Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dutch Profanities

Miels.nl �Old Dutch invective Archive

Hope you are using a browser that will translate, 'cause its in Dutch. But who wouldn't want to know Dutch profanities? Chrome translated it for me automatically.

I might have to take note and see how many I can fit in a single conversation!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New microbe found eating Gulf oil spill - Disaster in the Gulf - msnbc.com

New microbe found eating Gulf oil spill - Disaster in the Gulf - msnbc.com:

This is the most beautiful thing! There is a critter that EATS oil. Sure, there are always issues with some specific critter suddenly flourishing above and beyond anything its done before, but when the resource is gone, the population will decrease. My students thought this was the coolest thing ever. Probably helps that I was just about jumping up and down with excitement over it. If there is a niche to be filled, something will fill it. Such total coolness.

Add to it... BP was funding the $500 million, 10 year grant. Hmmmm.... I've doubted how 'evil' BP might be, and this points to more 'stupidity' involved in this leak than evilness.

I wonder what next cool thing we will discover!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

School has started, Life is busy

Well, as I expected posting is less now that school has started. I feel at a loss as to what to write about, even though there all sorts of little bits of news: I love my classes, school has started off quite well, I'm tired, my seedlings are HUGE, but its still too hot to plant them out in the garden, I did really good with the weekly home blessings this morning and we put together some fun stuff yesterday.

Part 1: School. 
This really is the bulk of my life these days. Luckily, I love teaching and I love figuring out how to educate my students in a way that is fun for all of us. I haven't implemented full-blown SBG, its more a blend between a more traditional grading system and SBG. The school admin wants to better understand what the impact SBG would have on grades and parental understanding of what the grades mean. I understand that. I might not love the response to SBG, but it works for me. I'll spend this year presented a good case for SBG.

In Logic 2 (8th grade-ish), we started reading Silent Spring. I think this might need its own blog post to describe the great time I'm having with it. We had a wonderful conversation in both classes as we read chapter 1 and part of 2. Carson paints a grim picture in chapter 1 and uses some major emotional language in chapter 2, so I tried to bring that out. We talked about what Carson is trying to convince us of, with the thought towards evaluating that claim after we've seen the book's argument. I love the intelligent conversation we can have! Its amazing the change that just 2 years brings in a child's development. The younger 2 grades, grammar 5 (5th) and grammar 6 (6th) both also went amazingly well. Last year had a rocky start, but with just one year of experience, I'm feel so much  more confident.

Part 2: Garden
The high today is 104'. ARGH!!!! When I figured out the timing for planting my seeds (so that they would be ready to plant out last week of Aug or first week of Sept), I took into account both seed packet times and how long it took in the spring. Nope -- Rachael got that wrong. Sort of a "duh" moment. Early spring is chilly, chilly, even here in Central Texas, and tomatoes and peppers will take what seems like forever to sprout and grow. With this heat, they will grow wonderfully fast, which would be good, except they are outgrowing the seedling containers. The seeds all sprouted in less and a week, and now they are starting to produce little bunches of flowers (the tomatoes, at least). Well, I guess I'll have to plant them out even in this heat and hope for the best. In the meantime, I've pinched off the flowers and I'll transplant to bigger containers this afternoon. Maybe I can put off putting them out another week.

Cayenne Pepper -- Still producing!
The crazy bit is that the cayenne pepper plant is still producing abundantly and I think its only getting water from the septic sprinklers -- I'm not watering it. I picked 20 some odd peppers this morning, and there are more flowers. Plus, all the leaf-footed bugs are gone, I can't find any stink bugs, and even the weeds are chilling out for now. I haven't watered but once a week ago or so; my plan was to let stuff petter out and give the garden a rest for Aug. The neighbors down the street, who I've never gotten over to talk to, completely cleared out their garden at the end of July and haven't planted it yet for the fall. (Maybe they won't, I've never asked.).

On the more poopy side, I usually handle heat fairly well, but lately its been really taking it out of me. But I'm also back working more than ever before, so who knows why I'm so tired. Probably a combination? Just makes for less garden time.

Part 3: Housekeeping.
I talked about my chore schedule rearrangement a few weeks ago, here it is. For two weeks now, I've aimed to do the weekly home blessing on Saturday morning, along with the laundry and other sorts of chores. Its worked quite well; it gets my Saturday off to a decent start and the house is wonderfully clean for Sunday and the start of the week. I still haven't figured out when to grocery shop (I think Thursday after school?) and menu planning is a hit and miss activity (aiming for Sunday afternoon), but things are going well for the most part.

Part 4: Fun Stuff
We know Hank likes high places, and we've put him on top of the TV cabinet a few times to see what he would do. We've discussed how to create a set of "stairs" for him to get up there on his own (and down), and went to the local hardware store to explore the creation of a PVC pipe contraption. I drew it out and we pondered what we needed and started looking at prices and figured out quick that would be $100 and up. So, nix that. Then Hubby had a wonderful idea! We got 2 simple plastic shelving units with 4 shelves each, got several pvc couplings, and put the shelves together so that the shelves alternate going up. We figure if Hank decides he's not interested, we have plenty of places we can use a set of shelves.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Google Books

Google Books

Wow, I love this! I can find boo-koos and boo-koos of full text books here. I can't save them or print them, but that's okay. I know I will still find myself bored at points, but I have little excuse. I've been using another site to track book reads, and I think it has the most up to date lists, but for the stuff I like to read over and over, this is the place to go.

Anyone else?

Monday, August 02, 2010

For the love of Sausage

We love sausage. It might possibly nature's perfect food, but then bacon is pretty good, too.  And we recently discovered we really enjoy grass-fed beef. We like the extra gamey flavor it offers, beyond. Perhaps it is better for us, even, which is icing on the cake. So, when one blog I follow offered a give away of grass-fed sausage sampler, I had to jump!



So, here is the advertisement for one entry! Go check it out, enter yourself, you just might find you LOVE grass-fed sausage (we might).