Tag Archives: games

Mrs. Dash

In the classic Christmas song, “Rudolf, The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the first of Santa’s reindeer mentioned is Dasher. You must be thinking, “Mel, we are past the holidays! It is a new year already!” That is exactly my point…the new year took off with a dash! 🙂 We kicked off the year by picking up my sister and brother-in-law from the airport…and with all family members and spouses present, we enjoyed a nice meal at the Spaghetti Warehouse in Dayton, then came home to celebrate Christmas.

Yep, January 1, 2014 was a fantastic day and the beginning of a week filled with fun! We played games, shared memories and had good laughs, took loads of pictures, drank almost all the hot chocolate in the cupboard, played more games, “owl family” late nights resulting in late mornings and breakfast times, and took a short road trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY. 🙂

At the Creation Museum, there was a small room on the lower level called, “Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium.” Now, if you know me, I am not a bug, insect or spider sort of person. Snakes I can handle if they slither slowly, but insects…yuck! However, because we were there, I wanted to get the whole museum experience. Besides, these insects were dead, so what was the harm in viewing them? The first of the display boxes contained locust, crickets and katydids. The plaque described how they form “God’s choir,” as they make beautiful chirping noises when using their mating calls to attract females.

I thought a few things were interesting: a) A female of the three insect species listed has to listen and distinguish among the chirps which mating call is for her and then respond; b) Out of all bugs and insects, only these three are listed for their beautiful noise; and c) The plaque also mentioned reference to prophets in the Bible, one being John the Baptist, and their eating locust. I didn’t think much about the eating part until the end of the museum tour and day, in which Mom, my brother-in-law and myself, found ourselves finished a half hour before everyone else. With nothing else to see, we went to the bookstore to look around and wait.

My choice of two post cards placed me over at the cash register and after I paid, I see at the side the selection of chocolates (not having anything to do with the museum…just a treat!) and other candies. Of course, the suckers with bugs in them would not my choice of a tasty treat. Under the candies was a shelf that had little boxes of flavored locust, but I didn’t actually realize they were real locust until I picked up the sea salt flavor and read the cover. Tempted, I almost purchased the sour cream & onion flavor, but right when I decided “no” in my mind, the store closed and we left. So much for starting the year off in a bold fashion. 😉 It may have had too much salt anyway…

Right before the new year, Dad and I discussed my left ankle. It has been swollen for quite sometime. When I sit, I don’t always prop up my feet, which doesn’t help any, but the fact is that I needed to try something new. I already deal with osteoporosis and numbness (which I have no control over), but the swelling I could try to bring down. The simple word: salt. Oh how I just love salt! So being told, “No salt,” was a sad experience at first, because I literally thought I could not have any. I was reassured that I can still have salt. If you think about it, salt is unavoidable-it is in everything! It is not a diet or new year’s resolution, but my new restriction was simply that I just can’t add salt to my plate and must practice self-control.

The tumor on my 5th nerve affected my sense of smell, which affects your taste. It has to be a very strong flavor or scent in order for me to smell and/or taste it. Every so often, I will get a giant “smell-wave” for a split second and it literally will take me by surprise. If anyone is around, they hear about it! With tasting food it is different. The typical routine is usually putting on a lot of salt and pepper just for a taste. Without salt, foods like vegetables can be pretty bland. That is where Mom suggested the substitute, Mrs. Dash. It is salt free and has a bold flavor!

Limiting my salt seems to be rewarding, as I have noticed the swelling decreasing. The whole experience has also got me to thinking of my own life. I have been out of my typical morning routine, coffee and readings, which I see is starting to result in becoming a spiritual life that is bland. I still have salt–but like my food restriction, I am not adding any to my life–not seeking the boldness that God intends…and I feel no purpose. It is the new year, and I seem lost. Praise God–He is bigger than my fears, bigger than my failures, bigger than my future here on earth.

He is like Salt–Unavoidable; In Him, I have no need for restrictions.


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times

Picture This.

If you have ever played the game of Pictionary, you know how funny things can get. Everything from the artist’s fast drawings to what people guess based off the drawings…laughs are bound to happen. Then add a person like me. I read lips. So in a game where people are yelling their answers out and feeding thoughts off each other–I am left with my own brain. My very own train of thoughts. Not to boast–but I think I did pretty good the other night. It was a mind stretching game. 🙂 Of course, if you want honesty: My mind is pretty brilliant and complicated. There is no such thing as a simple answer in my vocabulary. Ask my family. Although I did get my brother-in-laws version of “import.” He drew a little sketch of the USA on the left side of the marker board and the Europe/Asia countries on the right side. He drew a dotted line with a boat going towards the right. He crossed it out. Then he drew a straight line with a boat to the left. At first I said out loud, “Ok, it has something to do with a map.” Then I went on: “Boat, Atlantic Ocean, slave trade…” Then it clicked: “Exporting. IMPORTING!!” 🙂 Pretty great train of thought.

On the other hand, we played a lot of “All Play” games. I think we won a record. More than half or three-fourths of the game was because we landed on the AP square or it had the triangle on the category sheet. Made it really fun! Me, my dad and my brother-in-law were on a team vs. my mom and two sisters. Dad was in turn to draw. I was focused. He drew a stick figure of a man. I blurt out: “Man.” He draws a stick figure of a girl the same height as the man. I say: “Couple”, “Spouse.” He draws a stick figure of a little boy next to the woman. I say, “Boy!” Dad looks at me as if I am on to something. Next thing I blurt out: “MALE HEIR!!!!” Thinking I am so cool. Dad looks at me like–“Say it in another phrase!”–sort of look. I say, “Um, child?” Right after that my younger sister says, “Son.” Son!! Me and my “male heir”. Good grief.

