Friday, January 29, 2016

Ways to mark a hiding place

1. With an X. It's a classic, simple mark to remind you of buried treasure.
2. With something slightly discolored. Whether it be bricks or wood panels, having one that is a shade or two different than the others can be a subtle clue.
3. A plant. If you won't be back for a while, than using a more permanent marker like a tree or rosebush is useful. Just be sure that you have a way to recognize which tree or bush you used.
4. A flag. It isn't very subtle, but sometimes you don't need subtlety.
5. A trail marker. Depending on what you're hiding, it may be small enough to hide within your marker.
6. A picture frame. Another classic, which doesn't have to aways hide a safe.
7. With your favorite book. If your hiding place is in a library, what better way to remember where it is than the title of your favorite book?
8. With a rug. If the hiding place is in the floor, it might be easy to cover with a rug.
9. By a landmark. Know a funny rock that looks like a thumb? Why not make that the marker that will lead to your hiding place?
10. A sign. Sometimes, a nice sign is all you need to find what you've hid. Especially if it says, "This is the hiding place".

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


The road was hard, the journey long.
Nasty thorns were in way, bringing with them great sorrow and dismay.
The cliff was steep, and the river wide.
There were times when we wanted to hide.
The sun beat down upon our backs.
While chilly nights reminded us of all we lacked.
Our shoes grew worn, and our courage waned.
If only we held on, there would be so much to gain.
A brighter sky, and calmer waves.
A restful place for the weary brave.
We lifted our chins, and marched on and on.
Through twilit night, and far beyond the dawn.
Our hearts were so heavily burdened by many long years.
Clogged by moments of frightened tears.
The way, it was rough.
But we learned so much stuff.
Though many said we were wrong, that the journey was too long.
We held on.
We stayed strong.
And finally found the place where we belonged.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Uses for almonds

1. As a lactose-free milk.
2. A healthy snack.
3. An extra crunch to enhance a chocolate bar.
4. Crumbled on a cake.
5. It's the rocky part of rocky road ice cream.
6. To make almond cookies. Without the almonds, it'd be just a cookie.
7. French macarons. Without the almond flour, it would just be a meringue.
8. As game pieces. Because at a party, sometimes you need more pieces than the game comes with.
9. As part of a trail mix. So that you'll have energy when you need it.
10. As ammo for your slingshot. Because sometimes you need something other than rocks.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The dark cave

The cave was dark.
It had always been dark, for as long as Newt could remember. And his memory was excellent.
Newt scurried around the cave, dodging around boulders with the ease of long practice.
Newt had never known anything other than the dark. Sure, he'd heard the bats chitter about stars, and a couple of rats complain about sunlight, but Newt didn't know what those were.
Stars? Sunlight? Why should he care about sure things, when all he needed was here in the cave?
So Newt was content to go about his day like all the days before.
At least, until he saw the thing.
It was an odd thing, moving about the cave like it wasn't sure where to go.
What was even stranger was that wherever the thing went, other things appeared. A strange lumpy thing where Newt knew a boulder should be, a small creature that scurried away from the thing exactly as Newt knew a rat would.
What's more, another new thing seemed to be attached to the first. Walking about on two legs, it held the first new thing out from it.
The thing on two legs pointed the odd thing towards Newt.
It froze, then seemed to find its voice.
"Dra- dragon!" It screamed, dropping the odd thing as it turned and ran.
The odd thing gave a sputtering sound, and died.
Curious, Newt followed after the two leg thing. He easily avoided the boulders that that two leg thing kept hitting, and wondered why it didn't try to avoid them.
After a while, Newt started wondering if the two leg thing was going to stop running. Weren't there more exciting things it could do?
Then quite suddenly, the two leg creature hit the wall. Newt could have told it the wall was there, for the wall had always been there. He didn't know why the creature was continuing to hit the wall with its upper limbs.
At least, not until a loud crack sounded from the wall.
A chunk of way swung outwards, and a blinding, burning thing pierced Newt's eyes.
He let out a roar and twisted his head away, trying to hide from the burning thing.
It seemed the opposite of dark, and he did not like it.
He stumbled backwards, and heard the two leg thing head through the missing chunk of wall. Why would it head toward the blinding thing? Wasn't it getting burned?
There was another crack, and the horrible thing was gone.
Newt blinked and shook his head, strange spots filling his vision.
He moved toward the wall, and checked that it was safely solid once more.
Whatever had just happened, he hoped it never would happen again.
For he liked the dark, and the peaceful quiet of the cave.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Places to hide from a giant

1. In his ear. It may not be very clean, but if the giant is large enough, this makes for a quick hiding place. Just don't make the ear itchy, or else you have to dodge a scratching finger.
2. In a dollhouse. Even giant daughters enjoy playing with dolls. So long as the girls don't decide to play with the dollhouse, you could hide out in there for days without being found.
3. In the pantry. It'll give you easier access to food while you plan an escape. Other than having to hide whenever a giantess gets ready to cook, all you have to worry about is the gigantic rats.
4. Underneath the furniture. In almost any room in a giant's castle, you should be able to find a table or shelf to hide underneath. Just don't hide under a pillow.
5. A ship in a bottle. This is a risky hiding place, as the smooth glass of the bottle makes getting back out difficult. But with the proper gear and planning, it'll provide a wonderful place to hide your ill-gotten loot.
6. In the garden. Another risky hiding place, as the bugs may the same size as you. But the fresh air and fresh produce make it appealing for the outdoorsy type.
7. In a matchbox. Sometimes the best hiding places are in plan sight of the giant. Although some do question the sanity of one who would hide in an object likely to be used often by the giant.
8. In a hole in the wall. It is much safer to hide in places the giant can't easily get to. But watch out for other dangers that can fit where giants can't, like the rats.
9. In the giant's pocket. A dangerous place to hide, but can be useful if you need to travel quickly. Just don't wiggle too much, or the giant might notice you're there.
10. In his treasure room. Depending on what the giant considers to be treasure, you may find yourself with countless places to hide. Or you may just find yourself stuck in a roomful of gold coins.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fargo the giant

