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Thursday, March 18, 2010

An Update And A Drawing

     Yesterday, Donna Aviles was back with us and shared more about her family and the many experiences that developed as a result of her grampa's trip on an Orphan Train.  I have tried to imagine what it must have been like for so many children to be separated from everything they knew and be dropped down among strangers.  There simply is no way I can draw a proper image of how difficult it must have been for those children, even in the best of circumstances.

     Of course Oliver, Donna's granddad, and her Uncle Edward fell far-shy of the best circumstances and it affected them in every aspect for the rest of their lives.

     After Donna left, yesterday, I thought of more questions I wanted answers to and she was kind enough to allow me some extended time for answers.  In fact, she has been most helpful and encouraging since I met her.  Below are her responses.  You'll want to read to the end because there is a surprise at the end of this post and I truly hope you will join in for some fun.

     Here, then, are the things I still wanted to know and Donna's very informative replies.  Don't forget to read yesterday's interview to learn quite a bit more about Donna's family and the Orphan Train experience.  Now, let's begin.

Yaya:  Donna, this is the most intriguing title from any of the three books. PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES.  Could you please tell us how you came up with this and was this something that popped into your mind, long after you began writing. Or, did the name of the book come first?

Donna:  The "working title" was OLIVER'S CHILDREN.  The idea for the title, PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES, came to me after I wrote about the time Benny was in school and for lunch he brought his usual, peanut butter on bread.  It was all he ever brought.  Another student - one of wealthier means - opened up his lunch bag and brought out 2 cupcakes with green icing.  Benny tried and tried to convince the boy to trade a cupcake...or even part of a cupcake... for his "delicious, creamy peanut butter" but to no avail.  He told himself that someday, he'd have all the cupcakes he wanted. (and as my father, I know that he still has an insatiable sweet tooth to this day and he just turned 81!)  So the title refers to that story.  But in fact, it has a second meaning as well. Oliver's children lived what could be categorized as a "peanut butter" sort of life.  But in the end, they all found the sweetness of "cupcakes" through hard work and love of family.

Yaya:  Do you have any of the items that were owned by Oliver from his childhood or any of his children's articles from their childhood?

Donna:  Yes, we have his tiny, pocket size book of Bible verses and prayers that he carried with him on the train. He carried it with him even as an adult. We also have his favorite belt buckle.

Yaya:  I don't know if Donna will be able to stop in, but if you're listening, Donna, this has truly been a wonderful time of learning for me.  As much as I thought I knew about the Orphan Trains, my education has been increased so much by visiting your blog and your website and having you here to share your story.  I am anxious to have you back here soon to talk to us about your last book, some more.  I feel that there is so much more to discuss.  You have certainly enlightened me on many aspects of what the children went through during that forgotten period in American history.  I am, in fact, in the process of reading your books again.  I'm sure that anyone who reads them will learn a great deal and enjoy the trip, in the process.
     Now, my friends, I promised you a surprise.  You see, I so believe in Donna's books and in the work she is doing in spreading the word about seventy-five years of forgotten history that I want to help her in her efforts by having a giveaway.
     So, here's what I've come up with.  Donna is a new blogger and I remember how difficult it was when I was starting out.  The most mysterious part of blogging, for me, was the elusive Follower.  Donna has no idea that I am posting this message on my blog, but I really want to help her out.
     These books are amazing.  I think everyone should have a chance to read them.  Now, I can't quite afford to get the whole set and give away, but I will buy Donna's third book, PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES and give it away to the winner of this next contest.
     All you have to do is follow Donna's blog and get one other person to follow her blog (and if you aren't yet a follower on mine, it would sure make me feel good if you followed me, as well).  I don't want to go into a lot of elaborate rules for entering.
     1) All I'm asking is for you to follow this blog.
     2) Follow Donna's blog and
     3) get one more person to follow Donna's blog
          and you will be entered to win her book, PEANUT BUTTER FOR CUPCAKES.  
     Drawing ends on Tax Day.

