Showing posts with label fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fun. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

March 17th St. Patrick's Day Some Facts and Fiction You May Not Know!

So Today is St. Patrick's Day and I hope you are sporting the wearing of something Green!  A Holiday Review.

So what do we know about St. Patrick and what is just added fun for all of us?

Truth be told St. Patrick was a 5th Century missionary from England, sent to bring the message of the Gospels to Ireland.  St. Patrick's Day is celebrated today because it was the day he died in circa 492 (no one is sure about the year).  
                              Stained Glass Window of St. Patrick from Junction City Ohio , found on Widipedia

Patrick's start in Ireland was not a pleasant one,  he was captured by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland as a slave.  He was about 16 years old at the time and not a particularly devout follower of the Christ.  His time as a slave in Ireland would lead him to find his faith as a Christian and from that point onwards he was quick to declare that Christianity and belief in God was the way to live.

Historians are not sure of too much regarding Patrick, as much of the written works that speak of him no longer exist.  The earliest writings seems to be a letter to Pope Boniface IV around the year 613.  

So how do we have all these "symbols" that are used extensively to celebrate St. Patrick's Day today?

Patrick is credited with teaching the Irish about the Holy Trinity using the shamrock as a way to explain the ideology/theology of 3 unique persons in 1 God.  The pagan people in Ireland had many triple deities, so using the shamrock aided him in his evangelization efforts.  

Patrick is also given the credit for ridding Ireland of it's snakes.  If you look at historical texts you will find that another Irish saint should have that credit(and even that is questionable).  It was only in the 13th century that credit seems to have shifted to St. Patrick.  In fact there evidence that Ireland never had snakes, so there was nothing for him to banish.

There is also the tale of his walking stick.  No doubt as he travelled, he used a staff or walking stick to aid his footsteps.  As he was moving from place to place in Ireland, he came to a place now known as Aspatria.  Legend has it that he stuck his walking stick into the ground and it took so long to teach the people here, that his stick had taken root by the time he was ready to move on.

What is certain is that there isn't a whole lot of St. Patrick's Story that can be held as truth, but the 300 churches and hundreds of thousands that were baptized by him helped make Ireland a Christian nation.

Today we are not so religious about St. Patrick's Day, rather we love to hang onto the "fun" side of Irish culture and traditions.  Because St. Patrick was given credit for using the Shamrock for teaching purposes, and its green, both of these became stalwarts of the Irish identity beyond the borders of Ireland proper.  One of Ireland's claims to fame is that it is the land of a thousand different shades of green!  If you have ever seen an picture of Ireland from the air, you will know that is true.

But let's have some fun now....Why do we wear green on St. Patrick's Day?
Well, this hails back to the belief in Leprechauns, which is said to come from some of the Druid folklore (pre St. Patrick).  These Leprechauns were: little people, with magical powers that could serve both good and evil. The Celtic folktales, told of  their trickery that would keep their much fabled treasures safe.  It is also said that the wearing of the green is directly related to these little creatures in that they are not able to see the color green.  Therefore you were safe from their trickery if you wore the green!

                                                                          Photo credit Spencer Platt/Getty  New York St. Patrick's Day Parade 2015


Everyone seems to be wearing green with sayings like "Kiss me I'm Irish!"  In past years, when there isn't a pandemic to keep us away, there were parades and music marking St. Patrick's Day.  The first St. Patrick's Day parade according to History.com was held in New York City in 1895. (There is a debate that there may have been a St. Patrick's Day Parade held in St. Augustine, Florida earlier than 1895) No doubt many Irish immigrants (who came during the potato famine in Ireland 1845) were the inspiration for this reveling  of cultural identity in their new home.  It was a balm to them to celebrate their heritage even though time were tough and not everyone welcomed the Irish.  


While we think of corned beef and cabbage as being a typical Irish Dinner, the truth is that in Ireland they will have Ham and Cabbage. When the Irish came to America, many were very poor so they substituted Corned beef for the Ham (it was cheaper).  Today, this is a staple meal to serve for St. Patrick's Day Dinner.

As with many things in North America, we have made St. Patrick's Day our own.  We can see people enjoying green beer or drinking the traditional Guinness while enjoying Irish step dancers and marching bands.  

Chicago even dyes their river green in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  Now that is a clever trick worthy of any leprechauns in the city.

St. Patrick's Day has become a day not just for the Irish, but for anyone who loves a good time, a great party and a reason to celebrate.  You don't have to be Irish to enjoy all the sights and sounds of a wonderful day that just happens to come on March 17th.  



After a long winter, it's nice to have something "Green" to celebrate.  Wear your Shamrocks and Green with pride and have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!











Some lovely items for your home to help you celebrate everything Irish.


