Blood: The Trucking Company of the Body

By Verhonda Wiltz

I know, you have never thought about your body in this way. Most of us don’t know how our body works or even care…. Until it stops working as it should!  Most of the time, when it’s not working at its best, it’s hard to get it repaired and back on track. So, it’s best to maintain it and keep it in good shape. In order to do that, you need to understand how it works.  Let’s start now with your blood.

Blood is the trucking company of your body. Think of it as a fleet of trucks and trailers. The blood cell is the truck/tractor, and the iron that is attached to the cell is the trailer.  It carries fuel, gases and other chemicals to your whole body and removes wastes from your body too. Blood travels along a superhighway of blood vessels called arteries, mainly used for deliveries, and veins for pickup.  There are also streets off the highway called arterioles and capillaries. Your body has over 60,000 miles of highway inside you.

The main business office for the blood trucking company is in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is deep in the center of your bones.  This is where your blood is made and released/dispatched onto the highway. 

The kidneys are the truck wash for the blood/truck. They clean the blood of all wastes and inspect and work with the spleen on removing old worn out blood cells/trucks from the highway. When it’s time to replace the blood cells/trucks, the kidneys dispatch a message to the bones/business office and new blood cells/trucks are released on the highway.

The spleen is the blood recycling center for old, worn out blood cells.  The spleen has a highway maintenance crew that repairs the highway when it gets holes, burns and scrapes in it. The highway must be kept smooth at all times to prevent traffic jams and multi-truck accidents. It also has a hazardous material crew that it sends out when infections occur. 

Now that you have the main operation procedure down, we will now follow a normal route of a red blood cell.  We will start with a new blood cell/truck.

Red Blood Cell with iron = Truck with Trailer

The first assignment for the blood cell is to take the highway from the bones to the lungs for oxygen/air.  Traffic should flow smoothly because the highway only flows in one direction.  The blood cell/truck must first pass through a highway roundabout exit called the heart that leads the blood cell/ truck to the lungs. When the blood cell reaches the lungs, it turns onto one of many of the veins/streets and loads the oxygen/air into its trailer. Then it leaves the lungs by turning onto the arterioles/streets, goes back to the highway roundabout entrance at the heart and begins its trip to deliver the oxygen/air to one of the many other cells and organs of the body.  These blood cells/trucks are very fast!  They do this in less than one minute when you are resting, and much faster if you are running or scared!  

The next stop is to deliver this oxygen/air to the digestive system organs. The food processing center! The first stop is to deliver the oxygen/air to the stomach cells. That really doesn’t take much time at all. Then it is sent to the liver/sorting warehouse of the body to pick up some fuel called glycogen and deliver it to the leg muscle cells.  The blood cell/truck passes through an inspection weight station before leaving the liver to be sure the truck is running well and can deliver the fuel. If it is running well, it will take the glycogen to the leg muscle cells.  Don’t forget that there are millions of these red blood cells/trucks on the highways of your body making deliveries and pickups all the time. They even work when you are sleeping!

Now the blood cell/truck has made it to the leg muscle cells and delivered the glycogen, it must pick up some waste/carbon dioxide.  There are other types of waste that your body makes, but for the sake of time, we will take the carbon dioxide and deliver it to the lungs to be dumped outside the body. The blood cell/truck gets back on the highway and follows it south until it turns onto the veins and then heads north back to the heart.  It makes its exit at the highway roundabout again inside the heart, to the arterioles and delivers its load of carbon dioxide to the lungs where it is pushed out of the lungs, through the nose into the air.  

Every so often  it makes a delivery to the kidneys for waste dumping and gets an inspection at the spleen for best highway function. 

If it doesn’t pass inspection, usually every 20 days, it gets removed from the highway and sent to the spleen for recycling. 

Remember when I mentioned that the highway had to be kept smooth and the spleen was in charge of the maintenance crew? We are now going to talk about that maintenance team/crew.

