Nonsense Summer Days

“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.”  Roald Dahl

When I was a child my father would sing this little phrase before he would flip us on our beds. “One for the money, two for the  show, three to get ready and four to go…flip!

Stay-cations? Schedule  your days around a bit of nonsense:

“One for the money” Monday: Chores made fun, lemonade stands, car washes…Write down small tasks with the cash reward amount next to the task and fill up a jar. Be prepared to pay up when the job is completed. Allow a trip to the dollar store, candy store, tag sale where you can buy treasures cheap. Let them chose even if YOU don’t think it will be fun. They worked for it, let them learn about it.

“Two for the  Show” Tuesday: Today is movie day. Tell your child you want her to put on a show for you. (Children are masters at this without your help!) OR go allow your child to pick a free movie at the library. Have a movie time with friends. Watch shows that involve “cool” stories like Snow Dogs, Frozen, Happy Feet or Polar Express. Watch in the basement if you have one. Place pillows, blankets in the freezer for a few minutes of chill. BRRRR! AHHH!

“Three to get ready” Wednesday: Plan and Prep for a family outing for the next day. Have a family planning time where you decide a list of things you can do together for an outing. (Not expensive, just fun together) To have them guess tangle a room with string with  the final destination at the end. Have then untangle to discover.

“Four to GOOOOO,” Thursday: This is a family adventure day. Penny walks; Heads you go left, tails you go right. See where you end up. A scavenger hike on a bike, in a car, in a yard, in your house on a stormy summer afternoon. Use your imagination or look up what to do with kids, you your area where you live.

Other random day ideas:

Nick-Nack-Patty-Wack Monday: Learn something new today. A magic trick, a science experiment, a unique art project, a new sport, a new food. (Gak, Slime, or OOObleck are good choices in the recipes)

Tutty-Fruity Tuesday: Visit fruit stands, or go to the grocery store. Make up a new type of smoothie and drink in fun cups, or place in ice trays and make up some Popsicles. Have a family watermelon seed spitting contest. (BTW the record is 66 feet 11 inches to beat)

Whatcha-ma-call-it Wednesday: This is a silly day. Wear your clothes backwards, have a crazy dinner using different utensils, get squirted with the hose or make your own slip and slide, make it so if you say a certain word you have to do….be creative and have some fun with it…

Share this link of ideas to your friends so they can have some summer fun with summer days too…

 

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Summer Fun in a Flash!

