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MCFC Appearances / Book Events!

Here is a list of Moo-Cow Fan Club events we've got planned so far for Summer 2009. If you are near any of these locations you should come out and see us because we have a lot of fun at our book events! Plus, if you come and participate you can get an original illustration like this.



Kiweenie chopstickin' illustration


May 16th - Main Street Book Ends in Warner NH @ 2pm

This is during the "Spring Into Warner" festival, so lots of fun stuff will be happening all day long.


May 21st - 23rd - FPEA (Florida Parents & Educators Association) Homeschool Convention @ The Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando Florida

We'll have a table here for all three days and will have lots of special deals and items no longer for sale on the site.


May 29th - 31st - Book Expo America @ the Javits Center in New York City

We will not have a booth at this, but we will be there all three days. If you are going and would like to meet up with us just contact me!


June 6th - Broke: The Affordable Arts Fair in Peterborough, NH @ the Union Congretational Church from 10am - 4pm

This is a great arts fair where all kinds of cool artwork is on sale cheap! We'll have a table full of great stuff. Including Moo-Cow books, magazines, original artwork and our own handmade teas!


June 27th - Just Books in Old Greenwich, CT @ 10am

We'll be at Just Books at 10am to meet and hang out with all you early birds, but at 11am the real fun begins when we start our interactive reading of Sword of the Ramurai and play our chopstick game that can win you an original MCFC illustration!


July 16th - Book Revue in Huntington, NY (Long Island) @ 7pm

This is Ryan's return home to the town he grew up in! Lots of friends, family and fans should make this a very exciting MCFC event. Interactive reading, chopstick game, and some special secret fun!


Oh, and did you know that if you come get your copy of Sword of the Ramurai signed at an event you get this cool "chop" as well as our signatures?

Sword of the Ramurai Chop! 

If you need directions or more information about any of these events please contact us!


If you can't make it to any of these events you can let us know where you live and where you would like us to have an event and we'll see what we can do. 


And if you just want to get a copy of Sword of the Ramurai without having to actually see us, please order it here.

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Snowy Winter

I don’t know about where you live, but here at MCFC headquarters we have been getting buried with snow, ice and freezing rain this winter. Normally, we keep pretty busy in winter with snowball fights, making snowmen, sledding and ending our day with a hot cup of cocoa. But the first major storm of this winter was a major ice storm which knocked out our power (and water) for 13 days! Then, we got buried by a number of giant storms that dumped a foot or more of snow, and added to all that we had a week of arctic weather with temperatures reaching -20 degrees!

So, this winter is getting a little too cold and snowy for most of us. Kiweenie doesn’t like going outside because he sinks so far into the snow that all we see is a beak sticking up for air. F.W. tries to run around but the snow it taller than him in most parts, and he doesn’t have a beak so we’re just afraid he’ll get lost! Keby is always bummed during winter because she can’t see her beloved plants. In fact, the only one who isn’t too upset by the snow is Willy T. because he is so tall, even the biggest snow drifts don’t bother him. Plus, his shaggy coat keeps him plenty warm in even the coldest weather.


Here are some pics from our cold and snowy winter!


Tree fallen in driveway

This is the driveway to MCFC Headquarters. No wonder we didn’t have any power for two weeks!


Snowy conference table
No board meetings until the snow melts!

Night time Yurt
At least headquarters is staying nice and toasty warm!

Garden covered by three feet of snow
This is Keby’s circular garden she created last summer. It’s under about 3 feet of snow!

Red winter cactus
Even without a garden though, Keby has to keep some plants around. This is her Christmas cactus which only blooms in the winter.
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Valentine's Day Book Party!

Valentine's day book signing flier

The Milford Toadstool Bookshop is located at Lorden Plaza
586 Nashua St., Milford, NH 03055

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Getting Settled In

Welcome to our campsite!

Moo-Cow wading out in the pond


Our home for the next two weeks is actually pretty nice. It's a great spot, and it's completely surrounded by trees (when you are going camping with Moo-Cow and the gang it's best to have no other sites too close because a marshmallow fight can erupt at any time). We've also got an incredible view out over a nice big pond, and we have a picnic table and fire pit. What more could we possibly want?


The first thing we did when we got here was set up our tents. I'm sharing the medium tent with Ryan, while Keby, Moo-Cow and Kiweenie are sharing the big tent and Ramses and F.W. are sharing the small one. Rhetorical said as a bear he'd be embarrassed to be caught sleeping in a tent and then he walked off into the woods. We each picked our spots, argued a little over who got the rockier bits, and within a few minutes had our tents set up. Well, almost all of us did. Despite having only two poles and a small tent Ramses and F.W. had a hard time figuring out how it all went together. I'll share some of the pictures I took of them as they worked it out.



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They are already having trouble roughing it and we've only just arrived! I can't wait to see how the gang reacts to the camping life over the next couple of weeks. I think they'll do okay. I know they have a lot of great activities planned for us all, and who wouldn't be happy spending time in such a great spot! Well, whatever happens I'm glad you could join us for some camping!


