Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink."
Home preparedness. It's not just for those folks wearing their tin foil hats! Here in the Tri-state we have some very big reasons to have basic supplies on hand at all times. Over the last week, we have had 3 semi-serious situations that called for the average person to use their wits.
The first of the inconvenience tri-fecta was that nice icy Tuesday morning. We expected snow but we did not expect it to be so slick! Winter storms are best weathered at home. Yes, I know you know how to drive in the ice and the snow but "BillyJoRayBob" obviously does not. A person can do without a gallon of milk for a few days but how about electricity? Do you have an alternate source of heat? A simple solution is closing off all but one room and using a small portable device like this Coleman Blackcat Propane Heater. Remember, this heater requires supervision at all times.
Number two was a real eye opener to many in our area. An enormous water main broke and forced a county wide boil water advisory for days. Some were completely without water for some time. Interviews with local "victims" reflected how lost people were with the slightest discomfort. The schools were closed for 2 days as far away as Cabell Midland High School! That's almost 14 miles away for those of you who aren't local. This is such an easy thing to be prepared for. Find a spot in your house where you can set back a few jugs of drinking water for each person in your house. You will also want to store some "grey water" for things like flushing toilets. We also have a few Tide liquid dispenser containers that we did not wash out full of water. Those are a welcomed when it comes time to wash your hands in an emergency. This is something that is practically free and everyone can accomplish.
The last problem we've had this week was the gas leak from the John Amos Power Plant in St. Albans. It didn't effect us directly here in Huntington. We were outside of the range of the "blue cloud" but it's an excellent reminder that we could be called to "shelter in place" at any time. Do you have enough provisions to be comfortable? Pick up a few extra things at the store next time.
Here is a brief list of things that should be in your emergency kit.
Flashlight (check often if the batteries are good. The ones you "shake" are excellent)
wind up radio (these are very reasonably priced and invaluable in a black out)
1 gallon of water for every person per day
first aid kit
items for the young and the infirmed
Blankets and sleeping bags
a NON ELECTRIC can opener
exam gloves or some other kind of protection for your hands (I have non-latex ones for me!)
Remember, It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark!
Friday, January 25, 2008
"It's a major award!" (That was just for Becca!)
Becca gave me my very first bloggy award. I'm so excited. You'd think I'd gotten an Emmy or and Oscar or like... seen my name in the paper or something!
It always thrills me to death when I see that she stopped by my little spot on the net because I enjoy her blog so much! Imagine my excitement this evening when I realized I had this little lovely waiting on me!
What in the world did we do before we had public diaries? I've been doing this for about 18 months and it's been such a wonderful therapy. It's enough to vent and write things down but to get the occasional feedback is a definite bonus.
I wonder how I would explain blogging to someone who'd been in a coma for 20 years? How would I explain the sense of community that is shared among bloggers?
Maybe it would go something like,
"yeah, what's that all about?"
"eh,, it's like an online journal that everyone can see. Web. Log. Web-log. Weblog. Blog. Get it?"
"Oh, Ok. Why do you do it?"
"People do it for all kinds of reasons." "To keep family that is far away updated, to share a hobby or collection, or just to drone on and on about stuff that their families are sick of hearing about" ::: ehhmm,, don't read too much into that:::::
"What makes you think that anyone would want to waste their valuable time reading that?"
"I never expected anyone to read it, really. People do though!"
"How do you come across these 'blogs'"
"What's a google?"
Hmmm, apparently Mr. Coma Patient has a lot of catching up to do.
This "major award" comes with some responsibility though. I have to spread the love and nominate 10 people for the "You Make My Day" blog award.
Amy at the foil hat. She totally makes my day. I wish I lived in Florida or she lived in WV!
Mary , Stephanie and Jennifer my favoritest local homeschool bloggy friends!
Tammy (she's local too) because she started blogging because she reads my blog. Nothing like a little flattery huh?
Buzzardbilly, HausFrau, and Blonde Goddess because they crack me up and make me smile daily with their irreverent humor.
Yard Sale Bloodbath I would love to go yard saleing with this blogger. That's my kind of junk!
And when I'm not looking at Becca's pretty knits, I'm probably admiring the knits on zigzag stitch .
Thanks again Becca! That was fun!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
This still is not my favorite but it's good in a pinch and it makes up really quickly! I thought I'd show you how it's done.
Specs on the pattern pieces
Cut from poster board. This enables you to use the pieces again and again. Just trace around the pieces when placing them on your fabric.
