Extremely Puzzling

Welcome! Here we are well into our third week of self-isolation. I feel so fortunate that my family and friends are safe and well fed and that the only challenge we have is finding ways to fill our time. We’ve been doing pretty well so far. My daughter and I lean towards “introvert” so we are more content than the men but they too have found ways to keep busy with movies and walks and little projects.

Last week, in search of a diversion, I was rummaging around in the Attic and came across this:

This belonged to my mother originally. I brought it home when my sisters and I were cleaning out and dividing up mom’s things after she passed away. She and I both had a love of trivia and puzzles so this was right up our alley and we did attempt to finish it back when it was new. However, this particular puzzle proved too much for us and we were never able to quite finished it. We could have used the poster that came with it but that didn’t seem fair. Some of the quotes were so obscure that we eventually gave up.

Luckily, Miss Dee and I now have the advantage of Google!

Yes, I admit, we cheated. That “enclosed poster with all the answers” has long since disappeared and some of these quotes are really challenging. For example:

“She believed in nothing; only her scepticism kept her from being an atheist”

Perhaps there are some of you out there who could easily attribute that saying to Jean-Paul Satre but I’m just a chick from Jersey with a degree in Fine Art. This guy is way outside my range of knowledge. I did great on the movie quotes and D-man and Mr D were a big help when it came to American Wars or Politics. Miss Dee even figured out some of the more current quotes but since the puzzle was copy written in 1994, four years before she was born “current” was a relative term.

Whatever method we used, we still had fun matching the quotes with the proper person and it has provided a great distraction, helping to fill some of the unstructured hours. We even learned some new stuff. Now we are down to fitting the actual pieces together, harder than you would think since they are all the same size and you only have slivers of images on the edges to try and match up. It may get to the point where we give up and move on but for now I’ve been adding a piece here and there. Who knows, with at least another month in front of us, we might get it finished.

What’s been keeping you busy?


Trivia Tuesday!

It’s Tuesday so it must be time for another edition of INVENTOR TRIVIA!

Here goes…

In 1905 eleven year old Frank Epperson was attempting to make his own version of soda pop, a popular new drink. After mixing some flavor powder with water, young Frank was called to bed, leaving his concoction in a cup on the back porch. Over night the temperature dropped below freezing. When he awoke, Frank found the liquid frozen solid, the stirring stick still sticking out the top. Behold, the Popsicle was born!

Apparently Mr Epperson didn’t appreciate the appeal of his frozen treats because he didn’t end up patenting it until 1924 after he served them at a fireman’s ball and received rave reviews. Originally marketed as the Eppsicle, Frank later changed the name after his children started referring to them as Popsicles!

Frank Epperson with his granddaughter

Thank goodness for that! Can you imagine calling to a bunch of kids playing outside on a hot summer day, “Hey! Who wants an Eppsicle?!”


Trivia Tuesday!!!

Summer STEAM Camp is almost upon us! For those of you wondering, STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. This summer’s theme is “Inventions and Inventors” and I’m pretty darn excited about it! My buddy Jill, the head camp honcho, has tasked me with putting together an Inventors Scavenger Hunt and I am discovering all kinds of things I never knew before about how some of the most common stuff came to be.

Here’s a little snippet of invention trivia just to get your Tuesday morning started!

BubbleWrap, that fun and indispensable packing item was discover quite by accident by two guys who were trying to invent 3D wall paper!

True story!

In 1957, inventors Marc Shuvon and Alfred Fielding, convinced (for some reason) that 3D wallpaper would be a real money maker, glued two shower curtains together trapping air bubbles in between. The wall paper idea turned out to be a dud but they soon discovered another, more lucrative, use for their invention.

I’ll admit, I’m one of those people who enjoys popping the bubbles. It’s very therapeutic but, if I had one wish, it would be for Marc and Alfred to have discovered a biodegradable material with which to make their wrap. Let’s face it, once made, bubble wrap never goes away. We always reuse any that comes into our house. In fact, I recently discovered a way to paint with it like this…


…and, according to home improvement guy Bob Villa, there’s a bunch of other uses too, from insulating your windows to padding your hangers!

Seems like Fielding and Shuvon with their wall paper idea were thinking pretty small in comparison.😊

G.S.S.T.A.- The State Where We Live.

The second marking period of fourth grade social studies is dedicated to learning about our home state of New Jersey. The first task our students had was to complete an informational packet. This included things like the State capital, the governor, the land masses and economy. I’m always surprised at how little some of the children seem to know about the place where they live but then I guess that’s the point in studying it!

After they slogged through the tediousness of the packet, the teacher offered them a more enjoyable project.  Each student was to research some fun facts or trivia regarding our fine Garden State and put together a power point presentation to share with the class. They really rose to the challenge and came up with all kinds of interesting (and sometimes weird) tidbits. A few were even new to me! Here are some of the highlights.

  • New Jersey was home to the first known competitive baseball game played at Elysian Fields in Hoboken on June 19, 1846. (The New York Base Ball Club defeated the Knickerbockers 23-1.)
  • Our coast is home to the longest Boardwalk (Atlantic City) the first sea shore resort town (Cape May) and the world’s largest elephant, Lucy in Margate (You know how I feel about Her!)   

