The Cool Kids

Friday, December 13, 2019

Use Your Words: December 2019: Sweet.




Hey-O friends!


Today’s post is a writing challenge created by Karen @ Baking in A Tornado.  8 participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words for someone else to use in a post. All words must be used at least once. All posts will be different as each writer has received their own original set of words. No blogger knows who received their words or in what direction the writer will take them. Until today.   
My words are: 
wind ~ profit ~ lady ~ base ~ older
They were submitted by Dawn@: https://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com
Thanks, Dawn!

Once in a while, when the wind blows just right, I remember how much I miss teaching. The ache for it happens much less now that I'm older and my energy isn't as high. Still, I stop and reminisce about how much joy I had telling stories, doing activities, and watching children's eyes glow in awe as they learned while having fun.

I'm not working for profit anymore. I'm no longer teaching a room full of young people. But something wonderful has taken up my free time. Grandkids! Like my own children, they won't stay young for long, so I am choosing to soak up every minute I get with them. 

One of the perks of getting to watch my five-year-old grandson, S. three mornings a week, is getting to share with him some of the activities I once did with my students.

This past week, S. and I read four different versions of "The Gingerbread Man". I taught him a song and we acted out the story with little finger puppets. He was able to retell the saga to his grandpa and watch him laugh at S.'s storytelling.

On another day, we made paper gingerbread people and tried to come up with solutions on how to make sure the Gingerbread Man would stay in the oven until the old lady could take him out to decorate. (The old lady in the story, not me.)
S.'s solution was to tape the base of the cookie to the pan! Haha. We finished that morning decorating gingerbread people.
decorating and tasting Gingerbread Men

Putting the Paper guy who's taped to the pan in the (turned off) oven,


On the last day, we decorated a gingerbread house, discussing what rooms might be inside and which window the "real" gingerbread man might have jumped from.

 S. was engrossed the whole time. You know it might be going well if your sugared-up little man keeps his attention focused for large chunks of time.
I was in charge of the glue.


Some might say, "Big Deal, you had fun. It's just a little kid. What does that have to do with teaching?"
My answer is that the whole thing was teaching/learning. Without calling it what it was, S., age five, was learning:

*What a beginning, a middle, and an end are in a story."
*How to retell a story.
*How to talk about how four different stories of the same Gingerbread man can be different.
*Learning the words to, and reciting a song.
*small motor skills of decorating tiny ginger people cookie.
*small motor skills of cutting and gluing paper gingerbread guy. (and taping him to a pan!)
*Hypothesizing the ending of a 5th story based on the other versions of said story. (Using prior knowledge).
*Coming up with solutions to problems. (How would we keep him in the oven?) 
*Spatial skills/Problem solving (Imagining where rooms are located in the Gingerbread house and knowing that the Gingerbread man escaped through a window, where the kitchen might be.
*Senses: How the cookies smelled, how the candies tasted sweet and sour, hearing and singing notes in a song, how cookies feel (HOT!) coming out of an oven, and how the house and cookies looked with different colored decorations.
*Sharing: retelling the story to Grandpa, and later, to sisters and brothers. S. took all the cookies home, so I'll assume he shared those cookies with family.

Those are some skills, man! Children are incredible.

What in the world does any of that matter? Sometimes we underestimate the capabilities and hands-on knowledge that little people gain, simply by playing/experimenting. No written tests needed. Just experiences.
Ugh. Those sweet little hands.

Lord, I've missed it. Thank heavens for grandbabies. And for the simplest of stories.



Have a sweet weekend, friends.
-Michele

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
                     Baking In A Tornado
              Wandering Web Designer
                     Spatulas on Parade
                           On the Border 
                                Sarah Nolan
                   Southern Belle Charm  
                                     Climaxed   
     Part-time Working Hockey Mom           

Friday, November 29, 2019

Funny Friday November 2019: Gone to the Dogs


Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by me!

The photo is of our two dogs, BallPark Frank (age 13), and Henry (age7).

1. Henry to BallPark: "When I put my paw on your shoulder, close your eyes. The people won't make us get off the bed if we're asleep."

