Friday, March 31, 2017

748 - 760 Fun Things to Do!



748 - Take a selfie with you and a friend while you are having a good time!  This is my friend, Diane, and we were at a Zentangle art exhibit at a local gallery.  She just moved to Florida, so I am especially glad to have this fun photo.

749 - Watch cartoons, on Saturday morning or any time at all!  My friend, Mary Ellen, was feeling a little stressed recently so she zoned into some cartoons for a few days.  They really helped lift her spirits and have some good laughs too!

750 - Watch some animation festivals on TV or in person.  Animation from all over the world is really interesting and often very unexpected.

751 - Go to an international film festival.  Most Hollywood films will seem boring compared to these artistic films.  Lots of cities in the United States host film festivals.  In New York, Robert DeNiro is co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival; in Colorado, Robert Redford founded and hosts the Sundance Film Festival; and there is a Cleveland International Film Festival.  If you have connections and a lot of money, you could even attend the Cannes Film Festival!


752 - Enjoy your Spring flowers indoor and out!  Last year I planted more daffodils and tulips.  Just knowing they would come up in the Spring made my Winter go a little easier.  In March we had a week of severe cold and snow so I was very apprehensive about my new flowers which were at least 6" tall  by the time they froze and were covered with snow.  But my flower happiness prevailed and I am enjoying flowering blooms all over the yard.  Hooray!!

753 - Pick a pen color and stick with it for a while.  Right now, turquoise is my favorite and I recently went through a streak of pens with purple ink.  There are so many kinds of pens available right now -- gels in all colors, glittery markers, multi-colored pens and more!

754 - Try writing with a fountain pen.  You can even get disposable ones in all kinds of colors!


The Mercer House

755 - Study before and after a vacation.  My husband, Tom, and I recently went to Savannah, Georgia.  Before we went, I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt which is a nonfiction account of Jim Williams, who was instrumental in the revival of the historic district.  We took a tour of the Mercer House, which was the last house he lived in.  There was a crime involved which is detailed in the book, but I don't want to ruin the story for you!  There was also a movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" starring Kevin Spacey.  Now that we are home, I am reading Savannah's Jim Williams and His Southern Houses.  I would recommend visiting Savannah to anyone -- the architecture alone is worth the trip, but there are also many other interesting things to do like ghost walks, trolley rides, fabulous food, interesting people, river cruises, intriguing cemeteries, and amazing churches.


756 - Buy some books that you loved as a child.  The Nancy Drew series meant so much to me as I was growing up.  Nancy was clever, smart, and courageous.  She was a wonderful role model for me.  I found a vintage bookstore in Savannah that was delightful.  Betsy, the owner told me that one of the amazing things about the Nancy Drew series is that they were first written only ten years after women got the vote!!  If you are ever in Savannah, Georgia, find this marvelous bookstore -- Books on Bay.  They have all kinds of vintage books, but I was personally thrilled to find old friends like Nancy, and also the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, the Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames, and more!  One of my favorite bookstores ever!

757 - Buy lots of books for children, and read to them often.  Some day they will read to you!  When I worked in bookstores (I volunteer in a bookstore now), I used to tell people to buy lots of books for their children so they will love to read, which means they will do well in school, get a good education, find a great job, make lots of money and take good care of their parents and grandparents when they are old!!


758 - Be a representative of the Easter Bunny for people you love!  My daughter, Maribeth, and I have had a lot of fun over the years. hopping around town on Easter morning.  Every year I try to pick out one extra person to get an Easter surprise.  And Maribeth and I always wear bunny ears, and when we are done delivering baskets, we go through McDonald's drive thru and pass out Peeps!!


759 - Enjoy your art supplies and play with them often!!  You can invite a friend over to have some artistic fun or you can spread out lots of fun materials and dive in on your own.

760 - Take an online art class.  There are lots of classes out there, and many of them are very reasonably priced.















Tuesday, February 28, 2017

741 - 747 Fun Things to Do!



741 - If you see a sign that touches your heart, take a photo of it.

742 - Make a pledge to yourself.  I am pledging not to buy any books in March!!  That is because I buy books online, in bookstores, at library sales, and wherever I can find books for sale!  I have 12 bookcases full of books (and overflowing!)  So hopefully March will be a month of reading, reading, reading!!  I am also a frequent patron of the library, but twenty years of working in bookstores has caused me to be a lover of books that I own.  