Piece 1= 11.5 inches by 10.5 inches cut 1 of terry (mine is old ugly towel)
Piece 2= 10.5 inches by 4.5 inches cut3 of flannel (ever feel like monkeys are flying out of your butt?)
Piece 3= 10.5 inches by 4 inches cut 1 of nylon, PLU, or ripstop
Piece 4= 4.5 inches by 3 inches cut 2 flannel
A 1/2 inch seam was taken throughout (because the math was easier than 5/8ths ha ha)
Note that piece 3 and 4 are cut on the fold.
You might consider not being a complete lazy butt and ironing your pieces. It was late and my ironing board makes a horrible screach. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
The zigzag isn't necessary but I think it looks nice and lays flatter.
Trimming the seams makes it lie much neater and flatter when you flip it inside out.
I use my zigzag stitch as close to the edge as possible. This keeps the egde from fraying. If you hate your zigzag stitch (like I did on my old machine) then consider doing a blanket stitch by hand around the outer edge. If not, you don't have to do anything at all but after a few washes you might be sorry.
Stitching in the ditch. Basically, just stitch along your seams. This helps it fold better.
Now I think this one is a bit bulky but it washes nicely and it dries quickly.
How ironic is it that I have include the words can crusher in today's post? tee hee.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Here are the learning links we're using:
Online activities using the Metropolitan Museum of Art's site
WebQuesting From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler: 30 Years Later
Flash games and activities for Mixed-up Files
Friday, January 18, 2008
1. Cut your paper in a square or a banner shape
2. Only use up to 5 stars.
3. Wait and don't jump ahead.
Technically it would have been a lot more fun to just "do our own thing" but it's important to learn to listen and follow instructions.
The kids did a lovely job of course. Can I just tell you that since I've started homeschooling, I've really let go of a lot (not all) of my control issues? I'm not saying it's not still hard but I'm getting better. I know that homeschoolers get stereotyped as "control freaks" and yes,, that's true a lot of the time. I mean, heck, someone had to take control of their education didn't they? Even a very unconventional unschooler has exerted his or her control by choosing that lifestyle. There was a time when I would not have been happy to let T1 put that many stripes on his flag but I stood back, gave him a few gluing pointers and let it go. This sounds incredibly lame to some of you, I know, but this is a huge hurdle for me! I think his weaving turned out kinda cool!
Pops was able to go with us. His vacation is almost over. He and the boys were really taken with the aviation exhibit. It was really cool. They had flight simulators, a hands on wind tunnel, this cool thing that showed airflow by supporting a ball in the air, and some other things that I can't recall right now.
After we left we decided to walk over to the Jesse Stuart Foundation Museum. They were so excited to get visitors! So excited in fact that they gave us a very detailed tour and lecture on Jesse Stuart. Very cool and totally worth the price of admission- FREE.
The museum is located in the old post office, so one of the curators showed us the old safes. Notice in the picture below that there is a safe above the one the boys are standing in.
Do you know why they did that?
Here's a clue.
Ashland is a river town.
Yup, I bet you got it! Flooding.
When a flood threatened, all the money and stamps went in the upper level safe.
There is also a used book store in the back. I scored some great books!
Incident At Hawk's Hill by Allan W. Eckert- This was not used, it was in the local author's section of the main store. Allan Eckert (I don't have to tell this to history buffs) writes amazing accounts of North American History. Especially local history. You might have heard of That Dark and Bloody River. Well, we had no idea he'd written children's books too! It's a Newberry Honor book to boot.
Custer's Last Stand (a OLD edition, Pops assured me it's inaccurate)
Men Who Have Risen - a collection of short biographies from the turn of LAST century. It's over 100 years old and the binding is as tight as day one. It's a very cool book and quite a deal for a dollar!
Usborne Puzzle Adventures Time Train to Ancient Rome- 50 whole cents!
And the best of all? Everything You Need To Know About Math Homework.- I've checked this book out of the library SO MANY TIMES! Now it's MINE! WHOO HOO! all for the value price of $1.00.
I thought I might try and get a little bit of school work in before we left the house today but I decided that for my own sanity we would just call it a field trip day. Turned out to be a good decision. We learned quite today!
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Thursday, January 17, 2008
Ok,, maybe not so much. Maybe we stuck something heavy in a box, made a big nail stick out of it and stuck a poster board circle on top.
Anyway, we took it outside yesterday and marked where the shadow fell. A little while later, we marked it again. The idea was just to show how the shadow would move.
