Tuesday, February 22, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Subway Art

I found a site the other day that had three of my favorite things--St. Patrick's Day, art, and words-- all wrapped up into one slick little printable. Eighteen 25 had this trendy piece of subway art available as a free download. Oh wait, make that FOUR of my favorite things, the last being anything FREE.

I saw this little lovely and everything Irish in me started salivating. Even my printer cartridge, which is currently suffering from dehydration, was able to muster enough gumption to print the entire 8.5" x 11" sheet with nary a white line. It's now hanging in my living room, brazenly announcing my love for the Emerald Isle before February is even over.

If you would like your own St. Patrick's Day subway art, click on this link and start celebrating early.

P.S. Thanks to Sugardoodle, my favorite Sunday School site, for recommending Eighteen 25.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Do's and Don't's for Cold Winter Weather


Do celebrate winter holidays to keep your spirits up, whether it is Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's, MLK, President's Day or Jules Verne's birthday. Celebrate by candlelight!

Do spy on your more flamboyant neighbors.

Do let your child climb to the top of the Walmart snow mountain. 
Just make sure Janet Napolitano isn't around.

Do take pictures to prove how much you've suffered.

Do remember to appreciate the beauty.

Do make your kids sleep outside in the snow. Makes men out of 'em.


Don't put your blanket on top of the wood-burning stove in an effort to warm it up first. 
Burnt polyester is a pain to scrape from metal.

Don't tell a bunch of 9th graders to avoid the ice slick in the middle of the street.
They will all head right for it and attempt to skate across it.

Don't leave your water bottle in the car. 

Don't forget to move your wood pile before the snow storm.
Wet wood is harder to burn.

Don't let your kids talk you into spending money on a sled. 
Tell them to go build their own.

Do you have any of your own 
cold weather do's and don't's ?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Day Meant for Pocky

Yesterday I was shopping at the Walestial Kingdom with Computer Geek, Weston, and seven year old granddaughter, Hoolie.

Hoolie was in my cart because she was wearing her ballet slippers and we didn't want them to get dirty before her class. I was in the Chinese food section, looking for ways to spice up rice. My favorite Mandarin sauce wasn't there, so I hunted for a tasty replacement.

I saw something I had never seen there before---a bright pink box labeled "Pocky."  Pocky? Seriously?  It was a thin biscuit-like stick, covered with strawberry cream frosting.  They looked like edible sparklers. I mentally toyed with grabbing a box, then nixed the idea and continued on. At the end of the aisle, Hoolie said, "Grandma, I saw Pocky back there."

What? There was a person, and a very small one at that, who had heard of Pocky? I had to ask her, "So where have you ever heard of Pocky?"

"At Anime Banzai," she replied. "We ate lots of them."

It was a sign. There would be the eating of the Pocky that day.  I turned my cart around and went back to get a box of Pocky.
Pocky is actually rather yummy. Walmart had the strawberry cream and a chocolate version. We opted for strawberry. While it didn't solve my rice needs, it did satisfy my RATHER LARGE sweet tooth.

Little Hoolie at Anime Banzai
Her character's name is Tsunade [soo-nah-day]

Pocky. Walmart. 98 cents. What a deal.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Easy Peasy Valentine's Day Gift

It's my opinion that teachers never get enough love, so tomorrow I am sending Weston to school with a small thank-you gift for the three teachers he has that day.  Not only is this an easy gift, but it is also inexpensive and cute.  [Don't peek, Ekanela!]

Step 1:  Buy some cute flat-backed buttons at Walmart in the sewing notions section. These are called Button Conversations from Blumenthal Lansing Company. They come in packs of three for $1.96.

Step 2: Buy some adhesive-backed button magnets from Walmart in the craft section.

Step 3: Stick the magnet on back of the button. Voila! A cute gift for not a whole lot of money.

I wrapped them in tissue paper and tied it with Valentine ribbon.  Share the teacher-love!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Always Note What Your Kids Are Wearing

Ever since Weston was a baby, he has known how to act in a store. When he was about 2-3 years old, I simply walked aisle through aisle putting all of our purchases back after he threw a fit. We got back in the car and went home. While on occasion I have had to put up with some begging, I never again had to put up with a fit in the store.