743 - Cook something at home that you love to eat in restaurants.   I finally made asparagus at home for the first time a few years ago.  It was a lot easier than I thought it would be!  One time I had Beef Wellington in a restaurant, and it was so delicious that I looked up the recipe in The Joy of Cooking right away.  It's a very long and complicated recipe that I won't be trying any time soon!

744 - Try glow bowling!!  This is bowling in the dark with glow in the dark bowling balls, perhaps glow in the dark shoes, and/or decor, too.  You can do a "glow bowling" keyword search to find glow bowling in your area!


745 - Recommend books you love to your friends and family.  The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George is my new favorite book.  It is about a bookshop in a barge on the Seine in Paris.  The owner, Perdu, recommends books to customers by asking them four questions, and is proud that his books are in homes all over Paris.  There are intriguing characters, adventures, love, mystery, and lots of surprises.  Just when you think there couldn't possibly be any more surprises - POW!!! - something happens that you could have never predicted.  It is written so well, that I felt swept away and thought about the book when I wasn't reading it.  Hope you give it a try!


746 - Try lavender tulsi tea for better sleep, headache reduction, and upset stomachs!  I originally bought this tea because I love lavender and and wanted to try it.  Then I investigated the benefits and was happy to find out that it had all these capabilities.  If I know that I need a good night's sleep, I just steep two tea bags for 15 minutes and I am almost always guaranteed great sleep.  If I have a headache that goes into a second round, even after medication, some lavender tulsi tea works every time (so far).  Every time I have had an upset stomach recently, a cup of the miraculous lavender tulsi tea does wonders.  You can buy it at www.stash.com or at www.amazon.com (best price)


747 - Play hard!  Play is fun and energizing -- what more could you want?





Tuesday, January 31, 2017

731 - 740 Fun Things to Do!


731 - Feed the birds at a local park.  This is my friend Laura feeding a chickadee at Seiberling Naturealm in Akron, Ohio.  The birds are very friendly and happy to hop on your hand for a quick snack.  We have had chickadees, tufted titmice, nuthatches, and cardinals (who lurk, but don't perch). Feeding birds from your hands is a magical mystical experience which I would highly recommend.


732 - When you are feeding birds from your hand, always have extra birdseed to give to curious strangers -- especially children.  It is amazing to see the expressions on their faces the first time a bird lands on their hand!

733 - Organize a bowling party.  It can be just for the fun of it, or for a special event.  My grandson and his friends had a terrific time at his bowling birthday party.  Check out your local bowling alley and see what they have to offer,

734 - If you really like bowling, join at bowling league.  I was in a league once and I can testify that it was a LOT of fun and there was great camaraderie.  If you're lucky, you might get one of those cool bowling shirts!

735 - If you are wrestling with a dilemma in your life and can't figure out what to do -- dance it out!  You don't have to go to a nightclub -- just wait until you are alone, turn up some energetic music and go for it!  It is my guess that by the time you have worn yourself out, you will be able to make your plans more clearly and calmly.  Dancing it out can be done at any time for any reason!


736 - Keep an eye out for reflections in a pond or lake and capture the image with your cell phone camera or regular camera.  Reflection photographs are so interesting -- you might even frame one that you like.

737 - Keep your favorite books in one place so they are always handy when you want them.  My sister Barbara had a whole bookcase of favorite books, and I followed her lead and now know exactly where to find my books by Carol Shields, Julia Cameron, Carl Hiaasen, Studs Terkel, Hunter S. Thompson, and Isabel Allende to name a few.

738 - Read a book that is totally unlike something you usually read.  The library is full of wondrous books waiting for you!  I usually try my books out at the library first to see if I want to buy them later.

739 - Share your books randomly.  At bookcrossing.com, you can find information about how to register your book, and then leave it somewhere for a stranger to find!  This is from their website:
BookCrossing is the act of releasing your books "into the wild" for a stranger to find, or via "controlled release" to another BookCrossing member, and tracking where they go via journal entries from around the world. Our community of passionate, generous book-lovers is changing the world and touching lives, one traveling book at a time. We hope you join us!