We left it outside over night and through the next day to see if the shadow fell in the exact same spot the next day. It was PERFECT! If we marked out all the hours we could tell time by it! We left it out again. If we don't get snow tonight, we'll go make some more lines on it tomorrow.
Dad is still reading Treasure Island to the boys. We're all very into it and can't wait to read the next chapter. The boys are very interested in all the weaponry of course. Dad is working in a lot of history along with this reading. That's always good. Tonight we learned about Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood's dealings with Blackbeard the pirate and why European countries hired privateers.
It all sounds so wonderful doesn't it? Well, perhaps I shouldn't mention that we also learned about why they call it the "Poop Deck"! From Wikipedia
In naval architecture, a poop deck is a deck that constitutes the roof of a cabin built in the aft (rear) part of the superstructure of a ship. The name originates from the French word (la poupe) for stern, this makes the poop deck technically called a stern deck, which in sailing ships was usually elevated as the roof of the stern (or 'after') cabin. In sailing ships, with the helmsman at the stern, an elevated position was ideal for both navigation and observation of the crew and sails.
The picture shows the stern of the ship. The deck out of view above the after cabin is the poop deck. On modern, motorized warships, the ship functions which were once carried out on the poop deck are moved to the superstructure in the center of the ship (or the island on the starboard side, in the case of aircraft carriers), and the aft area, which is clear and flush with the main deck, is referred to as the fantail.
Pretty interesting huh? I thought so!
Monday, January 14, 2008
I slept late today. I could have had something to do with the fact that no one was stomping around the bedroom at zero dark thirty. Yup, Big Daddy's on vacation this week. I had no subconscious "it's time to get up" thing. This lead us to a late start this morning.
And as usual no sooner than we got school out of the way, it was time to go to band. Actually, I had to go pick up my new "specs" before band today. Whoo hoo (can you sense the enthusiasm?) I'm a glasses wearer.
Whoa. Can you say "Deer in the headlights"?
It's nice though. I can see stuff! Stuff has edges, grass has blades, sweaters have texture, and the interwebs has words! WOOT.
My family keeps looking at me and saying "wow,, you look geeky". I say it's just the inner geek coming to the outside.
Ok, so has anyone stuck to their New Year's Resolutions? My unofficial resolution was to use my treadmill more. I still want to, I haven't given up but I won't lie, I haven't even unfolded it. Nope not once. I have a nice new treadmill but I really haven't used it much. I walked the belt off the last one I had, literally. That's when I lost all kinds of weight. So much for that huh? After the treadmill I got an elliptical . God did I hate that thing! So my loverly honey bought me a really nice treadmill. Looks great with blankets and stuffed animals hanging all over it doesn't it?
After band the whole gang made a trip to Lowes and Home Depot (Slows or Home Despit as we call them) . We're going to tile the front bathroom. We've gone through numerous kinds of flooring in the boy's bathroom and none of them have been any good. I'll also tell you that we've replace the joists under the floor 2 times due to water damage. Boys. Are. Slobs. They slop water out of the tub, they don't even "shake" before getting out of the tub, and they don't hit the toilet with any amount of accuracy. So, we're going to try tile. At least no moisture can get under it. Wish us luck. This will either work out well or go horribly, horribly wrong.
Off to bed. Sleep tight!
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I mentioned a few days ago (maybe a week, who's counting?) that the boys were studying "time". I also said that I would post some learning links. In this past week I've discovered something really cool. It may be old news to some but I had never run across it before. It's called Squidoo. It's a super easy platform that allows you to put all of your knowledge in one place. I'm going to use it to organize my home school unit studies. Here is the unit we put together on the History of Time.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
CROCK POT CHICKEN & CORNMEAL DUMPLINGS
1 (9 oz.) pkg. frozen cut green beans
Thaw beans by placing in strainer and run hot water over beans. Transfer to crock pot. Add chicken, potatoes, chicken broth, vegetable juice, celery, onion, chili powder, salt and hot pepper sauce, mixed together. Cover. Cook on low for 4 hours. Turn to high heat and heat until bubbly. Add water at this point if needed. Combine biscuit mix, cornmeal, 1/2 cup cheese and parsley. Add milk and stir until just moistened. Drop by tablespoons onto stew; cover. Cook 2 1/2 hours more (don't lift cover). Sprinkle dumplings with rest of cheese.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
It was UGLY.
