Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

Today is Tuesday and we have a fun treasure for you. When you go outside and look around, you can see these all over the place. They are big and small and used for a lot of things. You can build fences and fireplaces out of them, you can carry them in your pocket for good luck, you can use them to hold down stacks of papers, or as a weapon! Have you guessed what they are? That's right! Rocks!

Rocks are everywhere we look. You find them in driveways and planter beds, on trails and in campgrounds, even in our gardens where we don't want them! They make good seats, like the rock Crackers is sitting on in the pictures of our walk last week. They make good door stops and you can use them for games. The American Indians played several different games with fruit pits or rocks, and you can make a tic-tac-toe game using rocks for the playing pieces. Of course, they're good in sling shots, as long as you are far away from anyone or anything that you could hurt. And you can use them to make an Eskimo yo-yo! Maybe we'll make one of those later.

Here are three rocks that are special to me and grandpa. The first is the family tree our 6-year old grandson, Cyric, made for poppa for Father's Day last year. It has his momma and him and his brother, and it's really cute. The one on the right is a piece of rock from the Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota, by Mount Rushmore. We visited it about 10 years ago and got to pick a piece of stone to bring home with us. Cool, huh? The little stone in the middle is in memory of our granddaughter, Madison, who died from cancer when she was two. The Candlelighters for Childhood Cancer group held a lovely memorial celebration a few years after she died to commemorate all those who had lost their battle with the big C. It was a family celebration, with rocks to paint, and balloons to tie messages on to send heavenward, and food and music........it was just wonderful. This little rock is the one that got painted for grandpa. Mine has gotten lost somewhere, but I keep hoping I'll find it down in some box or drawer. I just keep looking.

I bet you're wondering about the mushroom pin cushion, and what it's doing in a group of rocks. Well, rocks make good weights, too. Inside the stem of the mushroom is some rocks to help hold it up! (Or down?) The rock on the right with all the holes in it is a rock that was given to my mother and she used it as a paperweight until she passed away. Now it's mine. The blue rock with all the eyes on it was a Father's Day gift our 4-year-old grandson, Rafferty, made for poppa.

The rock on the left in this picture is a worry stone. It's kind of hard to see, but it has an indention on one side (if you look close you can see it) and you're supposed to carry it in your pocket and when you're worried or have stress, you rub your thumb in the indention to relieve stress and tension. It really does work, too! I think it's a case of becoming so engrossed in the feel of the stone, that you forget your worries for a while. Anyway, I really like the smooth feel of it. The little pink stone is a Crackle Quartz and it goes in the little bag of the necklace. It's a memory stone for Madison, who loved pink. Quartz is also believed to have certain healing properties. It is believed to be a powerful tool for memory improvement and for bringing clarity to one's consciousness. It's also supposed to help fortify the nerves, stimulate glandular activity, reduce fevers, alleviate pain, swelling and nausea. All things which I can use, so I can kill two birds with one "stone" when I wear it, if any of it really is true.

My grandchildren know I like rocks, so these are some little tiny ones they found in the back yard and gave to me. You can see, by comparison with my thumb, just how tiny they really are. And they're very pretty and shiny, which I like, too.

This is a piece of shale from Yellowstone Park, brought to me by my oldest granddaughter. Her family goes to Yellowstone every summer for a couple of weeks. It's smooth and dark gray on the back side. Every time I see this one, I think of Cydney, so I guess it's kind of a memory stone, too.

Now, we get to the project for the day. Crackers has found a couple of rocks that she really likes, so we're going to make her some "pet rocks". Does anyone remember pet rocks? They were a fad in the year 1975, and they didn't last long, but they made their creator, Gary Dahl, over a million dollars! If you want to the read the story of the pet rock go to http://www.virtualpet.com/vp/farm/petrock/petrock.htm . Back to business. The little rocks Crackers found are totally different, so we have to figure out their personalities. The one on the left is really round and a little rough, the one on the right is sort of flat-ish and smooth, and the one in the front, well, you can see that it's got cracks and divots in it. What kind of personalities do you see in them?

I see a monster/creature, a ladybug and an i-don't-know-what-to-call-it. But we'll see what Crackers sees. So let's get started. First, you have to find your rocks. Try not to make them too big, because they are heavy, and not too small, because they get lost too easily. About 1" to 2" around is good. Wash them really well, using a small brush like an old toothbrush or fingernail brush. Dry them off really well and then let them sit and dry for a few hours before you start. Rocks are very porous and they hold moisture for a long time. When your rocks are really good and dry, get out your markers or paints and get started. Do you want to paint your whole rock, like Maddy's rock? Or just put a face on it, like the family tree rocks? Or maybe you want to do both! There is no wrong way to make a pet rock. You can even glue them together using clear caulking if you want to have feet or heads, ect.

Crackers decided that she didn't much like the flat-ish rock, so we set it free in the back yard. The little round one she thought looked like an egg, so she decorated it up all nice and pretty. And the one with the cracks and divots got two big eyes, and if you turn it one way it's smiling and if you turn it the other way, it has a look of surprise. Funny, huh?

Well, there you go. Tuesday's Treasure. A whole lot of rocks. Crackers wants me to tell you she hopes you will find as much joy in rocks as she does, and try out some new ideas. We have a Mother's Day idea using some flat stones, but we'll wait until closer to the day to show it to you. Have fun with your rocks and enjoy your treasure. Goodbye and love to all,

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