Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Have Any Good Small Projects?


I’m going to try to find more fun things that my son & I can do together on the weekends to keep him engaged, etc.

I saw instructions online for how to make homemade yogurt & it looks really easy - so that’s what we’re going to try in a few days.

What kinds of things have worked well for you?


Grooming the pets, planting flowers, mosaic glass work, making bird houses or wreathes, building a compost pile, Japanese zen garden with rake or a small one for a table.


I followed a mystery recipe once, and it turned out it was for making marshmallows - it is fun!


Most of what my son and I do involves long walks in different locales, the local metro parks are beautiful, and we go to the gym together when the weather is poor. I have tried cooking and gardening and he flat out has no interest. He loves the zoo so we went there yesterday when the zoo had free admission…had a nice long 2 hour walk. I like the exercising together because it keeps him and me calm and makes us both sleep good.


Great suggestions for getting out and seeing new things.


I’ve made bread with my daughter. I used the No Knead recipe I found in the NY Times. It’s super easy and delicious. It’s a artisan bread that is just as good as any bread in the bakery. You and your son will be delighted with the end product.


And I agree that walking is a wonderful activity and enjoy the great outdoors. Where I live me and my daughter have gone on nature walks near the house and enjoy magnificent evergreen trees. There is nothing like nature to calm and invigorate.


Tonight I asked my son to help me make baked pork chops. He peeled the potatoes and put them in a pan. Before I knew it he had all the these spices out and told me what he had added to my chops. It was pretty good and different but in a good way. He really surprises me daily.


That is great! @Mom2 I feel the same way about being surprised daily…it’s a good thing. :slight_smile:


Not to highjack this thread, THIS would be an interesting activity … my son just received a summons for Jury service!


@Vallpen, that makes me wonder about voting and other civic activities as projects…


My son is actually not eligible in our state, as he is under guardianship. This is not the case in all states.


In Ohio, my son votes.


My son is registered to vote, but he might not be able to handle all the procedural stuff that goes along with a courtroom. He did get a notice once that he was on the list of potential jurors for that period of time. I wrote them a letter explaining his condition and did not hear back from them.

I think he’s OK to vote, although he chooses not to. However, if he was on a jury, he’d probably end up with some kind of paranoid or grandiose delusion about it, so I don’t think it would be healthy for him in his current condition.

I used to work in the IT dept for our State Supreme Court when I was in college, so I’ve seen plenty of court cases. I’ve never been called for jury duty. I wouldn’t mind, except for the time involved. I have it approved at my work so that I can work 1/2 days from home, or the entire day if I need to, so that he’s not alone so much. I’d try to get out of it as a caregiver.


Neither my son nor I could handle jury duty. The idea of being stuck in a courtroom early in the morning on a daily basis sitting between strangers and attempting to make some kind of life altering decision based on testimonies, gives me an anxiety attack just thinking about it, my son agrees with my feelings or I am agreeing with his, one or the other. We just can’t mentally deal with it either way.


The yogurt turned out really well - and it was surprisingly easy.
My son helped check on the milk temperature, stir in the yogurt culture and jar it up. Other than cleanup, there wasn’t much else to do but wait.

I had some with some frozen peaches and a drizzle of honey & it was pretty good, although not quite as tart as I like my yogurt. Next time, we’ll let it sit longer and that’s supposed to add more tartness.

It was fun and we’ll be doing it again since all of us eat yogurt. We can even strain this with cheesecloth & a colander & turn it into Greek yogurt.


@slw – My middle daughter has talked with me on making her own yogurt. She loves making it and her 10 year old son (my grandson) enjoys helping her. This particular daughter of mine really enjoys the home crafts such as needlework, sewing, crafts and we’ve also talked about making our own kombucha. We’ve even looked on line and it looks super easy and cheap to make. Buying a 12 oz bottle of kombucha can cost $2.50 to $5.00 a bottle – very expensive.


I made Kombucha tea when it first became a thing, probably close to 20 years ago.
It is really easy, but it was just too gross for me.

If it’s what I’m thinking about, they call it a mushroom, but it’s really a fungus.
It floats on top of the water, then after the tea is made, it’s about doubled in size so you can peal it apart to make 2 kombuchas - either make more tea, or pass it along to someone else.

I loved the idea & the health benefits, but just couldn’t stomach the whole thing. I do think making it yourself would be healthier than buying it bottled. I’d imagine it would lose something over time.

Yogurt is much more my speed. I’d love to do more of that kind of thing, but I just don’t have the time.
I work a full time job, then I freelance on the side.

As for the yogurt - it was literally so easy, I’m not sure why everyone doesn’t do it.
I made enough to fill 5 pint jars that went into the fridge about midnight Saturday, and we’ve already finished half of it. I think we’ll be making more before the week is out. I’m sure the novelty will wear off soon enough though.


I liked making kombucha and only stopped because when I travelled once it kind of “died”. It’s much less expensive, easy, fun.


@slw – haha – some folks find it gross – my 10 year old grandson and me love the pineapple/peach flavor.