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,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

Hello to all you out there! How is the weather where you are? It's overcast here, and I think we'll have rain later. I actually like this kind of weather. I like to curl up with a good book and an afghan and spend the day reading and drinking hot chocolate. But not today....too much to do.

Our family loves to yard/garage sale/thrift store shop and see what we can find. Last Saturday, my son found a really nice pasta maker with all the attachments for $15 at the thrift store! I can't wait to start using it! It didn't have the manual or the measurers, but I went online and found all the info we need, plus a recipe, so it's all good.

It is pratically unused. Isn't it pretty? You can also see my very expensive bottle of Asai Berry Juice
that my friend gave me. It's really good mixed with other juices and frozen into popsicles!
And sometimes I pick up things that I don't have a specific purpose for at the time, but I just can't resist. I know you know what I'm talking about. And very seldom am I sorry, because I usually use them sometime down the road. One example is wooden shoes. I love wooden shoes, and used to have a pair that actually fit me, but I no longer have them and I'm sad about that. Anyway, I have a little tiny pair that are tied together with baker's twine and hang on the Christmas tree, and I have another little pair that I have just hung onto because I love them. Well, it turns out, so does Crackers, and she picked them for ourTuesday Treasure this week. She likes to sit atop the entertainment center with those little shoes by her side. They won't anywhere near fit her feet, but she, like me, just likes them.

I put her and the shoes on the kitchen table because there's not enough light on the
entertainment center for you to be able to see the shoes.

See how small? Not much bigger than my thumb!
That's this weeks treasure. It just goes to show that one man's trash is another man's (or duck's) treasure. Treasure doesn't have to be expensive, it doesn't have to be shiny and new. It just has to speak to your heart. Do you have any little treasures that are special to you? Send us a picture and we'll post it for others to see. When you share your treasures, others can get to know you just a little better. Goodbye for now and love to all,

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Morning Walk

Good Morning!!! Crackers and I went for a walk this morning with some friends, and now we're pooped! But we feel good. It was a 3-mile walk, most of it along the Rogue River. The scenery is beautiful and peaceful.

Bobbie, Sherry, Crackers and Deb
We started out at a pretty brisk pace and I did better than I thought I would. It's been all winter since I walked much, so I wasn't sure I would make it the whole way. I told the gals that I maight have to stop at one of the benches along the way and wait for them to pick me up on their way back, but I did it! I went the whole 3 miles. And so did Crackers, but of course, she has it easy. She gets carried the whole way. It was a good start to the morning and the companionship was nice, too. Of course we gabbed the whole way. We also stopped a couple of times to take pictures. Here's one of me and Crackers on the walkway out where they restored the Gold Hill headgates and diversion canal on the river.

You'll have to excuse the just-out-for-a-walk-haven't-had-my-shower-yet look. When I go walking I don't shower until I get home. Anyway, look at the river behind us. There were all kinds of ducks and geese swimming out there until we startled them. I tried to get a photo of them in flight, but I wasn't quick enough. Before I knew it, we were at the end of the trail, where there's a cement block building. I don't know what it is, but I'm going to find out. There are some really nice, big rocks next to it, so Crackers took a rest there.

Doesn't she look like she's in her natural habitat? Well, we turned around and on the way back a man on a bicycle passed us and we all said Hi....you know, being friendly. We had gone about another 10 minutes, when he came back, and went by us again. I'm not quite sure how it happened, but when I caught up with them, he was getting off the bike and getting ready to take a picture of all of us. So guess where Crackers was for this photo? On the handlebars of the bike!!! The man was very nice and went on his way after snapping a photo for us.

A little farther down the road we passed the Welcome to Gold Hill sign. It was a nice homecoming.

Well, that's it for today. Crackers is tuckered out and taking a nap on the couch. I really need to make her a little nest that is more comfortable. Poor baby has such long legs that it's hard for her to get comfortable.

 If you have any good ideas for making a nest, leave a comment and let me know. Now it's your turn. Get out there and get some exercise! Walking is an easy way for a grandma to move her body, and if you take young'ens with you, they can get their excercise by running circles around you. Until tomorrow, remember.......it takes a long time to grow an old friend, so start working on it today! Goodbye and love to all,

Friday, February 17, 2012

A new friend!

Oh my goodness! It's been a busy few days! I had decorations to do for a Relief Society dinner, plus a display, AND I was in a group of ladies who performed a song, so I had practices, etc. But it was last night, so it's all done with, and it went very well. We had a good turn out and some beautiful displays of the sisters' talents and interest. All in all, a good night.

Now, it's time to show you Crackers' new friend. In among all the other duties, I actually found time to make a cute surprise for Crackers, and she loves her new buddy. We haven't named her yet, and we thought we might let you help us with that. So, without any further to-do, here is..........the ladybug!

Not the greatest of pictures, but you can still see how cute she is. I got the pattern from Craft with Confidence, where you can find all kinds of great stuffed things, from bugs to monsters. Go check out Vivian's blog and get the whole story.

