Archive for Heard ‘Round the Farm

Ogilvy the Pig & First Book Portland Featured at “Breweries for Books”

Breweries for Books: First Book Portland's Annual Fundraiser for Children's Books

There’ll be frosty mugs and trivia games for adults, and free books for children during First Book Portland’s  Annual “Breweries for Books” event, slated for Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 4-8pm at Portland, Oregon’s beloved Migration Brewing.  Admission is free, and children are invited from 4-6:30pm!

Children’s book author Pam Abrahamsson will be handing out free copies of her book, “Ogilvy, the Pig Who Whistled,” from 4:30-6:30pm, or while supplies last. 

From 6:30-8, the “big kids” (aka grownups) can enjoy a mug of frosty Migration beer, show their stuff in trivia games, and enter to win great prizes from the First Book raffle.  There are cash prizes for the winning trivia team, and 50% of raffle proceeds will go to the lucky winning ticket holder.

10% of all food and beverage purchases will benefit First Book Portland and its mission of providing new books to children in need within our community.

Did you know: 100% of all funds raised by First Book Portland go directly back to the community?

Want to help Portland’s leading book and literary program for our youth?  Contact them or email directly:

About Ogilvy, the Pig Who Whistled

In a big world with plenty of distractions, it can be hard for children to feel good about themselves.  That’s why the five-star rated book, Ogilvy, the Pig Who Whistled, shares the message that “there’s nothing better than being you” through a series of misadventures in the barnyard with a cast of colorful furred and feathered friends.

Available through Amazon Books.


Whistling Pig Publishing Announces First Book Charitable Partnership

Whistling Pig Publishing, home to Ogilvy, the Pig Who WhistledFirst Book childrens non profit program


        New Children’s Book Champions Self Esteem, Access to Books

“Ogilvy, the Pig Who Whistled”

Top-Rated Pig Tale & First Book Supporter


PORTLAND, OR (March 12, 2013) – A new children’s book ,“Ogilvy, the Pig Who Whistled,” is a pig tale with something more than a stack of great reviews:  a dual mission of boosting children’s self esteem, and supporting the work of  the Portland, OR chapter of First Book, a national non-profit providing new books to children in need.

The book, released by Whistling Pig Publishing for four-to-eight year old children, shares the lesson of “why there’s nothing better than being you” through the adventures Ogilvy the Pig and his barnyard friends.  It is charmingly illustrated by internationally-acclaimed artist Stefano Trainito, and the perfect bedtime reader.

“Ogilvy, the Pig Who Whistled” encourages children to read, and helps them feel good about themselves,” said author and Whistling Pig Publishing founder Pam Abrahamsson.  “This is our publishing mission, which is why we are happy to support First Book Portland and its mission of getting books in the hands of needy children by donating a portion of proceeds from the sale of the book.”

“As part of a committed team of children’s literacy advocates, we highly encourage support and involvement from the Portland community,” said Nicole Sligh, Co-Chair, First Book Portland.  “The need for books for our local children is so great, we welcome creative giving partnerships such as Whistling Pig Publishing’s donation program, and we invite the community to get involved in ways which work well for them.”

The five-star-review-winning book is available in print and eBook formats through  Prices are $1.99 for Kindle and introductory pricing of $5.62 for the soft back version.  Readers can follow Ogilvy’s adventures on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

About Whistling Pig Publishing

Whistling Pig Publishing is an independent children’s book publishing house founded in 2013 in Portland, OR.  Its mission is simple:  To encourage the young, and young of heart, to be the best they can be through story telling.  Whistling Pig Publishing is launching a line of books which share, through the eyes and story of Ogilvy the Pig and a colorful cast of barnyard characters, the special joys of being yourself.  For more information, contact:

 About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 110 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.  By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and helping elevate the quality of education.

First Book:  Portland, OR

The First Book Portland, OR Advisory Board was formed in 1998 to serve children from low-income families in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. By providing a critical resource of books, First Book raises the quality of schools and community programs, elevates the educational playing field, and sparks a lifelong love of reading and learning.   To learn more about how you can get involved in the great work First Book is doing in the Portland Tri-County area, please send an email, visit their website or like them on Facebook.


Thank You For Being A Friend

Friends:  There for you through thick (shakes) and thin!

