'A Bird’s Eye View'

"A Bird’s Eye View of the Hood River Valley” is the newest coloring book to come out about our picturesque valley. But it’s much more than just a coloring book.

A collaboration between local watercolor artist Sally Bailey and retired schoolteacher Marianne Kaczynski, the book is accurately subtitled “A Travelogue Coloring Book.”

“A Bird’s Eye View,” which can easily be read as a children’s book, follows a bird on a journey around the valley to 22 different places.

“It starts in downtown Hood River and goes up through Parkdale,” Kaczynski says. “It basically follows the Fruit Loop.” Each site is “kid-friendly,” says Bailey, including places like the Hood River Rotary Skate Park, Mike’s Ice Cream and the Mt. Hood Railroad.

Bailey, known for her vibrant watercolor paintings of the valley, used her talent to create outline drawings of kids, birds and familiar Hood River Valley scenes — drawings just waiting to be colored by others. Kaczynski, who taught 1st and 2nd grade for 22 years in Beaverton before retiring to Parkdale four years ago, wrote a simple storyline with rhyming descriptions of the scenes.

“We wanted to get to all the areas and I thought this would be a cute way to do it,” Kaczynski says of the bird theme. “It’s also educational.” Kids are encouraged to identify different birds in the book, and a few pages in the back are filled with educational activities and exercises for kids to do.

In addition, each page of the coloring book has a “hidden” ladybug for kids to find and color in.

“Kids love things like that,” says Bailey, who also taught for many years. But she’s quick to point out that she and Kaczynski are calling their endeavor “a coloring book for kids and adults.”

“Sometimes adults like to just sit down and color, too,” she says. The authors plan to donate a portion of the book’s proceeds to local schools for their art programs.

Bailey and Kaczynski have been working on the book, which is due out next week, for two years.

“It’s been fun,” Bailey says.

“We’ve had a good time with it,” Kaczynski adds. A sentiment likely to be shared by colorers of all ages.

“A Bird’s Eye View of the Hood River Valley” will be available in local shops and by contacting Marianne Kaczynski at 541-352-4188 or at mariannek@gorge.net, or Sally Bailey at mthoodsally @aol.com.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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