The giant known as Fargo couldn't sleep.
He tossed and turned in his bed above the clouds, worry fogging his mind. For his new favorite pet, an odd little creature called Jack, had vanished this morning.
Fargo had searched everywhere in his castle for little Jack. The matchbox, the kitchen, the treasury, and even the stable. He'd even checked the bottom of his shoes!
But Jack was nowhere to be found.
He'd had the thought throughout the day to search around the strange beanstalk which had appeared the same day Jack did, but Fargo had ignored it. He'd seen through the kitchen window that little Jack wasn't hiding around that scrawny plant.
Now in the restless night, that thought returned.
"Go to the beanstalk."
Fargo shifted in the bed, lifting one hand to itch his right ear. That had been bothering him since the morning, but Fargo wasn't one to care much for cleanliness.
"Go to the beanstalk." The thought came again. Such a quiet, insistent thought.
Shifting once more, Fargo the giant got out of bed. It wouldn't hurt to at least look around the beanstalk, since sleep didn't seem to be coming.
So Fargo lumbered through his castle, passing empty rooms. He wondered when his wife would get back from visiting her sister. Hopefully he found Jack before then. His wife would surely love such an odd little creature.
Going outside, a brisk wind howled and tugged at his clothes. Hopefully little Jack wouldn't be out in this weather. That would be horrible!
The garden seemed deserted as Fargo approached the scrawny beanstalk. He scratched his itchy right ear, and bent down to search the plant.
It was so much smaller than anything else in the garden, yet the growth was more than he'd have expected from a plant only two days old.
Peering at the beanstalk, Fargo poked the cloudy ground near its base. There was a little hole there, small enough that something Jack's size could have fallen into it. Hopefully he hadn't, for there was nothing beneath the clouds.
His ear itched painfully, and Fargo groaned as he scratched it again. He'd never liked gardening, that was his wife's hobby. He was too tired to look at plants in the dark anyway.
Something tickled his arm as Fargo stood. He brushed at it, sneezing. The plants didn't help his allergies very much either.
He'd investigate that hole at the beanstalk's base in the morning. That decided, Fargo turned to head back inside. The itchiness in his ear was fading now, so perhaps it had been his allergies acting up again.

What Fargo the giant didn't see as he went inside was a young boy hurrying down to the hole at the beanstalk's base. Covered in a sticky yellow goop, the boy couldn't help but shiver as he glanced toward the retreating giant.
"Never again." The boy named Jack muttered, climbing the beanstalk in a quick decent toward the land far below the clouds. "Mother was right. Treasure isn't worth getting coated with earwax."

Friday, January 8, 2016

For taking turns during a game

1. That way everyone has a chance to play.
2. Because it can be fun to watch others play.
3. Because you can learn new tricks from those you play with.
4. It can make the game easier than when you play alone.
5. It gives you and your friends a chance to laugh at each other.
6. It gives you a chance to collect your thoughts.
7. It means that you can quickly get help when stuck.
8. You get a opportunities for a break.
9. That way no alliance can last more than a few rounds.
10. Because you can plan your next move while waiting for your turn.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The star that fell

The star fell from the sky, burning like a matchstick. Down, down it went, getting ever smaller.
By the time it hit the lake, it was a sizzling stone the size of a mouse.
It reached the bottom, and then did something unusual.
It moved.
Emitting a brilliant light, the star rolled through the muck toward the shore. Still sizzling as it left the water, bits of the star crumbled as it came to a stop.
The remaining bits stretched, moving more like liquid than stone as it took the shape of the first creature it saw on the beach.
Which happened to be a mouse.
New whiskers twitching, the star-mouse sat back on its haunches and tilted its head up to the night sky.
"Landing successful." The star-mouse said, sending its words out in a beam of light. After a few minutes, a star in the sky flickered as another beam of light shot down to the star-mouse.
"Reduce your luminescence and proceed with infiltration." The words entered the star-mouse's mind and were tinged with a lime green that marked them as coming from the bright commander.
It took some time, but the star-mouse figured out how to dim its light to a mere glimmer. Then it scurried away from the lake, toward the human city it had last seen from far above the earth.

Friday, January 1, 2016

To set goals

1. So that you finish a project on time.
2. Because it is good to have something to work toward.
3. Because it can help you to develop a new skill.
4. It gives you something to focus on in your free moments.
5. A goal can help you better manage your time.
6. Because it feels great when you complete a goal.
7. A goal can add purpose to your day.
8. Because improvement doesn't begin until you decide to make a change.
9. Goals can be fun to make and accomplish.
10. Because working toward your goal can help boost your self-confidence.