How about we make a nectar list! It's the opposite of a bucket list, and really rather fun!
I think we all could use a distraction. Yes, a distraction from this pandemic. . . we're going into the seventh month of this. And we're right in the middle of a very contentious election. We need something fun, or at least different, for our brains and psyches. I think a "nectar list" is just the thing.
What is a nectar list, you ask? I read about it in the Huffington Post a few years ago. The author of the article, Sierra Vandervort, describes it as making a list of things you've already done. She says, "We need to reflect on the good things that have come to us in our lives. Even if you don't feel like you've done anything huge with your life just yet, I guarantee you can find something to look back on and be proud of."
She further stated that the idea for a nectar list came from an urban dictionary. She read "that sweet nectar was slang for 'to live' like kick the bucket is slang for 'to die.'"
I started trying it out in my journal and it's rather fun, and frankly therapeutic. And you don't have to have traveled the world to put things in your list. It's places you've been/seen, people you've met, experiences you've had from childhood to now.
I'm stashing my copy of my nectar list in my journal or smash book for my children and grandchildren to read after I'm gone. I'm putting silly things from my youth and childhood....mostly so they will know and come to realize that I wasn't always a stuffy old grandma. They need to know I was young once like them and lived for fun times and laughter.
So trust me when I say it doesn't have to be things like, walking through the ruins of the Roman Senate or hiking up Pike's Peak. Here is just a silly list I made of my childhood. Oh yes, and be sure and embellish it with fun descriptive phrases--you want them to be able to SEE what you did. Tee hee. . . .
Examples from my list:
Making your list as an adult; you can embellish those too! Or not!
Once again you can add typical adult things to your list, like giving birth to a baby using the Lamaze method. Or paddling canoes on Town Lake with your family and being unable to paddle because you were laughing so hard.
The author of the article on nectar lists added some silly things to her list: spitting out a wad of gum from the top of the Empire State Building. Or finding the premier recipe for mac-and-cheese. The items you put on your bucket list can be such things. Makes it fun for you, and fun to read!
But wait! There's more! Maybe you HAVE traveled to some great places here at home and abroad. Of course, here's your chance to add them to your nectar list.
Here's a peek at my list:
Start your nectar list NOW! And during this pandemic when we are not getting out much is the perfect time to start such a list.
I'll end with a family picture. This trip was on my bucket list. I always wanted to take my grandkids to a local state park that I loved as a child. And I've been able to take all four of my grands. So this trip was on my bucket list and now it's on my nectar list--one of the SWEETest things I've done. I encourage you to start your nectar list today.
Huffington Post article from which I got my nectar list idea from several years ago:
Calling all grandparents! Be sure to share your hobby with your grandkids no matter what it might be--quilting, snorkeling, painting rocks, golfing, tennis. It's all good, and very rewarding to share.
My husband enjoyed teaching and playing golf with our oldest grandson. He was so enthusiastic about it that I asked him to do my blog a couple of years ago. Well, we've added to our in-town family since then, and he's been golfing with two more kids. Here, I'll let him tell you about it.
Earlier I wrote a blog (for my wife) on sharing my love of golf with my grandchildren. It actually focused on my experience of teaching and playing golf with my oldest grandson. What joy those days were. Last year my youngest granddaughter decided she wanted to learn the game. And as it was with my grandson, it was such a joy to teach her the game of golf and then actually play a favorite course.
We started last summer, it was hot, she survived, but then school started, and it became difficult to find time to play. But this summer she made it clear to me it was time to start up again. We went to the driving range and then played. Like her brother, she is left-handed and so you can imagine how difficult it is trying to “reverse” your teaching to accommodate a lefty. And she has grown over the year. Then we noticed the clubs were too short—or she was too tall for them! What better birthday can you give a young athlete than a new set of clubs. She has a July birthday, so we surprised her with clubs. And then we were off to the golf course.
But there is another story. In my last blog, I mentioned I came across a set of starter clubs. At that time my youngest grandson was only four years old. But I decided I could not pass on these clubs, so I bought them, and they sat in the garage. Earlier this summer, my grandson, who is now six, asked when he could start playing. Six years old seems awfully young, but we went to a local park and he began to hit golf balls. Teaching him how to swing a club was a challenge at first, and then he just started hitting the ball—straight and with some distance. After three days, I decided he was ready for the big time—a real driving range at a real golf course. He continued hitting the ball with consistency. We tried the putting green. He did well. The next day we went back and spent time on the chipping hole. He was just developing a very good swing—both driving and chipping.
So I felt he was ready to play the game. Of course, I am concerned about ensuring he does not slow down the golfers behind us. In the beginning he would tee off about 50 yards from the green. Then 75 yards. Then 100-125 yards. Each time he decided when it was time to move further back. And then he started hitting from the front tees on the par three holes. That was a big thing!
I was wondering how many holes he could play until he was ready to quit. Was he really going to enjoy this? Boy, was I surprised! The kid is six years old. He was focused. He consistently hit the ball straight and with some distance. He began to understand and analyze what club he needs—long iron or short iron. When to use his wedge. When to use his putter. I just loved to hear him say, when he was close to the green, and getting out of the cart— “wedge and putter.” And off he went and off I went to hit my ball. He never complained about the heat or the time it took to play. No matter what, he was going to play 18 holes.