     Please tell me in a comment on This Post that you have met these three requirements because I'm kinda' lazy not able to find everyone in posts all over the place.  Whoever wins this book is in for some exciting reading, so please tell your friends.  And you might enjoy checking out Donna's website, too.
     I look forward to reading all your comments.  Now, hurry out and follow Donna's blog and get one friend to follow her, as well.  You'll be glad you did.  Until the next time, keep a hug on.


Donna said...

Wow, thank you so much Yaya! And to sweeten the pie even further, I'll contribute a copy of the first 2 books - can't have the winner reading only the third book now can we??? Good Luck To All and Thank You Very Much!

Yaya' s Home said...

Good morning and thank you. That's so nice of you. The winner of this drawing is really getting a great prize. All three books. SUCH a awesome prize!

~ Yaya

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

Hi Joany, I'm pretty much done with entering contests due to time constraints and the fact that I don't need any more stuff.

But I still visit and read your blog!!!

Everytime I email a response to your comments on my blog, it bounces back to me as "undeliverable" What's up with that??

lynette355 said...

ok I now follow you in person instead of popping in! yippeeee!
and donna has two new followers
lynette355 and crazed mind!

Yaya' s Home said...

I don't know why that is, PJ. I've done everything I could to make my email response work. I don't know what's going on. I'll try again to fix it. According to what I am seeing, its supposed to be working. I'm sorry its being so ornery. Thank you for all your comments. You would really enjoy these books, I promise.

~ Yaya

PJ said...

Hey Gal! Thanks for visiting me! Just so you know, I've met only 2 of the requirements. I follow you, I followed Donna's blog, but I don't know if I can get anyone else to follow Donna. I'm having trouble getting people to enter my GIVE-AWAY,let alone follow some one else. I will try though.

God Bless!


Yaya' s Home said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yaya' s Home said...

Hi Lynette,
Thanks for following me. And especially, thanks for following Donna. Her books are awesome. Good luck in the drawing.

Thank you, PJ, for both follows. You still have time to get someone else to follow Donna. The drawing won't be until the 15th of April. Just be sure to comment on this post when it happens, k? And good luck.

~ Yaya

Yaya' s Home said...

I'll put a link to your giveaway here so others will know about it. Hope it helps.

~ Yaya

PJ said...

Thank You so much! I've put a link to your blog as well as Donna's. Have you checked out my Give-Away? The book is really thought provoking.

God Bless,


Yaya' s Home said...

Thank you, PJ. Yes, I entered your contest. It does look interesting. Thanks, again.

~ Yaya

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

I've enjoyed both yesterday and today's post. It really gives a girl a lot to ponder over.

I just wanted to pop in and wish you a fabulous Friday and a blessed weekend! :o)

Robyn Campbell said...

Sounds like a super book. I will put it on my to be bought pile in case I don't win. I follow you am following Donna and hope someone will follow her because of me. Take care.

Yaya' s Home said...

Hi Nezzy,
I'm so glad you enjoyed both posts. I hope you were able to scoot on over to Donna's blog and get to know her, too. She tells even more on her blog about the Orphan Trains. Its all very interesting. Thank you for the weekend wish. I hope yours is wonderful, too.

Robyn, hi,
You will really enjoy these books. I couldn't believe all that Oliver struggled through in his life. My good hubby-buddy was as interested while I read as I was. Lemme' know what you think, after you read 'em, k?

Thank you all for stopping by. Its so nice to see you.

~ Yaya

Let'sMakeADifference said...

I am a brand new follower!! Thanks for the comment on my blog, and the chance to win!!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I'm now one of your followers...I thought I already was, but huhhhh...I'm going to go check out Donna. I fell in love with the story of the Orphan Train when I was in SD last summer, but they were out of copies everywhere I went....Well, I'm not going to make all three requirements before tomorrow...I'm on a blog break...We had that Mark thing this week, I took a beg chap book and made it into a pb and am preparing for a company party at my house tomorrow....(Hence the blog break...)

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