Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

When I am seated doing pulls and pushes on the Cardio-Glide apparatus that Gabe happily dragged home from an apartment cleanout in his former job working for a property manager a few years back, I face the basement board game shelf.  Recently, I noticed the interesting names of the games collected there:

  • Boggle
  • Aggravation
  • Risk
  • Trouble
  • Jeopardy
  • Outburst
  • Snail’s Pace Race
  • Trivial Pursuit

Prompted by that visual display, for today’s post, I offer a few random thoughts which seem to parallel the “sometimes” of life:

  • In Boggle, the game is different every time you play it–how you shake the cube with the individual letters in it will determine the words that can be made.  And, the longer you look for letter combinations that make words, the more you see.  But time eventually runs out.
  • The thing that makes Aggravation so aggravating is the very thing that keeps you in the game.  Sometimes you get knocked back to square one (or home base) and have to start over. Sometimes you don’t get the exact number of moves that let you get your marbles home free and clear  And sometimes, your move, dictated not by choice but by the roll of the dice, negatively impacts someone else’s game play.  It’s a challenging game for keeping your cool to the end.
  • Trouble is Aggravation in a different form.
  • Jeopardy gives you the answers, but you only win if you ask the right questions
  • In Snail’s Pace Race, the colored wooden snails are the winners, not the players moving them.
  • Trivial Pursuit is lots of fun when you play with the right people, but can be a drag if you are playing in the wrong categories.

So, have at it, all the philosophers among you…What lessons for the game of life do these game names make YOU think about?


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Saturday I was grandmothering at a Bible quiz meet.  I helped one-year-old-learning-to-say-lots-of-words Melanie eat her hot dog lunch while her “Mama” and “Dada” were busy coaching quizzers.

“Do you want a bite of banana?”

“‘Nana” says Melanie.

“Do you want a bite of hot dog?”

“Woof!” says Melanie.

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Five Random Facts

Time for another “random facts” about me post.  Only this time, I’ll impose a rule on myself:  these five facts have to arise out of something that has been part of my life this week.  Here goes:

1)  I love looking at paint chips.  The boys (my collective term for any combination of the men in my house–this time it was Michael and Zach) brought home paint chips so we could choose a color for Zach’s room, which will be painted with the help of Uncle Dave and Aunt Sherry next weekend.  (He has settled on a color called “Belize”–it’s a blue green that conjures up ocean and sky.  I picked “Fun Yellow” for the upstairs hall–it’s a clean shade just a bit lighter than straight primary color yellow.)  I just love the looks of those variations of colors all collected together.  The only sad thing is that, generally, no matter how many chips you bring home, you only get to choose and use one or two or three or not-many-more-than-that colors at a time.

2)  My friend Kris and I work together well because we complement each other in our strengths and weaknesses.  For years, we team taught toddler Sunday school.  It was great because I LOVE to tell the stories and she LOVES to prepare and lead the crafts and other story-related activities (I don’t).  I found out this week that it was the same way in our planning for the bridal shower we’re hosting–that’s why she’s coordinating and purchasing all the tableware, and I’m doing table decorations and being the “voice” at the shower when it comes to hostessing. 

3)  I love Cadbury Mini Easter Eggs–the thin crisp shell kind (like M&M’s) with dark chocolate in them.  The Easter Bunny brought me some.

4)  I don’t mind if people cook in my kitchen, but I expect them to clean up after themselves.

5)  I don’t think an Easter service is complete without rejoicing brass–ours was complete.  Thanks, Musicians and Service Planners! 

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Just for the record, I don’t like Peeps.  (In case you’ve missed them, Peeps are those little sugar coated marshmallow pink or yellow or purple candy chicks (or bunnies) that line the Easter candy aisle shelves this time of year.)  I think I used to like them, but that’s way too much sugar in one shot these days, even for my sweet tooth.  

We shopped for Easter baskets (for the contents, not the baskets) for nearly grown boys this year.  Not as much fun as it used to be (not as challenging or stressful, either, I might add–no more need to find little toys that delight without being “junk”), and I do miss filling an Easter basket (and a Christmas stocking) for a little girl, since my own little girl is grown up.  (But there is always the Granddaughter–and I must confess that I had an Easter “bag” filled and ready for her a month ago already!)

