Friday, 25 May 2012

I can see Cleary now

Cleary's grandpa helps her get ready
Grandpa and I watched the eclipse last Sunday, but before that, my Dad and I saw something even more awesome!

Dad took me to Medicine Hat Speedway on Saturday afternoon to watch the Jet Engine Funny Car race in a special Canada vs U.S. shootout. 

Remember I went last year and met the driver of Prairie Gold, Kevin Therres? His corvette runs on 100% canola biodiesel – you wouldn’t believe how fast it goes. Faster than superman, even!

Kevin is pretty awesome. But you know who else is pretty awesome?

Cleary Thompson

Cleary is a 10-year-old Jr. Dragster racer who was also at the track last weekend. She’s fast! Her car Rock Angel may not be as flashy as Prairie Gold or shoot flames out the back end, but I have a feeling the dragster is just the beginning of her racing career.

Cleary’s been racing since she was 8-years-old. 

Cleary with illustrator James Grasdal
You can tell. Minutes before her race she was sitting at the table with illustrator James Grasdal playing a game of Draw Something. And when the time came, she got up, walked to her car, geared up with helmet and all, and dropped into the driver’s seat. 

She’s so comfortable behind the wheel. She said she doesn’t even get nervous, which seems crazy to me because she’s flying down the track way faster than I could ever run – and I can run pretty fast. It’s like she’s fearless.

Dad says Cleary just knows what she wants, kind of like me. She says she’s really active in all kinds of sports, but she really wants to be a car racer. I’m pretty sure Cleary will do whatever she sets her mind to.

Gotta Jet! It’s not raining which means I’m hitting the track myself today – track and field practice, that is. Have a great weekend!

- Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 18 May 2012

Eclipse! No Bella and Edward required

There’s going to be an eclipse this Sunday! No, not the movie.

An eclipse is when the moon passes between Earth and the Sun, casting a shadow on the planet. But this weekend’s event is actually called an annual solar eclipse because the moon won’t completely cover the sun, but will leave a fiery ring around it instead.

How cool is that?

I’d say pretty awesome, because there’s even a football stadium in the United States that’s putting on a free eclipse–watching event, with protective glasses and everything. They expect about 20,000 people.

I’m going to watch it, too – but from Grandpa’s canola field. It’s the May long weekend, which means farmers are hoping to finish their seeding (if they haven’t done so, and as long as the weather holds up), and I’ll be helping Grandpa with chores.

I can’t think of a more beautiful place to see the eclipse. Without the city lights, the air is crisp, the sky dark. It’s perfect. There sure are some benefits to living in the country.

Gotta jet! Have a great long weekend – and don’t forget to watch for the eclipse!

-  Chase Superman Duffy

PS – Do you live in Medicine Hat? The Medicine Hat Speedway kicks off the season tonight and that Jet Engine Funny Car I’ve talked about before is racing in a big Canada vs the US shootout. It’s going to be loud, fast and fun! Plus, you can grab a copy of Gotta Jet and even have it signed by the author and illustrator. Say Hi from me if you go.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Mother's Day crafting with canola oil!

I don’t know about you, but I always struggle with what to do for my Mom on Mother’s DayEvery year she tells me not to buy her something, that it’s enough for me to just tell her I love her.

But that’s kind of boring, right? I mean, I do love her…everyday, not just on this Sunday. And I wasn’t lucky enough to get ‘picked’ to tell the local radio audience of why I’m proud of my mom! 

Last year I wrote her a poem. Dad framed it, and it’s hanging in the kitchen. That was before I even learnt how to write a poem, though – so it’s not very good. I could try a new one, but Mom’s wall of me and my sister’s projects is kind of full. 

So, I’ve decided to make something. I got the idea from Grandpa, who reminded me that Mother’s Day is in celebration of all the important women in your life…not just Mom. I think Mom AND Grandma will love the Bath Body Salt Scrub I’m mixing up.

Want to make some for your Mom, too?

Ask an adult to help you with this recipe:

½ cup (125 mL) Epsom salts (not regular salt, but the kind from the pharmacy)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) almond oil
30-35 drops essential oil (to make it smell nice, but not necessary)

Mix Epsom salts, canola oil, almond oil and essential fragrance oil together. Place in a glass jar. Tie a ribbon or piece of yarn at the top to make it prettier. You can even print off a custom label to make it more personal.

Be sure to let your Mom know to mix it up again before using – and then to rinse it off after. And as with all salts, don’t rub the scrub onto a wound, as it will sting.

Gotta jet! Dad and I are going shopping for ingredients.

Happy Mother’s Day!

- Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 4 May 2012

Thanks a teacher this May 8

Did you know that May 8 is National Teacher’s Day in Canada?

It’s not an official holiday where we get to stay home from school, but that would kind of defeat the purpose, since it’s actually the perfect day to thank the teachers who have made an impact on your life.

Coach Taylor is at the top of my list. He’s believed in me since I first tried out for the track team, but every practice he teaches me something about humility, being a good team player, the importance of practice, and learning to be my very best. Important skills not just for the field, but for everyday life, too!

Mom thinks I should also take flowers to Mrs. Kratky, my Language Arts teacher.  She’s the reason I started writing short stories – and last month, she even taught me how to write a poem. I know, my Mom was shocked, too.

Which teachers will you thank this week?

Gotta Jet!

- Chase Superman Duffy