Tuesday, March 26, 2013

One for the Gamers

Last Sunday (When I started this post) was a day for finishing projects.  We had a glimpse of what spring might look like on Thursday with weather in the 60's, but Mother Nature has unceremoniously pulled the rug out from underneath us weather-wise and we are looking at a blizzard warning Sunday night the last I heard.

I spent most of the day today running errands, since here in ND there are places that are not open on Sundays (haircuts for the boys) or don't open until after noon. So, I stocked up to help out the Easter Bunny, stopped at Lowe's, got new shoes for the kiddos, browsed at little at the antique store, and stopped in at our local supermarket, Dan's, to see what the sales were for the weekend. (BTW, the asparagus at Dan's was really nice looking.  I'm thinking I'll use it tomorrow with chicken.)

 I am dealing with the games in the playroom as a project tonight. I have those plain old standards and brackets already installed but we need to move the DVD collection elsewhere and amp up the space for the games.  Our littlest kiddo has been starting to get into the games that have been down low enough to reach which he previously ignored.
Needless to say, I am not into sorting all the game pieces over and over (and over) again.  I have scoured the internet for ideas related to organizing and storing games, but it has been hard to find something that I think will realistically work for our family.  We have a wide variety of games (over 50) but part of the reason that we keep them all is a) they get played regularly and b) the age spread in our kids is 11 years-- so the games that our oldest likes to play with us are not the beginner games our daughter likes or that our little one needs to learn to play.

I found one man who took all the games apart and out of their boxes and put the pieces into baggies in one big box with file tabs.  He put all the boards in one spot and threw the boxes.  The boards were stored on their sides like books.  I thought this was a good use of space; but I want our kids to be enticed by the games as something they want to do, and the colorful boxes (space hogs though they are) play into my hands.

I also thought about trying to find some kind of long plastic box for games like Candy Land our littlest will need to learn yet and are over 10 years old now-- ones that the boxes have seen better days.  No luck scouring the internet. I ended up taking the packing tape after them with a vengeance and calling it good.  A couple of games did need new boxes due to missing bottoms or tops.  So, Trouble and Twister got their own plastic square boxes I bought at JoAnn's on sale.
Here's My final project: an upside is that the games have been getting used more, and there is no more risk of game avalanche or game piece 52-Pick-Up courtesy of my youngest.

Friday, March 8, 2013

March-- and still snow. still. snow.

I started seeds in dixie cups (following up after last year's seed starting experiments) on February 1st, and they are going great guns so far-- I planted lots of bedding flowers, because I am trying to be more thrifty this year when it comes to the flowerbeds around the house; mainly because the flowerbeds grew by a lot last year-- I added/expanded 3 new beds. And because I like a mix of annuals and perennials.
The seeds are doing very well on a budget.  I found cheap plastic trays last year from MAC'S Hardware, and unplugged and lowered the shop lights that were already in our unfinished "storage room" turned pantry.

I think the thing I am most excited about though, is that 90% of the seeds I started were harvested from last year's plants in the fall.  I feel like I hit the jackpot!

The thing that is hard right now is actually stepping outside my front door.  Tonight is was COLD. Not January in ND cold, but still... Like 30 degrees cold with a slight wind to bite at your face. It was enough to shorten my walk considerably. So for now, I am going to have to be content with pictures and dreams of last year's garden. Sometimes it is so hard to be patient with Mother Nature's plans.