“Yes. Her curly hair tickles my cheek when she hugs me!” Grace said.  “She waits for me to feel my way from chair, to table, to carpet without rushing me.  Now I know my way around the room all by myself.”

“Do you like having your Mom come in to help the teacher?” he prompted.

“Yup,” was Grace’s quick answer.


“Some of the children are curious about how you do things, since you can’t see,” Miss Holmberg asked Grace in nursery school on Monday. “Would it be okay if we talk about how you use your other senses?”

“Sure,” Grace said, so,  at circle time, the questions started flying.

“If you can’t see, how can you tell who is your mother?” Zack asked.

“I can tell my mother by her voice,” Grace said.

“We have a game we can play,” Miss Holmberg said.  “When you feel my tap on your shoulder, say: Hello.  The rest of the children can guess who said : Hello or at least, where it came from.  Ready?  Close your eyes now.  No peeking!”


“If you can’t see, how can you know what you’re wearing?” Suzie wanted to know.

“I can tell what I’m wearing by touching my clothes,” Grace said.

“I have three boxes,” Miss Holmberg said, placing them in the middle of the circle. “Each one has something in it that you can wear. Who would like to reach into the first box to tell us what’s inside?  Okay, Savannah and thank you for raising your hand.”

Savannah reached into the box with a very serious look on her face. Then, she flipped her long blonde hair, grinned and said, “It’s a sock.”

David squinted his eyes and reached into the second box and said, “I found somebody’s jeans!”

“I think it is a shirt.”  Janey said with her arm up to her elbow in the third box. “I feel buttons.”

“Very good, “ Miss Holmberg said. “Now, each of you feel your clothes. Do you feel the difference from your shirt to your socks?


“If you can’t see, how can you know what you’re eating?” Yolanda asked during Circle Time on Tuesday.

“I can tell it’s a jelly sandwich by tasting it.”

”I’m going to have Grace’s Mom give you a paper plate with a small sandwich on it,”   Miss Holmberg explained. “But, first you must close your eyes and use your sense of taste to tell us what it is.”

“I have a honey sandwich,” Tommy said, licking his fingers.

“Mine is grape jelly,” Jackie said.

“Yuk! I don’t like this peanut butter ,”  Holly said. “It has chunks in it.”


”If you can’t see, how can you tell if there is a fire?” Tyler asked at Wednesday’s Circle Time.

“I can tell there is fire by smelling the smoke.”

“Well, I’m not going to light a fire here in school,” Miss Holmberg chuckled.  Instead, Grace’s Mom is going to pass around jars for you to smell.  Remember, to breath into your body to smell something.”

“This one is mint,” Sarah said. “Is it somebody’s chewing gum?”

“Mine is a flower. Maybe a rose,” Janey said.

“Hey,” Fred yelled and sniffed again. “I got dog food!”


“If you are blind, how can you read the letter from your Grandma?” Barbara asked as they walked to the Circle Time carpet on Thursday.

“I can read Grandma Kate’s letter because she uses Braille.” Grace said as they sat down  side by side.

Grace’s Mom handed her a stack of cards. At the top, Grandma Kate had Brailled each friend’s name.

“I can feel the bumps that make up the abc’s, Grace said and she called out the letters for each friend’s name until all the Braille alphabet cards had been passed out.


“If you are blind, how will you get to school?” Matthew asked on Friday.

“I can get to school by tapping my long, white cane to the bus stop.”

“I tap the tip of my long, white cane left and right,” Grace said as she moved her cane ahead of her feet  to show the children.  “When the tip hits something, I feel around the thing to know which way to keep going.”

Miss Holmberg and Grace’s Mom helped everyone use Grace’s long, white cane to go from a desk to the door, to the carpet.

Suddenly, Fred started to laugh, saying, “I’m trapped in the bathroom!”  All the children laughed with him as Miss Holmberg guided him back to the circle.


“If you are blind, how can you tell we are your friends?” All the children wanted to know.

“I can tell you are my friends by the way you love me just as I am.”

“Children,” Miss Holmberg said. “Please stand up and hold hands. As we march around the circle carpet, we’ll learn a new song.”

As they marched, she sang:

Make new friends, but keep the old.

One is silver and the other’s gold.




13 Oct 2016, 4:57am

Comments Off on Fall Leaves

Fall Leaves

Fall Leaves

By Dave and Kate Chamberlin



Five Maple leaves hanging on a tree.

Each as colorful as can be.


The green one said, “Oh My, there is rain in the air,

But, I don’t really care.


The Yellow one said, “It sure is getting cold.”

And he shivered and shuddered even though his color was bold.


The red one said, “Wow! Here comes the snow.

Look at how fast it drifts below.”


The orange one said, “ Now that rain is icy sleet,

I’m sure glad we don’t have feet.”


The brown one whined, “Don’t you wish you could fly?

Ooooooo went the wind,

And the colorful leaves swooshed into the sky.


October 11,2016

6 Oct 2016, 3:32pm

Comments Off on The Macedonia Hotel, Index

The Macedonia Hotel, Index

Macedonia HotelThe Macedonia Hotel


Relay writing project

By the Wayne writers Guild

Completed July 2016


Table of Contents/INDEX


Chapter 1: posted July 20, 2016

The Macedonia Hotel, Est. 1888

By Chuck Martin


Chapter 2: posted July 27, 2016

The Zipper Creep

By Kate Chamberlin


Chapter 3: posted August 4, 2016

Stranger in a Strange Town

By Jeffrey Thomas Cook


Chapter 4: posted August 11, 2016

A Light in the Darkness

By Kc Meyer


chapter 5:  posted August 18, 2016

The Crystal Dragon

By Alex Rea


Chapter 6: posted August 25, 2016

Dark Times

By Mary Stanton (aka Claudia Bishop)


Chapter 7: posted September 1, 2016

Renters and Circumstances

By Mert Bartels


Chapter 8: posted September 8, 2016

Frank’s Plan

By Alex S. Reid


Chapter 9: posted September 15, 2016


By John Cieslinski


Chapter 10: posted September 22, 2016

The Time Traveler

By Anon E. Mous


Chapter 11: posted September, 29, 2016

The Mysterious Visitor

By C. A. Stahr


TOC/ Index posted October 6, 2016

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