Archive for the ‘Do You Know?’ Category

Halloween Facts!

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Here are some Halloween facts to share with your family and friends.

Halloween is a very old holiday begun about 2,000 years ago in Ireland.

Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who celebrated the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, the color of pumpkin.

According to folklore, the Halloween jack-o-lantern got his name from a man named Jack.

Turnips and beets served as the original jack-o-lanterns.

Jack o lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the holiday.

Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for unique monster carvings!                                                         Halloween pumpkin

Pumpkins originated in Central America. When Europeans arrived in the New World, they found pumpkins plentiful and used in cooking by Native Americans. They took seeds back to Europe where they quickly became popular.

Growing big pumpkins is a big time hobby. Top prize money for the biggest giant pumpkin is as much as $25,000 dollars at fall festivals.

A pumpkin is a berry in the cucurbitaceae family, which also includes melons, cucumbers, squash and gourds. All these plants are native to the Americas.

Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first. People spend as much as over $2.5 billion during Halloween on candies, costumes, decorations and parties.

Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.

Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for Halloween trick-or-treaters.

It is believed that the Irish began the tradition of Trick or Treating. In preparation for All Hallow’s Eve, Irish townsfolk would visit neighbors and ask for contributions of food for a feast in the town.

The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.

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Do You Know Why Grandmas Have Wrinkles?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Hector looked at Grandma Hattie and asked, “Grandma Hattie, why do grandmas have wrinkles?”

Willie glared at Hector and said, “That’s not a nice question to ask, Hector.” Hector got red in the face and answered, “I didn’t mean anything by it, Willie. It’s just that every grandma I know has wrinkles on her face.”

Grandma Hattie smiled and said, “It’s okay Willie. I don’t mind answering Hector’s question. It’s a fair question.”

“Well, said Grandma Hattie, There is the answer that talks about our skin aging as we get older, but I’d rather tell you my way of thinking about wrinkles. I think wrinkles are actually wisdom lines that appear in our faces as we grow older and  get wiser and wiser.”

Orrie asked, “What kind of wisdom makes lines”? Grandma smiled and said, “Well, there is the wisdom that comes from learning about living through hard work, raising children, loving family and friends, and getting through tough times.”

Hector looked thoughtful and asked, “How come I don’t have any wrinkles”? Everyone laughed and grandma answered, “You are still very young. You are just learning about life. Your wrinkles will come when you get older.”

Everyone grew quiet. Then Willie asked,”Grandma, do you mind having wrinkles?’

Grandma Hattie gave her big grandma grin and answered, “No, I don’t. My  wrinkles say that I am a wise woman, a woman that can help younger people, like you three, to live well and that’s my gift to share”

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Jay and the Buffalo Story

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Jay tellls the buffalo storyStory hour was just about to begin. Miss Hattie, known to some of the “Can Do” Kids as Grandma Hattie, was just settling down in her comfortable chair at the front of the room. She had a storybook in her hand when the door opened and there was Jay!

Several of the “Can Do’ Kids yelled out, “Hi Jay, welcome home.”

Jay ran for a seat, but before he could sit down Miss Hattie said, ” \Jay, everyone is so glad to see you. We know you spent the month of July on the reservation in Dakota with your grandparents. How about sharing a story or two  about what you learned during your visit?”

Jay said, “Sure, I’d love to tell a story about how my tribe lived long ago, before Native Americans lived on reservations. I’d like to tell a story about how important the buffalo were to my people.”

The “Can Dos” settled down and paid close attention as Jay told his story.

“Once there were so many buffalo on the Great Plains. The buffalo were revered by my people both in songs and stories. The buffalo provided food and clothing and other things that my tribe needed in order to live.

My people followed the buffalo as they moved around looking for food to eat. My tribe would  pack up all that they owned and make camp near where the buffalo were grazing. The men would go out and hunt buffalo while the women and children stayed behind.

When the men brought the buffalo they killed back to the camp, the women and children would help to make the things they needed to survive. My tribe did not waste any part of the buffalo.

I have a picture I brought from the reservation for show and tell when school got started, but I think I should show it now. Wait till you see all that my tribe got from the buffalo!”