I introduced Crackers to her new friend and she was thrilled! She gave her a big hug and then promptly showed her her favorite place to sit.....on my laptop. I think Crackers likes it because it keeps her bottom warm, and I'm sure the new little buddy will be there a lot, too. Probably for the same reason. Here they are cuddled up together.

Such a cute first photo. Now for some fun. The ladybug needs a name, so put on your thinking caps and come up with some good ones. We want everyone to leave a comment with your idea for a name and then Crackers, the bug and I will pick the one we like the best. Hope to hear from you soon. Goodbye and love to all,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

Hey everybody! Hope you're having a great day! Crackers and I have been playing games with grandpa all day. He gets on a kick every once in a while where he just wants to play games, and sometimes he plays by himself and sometimes we play with him. Today we played Farkle. If you don't know how to play Farkle, you should try it out. It's a game played with 6 dice and you have to build up points according to what you roll on the dice. It's a lot of fun, and it's good math practice for kids, too.

I told you Crackers had found a special Tuesday Treasure for you, and she really did. We were going through some boxes, looking for something ( Ican't remember what) and she saw a little bit of red paper peeking out from under an old calendar. Well, Crackers loves bright colors, so she pounced on that right away! And guess what it was? It was a valentine that my little grandson, Cyric, made last year in kindergarten for a little girl he really liked. Her name was Lily and she was really cute. The only problem was, he was either too shy to give it to her, or he forgot to take it. Anyway, I wound up with it and thought I would put it on a scrapbook page.

It says, "To Lily, You are My best friend in the world". The i in Lily has a little heart for the dot and there is a whole row of smiley faces at the bottom. It is so cute. Crackers chose this for her treasure today because she, like me, knows that children are only little once, and we should pay special attention to the things they make and do and say, before they get too old to share them with us voluntarily. Crackers may be just a baby, but she's a smart baby, isn't she? She is 3 (weeks) going on 30!

I like Crackers choice of treasure for today because I love my grandchildren with all my heart, and even though I don't get to see most of them very often, I try to let them know they are loved. It is so important for them to know that, especially when they get older and think that the whole world is against them. Then it's good for them to know they have someone on their side.

We have a few more ideas for you, to help you to keep that connection between grandparents and grandchildren. How many of you still watch cartoons? Probably not many of you, but your younger grands do. If you can find a cartoon that they like that you can stand to watch, you can enjoy time with them doing something they like. My two grands that live here are 10 and 11 and they love Phineas and Ferb. Well, grandpa and I started watching one day and we got hooked! It is the cutest show and there is always a lesson to be learned, or some knowledge to be gained, and it is extremely funny into the bargain!

Another thing you can do is arts and crafts. You probably already know this, but kids love to DO stuff and MAKE stuff. Just about anything you do can be taught to a child, even if you have to tone it down a little for them. And variety is always welcome, too. Don't just do watercolors, or knitting or scrapbooking. Change it up and do them all! (At different times, of course.)

Do you like to sing? Or dance? Even kids who say they don't like to sing or dance will enjoy doing it with you. I used to dance with my children when they were young, and we'd get going doing the jitterbug, or the twist, or whatever we had a notion for that day, and pretty soon the whole bunch would be dancing! The same with singing. We lived 60 miles from Las Vegas, which was where we shopped, and it could be a pretty boring ride. I would put the oldies on the radio in the car and sing along at the top of my voice. Pretty soon, one child would join in and then another and another. (I had 5 kids.) I chose the oldies because those were the ones I knew the words to, but you could choose any type of music you like. Later, I found a Wee Sing tape of campfire songs, and because all my children were scouts, that was very popular, too. Now I sing those same songs with the grandkids. And you know what, they don't care if you even know how to sing or dance, they just get a kick out of seeing you do it and having you do it with them!

That's all for today. Crackers is getting tired and needs a nap and I have to fix dinner, so we'll see you next time. "Til then, remember, family is what matters in life. Goodbye and love to all,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

How is everybody today? Crackers is napping, so I will tell you about our weekend.....

Oy vey! Valentine's Day is tomorrow! Are you ready? We finally are. I spent Saturday morning writing and addressing valentines for all the grandchildren who live far away. I put them in the mail today. Some will get there on time and some will be a day or two late, but all will get there, which is better that some years past.

AND......my granddaughter and I also got her valentines made for her school class, finally. We have had a problem getting time together to make them, but Saturday was our day.

This is what we started with. Hearts and stickers from Wal*Mart. We took her picture, with her hands like she was holding something, and printed then out 3x5", with Happy Valentine's Day! in the  upper left-hand corner. Then we cut them out in the shape of a heart, punched out holes at the top and bottom of her hands and put suckers through the holes. It looked like she was holding a giant sucker! They turned out really cute.

Later, that night, she went to a daddy/daughter dance at her school. She looked so sweet with her handsome dad.

She said daddy twirled her around and lifted her up off the ground. She was delighted! She had a lot of fun and I think dad did, too. He danced with both Hally and her friend McKayla, sometimes at the same time, and they all had a good time.

