Saturday, October 9, 2021

Christmas Thoughts, Everyday

Even though last year had its challenges with everyone maintaining social distancing and not being allowed in groups, Fay still enjoyed the time she had with her two daughters. But they did seem sad as they helped put away the ornaments into their boxes, and put the tree back into storage.

“That’s it,” said Fay to her two kids. “We’re done for another year.”

Her two daughters looked sadly around the bare living room.

Fay saw that, and tried to think up ways to cheer them up. “Hey, soon it will be Valentine’s Day! We can decorate for that.” But there was a less than enthusiastic response from them. 

“It’s not the same.” They left the room.

About six months later, July came.

“Can we do Christmas in July?” asked her eldest daughter.

Fay looked up from the screen and saw her two daughters standing there. They were holding some gifts they had gotten for Christmas last year. “Can’t see why not!” she replied, knowing that often stores had “Christmas in July” promotions happening, and that for a few weeks it was acceptable to have some Christmas decorations up. The southern hemisphere of the world also had their Christmas in July, so it made sense for the rest of the world to celebrate too.

Fay and her two daughters had fun that month. But it was more than shopping for a few small gifts, and putting up the tree, and decorating the living room again. It was all about being together, and putting in that effort to be together.

“Life can get busy,” Fay had explained to her daughters. “It’s not that I don’t want to be here but I have a responsibility to earn income so I can put a roof over our heads, and put food on the table, and whatever else you gals need.”

Her two daughters smiled at her. “We get it, Mom,” said her eldest. “I’m glad we set aside some time this month to be together. I’ll see my friends again in September.”

“Yes,” said the younger daughter. “It’s too bad we can’t celebrate Christmas every day.”

The family continued on with their meal, before cleaning up for the night.

It was now near the end of the month. Fay sadly removed the packing boxes from storage.

“My daughter is right, why can’t we just celebrate Christmas all year long?” she thought to herself. She looked down at all the boxes, before a lightbulb popped into her mind.

“Hey, daughters!” she called out. “Come and help me with these boxes! I have an idea!”

An hour later, and all three were standing by the recycling bins outside. The boxes had all been flattened and folded, and were in the plastic bins.

Her two daughters looked confusedly at Fay.

"We can celebrate Christmas every day. There’s nothing stopping us.”

Her two daughters looked at each other and smiled. The family had a big group hug together. And that was how peace, love, and happiness flowed throughout the world.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Spooky Haunted History of Ohio State University

by Mel Dawn (Order your content here)

Ohio State University has been around since 1870, located in Columbus, Ohio. What’s surprising is that it’s been ranked the 13th most haunted place in the world. And “13” is certainly a privileged ranking to have for spooky happenings!

While many locations in the US have haunted happenings, it’s surprising that Ohio State University has more than one story. Over the past 151 years, Ohio State University has accumulated many intriguing stories about hauntings, ghosts, and the paranormal. These stories continue to be passed around even today.

Back in 2018, the Department of English's Student Communications Team started doing research on these stories, so that we know in fact that some of them may be true. (1.) They have accumulated over 15+ stories, and this is just a small handful. Just what are some of these spooky stories about?

Some stories are related to the paranormal and are focused more on anger than a ghost. At the Hopkins Hall, often angry messages will be found in the elevator, remnants of the past when a student got trapped there overnight.

There may even still be caretakers here, who let the students inside buildings, but then they suddenly disappear. These descriptions often lead to people who have been dead for years, but who still walk the campus, helping out.

Sometimes mischief is encouraged among the students. In 1958, students stole a body from a shed, and placed him upon a bench with a newspaper over his head. We are certain Eugene appreciated the fresh air, but unfortunately, the students were arrested. 

Many of the stories focus on the professors at the university, such as Dr. Orton who still haunts the tower by making noises and chilling the air, or Dr. Clark who committed suicide after a bad investment deal went wrong. Some ghosts even have family members joining them, such as Dr. Clark’s wife, whose ghost has been spotted on Mirror Lake many times.

Some stories even involve famous serial killers, such as Jeffrey Dahmer, who dropped out. Is it possible that some of his victims haunt the campus?

No matter what you believe, when we examine the stories there have been many interesting events happen in the past, which can lead to some interesting stories in the present involving ghosts, hauntings, and paranormal activity.



Thursday, February 18, 2021

Hobbies on a Dime – Making Dollhouse Miniatures

 Hobbies on a Dime – Making Dollhouse Miniatures

by Mel Dawn

Have you been stuck at home with limited resources and been trying to find something for you or the family to do? Crafting is a great way to stay busy, but it can be expensive too. Dollhouses and miniatures are rapidly becoming popular again. But don’t worry if you don’t already have a dollhouse, as you can make what is called a “room box”, which is just one room from any standard cardboard box.

Here’s how to get started with some common objects and repurposed items from around your home. 

Determine Scale

In the dollhouse miniature world, scale is extremely important. The most popular scale is 1:12: that’s one inch for every 12 inches or foot. For example, if your microwave oven is one foot wide, you can make a toy microwave from a tiny bit of cardboard that’s one inch wide.

If you own a ton of action figures, the common scale is 1:18. Barbie is 1:6. If you start making items, don’t worry if an item seems a bit out of scale, as that’s all part of the fun. 

Supplies Needed

Most people will already have basic supplies at home. Set aside a pencil and ruler, tape, and glue. Have a look through your office or craft supplies. Old cards or scrapbook paper will make great room box walls. The great thing about miniature-making is that you need only a tiny amount of supplies. 

Re-purposed Items

Dig out your recycling bin and have a look through it. Save any small bottle caps, cardboard, and plastic containers. Have a look through your junk drawer. If you have a ton of screws, o-rings, paper clips, etc. you may also get ideas on what to make. If a small appliance has broken, you’ll have wonderful fun taking it apart. (Tip: make sure it’s unplugged first and avoid the power source!)

Miniature Ideas

You can start small, by making some miniature books from recycled magazines with cardboard covers. Plastic bottle caps can be for a kitchen waste bin. Used straws can be repurposed for candle holders or lamps. 

After you’ve created your first miniature item you’ll start thinking up many more ideas on what else to make. Soon you’ll be setting aside old or used items that others will call trash, but you’ll call treasure. You’ll know you’ve graduated to dollhouse miniature expert when you see everyday items repurposed as something entirely different.

Have fun with your new eco-friendly dollhouse miniature hobby! 

In image:

Bathroom sink made from deodorant cap, paper straw, bottle cap, lip balm insert, scrap wire, sequin, real soap (Purchased: 2 gold taps).

Pillow and slippers: scrap fabric and ribbon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Stuck for a Short Story or Book Idea? Here's an Idea! Story Prompt Ahead...

Even the most talented of writers often gets stuck for ideas. Here's a story prompt for you.

"A chemical explosion destroyed a city, turning most residents into zombies. Total chaos. Story location is in a post-apocalyptic city named OKU City. Zombies walk the blood-filled streets during the night, while thugs roam the city during the sunlight. Nobody is safe. The only person who can save them is Kari, a woman with angelic powers."

I give you free reign! If you write something, please let me know!