Now he does have his own rules. He is not sure of scoring other than he knows it just has to go into the hole. At the end of the day we are tied (I am not keeping score) only because we both got the ball into the hole. But he has decided his score should be based on how many putts it takes to get the ball into the hole after he gets on the green. And did I mention the front tees on the par three holes? He has had legitimate bogies from the front tees. He plays fast, sometimes running from one hit to another. No slow play—if anything we catch up to others. He just loves playing golf and each time we play he gets a better understanding of the game.
And what a joy it is to play with him. He is always talking and asking questions. And talking about anything that comes to his mind. We do have a problem though. He loves nature. We have been taking nature walks all year. And sometime on the golf course, he veers into taking a nature walk. He just wants to see those turtles and egrets.
We have been taking care of our grandson on a daily basis due to the pandemic. So this has allowed us to play golf. Maybe twice a week. When my older grandkids heard about this, they wanted to play too! And having all three of them on the course at the same time is really a blessing and just a joy. They all play well together. My oldest grandson is always helping his sister and even helping his younger cousin. And of course, that six-year old cousin/grandson, is also giving them pointers—since he is a six year old and knows it all!
A big thank you to my husband for doing my blog this week. What a blessing for him to play golf with his grandkids. I'm thinking it's like heaven on earth for him.
Please consider sharing your hobby with your grandkids. It will reward you tenfold!
The first blog my husband wrote when he just had one golfer to accompany him to the course:
Your children are your rainbows. Your grandchildren are
your pot of gold.
How about creating a birthday video for a family member in another town? Or a family member in the same town, but socially distanced? I've gotten some ideas from many of you, and the one I'm writing about today is from my granddaughter.
I've seen on Facebook and heard from friends about how they are coming up with new ideas for birthday greetings during this pandemic when most of us are practicing social distancing. I've loved the drive-by car lines with posters and streamers wishing the birthday boy/girl fun greetings for their day. Some of you have even done Zoom with family on a special day.
My granddaughter came up with a birthday video for the honoree.
My granddaughter simply called or texted family members for her dad's birthday video. She asked us to do a short video greeting to him wishing him a happy birthday. Then she just took all the videos and edited them, putting them into a master video. She used the application InShot which is available from your app store. Previously for her videos, she used the application that is usually available on your iPhone called iMovie.
And there's more:
My granddaughter also did a video for her sister on her birthday. She could easily add existing pictures on her phone of her sister besides all the family's birthday greetings. She also did a video on her uncle (we have a lot of July birthdays :) and added some childhood pictures of her uncle that her mother had. She simply scanned them and added them to the video.
Post the completed video on YouTube for all to see--well, for all the family to see.
You can either send the link to your out-of-town birthday boy or show at the family birthday party. We actually went to my son's birthday party (wearing our masks of course), and watched the video in the comfort of their living room. It was fun and good for several laughs.
Here are some links that might be of help. You can actually just google something like, "How to do a simple video for at-home viewing." What would we do without google? There's no need for me to explain the technical stuff of such an endeavor, when there is such wonderful online help.
Here's the one for InShot:
I'm sure most of you use YouTube, so you're very familiar with it. It's on YouTube that you'll want to post your video to view it on the big screen and so you can send the link to other family members so they can see the birthday video. Once you get to YouTube, if you haven't already subscribed to it, you'll want to do that so you can post your video and get the link. Just like on all apps and websites, there is the trusty "Help" button that will tell you all you need to know to do this. And since this is a blog for grandparents, you could just ask your grandkids--they'll know what to do. LOL
Happy creating! It's fun creating a family video. If you haven't ever done such in this age of wonderful technology, you'll want to start! And it further bonds your family. We all like to savor the great times of the past and celebrate each other on their birthday!
Add some fun to a family birthday celebration! Play a match game!!
There are tons of such games and questionnaires online. I simply googled it, and came up with these questions. I gave everyone a sheet of paper with the questions on them, and we were off! We did three different questionnaires, and there were prizes for each game. Whoever matched the birthday guy got to select a prize from the treat basket. I took the easy way out. I just got candy that I knew were family members' favorites--everything from Junior Mints to Skittles.
Biography questions about the birthday honoree.
I started with questions about my son's life. Oftentimes there are some obscure ones that his children might not know--like......what was the name of the family's dog? Or who was he named after? And the one that had us all trying to tally--how many first cousins does he have? That one was surprisingly tough!
What are his/her FAVORITES?
This can be harder than it seems. Try it with your brother or sister or your spouse. Many times you'll be surprised even when you've been around them for years. For each of these games, after everyone had completed their questionnaires, we started with the birthday boy reading his answers. You checked off the ones you got right. Whoever had the most matches got to go to the bowl of candy treats.
The last game I billed as the Lightning Round!
The final game we played was a quick one. I called it the "Lightning Round," but when you look questions up on line, it's often called, "This or That."
Have some fun! Yes, even during this pandemic. We managed to stay six feet apart and even wore our masks. And adults like party games and digging a favorite candy bar out of the prize treat bowl the same as kids. Honestly you could hear people saying things like, "Oh, a Snicker!" Or, "Gummy Bears! My favorite!" Remember what Michael J. Fox said, "Family is not an important thing. It's EVERYTHING!"
"To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there." Barbara Bush
I almost forgot. A couple of years ago, we played such a game for my sister and brother-in-law's 50th anniversary. So a match game works for anniversaries too. Simply come up with questions about the couple and their marriage and you've got a fun time to be had by all. I even did a blog about it. Check it out:
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!