Mar 142016
 

When the grandkids have days off from school for Easter vacation, it’s time to get busy on a craft at Camp Grandma.


Making catapults starting with popsicle sticks and hot glue teach engineering skills.  After studying all the pictures, they each created a different type of launching catapult. Many of the items used were scavenged from around the house like baggie clips, bottle caps, and plastic spoons.

Craft with bunny pen

Catapult with String Release
Materials needed:
– Popsicle Sticks
– Hot Glue
– Plastic Spoons
– Rubber bands
– Bottle Caps
– Masking Tape
– Corks
– Baggy Clips
– String
– Nails

The boys decided Easter themed bunnies and chicks would be fun to launch. No animals were harmed in the process. Their creative engineering added a Chicken Coop and Bunny Pen for keeping them safe when stored in the catapults. Grandma loved not having any sticky Easter candy or marshmallow mess to clean up.

Craft pompoms Animals

After the grandkids super glued pompoms together, they added feathers for tails and ears. Puffy paints on the eyes and mouths turned them into wild looking characters and prompted funny names like Humphrey, Puffy, and Smalls.

Catapult distance test
The animals needed a target and hitting an Easter basket proved very challenging.  This gave them an idea to see whose catapult sent their fuzzy animals the farthest. They spent the rest of the afternoon launching at targets outside on the lawn.  A distance of almost 20 feet made this Camp Grandma a success.

What Easter crafts are you planning when the kids are looking for ways to keep from getting bored during their school vacation holiday?

Aug 292013
 

The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse was built in 1909.  It’s bright beam of light was visible for more than 20 miles, to guide ships away from the jagged rocks and reefs of the Mendocino Coast.Point Cabrillo Lighthouse Scene

Lighthouse Museum California
We had to walk the one half mile to the lighthouse, since driving is restricted to service vehicles or people vacationing there.  According to the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Historical Society website, a French physicist, Augustin Fresnel invented the lens.
Lighthouse Museum lightLighthouse Museum FireplaceThe Fresnel lens’ glass prisms are clustered to appear like one enormous beehive.  The hand ground and polished glass prisms were fitted into the frames, so they bend the light into a horizontal beam.  Since this type of lens produces more light with less weight, the Fresnel lens has many uses even today.

The lighthouse keeper’s full-time job was to keep the lens’ oil lamps burning brightly, make sure the lens turned smoothly and clean the smoke off the prisms.  Today, this function is done electronically with minimum maintenance work involved.Lighthouse Museum toys

Originally, the fog horn had two steam-driven diaphones that produced a two-tone “bah-rump.”  The keeper and his assistants had the tedious job of tending the boilers that produced the steam.  The fog horn is no longer needed, but I wonder how the light keeper’s family slept through the noisy bah-rumps.

The children had tinker toys and a rocking whale to play with.  I love the whale’s colorful, pink lips!

The job of lighthouse keeper offered low pay, but free room and board for the families living there.  If you’ve always wanted to experience a quiet and isolated vacation, you can rent the Head Lighthouse Keepers home at this website: http://www.pointcabrillo.org/Head_Lightkeepers_House.html
This historical museum is a short distance from Fort Bragg, California.  If the youngsters in your family aren’t ready for a quiet vacation, I highly recommend visiting the lighthouse just to see this lens operate.  It is so unique and amazing to watch, as it silently sends it’s beacon out to sea.  Please share where you enjoyed your most unusual vacation.

Jul 282013
 

I was asked to review a new website called WineMaps.  This site is an interactive travel map that will show you where all the wineries, wine bars, vineyards and events are in your home town or around the world on your own phone.  How easy is this?Wine Map.

blog - winemap interactive siteTo give you some background, WineMaps is a site that was funded by a stay at home dad because of his love for local wineries, and all that they bring to the wine community.  Ryan Ornelas found it especially challenging to find information about small wineries, while on vacation.  He felt inspired to help boutique wineries get discovered by wine lovers outside the larger, more obvious wine regions, by creating WineMaps.

wine lover

Fellow wine lovers, join me in signing up for their free newsletter at this site: http://discover.winemaps.com/beta/  to be sure you won’t miss out on any of the up-coming wine events and places to visit.

Read more about WineMaps on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
https://www.facebook.com/winemaps
https://twitter.com/winemaps
www.youtube.com/user/winemaps


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  All opinions remain my own and may not reflect the opinions of anyone else.

 

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