Monday, October 27, 2014

We Need Some Help Charging Into the Future with eneloop!.

I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed, so I just created a request for my classroom at Charging Into the Future with eneloop!.

Give to my classroom by November 3 (2014)
and your donation will be doubled thanks to Just enter the code SPARK on the payment page and you'll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $100).

If you chip in to help my students, you'll get awesome photos and our heartfelt thanks.

Thank so much,

P.S. If you know anyone who may want to help my classroom, please pass this along!

This is the energy storing string thing.....>

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Old Photos: Love My Tortoise

I have been creating blogs recently.  Actually only one seriously, focused in a cross-eyed way on the history of seed companies and the general gardener's use of purchased seeds.  But while I am crawling through the internet attics that tell the stories I keep stumbling over wonderful photos from the past!  To amuse friends, I started two that are cat and dog blogs, Good Dog! Snapshots from the 20th Century and Cat Smiles.   I am not sure why I started the main blog, only I was looking up stuff for myself and I wanted to share it; it seemed a waste to find cool bits and pieces then leave them in the attic!

That all said, what do I do when I find something I like so much I want to share it but it isn't in any of my categories?  As you have already guessed, the answer is to stick them here!

I love these two photos.  For no reason I can pin point, I think it is the the 1940s or early1950s...probably England.

If you have never read Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, give it a try. An enchanting memoir from a world renowned naturalist, focusing on his childhood on Corfu where his English family went to escape the grey and sneezes of England.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Maker Alert: Very Cool 1870s Weather Prediction Device

This 1870 home-made weather glass (shown below) looks like fun to try...but could I do it by shopping on Amazon for all the chemicals and the bottle?  And, not having taken chemistry, can I do it without poisoning myself?

The answer looks to be YES to both concerns.  The chemicals are used in cooking...and blowing up stuff.  That is kind of cool by itself!

As a licorice lover, the fact that one of the chemicals, sal ammoniac, is used in the Nordic countries in a salty licorice candy opened a new world of treats to me. (And, yes, Amazon has that, too :-)  You could kill yourself with the chemicals if you were really dumb or determined, but it seems highly unlikely. I found a 12 inch glass hydrometer test tube for sale that was the right shape to substitute for the fascinating bottle illustrated below.  I wonder what that shape bottle was made for in 1870.  

The only problem is the cost gets to about $ I am out.  Sheesh...I wanted to see the star shaped precipitate rising and falling with the weather changes!!!!  Time to start looking around for friends with a bit of this and that laying around...maybe someone cures meat with saltpetre. I have a tube already from aborted wine making...that gets it down to 40ish.  I think I need to retire to have the time to pursue all this.

The last question is - does it work?  No clue.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

One -Two, One -Two, One - Two!

One -Two, One -Two,  One - Two! (Trying to keep her kitty cat figure... )

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Peaceful and Healthy New Year,

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Mouse and Cat

Meet my needle felted mouse....and my real live cat. 
I started a new hobby called Needle Felting.  It is very easy to do if you can think in 3-D.  You treat the wool like clay (sort of) and just mesh the fibers together with a special needle that has barbs on it.  The mouse eyes are tiny beads sewn in.  His hands, which are going to hold a tiny book, are made from unraveled wool embroidery yarn.

Look it up on Google...there are millions of pages of instruction and pictures. 
A fun place to see a wide variety of styles of felt artist work is Etsy
Etsy is an online sales venue for craftspeople.  It is fun to just look through.

I hate ticks!

It is sort of funny I should post that title since tomorrow afternoon I start the spring semester Bug Club for the after school enrichment program the PTA organizes!  But I do dislike ticks because I once had Lyme Disease...a sneaky disease from tick bites.  You can find more on ticks on our Waddell web site.

Here is a picture of me in my ANTI-TICK suit!!  I treated it with a pesticide that kills ticks on contact.  You do not put the spray on you, just on clothes.  When I garden or go in the woods I wear it.  I look like a crazy lady but I feel safer.
Here is the picture on the pocket :-)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Floating Around

 (This post is really from last August...those of you who know wildflowers would have picked up on the discrepancy :-)
I don’t spend all summer at school, you know! This year I am trying something new…nature photography from my little boat.
AND, before you can get mad at me for not wearing a life vest, I want you to know I have one now and I do wear it. This boat is made for fishermen. It is easy to get right up to the shore when I spot a flower, then I step out, and click away.
I am in love with my new pontoon boat. I was saving money for a new laptop but then we stopped in at Cabella’s (a sport supply store like Disneyland in Michigan!) and I left with this boat:-)

This is a Cardinal Flower. Hummingbirds are said to love it (they investigate anything that is red, including bottle tops!). It grows right along the edge of ponds and streams.


Did you know there are clams in fresh water? I really never thought about it and always associated clams with ocean clam flats. This big one was just floating in the water so I think it was dead….but I put it back in case it was just going “walkabout”.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Cow barn...Guernsey? Woodstock Fair, CT 2006

The cow barns and other animal barns have been rebuilt recently. The fair is tidy feeling, and clean...with just enough oddball stuff and old funky buildings to keep it real.

Do you see the cow chewing? She is chewing her cud. A cud is a wad of grass that she ate earlier in the day. It had been kept in her first stomach for awhile, then passed to her second stomach where it got softened up even more and formed into lumps called cuds. Later when she felt relaxed and lays down she will "burp" it up to have a second chew. Then she will swallow it and it goes to her third stomach and on to the fourth!!!

All these stomachs are needed because grass is really hard to digest. We can't digest it. Animals called ruminants can. Ruminants are cows and sheep and goats and camels. There are probably more but I can't think of them right now. (Look it up!)

Now you know why I say you look like you are chewing your cud when I catch you chewing gum in art class...

Woodstock Fair 2006 Duck or Goose

I forget what this is! Big duck? Little Goose? Whatever it is you see it doing the water bird thing of getting some waterproofing oil from the gland at the base of its tail then applying it to its breat feathers. Waterbirds take a lot of time in the day to keep their feathers in good codition. It is a matter of life or death!

The cow barn at the Woodstock Fair - Woodstock CT 2006

more cows at the fair. We could nt get in to the barn...I forget why but no one was allowed in so this was peeking in through the windows.

Cool chicken at the Woodstock CT Fair 2006

I took zillions of photos and movies at the Woodstock Fair to share with students when we do projects that could use some reference materials.
I live near the Fairgrounds and go there often over the 4 days of the Labor Day long weekend.