This & That


3, 09

Thousands of years ago, Roman soldiers played hopscotch to test their strength and speed, sometimes hopping over 100 feet carrying heavy weights! Today, hopscotch is a backyard game enjoyed by children (and lighthearted grown-ups) all over the world. This was one of Mary Lou Williams’ favorite games. Mine, too. My sisters and I would write the numbers on the walk that lead to our house. It was lots of fun!


  1. Draw a hopscotch design on the ground. The squares should be large enough to fit one foot and to make sure that a stone thrown into the square will not bounce out too easily.
  2. Throw a flat stone or similar object (small beanbag, shell, button, plastic toy) to land on square one.It has to land inside the square without touching the border or bouncing out. If you don’t get it right, you lose your turn and pass the stone to the next person. If you do get it, however, go on to the next step.
  3. Hop through the squares, skipping the one you have your marker on. Each square gets one foot. Which foot you start with is up to you. You can’t have more than one foot on the ground at a time, unless there are two number squares right next to each other, in which case you can put down both feet simultaneously (one in each square). Always keep your feet inside the appropriate square(s); if you step on a line, hop on the wrong square, or step out of the square, you lose your turn.
  4. Pick up the marker on your way back. When you get to the last number, turn around (remaining on one foot) and hop your way back in reverse order. While you’re on the square right before the one with your marker, lean down (on one foot) and pick it up, then skip over that square and finish up.
  5. Pass the marker on to the next person. If you completed the course with your marker on square one (and without losing your turn), then throw your marker onto square two on your next turn. Your goal is to complete the course with the marker on each square. The first person to do this wins the game!
  6. Make some of the smaller so that people have to step on their tip toes. You can even make some in the shape of a shoe to control the direction in which the person faces.
  7. The person has a certain amount of time to complete the course, or else they lose their turn.

Directions for this game were found at

written on Thursday at 7am, filed in Children's Games,This & That | tagged: , , ,

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1, 09

This is one of my favorite recipes. One time my mom made 13 1/2 dozen of these in one day. When my dad got home from work that day, my seven sisters and brothers and I and our friends had eaten every single one!

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-2 teaspoons real vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups of oatmeal
1 cup of crushed walnuts or pecans (My mother omitted the nuts.)
1 cup of raisins, dried cherries or cranraisins (My mother used raisins.)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
Stir in oats and raisins; mix well.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.
This makes about 4 dozen delicious cookies.
This recipe can also be found at

written on Tuesday at 7am, filed in This & That | tagged: , ,

How to Play Spud

1, 09

Spud is one of my favorite games! Gather a few friends and have a good time! It doesn’t matter what age you are to play this 100 year-old playground game.

(This game is for four or more players and is best played on a grassy field or playground.)

Each player a different number beginning with 1.

One player is chosen to be “it.”

This player tosses a large, bouncy ball into the air and yells a number.

Everyone runs at top speed, away from the ball–except the player whose number was called.

That person runs after the ball.

Once he has the ball in his hands, he yells “Spud!” and all players must stop in their tracks.

The catcher can take a moment to survey the scene and decide which player is the best target.

When he has chosen a victim, he tosses the ball at that player, trying to tag her with the ball.

The target must keep her feet planted, but she can twist away from the ball, duck or even try to catch it. If the ball makes contact, she receives an S.

If the ball misses, or if she catches it, the thrower receives the S.
The unlucky player must then throw the ball in the air and call a number for the next round.

The game continues until each player receives the letters S-P-U-D and is eliminated.

The last single player wins.

To make the game easier, allow “it” to take three giant steps toward the chosen target, or reduce the size of the playing field.

written on Tuesday at 7am, filed in Children's Games,This & That | tagged: , ,


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