2. BallPark: "No one told me I'd be with a dog who snores..."

3. Ballpark: "If I go to sleep right now I'll get a good 14 hours in. In the meantime, let me think of every mistake I've ever made." 

4. BallPark: "Hmm, I'm warm and comfy, but now I have to pee.

5. BallPark to Henry: "Yeah, this position is making me feel uncomfortable."


Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile!
Happy Weekend, friends.
-Michele

               Spatulas on Parade 
              Southern Belle Charm  

Friday, November 15, 2019

Use Your Words: How to test your marriage. part 305





Hey-O friends!
Today’s post is a writing challenge created by Karen @ Baking in A Tornado.  8 participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words for someone else to use in a post. All words must be used at least once. All posts will be different as each writer has received their own original set of words. No blogger knows who received their words or in what direction the writer will take them. Until today.   

My words are: sustainable ~ various ~ coping mechanism ~ slanted ~ raccoon ~ circus
They were submitted by the very creative Jenniy @
https://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com               
                     
Oh, friends. If you've read this blog for a long time you know that I like to change things up a bit in my home every now-and-then. If it's something simple like painting or moving furniture, I do it myself. If it's more difficult (ala plumbing, electrical or heavy-lifting,) I ask the man for his assistance. This time, I wanted to update our main bathroom. The room is a bit awkward, as it also houses our laundry.  So, I brought it up to the man.

He's silent for a minute (this is him recalling every circus-like remodel we've ever done) and then clenches his jaw together while talking to me which lets me know he'd rather have his teeth pulled than deal with another update. We both want our house to be sustainable for years, but neither of us has the energy anymore. "What will it entail?", he asks.

My List:
1. Paint
2. A new sink top
3. Maybe do something with the dingy floor? (not sure) 
Three things. That's it. At most: 1 trip to Lowes.
Time frame: 1 long weekend

(insert all of the experts and the good Lord above laughing in unison.)

We enlisted our son to help take out all of the room's hardware so we could remove the doors.
We had to move the washer/dryer so I could paint.
Easy enough.

What really happened to my ridiculously naive list: 



Clearing out the bathroom/ when we had hope.

1. Remove the sink top and notice the stained wall and soft bottom of the sink cabinet.

2. Remove the top part of the CABINET and realize the hot water pipes have leaked down the wall and into the floorboards.

3. Remove the corroded pipes and realize they haven't been checked since...the year the man was born? Good heavens people, after I saw the connecters, I doubted everything I've ever known that was good in the world.
The actual hot water connection. There's not enough CLR in the land to help this pipe out.

4. Cry. Assess the damage and hit Lowes.

5.  Lowes for paint, primer, pipes, connectors, and a TOTAL SINK. Remember that our existing toilet has a surface crack in the bowl, so we proactively buy a new one. Who has two thumbs and gets excited for a flipping sale on toilets? This girl.

6. Ask the man to remind me to write about the LAST toilet we installed...

7. During the hook up of new pipes, we assess that the people who laid the existing tile did NOT, in fact, tile under the sink. And the floorboards under the sink are slanted. The floor would need to be replaced.

8. Lowes trip # 2 -  Pickup wallboards, new plywood, a faucet for the NEW SINK, and tiling materials; which should be easy right? (insert more tears). Add to the list mortarboard, grout, tiles, de hazer, mud, (oh yeah, they don't have enough of the tile we chose), and a scraper blade to "pop-up" the existing tiles.

9. Replace sink pipes and decided to start chipping up the tiles, since nothing can happen until we have a floor. Use the scraper. And a hammer. And a sledgehammer. 'Seems the people that lived here previously were either reigning tile champions, or have successfully buried bodies in cement, because that stuff would. not. move.

10. Home Depot this time, to rent a hammer drill. I can't express the frustration we possessed trying to tear up that floor. The tiles merely chipped and all of the mortarboards turned to dust. I'm sure I mentioned that we removed the doors right? Enter everything in my home covered in dirt.

11.  Take a day off to contemplate buying a new home. Perhaps one with an outhouse.

12. Home Depot trip #2 to exchange for a LARGER hammer drill that eventually does a satisfactory job.
all hope and happiness is gone

13. We are five days in and the man and I don't know how we ever loved each other. He huffs and puffs when i move and I can't stand the sight of his dusty-a$$ed jeans. Frustration leads to bickering and nothing makes it better until he mentions ice cream. That's right. Frozen dairy reunites us once again. Mint-chocolate-chip-tasting is totally a coping mechanism, right?