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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Take a Break and Solve Some Riddles

Fun Combined with Distraction - 2020's Prescription

With so many challenges in 2020, finding distracting things to do has been priority number one for my family and me.

Simply enjoying each other's company and being grateful for what we do have has been a priority in our life these past several months. But truth be told, it's still a conscious effort to keep the mind clear and hope alive. Life has a way of sneaking up and challenging our sanity. Sometimes getting back to the basics is the best solution.

So that brings me to riddles. Lol. Truth.

I decided to write riddle books as a form of entertainment and distraction.  Strangely enough, I started writing them in late 2019. Premonition maybe? To date, I've self-published five riddle books. My latest book is Halloween Riddles, featured below.

Available on Amazon
Turn the World Off With a Smile

When I created the books, and the related website, "StumpedRiddles.com," my tag line for both became, 'turn the world off with a smile.'

My latest project, Halloween Riddles, was a time-consuming venture. It involved approximately three months from writing to publishing. It was published on Amazon in August 2020.

This book features eighty riddles divided into eight chapters. The chapters are Unseen Halloween, Dead Halloween, Costumes, Halloween Food, Halloween Decorating, A Famous Cartoon, Halloween Emotions, and Halloween Noises.

The book was written for the avid Halloween fans and for parties.

You Can Also Solve Riddles Online

I built StumpedRiddles.com to coincide with the published riddle books.

The site features a growing list of originally written riddles to solve. When you need a mindless activity, head over at your leisure to tackle a few.

Some of the riddles are unique to the website, while others are from the already published riddle books.

A Growing List of Original, Personally Written Online Riddles to Keep You Busy Here

Here's one of the riddles you'll find on the website:

On StumpedRiddles.com

Did you guess the answer?

Oh, what the heck, I'll give you one more to ponder:

On StumpedRiddles.com

Riddles might seem mundane, but these days, that's a feature, not a bug!

I created the books for multiple purposes: Parties, Games, Loot Bags, Stocking Stuffers, Mental Challenges, Family Gatherings, and of course, Distraction.

Have fun, and lose yourself in brain teasers :)





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Sunday, November 24, 2019

How to Write a Riddle? Six Basic Tips

A Review of 6 Tips on How You Can Write Your Own Riddles

Have you ever written a riddle? It's a crazy knack I happen to have. Today I'll share some of the riddles I've created with a few tips on how you can write your own.

Why Riddles?

Along with sayings for greeting cards, I've been writing riddles for most of my life. The ability to toss out one-liners seems to be a genetic anomaly in my family. My dad could make people laugh on a dime; he was hilarious! That chip landed on my brother, and he too can toss out funny lines anywhere, any time.

It seems the verbal skills possessed by my dad and brother transferred to me in writing form.

So why riddles? Here's why: This world is too serious right now, so to break-up the constant barrage of negative coming at us, I decided to create books about riddles, quotes, and sayings. But in this article, I'll be sharing some tips on how to write a riddle.

An Example of One of My Personally Written Riddles:

I am a word that has three letters,
but I'm actually six letters long,
I'm used when thinking or trying to figure
what may have gone wrong,
here is a clue that may help you,
four of my letters are the same,
and the first three letters spell a body part, 
or an animal's name,
What word am I?

(Take a guess in the comment section - try not to peek at other comments in case they've guessed the answer correctly!)

How to Write a Riddle

1. Choose the Answer First

Start with the answer. Pick the word you want to write the riddle about, then go from there.

2. Choose a Word that Has Multiple Meanings or can be Expressed Multiple Ways

It's easier to write a riddle about a word that has more than one meaning (spelled the same, or spelled differently). For example, Aunt/Ant, Fly, Park, Plant. These types of words give you the ability to create the riddle from various angles.

Here's an example of one of my riddles with an answer that has multiple meanings:

It's said we all have one
those who believe never doubt,
that everyone is included,
no one is left out,
we also say it to mean
"there's only one,"
and when it's spelled differently
we use it to run,
wait, don't be confused because
I'll give you some pity,
when spoken out loud
it's the name of a city,
What word am I?

3. It Doesn't Have to Rhyme

Some people can rhyme anything, and others, not so much. Your riddle will work either way. If you're not great at rhyming, think about writing the riddle with a rhythm.

Here's an example of another of my riddles using rhythm:

You write them
you get them
you give them
you hate them
you love them
you dread them
you need them
but you probably
never ever want them
What am I?

4. It's Easier to Write Riddles About Things You Can't Physically See

Try writing a riddle using a word that represents the unseen such as, thoughts, ideas, gravity, love, grace, nasty, and so on. Think 'invisible' - You get the picture.

