Phun & Philm – Sleepovers, Scavenger Hunts and Dragons

This post is for all the wonderful people who create fun for the little people in their lives. My grandsons love scavenger hunts. It’s been awhile since they have slept over so I wanted to have a special movie night for them. First we’ll barbecue some shish kabob on the grill, then we’ll have a scavenger hunt all around the house. I’ve hidden quite a stash of items in various hiding spots, all with a movie night theme.

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I’ll give each of them a basket, the first clue, and there will be some wild scampering around the house to find the treasures and the next clue.

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I have several movies on hand for them to choose from tonight. One of those is Pete’s Dragon. We all saw it together a few months ago in the theater. It is now available on DVD, and because I loved the story as much as they did, I bought a copy for all of us to share. Disney Films, Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard, the children who play the leading roles, along with Pete the Dragon, do a wonderful job in making this story magical.

 

Phun & Photographs – Color Your World – 120 of Crayola

Today I discovered that Jennifer Nichole Wells is running her Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola challenge again. I enjoyed taking part in this last year, and hope to create several posts that fit in with many of the Crayola color themes.

The color of the day is Burnt Sienna. This is one of my favorite colors to use when painting in watercolor. Burnt Sienna brings an earthiness to any color it is mixed into.

A good example of burnt sienna in nature is fallen leaves, much like these my backyard squirrels have woven into their winter nest.

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Seen from a distance, this nest appears precarious. Perched on the end of a trimmed branch it seems likely to fall.

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When I zoom in with my camera though, I see it is a masterful design, the leaves held in place by dozens of small twigs that have sprouted from the cut end. What a great squirrel condo, and also a good example of the many tones of burnt sienna. I would love to take a peek inside at the interior of the nest.

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I’m also adding another photo of our friendly neighborhood biscuit-loving dog. He is definitely blessed with a heavy coat of burnt sienna…many tones of brown and orange make up his fur. My blogging friend SusieShy asked me if he was a stray. I was able to say no, with surety, since he is wearing a Christmas kerchief around his neck.

Phun – Throwback Thursday/Shatner on a Plane

I recently read a good post about a daft plane. I’m sorry I can’t explain, but the daft airplane reminded me of this post from 2014. I thought today’s Throwback Thursday was the perfect day to allow it to resurface. If you want to read the post that jogged my memory, you can read more about the daft plane on the Mehrling Muse WordPress Blog.

As a child, my husband saw an episode of the Twilight Zone in which William Shatner, before his Star Trek fame, is horrified by a scary (at least at the time of limited media special effects) monster on the wing of an airplane. My husband says this scared him for years as a child. Guess What? Whenever we fly I always find a moment to whisper in a frightened tone in my husband’s ear, “Shatner.” We always laugh, and he knows exactly what I mean. Seriously, he still tends to look out the airplane window at the wing when I say Shatner’s name. Funny…and true!

Phun – Throwback Thursday/Everyone Loves a Slinky

I felt immediate happiness when the Slinky song started in this YouTube video. I had a Slinky, each of my sisters had a Slinky at some point in time. Slinky did live up to the commercial hype and could walk down the stairs. The spring was fun to hold and set into the ‘up and down’ motion. The down side, Slinky inevitably became a snarled ball of ‘precompressed helical spring.’ It’s fun to read the history behind the popular toy. The History of Slinky.

Phun – Throwback Thursday/Padiddle

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When I was young we played several games in the car to occupy the time. One of these was ‘Padiddle.’ The rules of Padiddle are easy: If you spot a car with only one headlight, be the first to say, “Padiddle,” and earn a point. This game could only be played at night.

Another game my sons played, that sometimes caused spats in the backseat due to too much ‘ooomph’ given to the punch, was ‘Punch-buggy.’ A Punch-Buggy was a nickname for a Volkswagen Beetle. The first person to spot one would yell, “Punch-Buggy,” accompanying the shout with a punch in the arm for his/her seatmates.

A few other backseat games:
The Alphabet Game – finding the letters of the alphabet in order on roadside signs.
The License Plate Game – Trying to find all continental state license plates on long trips.

Do children/teenagers still play these games or are their eyes always focused on a phone or tablet?

Can you think of any other games such as these that you played in a car?

