Tag Archive | Game

Second Chances for Single Socks

cute-dog-socksIt’s hopefully coming to the end of ‘sock season’ soon and the need to wear socks will be over. I hate wearing socks. I do buy cute ones tho, usually with dogs or other cute animals or patterns on them. My husband, on the other hand, buys the same, white brand so they actually ALL match. Whenever he gets a hole in one, it’s not like the pair is trash, just the one with the hole. Easy-peasy! There’s never a single sock in his drawer.

I actually don’t seem to loose many of these cute pairs. It’s the plain Jane colored ones that go MIA. I had a pretty large pile of loners and was about to throw them out when I looked at Oreo sitting next to me. Ah Ha! I tied them all together and a new pull toy was created! Fun!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl


Dilemmas in a Dog’s Life

The boys really like their stuffing-less furry toys. Of course, after Mom takes the squeaky out of it!

These are ‘inside toys’ and thus, don’t go outside… most of the time. Mom has to remind the offender, usually Oreo, to ‘leave it inside’. This toy happened to make it as far as the garage the other night. Then, Mom didn’t realize that it had gotten past the threshold and into the great outdoors. As it has been pretty cold out these past few days, the spit-filled fur toy made quick work freezing to the cement. Mom noticed the frozen furry and couldn’t help having some fun with the little guy.

Get it Oreo! Come on Oreo!! Ha Ha Ha!!



Previous Dilemma’s in a Dog’s Life  1 2345

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Rock Stacking – Art or Criminal Activity?

We recently camped at Illinois State Beach Park. There were an abundance of these river rocks… (um, lake rocks?) that we were finding on our walks that we just had to have! After returning to our campsite after each walk, barely able to keep our pants above our waists because of our new-found treasures filling our pockets… We started looking at our bounty. Maybe we need the Lake Michigan Rock Pickers Guide. Just what the heck were we going to do with all of these?!?


We found a lot of other folks enjoyed making art from the rocks.


Even Mother Nature faked us out with the moss rock. There was no rock under it.

We kept futzing around with them and started stacking them… Hmmm rock stacking…. I remember seeing guys doing this in crazy conditions like rivers or on the side of mountains. This turned out to be a great distraction from the world and a lesson in keeping calm, cool and steady!


First, start easy. One big stack. Check. Then go for some wings to build other stacks from. Then build more stacks!


We played this somewhat like Jenga, however we didn’t take any off. If it toppled, you drank.

Like we need an excuse to drink…..


We got better as the weekend progressed. Maybe the liquor kept our nerves steady 😉


Styles of Rock-Stacking

  • Pure balance – each rock in near-point balance
  • Counterbalance – lower rocks depend on the weight of upper rocks to maintain balance
  • Balanced stacking – rocks lain flat upon each other to great height
  • Free style – mixture of the two above; may include arches and sandstone.

Here’s some professionals at work:

Although, there is a dark side that is working against the innocent rock stackers of the world. While researching for this post, I stumbled upon a group that is AGAINST rock-stacking! Really? Do you think the Peruvian officials sent out warrants for the builders of the Nazca Lines? What about the builders of Stonehenge? Should we criminalize their acts and because of this, destroy the history to restore the rocks to their original location? Please. Heaven forbid they go after the true, evil rock stackers of the world, the builders of structures that ruin the planet!

Both Fern U. Quiseley and Stacy O. Buffume are not satisfied with just speaking out against the practice of rock stacking. Their organization has been approved to receive a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of a recent stimulus package in addition to a recent $2.5 million UNESCO grant to help establish citizen action committees and organize activists and volunteers around the world to educate the public about the dangers of rock stacking. The grant application also states that they hope to educate citizens to help “…document violations, identify serial violators, and assist local authorities with enforcement action against violators.”

Are you fooking serious? My tax dollars going to the prevention of rock stacking????

Shoot me now.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

This is How You Do It To It!!

I’m not a pool player… However, my husband is a regular Mike Massey.

Though I seem to be attracted to pool players, I’ve never been very good at the game. I never learned more than how to hold a stick, which end to hit the ball with and it’s the WHITE ball I should hit with the stick.

My husband doesn’t really enjoy playing with me, as he feels it will hurt my ego to have all my balls on the table as he hits the 8 ball in. Eh, I really, truly don’t care. I get excited when I make one good shot, whether I win or loose.

We have found one game that we can both play somewhat competitively called ‘Bottle Pool’. It’s basically played with only two balls, a cue ball and a (plastic) bottle that is placed in the middle of the table. You gain points by hitting balls (after hitting a rail), having them go in or the most points can be had by knocking over the bottle with one of the regular balls. Oddly, I can do carrum shots pretty well & that is what this game is all about!