The team consists of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets-small round shield shaped cells. This team patrols the highway and the streets to keep them smooth. If they find an area that needs repairing, they close the damaged area off and narrow the area while they work.  The white blood cells clean the area of dirt, germs and anything that is not a red blood cell, white blood cell or platelet. Some red blood cells bring fibrinogen, a special chemical that combines with the platelets to make a patch.  The team stays there until the patch is dry. Then the crew moves down the highway where they are needed next. 

Now we will get to the big part about this trucking company.  What do you have to do to keep this company going? How do you keep your fleet of trucks at their best?

This company needs lots of water! It keeps the highway smooth and free of traffic jams, and the kidneys need water to wash the trucks inside and out. 

=

Kidneys = Truck wash

Water is also needed for highway and street repairs.  So start by drinking lots of water every day. 

It is also important to eat foods with lots of iron. Spinach, collard, turnip, mustard greens, broccoli, fish, nuts, grapes, raisins, eggs and some red meat- beef, pork, lamb, chicken, sweet potatoes, turkey, quinoa and oats to name a few. You must remember that these foods are great, but you cannot eat them with cheese or drink tea or milk while you eat them. The iron washes out of your body if you do.

Small Pictures of Iron Sources For Kids

Sleep is when most of the inspections and repairs happen, so allow enough time for these processes to be done.  Exercise keeps the blood cells/trucks moving on the highway and prevents traffic jams and accidents. It’s important to keep moving! 

Now that you know about your blood, the trucking company of your body, it’s time to get it in top shape!

References

https://babyfoode.com/blog/iron-rich-foods-babies-toddlers-kids/#best-baby

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/how-wounds-heal

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/what-are-platelets-and-why-are-they-important

https://www.lornelabs.com/news-events/blog/the-journey-of-a-red-blood-cell

https://reverehealth.com/live-better/how-body-systems-connected/

Images

http://clipart-library.com/clipart/415438.htm

Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/clker-free-vector-images-3736/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=24360″>Clker-Free-Vector-Images</a&gt; from <a href=”https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=24360“>Pixabay</a>

https://pixabay.com/illustrations/red-blood-cell-rbc-erythrocyte-1861640/

<a href=”https://www.vecteezy.com/free-vector/truck-wash”>Truck Wash Vectors by Vecteezy</a>

<a href=”https://www.vecteezy.com/free-vector/human”>Human Vectors by Vecteezy</a>

<a href=”https://www.vecteezy.com/free-vector/spleen”>Spleen Vectors by Vecteezy</a>

<a href=”https://www.vecteezy.com/free-vector/recycling”>Recycling Vectors by Vecteezy</a>

https://www.healthylittlefoodies.com/iron-rich-foods-for-kids/

Omen Teaches It: The Insect World

You may be boys or you may be girls. You may call us bugs or pests, but most of us are insects. By the time you finish reading what we have to tell, you may look at insects in a positive light and posibly consider adopting one as a family pet!

We prefer to be called insects, not bugs and definitely not pests! Insects have segmented bodies, six legs and external skeletons. True bugs, and there are a few, suck juices from plants using stylets which are strawmouths or probosces (or proboscis for just one).

There are more insects in the world than bugs and people too! There are about 200 million of us for every one of you.

My name is Omen. I know, that’s Nemo spelled backwards and I know where I am. I am a Chinavia hilaris, what you commonly call a green stink bug. https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/485010-Chinavia-hilaris

By the way, you stink to most of us too!

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A102d2a5e-8508-48d2-91ef-4efe83da0496

I have been chosen by all insects and bugs to educate humans on what we are really about. No conspiracies, rumors, tall-tales or half-truths. I’m here to give you some of the facts about us.