It is so important to make these kinds of memories with your family. They are the things kids will remember always. When she is 32 years old, she will still say, "Do you remember when...?" and smile and laugh about that night. And hopefully, she will make valentines with her children, too. Even though she says she isn't having any :).

Well, I know this is a short post, but I have to get busy with some projects that need to get done. You will be seeing a couple of them soon. I think Crackers needs some friends to keep her company when I'm busy or not around. And she loves bugs, so there will be a surprise for her later this week! Come back and see. And Crackers has a special Tuesday Treasure for you tomorrow, so come back and see us. Goodbye for today and love to all...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Mumblings

Today is Monday and my hubby had a doctor's appointment, so I'm late getting this post done. Crackers has a list of things that she thinks it would be fun for you to do with your grandchildren. She doesn't have a grandma (except for me), but if she did, she would like to do some of these things.
     1. Read some of your favorite children's books with them. Let a grandchild pick a book, then curl up on the couch and read it together.

Crackers likes Anne of Green Gables.
      2. Have some good, old-fashioned fun. Play charades, board games, do a jigsaw puzzle or have a sing-along. Jacks and marbles are always favorites at our house. (We play jacks on the kitchen table so that gramma doesn't have to sit on the floor.)    
      3. Take walks with your grandchildren. Take along a tote bag and gather some interesting things that you find in nature, such as a special leaf, a pretty rock, a really big or really little pine cone, a cute acorn or a feather. When you get back home, make a "nature corner" box where you can keep these treasures and look at them again and again, remembering the fun you had finding them.
      4. Do you have something lying around that no longer works? A toaster, an old telephone, a watch or an old radio? Lay out an old sheet to catch all the pieces and sit in the middle with your grandchild. Give them a screw driver and let them take it apart, investigating all the pieces and parts, and then let them try to put it back together again! They could also use the pieces and parts to make a creative sculpture.
      5. Make a tool box for each child. Go to yard sales and thrift stores and find old tool boxes, metal or wood or plastic, and let them personalize them with their name and maybe some paint or stickers. Stock the tool boxes with some basic tools, like a hammer, a couple of screwdrivers, a pair of pliers and a measuring tape. You could use toy tools for little ones and real tools for older kids. Then help them find projects to work on around the house or for gifts.
      6. Make up silly stories together. Start the story with a silly sentence and then let the next person add another sentence, going around until everyone has added their bit to the story. If the story doesn't have an ending yet, go around again. Be sure to make it as silly as possible! You might like to write it down and make a copy for everyone.
     7. Write a group poem. Find something to write about - maybe a photograph or a painting. I've done this with paintings. Study the painting, do a little research about the artist, look at the use of color, line, texture, etc. Now everyone takes a small piece of paper and writes one sentence about how the painting make him or her feel. Or maybe about how the people in the artwork feel. Then you take all the sentences and arrange them into an order that makes some kind of sense. This poetry won't rhyme, but will be something called prose. You can get some really nice poetry doing this, and children can see the thought processes that happen during writing.
     8. Play "remember when....." with them. Talk about how things have changed since you were their age, or even how things are different from one place to another. Let them talk about how they do things like everyday chores, and then tell them how it was done when you were young. You could also "remember" things that have happened in their family, like a really great birthday party or the birth of a baby brother or sister. Get them to talk about how they felt, so they can keep those memories fresh.
     9. Have a fashion show! Children love to dress up, even boys when they are young enough! Keep some old clothes or gather some from thrift stores or yard sales, in a box or trunk, along with some costume jewelry, shoes, hats, belts and scarves. You can pick a time or event and ask them to dress the way they would if they were there.
This was taken for Father's Day.
     10. Have a color day. Choose a different color every day and try to choose clothes or food that are that color, or paint pictures using all different shades of the color-of-the-day.

Well, there's 10 good ideas to start of with. Crackers has more on her list, but we'll get to them another time. We don't want to smother you with too many ideas at once. If you have any good ideas to add, drop us an email and we'll add them to the next list. We want to hear them all!

Until we write again, remember......"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." Harriet Tubman    Goodbye and love to all,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting ready......

It's Friday! Already! How time flies when you're having fun! Crackers and I have been going through ideas and projects and samples we have stored to see what we will share with you first. We want to make this a fun and informative place for you to visit, so we are trying to pick out the best ideas. By Monday, we should have a good list of things to start with. We are both looking forward to getting to know all of you, so don't be shy. Email us and share your photos or stories, or ask questions if you want to. Whatever, we will be waiting to hear from you. Tell your friends, too. All grandmas and grandchildren are invited to join us. (And maybe a mom or two if necessary.) Crackers and I need to know what you want to hear about or know about or do. Leave a comment with a post idea and we'll see what we can do with it.

We have to get back to work now, but we'll be back on Monday with the first fun ideas post. Come join us because you know that happiness and fun are meant to be shared. Be thinking hard, OK? Until Monday, goodbye and love to all..........