Jan 142016
 

Snow balls that don’t freeze fingers?  Sometimes winter fun needs to be brought indoors at Camp Grandma.

In the 1960’s, my husband and I bought wooden skis and leather boots that were aptly nicknamed “ankle busters.” Newlyweds learning a winter sport with friends in Green Bay, Wisconsin evolved into three generations of skiers heading for the mountains in Utah.  The skis are now fiberglass and the boots mold comfortably to your legs.  Our skulls are also well protected with padded helmets and stylish goggles that don’t frost up.


When the weather won’t cooperate, it’s time for Camp Grandma and some fun indoor science projects.  Let’s make snow balls that won’t melt or freeze cute little fingers.
Snow Ball Craft Ingredients
Ingredients:

-Body Lotion, 20 ounce bottle

-Corn Starch, 16 ounce box

-Peppermint Extract

-Large mixing bowl

Pour the corn starch into a large bowl and add half the bottle of lotion.  The peppermint extract gives a nice smell, but isn’t necessary.


This is where stiring and squishing comes in. Keep adding lotion to the mixture until the dough is moldable.


Your hands will thank you for this softest snow ball making project ever.   It’s time to add button eyes, sticks, and anything else that a snowman needs to wear. Store the dough in zip lock bags for future play times. Add some lotion if it becomes too dry.

Our next science project involves snow ball dough that creates foaming bubbles and erupts like volcanos.
Snow Ball Shaving Cream Ingredients

Ingredients:

-Baking Soda, large box

-Shaving Cream, approximately 1/2 can needed

-Glitter

-Vinegar, large bottle

-Koolaid, packets

Pour the entire box of baking soda into a large bowl.  The kids will love squirting shaving cream, that mostly ends up in the bowl and then squishing to mix and mold.

Place the snow balls on a plastic plate or tray that has sides, to keep the liquid from spilling.  Spray or pour vinegar on the baking soda mixture to create your own erupting and foaming bubbles.


The snow balls will look really cool by sprinkling blue Koolaid powder and glitter over them. This works better than food coloring, since it won’t stain little fingers.  Keep adding more vinegar onto the baking soda mixture and the fun lasts until the vinegar is gone.

I bought all these ingredients at the dollar store, for a day of very inexpensive science fun.  Is making snow that won’t freeze messy?  Absolutely!  I just made sure the grandkids washed up before receiving my Camp Grandma hugs.

Feb 132014
 

A look back to a special time in my life as an Olympic volunteer, when Salt Lake City hosted the Olympics in 2002. Olympic Torch
The 2002 Olympic motto was Light the Fire Within and the Cauldron was created with the Fire and Ice theme in mind. Designed to look like an icicle, it was made of glass which allowed the fire to be seen burning within. Small jets sent water down the glass sides of the cauldron to give the effect of melting ice.
Olympic rings with Airforce one President plane
Air Force One landed with President George W. Bush on board. To be visible across the valley, the illuminated Olympic Rings were displayed across an area the size of ten football fields.
Olympic opening trade center flag
The tattered flag was recovered from the World Trade Center ruins after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in New York City. It was carried into the opening ceremony by eight athletes escorted by New York City firefighters and Port Authority police.
Olympic chair lift from tents toshovels
Every morning our course crew teams were sent up the mountain at Snowbasin in Ogden, Utah to prepare the Women’s and Men’s Downhill courses. We looked like Blue Smurfs skiing to our designated areas.
112 clean course between racers
This is what you didn’t see when you watched the Olympics. We were a small part of the many volunteers making this the best possible Olympic event ever. I’ll never forget how dedicated these volunteers were to work for “free” just for the pride and love of the sport, country, and the fact that the world was watching us.
Olympic day with Wisconsin skiers

All volunteers received extensive training on being helpful and friendly to the visitors. Being part of a photo op was the easiest part of my job, since these three guys were visiting from my birth State of Wisconsin.
Olympic Mascots with Mitt Romney
The three Olympic mascots are: Swifter, a snowshoe hare. Higher, a coyote. Stronger, an American black bear. They are based on a Utah legend inspired by petroglyphs from a Native American tradition. Mitt Romney was the President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and more recently the Republican nominee for president of the United States.
037 Kari's view of mountains
023 sunrise

 

 

 

 

Since our days began as early as 4 a.m., we enjoyed beautiful sunrises at the top of Snowbasin Ski Resort. My daughter Kari stands near the starting gate of the Woman’s Downhill course and a view of what the Olympic skiers saw on their way down the mountain.
Olympic Volunteer party 1
After the Olympic and Paralympic games ended, the volunteers came together one last time. This special night was given to honor all the dedicated volunteers, with a concert on the Olympics Medal Plaza.

What is your favorite Olympic memory?

Jun 112013
 

As previously mentioned, my husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale train room, at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.

This room had been a four year work in progress by another train lover, so we are dealing with what was already built.  What we jokingly called our seven foot chocolate cake/blob, is the cover for a (circular track) helix that’s designed to bring the trains to the upper or lower level of tracks.

Model Train helix

To reflect how we would have wanted our town to look in the 1950’s, we added a Ski Lodge and Skiers on the mountain.
Model Train Ski area

Model Train Ski LodgeWhen people cleaned out their dusty, spider infested boxes, they donated the HO scale model items to the train room,

Luckily for me, all the spiders were dead and one of the great finds was this saloon.

We kit-bashed it into a ski chalet and painted winter Model Train Ski Hill 1clothes on the patrons.

Kit-bashing sounds destructive, but it is really a gentle method of creating what you need to fit a theme.

A fence was cut, shaped and painted to become ski racks.

Coal dust was used for the blacktopped road and the rock retaining wall was molded from plaster.

Model Train Ski Hill 2More trees were added and hot glued into place to finally stand up straight.

Our research on adding snow to the mountain was entertaining.  One suggestion was to add crystal sugar for the sparkle.  How cute would it be, to have ants snacking on our sugar mountain?

We haven’t been historically true to how our town looked in the 1950’s.  We’ve captured some interesting sites of Utah and compressed them into scenes of what we hope everyone will enjoy seeing in our train room .

Mar 152013
 

I’m finally old enough to get a discounted Ski Lift Ticket.  Women usually don’t tell their age, but  I’ve earned these bragging rights.  I’m 70 years old and saved $25 on my ski pass.  Yeah, baby!Senior ski ticket

Not too long ago if you were still skiing at age 70, resorts would give you a free lift ticket.

According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), the percentage of baby boomers ages 55 to 64 on the slopes has more than doubled in the past 10 years, with the number of skiers 65 and older rising as well.

Ski areas want them to return with their grandkids and are enticing them by charging the same price as a young adult ticket.  Other ski areas call you a senior if you’re between 65 and 69, but if you’re 70 or older, they call you a “super senior,” which entitles you to a bigger discount.

With the millions of baby boomers still skiing or snowboarding, how long will these discounts last?  According to the NSAA, some ski areas are already eliminating the senior ski pass or moving the senior discount age to 80 years old.

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