2014 Pumpkin Palooza Harvest Festival

October 19, 2014

On Sunday, October 26, 2014, at the Victorian Square in downtown Sparks, Nevada, there will be a Pumpkin Palooza festival from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Take the kiddies to play carnival games, show off their Halloween costumes in the costume parade, race pumpkins in the pumpkin derby, compete in the pumpkin pie eating contest or the pumpkin seed spitting contest or the mummy wrapping contest, enjoy the live music and food vendors. There will be a marshmallow shooting range. Storytelling will take place in the ‘haunted’ Glendale Schoolhouse. Get your fortune told.

From the Pumpkin Palooza website:
“Last year, downtown Sparks played host to more than 5,000 people, enjoying good family time. And a heckuva lot of pumpkins! Please join us in thanking the sponsors who made this all possible! And mark your calendar for Sunday, October 26 for an even more exciting time!”

Admission to the festival is free, but you’ll need pocket money for many of the activities. See more details, derby rules, and photos from last year’s festival at the Pumpkin Palooza website.

Pumpkin Palooza is a harvest festival that benefits the Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living.

Check out my blogs about things to do with kids on http://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
:-)


Kids can do the Great Backyard Bird Count for 2014

January 26, 2014

Kids can count the birds in the backyard! The Great Backyard Bird Count is to be held February 14–17, 2014. Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at www.BirdCount.org. This would be a great classroom or family activity! Here is an instructional video all about what you would need to do from the website of the GBBC (Great Backyard Bird Count). Here’s How to Participate. Here’s GBBC for Kids!

News Release:
January 16, 2014
New York, New York
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, bird watchers from more than 100 countries are expected to participate in the 17th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), February 14–17, 2014. Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at http://www.BirdCount.org. The information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps track the health of bird populations at a scale that would not otherwise be possible. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada.

“People who care about birds can change the world,” said Audubon chief scientist Gary Langham. “Technology has made it possible for people everywhere to unite around a shared love of birds and a commitment to protecting them.”

In North America, GBBC participants will add their data to help define the magnitude of a dramatic irruption of magnificent Snowy Owls. Bird watchers will also be on the lookout for the invasive Eurasian Collared-Dove to see if it has expanded its range again. GBBC observations may help show whether or not numbers of American Crows will continue to rebound after being hit hard by the West Nile virus and whether more insect-eating species are showing up in new areas, possibly because of changing climate.

Last year’s Great Backyard Bird Count shattered records after going global for the first time, thanks to integration with the eBird online checklist program launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab and Audubon. Participants reported their bird sightings from all 7 continents, including 111 countries and independent territories. More than 34.5 million birds and 3,610 species were recorded—nearly one-third of the world’s total bird species documented in just four days.

“This is a milestone for citizen science in so many respects—number of species, diversity of countries involved, total participants, and number of individual birds recorded. We hope this is just the start of something far larger, engaging the whole world in creating a detailed annual snapshot of how all our planet’s birds are faring as the years go by,” said Cornell Lab director Dr. John Fitzpatrick.

“Canadian participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count has increased tremendously in recent years, and it’s wonderful to see this program growing globally,” said Bird Studies Canada President Dr. George Finney. “The count is introducing unprecedented numbers of people to the exciting field of bird watching.”

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature and make a difference for birds. It’s free and easy. To learn more about how to join the count visit http://www.birdcount.org and view the winning photos from the 2013 GBBC photo contest.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible in part by sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.

# # #

Grandpa Ron and I had a Red-tailed Hawk perch on the wall outside a window. I captured 2 pictures of it before he had enough of me and flew off.


… and we always have quail, unless they are hiding…


Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on http://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
:-)


Happy Grandparents’ Day!

September 8, 2013

Happy Granparents’ Day to all the grandparents out there! May you have a joyous day – hopefully shared with your grandkids either via phone or a real visit!


Reno Area Fireworks July 4th 2013

July 4, 2013

There will be several fireworks displays in Northern Nevada celebrating July 4th in style. I’d much rather have people go see the professional shows than to get an accidental fire started due to people playing with illegal ones! It is just too dry to take the chance!

Carson City: after dark at Mills Park
Fallon: ~8:45-9 off Rattlesnake Raceway
Incline Village/Crystal Bay: after dark at Incline Beach
Reno: ~9 pm at Wingfield Park
Sparks: ~9:45 pm off the top of John Ascuaga’s Nugget
Tahoe City: at dusk on Commons Beach
Virginia City: after dusk in the Comstock Hills for 25 minutes

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

Check out my blogs about things to do with kids on http://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
:-)


How to Get to the Mall for Washington DC Fireworks

July 4, 2013

If you haven’t experienced it before, you should check out the the Washington DC fireworks!

For most of us who are not in Washington DC at the moment, we can watch the Washinton DC fireworks on PBS Television tonight: A Capitol Fourth 2013. Every year has been just AWESOME!! PBS TV runs the program live and then re-runs it again for those who missed it! Here is the link: http://www.pbs.org/capitolfourth/

If you are lucky enough to be physically in the neighborhood, here is an article about the best places to see them: gosoutheast.about.com Here is another article: Washingtonian

Here are suggestions for how to get to the Mall: Getting to the Mall Suggestions

Going by car is not suggested. Use public transportation, i.e. take the Metro! Stations nearby include Smithsonian, Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Judiciary Square, Federal Triangle and L’Enfant Plaza. The Smithsonian Metro station will be open all day! It typically takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to clear the Mall after the fireworks.

If you must drive, here are parking garages near the Mall – but I’m not sure all of them will be available: Parking suggestions
MAP

On the 4th of July all visitors must go through security checkpoints to enter the National Mall and areas along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Coolers, backpacks, packages and persons will be subject to inspection. Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages and the use of personal fireworks are prohibited.

Here is an explanation of how fireworks work: http://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/ever-wonder-how-fireworks-work/

Check out ideas and activities to do with kids on http://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
:-)


Better TV Improves Children’s Behavior According to Studies

February 27, 2013

Michelle Healy and Donna Gordon Blankinship both had separate articles hit the streets regarding the latest studies involving young children and TV. Television content DOES affect behavior. No DUH! Michelle Healy’s article was reprinted in the Reno Gazette Journal. I found Donna Blankinship’s article on-line when I googled to find the first one. Here are the two articles:

Michelle Healy’s: Study: Kids’ behavior improves with better TV content

Donna Gordon Blankinship’s: Study: Better TV Might Improve Children’s Behavior

Michelle Healy also mentions another (New Zealand) study in (I’m guessing) her original article for USAToday: USAToday. I found an abstract for it here: Childhood and Adolescent Television Viewing and Antisocial Behavior in Early Adulthood

Check out my other blogs about things to do with kids on http://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
:-)


Congratulations to Pete Freischlag – recognized as 2012 Coach of the Year by the Illinois High School Tennis Coaches Association

February 3, 2013

Way to go, Pete!! Congrats to you, your teams and your very, very special family and family ties! So proud of your achievements! Never in my days of sitting in Jim Rees’ math classes in 1968-1971 or babysitting your wife, Deb, and her brothers when they were little, would I have expected to be so proud of her hubby, the tennis teams at Downers Grove South, DGHSS itself, and the impact you have made for all the world – i.e. sharing your son with Central College ! Fine accomplishment! I thoroughly enjoyed the Suburban Life article!

Check out my other blogs about things to do with kids on http://mygrandmasue.wordpress.com by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!
:-)


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