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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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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.

 

Poignant Partings at Paw Paw Lake – 20 Lines Weekly Photo Challenge

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Paw Paw Lake, Michigan

The saddest time of vacation is the last night.  A week of sun, boating, family, and good times must end.  It is as if you can hear the loons playing “Taps” in the distance.  All the food has been eaten, and the gear is packed away. Just one more sleep, and it will be time to leave the cabin by the lake.

We will say adieu to the lovely water and goodbye to the glorious days.  We will return next year to enjoy your peace pace and your beautiful display of the natural world.

 

→   20 Lines Weekly Photo Challenge. Submit a photo of Nature/The Great Outdoors by posting your entry to your blog, then leaving a comment with a link to your blog post at http://anexerciseindiscipline.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/20-lines-weekly-photo-challenge/

 

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.
 

Playing in the Rain

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The JOY of playing in the rain.

“It’s a Miracle! “Exclaimed my grandson as he spied the rain falling from the back door window.   I opened the door and we both walked out to feel the wondrous drops of long-awaited moisture plop upon our heads.  It has been weeks since there has been any precipitation in our area.  The grass is dormant, except in the backyard where I have been watering it.  The trees are losing their leaves and nature is yearning for a clean drink of water.

It rained a steady rain for about 45 minutes.  This was enough to cause puddles to stomp in and for the air to smell fresh.  It is amazing how parched both nature and humans become when there is not any rain.  I hope this is a new trend in the weather.  I pray that we continue to produce enough rain to revitalize the crops, perk up the grass, and hydrate the trees.   Until then, I am grateful I was able to view the nectar from the clouds, and my grandson doing his dance of joy.

Related Articles

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take some time today to experience PURE Joy

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.
 

Quotes from the Masters: Bacon

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“We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake.” Sir Francis Bacon     

This weekend my husband and I held a Wedding Shower for my son and his future bride.  Since they live four hours away, we had a difficult time coordinating a date, but settled for July 7.  Of course, the entire week before the party, it was in the 100’s and the heat wave broke all sorts of records. 

Consequently, we would work outside early morning and late afternoon.  When the sun was at its hottest, we would work in the house trying to get ready for the full house of company we would have for the weekend.  If we felt too over-heated  we would jump in the pool to cool down.  However, even the pool was having trouble keeping up with the heat.  After four days of high temperatures the water was 92 degrees and not quite as refreshing as it should have been. 

Our goal was to make things as cool for our guests as possible. The dress was casual because we knew it would be too hot to be formally dressed.  We had a shelter, lots of cool drinks (Sangria), good food, and an air-conditioned house for respite.

 On the morning of the shower, as we all began to set up for the party that was set for one in the afternoon, it was still 98 degrees.  Tempers flared as we attempted to set up the pop-up canopy and arrange the tables.  The prep work in the kitchen was set to a furious cacophony of women trying to prepare cheese, meat, and vegetable trays.  Everyone on duty was sweating and hot, but we worked together, so that when the first guests arrived, the place looked perfect.

 Then, the magic occurred.  As the future bride and groom opened their gifts, a swift breeze fluttered the top of the canopy. The flowers on the tables began to sway and a blessed cool wind came from the northwest.  All the guests turned instinctively toward the relief. “Ahhhs.” Were heard all around. 

 The wind had shifted bringing a cool front to the stifling heat.  The temperature dropped 10 degrees in fifteen minutes.  By the time all the presents were opened and the cake was being passed around, the guests were no longer asking for iced drinks, but for coffee to go with their cake. 

 The universe had chosen that moment to give us all a break from the oppressive heat and blow in happy wishes for the future bride and groom.  Never again will we be blessed to watch our son share this moment with his bride–to- be and his family and friends.  Similarly, as the quote from Sir Frances Bacon states, “We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand- and melting like a snowflake.” Fortunately, none of us melted like a snowflake in the heat, but we did have the opportunity to view a couple, sparkling like the stars for a brief moment.

 View more Quotes from the Masters at Bringing Europe Home

 

 

 

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.

 

 

25 Activities to Keep the Summertime Blues Away

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It is summer vacation, and the kids are home from school. Once the initial excitement wears off, what will you do to keep those Summertime Blues away?  Here are some ideas to keep the kids active and have some fun while you are doing it.