Friends: There for you through thick (shakes) and thin

Whether we’re talking about today’s recess at school, the books about friendship we grew up with, a certain apparently timeless TV sitcom from the ‘90’s or an even older song guaranteed to attach itself to commercials and stick in your brain, there’s one thing we all agree on:

We like, even love our friends.

But let’s take it a step further. How about being grateful? Not just for the fun times and laughter, but for a friend’s solid shoulder when things are tough. Even – gulp¬ – the tough love when you a friend tells you something you should know. Even when you don’t want to hear it.

In our book, Ogilvy, the Pig Who Whistles (to be released September 1st!) our lead character gets plenty of tough love from his friends as his ‘wanna be’ gets in the way of who he is. Another character, aptly named ‘Slybeaks’ ends up doing the right thing thanks to a well-timed, gentle shaming from a good friend.

The New York Times wrote about studies linking friendship with longer life spans, better brain health and, well, gaining weight if your friends gain weight (eating French fries in solidarity? Yep!)

So, as busy as we are with raising children, working, reading, and our day to day lives, let’s not forget to take a second to thank our friends for being who they are; even as they prod our conscious and soothe our soul.

…Who would YOU say is a wonderful friend, and why?


Isn’t anticipation just delicious? Although it can induce sleepless nights, distraction and even heart burn, we wouldn’t trade that glorious rev of energy for anything! Having heart palpitations can be a good thing if all for the right reasons. It’s that childlike wonder we remember from Christmas, Easter and birthday parties. I think it’s important to keep anticipation in our lives; what else can replace the giddyness of “not knowing” and “what’s next”? Actually, it doesn’t take a huge event to induce a subtle thrill-how about just the opening of each brilliant day? I never want to be ho-hum about this life; what a blessing each sunrise is!

Which is why I have to say, the about-to-happen publication of our book, “Ogilvy, the Pig Who Whistled” is having all of us dancing around with anticipation. Simply Pig-a-licious!

If you haven’t liked us on Facebook, or signed up on our email list, please do! We’re thinking some giveaways and goodies will be in order to celebrate the launch of the book. Oh yes, that goes for our friends on Twitter and Pinterest too!

Geeky Girls

Growing up in Southern California, Dana was my neighbor, class mate and best friend. We did the typical goofy young girl things together and my memories of our antics still make me smile. We’d ride our bikes to and from elementary school and go home to her house for lunch. We’d always have a green salad with Wish Bone Italian Dressing on it. Then we’d ride back to school with no hands while stuffing our mouths with soda crackers and then blow them out into the wind! The new next door neighbor kid, Mike, was a cutie and we lost no time tormenting him. They say guys love that kind of attention, is that true? Hard to tell since he completely ignored us. We’d sit in my tree house waiting for him to come out the back door just for a glimpse. Pitiful…And we’d throw oranges into his backyard; just to be obnoxious I guess. We’d also play our “spy” game in the bushes, writing notes and shooting them back and forth to each other in special “spy” pens. Dana was Honey West (after the TV show!) and I was Sugar East. We were the “Girl From UNCLE” wanna-bes. Good grief…My favorite though, was hunkering down in my parents’ Rambler station wagon while playing London cabbie. This was during the “mod” years and we had our black patent leather caps on and white go-go boots, talking in British accents and reviewing our list of mod slang words like “luv” and I can’t even remember what else. We even set up DJ’s Mod Shop in my bedroom and spent countless hours playing with our clothes. Dana is still a great friend and I thank her for those silly times. We were geeky but we had fun!
PS-Now we’re really cool…

My Dad

My dad (Mitch) was an artist and a college professor with a great wit.  I never heard him say a negative word about anyone, ever.  He loved classical music and on Saturday mornings as my sisters and I were trying to sleep in, he’d crank up an opera on the record player and run around the house opening doors, yelling “get up, get up!” and just generally being goofy.  We’d pretend disdain but actually, we loved it.  Who couldn’t smile at that?  What a lot of fun he was and I am forever grateful for the buoyancy he instilled in my life. Positive energy is infectious and I believe it’s up to all of us to help spread smiles.  Sounds simple enough but our world cannot have too much laughter or too much positive influence for my taste.  Color outside the lines sometimes….it’s fun!




