Tag Archives: Fun

Scrapbook: Hunting Acorns

10 Oct

Since fall doesn’t really get started here for another couple months, I decided to take Isobel acorn hunting as a way to learn about nature, get outside with the family, and add to our cache of thrifty autumn decorations. I want to make it a yearly tradition as it’s a fall-like thing we can do even if we’re wearing shorts and tank tops and contemplating

The Valley oak would be a natural native choice for acorn hunting, and provided a substantial part of the diet of the native people who lived in California long ago, but lacking access to those venerable trees we went to a stand of Cork oak that I happen to be familiar with. I grew up under these trees.

Years and years ago, these trees were a daily fixture in my life during elementary school. Not one for sports or anything more complicated than monkey bars, friends and I would wander under the polka-dotted shade of the canopy of these trees at recess, imagining we were our own world and collecting the ever-present acorns that littered the ground. Acorns would be collected into piles as if we could survive off them in the winter.  One day we planned to pound them to mush and rinse them in changes of water to remove the toxin, like the Native Americans. We probably created a nice nest egg for the birds to find later.

As we walked with Isobel under these trees we pointed out partially eaten acorns and talked about the birds that ate them. We don’t really have squirrels in town, though I’ve seen one or two on occasion. Every now and then the wind would blow an a scattering of acorns would fall all around us, like plump raindrops.

We looked at fat acorns and skinny ones, we marveled that some had “hats” but some came bald, many were shades of green, and yellow, or a rich hearty brown.

We talked about the trees as we walked, too. Eventually the joy of acorns wore off and Isobel became extremely fascinated by a mud puddle.

By the time we were ready to go home Isobel had dumped all her acorns into the mud. Which was totally fine as I collected my own bunch and anyway, I wasn’t going to let her keep them.  She might decide she’s a bird and start munching.

Sometimes making your own fun isn’t about what you get. It’s about the hunt.

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Thrifty Living: Box Tunnel

13 Sep

I know I’m  not alone when I say that I have fond memories of playing with cardboard boxes. Hours of fun, actually. Before WalMart came to our small town my Uncle owned a small Magnavox store, and every so often my Dad would come home with a giant television box after a visiting the store. You would have thought my Dad brought us home a pony with how enthusiastically we greeted him.

If you remember we got new wonderful carpet a few months ago, and while I was at home packing and watching Isobel  we had a little fun by constructing a tunnel out of extra boxes.

"Hi, Mom!"

These boxes were a really thrifty find for us because we got them free from Borders. My husband worked there for years so we had a hookup. Ugh. This was before we got our wonderful carpet. I forgot how non-wonderful the old carpet was. Isobel didn’t care, though. She was too busy pretending our wireless mouse was a car and driving it through the tunnel.

All we did was unfold the boxes and wedge them in between the couch and the coffee table–no tape necessary. Later when my friend’s family moved her son learned that boxes on the floor make a great surface for dancing, proving that they are as multipurpose as they are thrifty.

Flipbook: Wheee!

2 Jul