  • Monster Bubbles: 6 cups water, 2 cups Joy liquid dish washing soap, 3/4 cup light corn syrup. Mix in a large bucket and let sit for 4-6 hours. Use string threaded through 2 straws, hangers shaped, hands, plastic lids with holes cut out from the center, etc. The bubbles LOVE humidity but it is not necessary. Have a blast out side!
  • Shaving Cream Paint: Mix tempera paint or food coloring with squirts of shaving cream. Allow your child to paint on cookie sheets or plastic trays OR if it is a stormy summer day put them in the bathtub with no water and their swimming suits and let them paint there.
  • Finger Paint: 2 T. sugar, 1/3 corn starch. Place in saucepan and slowly add 2 cups cold water. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes until clear and smooth gel appears. Cool. Stir in 1/4 c. liquid dishwashing soap. Scoop in containers and add food coloring or tempera paints. Will stay in sealed containers for several weeks. Let them paint on foil, wax paper, regular paper, or cookie sheets. It is finger paint so let them use their fingers!!
  • GAK: 2 c. white glue, 2 c. warm water. Mix together in a container that is not used for food and can be cleaned or disposed of. Mix together 1 c. water and 1/2 c. Borax. Slowly add the 2 solutions together and mix them well until it coagulates together. This does not come out of clothing. You can draw on it with markers or bury toys in it. Very fun but messy. Store in zip lock bag.
  • Kool-aid play dough: 2 Kool-aid packeges matching flavors (without sugar), 2 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. salt, 3 T. oil, 2 c. water. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Bring the liquids to a boil in a saucepan and then add the hot liquid to the dry ingredients. Knead together. This smells so good and is a great time to play with when it is warm. Keep in tight container and store in refrigerator for several weeks.
  • Toe Paint: 3 parts flour to 1 part salt. Add water until gravy consistency. Stir in food coloring and paint with toes on paper–outside preferably but not necessarily.
  • Penny Cleaner: Mix salt and vinegar. T his makes hydrochloric acid. Drop pennies in the mixture then use swab to wipe them clean. Dry immediately.
  • Colored Pasta or Rice to play with like sand: 1 c. uncooked rice, 1/2 t. food coloring, 1 t. rubbing alchohol (optional). Place in plastic bag and mix together. Place the pasta or rice on a tray to dry. Pour in a plastic bin and add cups, spoons and toys.
  • Snow paint: 1 c. White King Natural Laundry Soap, 1/2 c. water, 1/3 c. liquid starch. Whisk or blend. It whips up like frothy snow. Store in covered container.
  • OOOBleck: 1/2 c. cornstarch, 1/4 c. water. This is the oddest stuff. You can make a solid ball and then it will melt in  your hand. Read the book by Dr. Seuss, Bartholemew and the Oobleck.
  • Sand pictures: Mix white corn meal with powdered tempera paint. Get glass jars and layer them with colors. You can color sugars and do the same thing as gifts. Place glue on paper and use the sand like glitter to make colored pictures.
  • Squeeze Paint: 2 c. flour, 1 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. salt, food coloring. Place in squeeze bottles. (You can buy these at Michaels, or go to the dollar store and buy ketchep and mustard squeeze bottles)
  • Gelatin fun: Make your own wonder worlds with clear gelatin. Make it in a bowl and let it set. Tip over the mold and now you have a jelly fish. Take an eye dropper of food coloring and water and squirt it inside. you will have all sorts of colors inside. Slice it with a plastic knife. Explore this strange substance.
  • Contact paper collage. Cut a piece of contact paper and take the backing off. Place the sticky side up on a table and allow your child to stick things on it. Gather leaves and petals from outdoors, feathers, string, yarn, toys, fabric, cotton. If you child wants to keep it cover it with a clear piece of contact paper on the top.
  • Sand paper flannel board. A piece of sandpaper can be a sensory experience with your child. Allow them to stick cut flannel, felt, string,  yarn, cotton to the sand paper.

An idea for a friend of a cancer patient

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 If you would like to do something for a friend going through cancer treatments make up some little baggies of treats that they can bring with them every time they go to the doctor or cancer center.

It does not need to be big. The picture shows tiny bags of about 2 tablespoons of Jelly Belly Beans inside.

Your cancer friend can give them to the valet, to the people who take blood, the ones making appointments, the nurses, the other cancer patients who make them laugh, the doctors, the x-ray technicians, the volunteers who bring them water, the infusion nurses, and so on. 

It is really an uplift to do something for people who are caring for you!!!

It is surprising how much they appreciate the thoughtful gesture, and will give your friend really nice service for doing so.

And besides, if the cancer patient needs a treat they can eat it themselves!  

A little thank you goes a long way.

Giving kindness is healing for everyone.

A little morsel of spring to taste

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s, The Secret Garden is one of the most magical full-sense spring experiences. You will never look at nature and her healing powers the same again.

Here is just one little morsel to taste:

“A sudden thought made her scramble to her feet,

“I can’t wait! I am going to see the garden!”

…She unchained and unbolted and unlocked and when the door was open she sprang across the step with one bound, and there she was standing on the grass, which seemed to have turned green, with the sun pouring down on her and warm sweet wafts about her and the fluting and twittering and singing coming from every bush and tree. She clasped her hands for pure joy and looked up in the sky and it was so blue and pink and pearly and white and flooded with springtime light and she felt as if she must flute and sing aloud herself and knew that thrushes and robins and skylarks could not possibly help it. She ran around the shrubs and paths towards the secret garden.

“It is all different already,” she said. “The grass is greener and things are sticking up everywhere and things are uncurling and green buds on leaves are showing…”

…When she had reached the place where the door bid itself under the ivy…and she pushed the door open…

“Oh Dicken! Dickon!” she cried out. “How could you get here so early! How could you! The sun has only just got up!”

“He got up himself, laughing and glowing, and tousled; his eyes like a bit of the sky.