1. Plan a visit to your local museum.  It is air-conditioned and interesting.  Call ahead or check the museum’s website to see if there is a discounted day or “free” day to visit. This will help to keep costs low.

 2. Pack up a cooler with some sandwiches and drinks; grab an old sheet, blanket or beach towel; and head for your nearest park for a picnic.  The kids love eating outdoors, and they can also play at the park.

 3. Visit a local Zoo.  Many Zoos allow coolers and have outdoor picnic areas, so bring your own lunch and enjoy the animals.

 4. Take a walk in a nature center or a forest preserve near your house. 

 5. Plan a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt complete with a map and prizes.

 6. Have an old-fashioned water-balloon fight.

 7. Collect some rocks on your nature hike, picnic, or walk around town.  The rocks should be no larger than your palm.  Clean them up and spend an afternoon painting them.  Homemade “Pet Rocks”!

 8. Rainy Days are no problem.  Plan to have a “Rainy Day” Movie Festival.  Set up the Family Room or Living Room with chairs, make some popcorn, and watch your favorite movie together. The Library is a great resource for DVD’s and Video Cassettes.

 9. Backyard Camping can be a blast.  Set-up the tent in the back yard, and if you have a portable fire pit, cook up some Smores and tell stories around the campfire. 

 10. Service projects can be fun and can help teach kids to think beyond themselves.  Try picking up garbage on your street.  Plant some marigolds or other annuals in small clay pots and give them to the neighbors.

 11.  Have a game day.  It can be outdoor games like “hide and go seek” or indoor board games.

 12. Make hand puppets and put on a show.

 13.  Play in the sprinkler, go swimming or to the beach.

 14.   Set-up a time to visit with the local Fire Department or Police Department for a tour of the facilities.

 15.   Visit a Botanical Garden.  Check and see if there is an ongoing exhibit.

 16.  Spend the day at the local Library. They often have summer programs for children.

 17.  Make chocolate chip cookies together.

 18.  Take the kids fishing.

 19.  Have the kids help you wash the car. Get buckets, sponges, towels and clean away while having fun.

 20.  Go for a bike ride.

 21.   Volunteer to help at an animal shelter for the day.

 22.  Teach the kids how to play Croquet, badminton, or tennis.

 23.  Create a time capsule. Use a container with a lid. Place items in the container that represent summer. Maybe add a few pictures or post cards from your adventures. Close it all up and put it away to open next year.

 24.  Tie-dye items like T-shirts. Allow children to choose their own colors.

 25.  Use some sidewalk chalk and create a hopscotch board.  Have everyone play.

Useful Links:

Chicago Museums Free Days- www.chicagokids.com/free.html

Places for Kids New York- http://www.ny.com/kids/

How to play hopscotch- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopscotch

How to make a time capsule-YouTube Video–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5eL81RXxXE

USA Zoo List by state- http://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/zoos/

Volunteering Ideas for kids- http://parenting.kaboose.com/raising-children-who-care.html

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.
 

 

Helen’s Porch

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When Helen is sitting on the porch, I know summer has arrived in my town.  The weather turns warm and suddenly, everyone is outside. People I have not see for six months, other than to wave at or say hello as I run from the car to the house, are now mowing their lawns, weeding their gardens, and sitting on the porch.
All winter my neighbors and I are stuck in our individual houses.  Oh, there are greetings when the weekly garbage goes to the curb, and when the driveway needs to be snow blown. We see each other at the holidays to exchange pies and cookies, but generally, there is not much interaction.
Nevertheless, when the warm southwest winds blow the balmy air into town, I am afforded the luxury of actually interacting with my neighbors. A few of us gather around Helen’s porch, she is the oldest neighbor; she turned 80 just a few weeks ago.  Helen always has her famous homemade chocolate chip cookies waiting for us as we sit on her swing and catch up on the happenings.  I learn that Jackie had a bout of the flu that lasted forever, Sharon’s daughter had a baby girl in February, and Pat’s son is getting married in October. Now, on warm evenings, instead of watching “The Voice” on TV,  I will sit on Helen’s porch and revive the friendships that have been put on hold.
It is comforting to know that no matter what has occurred over the long winter, I can relax on Helen’s porch and share my life with these beloved people.  I know that in our world, it is not often that we find such good neighbors to share our ups and downs with, even if it is only for a few months. Therefore, I am going to soak up the sun, slap at mosquitoes, and enjoy my neighbors until it is too cold to sit on the porch.
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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