Showing posts with label creativity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label creativity. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2015

Keeping the Tribe Alive

The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians is one of nine federally recognized Indian Tribal Governments in the state of Oregon. The Cow Creek Tribe has a rich history in southern Oregon that reflects hard work. The Tribal Government is responsible for establishing the policies and procedures for the administration of tribal programs, economic development ventures and other governmental business. 

Jenna attends youth center that is governed by the Cow Creek Tribe.  She is able to learn things of their culture and make great crafts.  She's made a terrarium and a rain stick, jewelry among some others.  She made this choker last Thursday. 

She was taught a tradition to give away the first one that is made.  She gave it to me.  I think it is gorgeous.

I am grateful for the opportunities that we have been given.

For more information about the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, see this site.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hot Dogs and Waffles

Just what do you do when you have put the hot dogs on the stove and realize you have no bread? 

 You get creative.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Joe Boxer Made Sock Sorting Easier

I’ve seen three socks and five socks in a package entitled “mix and match” I remember purchasing two five packs of the same prints so that I would have mates.  Selling socks by odd number seemed more foreign to me than mismatching.

         They actually work out perfectly for Jenna, who doesn’t pay much attention to whether they are even the same length or color.  I think she started a fad when she wore her mismated owl socks that I mention in this post

         So I’m sorting socks this morning and since the Joe Boxer socks can be mated with whatever I decide that I can mismatch whatever other socks I can’t find mates for.  I tried to make mine match but took all the left over printed socks and mated them by length and didn’t worry about the print.  I put all of the foreign pairs into Jenna’s drawer.  And she’ll not even care.

         She decided to turn the mismatched solids into sock puppets.  I caught her drawing on an outgrown sock (very white and clean) with a marker and decided to give her most of the solid ones I’ve had around for some time but have still not found mates for.  

She had quite the creative and artistic mind.  When she was three, she decided to make knee and elbow pads out of socks.  Her mind never stops thinking of ways to invent and recycle.  I LOVE my little girl.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Do You Remember Dr. Demento?

Both of my brothers listened to Dr. Demento.  I remember Patrick and his friends singing the words to “dead puppies” and “shaving cream”.  I don’t believe they were fanatics.  Corey, on the other hand, was a true Dr. Demento fan.

He would record the programs and save songs that he liked.  He would play them over and over and laugh at the demented humor. 

In 1985, Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie got together with 46 other stars to record HelpingHands USA for Africa.  The song was called “We are the World” and proceeds went for Relief of famine and disease in Ethiopia.

I don’t know if it was Morton Downey Jr. who created the “We are the Worms” parody or if his name is associated with the song as he introduced it on radio program in Cleveland, Ohio, 1986.  Corey loved that song.  It would make him laugh.  I’ll admit that I smiled about it, too. 

It was rumored that those associated with USA for Africa had politely requested that the parody be removed from the airwaves as it desecrated so much of what they had tried to accomplish.  I don’t know if the rumor was true or not.  I saw a couple of versions on YouTube as I was researching for this post - so the song is obviously still played - or has been.

So what made me think of all of this?  As I was walking home from my car pool ride yesterday morning, I stepped over a dead worm out on the sidewalk.  For over 25 years I don’t think I have ever seen a worm on the sidewalk without thinking of that song.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Clipping Coupons and Providing Family

My brother just recently shared this post on his facebook page:

When Mom was 13 her parents divorced. When she was 16 her mom remarried. Both of these events were very difficult for Mom for reasons I won't go into here.

In this entry of 1982 she says the following:

"It was also during my teens that I made some vows: 1) I would never raise my children in an apartment 2) With all my heart I would do everything to avoid a divorce 3) I would do my best to be home with my children 4) I would try not to lay guilt on my children 5) My children would be involved in family councils in which they could present their ideas."

Check, check, check, check, and check, Mom. Well done!

I remember mom clipping coupons from the back of the carton of Highland Milk.  Even on a budget, those coupons provided us opportunity for going to the zoo, amusement parks, and so forth.  Mom and dad held strong family ties and taught us values – though we didn’t know it at the time.