740 - If you love books, you will enjoy finding quotations about books.  For example, "A good book makes you want to live in a story.  A great book gives you no choice." from the BookCrossing Facebook page  I am reading a great book right now -- A Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.  It is an enchanting tale of a man who sells books from a barge on the Seine in Paris.  There is romance and mystery too!  






Saturday, December 31, 2016

717 - 730 Fun Things to Do!


517 - Use buttons to highlight your artwork.  Make sure you use good glue so the buttons won't fall off.  For some reason, I just love buttons, new or old.

518 - Find a playground in your neighborhood and have some fun.  I enjoy this the most when no one else is around (except a friend) so I can be as silly as I want to be.

519 - Take a nap at an illegal nap time!  That could be an hour after you get up in the morning, in your car on your lunch hour, while you are procrastinating, or whenever you feel like it.  I have been doing illegal naps for years, but got the term, illegal nap, from The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha.

520 - Collect books from favorite authors so you can read them again years later.  I have a whole bookcase that is filled with books by my favorite authors -- Julia Cameron, Studs Terkel, Carl Hiaasen, Carol Shields, Isabel Allende, Hunter S. Thompson.  I have read most of the books, but I enjoy knowing that they are mine, and I can read them again any time I want.

525 - Keep packing bubble wrap so you can pop it whenever you want.  It's also good to have on hand when kids come over and you want to impress them since you might lack age appropriate toys.  I have never met a child (or adult) who didn't like popping bubble wrap.

526 - Play the board game, Monopoly.  It can be engrossing for hours, but be prepared to be gracious when one of your opponents starts building hotels.  

527 - The TV isn't working, the laptop is on the fritz, your alarm clock is inoperable -- unplug (then replug) -  or reboot them and enjoy the happy relief of this simple and free fix!  Hooray!

528 - Create a theme for a day -- food, music, play, anything you want.  Plan things throughout the day related to your theme.

529 - Take all of the furniture out of your living room, play some great music, and have a dance party!

530 - Read the Sunday paper/s in bed -- you could even eat your breakfast while you are reading.

Monday, October 31, 2016

711 - 716 Fun Things to Do!


711 - Enjoy a creative welcome mat.  This one is a terrific way to great your family and friends!

712 - Find a gasoline price app that will indicate the prices of gasoline wherever you are.  You can find the best gas station to incorporate into your travels around town.

713 - If you have something difficult coming up, plan something fun for after that event!  For example, if you have a major dental appointment, reward yourself with a concert, a play, a walk on a beautiful trail -- whatever strikes your fancy.  Be sure to put both events on the calendar.  Your difficulties will diminish.

714 - Go to a book signing.  They usually occur at libraries and bookstores, and if you find one of your favorite authors, all the better!  My friend Kathy and I went to a lecture and book signing featuring Adriana Trigiani, an author we both appreciate.  It was a fun, interesting, and exciting evening.


715 - If you are collecting a series of books, take a photograph of the ones you already have so it will be handy the next time you go to a library or bookstore.  I volunteer at a used bookstore in a huge library, so I have the best of both worlds!  I bought all of those books for less than $2.00.


716 - When you encounter a difficult person, just say -- "You better be getting on your good-bye shoes!"  You can even just think it, and you will be able to have a private laugh!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

701 - 710 Fun Things to Do!


701 - Get a fountain to add water interest to your environment.  I wasn't looking for a fountain when I saw this, but the sound is great, and the frog is cheerful, so it had to come home with me!

702 - Go to a toy store and have some fun.  Maybe there is a toy you wanted as a child, and never got, or perhaps you could wander up and down the aisles until you are enchanted.   You could even buy a toy for a child you love!

703 - Take a tour for a day or longer.  AAA has a lot of great tours of all kinds at very reasonable prices.  There are other organizations, including travel agencies, who have tours to just about any place you might imagine.  If you are going to a foreign country, it is very comforting to have everything planned out in advance.

