DIY Travel Game



    Okay, so I didn’t buy enough of the beautiful-precut-white-velcro dots.  I finished off this dollar store teacher supply “folder game” with the black trim-to-fit velcro.  The velcro is readily available in most sewing departments.  I got this idea from seeing teachers utilize “folder games” for student activities.   In the classroom, the velcro was used to hold game pieces during storage and transit.   This is an animal trivia game.  I enclosed the game cards in an envelope which sticks into the folder for storage.  The boys can play this in the backseat of TONKA even if the windows are down!


Meet the Family!



    Hi, my name is Melanie.  I am the one in the sun glasses.  This is my family.  My husband Dane is a warrior-ninja clown who recently retired from the military.  Our oldest son A is entering the wonderful preteen years, loves video games, hates school, and is usually bored.  N, our youngest, is the second tallest kid in his class, loves animals, and really loves school even though he claims to hate it because he tries to be cool like his big brother.  I am a retired navy wife, part-time stay-at-home mom, part-time substitute para-educator,  and recent University of Maryland graduate.
   My husband’s final duty station was in Washington State.  Although we have loved the people and the beauty found in the Pacific Northwest, we really miss the warm sunny weather and sandy beaches.   We have decided to take a giant leap of faith and we are relocating across the country in Florida.  Over the summer we will be driving diagonally through the country.  We have our beloved FL Cruiser, aptly named TONKA (big, yellow, rugged, and fun), and our darling golden retriever,  LAGER (also big, yellow, rugged, and fun).  I fully expect our trip to be similar to a NATIONAL LAMPOONS film, but with a reverse Oregon Trail theme.  Join us on our adventure across the beautiful United States, and share our good and bad times along the way.  I’ll show you how I have prepared the children, LAGER, and myself for this fantastic voyage.  See you along the way!

Bigfoot in Washington!


Well, the title is certainly compelling.  Yesterday (June 18,2013), Tyler Bounds from the Animal Planet television show FINDING BIGFOOT visited our local library in Oak Harbor, WA.  I am fairly certain that Tyler was enjoying the passage of our 502 law- seemingly a down to earth dude- his presentation needs some work.  He is from our area and may have been asked to do this library tour because of  local interests.  This doesn’t make him a public speaker.  I think he was nervous at the tremendous turnout where people in the back had to stand.  Kids were eagerly awaiting video evidence of a “squatch” which never came, although Tyler did play some impressive (others not so impressive) suspect howling and noises.

tyler bounds

(Photo from:

I need to make it clear that I’m not hatin’ on Tyler Bounds.  He seems to be a perfectly laid back GenXer, that was likely grunge monkey Nirvana fan.  I love that!  I just expected more out of this public speaking engagement which my children attended and their interest was easily lost.  Tyler spent most of his time fielding questions and hosting audience stories.  One woman recalled that “a Bigfoot pee’d” on someone she knew.  While her contributions didn’t provide any real evidence or scientific data, she certainly brought some levity to the room- which was mostly filled with older, skeptical and crotchety people.  I suspect that Tyler did have video footage to share with his audience but the computer/ projector wasn’t operating correctly.  The technology librarian didn’t return to fix the problem until 10 minutes prior to closing.

The photo link above is worth the visit and may shed further light on the evolution of this presentation.

Tyler, if you are reading this…you clearly have an interesting platform.  Your presentation simply needs structure.   An outline of talking points will provide attendees (who are very eager to hear what you have to say) with the nuggets of fascinating details we really wanted to hear.  I suspect you already know this but tend to be interrupted with questions and stories so much that any “outline” gets tossed aside.  PLEASE try to find a happy medium.  Good luck to you dude, I hope you find what you are looking for!

“as dreams are made on” – Shakespeare Quotes


Such stuff as dreams are made on – Shakespeare Quotes.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158