“Eh!” he said. “I was up long before him. How could I have stayed abed! Th’ world’s all fair begun again this mornin’, it has. An’ it’s workin’ and hummun’ and’ scratchin’ an’ pipin’ and’ nest-building’ an breathin’ out scents, till you’ve got to be out in it ‘stead o’ lyin’ on your back. When th’ sun did jump up, th’ mor went mad for joy, an’ I was in the midst of th’ heather, an’ I run like mad myself, shoutin’ an’ singing’. An’ I come straight here. I couldn’t have stayed away. Why, th’ garden was lyin’ here waitin’!”  pg. 155-157

Been Blowing Kisses

Been blowing kisses lately

HELLO DEAR SPRING
HELLO DEAR SPRING

Blowing to Daffy who is my very first beauty that finally is warm enough to open-

Blowing to my toooot-toot-toot, Lake Tahoe bird singing under my window-

Blowing to mini meadow and peek-a-boo path my old walking friends finally uncovered from snow-

Blowing to Lovely Lake, who literally last week melted her last patches of winter’s ice-

Other’s are blowing, too.

Today I watched a little boy walk the long path into school blowing kisses to a car stuck in school traffic. He blew and blew and blew with exuberance no matter who was watching. When the car passed I expected to see a woman (a mom) blowing back. But it was a man (a dad) and he was blowing back, his arm out the window, with gusto! 

Blow some kisses…

there is so much to love!

Kindness Heals

Think kind…

Speak kind…

Do kind…

Feel kind…

Share kind…

Humans need kindness.Version 2

Kindness Ideas with Kids

Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness Week begins February 11.

It has never melted away…

Once upon a time on a cold snowy day four years ago, I got on my boots, hat, and gloves and walked outside in my back yard with a shovel. As an artist I was searching for an explanation to pieces of me I had lost. And I was going to create it using the frigid frozen snow on the outside to match the cold empty loss I felt on the inside…

My mother’s body died four years ago today, January 26, 2014 but her heart died April 28, 2012 when her sweetheart of sixty eight years went to heaven. I began lifting heavy mounds with a shovel, then on my hands and knees began packing the snow meditating into my creative process hoping to somehow connect.  My muscles strained from the weight of the frozen water. My body shivering. My breathing deep and rapid sent small clouds of steam that kept fogging and refogging my vision at each breath. The tall evergreens moved subtly in the wind and I could hear them whispering behind my back; I found myself looking up and around to see which was mocking me for being a grown-up “playing” in snow without a child.

Art explains without words.

It is a visual puzzle with clues and question marks spilling out to make some sort of sense of our world.

Most of the time we don’t know the message that our soul wants to surface–

but sometimes we do.

But it has to come out–somehow, someplace. 

The art piece began to take form as it turned into a snow sculpture of my recently passed mom, so very very happy holding hands with my dad, both dressed in angel-white snow but wearing actual pieces of their own clothing, I had saved.

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The piece began to take on a life of its own as my soul and their souls connected through art. My mother’s head tilted like it always did when she was photographed and her scarf fit over one ear like she always used to do, pulling it up to protect that one sensitive one from the cold.

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My father wears that smirky-smile that goes straight more than up and finally looks complete with my mom next to his side. He was always so proud he got her! They both are waving like I remember so often when we would come and go from “our” home that we loved. When I finished the last of the accessories, placing mini-jam jar lids on for buttons, I stood back in silence. I was exhausted and chilled but feeling drips of sweat between my chest and under my arms–I also felt warm. The trees were silent. It was the three of us standing there on the planet waiting for something to happen. But nothing happened. So I gathered my shovel and walked inside.

I began to change out of my wet frozen clothes, put on a cup of peppermint tea, (my mother’s favorite) and get warm. As I began to do this, I missed the snow-people I had just placed a piece of my soul into. (This happens with artists and their creations.)

In the few minutes it took to change I ran to the window to make sure they were still there.

I needed them to still be there.

They were there…

What happened after this was quite extraordinary…

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When I looked out the window I noticed the shape surrounding the figures. While I was sculpting them up from the ground with tenderness and as I moved around gathering up snow, I had somehow surrounded my parents in a heart without knowing it. …Or they sent it to me. No matter, I could feel their love so expansive and genuine… They were still here not only in snow, but in spirit!

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“How strange to build snow men of your parents who have died.”

But I am not embarrassed I created this.

It has been six and four years since they left for heaven

and I notice every single day.

They are always together and when I look at this I know it is true and it makes me happy.

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Four years later I look back and see them…watching and loving us; still waving hello and never good-bye. This feeling has never melted even though in spring the snow did.

Hello back, mom and dad…I love you too—

So very glad you’re still here.