Shortly after my brother, Corey, was born, our monthly bills seemed to outweigh dad’s income.  Apparently he and mom discussed his taking on a second job – fearing that the long hours would become a strain to his health (not to mention that none of us would ever see much of him) mom decided that she would go back to work.  She decided she would find a job that would provide hours after my dad got home. 

Mom worked at the ice cream store longer than needed.  When a manager was needed, she volunteered as she was not thrilled with the idea of other candidates being her manager.  What started out as a necessity eventually became extra income for the family.  I believe she was there until the store closed.  

Mom took on other forms of employment after daddy died.  By then Patrick was married and out of the house.  Corey would come and go with education and employment.  She took on day hours when we were each old enough to care for ourselves.

I appreciate both dad and mom’s strength and sacrifices.  My sibs and I are truly blessed.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

She Believes Chef Ron is AMAZING

As I mentioned in a previous post, Roland enjoys watching “Chopped” (or at least he used to) on the Food Network.  I think we were living in West Valley when we’d see the advertisements for the new upcoming show “Sweet Genius” hosted by Ron Ben-Israel a renowned chef and cake artist extraordinaire. 

I allowed the ads to lead me to believe that the show would be similar to “Chopped” but with just desserts.  Roland watched it maybe twice, but would not take it seriously.  It was a squirrely show in his opinion.  He didn’t like the second surprise ingredient being introduced while in the process of trying to create something with the first one. He didn’t like the fact that the chefs need an “inspirational” theme.  But mostly I think he just doesn’t care for Chef Ron.  There is just such a bizarreness about him.

         Just on his appearance alone, he seems to fit the villain profile of any given kid vid or screwball comedy.  Put him in a uniform and I can visualize him playing the part of a Nazi in Hogan’s Heroes. Top that off with his seemingly weird personality and I wondered if he could be taken seriously.  I can actually visualize him playing member of the Gestapo or criminal mind in a realistic movie.

         Unlike Roland, Jenna LOVES “Sweet Genius”.  She thinks the title is very fitting and thinks that Ron Ben- is the most awesome and best chef in the world.  Her favorite part of the show is having the inspirational themes to work with.  I agree with Roland that it is weird watching Ron laugh in the darkness that represents sin or plays with a python or the ventriloquist doll (which I have always thought of as somewhat creepy anyway) Ron Ben- (for me) has the appearance of being a ventriloquist doll himself.

         I just did a research on Wikipedia.  I found it interesting that he had been “discovered” by Martha Stewart.  Before he started his baking “hobby” in 1993 he had been a dancer.  I would have never ever guessed that.  Jenna will really think he’s the greatest when she finds that out.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"And Ye Shall Plant a Garden . . ."

 We planted beans, beets, onions, and peppers.  Roland asked if we should do corn or tomatoes again.  I don’t really care about the corn, but I do enjoy being able to eat tomatoes off the vine rather than paying an outrageous price at the store for something that just isn’t as good.

But there were plenty of tomatoes with the community garden last year – and as Roland donated all our tomato cages to the cause – we decided that we would just use the tomatoes from the community garden and that would be enough. 

It was overcast and cool.  Roland wanted to finish before any rain fell down.  The dirt looked light and dry as it spit around the cultivator.  We dug holes for seeds and plants and planted stakes at each end and tied string from one end to the other and were pleased.  Though Roland seemed to want more.

Lacy and her husband have a fair amount of property.  I would guess roughly about three or four acres – but that is just a guess.  There’s a bunch of us who have used a patch of their land for our community garden.
Dan is in charge and had scheduled for those that had contributed to come plant on Saturday.  That cancelled due to the rain but we were asked to come on Monday night and dress appropriately for possible mud.  And so the community garden was put on hold.

Monday Roland returned from work with six tomato plants and corn and strawberries.  He always wants to plant strawberries – but we haven’t been very successful with fruit (except for the tomatoes – which are technically a fruit) .  We’ve tried blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, melons, grapes.  We get apples on our apple trees, but we don’t eat them.  We did eat the plums from the trees when we lived in our first house. Somebody else planted them.  They seemed to grow fine without our help.

