Friday, October 23, 2009

Days of Joy: Playaways

Not being in a particularly creative mood and feeling the pinch of "days left to finish up" our study of Medieval Times, I am allowing myself to be inspired by two friends and fellow bloggers: and They have each set out to have 30 days of happiness, full of fun projects, activities and the attitude to go with them. In laughlivelearnlove you will find photos and recipes and ideas galore if you are in need of a little extra fun these days.

It might be the cold, incessant rain, it could be the sickness of one family member after another, but things are feeling a little dull around here. I do not have plans for tomorrow, but today,... today we are going to open up those five lovely boxes of beeswax that arrived a few days ago and make candles until we are sick of making them or run out of wicking, whichever comes first. Then we will play our penny whistles and read "Anne of Green Gables" aloud. I have no doubt we will be able to incorporate the Middle Ages into this program. We'll turn out all the lights, make our candles by candle-light and cook our lunch in the fireplace, a little wild boar would be perfect.

While we're doing that, we will recharge our AAA batteries for a nice afternoon of napping or knitting with our playaways. I'm afraid I've become a little addicted to the idea of a story in my ear. It's all the fault of "Sense and Sensibility" and the fact that it is just as satisfying to listen to it read by a marvelous Englishwoman who does voices for each character than to have to bear the tolerant, amused expression on my husband's face, or his exasperation, as I rent the movie one more time. I had never dared check out a playaway at the library. I don't do books on tape, since I rarely have time to listen to them. I was at the library alone the other night for a moment, with my knitting, but feeling the pain of being surrounded by books and not reading. I happened to have my little guy's walkman in my bag, he must have handed it to me at some point in the day, so I had a set of earphones. I meandered over to the playaway section to see what was available. If you have never tried a playaway, it is a tiny little gadget, about 2 inches by 3 inches, real skinny, that contains a single recorded book. It comes with a AAA battery, that you will usually need to change before the book is over, and you plug a set of headphones in, hit the "power/play" button and away you go. My kids have been using them forever, but it looked too complicated for non-techie me. It's not! Amazing! When you are interrupted, you hit the same "power/play" button and it saves your spot for you until later. If you are simply trying to absorb something less enlightened than Jane Austin, you have a choice of 2 or 3 voice speeds. I accidentally bumped it in the pocket of my bathrobe the other morning (I've found I can listen in alone moments like throwing in a load of laundry or brushing my teeth), and it went to a hyper-speed rendition of the story, not at all as nice, but understandable.

There are my plans for a joyful day, how about you?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, do enjoy your Days of Joy! :)

    Will we get to see photos of the candles? Pretty please??? ;)


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