Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Disney’s Little Mermaid coloring pages. We also had an underwater scene printed on to cardstock for sand painting and gluing shell pasta.
“Come In” Door hangers: The pattern is from DLT-kids.com printable doorknob hanger. I used a free coloring castle from Lucy Travels. I precut the hangers for the teachers but I left the doorknob opening in place so it would be easier for little hands to color without ripping off the hanger.
Cake: I used a Castle Bundt Pan from Nordic Ware to make the castle. The Betty Crocker yellow cake mix turned a beautiful sandy brown color. You can order bags of single colored M&Ms to fit almost any theme directly from M&M Mars. I ordered three shades of blue for our aquatic theme. A healthy ocean should have a few fish so I stocked ours with a few Swedish Fish. Strangely enough these are easily found at our local Home Depot and they taste so much better then the other gummy type fish. The cake and ocean were arranged on a cardboard soda case covered with heavy duty aluminum foil.
Party favors: The kids’ beach buckets were filled with a princes rubber duck and aquarium sticker sheets from the Oriental Trading Company and a ball from the local dollar store. The Oriental Trading Company site is a favorite for teachers, party throwers and neighborhood carnivals for their assortment of cheap stuff.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
I not sure having this shipped from Peru is very green but I do think it is another reason for me to learn how to crochet. I might need to sketch out a pattern for a knitted or quilted variation for the little guy who is sleeping with the lights on because of monsters.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
This week’s WTOP website of the week is really cool. It is the Foreign Service Institute language courses . This could come in handy for the people know trying to learn Chinese. I could also use it to brush up on my Spanish.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
I love fresh picked tomatoes with just a dash of salt or a dollop of mayo. This past weekend Trader Joe’s was featuring samples of Heritage Tomatoes, Feta Goat Cheese and their balsamic vinaigrette. They have also introduced me to marinated fresh mozzarella cheese with tomatoes and fresh basil which has a bit more spice and heat then using a plain fresh mozzarella.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Back in the 70’s I remember hearing about balloons being removed from the blow holes, lungs, and stomachs of dead whales and other marine mammals. In the past decade there has been a campaign to raise awareness of the choking dangers of latex balloons are to young children. In the hands of a young child they can pop and if swallowed can suffocate the child. A piece lodges in the throat and is nearly impossible to remove weather it be a human child or a whale at sea. The fallen balloons litter our forest, towns, and waters. There are many groups organizing clean ups across the country and trying to put out the word not to litter. Yet the news carries stories of releasing hundreds of pieces of litter… a beautiful memorial but it is all litter once released.
Released balloons threaten air traffic. I’ve been told that the latex balloons and probably the Mylar ones too are a real problem for jet engines and have caused engine failure in mid flight. The good news is most jet planes have multiple jet engines and can usually land with one less. I’ve heard people tell me that balloons don’t go that far. Balloons can travel high and far. During WWII Japan released balloons hoping they would reach the shores of the United States. Several did with one killing a civilian with its cargo.
With all the damage released balloons can do, can we come up with a better substitution to remember our loved ones and be more environmentally and safety conscious?
And to be fair here is a supporter of balloon releases with a set of rules trying make them more environmentally friendly, Outdoor Balloon Releases. To be honest as soon as they mention sending pet ashes up in a balloon, I cringed. The idea of having ashes from a cremated pet falling on me is just totally gross. Then she goes on to recommend “telling” the local airport not asking them so you don’t get tangled up in the red tap. This acknowledges the problem but sort of makes it the ‘pilot’s problem’ not theirs
BalloonRelease.com has information about balloon releases and an alternative of butterflies as well as more scientific information about balloons themselves. The argument that most fully inflated balloons will reach an altitude where they will freeze and burst before falling back down as small ribbons of latex seems to forget that all of those pieces will land somewhere, usually within 5 miles of the release. Considering people don’t want landfills in their back yards, would you really want it to be raining balloon droppings in your yard? Yes, latex balloons are biodegradable. This is a great argument to compost your old balloons. I don’t see it as a reason to release them.
The Balloon Council seems to think that adding only a small percentage of the litter cleaned up off of the beaches isn’t enough to worry about. Hmm, if everyone didn’t contribute a small amount there would be so much less to clean up.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Checking out Wikipedia they don’t mention using olive oil as a cleaner. Chrisjob at curbly.com has a list of 25 Alternate Uses for Olive Oil and pine pitch isn’t listed anywhere.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Last month they featured Webopedia’s text messaging chat abbreviations. I NEED this site to translate some of the emails and instant messages I get from my ‘younger’ friends and co-workers.