Since we don’t have the tomato cages anymore, Roland used some signs that he had from his last job – another of his creative solutions. Thus we stood the frames next to the plants  for the tomatoes to lean against when they become large like the first sets we grew.

So we found a couple of areas and Roland cultivated the land.  It had been raining all day and the soil looked rich and dark – but it wasn’t muddy.  The sun was beating down while we were planting.  We both wore hats.  The one that I wore I had purchased specifically for gardening as it shaded me.  Roland wore a safari hat.  But the shadow of him wearing the hat made him appear to be an actual farmer. My shadow gives off the image of a true gardener (LOL)

Just as we had finished, it grew overcast again.  And then we went over to the community garden to plant and covered each plant with milk cartons to keep the birds away.  But I see another definite plus with the milk cartons – when the weeds start popping up, it will be easier to tell which are weeds and which are plants.  Pull everything NOT surrounded by milk carton.

I can’t remember if Dan said if we were planting fruit or not.  Those that couldn’t show on Monday were requested to come Wednesday to plant corn, beets and pumpkins (Corey refers to the squash varieties of the Y’s of the fruit world; you know how Y can act as either a consonant or a vowel in the English alphabet.  Squash and tomatoes, pumpkins . . . they’re all a part of the fruit family though most people consider them to be vegetables)
 Seems more peppers were added to the crop this year – and more varieties.  I personally don’t care if a chili pepper or jalepeno pepper ever make an appearance in this house. 

Roland and I grew pumpkins one year – we were hoping for the kind that can be carved into Jack-o-lanterns, but they were an unfamiliar squash that we could only paint faces on.  Or in this case: 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Jenna's Gumdrop Tree

          Jenna had made a gumdrop ornament in preschool one year.  We’ve had it for four or five Christmases now.  The neighbor asked if he could eat it.
          “The candy is really old.  It probably doesn’t taste good.  And it may make you sick either way.”

          He had invited himself to decorate or tree.  I thought that was presumptuous of him.  But it was dark.  I couldn’t see well.  Roland had gone into the other room.  And so I left Jenna and Trume to decorate (they actually were better at spreading out the ornaments than Ooki had been with his first tree).

          Before he returned home, I gave him a small tree that we had put in Jenna’s room last year.            I had confiscated the gumdrop ball and put it on the tree the next day when I could actually see what I was doing.

          After a week I noticed that the small tree had been returned.  I also noticed the gumdrop ball had been ripped apart as there were gumdrops and toothpicks all over the table.  I was upset not because of the ornament itself, but the possibility that someone had eaten these stale gumdrops.  Jenna claims she doesn’t even like spice gumdrops.  Why would she do that?

          I didn’t realize that the gumdrops had been used to decorate the smaller tree.  And actually they do look nice – but they don’t seem to stay.   It was a cute idea.  She said they looked like Christmas lights.  Her creativity made me smile.
We no longer have the gumdrop ball ornament.  After Christmas, the pulled off gumdrops will also be trashed.   

Sunday, March 11, 2012

More 25 cent stories

all written by my daughter Jenna

The sun was shining and Shilo was exploring.  We wanted to go on a picnic.  We had everything we needed but we couldn’t find Shilo. But Shilo was at the pond.  But they didn’t see him.  He was chasing the duck and swimming. He had a great time and had lots of fun.  Shilo came back and we had the picnic.  The end

The Magic Chocolate Box
Once there was a chocolate box. But it wasn’t any chocolate box.  It was a magic box.  Each time a person took a chocolate one appeared in its place.  And always fresh. 
It was a heart shaped box.  Kids fight over it a lot.  [There was] Milk chocolate. There was semi-sweet and major mint and lots of others.  There were always 20 chocolates. 
A wise wizard carved the box and gave it away to a kind family [with] two kids and [and the] one to take care of them.  Their father had died when they were three.  The wizard disappeared before they could thank him.  The end.
The end is not. The wizard had come back to give even more chocolates.  This time 50.  The kids were stuffed.

