Attraction Thursday Rundown

Alright everyone, it is time for the final Thursday Rundown of March 2021. Fair warning: Next week’s Rundown will fall on April 1 so just keep that in mind when you scan the five topics. But before we get to those five topics, we need to get to these five topics…

Magnet Kit – Your local library most likely offers so much more than just books. Last week we checked out a STEM kit from our Spokane Valley County Library. This particular STEM kit was all about magnets. It contained magnet wands, a magnetic horseshoe, alphabet magnets, several magnet books, and more. Sloan loved experimenting with the push and pull of the magnets and was even inspired to look around our house for other magnetic materials. We played a few different games with the kit and just enjoyed the cheap entertainment we got from it.

Sloan messing around with her magnet STEM kit we checked out from the Spokane County Library District.

That’s A Lot of Rubber Bands – I came across the below tweet a couple nights ago. Could you imagine spending a grand on rubber bands each week just to wrap your money stacks? Whoever the “rubber band man” was for this enterprise sure must have enjoyed the business.

Hard to imagine rolling in so much cash that you need to spend $1,000 in cash just to organize it.

National Waffle Day – Okay, let me frank…I am a pancake guy. With that said, I definitely don’t hate waffles. One thing I really miss about living in the South is Waffle House. However, there was another waffle-centric “restaurant” that I enjoyed going to. Back when I lived in Missoula a fro-yo place opened called Yo Waffle. It was just like any other fro-yo place except that it had…well…waffles. You would walk in, pour the batter to make your own waffle, and top it with all the frozen yogurt and candy that you wanted. Can you say heart attack? On second thought, let’s just say this—happy National Waffle Day!

This was my first ever meal at Waffle House. Smothered hash browns and a peanut butter waffle.

NCAA Tourney Reaction – The NCAA Tournament field has been cut to 16 teams and two out of the three universities I threw my support behind last week are still dancing. It might come as little surprise to many that tourney-favorite Gonzaga took care of business in its first two games. But the other team in the Sweet 16 who I am still cheering for fits the bill of a Cinderella. Oregon State will take on Loyola this weekend with an Elite 8 appearance on the line. Let’s go Beavers! It has been fun watching Wayne Tinkle, a great guy who I got to know when we both worked in the athletic department at the University of Montana, coach his team to some big wins. I hope by Tuesday night that the Bulldogs and Beavers are both in the Final Four.

At the University of Montana there was a big start of the year picnic called Welcomefeast. I was responsible for coordinating the athletics portion of the event. One of my responsibilities was to find a guest speaker and Coach Tinkle never hesitated to accept my invitation when I would ask him.

Doesn’t Make Cents – Another cliché news story that media always bite on is the tired tale of a debt being paid in pennies. Whether it is an angry citizen paying a fine at city hall or someone making good on a lost monetary bet, the ultimate way to stick it to the collector is to pay in copper coins. A story that made the rounds today centered on a disgruntled auto shop manager who paid a fired employee his final $915 paycheck in pennies. The manager dropped off a wheelbarrow with the payment at the guy’s house and fled. When the ex-employee found his payment, he noticed that the pennies were covered in motor oil. Okay, I must admit this is the first time I have never heard about someone actually adding a substance to the coins but I still think it is tired and juvenile. Let’s retire this unoriginal act of passive aggressiveness.

The ex-employee went outside his house to discover a wheelbarrow full of pennies.

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That’s a wrap for this week. Hope you get some nice weather this weekend and maybe a waffle or two. Don’t Blink.

Returning to Our Happy Place

Life is all about small victories and I feel like we notched one yesterday. Sid, Sloan, Beau, and I walked into the Spokane Valley Public Library for the first time since we moved to Washington. Our delay strolling through those doors wasn’t due to a reading aversion but, as you can probably guess, COVID-19. With our state graduating to Phase 2 in its re-opening plan, the Spokane County Library District found it appropriate enough to welcome back all the book worms.

We finally had the opportunity to go inside the Spokane Valley Library on Monday night.

Although we appreciated the curbside service offered for the past several months, there is nothing like pulling the books from the shelf yourself. I am not kidding you, Sloan and I were counting down the days until the library opened with the same anticipation that she is counting down the days until her birthday (minus the big countdown board). You see, the library is a special place for the two of us. We spent a lot of time playing and checking out books at our local Myrtle Beach library. With the shuttering of the libraries here in Spokane, it did feel like there was somewhat of a void. Call us crazy, but we would have taken the library before Chuck E. Cheese and the trampoline park opened (both of which swung open their doors before the library).