Any one in the GREATER Washington/Baltimore area should check out WTOP online or on the radio. It is a great source of local information including news, traffic, and events. The station goes almost as far as some of the commuters do and there are commuters driving in from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Friday, August 10, 2007
I’m trying to find new and interesting routes to walk. Between WalkScore.com and
MapMyRun.com I should be able to find new places to walk to and new routes to get there.
As I posted earlier, Walk Score can help you find out how ‘walk able’ a community is and list lots of different kinds of destinations in walking distance such as libraries, stores, restaurants, parks, and more.
Okay so you won’t see me running unless there is something really big and hungry chasing after me but the Map My Run site can be just as useful for walkers and bikers. On the site you can plot out a course on the interactive map. You can adjust your route to get different distances or vary your scenery during your walk, ride, or run. The results can be printed out or downloaded to your GPS. I’m considering leaving a hardcopy of the map for Tim so he knows where I am if I need to be rescued from pop up thunderstorms or surprise blisters.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
I find it absolutely amazing how few people know what is in their food. Listening to people talk about food you would think food was just made up of calories, fat, salt and maybe some fiber. So many are oblivious to the individual ingredients which make up the foods they enjoy so much.
There almost seem to be three types of people when it comes to eating: those who will eat whatever is handy, others are concerned with calories & fat, and still others that care what goes into there food. With these groups it seems two out of three people seem to have no chance to even know what wheat is. I was brought white bread and was told it was 'white not wheat' and this was while I was in a hospital.
For anyone who has a wheat allergy, Celiac, Lupus, or other reason to avoid wheat or gluten here area few helpful websites:
Gluten-Free Girl Fun to read and she has a lot of useful links
Gluten-Free mall If you can't find it at your local store they probably have it
Trader Joe’s is also increasing their gluten-free and wheat-free lines.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
The garden watch: several of the tomatoes are starting to get a pink blush, the squash and pepper are starting to form fruit and the watermelon is still growing but not quite ready yet.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
It’s been just over a month since I planted and posted our little garden. In spite of the very dry weather we have been having it is growing even faster then the kids. The tomato plant has some good size green tomatoes and the yellow pepper and yellow squash are showing some signs of fruit developing. But the watermelon is the king of the garden. Not only is it spreading to cover the whole bed but it is the only one the rest of the family is taking any interest in. This comes as no surprise and is the reason I only planted one of each of the others. When the first small watermelon was about the size of a quarter, I dragged the children over to the dirt pile they had been told not to play in for weeks. I explained that it was a baby watermelon and it was going to get bigger and then we would get to eat it. They looked at it and at me in complete disbelief. A few days latter I dragged them over again. This time it had more then doubled in size and their mouths began to water. We now have to check the watermelon every day before and after school to see how much bigger it has gotten. It probably has a week or two more to go before we can take it in side and see if we have watered it enough to get sweet juicy home grown melon.
This past week I finally got the opportunity to plant the pumpkin and watermelon we started from seed in the house. I had gotten 4 little containers of soil and seed from Kmart which fit nicely into a plastic Chinese take out dish. The clear plastic top made a great little green house and the kids thought it was really cool when the seedlings pushed the top off. It may be too late to get pumpkins and watermelon from them but the kids are really having fun watching them grow. They now have a home in the yard around yet another old tree stump. So far the garden locations have been determined by already hard to mow areas around old rotting tree stumps. The first garden covers the area where the ground was sinking from the rotting process and was hard to not get the mower stuck. The second one has a partial stump sticking up and a little sinking too. It actually looks like a cool natural garden feature now it is surrounded by a circle of salvaged bricks and healthy topsoil. And both spots are much easier to mow around.
Today's Tip from The Sierra Club The Green Life:
Is to buy from a local store instead of a large chain store. Each dollar spent in a local store has a larger impact on the local econoly as one spent at a chain store...
.... So buy locally
Thursday, August 2, 2007
This looks like it could be a good form to design a costume crown for a masquerade or Halloween costume.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
The last 1/2 of July I managed to walk 18 miles. Most of it over my lunch breaks. It’s a great way of reducing stress along with trying to get a little more fit.
Over the past two days I've come across two websites which could make a walker's life much easier. NotMarth.com posted a link to WalkScore.com which calculates how walk able your community is. After you type in your address it will tell you what in near you (grocery stories, parks, movies, gyms, etc) and how far they are. The Sierra Club e-newsletter The Green Life had information about public transportation which list all the public transportation for an area.