The wind was shaking. Uniqua was hurrying back home to do her chores when something distracted her.  It was a rock.  It is pretty.  She took it home.  What kind of rock is this? A geode.  She put it in her rock collection.  She had a rock collection since she was three.  It is really fun.  She had wish rocks, rubies, crystals and now a geode.  She loved rocks.

The Sunflower Seed

Once upon a time there was a farmer named Jake. [He] sold his cow for some beans.  And the beans turned into a sunflower.
You may not know this, but sunflowers are alive which means the sunflower seeds are alive. So they can talk...
The farmer didn’t know that and the sunflower talked to him.  [Jake] was scared.  He said, “How do you talk?”
And the flower said: “Same way you do.”
“Oh, I did not know that.”
“Well, it’s true”
They became friends and talked about life and stuff like that.  They became friends.
The sunflower’s seed was named Sunny.
The End.

Actually the last one she had written without dialogue until I suggested it.  I still think it could be longer.

Child’s Play
Jenna also came up with the following “made-up” chant:
Friends rule
Enemies drool
Friends go to Mars to get Candy bars
Enemies go to Jupiter to get stupider.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Dollar's worth of Stories

Jenna does like to fold laundry, do dishes, sweep, mop.  She even likes to clean the bathtub and scrub the toilet.  But it is ever so painful to get her to clean up after herself – usually when her stuff is scattered all over the living room or her own bedroom.  That is the worst. 

I just don’t know what incentive to use to get her motivated.  I’ve tried everything – rewards when she does it, removing items when she doesn’t. We honestly have more of her belongings out in the shed than we do in her room.
Getting her to practice her handwriting has been a big chore as well.  She’ll draw, read, study, tell stories and play learning games.  But getting her to write anything (or print in her case) is on ongoing battle.

She is competitive.  When the school was invited to participate in a handwriting contest, she came home all excited – and I thought “great – incentive” I’m afraid it didn’t last.  It was still a huge struggle.

But this weekend she asked, “Mom, what can I do to earn money?”

She had recently told me a story that I had asked her to write down.  I told her that I would pay her a quarter for each story she could write.  It has to be written.  Yes, you can draw a picture to go WITH the story but not in place of. It was still a struggle.  But finally she gave in.

I have corrected her spelling and inserted missing words [in brackets] and added punctuation.  But here’s what we have so far (minus the story I am still waiting for her to put on paper)


Once upon a time dinosaurs roamed the earth.  One dinosaur loved to play.  His name was Ale.  Ale also loved to explore and one day he got into a fight with his best friend.  But they got along and since then scientists thought dinosaurs were mean.  But they’re not.


          Once upon a time there lived a king.  He was worried about his daughter, Anastasia (but everyone called her Ana) and she had a huge imagination and it continued to grow.  The king was worried because she had to marry soon but she did not know who to choose.
And the queen, well she was not worried.  She was fine.  So they had a ball and she chose her groom and they got married and . . .
Ten years later a daughter was born and they lived happily ever after.


          Once upon a time in a [small town] there lived pleasant folks who used positive words.  Then one [day] a stranger walked in and he used negative words.  The sheriff and the stranger had a conflict.  If the stranger won then he would have the sheriff’s star.  If the sheriff won, the stranger would have to leave town.  Fortunately the sheriff won.  But then the stranger said a positive word and all was peaceful.


          Once upon a time a girl went to mars and met some aliens.  And they treated her like a queen.  All was pleasant until one afternoon* a robot marched in and [said], “I’m hungry.  Feed me.” 
          The queen was startled and made the aliens get food.  He kept* on coming.
One day the queen said, “Why don’t you stay with us instead of making all those trips?”
And since then all was peaceful on Mars.

*original words: p.m. and keeped.  She chose p.m. as it was easier to spell.

 As a bonus, she wrote a poem inside her drawing of a mountain:

A mighty
Girl climed up
A mighty mountain
But she was [brave] and
Didn’t panic. She climbed the
Top.  Hooray! But up on top lived
A witch but she thought up a plan.
Hooray!  It worked.  The witch is dead
and the kids are back to normal