We the insects have been here on earth approximately 479 million years. We have been here before the dinosaurs! I bet you think we’re older than dirt. The oldest insect that still exists today lives in the dirt and it is the termite queen. Our current representative for the termite queen is my friend Kubaba. She can tell you that her family is very strong and has survived all of the changes that have happened on earth. Again, you considet termites as pests, but termites are like nature’s lumberjacks. Termites take down dead trees and eat them making fertilizer and mulch for the soil and clear the land for more plants and trees. Kubaba and other termite queens can live to be 60 years old. She and her family have been through, ice, snow, floods, fires and humans building and cutting trees for farming EVERYWHERE! You call them pests, but they usually stay close to where their homes have always been and that is…..where you put your house, barn, or building! Remember, they were in the forest, woods and rainforests first. https://www.si.edu/spotlight/buginfo/incredbugs

The most common insects on earth are ants, like my friend Eon. There are 10 to 100,000 trillion ants globally, with more than 10,000 different families called species. Ants can carry 10 to 50 times their own body weight. The amount that they can carry depends upon the species. The Asian weaver ant can lift 100 times its own body weight. You could think of it as the superhero of the insects because of its strength. https://www.westernexterminator.com/ants/10-interesting-facts-ants/

The longest living insect today is the ant. The black garden ant has a lifespan of 15 to 30 years. https://antark.net/ant-facts/ants-live-30-years/

The shortest living insect is the Mayfly. It lives for 24 hours. https://io9.gizmodo.com/mayflies-might-just-have-the-saddest-most-perfectly-ev-5815582

The rarest insect, and yes it is an endangered species, is the land lobster, scientifically known as Drycocelus australis. They have been driven from Lord Howe Island several hundred miles east of Australia, to Bali’s Pyramid Island 14 miles away. https://ansp.org/exhibits/online-exhibits/stories/the-worlds-rarest-insect/

The smallest insect is the Fairyfly at only 0.007 to 0.039 inches or  0.5 to 1.8 mm long. You might need a magnifying glass to see one of them. https://animals.mom.me/fun-fairy-fly-4190.html

The heaviest insect is the giant weta, another buddy of mine, Waymore, weighing in at 2.5 ounces. He weighs more than a mouse. https://www.grownups.co.nz/interests/entertainment/quick-facts-giant-weta/

The South American longhorn beetles are 6 inches long, but the walking stick insects have them beat as the longest insects in the world! Scientifically known as Phobaeticus serratipes, they are 2.5 feet long as you can see by my friend Feefifocus.

We have patiently watched and helped humans grow. We have been with you through your phases of fear of us, curiosity, admiration, love and hate. We have listened to your secrets and famous speeches, and marched with you during your wars. We have protected your plants, created food and beauty in your gardens. We have been your pets and best friends and your worst enemies too. We carried a few diseases that spread to you due to your lack of cleanliness and control. You have tried to eliminate us many times over thousands of years, but we think you are beginning to understand that we help you more than we hurt you and we are your friends! So before you stomp, swat, and spray poison on us, please try not to forget that we are EVERYWHERE and have been here since the beginning and we are your friends to the END!

There’s an Amoeba in Your Water Supply

I’m Wuzherefirst an amoeba and I’m in your water supply.
I am really tough and I usually live in wet and warm places and
I will go to sleep when things get too cold or dry.

I am not bacteria, virus, or a plant.
Not an insect and smaller than an ant.
And I’m too tiny for you to see.

I am a complex one cell animal that is slow and I have big feet.
No, I don’t wear the latest kicks because I eat with my feet!
And boy do I like to eat!

I eat cells. Yes, cells. Any old kind will do as long as they’re warm and wet.
Guess what? You have quite a few cells that I haven’t met yet!

You jump into my home during the summer months and call yourself swimming and diving.
I swim in the water that goes up your nose and eat the cells that form the barrier between your nose and your brain and you will never know when I am arriving.

When I finish eating the membrane, I go inside your brain, vacation and continue eating like a zombie, but when I finish, I guess you know you won’t turn into a zombie, but I can make you dead because you will have many holes in your head.

