Beach Holidays for Fun in the Sun

Everyone loves beach holidays!  The little ones can dig in the sand and splash in the lapping waves.  The older ones can swim, get a tan, or just relax.  The inquisitive types can explore for sea life, tide pools, and drift wood.  The warm breezes and natural beauty are invigorating and restorative.  Any trip, however, can cause discomfort if you do not plan well.  Here are things you can do to make your beach holidays easier, safer, and more meaningful.

In many parts of the world, people head for their beach holidays in the family car. When planning a trip, it's always a good idea to give the car a good cleaning out first. This will give you more room for your luggage.  Stock you glovebox, too, with a few first aid and comfort items, such as sunblock, acetominiphen for headaches, a roll of antacids, a few cough drops, and a few bandaids.  Don't forget a couple of scrunchies or pony-tailers for long hair. Get the tires checked and replace any that are likely to go flat.  Get an oil change if it's getting close.  Road trips are not much fun when they include breakdowns.  And whatever you do, make sure you have a map and a place to keep it handy.

Travelling with kids is always a challenge.  They may be particularly excited and impatient when they know they are going on beach holidays.  Make sure they have cool water bottles and healthy snacks to munch.  Try a simple car game to make the time pass.  Many kids like looking for letters of the alphabet on signs.  If several people get involved it can be quite fun.

With beach holidays particularly, there is always a need to provide for skin safety.  Be particularly careful about being in the sun for long stretches of time between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Use a sunblock with a high SPF rating and replace it after getting wet or drying off with your towel.  The towel you choose can make a difference too.  Thick towels get heavy and tend to trap a lot of sand.  You may find you like thin towels at the beach.  Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and some sort of foot protection to keep your feet from being burned on the hot sand.

With a little preparation your beach holidays can be enjoyable and problem-free.  When you arrive home you will be relaxed, refreshed, and ready for work. Take a minute to unpack and get your laundry going.  It won't belong until the kids will be shouting, "When can we go on beach holidays again?"

Christmas Craft: Bead and Pipe Cleaner Ornaments

Christmas ornaments made from ordinary pipe cleaners and inexpensive acrylic beads are very pretty and easy to make.  They look quite impressive yet are easy enough for small children to make.  This is one Christmas craft idea to use again and again.  Older people will enjoy making this Christmas craft, too, which can be varied to make a number of different sparkling ornaments for your Christmas tree.

To make the bead and pipe cleaner ornaments, you need common pipe cleaners in desired colors and acrylic beads.  Two types of beads are particularly effective when strung on pipe cleaners.  One type are called sunburst beads, but are also known as paddlewheel beads, snowflake beads, or starburst beads.  These beads have six faceted paddles spaced equally around a center that contains the hole for stringing.  When several of these sunburst beads are strung consecutively, they fit against each other in an interlocking pattern.

The other type of bead that is also effective for this Christmas craft is called the tri bead or propeller bead.  It has three rounded bumps arranged around the stringing hole.  Like the sunburst beads, the tri beads interlock when strung consecutively.  For the most sparkly and attractive Christmas ornaments, get tri beads and/or sunburst beads in translucent colors of red, green, and clear.  The tri beads can also be found in metallic gold and silver which can be used in this Christmas craft as well.

Pipe cleaners can be found in silver and gold tinsel as well as chenille of all colors.  For the Christmas craft, the best colors to use are the metallics and Christmas colors.  The beads cover the pipe cleaners, but the ends will need to be twisted together and made into hangers, so they show.

Anyone, even small children, can string these beads on pipe cleaners.  Bend up the end of the pipe cleaner so the beads don't fall off.  The pipe cleaner works like a needle, making a needle unnecessary.  For best results, show the children how to alternate colors when stringing, or start a pattern of three colors.  When the beads are strung on the pipe cleaners, they can be bent into different Christmas shapes.  For instance, string red and clear beads alternately, then bend down one end of the pipe cleaner for a candy cane shape.  Or alternate red and green beads and form a circle for a wreath.  Use red pipe cleaner to form a small bow to decorate the wreath.  Form a hanger for the Christmas craft or simply slip the circle over a branch of the tree.

If you experiment with clear beads and silver pipe cleaners, you can make some beautiful snowflake or star ornaments.  Snowflake designs can be twisted of silver pipe cleaner only, without the beads for a simple but pretty decoration.

Bead and pipe cleaner ornaments are a Christmas craft you will find yourself using every year.  Children and their parents will both appreciate this simple yet pretty Christmas craft.

Civil War Bullet Collecting: A Hobby that Honors the Past

Did you know that during the Civil War, more than 1000 different types of bullets were used?  This is one reason Civil War bullet collecting has become a popular hobby.  Another reason is that the time of the Civil War saw changes taking place in the development of firearms and ammunition.  The old round musketballs of the Revolution were being replaced with bullets in the shape we are accustomed to.  While musketballs are found on Civil War battlefields, the most common type of bullet used was the .58-caliber bullet with three rings around the base.  Many bullets found are splattered out of shape.  If you've always been fascinated by the Civil War and firearms, Civil War bullet collecting is a hobby you will enjoy.

With the advent of Internet buying and selling, Civil War bullets have become more collectible, and the prices have gone up quickly.  Not only this, sometimes sellers are not informed and ask more than the bullet is worth.  For these reasons, if you are just starting out in Civil War bullet collecting, you will want to buy a good price guide.  You can even find a price guide online if that works better for you.

Many Civil War bullet collectors also collect bullet molds and other relics from the Civil War era.  A real enthusiast might even investigate the possiblility of becoming a Civil War reenactor, acting out battles with others in towns and fields across the Southeast.

Civil War bullets can be collected by buying from other collectors, or you can begin by going directly to the battlefields to dig and search.  A metal detector will make Civil War bullet collecting easier.  You may also find buttons from uniforms, bullet molds, belt buckles, and other metal items from the battle.  Some of the bullets may be buried quite deep.  You will need to wear a headset and pay close attention to the changes in tone in your metal detector.  Hunting Civil War relics is prohibited on protected battlefields, but there are still old homesites where battles were fought.  Be sure to get permission from the owner and fill any holes you dig.

Some people have the idea that hunting for bullets with a metal detector indicates a lack of respect for the soldiers who died there.  They get this idea because sometimes bullet hunters find bones along with the bullet.  The fact is, however, that many of the bullet hunters who have found bullets this way have chronicled and mapped out there finds, resulting in many of the facts that we now know about the Civil War.

The Civil War fascinates Americans because of everything it stands for.  While everyone agrees that slavery is a terrible blot on the history of the U.S., there are some people who still discuss the issue of states' rights versus a strong central government.  Civil War bullet collecting is an iteresting hobby, though somewhat sobering at times when considering the great number of casualties.  The memory of brother fighting against brother out in the cornfields and pastures will never go away.  Civil War bullet collecting is one way to commemorate this monumental historical event.