With that, Jay unrolled the picture below. The “Can Dos” were amazed to see all the ways that Jay’s tribe had used the buffalo to survive.

buffalo story

Be sure to click on the picture to make it larger and see all the things Jay’s tribe made from the buffalo!

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The Way It Was

Monday, July 13th, 2015

The “Can Dos” were sitting around after music club with Mr. Dooley, otherwise known as Grandpa Dooley. Hector asked Mr. Dooley, “What was it like when you were growing up?”

Mr. Dooley smiled and said,”Very different than it is now. Why don’t you ask me questions about the way it was and I’ll do my best to answer.”

“O.K”,  said Hector, “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?”

“We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up, said Mr. Dooley. All the food was slow.”

All the “Can Dos” laughed. “Seriously,” said Hector, Where did you eat?’

It was a place called “home,” Mr. Dooley answered. Mom cooked every day. When Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table. If I didn’t like what mom put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.’”

Then Annie asked, “Did you have pizza?” Mr. Dooley smiled and said, “Pizza didn’t come to our neighborhood until I was a teenager. But, there was the soda shop where we all went to have an ice cream sundae or a cone or an ice cream soda. We could even get a malted to have with a hamburger at the soda shop.”

The kids looked puzzled and wanted to know why he didn’t have ice cream at home. “Simple,” he answered, “no refrigerators with freezers to keep the ice cream cold” The “Can Dos” were amazed…no freezers…no frozen treats…not even breakfast waffles.

“Tell us more,” said Yundi.”

“Okay,” said Mr. Dooley.

  • I had a bicycle that was probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow)
  • We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 19. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God; it came back on the air at about 6 a.m. There was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, which featured local people.
  • I never had a telephone in my room.
  • The only phone in the house was in the living room
  • Milk was delivered to our homes.
  • All newspapers were delivered by boys. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I got up at 6AM every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers.
  • I walked or rode my bike to school.
  • I had chores to do when I got home from school; then I could go out and play ball with my friends.

The “Can Dos” were all looking at him in disbelief and Arthur J said, “What did you do for fun without computer games, TV, cell phones and fast food?”

Mr. Dooley laughed saying, “Why I played outdoors with my friends; listened to the radio with my family at night; played board games with my brothers, and read books.  And that’s the way it was!”


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Kids Didn’t Always Get Presents on Christmas

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

The “Can Dos” were all sitting around at their classroom tables, during recess, talking about what they hoped to be getting for Christmas.

Miss Pat couldn’t help but overhear their conversations. She decided to make a history lesson out of celebrating Christmas in colonial days. She thought the class would be surprised to learn a few things about the giving and getting of presents.

Miss Pat called the class to order and said she had a story to tell them. Since the “Can Dos” love her stories, they sat quietly and listened as she began her story.

“A long time ago, before our country was a country, the first settlers celebrated Christmas very differently than we celebrate today. In some of the colonies, where our original settlers lived, they didn’t celebrate Christmas at all! In the colonies where Christmas was celebrated it was a holiday that lasted 12 days, with a big party on the last day called 12th night. The parties were mostly for adults.

Children got to participate in special meals that were eaten during the holiday time but they usually didn’t receive Christmas gifts.

In the southern part of our country, colonists made giving presents a part of the Christmas celebration when they gave gifts to servants and others who worked for them. In some southern colonies children also received gifts. It wasn’t like today though. Each child got only one gift. It was usually something practical or considered special treat that a child would enjoy. It was rarely a large gift.

As the years went on and more immigrants from different countries came to our country they brought with them their Christmas customs. One such custom that we all love is displaying and decorating  a Christmas tree. Immigrants from Germany made this custom popular in our country. Gift giving, especially gifting children, became more popular and children began to receive more than one gift in celebration of Christmas.”

The “Can Dos” all sat quietly, looking at Miss Pat, then Hector raised his hand and, when called on, said,”Boy I’m glad I didn’t live in colonial days”!

The class all agreed, thinking how lucky they are to be living now and not when kids didn’t get gifts on Christmas!

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