Sunday, November 13, 2005

The pleasure of stacking wood...

From a giant, willy-nilly pile dumped by the wood dealer to this. Not only do I get my exercise shlepping it behind the house but as order appears I am filled with pleasure. I like finding the rarer pieces of golden birch, white birch and beech....their barks are so beautiful; the sour smell of oak; judging how dry a piece is as I heft it...feeling like a lottery winner if most of the wood feels light.

Many simple victories in one task. Order out of chaos. Preparing for the future. Piling stuff up that doesn't fall down. It doesn't get better than this.

Shopping At the Dump

Transfer station, actually. I love shopping at the transfer station's "trade shack". Here are some very popular finds that amuse my students.

This silly thing makes a high pitched wogga-wogga-wogga sound when you shake it. I find it a fine accompaniment to slide shows where it can emphasize points in my narrative....or give a rousing lizard cheer for someone who has made a good comment.

This is the "heads or tails machine". It is one of three banks I found and fixed that no longer had the bank part. The delivery system fascinates kids as they watch their lunch money get carried through the gears and fall out the top.

This mechanism shoots out the velcro tipped tongue...need I say more?

Metal sculptures from India? Whatever they are, children find them interesting and examine them under our big magnifying glass.