Sloan strolling the empty Spokane Valley Library on its opening day after being closed because of COVID-19.

Yesterday our family pulled up to the library for “opening day” at 5:35 p.m. Although it would close at 6 p.m., we made the most of our short time. Sid got her first ever non-South Carolina library card, Sloan found a “Corduroy” story, Beau pulled books from the bottom shelves, and I basked in the welcoming environment of a public library.

Beau grabbing books from the shelves at the Spokane Valley Library.

We had the whole place to ourselves. It was as if the red carpet was pulled out for our triumphant return to the library…up until the point that one of the librarians told us we had five minutes left before they had to kick us out.

The stack I started making of the books we were going to check out.

Like I said, we made good use of the short time we were inside those walls. We checked out 15 items, including a book just for Sid that allowed her to use her card for the first time. We raced home and after getting the kids ready for bed we read two of our new library books.

We ready “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” and “Corduroy Lost and Found” last night.

Thank goodness the library is back open. There will surely be numerous trips, most of them taking place on the weekend well before closing time, in the near future. Don’t Blink.

Fruity Pebbles Thursday Rundown

Greetings, friends! I hope your March is off to a wonderful start. Speaking of “starts,” let’s begin this Thursday Rundown…

Online Checkout – A lot of people get their kicks from buying stuff online. Now there isn’t anything wrong with that, but I prefer not to spend the money. Instead, I have a different method of feeling the satisfaction of ordering something online but without the cost. I enjoy checking out library books online. You can literally browse thousands of titles and simply tap the box next to whatever you desire. The next day you just go to your local library for “curbside service” and they bring your books out to you. This has allowed us to feed Sloan’s hunger for new books but to be honest, despite the pleasant feeling of ordering online, I am excited that Spokane County Libraries will open their buildings next Monday!

Some of the recent books we checked out from our local library via the online system.

Fruity Pebbles Chocolate – Add cereal-infused chocolate as another candy option for your sweet tooth. This Fruity Pebbles white chocolate bunny I saw at Walgreens actually appeals to me. Perhaps later down the road I will try it but it made me think about other cereal chocolate bunnies I would like to try. What about a Reese’s Puffs bunny? Or a Cinnamon Toast Crunch one? Cookie Crisp? As long as it is not a Raisin Bran bunny, I think I would pretty much be up for anything.

This sounds good to me. But what about other cereal flavors?

Dollar Store Buy – Here is another Dollar Tree hack for those of us with small children. If you want an activity that will keep your toddler occupied for a half hour and is not messy, go to the toy aisle and pick up a Pom-Pom Stick-On Activity. Sloan loves “Trolls” so she chose the Poppy version. The board itself is sticky and all you have to do is place the colored “pom-poms” in their appropriate spots on the design. Both engaging and cheap, your child will be proud of their board after it is finished.

Sloan loved doing this pom-pom stick-on activity.

Nomadland – This week I watched the film that won the Golden Globe for best drama film—“Nomadland.” After I finished the movie I looked up some of the reaction on social media and one person tweeted along the lines of “A simple movie about simple people doing simple things.” In my opinion, that pretty much sums it up. The film follows a lady living in a van who travels around the west working various jobs and living in various communities. It is a slow, no-nonsense production. Do I think it is the best movie of the year? Um, perhaps during a pandemic when fewer movies were produced. What stood out to me were some of the images from the film. Fern, the main character of the film played by Frances McDormand, did a lot of mundane things but it came across as art. Whether she was preparing food, cleaning a bathroom, or driving silently in her van it was all captured in a certain way. If you have Hulu, give it a shot.

“Nomadland” is being called the film of the year.

Marilyn Advice – Every now and then, I share the advice of Parade columnist Marilyn vos Savant. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, she has the world’s highest recorded IQ. This past Sunday someone asked her if freezing food items is actually a viable solution for extending their best-by date. She responded by saying absolutely. Essentially, according to Marilyn, freezing an item will “freeze” its natural process of going stale. Read below for her exact response but this is welcome news to someone like me who swears by freezing food.

It is not a myth, freezing your food will delay it from going bad.

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I appreciate you spending a few minutes on my blog this evening. Enjoy your weekend and please continue to pray for the complete eradication of the pandemic. Don’t Blink.