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The Campfires of Autumn

          The steamy, hot weather of summer has lost its kick, and the cooler fall-like weather has moved in to stay. This is the perfect time to gather the family for an evening of relaxation outdoors; it is easy to do if you have the right equipment.  With a little preparation, your campfire will be ready for roasting marshmallows in no time.

          If you are in an area where campfires are allowed (some townships have banned backyard campfires) you will want to purchase a fire pit from your local hardware store. These nifty little containers start at around $40 and can be set on your driveway or sidewalk.  A few sites on the Internet direct viewers on how to make your own fire pit.  At HGTV, instructions are given in the article, How to Make a Backyard Fire Pit; there is also a video on YouTube called Simple Backyard Fire Pit (fire pit) with Spit that may be useful for creating a campfire area.

           Once a receptacle has been secured to hold the campfire, setting it up is easy.  According to the web site, Love the Outdoors in an article named appropriately, How to Build a Campfire  a few simple steps will have you warming by the fire quickly and safely.

  • Gather wood and stack in separate piles away from fire area. Do not use green or freshly cut wood.

There are three different kinds of wood needed for a successful campfire

  • Tinder – small twigs, wood shavings, dry leaves or grass, dry needles, bark or dryer lint. This should start to burn immediately with a lighted match.

  • Kindling – small sticks 1″ around or less

  • Fuel – larger wood that keeps the fire going

DON”T FORGET ABOUT SAFETY!  Keep a bucket of water and/or a Fire Extinguisher close by to put out the fire.

Once the materials are gathered and you are ready, it is time to start the campfire.

  1. Place your tinder in the middle of a clean fire pit.  Light the tinder with a match.

  2. Once the tinder has begun to burn, slowly add the kindling.

  3. When the kindling is burning and a good fire is burning, add the fuel (Large wood) one piece at a time.

  4. To keep the fire burning, add fuel (Large wood) every so often.

          To roast a good marshmallow there needs to be hot coals in your campfire.  Watch a video entitled, How to Roast the Ultimate Marshmallow to learn the perfect tips. When you have conquered marshmallow making, you may wish to check out S’mores – How to Make S’mores for the perfect S’mores recipe.

          Singing around the campfire is a great way to enjoy the evening festivities.  At Sing Along With Me, you will find an alphabetical collection of traditional Guide, Scout, and Campfire Songs to sing.  Print out the lyrics and share them.  Make the time spent around the campfire memorable.

          The cool autumn evenings will heat up quickly when the logs burning in the campfire emit their primal warmth. Gather up your family and friends to sit around the campfire to sing some campfire songs, roast a few marshmallows, and enjoy a restful evening together. Soon the winter winds will blow and the season of campfires will be over, but with a little preparation, never forgotten.

 

Works Cited

How to Make a Backyard Fire Pit. (2012). Retrieved from HGTV:  http://www.hgtv.com/home-improvement/how-to-make-a-backyard-fire-pit/index.html 

How to Roast the Ultimate Marshmallow. (2012). Retrieved from You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5QvvnETZ7c

Simple Backyard Fire Pit (firepit) with Spit . (2012). Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMpNclW0G44

Sing Along With Me. (2012). Retrieved from Songs With Music: http://songs-with-music.freeservers.com/alphabetical.html

S’mores-How To Make S’mores. (2012). Retrieved from What’s Cooking America: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Cookie/Smores/Smores.htm

 

Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 
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Weekly Photo Challenge:Merge

Photo taken by J. Ahern at the Brookfield Zoo exhibit Zoo Bugs.

       This is an example of how bugs merge and camouflage themselves to avoid becoming dinner for another bug or animal.  Brookfield Zoo’s interpretation of this is a bit extreme, however, the name of the exhibit is “Extreme Bugs”.   Some people believe that the “Lady Bug” is a lucky and magical bug.  It is said that if a Lady Bug lands on you, then good luck will follow.  I wonder if this extreme Lady Bug is even luckier than the average garden variety.

       There is a story from the Middle Ages where the crops were being eaten by insects, and people were starving.  They prayed to The Virgin Mary for relief.  The village was disappointed in their prayers when they discovered yet another insect in their fields.  Their disappointment was short-lived, however, when they realized that these bugs were killing the insects that had been dining on their food supply.  They called these wonder bugs, Lady Bugs. 

       Lady Bugs love to eat aphids. So if you have aphids on your roses or tomatoes, head on over to the garden center and purchase a carton of Lady Bugs.  They are sure  to solve your problem. 

     Check out the Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge at the Daily Post.  You still have time to submit a photo.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mardoch the Iguana

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Mardoch the Iguana

Iguana

green scales

creeping smelling lazing

Iguanas can see shapes, shadows, colors and movement at long distances.

cunning, plant-eating, coloring

long tailed

Lizard

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 
 
 
 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

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Photo taken by David Ahern

This photo was taken by a friend in a field close to his workplace.  I am not sure of the name of this wild flower, however, they grow with abandon in Illinois.  It must be some sort of prairie flower.   The color is a perfect example of purple. 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wonder has a name: DERECHO

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A long lived Derecho storm system moved across the Chicago metro area yesterday morning.” This system according to The Examiner caused considerable damage and power outages to many in the Chicagoland area.