So, one night I was feeling frisky and figured we could go to the local watering hole / pool hall and get in a few games. Not many pool halls want you playing bottle pool for obvious reasons, so we chose to stick with 9-ball, as this game has the rule of slop, meaning that if you got a ball in that you didn’t intend on getting in, it still counted and you could shoot again. This bodes well for beginners.

It was the fourth game after a few brutal matches of me just moving balls around the table… However, he let me break this time… His Loss!!

BOOM! 9 Ball in on the break – Game winner!

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I retired from pool that night on a high note!!

Dilemmas In a Dogs Life IV

We love our tennis balls around here. We pay a small price for a bag of six each time we pick-up food for the boys. Not sure of the source for the balls, however a charity sells the bags for $3. a cheap price to pay for such enjoyment.

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Seriously Mom! Where did it bounce?!?

Dilemmas have happened in the past…

Murder in the Midwest: Murphy’s Wake

Last Saturday, I had a murder take place at my home….

Did I hook ya? All writers DIE for those kind of draw-you-in headlines! But, alas, just as many advertisements on T.V…. I’ve exaggerated the truth.

Back in the day, I use to play a role-playing game called Dungeons & Dragons, an RPG or Role-Playing Game. (Remove mind from gutter, you’ve got my wrong blog… >;-) I enjoyed playing because it really challenged my brain with crazy scenarios, excitement, strategy and I got to hang-out with my buddies. All you needed to play was a few fellow gamers, a dungeon master (basically a narrator that keeps the game going, tho they do love to be referred to as God), dice of many sides, and an expansive imagination. No T.V., no $400 game console, no $ either!! OK, I don’t know what a pack of dice is going for these days, but it’s nominal.

Maybe I haven’t fought hard enough to find a game to join.. Scheduling can be hard, locations can be distant, games do fill to capacity… The list goes on. Hopefully, I can find a niche of time to feed my imagination playing again!

I digressed as usual…

My point is that sometimes when you can’t have what you want, you get what you need….

A month ago my BFF, her man, my hubby and I went to the Bed & Breakfast down the road for a Murder Mystery Dinner. There were five detectives interrogating six characters. We all were suspects, but I figured out early I couldn’t have done it. It was somewhat scattered and a difficult task as everyone had motive. We all guessed and none succeeded in getting the murderer. This was almost like role-playing! Something that I want!!

I then told many of my friends about the evening and they sparked of interest in playing. Awesome! I figured I could just schedule it with the B&B, but why pay them $50 a head? Why not just host a party of my own? I could be the Dungeon Master! Muh-ha-ha!image

So, off to the internet to find what I needed. I quickly found a site that sells murder mystery parties, and takes care of most of the incidentals like invites, menu ideas and props.  All for $30! Can’t beat that! Otherwise, I’m pretty crafty and I created the name tags, props and hidden clues for the event.

Since we all settled on March 15th as the available date, I thought a St. Patrick’s Day themed murder would be fitting. I found Murphy’s Wake. Here’s a tid-bit from the site:

Patrick Murphy was the most popular man in town – he owned the highly successful town pub, was a large contributor to the parish charities, and came home every night to his lovely and devoted wife. Last week he was killed coming home late from his pub. At first, everyone thought it was a tragic accident…but now at his wake, it is very clear that Patrick was NOT popular man in town…and that his murderer is present at Murphy’s wake… Fully scripted clues give you and your guests the chance to use your best Irish accents as you play the game. ‘Tis a fine way to spend an evening!

Who would want to kill popular tavern owner Patrick Murphy? Attend “Murphy’s Wake” and find out! Fully scripted clues gives everyone a chance to put on their best Irish accent. It’ll be a grand time.  (Host-party.com)


Funeral Pyre.
Murphy was a doppelgänger for Colin Farrell… Who knew?!?

Wee folk dance circle.

This was my first murder and the interesting thing was that I needed to ‘write-in’ 3 extra characters, as there were 12 of us (I played a non-suspect). There were only 8 parts written in the supplied game. It wasn’t easy, as this was my theatrical writing debut. However, after about 10 hours of editing time, it was impossible for the group to figure out who I wrote in. (Patty-O on the backy!)

I also put together a meal plan of appetizers, corned beef, red taters, cabbage, dessert and Irish coffee. My hubby is a whiskey officiano. I’m just an Irish car-bomb kinda girl…


The suspects!

This game is scripted, there are three ‘conversations’ where you speak twice about information you are willing to share, but you are also given a clue you know and shouldn’t share unless directly asked. No lying aloud. Technically, the killer is lying, but even the person playing the murderer doesn’t know it. The fourth and last round is the reveal. In-between rounds everyone grilled each other on their motives.

In the end, the crazy Deidre Connelly did it to save the Wee Dance Circle from the expansion on the Archway Tavern.

We had a deadly good time! And although not exactly like the RPG I’m used to, it tamed the urge for now, it gave me what I need!

Have  a Happy St. Paddy’s day!!!