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Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady

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children

Waiting for Dinner

What does waiting for dinner have to do with National Color Book Day? This past weekend we enjoyed my husband’s annual family reunion. We converge on the hometown most of the cousins were raised in, fill some of the local cash registers, and spend a day at Stony Brook State Park. Saturday is picnic day which includes time for a walk in the park gorge. It’s a pretty place full of memories for all of us. The annual get-together has been going on over 60 years. Continue reading “Waiting for Dinner”

Fighting Evil

It’s National Superhero Day. I love to see little kids, and even big ones, emulate or dress up as their favorite super hero. I think it’s a healthy thing to want to be strong and have the desire to fight evil. Superheroes can be positive role models for children in that they show the improbable is possible. I say, let the children believe they can, and they will grow up with a desire to do so.

Now, we not only have superheroes, but also transformers, ninja turtles, and video game heroes I’ve never heard of. It seems there is one thing in common among all these heroes, and that is a cool costume. I have to smile when I see a mother in the store and her child is dressed in a superhero costume. I wonder if it’s the color that they like, or if it is the TV show or movie they have seen and they want to “feel the power” by dressing up as their favorite.

My grandson went through a prolonged Spider-Man phase. Everything was Spider-Man: sheets, sneakers, coat, shirts, and hat. I sort of miss that because now he is becoming more aware of the real world and how it isn’t always nice out there. But, he has found some real superheroes to emulate and respect. He is into his second year of Karate lessons and has gained self-esteem, manners, and an interest in doing things to the best of his ability. His black-belt instructors, called sensei, are teaching him those things. And one of them, Mike, is often wearing  a Batman t-shirt under his ghee (karate uniform).

A superhero post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our military, police forces or firefighters. These people serve their communities and country on a daily basis. They are the strong ones that protect us from evil often putting themselves in harm’s way. We owe them a lot and should respect their uniform. I also think we should include medical staff in the superhero category. Where would we be without modern medicine and the facilitators of it.

The next time you see a superhero, remember who you wanted to be like when you were little and evaluate if you’ve come close. I’m sure you have in some way.

 

 

What Happened to Manners

It’s National Common Courtesy Day. I am old school and still think using the words please, thank you and you’re welcome, out loud, are a necessity. My husband and I have been together sixteen years and use these words on a daily basis. It helps to not take each other for granted. Note: “No problem”, is not acceptable. We happen to hate that terminology, and if you break down the meaning of the words, it is actually inaccurate most of the time.

When I was a kid there was chivalry between the male and females of the human race, then women’s rights came along and destroyed it. My husband still opens my car door for me. It makes me feel important and more like a lady. People give him odd looks, like maybe he is crazy. I appreciate his kind of crazy. When he does it for a friend, or a workmate going to a meeting with him, they don’t even know how to act. It’s sad that it has come to that.

We gave a family member a very large cash present recently. She didn’t look in the envelope in front of us, but we never got a text that said, “Wow”, “Thank you” or a card after the fact. Yes, we gave it because we wanted to, but with no acknowledgement of any kind, it’s likely not to happen again. The plain old common courtesy of saying thank you, even in a text, would have insured a repeat. Are we being mean? I don’t think so. You might disagree.

I have read that the last cookie or piece of pie tends to get left because no one wants to be accused of eating it. I say, if you want it, courteously offer it to anyone around, then when everyone says no, offer to eat it so it doesn’t go to waste. You get what you want, and you are being courteous at the same time. Works for me.

To mark this day of common courtesy, let someone into traffic, take care of someone’s cart at the grocery store, don’t sit too long at your table at lunch time if there is a line waiting, find a way to do some little thing to acknowledge the importance of your fellow human. I promise, it will make you feel good inside.

Family Craft Time

It’s National Children’s Craft Day. Once again, I am perplexed by the choice of picture for this day. I guess if you let that little person sit on your lap while you are crafting, you create interest that hopefully remains. I would have picked an older child that could actually create something on their own. You know, with popsicle sticks, glue, glitter, colored paper and crayons. Maybe a little help with the scissors would be needed.

As a mother, some of my most cherished heirlooms are things my children made in school or scouts when they were little; as in ages five to ten. Christmas tree ornaments are a prime example. It doesn’t matter how well they were made, or if you even know that brown blob is a camel from the manger scene, it matters that my child made it and when they brought it to me, the expression of excitement and accomplishment on their face is embedded in my memory forever.

That’s the cool thing about crafting. Any age person can do it (according to the type of craft of course), learn about art, learn construction, and have a sense of accomplishment. My grandson, at the age of nine, asked to make a quilt with me, so he could learn the process. I did the cutting with a rotary cutter and ruler, and the pinning. He learned to lay out the color design, sew straight seams and iron by setting the seams first, then pressing to the dark fabric. We had a grand time and his quilt is on his bed. I wish he wanted to do more, but once he learned how the process worked, he was satisfied.

There are so many different types of crafting I can’t begin to even name them all. May I suggest, sit down with your little ones, or borrow some if need be, and make something with your hands. Sharing time with your crafter is almost as rewarding as making something is. Make it a family affair.

Always Prepared

When I was young, I knew some of my class mates were in the Boy Scouts. I heard them talking of earning badges and working their way up through the ranks. There was one boy I had a big crush on that attained his Eagle rank just before he graduated from high school. I didn’t have any brothers, so really all I knew was what I listened to on the school bus. I did get to go to one of their Christmas parties with that boy I mentioned. I digress.

If you’ve never been directly involved in the Boy Scouts, I urge you to go to their web site and read the requirements for a young man to attain the Eagle rank. I looked it up when I was doing research for my novel. I was surprised at how detailed and extensive their training is.

The boy I mentioned was the oldest of six children, and hence was the after school babysitter for his siblings while their parents worked. He was also involved in the school band, on the track ream, and started meals and did laundry at home. In retrospect, I don’t know how he had time to meet the requirements to attain the Eagle rank. I do know his parents were very proud of him. He went on to a career in the Navy.

The badges the scouts earn give them a well rounded education in all sorts of daily experiences. Things that will help them with their every day lives. They also learn to help others, work as a team, and be respectful. The Boy Scouts motto is Always Be Prepared. It’s a good plan for anyone’s life. I wish more youngsters made time for the Boy Scouts.

 

Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore too!

Winnie the Pooh has figured prominently in my life. I remember reading the stories when I was young, and watching the movies when they first came out in the ’60’s.

When my children were young, I read Winnie the Pooh stories to them, characterizing all the voices. It was one time they actually sat still and listened. Once during a church social, I sat in a side room reading aloud to little ones so they had something to do while the adults did their thing. When I finished, I had more adults listening than little ones. I heard one man say, “No one ever read to me like that.”

I mention my grandson on a regular basis. At the baby shower in anticipation of his arrival, his Daddy, who has quite the personality, dressed up in a Tigger costume to greet the guests and deliver the cake. It is a touching memory. The personalized baby quilt I made has a life-size lounging Pooh and Tigger done in applique. A project I remember like it was yesterday. I saw the quilt this week. It is well-loved. That pleases me.

Recently, my granddaughter handed me a Winnie the Pooh book. I hadn’t done the voices in years, but my adult children asked me to do so. Jaycey sat and stared at me while I read, especially when the deep slow voice of Eeyore spoke. I wish I could read to her every day.

Whatever memories of Winnie the Pooh you have, share them with your family. Any day is a good day to think about bees, balloons and honey.

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