I don't see today being much better. Not because of the kids but I have a sinus headache from hell. I felt it coming on last night and took some Nyquil and went to bed. This morning? Apparently the Nyquil wore off. Time for Dayquil! It's not nearly as good now that there's no Sudafed in it.
Methheads SUCK! I have to sign over my first born to the pharmacy now to get a flippin' Sudafed. Forget trying to get any after 9pm.
Anyway.... time to call in the substitute teacher! oh wait.... I don't have one. Darn-it.
Tomorrow is Project Day. Since we didn't have many school days in December we don't really have a good project. I think the kids are just going to show and tell their ballista that they built with dad over the summer.
Speakin' of Dad. He's reading Treasure Island with them currently. It's nice to not be the one to do the reading right now! He has vacation next week so they plan to finish it up then. They seem to be enjoying it.
We recently watched "Night at the Museum" and enjoyed it immensely. I know we're kinda late to the table on this one but I highly recommend this movie. No foul language, no sexual innuendo, a little bit of a history lesson and we laughed and laughed. Very funny movie. Ben Stiller, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, and Bill Cobb are just a few faces you'll recognize. By far Mickey Rooney's character, Gus, was our favorite. Our family friendly rating is five stars!
Our next book is "From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler". It looks like it'll be cute. This book is about 2 kids who run away and decide to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's also a Newberry award winner so it's go that going for it too. It seems like a good follow up to "Night at the Museum"
Nissan update? They rigged up my door so it would work until they get a new part. I'll spare you the details of how condesending and jerk like "Jim" was. I will tell you that he told me that I "needed to not be so rough on my door handle"
If I want to haul 1/2 ton loads of bricks from my door handles then I'll do it! I'm not being abnormally rough on my door handles! The kids literally use their entire body weight to open and close the door and their doors aren't broken! I just think it's a giant peice of plastic crap and they want to make it look like it's my fault.
I still LOATH them.
Well, the kids are finally stirring. Time to suffer through.. I mean start school.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Oh, and by the way, the pot roast ROCKS!
"The girls" showed up in the back yard looking for something green to eat. Poor deer. Not a green leaf in the whole yard. I don't have any qualms about making a deer dinner but I don't wanna see them hungry. (makes the meat stringy, HA!) The baby is cute as (she? he?) can be. None of them are the slightest bit afraid of us, which would be a shame should we have to take one of 'em out! When the bucks come through though,, that's another story. They are quite hateful. Snorting and stamping their hooves at us and the cats. Our furry friends here are the whole reason we fence our garden in the warm months!
This next week is going to be horribly busy. I want to crawl in a hole.
Get up, brown a roast, put 'er in the crock pot.
Fix the boys and I some lunch to throw in the car.
Get myself cleaned up and then make sure the guys are presentable.
Make sure the instruments are in the car
Go to Office Depot
Go to Chuck's on 20th st and drop off my "once awesome" lamp
Go to the library
Go to not one but THREE eye appointments.
Take the kids to band
Go to the bank.
Go home and hopefully find a tasty pot roast.
Collapse into a heap.
I hate Mondays.
7:00am I have to be at NISSAN. Yes, you heard me right NISSAN. My door is broke again.
10:00am I have to be at co-op
Now,, co-op is over at 12:30 but I'm thinking after yesterday and my morning at the dealership my day is going to be shot and I'm going to be an evil evil wench so I'm not planning anything for that evening.
I've got nothing but the boys are going to have to put together some kind of something for Friday so we'll have a busy school day. I'd kinda like to keep this day errand free. I do have to make a trip to the Goodwill sometime this week. Maybe Wednesday would be the best day to do it since I don't have any clue how ugly the whole car issue is going to be.
The last possible day to get my driver's license renewed. Yes, it's my birthday. BOO HISS! I'll be trying my hardest to do something decent with my hair this day and spending the biggest portion of my day at the DMV. Yeah me.
Project Day for the kids. Not till afternoon but Friday is my "run around and pay all the bills" day. We usually do an abbreviated school day on Fridays but with the way this week is going? Geeze, I dunno,, we'll play it by ear.
The week after this one coming up,, Big Daddy has a vacation week in which we'll be doing house repairs. The boys and I will have to make sure to double up on all the school work we're missing this week too. Sounds like double duty for mama. Isn't that the way it always is?
After that we'll be in the home stretch out of January. HECK YEAH! I do hate January so so so badly! I spend the entire winter saying "COME ONNNNNNN SPRING!!!" January and February could both drop off the calendar all together and I wouldn't care one bit.
Well, for someone who has nothin', I sure typed alot!