My question is…what is a Derecho and where did this term come from all of a sudden? It seems that in the last week or so, many meteorologists and weather reporters have been spotlighting this new word. The word is so new, that at Dictionary.com, the only entry they have for the word is its Spanish origin.  There is not a definition.  If you want a definition, there is one at Wikipedia.com.  It states that a Derecho, pronounced (day-RAY-cho), is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms.

Source: The USA TODAY Weather Book by Jack Williams
As the line of thunderstorms moves along, usually to the east, humid air flows up into the storms. Cold air from aloft descends to create winds.

That is great, except that we had a word for this type of windstorm.  It was called a Squall Line. However, I looked the term Squall line up and found some differences between a Derecho and a Squall line. A Squall Line is defined in The American Heritage Science Dictionary “…as a line of sudden, sometimes violent thunderstorms that develop on the leading edge of a cold front. Squall lines can form up to 50 to 149 miles in front of an advancing cold front and can be more than 99 miles long. The thunderstorms of a squall line can produce severe weather conditions, such as hail and rain accompanied by winds of over 60 miles per hour; they are also associated with tornadoes, especially in spring and early summer.”

This all sounds very similar to the newly touted Derecho, but according to Jack Williams at USA Today, “Derechos are the result of squall-line thunderstorms that create one downburst after another as they move along. Downbursts are winds that blast down from thunderstorms.  Occasionally, a Derecho thunderstorm will spin out a small tornado or two, but straight-line winds do most of their damage.  Derechos are most common on the central and northern Plains and across the Midwest into the Ohio Valley in the late spring and during the summer.”

Hmm… I guess a Derecho is not a Squall line after all.  However, why have I never heard of this weather term before? In my research, I found out that a man named Gustavus Hinrichs, the director of the Iowa Weather Service in the 1880’s coined the name, Derecho.  It comes from a Spanish word meaning, “straight ahead” or “direct”.  Hinrichs intended it to contrast with “tornado” which comes from the Spanish word for “turn”.  Okay, so the word has been around for a while. I just wonder why the meteorologists and weather reporters feel the need to bring “Derecho” out of the closet, now?

Jack Williams states in his article at USA Today, “…that while most people in the Midwest are unfamiliar with the “Derechoes”, these windy storms are very common.”  Well, darn, if they are so very common, why haven’t they been mentioned more often?

 I have two possible answers to this question.  The first is that meteorologists and weather reporters want to look super intelligent, so they pulled out this weather term to impress their viewers.  The second is that our weather is changing so rapidly and is so erratic that a term to describe it had to be found.  Consequently, the super intelligent people in charge of the weather scoured through the tomes of weather history to find just the right word, “Derecho”.  I suppose it is feasible that our record-breaking weather this year is beyond even the experts’ description.

I am wondering how the fall and winter weather will be. If the last seven months have given any indication, we are in for a few more record-breaking days and possibly a few new words from the back of the meteorologist’s closet. I have one they can use… “Deep-poo”.

References

Derecho. (2012, 7 23). Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derecho

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. (2002). Retrieved 7 25, 2012, from Dictionary.com : http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/squall%20line

Williams, J. (2005, 5 20). ‘Derechos’ are lines of windy thunderstorms. Retrieved from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wtsm1.htm

 

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

 

 

timzauto photo challenge:Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden

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Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden, Las Vegas taken and submitted by www. Grandmother Musings. com

Timzauto is starting a NEW Photo Challenge! Here is my entry.You can enter too, just submit one photo of your favorite flower or flower garden.

Please post a link to these comments with the photo’s location at http://timzauto.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/timzauto-photo-challenge-please-everyone-submit-one-photo/

Please also reblog this post to your respective blogs so everyone gets the word.

Also remember to tag your photo timzauto photo challenge.

Thanks for entering! 🙂

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

20 Lines a Day Weekly Challenge: Camping

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I do not camp.

 It is not because I am a princess or because I think I am better than that.

It is because I have had some hair-raising experiences camping that I do not wish to repeat.

 For one, Camping =wet.

The last time I camped, my suitcase was floating in the tent.

Literally, it was floating.

 It seems that nature does not wish to be kind to me when I sleep outdoors in it.

 I have had a tree fall in front of my car, a giant spider taking up residence in my sleeping bag, and an attempted murderer prowling the campground.

 Camping is just not my cup of tea.

Do not get me wrong, I enjoy bonfires, smores, and playing cards by lantern light.

 I love to cook over the open fire and eat mouth-watering bacon for breakfast.

 So there are some great things about camping, however, no matter where I set up my sleeping bag, there is always a stray rock that ends up in my back.

  I also think bug bites and hot tents are unappealing.

Finally, I like air conditioning, running water, and showers that do not have spider webs in them.

 I like room service and movie channels.

  I guess I am kind of a princess.

 I just do not like to camp.

 

Submitted for 20 Lines a Day Weekly Challenge: Camping

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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