When I was in college, the pastor of the church I attended had three little boys.  One year, several of us students were invited to Easter dinner at the parsonage.  I was then introduced to a unique tradition.  In that home–no Easter Bunny, no sir.  It was the Easter Pig.  And, no baskets.  The Easter Pig left treats for Rick, Andy, and Adam in colorful cowboy hats.  Now, how cool is that?  Also, this family, unlike the one in which I grew up, saved Easter basket opening for after church.  (I’m never sure how my mom and dad thought the five of us would get anything out of Easter morning worship when we’d just spent the previous couple of hours gorging on chocolate eggs and jelly beans.) That latter bit from my pastor’s family is a tradition we adopted when our own kids came along–Easter baskets have always been a late afternoon or evening activity for our kids–usually after we got home from Easter at Aunt Beth’s or Grandma’s. 

I never participated in an organized Easter egg hunt as a child, also just for the record.

My favorite things to get in my Easter basket as a child were 1) new white gloves and lace-trimmed socks to wear with my Easter outfit (maybe that’s why we got to open our Easter baskets before church–my mom usually put our Easter outfit accessories in them) and 2) a kite.  One of my favorite Easter Sunday memories is of my brothers and sisters and me out behind our house flying kites with our dad.  One time, it seemed like we flew them so far, they were aloft over the barn of the farm we owned “around the corner” from where we lived–it seems like that kite was attached to the endless ball of string and it felt like great power to be in control of such a high-flying, far-flying bit of paper and wood. (That was before all the kites you bought were plastic or nylon–you could buy a paper kite for 10 cents.)

Not sure why I decided to wax nostalgic in this little post–maybe it was the sight of all that chocolate and all those jelly beans on the Easter aisle while we were out shopping! 

Happy Easter!  

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Dance with Mor Chikins

My youngest son works at Chick-fil-A, the fast food restaurant where goofy cows advertise, encouraging the customers to “Eat Mor Chikin”.  I would never have thought up such a marketing campaign because I lack whimsicality.

Yesterday, I went to a wedding reception that might have been put together by the cow guy for all I know.  It was the perfect blend of whimsy and good taste.  For example, the table favors were little cardboard boxes shaped like a bridal gown or a tux and filled with chocolates–cute, but classy.  There was a moderate amount of spoon-clinking of glasses to invite the bride and groom to kiss–which they did with evident, but reserved, delight–but it wasn’t over the top.  The dancing was the kind that made you sigh with contentment–it was just nice to see people enjoying being together in celebration, nothing edgy about it.  The slideshow of the bride and groom before they met showed pictures that fleshed out each one’s individuality and past, without being embarrassing.  When we were leaving the reception, one of the groom’s brothers was reading a witty poem he had written for the occasion (apparently he is known for doing this for weddings).  The poem revealed some of the couple’s quirks without putting them down. 

And then, there was the Chicken Dance.

The bridal couple was invited into a little contest by the DJ.  Any willing guests were asked to come up and form separate lines behind the bride and groom.  Then, to show who was the better leader, each one of the nuptial pair was to lead his/her line through the reception hall, gathering more and more people to make a longer and longer train.  (Reminds me of the story The Golden Goose.)  When the “trains” returned to the dance floor, they circled round, where they were then engaged in the “Chicken Dance”.  I am not German, I am not Lutheran, and I never had heard of the Chicken Dance until I came to Indiana.  (I also don’t come from a background where there was much dancing at weddings–more’s the pity on that count, even though I don’t dance myself.  I think it is a wonderful celebration tradition.)  If you are unfamiliar with the chicken dance (or maybe I’m the only person who has lived with my head under a rock) it’s done to a polka tune and one of the moves includes “flapping” one’s arms as a you would in imitation of a chicken.  The thing that struck me about this little activity was the good sportsmanship and carefree celebratory spirit in which it was all carried out.  I would have been mortified to find myself out there with the revelers, but I appreciated it all well from my seat on the sidelines. 

It was a great reception–the pleasurable glow lingers yet today.  But it reminded me again that I need to lighten up a little, build a little more fun into life–or just unself-consciously let it happen.  Maybe I should consider dancing with mor chikins.


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Frosty v. Jack Frost
Who made that shot?
“Two points!”
All the wooly-hooded spectators silently watch.

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