December 15 2017

Different (Five Minute Friday)

If there is one thing I have always been, it is different. I was never thin like the other kids in school. I never really looked like my siblings, at least not in my opinion. We all had differing hair colors and heights. I have never had the same hobbies as most people, especially my siblings with the exception of reading. I have always loved to read, but I used to read very slowly. When I went to high school, rather than take the required speed reading class for a single grading period like most of the kids, I had to take an entire semester. It is probably just as well I did because it did help me to read much faster.

I never liked dressing like all the other kids, not that was really a choice growing up since we were too poor to buy the “in” clothes. I have always enjoyed going to Goodwill or some other second-hand store and choosing the clothes I liked because they were different. I have never liked the idea of being a cookie cutter and going along with the crowd. I wear what I want, what I like, what fits at the time, what I could find cheap that fit my budget.

I even raised my kids differently than most parents at the time. When they got to have candies like Skittles or M&Ms, they couldn’t just eat them like other parents let their kids do. Nope, we sorted them all out by color and made bar graphs out of them. Then we talked about how many would be left if you ate two blue ones. We discussed which color had more and which had less. We did all sorts of fun things with them as we ate them.

We read to our kids, we read with our kids and had them read to us. We let them see us reading and enjoying reading. We let them take books with them when we went out to dinner. The only rule was that they had to close the book while the waiter or waitress was there to take our orders and once the food arrived, but they could read again once they finished eating their dinner. We almost always took them with us when we went out to dinner unless it was our anniversary. We would eat out usually on Friday nights and we took turns choosing where we would eat. The kids knew they couldn’t choose any place that was expensive or fast food, but pretty much anything else was fine. We taught them to read the menu and choose their own food, but they had to eat what they chose and it had to be a balanced meal. We made them try new foods, usually, the rule was that they had to eat the number of bites of something that matched their age. A four-year-old had to try 4 bites before getting off the hook.

We took our kids on vacations with us and we usually went to science museums or children’s museums because that is what they wanted to do.

Being different isn’t always bad, sometimes it is a good way to get to know yourself and an excellent way to raise very smart kids.

Embrace your different-ness! It makes you unique and memorable.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Different
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

October 14 2017

13 Lessons Learned on Friday the 13th at the Airport

1) Do NOT under any circumstances, show up less than 30 minutes before boarding time begins at the designated gate.
2) ‎Try to avoid making stops to your spouse’s work to pick up the jacket and headphones he forgot to bring home. This delay will cost you more than a new jacket and headphones in airport food prices alone, not to mention the time you can never have back. Plan ahead, make a list or do without.
3) ‎Bring some snacks in your carry on luggage. Preferably healthy ones.
4) ‎Wear comfortable and sensible clothes and shoes.
5) ‎Pack all chargers for cell phones, laptops, tablets etc. In your carry on luggage. Preferably in small zippered bags so they don’t get tangled and you can find them easily.
6) ‎Also, make sure you have all medications with you and not in your checked luggage. Luggage gets lost or sometimes it gets to the final destination 12 hours before you do.
7) ‎If you are traveling with children, especially those under five or six, bring an adult to be assigned to reach infant or toddler because babies require a lot of care, and once they have learned to walk, they tend to run off unexpectedly. Trust me this is a parent’s worst nightmare, so admit you need help and bring it with you.
8) ‎Know where the restrooms are, and wash your hands each time you visit them because anything less is just gross! Hand sanitizer is great AFTER you wash your hands, not instead of!
9) ‎Wear long pants because it may be chilly and you just don’t know what has been touching the seats in the waiting areas or plane. Better to ruin a pair of pants than developing a rash on your lower body.
10) ‎Wear or bring a jacket, preferably with zipping pockets because it may be cold or you may want to wad it up for a pillow and you wouldn’t want anything falling out of your pockets as you rush around the airport.
11) ‎Be patient, polite and thoughtful of your fellow passengers. Nobody enjoys a sourpuss who complains about everything.
12) ‎Get plenty of sleep and do whatever is needed to keep your children from getting fussy. No one wants to hear kids whining, crying or screaming. You, as a parent, don’t need the added stress either. Upset or badly behaved children just add tension to an already stressful situation.
13) ‎When you go through security or leave any seat or area, check carefully to be sure you didn’t leave ANYTHING behind. I can’t tell you how many announcements we heard about keys, Apple watches, or other belongings that were left behind.
We even heard one where a person was asked to call the rental car company because they needed their car key back!That’s it. Thirteen tips to help you as you travel in honor of the Friday the 13th I spent in the local airport waiting over 13 hours for a fight out to start our vacation. It all turned out well enough and it gave me the info to write this post to help others.