Phun & Preparedness & Place – Ingenuity Part I

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Jamaica is one of our favorite places to visit. I love the land, the sea, and most of all the people. The DeCameron, a lovely hotel in Montego Bay, is one of our favorite places to stay. They are expanding in size, and we enjoyed watching the work going on around us. We were very impressed by this man’s ingenuity in shielding himself from the hot sun with a large piece of cardboard. The cardboard is light in weight, but its broadness cast a large shadow, protecting him from the heat. I would never have thought of such a good idea, but I will definitely file it away in my thoughts as a perfect solution for blazing sunshine.

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Phun & Pheathers – Funny Fowls

A few weeks ago I was sitting in my back yard, minding my own business, when lo and behold two chickens strolled into the yard as if they owned it. I was instantly IN LOVE with them, grabbed my camera and documented their visit. (Their home is on the street behind mine.) Their visit provided me with quite a giggle.

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I’ve wanted chickens or ducks of my own for ages. Town ordinances have changed in many areas and it’s now permissible to have “pet” chickens or ducks in the backyard. On the other hand I am thinking of the feistiness of Blue Eyes the goose. Maybe a pair of geese would be a better idea. I wonder if it’s true that geese can be good “watchdogs?”

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“Police in rural parts of China’s Xinjiang Province are no longer turning to dogs to stand guard at police stations at night. They’re using geese instead. And it works.” ~ Honk if You Think Geese are Good Guard Dogs – National Geographic

I’ve had most of my gardens devastated this year by a horrible groundhog who invades my yard weekly to eat my foliage and garden plants. Would a big white goose honking like mad and chasing him do the trick? The key word might be big. Should I get a goose now and coddle it all through winter, and have a big, big bird come Spring? Hmmm….I’ll have to think on it a bit and let you know!

“Chinese geese, like Africans, are a more talkative breed of geese. Due to this characteristic, they are the best breed if you want to be alerted to intruders or other strange occurrences. They love to talk back to you – especially if you have raised them from babies.” ~Metzer Farms

Phun – Paper Airplanes

Instead of coming back with what sounds like profound wisdom after my recent hiatus, I’m sharing a way to enchant children, and even a few adults.

Nothing can alleviate a child’s boredom quicker than a terrific paper airplane. When my youngest grandson asked for an airplane, Daddy and Papa were both busy doing other things; the task was up to me. I tried to fold a rendition of what I thought a paper airplane should be…it looked good…but flew like a piece of lead. Hmmm…what to do? Search Youtube of course!

I found this sensational five-minute video, followed along, pausing when I was behind, and OH MY, created a paper airplane that really FLEW and SOARED. I impressed everyone, including myself, with this small paper aircraft. We tried it in various weights of paper, all did well. Give it a try! I guarantee not only will children be impressed, but so will adults. Happy Flying!

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Phun – Throwback Thursday/Marbles

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My grandsons had a sleepover date with us last weekend. The oldest is nine, the middle grandson seven, and the littlest is three and a half. I enjoy planning special activities and crafts when we have time together, and decided the uninviting weather outdoors was the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the classic game of marbles.

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Marbles can be played indoors or out. When I was in elementary school we played the game on the playground in a circle drawn in dirt. For our indoor play, we created a circle with a piece of embroidery floss. The classic rules of marbles are abundant in web searches, but we played by our own rules: one shot, no need to shoot with your thumb, a good hard roll with the shooter marble  was all the skill that was needed.

What is a shooter marble? It’s the largest of all the marbles, a bit like the cue ball in a game of pool. The shooter is used for knocking other marbles out of the circle. When you knock a marble out…it is yours to keep. We were shocked at how well the three year old played. He came close to winning most of the marbles, but came in second place to his dad.

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Marbles come in many colors and designs. In a canister you might find cat’s-eye marbles, clear, with a swirl of color in them. Fancier opaque varieties that  resemble planets in the solar system are also in the canister, but in lesser quantities. These mango-tango cat’s eye, a perfect choice for today’s Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola challenge, were purchased in a local craft store. I bought our big canister for under three dollars with a 40% off coupon.

Phun – Solving Mysteries/The Scent of Violets

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I come from a long-line of women who love to read. The china hutch was my grandmothers. Granny was an avid reader; I think she would understand why I am using her hutch as a library, rather than keeping my mismatched china pieces inside.