704 - Be a sidewalk supervisor!  My Dad used to walk all around his neighborhood, and being a very curious fellow, he would strike up conversations here and there.  If there was a construction site, he would find the Foreman, and find out what was happening.  Of course, my Dad had advice to give about pipes, digging, navigating, etc.  I often walked with him, and was always amazed at my Dad's readiness to talk to just about anyone, about almost any subject.  I was lucky enough to be a sidewalk supervisor in my neighborhood recently.  I had a conversation with a construction worker, and spent some interesting time watching all the action.  Who says you have to be a little boy to enjoy big equipment performance?!


705 - Take a pottery class.  This is my first attempt at building a vase - very hilarious, I must admit.  The more crooked it got, the more I liked it!  Now it holds all my paint brushes and is a great memory of a fun time with my friends.

706 - Enjoy a succulent garden.  These are very popular right now, and you can get them at most garden stores already planted, or in individual pots waiting for your creativity.  Depending on your weather, you can plant them outside or inside in pots.  Even if you live in a four season climate, you can still enjoy your succulents outside in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

707 - Get something monogrammed.  You can get your initials put on towels, shirts, tote bags, pens -- whatever suits your fancy.  Giving a gift of something that is monogrammed is a great way to show you took some time, thought, and effort in your selection.

708 -  Buy an easel for your cookbooks, or just for a handy way to do your reading.  


709 - Use chalk paint on a piece of furniture to liven it up.  I love this chest because it was my Mother-in-law's.  It was looking a little beat up, so I chose bright green to make it look more appealing.  I really love the way it turned out.


710 - Find some interesting drawer knobs to accent your furniture or cabinets.  



Thursday, June 30, 2016

673 - 700 Fun Things to Do!



673 - Enjoy a Chicago style hot dog!  I first tried one of these amazing taste delights at a picnic.  The first thing that came into my mind after I took my first bite was - I have to have a party!!  Within two weeks, I had one of my book groups stay for lunch for Chicago hot dogs with all the fixings!  I was right -- a Chicago style hot dog is terrific (and affordable) party material.  You probably will be able to find a Chicago hot dog in your town.  Here, in Akron, Ohio, you can get them at Steak and Shake, Mary Coyle's Ice Cream Parlor, or at Ninny's Chicago Style Hot Dogs in Cuyahoga Falls.  The photo above is one of Ninny's delectable creations.  Here are the ingredients and the order in which they are layered:

poppyseed hot dog bun
mustard 
relish
hot dog
dill pickle slice
tomatoes
banana peppers
celery seed

Have fun!

674 - Go to a farmer's market and get some wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables.  

675 - Make up a scavenger hunt for your family and/or friends.  It can be done by car, or in your neighborhood.  People can go out in teams and hunt for the items on the scavenger list.  This is great fun for children or adults.

676 - Have a water fight.  One time we had one in our neighborhood and it was hilarious!  The person who won is the one who turned on their hose!!

677 - Have a chili cook-off.  Invite people to bring over their favorite kind of chili and have a taste test.  You can crown a Chili Chef!

678 - Have a laid back day in your pajamas!  I call these "jammer days".  I read, lounge around, and just enjoy a day without obligations.  Oddly enough, it is very energizing to take some time off for yourself.   The day after a jammer day, I am ready to jump back into the world and get things done!

679 - Send electronic greeting cards.  My favorite cards come from jacquielawson.com  She has a wide variety and you can send LOTS of cards at once.  I have fun sending them out for holidays to my family and friends.  There is a subscription fee for Jacquie Lawson, but there are other websites that have free cards -- just do a keyword search.

680 - Go fishing, by yourself or with a companion.  My Dad used to take me fishing once in a while when I was growing up.  Those were some of the best times ever, whether we caught anything or not!



681 - Welcome and celebrate a hometown hero!  Our fabulous LeBron James was extremely instrumental in the recent Cavaliers' NBA championship - the first championship in Cleveland in over 52 years!   He was a team leader who never gave up.  LeBron exhibited qualities of good sportsmanship, goal setting, preparation, tenacity, loyalty and giving back to his community.  Over a million people celebrated the Cleveland Cavaliers in downtown Cleveland last week - the biggest crowd to ever be in Cleveland!  Since LeBron is proudly from Akron, over 30,000 people filled an outside amphitheater and the local baseball stadium, with lots of leftover people in the streets.  It was a glorious event -- one I will remember all my life!  I am a member of the LeBron James' Grandmothers Fan Club, so everything was extra special.