5. Think About What People Can Relate to with the Word/Answer

When you're writing your riddle, think about how people relate to the word. As an example, the riddle in point number three above is obscure and can technically have more than one answer (although there is a specific answer to it).

In riddle two, the meanings are different, the answer is spelled multiple ways, and the clues are more specific. As an example the specific clues are; everyone has one, it means just one, you use it to run, it's the name of a city.

6. Test Your Riddles Out on Your Friends and Family

See how difficult it is for your people to answer; if they never solve any of them, they're probably too complicated. Mix it up, create both easier riddles and more challenging riddles. For Thanksgiving, my family used my riddles for a fun after-dinner game. The game was to see who could solve them the fastest. It was quite comical to hear them yelling over each other.

If the above riddles are frustrating you, there's more where that came from here, and you'll be guided to the riddle answers from that page as well.

Your Assignment:

Write a riddle that has the answer, "Park" - have fun!

By the way, in my book (A Party Game #STUMPED), you'll find my riddle for the word "Park" on page 70 (it's riddle 56).


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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summertime Learning Fun

Summertime Learning Fun happens when you spend some time together, exploring our world and answering all those questions that come up.  Like what's that Noise?  

If your children are anything like mine, and I'm sure they are, summertime means adventures.  It means spending a lot of time outdoors.  It means looking for things to do and exploring.  It means turning off the TV or computer games and getting back to nature in the great outdoors.  It could mean swimming every day, or going to the park, or camping.  Where ever you go, there is something to learn about!  

What else can you do?

Summertime opens up a whole new world for our children to learn.  While the kids are looking to 
relax and have fun, they are also looking for something that catches their imaginations or their need to know about their world.  To that end, most families will be spending some very special together time while on holidays. No baseball games, soccer practices, dance classes or other interruptions, just good old family time.     


Learning takes on a whole new meaning when summertime rolls around.  No "textbooks" and no real "agenda" means that learning is done on a whatever crosses my path and intrigues me basis. That can even happen at home too!  As I am writing, I can hear the toads singing in my pond. I need to learn more about them, so when my grandchildren come to visit, I can tell them some things that I'm sure they don't know.


Be Prepared!  


As parents who prepare to take our children on hikes and overnight camping trips, we need to be ready to answer questions that are sure to pop up.  Like "What's that noise?"  Even a trip to the zoo can be filled with questions that need answers.  Be prepared to either answer the questions or make note of the questions and when you are home again, look up the answers  together, so that both you and your child will  have learnt something new and you will have done it together.  This is what makes family memories.  We still laugh at some of the things that happened when we went places with our children. Now they are doing the same thing with their children and telling stories about when they were younger.  It's time to pass on family history as well as having time to enjoy nature.

Playing games with the kids can be so much fun too. We would take ours camping and find that the welcome station had many printouts for educational purposes. We would make the most out of these "handouts". One camping trip, they had a print out of all the birds that nested in the area, with hints for the kids. We would go on hikes and try to spot nesting areas and then spotting the birds too. There were print outs of the different trees and their leaves. We made a collection and even did bark rubbings. Have you ever stopped and looked at all the different types of bark on trees? It is fascinating! When the kids found what they were looking for, they would take a picture to go along with their leaves and bark rubbings, carefully noting the type of tree and all the nuances of it's growth. So much to learn, just from a tree! Birds and reptiles, amphibians and mammals of the area were all duly recorded. If we needed to learn more, a note was made in our notebook to look it up when we got back home. The kids loved their nature hikes, because it wasn't just walking through the woods, it was stopping and seeing what made up those woods. The trees, birds, bugs, flowers and everything that was in our path, was food for our "Discovery Book".


Guide to Free Campgrounds: Includes Campgrounds $12 and Under in the United States (Don Wright's Guide to Free Campgrounds)

So What Can you Do to Prepare for a great Outdoor Adventure?

Well first and foremost, check out the link above, to find some low cost campgrounds. It's a great way to pinpoint where your family will spend some quality time together, without breaking the bank.
This guide will help you look for a place that has some great outdoor adventures, be it hiking in the mountains, camping by a lake, or visiting a beach somewhere new. Go with the eye of an adventurer. Take along a "Discovery Book" a journal where you can make notes, tuck in leaves or flowers, keep a daily diary of what you saw, whether it was birds, bugs, beetles or trees. Answer the questions that you know the answers to and make a note to find the answers to those questions that you don't know the answers to. When you are finished your holiday, you will have a great little diary on what everyone saw and learnt about during your time in the great outdoors.



My Travel Journal

Above all, be ready to have some fun, make some memories and enjoy each others company in the great, beautiful and special outdoors.  Happy Summer Everyone!


Pictures courtesy of Pixaby, free stock photos. 





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