You will just be a mammal walking around all over the place lost in space.
I just took over your brain as my new main vacation place.

You took over my home and declared it your water supply and now your brain is the new restaurant and vacation club that I occupy.

If I make it to your house through the faucet to visit, I can still snack on you when you use the water from the faucet to clean your contacts or get water in your eyes from the shower. You will just give me an extended lunch hour.

Just like the cobra that can blind you by spitting venom in your eyes, I am strong enough to make mammals die by eating through their eyes.

During the summer months when you like to picnic and drink water that you’re so sure it is clean. I am in that water you drank ready to really do my thing!

Your teeth can’t harm me and neither can the acid in your tummy, bile, digestive hormones, and antibodies. None of these things can defeat Wuzherefirst the Amoeba when I start to eat!

I will just eat until I have a happy tummy! Now while you won’t feel so well with your tummy ache and poop everywhere. I will be busy eating all of your cells without a worry or a care!

You must know that I’m not the only one in my home. I can make many sisters and brothers without a father or a mother. All I have to do is slowly split myself into two. My sisters and brothers can do that same trick too.

Amoeba, bacteria, and protozoa have been around on earth long before the animals that you see today. We have lasted longer than the dinosaurs, extinct birds and mammal fossils you have found.
Just remember that Wuzherefirst and all the other amoeba are still alive and hanging around.

Since you like to crash houses and haunt them on the sly, we decided to hang around and taunt you and your water supply!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

The Thumbprint Detective: Where’s the Turkey?

I just received a phone call from the house at 7777 South Bay Dr.
It’s Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve and someone has stolen the Thanksgiving Turkey!
It looks like another case for the Thumbprint Detective.

Everything looks quiet outside. I’ll just knock on the door and start solving the case.

The dog Chewy:

I was taking a nap on the warm hall floor, and the great smell of that big bird was in the air when all of a sudden, I heard the sound of feet marching and I saw the bird without a head walking out of the kitchen to the pet door. I have never seen anything like that before!

The bird Squawker:

I was in my birdcage on my swing, getting that last set of reps in, when I say this very small dark red line pass down the hall to the kitchen. The line was moving fast and it didn’t say a thing. The line took the big bird and a whole bunch of things. Thank goodness it didn’t see me on my swing!

The fish Fish and Bowl:

We were taking our usual evening swim when we saw the big bird, the pie, the dressing and the cake that Kelsey just baked walk out the little door near the floor in the kitchen! We have never seen food walk like that!

Niece Kelsey:

Aunt Vivian and I had just finished baking our Thanksgiving meal and had placed them on racks on the counters to cool. When we came back, something or someone had taken all our food and gone. That’s when I called you to solve this one!

Nephew Chris:

I was upstairs watching movies, enjoying the smells of the baking, and beginning to yawn when Kelsey yelled that all the food was gone. I ran down the stairs as fast as I could, but the kitchen was empty and so were the goods!

The cat Sox:

I was sitting in the kitchen window, waiting for that big bird to cool. You know I love birds! They make tasty meals when this moving dark red stomping line came into the kitchen and just took my meal! It stopped at the big bird and then the dressing, pie, and cake. It went right under all of it and took all of the food out of my door and did not hesitate! I got closer to see what was this! There were millions of them carrying the food that was baked!

I went into the kitchen and walked through the pet door where some of the gravy and sweet crumbs had fallen on the floor. I pulled out my magnifying glass and what did I see, in the backyard but a high rise ant mound with red ants at guard waiting for someone to try to pass.
I asked one of the guards for the head ant in charge and I was sent to General Carpenter the master ant and officer of them all!

The perpetrator: General Carpenter

This is the time when all ants must prepare for the winter you see. It is not every day that an ant can have access to a picnic so warm and great! So when one of my food scouts smelled the wonderful food with an easy way to join in, he came back and reported the location and we planned how to get in. It was very easy for us to get in and so much was baked, that we decided just to take the rest home to our condo for all of our family to partake! It is going to be a great Thanksgiving picnic for our families to eat!

