Sunday, August 6, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Trash to Treasures

Guest post by Little J

"Hey grandpa, look what I made!"

parts list:
old music reals - from grandpa's younger days
wood base - pulled from the donation box at Aunt A's
clear containers - saved from the recycling bin
doll rods - left over from Conservation Camp (circa 2010)
light socket and cord - found in Aunt A's work room
light bulb - new from Lowe's
lamp shade - temporary until we can get one with a wider base, new from Lowe's
red spray paint - from Aunt' A's stash


Making this lamp was both tricky and easy. First, we found a board and carved out a notch for the cord to go. Second we sanded it smooth. 

Then you can spray paint or brush to get color on it if you want. Next we cleaned the reels. We then tested to see if we could drilled through the jars and then drilled in the wood base where the doll rods could go and filled them with glue. After that we cleaned the jars out and dried them. We continued when they were dry and stuck the reels and jars over the doll rods.
When we got near the top we cut trimmed the doll rod off and stacked the last one so the top of the doll rod doesn't show. Then we got started on the electrical by wrapping the wire around the screws in the socket and tested the light by putting in the light bulb and plugging it in.
And to finish it off we put the shade on and we ended up with this.

I am going to put it in my room when I get home from my birthday weekend with Aunt A.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Weekend storm

A storm went through our area Saturday night. The eye of it seemed to have hit my parent's house. Dad and I counted 20 trees around their house that are down or very damaged. Three of them came down on their garage and sun room.

You can see some photos here:
https://goo.gl/photos/GjTqaacShviBFyT59

I'll update you more as soon as I have time to write.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Milestones

We have been celebrating a variety of milestones in my family this spring. 

We enjoyed, for the third time, the 5th grade musical "Shh! We're Writing the Constitution." For our family's final time of enjoying the production, we were honored that Little J played the role of Mr. Abe Lincoln (yeah, we know Abe had nothing to do with writing the Constitution, but when you live in Central IL, Abe is always the star.)



C and J, went through Confirmation at their church. They had a huge "cheering section" for the ceremony: all four grandparents, a great aunt, a great uncle, one uncle, three aunts, their parents, and one little brother. I am sure there were many church friends in the audience as well. 
They are well loved.


The next morning, we celebrated J's graduation from 8th grade. 


At the same time, I celebrated 100,000 miles on my car. I'm so proud of it's accomplishment.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Childhood memories - mine and theirs

I was a child of the 80s. I entered high school in 1988 and tried to keep up with the cool kids with my banana clips, tight rolled jeans, slouch socks, and permed hair. If I could do it all over again, I would skip all of those, but I would never give up the coolest thing of my teen years, my Caboodle. 

I wish I could remember exactly when I got it or who I got it from. I can't remember if it was a gift from someone, something I bought with my babysitting money, or something I whined so much that my mom finally broke down and got for me on one of our weekly shopping trips. 

To the best of my knowledge, none of my other friends had one. My sister didn't have one either. If they only knew how cool it was, I bet they would have wanted one too.

My cousins recognized the coolness level of the Caboodle. They were under the age of 8, but they still knew cool when the saw it.

I babysat my cousins many times during my teen years. Whenever I did that, I usually spent the whole weekend with them and I would bring my Caboodle with me full of make up and hair supplies. We loved to play with all of the goodies the Caboodle held inside. Over the years, in the stories of my babysitting adventures with them, the pink Caboodle was mentioned one way or another.

Fast forward, 30 years and I still have my Caboodle. Rather than using it to carry hair supplies and makeup, I use it to carry art and craft supplies for the kids I babysit for. In late January, I dropped it as I carried it home from the most recent babysitting adventure, and the inside trays broke apart from the base. 


I was crushed, so I reached out to my cousins for moral support. Their reply text messages reflected my own pain over the loss of our dear friend, the pink Caboodle.

Unknown to me, one of them got online that night and found a pink Caboodle for sale on Etsy. They surprised me with it for my 43rd birthday and it felt like they had given me the moon. I was so excited and am still excited. 

In another year or so, these same cousins' children will be old enough to enjoy the treasures of the pink Caboodle. It is kind of like Mary Poppins carpet bag, full of wonderful treasures and happy memories. 




Sunday, June 11, 2017

You can be a star

In April, I got to spend some quality time with International J and her crew: E. H. B, Princess Ballerina, and Captain America




We always find (or make up our own) fun adventures. Today's featured adventure is the variety show starring E.H.B and Princess Ballerina, with me as guest host. 

Princess Ballerina was in charge of planning our adventure and she picked going on a photo adventure that included lunch at the coffee shop, time waiting out the rain at the library, and playing at the park. Our playing at the park was not so fun because the equipment was wet and we had a little accident due to slippery floors. So rather than cut our adventure short, Princess Ballerina chose to play at the little stage at the park.

We each took turns playing the role of announcer, star, and camera crew. 


There was singing...


and dancing....
recitations of our respective pledges....

and cartwheels. 




The camera crew covered all angles of the show. I wish I had a video of some of the acts. We had a ball laughing, being goofy, using our imaginations, cheering each other on, and getting outside our comfort zones. 

Since we were debuting our show in my hometown, I'm thankful it was a school day and the park was empty. But I think the man across the street got a few laughs with our entertainment.






Sunday, May 7, 2017