  • We have more diners than any other state and are often refered to as the “Diner Capital of the World!” (Apparently, we also have the most shopping malls!)
  • New Jersey has a Spoon Museum, (over 5400) It is housed in the Lambert Castle Museum, in Paterson. (Who knew, right? 😳)
  • The first ever drive in movie theater opened in Camden Nj on June 6, 1933 (wonder what was playing?)

  • The light bulb, the phonograph and the telephone all had their start in New Jersey thanks to Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. (And the first motion picture projector too)
  • Modern paleontology began in 1858 with the discovery of the first nearly complete skeleton of a dinosaur (the Hadrosaursus) in Haddonfield NJ.

I can’t swear to the authenticity of all of these claims but as a New Jersey native, I’m pretty sure we have bragging rights to most of them (especially the weirder ones!) I’m also pretty sure that long after our fourth graders have forgotten the major economic sources in the State, they’ll still remember that we gave the world Salt Water Taffy and the Hersey Kiss.

How about your State, or Province, or Village? Do you have some fun facts you can you brag about?



Mrs.W’s Words of Wisdom

We have a new teacher in the classroom next to ours. She is not “new” new, just new to us! She has been teaching at the middle school for many years and now is working with 4th and 5th graders. In order to encourage them to read more and also as conversation starters she has been peppering the hallway walls with bright little signs sharing random interesting facts. Every few days, another pops up and I find myself looking forward to learning something new.  I don’t know where she gets these tidbits and I can’t swear to her accuracy but I thought I’d share a few just to see what conversations I can start!

Did you know…

  • Bears have 42 teeth
  • Only about 10% of the population is left handed
  • The average person falls asleep in 8 minutes
  • A person cannot taste food until it is mixed with saliva
  • The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn it’s head
  • An ostrich’s eye is bigger than it’s brain
  • For every one person on the planet, there are four insects

Do you have any words of wisdom (AKA Fun Facts) I can pass on to Mrs W? I am sure she would love to hear them. Maybe she will even add them to her collection!


Random Quote Wednesday the Finale!

Well, here it is, the last “Random Quote Wednesday” post. This has been a fun way to fill in the summer. I will  be taking a break next week then starting in September I’ll go back to my “Grade School the Second Time Around” post where I share weird and wonderful tidbits I learn (or relearn) while I work with my grade schoolers. This year I will be having science and social studies with the 5th grade. They do some pretty cool stuff so I can’t wait!

Last week’s quote….

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere!

…was actually guessed by two people. George at The Off Key of Life and Holly’s Mom at The Barking Chain both knew that the brainiac I was looking for was Albert Einstein! Way to go guys and thanks for playing!

Random Quote Wednesday

Welcome to Wednesday! My shout out this week goes to George over at The Off Key of Life, a man who has a wonderfully unique way of seeing the world. Pay him a visit and see. George correctly identified the source of last week’s quote….

“Sometimes it’s fun to do the impossible!

as the wonderful Walt Disney! If you haven’t seen the film “Finding Mr Banks” yet I highly recommend it. The entire cast does an amazing job but Tom Hanks is perfectly cast as Disney. He is a joy to watch.

Sorry, I digress!

Presenting this week’s random quote…

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

hint: “All I got was a rock.”

Quotes about chocolate are so inspirational! As always, the first person to leave the source of this quote in the comments below, recieves an all expense paid vacation to…nowhere. Sorry, all you get are bragging rights and a shout out on next week’s post. Play anyway!

Random Quote Wednesday!

No shout-out this week, sadly no one guessed that last week’s quote…

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.

…were words of wisdom from the wonderful Maya Angelou.

This Wednesday’s quote is….

“Sometimes it’s fun to do the impossible!”

hint: imagination

Anyone who would like to make a guess at the source of this quote, leave your answer in the comments below. The first right answer get a shoutout in next week’s post! 😊


Random Quote Wednesday

Whoo-hoo! It’s Wednesday again! Didn’t know Wednesday could be so exciting did you?

First things first…a big shout out goes to my pal at Spoken Like a True Nut for guessing last week’s quote…

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely”

….as belonging to the talented Roald Dahl. We read the “BFG” in class each year. Love that book.

Now for this week’s totally random quote:

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

Hint: famous female

As always, the first person to post the source of this week’s quote in the comments below gets next week’s shout out!  Go ahead, take some guesses!

Random Quote Wednesday!

Happy mid-week!

A big SHOUT OUT this week to a very cool lady Holly’s Mom at TheBarkingChain. I loved her post last week about celebrating July 4th as a child. She correctly identified the source of last week’s quote…

“As you get older, you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself and one for helping others.”

…as the lovely Audrey Hepburn. A truly amazing person.

thank you also to the others who played along.

Now on to this week’s quote. READY!

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

hint: writer

As always, the first person to leave the source of this quote in the comment section below wins the incredible prize (?) of being mentioned in next week’s post! Yay! 😊