Friday, February 12, 2010

Handheld Games for Children's Healthcare at Scottish Rite

My son asked me to post his Eagle project on my blog as he spreads the word about a special collection to support Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

Adam says:

I am conducting a handheld video game donation drive to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. I was inspired to do this by my personal experience as a patient of the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit and primary care floors.

Due to my Crohn’s Disease, I have had five hospitalizations at Children’s Healthcare between sixth grade and this past Thanksgiving (11th grade). Two of those were in the ICU for more than a week each. I was not ambulatory and the only thing the hospital had (at the time) to entertain me was kid videos, coloring books, and other rather uninteresting things to do. The exception was the TV in my room, but it stopped playing my channels later at night. One of my father’s business associates gave me a Nintendo DS, for which I was very grateful because it gave me something to do besides the uninteresting activities. Since each of my hospitalizations lasted a long time (twice I was there for two weeks), all that time in bed was really difficult. 
The hospital now has a Teen Activity Room. That’s a great thing, but it doesn’t help patients who can’t get out of bed. So the Volunteer Services department is really excited about this project and the entertainment value for kids who are too old for coloring books and cartoons.
The hospital's Volunteer Services staff will loan patients a handheld system and games during their stay. Each set will be packaged in a sturdy plastic container and labeled according to the age range of the games and gender, if applicable.

Adam and his fellow Scouts are collecting used, working-condition Nintendo (DS, DS Lite, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Color), Sony PSP, battery packs, power cords, styluses, and games (lots of games) for these systems rated E or T (no mature). The project goal is 30 individual handheld game systems plus at least 2 games per system and necessary cords, adapters, and power packs.

If you have a neglected, out of date handheld game system, consider a donation to benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

An Eagle Project by Adam Nall, Troop 764
(St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Dunwoody)
For more information or to donate, post a comment on this blog!
Scouts will arrange for pick-up anywhere in the Atlanta metro,
or you can deliver to St. Luke's, 1978 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody 30338
(place his name and "Eagle Project" on the package).

Sunday, February 7, 2010


As part of the computer generation, my daughter has little experience with white-out correcting tape. Make a mistake? Edit and re-print. No worries.  Recently, for a school project, she used the orphan correcting tape in the desk to cover a caption beneath a photo she wanted to scan and input into an essay.

A few days later, we were driving down Ashford-Dunwoody Road. She stared out the window, thinking her thoughts. (The kid misses nothing - her observations have become family legend.) Through the pouring rain, she noticed some once-yellow lines had been blackened. "Check it out, Mom. They used black-out to correct the road."

Which made me think about other useful correcting tapes I'd like to have in the Knitternall family desk:
School-Out:  We couldn't keep enough of this in stock for Big A's wishes.
Dinner-Out: I'd love to roll this one out when the week gets too crazy.
Time-Out: Busy day? Correct the clock with a little Time-Out!
Blow-Out: Just when my temper gets the best of me . . .
Work-Out: If it's too wet or cold or windy or dark to talk, use the Work-Out!
Clean-Out: Messy house? Get the Clean-Out.
Dog-Out: Correcting product for dog hair, prints on the carpet, occasional accidents, and smells.
Sadly, these products do not exist (yet?) and there's no time-out around to correct my overloaded calendar.

Ah, well.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gardening in the shade.

I know, I know. It's raining and cold and the ground is muddy and everything is brown and numb.

But it's time to think about the planting season.

Our house faces east. A large maple tree shades most of the front yard and the woods alongside the creek keeps the back yard in shade most of the day. The only consistently sunny spot is the side yard - the NORTH, no less, where I've tucked my single 4 x 4 square foot raised bed garden. It did pretty well despite the challenges of not optimal light or positioning. Well enough that I'm adding another bed. But I'm thinking about putting it in the front yard, right next to the street, which is the only spot in the entire yard that has wonderful sunlight for vegetables.

I say I'm "thinking about" it because a raised bed garden isn't decorative. A streetside location means those darling dogs that amble by each day are likely to "water" it regularly, when they aren't doing the other business.  (One of our neighbor's dogs destroyed the winter plantings when she decided to poopy and scratch right in the middle of the bed. Darn it.)  For one thing, that's gross. For another, dog urine has an unfortunate effect on soil chemistry.

So, which is better: great sun and animal waste? or southern light for 5 hours a day and some protection from most canine passers-by?

I'll keep thinking, at least for another week, because it's almost time to get those peas in the ground.

(For those of you interested in trying out this very practical and easy-to-manage gardening technique, Dunwoody Nature Center has a square foot gardening class coming up, as well as some cool offerings in birding, native plants, garden tools, and photography!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bad knitter. Bad!

I took a rare day off to nurse a cold and put my house in order. Six loads of laundry, a box of tissues, some vigorous vacuuming and dusting, another box of tissues, and a run (in the cold rain) to the grocery store, and I can now relax. I'm one of those overachievers who can't rest until chores are finished.

In a cold-induced fog, I decided to browse some favorite knitting websites and started giggling, then snorting, then roaring with laughter. The doberman in the pink knitted ensemble got me started. So I googled animals in knitwear and found some real gems.

Now, I'm not advocating this kind of knitting insanity. But there are knitters out there who are determined beyond reason to share their talents with those they love. Including their poor dogs, cats, goats, chickens, and lambs.