Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hello Sunny Sunday

Had snow yesterday and getting more snow tomorrow afternoon. Apparently it is a H-U-G-E storm.
Meh, it's winter.
No one likes being house bound thanks to Mother Nature, but what can you do except to make sure you have gas in your car, food to cook and a generator in case of a power outage. Loss of the internet will always bite the big one if it happens, but we have books and games so all should be well.

I got my son outside earlier to make snowballs and listen to the snow crunch under his feet. I do think he has a cold coming on again which makes me cringe. Poor kid's nose has been running so much this winter it is crazy.

My garden(s) in their present hibernation state.

I have been looking at seed catalogs, trying to decide what I would like to add to my vegetable list. But I am still unsure. I do know I want kale and leeks again, they grow so well in my garden. Other than that, I am still tossing around all sorts of ideas on what to grow.

Since I can be easily distracted, I came across the site, ZeroWasteHome. This is not new to me, but I never really read her "tips" page. If you are a frugal person or homesteader, you probably already implement some if not most of her suggestions. Even if you are not and are interested in ways to cut back on your waste, take a gander at her 100 Tips.

We signed up for Amazon Prime. They were offering a promotion of $72 for the year. With my credit card points we got it for $30 so why not? So far I like it. What I don't like is that they and Netflix have a lot of the same movies and TV shows, barring the ever obnoxious HBO who fights everyone and gave their streaming rights only to Amazon. (Yes, HBO pisses me off and yes I have watched a lot of the shows which are usually pretty awesome, but still.) I want Netflix and Amazon to compliment each other not compete,  but I am a peon in their worlds so my opinion is moot.
Anyway, after going through what Amazon had to offer, I chose to begin watching the tv series Hannibal. It is downright creepy and everyone's acting is marvelous. What is most exciting for me is that Richard Armitage, fabulous actor and delicious eye candy to boot, will be joining the cast as a serial killer. Rock on.
On Netflix I began watching the animated series Bob's Burgers. A little demented, a little silly and a ton of fun. The humor is not for everyone, but I am not everyone so I dig it.

Now I am off to have some tea. May you all have a nice evening and if you are in the path of this snowstorm, stay safe.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

An Opinion and Apples

Education is extremely contentious in this fine Nation of ours. Myself, I would have loved "estimated" answers and essays for my SAT's. Alas, that was long ago.

The Common Core has its supporters and critics, but what of the actual students? Do they have a say? I mean, how much testing do we really need to do? All this studying for tests takes away any time to actually learn a little something. This letter to the editor from a 13 year old out of Parsippany is pretty impressive.  I don't care if her she wrote it herself or received help from classmates, a teacher or her parents. The points she makes are valid and worth considering. I have a feeling that homeschooling, unschooling and alternative education plans are going to soar thanks to the blind belief that only testing gives you measure on how smart these kids are and what they are retaining. No practical applications, no experiments, just write the answer down or tap the keyboard and pick a, b, c or d. Hell, anyone can memorize answers, we all have.

My son is fortunate enough to just be a preschooler. He is in a class of 5 children. It will be interesting to see what happens when these youngsters move onto the public schools with 22 kids in a class. I am sure most will adjust with ease, but wouldn't it be better to have smaller classes? Of course I know the "cost" arguments, but since everyone is so worried about 'the children', wouldn't it make sense to try and set them up for success? Or if not for success, put them in an environment where the opportunity to thrive is greater? Not everyone can afford private schools who usually keep their student teacher ratio pretty manageable. I know I don't have the answers, but I do like to think about what could be done to improve education.
Maybe we should ask the students themselves for once.

And now, a random video: How Does It Grow? Apples


Friday, January 16, 2015

Interesting Things to Share

Tudor Monastery Farm - Very interesting series. There is also Edwardian Farm and Wartime Farm.

Rose Water and Orange Blossoms food blog. Oh my goodness I want that Talami!

Nutella Puffs for desert. Yum!

TinkerLab is a great site for anyone looking for different, fun projects to do with their kids of all ages.

10 Traits for Better Living by Claire Wolfe

Printable Mini Envelopes and Tiny Cards from Lia Griffith let's you add a special touch to any gift.

Have a terrific weekend!