So, when it was my turn to draw, my sister would sit by me and look at what I was going to draw. Even with “All Play”, the teams were even so it worked out real nice. Because blurting out answers is one half of the game, then drawing is the other half. With my sister as my ears, I could focus on drawing until she heard the word. Very fair and logical. I don’t even think we discussed the “How should we do this?” She just stepped right in and did it and that is what we ended up doing the whole game when it was my turn to draw.

In the beginning of the game, I really did not want to play. Usually in games there is so much confusion from not being able to hear. This game, I just lived in my own little world and actually really enjoyed the game!! I felt like I was actually part of the game. A very good feeling!! After being a bit grumpy earlier that evening, laughing during the game lightened my heart. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength,” Proverbs 17:22 NLT.

What games do you like to play?

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Funny Stories

“All I want is to be in the Light.”

Daylight Saving Time. Did you miss it? Don’t worry about raising your hand if you did, because I would not see it anyway. 🙂 Last night, I watched just a tad of National Treasure to relax. It was on TV, so I could tell where they cut lines out (not as cool as the real deal movie), so I did not watch anymore past the part where they go to Independence Hall for the “retro specs.” 🙂 In the movie, Riley tells Ben and Abigail about Daylight Saving Time. This made me curious, so I decided to look it up and see when it first started. Of course, National Treasure quotes that Benjamin Franklin was the first to propose Daylight Saving Time– and it’s true (I figured it would be, but just had to be certain.)

I found the official website for Daylight Saving Time: http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving. I started clicking around and found some information about Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was in Paris at the time–I assume most likely when he was serving as the U.S. ambassador. He was very sick and getting older in years, so much time was spent at his house. Franklin had attended a demonstration about a new oil lamp and went home thinking. Soon after, he noted the sun rising earlier (well, he had noted this for quite a while and had been writing it down in a record journal). Thus, he wrote an article, called An Economical Project, which was “a discourse on the thrift of natural versus artificial lighting,” (http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/franklin.html, 2008 by IDEA). I think that Benjamin Franklin was a very wise, practical, and resourceful man. Of course, Daylight Saving Time did not get put into full effect until WWI, but I think that Franklin’s intent on saving energy is no different from today. We do not use oil lamps, but we pay light and gas bills, so it is relatively the same context of using daylight hours to save energy and resources. I am no “early to bed, early to rise” person, so I cannot point any fingers at people wasting energy. 😀 Anyway, the whole history and topic is quite interesting! If you want some more great links from the website, I found these fascinating:




*MUST READ!! 😀 http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/franklin3.html

Aside from Daylight Saving Time, I must say that I do not like the dark. Nope. Not at all! Not so much that it scares me, more the fact that I have the worst balance in the dark and I cannot read people’s lips in the dark. Car rides are extremely frustrating for me when they are in the dark! My family turns on the small car light so I can read lips, or the favorite–using their cell phone to light up their face–but I still miss a lot of conversation.

My balance problems are a result of my hearing loss. Back when I was a kid, I struggled with weak ankles, but totally could play games like Kick the Can out in the dark with my sisters and friends. Have you ever played Kick the Can? What a game!!! We lived in the country, so no street lights were around our area which made the night a deep pitch-black dark. I liked this most in the moments on clear nights with no moon. We would take out blankets and gaze at the stars and talk. We could see part of the Milky Way from our yard…just being lost in the gaze of stars made me realize how small I really am compared to the universe.

Anyway, back to Kick the Can–you play in pitch darkness! You want to even wear black or dark clothes, because the whole point of the game is like Hide and Seek with a few twists. Someone is selected to be the “it” person (You know, “You’re it.”) 🙂 They count to say a hundred somewhere while everyone hides. The point of this game is to hide so that you cannot be found. If the “it” person finds you, they have to say, “Bang ______”. That blank is your name. If they say the correct name then that person goes to jail, but if the name is incorrect, they do not move until either the correct name is said or they just go on searching for others. If you get in jail, then you start yelling for people to come get you out. You do no want the “it” person to get everyone in jail, because then whoever was put first in jail is now the new “it” person. Make sense so far? Good. 😀

Now, the fun part begins when someone gets in jail. The can has already been placed in the yard at a specific spot where everyone knows, usually close to the set jail area (our jail was the back patio). When the person(s) in jail start yelling for help, you have the option to help them by attempting to literally kick the can without being caught. If the “Bang ____” is said before you kick the can, then you go to jail with the others. If not, then you yell out, “HOME FREE!!!!!” Thus, resulting in all jail inmates running back into hiding while the “it” person has to find the can and place it back into the designated spot in the yard. This is such a fun game!! We loved playing with friends or cousins when they came to visit.

One last thing before I close for the day–it is, of course, something related to music. 🙂 I grew up on oldies and I loved it!! Anyway, I am sure you have never heard of Charlie Peacock. If you have, applause to you!! Don’t feel guilty if you have not, but then maybe you have heard of dc Talk?? Ah yes!!! Classic times in the contemporary Christian music industry when they were a band! dc Talk sang a song, called “In the Light”, on their Jesus Freak album.

If you are wondering the connection between Charlie Peacock, dc Talk and “In the Light”, well, Charlie Peacock wrote it for his Love Life album (1991).

Yes this is extremely old, but serious, a really good cd!! (My Dad will be proud of me saying so). Anyway, dc Talk sings his song and it is my favorite version. The song is about God’s Light and the desire to be IN His Light and salvation. One of my favorite songs ever!!!

I found a YouTube video of dc Talk singing the song during a concert. I encourage you to listen to the song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWq1XYxtlRs

Enjoy an extra hour of sunshine!! More to come…


Filed under Family Times, Funny Stories, Random