Volume XI, Issue 22 ~ May 29 - June 4, 2003

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Not Just for Kids

The How-To Cowboy™ Presents Another Secret, Magic How-To Fun Trick
How To Make a Drizzle Stick

These are two home-made Drizzle Sticks, one using a plastic tube and the other a spaghetti box.
The Rain Stick is a musical instrument that looks like a seven-foot-long salami but, when tipped up and down, sounds like falling rain. Originally from South America, the Rain Stick is made from a hollow wooden branch (or dried cactus) with hundreds of long sharp thorns (or cactus needles) stuck crosswise along its length. The sound is made by hundreds of seeds tumbling from one thorn (or needle) to another on their way to the bottom.

A Drizzle Stick is simply a smaller version of the Rain Stick, one that produces a softer sound reminiscent of what you might hear on an Irish bog or a Scottish moor rather than in a Brazilian rainforest.
To make a Drizzle Stick you will need:
6- or 7-inch long plastic tube, about one-inch wide (you know, the kind packed with candies or bath tablets)
sewing needle and thimble
rice — foreign or domestic, plain or fancy
  1. One-half inch from the top of the tube, push the needle through the soft plastic. Be careful. Use the thimble. Remove the needle and replace it with a toothpick. If you can’t scrooge the toothpick through the needle hole, you need a larger needle.

  2. Rotate the tube 90 degrees (a quarter turn), and push the needle through again about a 1/4-inch below the first hole. Shove a toothpick through the hole. Continue this procedure all the way to the bottom. You should have 30 to 35 toothpicks stuck through the tube when you’re done.

  3. Snip off the protuding toothpicks with scissors or pliers, drop a spot of glue on the toothpick nubs, and wrap the plastic cylinder with colored masking tape (optional). Add rice to taste, and insert the holding plug.

  4. Hold the Drizzle Stick to your ear, and tip upside down slowly. And again. What a soothing sound! Use the pocket-size Drizzle Stick whenever skies look gray and trouble begins to brew. Relax with the stick.

  5. If you are unable to find a plastic tube or simply prefer a louder sound, substitute a rectangular spaghetti box. Insert 3 or 4 toothpicks in a row across the 2-inch width, pointing slightly upward. Then insert the next row 1/4-inch down from the first, tilting slightly downward. Follow this pattern all the way to the bottom. Glue the nubs. Insert rice, close the flaps, tilt up, tilt down.

  6. SSSSSSssssssshhhhhHH.
The Drizzle Box is well suited for long, numbing backseat car trips to ward off boredom. Or to induce sleep on camping or sailing trips. It will easily fit in a backpack or duffle bag

The How-To Ranch Hand Challenge:
Send a unique How-To trick with step-by-step instructions to:

IM Press
Box 5346
Takoma Park, MD 20913

If accepted, you’ll see your trick published in this space and receive a Little Ned Stories book and a $10 check. Visit The How-To Cowboy, aka Edward Allan Faine at his website: ww.takoma.com/ned/home.htm.

Kids Calendar

Thursday, May 29
Raindrops on Roses, Whiskers on Kittens
Kids ages 4-5, sing along and listen to stories with Miss Carol and Miss Kathy. 9:30am or 10:30am @ Crofton Public Library, 1681 Riedel Rd., Crofton. free: 410/222-7915.

Saturday, May 31
Flutter-by, Butterfly
Kids ages 5-7 learn about butterflies by making crafts. 2-3pm @ Patuxent Research Refuge Visitor Center, Powder Mill Rd. off Baltimore-Washington Pkwy and Rt. 197. free; rsvp: 301/497-5887.

Sunday, June 1
Kids ages 2-10 make crafts, pet animals, paint faces, play games, eat food and more at Kids~n~Kaboodle. noon-5pm @ Weems-Whalen Ball Field, off Spa Rd., Annapolis. free: 410/990-1993.

Worth the Trip
If These Walls Could Talk
Thru Sept 1-Kids of all ages learn how wind can damage and demolish buildings thru hands-on workstations. 10am-5pm M-F; 10am-6pm Sa; noon-5pm Su @ Maryland Science Center, Inner Harbor, Baltimore. $10.50 w/age discounts: 410/685-5225.

Plan Ahead
Governor’s Youth Fishing Derby
Deadline: May 30-Kids ages 5-16 compete against each other in this fishing derby. Bait, goodie bags and lunch provided. Bring your own rod and reel. Derby commences June 6. 8-8:30am check-in; 8:30-10:30am derby @ Thomas Hance Park, off Sixes Rd., Prince Frederick. $7; rsvp: 410/586-1101.



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Last updated May 29, 2003 @ 1:43am