Those of you who shop at Walmart are probably aware that there is still merchandise for sale, after the check out lines. Last Saturday, after I had paid for my purchases, I was appalled to see my son farther up the line grabbing package after package of baseball cards and loading them into his arms. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. He knew better than to pull items off of shelves like that.

I walked up to him saying, "No! You put that down right now. What are you thinking?"

As he continued to pull more and more packages of baseball cards off the shelf and load them into his already overloaded arms, I was even more appalled. Not only was he behaving uncharacteristically, but now he was disobeying what I was telling him to do.

I looked at him again and said, "Put them down! No!"

Equally appalled, was the boy I was yelling at, who incidentally happened to NOT be my son. Although I hate this phrase, he looked up at me with a true, "Lady, WTF?" expression on his face. When it dawned on me that the culprit shared not a single one of my genes, I was horrified.

"I am so sorry! Really, I am very sorry. I thought you were my son. You look just like my son!"

He gave me a "whatever" look and marched down the aisle with his arms loaded with cards. I probably spoiled his birthday.

My son, standing off to the left of me, asked, "Why were you yelling at that kid?"

The victim actually looked nothing like my son. He was about a foot shorter and wasn't wearing anything that looked like what Weston was wearing.  I have no excuse.

Later that week, at Walmart once again, my son asked me if he could go look in the toy section. We parted with him saying, "Oh, and Mom? I won't be in the baseball card section."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Treasuring the Past... A Guest Post by Madonna Dries Christensen

Most people understand the benefits of physical exercise for the body, but the mind needs a workout, too. Reading, working puzzles, and writing stimulate the mind. Did you know that reminiscing is an effective mental exercise? Mental health studies conclude that reminiscing decreases anxiety, stress, and depression. It increases emotional and spiritual well-being, leading to better overall health. In general, people who reminisce have a positive outlook on life. Looking at the past and accepting failures, celebrating successes, making amends, and coming to peace with life is a way of giving ourselves meaning. It helps us accept our eventual death.

People of all ages are delving into the past and writing memoirs. That's what happened when I requested stories about childhood dolls, and later, childhood toys and games. About 100 of these stories have been published in my two anthologies. 

In Dolls Remembered, women reminisced about their childhood dolls. As touchstones to the past, dolls validate childhood, a span of years that often seem like fragmented moments in time. With their life-like faces, blemished complexions, and snarled hair, vintage dolls hold sway with a magical power that rarely wanes, and often grows. In this collection, not all the dolls were pretty; not all were wanted; some were disappointing; not all were favorites, but each was memorable for some reason. One woman, in a serendipitous discovery, found her childhood doll in a most unexpected place.

In Toys Remembered, men have their say. Although many toys and games are common to a particular era, each boy’s experience is unique. The locales represent a cross-section of America, as well as the Philippines, Canada, England, and Latvia. Some stories are poignant, others are humorous; some are serious, others are tongue-in-cheek; still others slip into fantasy or whimsy, or are creatively dramatized. 

Unlike Dolls Remembered, which focused on a single plaything, this collection required opening a bigger box of crayons. First: What is a toy? The dictionary defines a toy as something a child plays with or uses in play. So, is a stick strummed across a picket fence a toy? When in the hands of children, do maple tree seed pods become toy helicopters? Was the old Underwood typewriter on which Nelle Harper Lee and Truman Persons (later Capote) pecked out stories, a toy? Must a toy be tangible, or might it be as weightless as a whisper secreted in a boy’s small fist? Keep an open mind.  

Second, as the stories arrived, I saw that these reminiscences are not only about toys; they are about indoor and outdoor games and the arena in which they were played. In sum, this anthology is about boyhood. Boyhood remembered. One writer called it, “The magic and wonder and marvel of that time of life; the simplicity and innocence of childhood.”

Step back and enjoy the magic.   

[All royalties from these books go to Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia.]

Note from Randi: I am so pleased to be able to spotlight both of these anthologies here. Madonna was very gracious in allowing Foreign Quang readers to participate--as a result you might recognize some familiar names as you read through the delightful stories. 

In Dolls Remembered, Foreign Quang readers, Jill, Janice, Juliah, Auntie M. herself, and I all have stories.

In the long-awaited follow-up, Toys Remembered, you will read submissions from Computer Geek, FQ reader Ken Devine, and my former student, Benji, along with an interview with Weston. 

Order one or both of these books, make some hot chocolate, light the fire, and take advantage of your enforced indoor time!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...