14. Day 6: we have to temporarily move the laundry back to the hook-ups because, oh, I don't know... I have spoiled my boys into not making their underclothes last? Hey, there ARE ways.
still hopeless, but smelling April-fresh.


15. Yeah. STEP FIFTEEN! Would you like to see the finished project? Um, so would we. We are at a standstill while the man does his real job and my grandson wants to go shopping. I'd much rather buy fruity pebbles, stuffed raccoons, and various Legos at Target, than trip over one more sample of porcelain tile.

Wish us luck/Pray for our marriage/Pray for our souls.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends, free from DIY projects or HGTV.
-Michele

Don't forget to check out the other amazing bloggers and see what they've come up with!               
They were submitted by:

 Climaxed                                             

Friday, October 25, 2019

Funny Friday October 2019: Hot Sauce!

Funny Friday, October 2019

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.


Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado.


1. Fashion Alert!!! "Hot Pants" are coming back, Spring 2020

2. I've been called a "smart a$$" before, but never a "spicy a$$." Is that a thing?

3. "If you're not wearing your Sriracha pants on Wednesdays, you can't sit with us."

4. Will my "Frank's Hot Sauce" sweater clash with these pants?

5. You think these are cute? Wait till you see my Soy Sauce slippers! (Kikkoman, of course!)

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile!

                    Spatulas on Parade  

Friday, October 11, 2019

Use Your Words October 2019 : I hate tomatoes.


Hey-O friends!
Today’s post is a writing challenge created by Karen @ Baking in A Tornado 6 participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words for someone else to use in a post. All words must be used at least once. All posts will be different as each writer has received their own original set of words. No blogger knows who received their words or in what direction the writer will take them. Until today.   

My words are from the very sweet Tamara @ Part-Time Working Hockey Mom  Thanks, Tamara! Those were challenging words, but I loved them!


My words: advocate ~ innate ~ fortify ~ entity ~ toys ~ shrieking

Pattern Story #11 I hate tomatoes.

I'm not talking about the tomatoes that fortify your body with lycopene and potassium (although I'm not crazy about those either.) I'm talking about the little cushions one uses in sewing to hold pins. (View A in the pattern photo below.)
Pattern Property of McCall Pattern Company 2016

When I was in sixth grade, our class participated in various skills units, like wood-shop, cooking, and sewing. There probably were others, but the sewing class definitely sticks in my mind, because I was TERRIBLE at it. I'm not kidding. For our first project, we were taught how to make our very own pin cushion in the shape of yes, a tomato. 

The teacher, Mrs. Hill, carefully showed us each step in creating the project, then held up her own blue ribbon-worthy, perfectly round tomato pin cushion. There may have been oohs and ahhs, I can't recall everything. Finally, we were off to make our own. I thought I followed every direction. I cut, stuffed, and wrapped the fabric and string just like the teacher did in her directions. Looking around the class, I saw other students holding up their red entities with pride. Me? I held up a mess of stuffed, stretched fabric and thread cut into too many pieces. I slowly walked up to Mrs. Hill and watched as she put her hands to her cheeks and shook her head in disgust dismay. 

By now, my classmates were finished shrieking in delight at their creations. They had succeeded with their ripe, perfect, probably-soon-to-be-thrown-in-the-trash-after-class projects and were ready to move on. I was cursing my innate inability to reproduce a fabric, sawdust-filled piece of fake fruit from perfectly given directions.  I must admit, my tomato resembled a red egg. Or, as Mrs. Hill put it, my pin cushion looked "like a flat, pet rock". Thanks for that, "Teach."

Mrs. Hill may not have been her correct name, It's been almost 40 years since I sat in that class. But today, I can close my eyes and see her disappointment in that squishy mess. In the days that followed, while the other children were off on their next projects (probably sewing life-like toys or 17th century costumes; I don't know,) Mrs. Hill, whose job was to be an advocate of both home-made goods and children, (thank goodness!) spent a chunk of her time helping me turn my "pet rock" into a somewhat familiar-looking red orb. Where is it now? I have no idea. Funny what you choose to remember. (and forget.)


