Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects my eclectic interests and, I hope, yours. This week, my focus is on blueberries and peaches because this is officially the month for both of them, there is a LOT to say about them, and because like lots of other fruits, such as plums, cherries, oranges, and apricots, their names are also colors – making a fitting end to Color Your World Month.

I hope you are finding these offerings fun, and perhaps even useful, and I welcome your feedback. ( And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.


The Quirky Quote

It’s been said that the French painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 – 1919), encouraged students to improve their painting skills by reproducing the textures and colors of peaches. I couldn’t find such a quote by him, but he did have this good advice: “One must from time to time attempt things that are beyond one’s capacity.” As for his paintings of peaches, at right, I think his contemporary Claude Monet (1840 -1926) was better at the fuzzy part – left, top of page.

The Quirky Observation

There are lots of songs that feature fruits, but as far as I know, the only two featuring  blueberries and peaches, are Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino and Apples, Peaches, Bananas & Pears by The Monkees      

One of the most famous songs about fruit is “Yes, We Have No Bananas” written by Frank Silver and Irving Conn and first made popular in 1923. It may have referred to a real fruit stand owner who in the Greek tradition of not wanting to disappoint, always started his answers with “Yes,” even when in this case, the ultimate answer was “no.” What most people probably don’t realize is that it is a long song with many verses that include all the fruits and vegetables he does have to offer. You get 100 bonus points if you can fill in these blanks:

We’ve _______________ and _______________,  ________________ and _______________ . . . We have an old fashioned ______________, A Long Island _______________ . . . There is mention then of coconuts, walnuts, and doughnuts, and two kinds of red herring.
And one final thing they do have:
We can positively affirm without fear of contradiction, That our ______________ are delicious; really delicious, Very delicious, But we have no bananas today.

Hear it here: or look up the complete lyrics here:

Answer: The blanks are: string beans, onions, cabaggeses (sic), and scallions, then an old-fashioned tomato and long island potato. And in the last line: delicious raspberries!

The Quirky Fact

There are two types of blueberries, highbush and lowbush. Highbush blueberries are the types you commonly find at grocery stores and farmers markets probably because they are larger, but the lowbush blueberries are sweeter. They are most often used for processing into juices, jams, blueberry muffin mixes and so on. I want those on my pancakes!

The Question
Imagination is a great way to build new pathways in your brain, because it’s about making new connections. One of my favorite games for this is Imaginiff because it asks you to turn people into metaphors – and one hopes, appreciate them – in new ways.

The game is based on cards which begin “Imaginiff ____________ were X, which would he/she be?” followed by six choices. The game is based on the idea that the name in the blank will be one of the other players, all of whom you know well, but you can easily substitute the name of a famous person. You can also make up your own questions as we’ve done here. Because it’s a game of imagination, there are no “right” answers, but there are endless possibilities for creative thinking.

Let’s try it: First, imagine yourself as a fruit. What would you be and why? Then imagine your family and friends as fruits. What would they be and why?

Your choices are (but you can substitute any fruit you want):
apple       banana        blueberry       lemon        peach       pomegranate

Featured Product
Wiser Now offers dozens of individual trivia quizzes, word games, discussion topics, etc. for clients, and is now beginning to offer them on the Wiser Now website. Check them out here. You can also find free samples of some of them here, and there are even more for sale on my Creating Delight site for Teachers Pay Teachers here.

The Quiz 
Can you separate fact from fiction?

1. Like the plum and the apricot, the peach belongs to the marigold family.
True ___      False ___

2. Although peaches come in over 200 varieties, they fall into two categories, Clingstone and Freestone, named for the ease with which the fruit separates from the pit.
True ___      False ___
3. During World War I, peach pits were ground and used as filters in gas masks.
True ___      False ___
4. Blueberries are one of the only foods that are naturally blue in color, but the very properties that make them healthy to eat prevent them from being an effective dye.
True ___      False ___
5. Blueberries are native to American soil and by the time the Pilgrims arrived, American Indians had learned to dry them in the sun and preserve blueberries for year-round eating – techniques that when shared, helped the settlers make it through the first winter. 
True___        False ___
6. Today blueberries are used in muffins and fruit salads and as cereal toppings, but the Indians used them in soups and stews and (dried and powdered) as a meat rub.
True ___      False ___

Answers are at the end of this document.

The Shameless Request

Please share Wiser Now Wednesday with anyone you think might be interested, and if you represent an organization that would like a customized version, please send me a note at

The Kiosk of Resources

Answers to Quiz
Answers: 1 and 4 are false. Here are the details:

1. Like plums and apricots, peaches belong to the rose family.
4. Blueberries have long been used as a dye to color fabrics, paint and the materials for basket weaving.
My multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what I and people whom I admire am doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. I hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (
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