Best seatmates: 8-year-old Jake and his mother, Tammy. It was truly a pleasure sharing a flight with both of them.

Best line given by a flight attendant: Bottoms up or give it up!
July 6 2017

Aunt Mary’s Antique Crochet circa 1974

I was thinking about crochet and talking to someone about granny squares and that got me thinking about the things my favorite Aunt Mary made us when we were kids. It meant to much that she made these things especially for me, that I save them. I know I wasn’t given special treatment because she made them for all her nieces I think. I recall a photo that was taken at our grandfather’s funeral in 1974 with many of the girl cousins dresses in matching patriotic ponchos. The only difference was that I think some had blue fringe and trim and some had red like the one shown here. I was eight years old at the time and I would guess all three of these pieces were about the same size. The two granny square ones were made the same front and back, so there wasn’t the need to take so many photos to show measurements and such as there was with the little red vest.

If you are handy with figuring out patterns, please feel free to do so. I do ask that you share a copy of the pattern with me, link back to this blog post and that you not use my photos without my permission.

 

My sisters and I all had a tank vest like this but they were in different color combinations. One had bright yellow where the pink is on this one if I recall correctly.

 

I don’t know if Aunt Mary made this little red vest shown below or not because quite honestly, I don’t recall ever having seen it before. I thought it worthy of sharing anyway, and because it is more complex I tried to take the photos so anyone who wants to can make a pattern.

This is the back with side seams showing, though they are barely noticeable, really.

The right front has little ties to loop through the hole on the left front and tie it closed.

The edging is the same all the way around the neck, hem and front opening.

This shows the edging and side seam areas pretty well.

All three of these pieces appear to be made with acrylic yarn similar to Red Heart Super Saver, a worsted weight “4” size would be my guess. It suddenly dawns on me just how much time my aunts must have spent crocheting, but then again they didn’t have the internet or nearly as many television channels to distract them.

If I can find them, somewhere I also have several Barbie dresses made by my aunt Mary or Aunt Norma (Mom’s side). I also have a knitted Christmas stocking made by my grandmother (on Dad’s side) that is personalized with name and birth year. If these sound like something you would be interested in seeing photos of also, please leave a comment below. Subscribe to the blog using the box on the right side of this page so you won’t miss any future posts. Stay tuned!

April 28 2017

The Cozy Chipmunk Cabin

By the time you read this, we will be on our way back from another relaxing week away from everyday life. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. The one below was taken on the way to our cabin on Friday night. It took us a little longer than expected to get out of the house and on the road, then we had to run a couple of errands on the way. So, it was after dark before we arrived at our home for the week. This is what we saw at the end of the road leading to our cabin, so we didn’t really know what to expect. Continue reading

March 16 2017

Travel Tips for Parents and Everyone Else

Travel Tips

We have done a fair bit of traveling as a family and I have learned these travel tips along the way.

For Everyone:

Pack basic snacks, preferably healthy ones, for the road trip. I suggest baby carrots, celery sticks, bottled water, cheese sticks, and pretzels. This will help cut down on costs and the number of stops. Eating healthy can also help offset the extra calories we all tend to eat on vacations, just because it IS vacation and we know we deserve to treat ourselves.

When you are planning a trip, unless you already get some sort of member discount for booking hotels, you might want to consider getting a membership to your local AAA Auto Club. This can often save you at least 10% off the cost of hotel rooms or attraction tickets. The savings from one trip could well pay for the cost of the annual membership and you would still have the benefit of the roadside assistance and towing to use the whole year which can again save you to cost of the membership if you ever need to have your car towed. Continue reading