When I read the blogs of other readers, I am interested by what they loved as children. Although I still read daily, I’ve never quite found the magic in books that I did as a child.

Recently, while reading the blog of Joeyfully Stated, I came across a mystery:

“My grandmother must have bought them used, because they were well-worn paperbacks. I have absolutely no idea what they were, or who wrote them. Yes, I have Googled, thank you. My memory describes them to me as Southern turn of the century historical fiction. Each book focused on a young woman in a specific family whose surname I do not recall. Each book included a mystery and clean romance in the plot lines. The ghost matriarch of this family (Augusta? Agatha?) haunted each girl with the smell of violets. You can read the entire post and comments at: Joeyfully Stated’s Blog Post – A Ghost So Old I Can’t Remember Her Name.

If anyone has a twinge of memory as to what these books might be titled, and where they can be found, please comment here or on the Joeyfully Stated Blog. Thanks!

Pets & Phun – Too Cute!

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Too Cute! I was glad I had my camera on hand when I found my cat Rusty snuggled up with two stuffed animals. He is a Maine Coon Cat, and his fur is a blend of many colors including burnt sienna, the color for today’s Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola.

Speaking of too cute…if you are the parent of young children, or have grandchildren over for sleepovers, look for the show Too Cute! on Animal Planet. The adorable baby animals and soothing narration elicits many “ahhhhs and ohhhhs,” at my house.

 

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Photograph, Phun and Place – July in January/Wharton State Forest

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Nothing is quite like a rope swing for defying, and then succumbing, to GRAVITY. When you are flying through the air life seems weightless.

“Show us the effects of gravity in your photo this week.” ~ WordPress Photo Challenge

“Wharton State Forest is the largest state forest in the U.S. state of New Jersey. It is the largest single tract of land in the state park system of New Jersey, encompassing approximately 115,000 acres of the Pinelands northeast of Hammonton. ~ Wikipedia

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In these dreary and chill days of January I enjoy paging through photographs of summer scenes. Winter has its own merits: warm fires, hot cocoa, ice-skating, etc., but if I had to choose I’d live in the summer’s heat year-round.

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Here’s to a bit of weightless fun, an homage to defying gravity.

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Projects & Phun – Children’s Christmas Tree

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It’s always good to prepare a few projects to have on hand if young ones are going to be your guests over the holiday season. Younger children, 2 1/2 – 6 years, will find this project easy and satisfying. The materials are easy to gather, cut into strips, and store until needed. The creation of the tree is pretty much self-explanatory. All you need to do is follow the lead of the photographs.

MATERIALS:
* Strips of colorful papers, cut into 1/2 inch strips. (2 inch, 2.5 inch, 3 inch, 3.5 inch, 4 inch, 4.5 inch, and one brown strip 8.5 inches in length.)
* A background piece of paper at least 8.5 x 11 inches.
* Glue stick
* Small colorful foam stickers with sticky backing.

Follow along:

Dom's Tree

Colorful magazine strips can also be used. Light items that are bright, shiny or glittery, can be glued down and will work as ornaments. (Buttons, beads, glitter) Have Fun!

Projects & Phun – Zentangles

Coloring books for adults, I see them everywhere I go: craft stores, magazine stores, book stores, grocery store check-out lines, and online too. The art form, promoted as a way to relax and unwind, has created a booming new industry. If you have tried this old/new activity, perhaps you are ready to go one step further and create your own lines for coloring in. In that case, you might like Zentangles. Take a look at this amazing and informative video. I love the classical music soundtrack, and find watching the artist completely mesmerizing.

Give Zentangle/doodling a try and have some fun!

Phavorites & Phun – Throwback Thursday – Birthday Song

I had a good time visiting Birthday Jams. You enter in your birthday, and they tell you what song was #1 on the charts that week in the US. The drop down menu also allows you to check out what was #1 in the UK, Top Dance Tracks, and Alternative Hits. Number one on the US charts when I was born, way back in 1957, was Elvis Presley singing “Jailhouse Rock.” Give this fun site a try…I would love to hear in the comments section what was number one when you were born. Number One Song the Week You Were Born.

“Diana” sung by Paul Anka, was number one in the UK.