Rolling With the Punches

Refusing to take life’s hard knocks on the chin is nothing new.  But why do I have to work so hard at it?  You’d think shrugging off adversity would be a built-in defense mechanism in us humans but I’m not so sure.  Some people are very good at it and I admire them so!  How do they get that way?  Were they just born “tougher” than others or do they have to make a conscious effort to be so?  I know I certainly have to work at it; good grief, if I was any more sensitive and vulnerable than I am it wouldn’t be pretty.   I still love the words from the song “don’t worry, be happy”….if life could get any simpler than that, I don’t know how.  Perhaps we think ourselves trivial or shallow if we don’t get enough drama into our lives.  Lots of folks actually go looking for it which I totally don’t get because enough of it will just naturally roll into your life anyway…”Don’t sweat the small stuff” is sage advice and I keep a constant reminder going round in my head to this effect.  If rolling with the punches isn’t something that comes naturally to me and I must be constantly aware to rise above life’s petty annoyances, then so be it.  Erma Bombeck put it this way; “If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.”   I’ll give it my best “light hearted” shot!





The Child Must Know That He Is A Miracle

Growing up, I was terribly thin with freckles and lots of curly, red hair.  I had a very loving and supportive family but we all know how cruel kids can be.  There was one boy that I went to elementary school with and for SEVEN long years (kindergarten-6th grade) I endured his teasing.  His favorite word for me was “bones”.  I walked home every day with head hung down, usually crying, way too sensitive to rise above it.  My parents were furious but even talking to his parents didn’t help; they just didn’t seem to care.  The school also seemed unable to stop him.  So in the 1960’s when the really cool girls had long, blonde hair parted in the middle (and what else I can’t recall but I certainly didn’t have it), I spent most of my time yearning to fit in with that crowd instead of just accepting who I was.  I shunned the dorky guys who liked me and they’re all probably nuclear scientists now or something…As I grew up and the world changed, I began to find myself.  Thank you Twiggy!  Suddenly, it was cool to be thin and different and the hippie movement saved me as far as fashion and self-image goes.  Ever after, I have been proud of my individuality and am even friends with some of those “cool” girls from my childhood!  Who would have thought all that angst would strengthen me so and someday serve me well?

The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.
-Pau (Pablo) Casals

Bella & Boo

When the weather turns warm enough in spring, I like to put our box turtle, Boo, outside in his “day pen” as I call it.  A plastic milk crate turned upside down works well and I put a little plastic tray in the grass filled with water.  He loves to stretch his neck out and soak up the rays.  He also loves getting his shell wet and never ceases trying to escape.  At the end of the day, I let him loose for a time but keep a watchful eye.  He trucks across the yard (that turtle can move!) headed for the woods but of course, I always pluck him up before he can disappear, take him back to square one and let him go again.  Recently, our little Jack Russell, Bella, discovered Boo.  Happily, she was on the other side of the picket fence but when she spied this new “creature” cruising past her, she about came unglued.  Hopping up and down on all four’s like a wind-up toy, mashing her face through the slats in the fence so her little eyes were all slanted back and not barking exactly but making sounds more like strangled yelps of frenzy.  I was laughing so hard I cried, I love torturing her….I love torturing her because she’s a nightmare of a dog who kills anything in sight!  Our Boo already has a small chunk missing from his shell from another dog attack before we got him.  But he seemed to not even notice her, just having too much fun in the sun.  You go Boo!

Shall we Share?

Why is it those grade school lessons about sharing and giving never seem to completely sink in?  Just last week I received what seemed like another appeal mailer, asking for my help for a local charity.  Do they think I’m made of money?  I found myself grumbling.  Well, no, I’m not made of money and charities surely know that in these tough times.  However, with a roof over my head and food on the table, I’m luckier than many.  In some ways, our book about Ogilvy the Pig, deals with being generous and giving and what happens when we get selfish; about our talents, what others have and what we think we deserve.

I’ve made up three rules to help guide me in giving to charities and other worthy causes and at least stop justateenytinybit my seemingly hard-wired instinct to be selfish:

1. Is this the best way to do the most good?

2. Is this a cause I believe in?

3. Are there other ways I can give and make a difference?

What about you? How do you give to others? And, like me, how do you feel about sharing that last bite of chocolate? May we all give wisely and well!