682 - Use headphones for music or audio books.  It's a great way to relax or you can be active also.

683 - Attend a major league baseball game.  The snacks are great and are often delivered right to your seat!  As far as I am concerned, there is no mustard better than stadium mustard.  What could be more fun than thousands of people singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"?

684 - Get yourself a brand new notebook every time you start a project.  I just love office supplies, and getting a nifty new notebook is usually the beginning of great things happening.  Sometimes I take a notebook to the library for a couple of hours and wander around until I find things that interest me.  This is one of my best ways of having fun, and I have learned a lot in the process.

685 - Speak to a toddler.  It is a wonderful privilege to listen to their viewpoints and comments.  When you least expect it, they will amaze you!

686 - Pre-read a few pages into any books you are considering taking on vacation.  A friend shared this idea with me, and it has been a great way of making sure I am happy with my reading material.  When I am on vacation, books are essential to my enjoyment so this idea has saved me a lot of grief.


687 - Try some lavender tea.  It has lots of health benefits -- good for your digestion, helps with insomnia, can relieve the pain of migraines, and is very relaxing.  The kind I like is from stashtea.com and contains the herb tulsi, which is a sacred Native American herb which diminishes the strong flavor of lavender.  I also use a little bit of raw honey with it.  I often drink a cup of lavender tea before bed and I really seem to sleep better as a result.

688 - Go to a wine tasting.  There are all different kinds of wine tastings, and some even have an accompanying dinner.  It's interesting to learn about wine.  The best and most affordable way to do that is to try small amounts of different varieties.  Just make sure you have a driver!

689 - Write a brief description of a fun thing you did each day on the calendar.  When you look back, it will be fun to see how much fun you had.  Perhaps it will encourage you to do at least one fun thing every day!

690 - Play chess with a stranger.  Lots of areas have chess clubs where you can increase your skills and have fun at the same time.  There are also chess boards in libraries, coffee shops, or parks. 

691 - Teach someone to play chess.


692 - Keep an eye out for new books by your favorite authors!  Julia Cameron has written lots of terrific books -- my favorite is The Artist's Way, which is about creativity as a life force and everyone's connection to it in one way or another.  Julia's new book is It's Never to Late to Begin Again.  This book is about exploring possibilities and abilities.  Both books are a twelve week series which can be done alone or with others.  All I can say is -- hooray for Julia Cameron!

693 - If you want to give something away, but are still very attached to it, take a photograph of it and let it go!



694 - Buy from local artists.  I have artwork all over my house that has been done by local people I know and don't know.  I love the opportunity of meeting an artist and starting to collect their work.  I am very blessed that my friend Cathy Dully, who is an amazing artist, has sold me some extraordinary art.  There piece above is over the mantel and it still seems new to me every time I look at it.  The photograph does not capture the textures or the full glory of it.  I can still sit and look at it and get lost. 

695 - Wear a fun/interesting tie!  When servers at restaurants have unusual ties, I tip more!  Really.  I am also grateful to people who wear bold and different ties.  I once saw a photograph of a skirt a woman had made of her late husband's ties.  It was stunning, and I am sure it was a great comfort to her to wear it.

696 - Eat cupcakes!  Cupcakes are very popular right now, with whole bakeries devoted to these culinary delights.  Even wedding receptions are replacing regular cakes with tiered cupcake arrangements.  Make cupcakes!  Forego the bakery, and try your hand at making some of your own cupcakes -- just for fun or for a special occasion.


697 - Observe the birds at your feeder.  This is a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and it is one of my favorite birds ever.  I have three pairs of them this Summer!  In prior years, I had only seen one twice, for only a few moments.  I was so thrilled this year to have them on a regular basis that I spent lots of time by my kitchen window the first week they appeared.  I stared at them so hard that I also started noticing the behavior of other birds who were regulars at the feeder, so that was an extra bonus.

698 - Surprise someone with balloons for no reason!

699 - Treat yourself to an ice cream cone.  Better yet, treat someone else to an ice cream cone, too!

700 - Make a wonderful fresh fruit salad in a scooped out watermelon.  When I go to a party and there is a fabulous fruit salad, I am so happy!