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A Sunday in the Park

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F.W. Plays Music in Jinshan Park


ingshan park is located directly across the street from the Forbidden City. The hill in the center of the park was built from the dirt that was moved to make the moat around the Forbidden City, and it is said that it was built to protect the palaces from the evil sprits that blew across the land (the spirits were most likely the dust storms that can still be a problem in the city now).



woman in Jinshan Park does sword tai-chi.




While it was once a relaxation garden for the emperors, it is now a park that anyone can enter…and many do! We went on a Sunday and the place was filled with people! Around every tree were small groups singing songs, people practicing calligraphy by writing on the sidewalks with large brushes dipped in water, men and women twirling large colorful ribbons while dancing, and people playing games, exercising, and even a woman doing tai-chi with a sword!







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Ribbon Dancing in Jinshan Park

We loved walking around and watching everyone. There was a mixture of people from all walks of life and of all ages. In fact, some of the most active people we saw were in there seventies and eighties! Nobody seemed to feel self conscious or embarrassed about how they acted or moved either. We even saw a businessman, who was walking with his wife, suddenly break out into a little dance as he passed one of the many stereos blaring music. Nobody even looked twice. It was really inspiring to see such an active culture and I wish there was a park at home like it.



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After we people watched for a while, we walked to the top of the hill. Even though it is the highest point in Beijing, the hill wasn't that hard to climb. Along the way to the top we passed by a bunch of different pavilions. They represent one of the five tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, acrid and salt. There used to be a copper Buddha statue in the middle of each one, but they were stolen in the 1900's.
MCFC gang at Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion
At the top is the Ten Thousand Springs pavilion, and from up there you could see all of Beijing. We could also see the whole of the Forbidden City and we realized just how far we walked the other day when we toured it! Standing on that hill observing modern and ancient Beijing at once with the sounds of singing groups drifting up from below, we really realized we were in an all round amazing place!



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We think the guy in this video was practicing for the new Olympic event Hacky Roping. He's probably going to get the gold.
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MCFC Invades the Great Wall!

Gret Wall Video Intro Thumb
Moo-Cow Ramses and F.W. climb the steps at the great wall


The Great Wall was originally a series of small, separate walls created by the independent countries that made up the area that is now China. When China was unified under the first Emperor Qin, in 221 BCE, he ordered the small walls be connected and the Great Wall was born to protect China from enemies outside its borders. Yet, as people all throughout history have discovered, building a wall doesn't necessarily keep out those you are trying to keep out. The Mongol leader Genghis Khan famously said, "A wall is only as good as its defenders," and then went on to attack China.


In the 1400's, after the Mongol attack, a Ming dynasty emperor ordered another 600 miles be added to the wall, and rebuilt older sections to be more secure. It is said that it took over 100 years to re-enforce it and tens of thousands of workers died under the cruel working conditions.


Ryan and Kiweenie Checking for invaders


The part of the wall that we visited is between 23 and 26 feet tall. It's made of mostly granite and is very strong because this section was seen as strategically important for protecting the city of Beijing. The guard towers are the length that two arrows could fly apart, so that every part of the wall could be defended from them. This part of the wall is also incredibly well preserved. In some parts of the country the Great Wall has crumbled away to ruins.

No one knows exactly how long the Great Wall is, but estimates range from 1,500 to several thousand miles. Oh, and despite what you might have heard, you actually cannot see the Great Wall from space. A Chinese astronaut confirmed that in 2003.


Rhetorical napping at the great wall.


Ryan going up steps at Great Wall
Oh, did we mention that there are a lot of steps?


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Easter Egg Battles 2008

Nails The Chicken's Egg

This is Nails' egg. No one touches Nails' egg.

For the past few years we've had a new Easter Day tradition. Ryan and I head on over to a friend's house (Beth & Michael W.) for a little dinner and some very competitive rounds of Egg Battles! That's not the official name but that's what happens. You pit your eggs (hardboiled and decorated of course) against other peoples eggs to see which one has the hardest shell.

It's a pretty simple game that basically consists of
two people choosing eggs and trying to crack each others egg by smacking them together. One player is the smacker and one player is the holder. The holder puts her egg in her fist with only a small bit showing at the top where the thumb and pointer finger meet. The smacker then smacks one end of her egg against the holder's and whoever's cracks flips their egg around and uses the other end. Once both ends of your egg are broken your opponent gets it. The person who has the most eggs at the end of the egg battles is the overall winner.



Here are some of the Contenders in the 2008 Egg Battles!
Decorated Easter Eggs



Chicken Egg Voting for Ramses



Decorated Eggs



Moo-Tube link for Egg Battles


Of course even though it is a simple game everyone has their strategies and favorite techniques. Here is a video of Ryan and I battling. Notice my technique of rubbing the top of the opponents egg before I smack it. Considering I lost this one, I don't know how good that technique is.






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