I'd like to tell you that as a seamstress or as a teacher who gives directions to little ones that I've overcome the disdain I hold for those tomatoes, but I'd be lying. I've never made one since. My pins are kept in bowls where I can easily grab them. The cushions I've accumulated over the years have been tag-a-longs from eBay sewing-kits, antique stores, or Joann's.  The middle one in the photo above belonged to my husband's grandmother. (Okay, I actually love THAT one.)

So you might ask me, "Why/When/How in the world did you even start to sew after such a disastrous experience? You know the kind, Michele. The experiences where you can still remember small details 40 years later? The kind when you recall a particular failure, you feel the shame of it late at night?"

My only answer is that I learned to master it like anything else in my life. 
Out of spite.
:)

My REAL sewing buddy/pet rock, Tom. Tom-ato. Never forget.

Have a "fruitful" weekend friends,
Michele

Check out the other cool kids playing "Use Your Words" this month!
       Spatulas on Parade
       On the Border
       Climaxed     
       Part-Time Working Hockey Mom    
       

Friday, September 27, 2019

Funny Friday September 2019

Funny Friday, September 2019


Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.




Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.




1. So, uh...are branches the new "JUUL"? (Don't Vape, Kids)


2. "Back in our day, we had school outdoors. We had to eat lunch at our desk AND whittle sticks to make our own pencils." (and walk uphill both ways.)


3. "Welcome to 'Building a Torch 101.' Snacks are provided." (Remember kids, torches are for lighting, NEVER for marching.)


4. "Have you ever heard of Voodoo Dolls? Let's just say that this stick is the part of my family tree I'm not happy with."


5. "Dammit, Adam. You're supposed to be building a fire for us. But, let me guess. You just HAD to eat more of that forbidden fruit, didn't you? I'm telling the big guy". -Eve, with her hands on her hips, probably.


Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Happy Friday, friends!

-Michele
           Baking In A Tornado
                    Spatulas On Parade  

Friday, September 13, 2019

Use Your Words: September 2019: Two Closets are better than one.

Today’s post is a writing challenge created by Karen @ Baking in A Tornado 6 participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words for someone else to use in a post. All words must be used at least once. All posts will be different as each writer has received their own original set of words. No blogger knows who received their words or in what direction the writer will take them. Until today.   

My words are from our lovely host, Karen@
https://Bakinginatornado.com 
 evidence ~ eggs ~ energy ~ enjoy ~ economy
 Thank you, Karen!


Pattern Story #9


Narrator: This winter on Lifetime:
 In a world...
Where 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce.
Where style and fashion are all around us and fabric choices are wide and abundant...
Where makeover shows are literally creating whole networks...

We follow six couples in crisis. Husbands that have lost their energy.  Wives who are on the edge of calling their relationships quits.

Can two people who used to enjoy the company of each other find connection again?
In this economy, can these marriages be saved?

Find out this and much more with both our marriage/therapy/style experts and the easter eggs we leave along all season.

Lifetime TV and you can help also solve these problems:

Can these couples rediscover love?

Will each spouse find evidence of their individuality again?

Is there enough style sense and ego in the world to know?

Tune in this winter to find out what these duos might discover ...

From the creators of "What Not to Wear Now" and "Project Runaway From my Closet!" and from the producers of "Our Multiple Marriages,"

Lifetime brings you:

*"Get Your Own Darn Wardrobe!!": the Marriage edition.
"Can our marriage be the same without us looking the same?"

Only this winter
and only on Lifetime.
1991 Butterick Company 

McCall Pattern Company NY 1985

Simplicity Pattern Company 1969


*Do you and your spouse literally share a closet? Write to us online and let us know if we can help you "Get Your Own Darn Wardrobe!". Lifetime.com. Name, participants and topics are subject to change.

Be you and have a wonderful. weekend, friends!
-Michele

Check the other participants out and see what words they got and how they used them.  
   

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
                       Baking In A Tornado
              Wandering Web Designer
                     Spatulas on Parade
                             On the Border   
                                  Climaxed              
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