Well, it looks like the owners will have to call in an order for a catered Thanksgiving meal! I’ll suggest that maybe they should consider totally closing that pet door so that the rest of their meals will not be walking on the floor out of the door. I must be leaving now and my bill will be at the desk by the front door.

This is another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective!

Colors

One blue moon, I had a strange dream.
I was a blue blood princess feeling blue because I talked to my blue ribbon servants about planning my ball until I was blue in the face.
I was so angry that I was seeing red, so I decided to paint the town red!
I got caught red-handed by a photographer who was paid by my enemy, that was green with envy!
I suddenly got a yellow streak and ran!
Later that night, I had a call from my enemy who tried to blackmail me with the pictures that she had of me painting the town.
I sent a letter to my enemy in black and white that I would blacklist her from all of the parties and balls in town if she published the pictures.
When she received the letter, she turned white as a ghost.
She was so angry with herself for being so green. So she raised the white flag and threw away the pictures.
The black and white-tie ball was the next night.
I walked down the red carpet just like a queen in the white driven snow.
I was tickled pink that the ball went off with flying colors!
All of a sudden, the alarm rang and I realized that I had been seeing my dream world through rose-colored glasses and that was a horse of a different color!

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?

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

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.

The I Story

Itchy, Inky and Ivy planned a very important vacation to the Land of

Imagination. They had eleven hours to plan this trip for seven days or they would

become invisible forever! Ivy chose the places to visit. Itchy was the navigator to

the land of Imagination and Inky wrote the itinerary and ordered the items needed

for the trip. Iceland, Italy, India, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Ireland and Israel were

places they planned to visit, to name a few. Indiana, Idaho, Illinois, and Iowa all

can be in the land of imagination, too!

Inky completed the itinerary, submitted it to the seven giant invisible imps and

pack the great Iron with all their gear, video equipment and instruments for the

trip.

While hanging on for dear life, Itchy, Inky and Ivy, flew backward on the great

Iron, through the keyhole in the front door, to their first site in the

starless, dark as ink night. Itchy navigated the great Iron so smoothly, that

nothing was broken or lost.

First, they landed in Italy to race the gondolas down the Grand Canal. AND THEY WON!

It was on to Pisa to paint the Leaning Tower icterine in the night.

They flew on to Indonesia and landed on an island to build ice blue iridescent

igloos that glowed.

Ivy had an idea to play the inci and indo dafli in Iran and Iraq, while the insects

and the indri danced. Inky answered an invitation to be interviewed by the Imperial

Inchworm of Ireland. Itchy then led the invasion of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, with

an iguana, ibis and impala at his side, his goal was to inflate an indigo balloon at

the top of the tower at the twelfth of the hour. Inky then isolated the intelligent

identical twin aye aye to imbibe in icaco juice, incaberries and ilama. Inky’s

increase in his meal of incaberries led to increased skin itching and eye

irritation, so badly, that Ivy had to invent an imaginary cure for Inky’s itching

that was driving him insane.

They boarded the great Iron and zoomed to Iceland where the Icelandic Sheepdog

ignored them while they independently ate iris ice cream and ilama. Ivy ignited a

fire to melt an iceberg to avoid injury to the great Iron and keep it intact. Itchy

played the ika, izeze and the inzad in an irregular concert for Italian Greyhounds

in Israel. Inky influenced several impartial Irish Setter chefs to include items

with indigo icing on their Indian menu.

When Inky, Itchy, and Ivy returned home on the great Iron, they had equally used

their intelligent imaginations to avoid banishment into the invisible land of

nothingness! Ivy was assigned to write and submit the latest issue of their travels

to the seven giant imps. Inky was assigned to upload a video of the travels to their

website. Itchy created a computer app to access all of their information about the

Land of Imagination. All were safe from becoming invisible, for now.

So, aye-aye and good bye!