Tuesday, June 2, 2009

a busy home day

Today we're going to plant our seedlings in milk crate pots. They're outgrown their current baby pots. We have brussel sprouts, leeks, bok choy, and lettuces. We also have herbs, but they're alright where they are for the time being.

I found a 5 minute gardening book at vinnies, and so we're following the instructions in it. We'll layer news paper, mulch, and compost in the boxes and stick our baby plants in. 

This is all in keeping with our sustainable living projects, we're growing some of our own veg, and using compost and news papers to support the project. 

Stay tuned for pics of our gardening exploits.

our pantry science experiments!

We have been doing some simple science experiments lately. We tested alkaline and acids using purple cabbage water, bi-carb soda, and vinegar. It's like litmus paper, but more fun!

How to do it!

Boil some purple cabbage in a saucepan. Strain the water into a clear jar.

Add some bi-carb soda. This is an alkaline - or base, neutral - substance so it causes the purple water to change to pink.

Add some vinegar (make sure the container is over a bowl because the reaction of the bi-carb and vinegar can get exciting) and the water will change to blue! That's because vinegar is an acid!

We also made a compass using basic household equipment!

All you need is a round cork - the sort found in the top of jars, not bottles - a magnet, some sticky tape, and a needle, a bowl large enough to fit the cork in, and water.

What to do .....

Stroke the magnet in one direction down the needle for three to five minutes.

Use a small bit of sticky tape to stick it to the top of the cork.

Place the cork in the bowl of water and watch the needle spin until the end faces due north!

This shows the properties of magnetism and how they interact with the earth. it's pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

This is the quilt made from $5 second hand material.

Social Awareness strikes when you least expect it!

Stylish has FINALLY DEVELOPED SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS! It came out of the blue - or maybe not. I have been working on it for some time. She is now happy to buy second hand items, and is even starting to get into scouring second hand shops for useful items (either toys, clothes, or RAT paraphernalia - *snicker*)

She spent an hour googling mac donalds the other day and learning about their appalling farming habits, and their appalling FOOD, and how their farming and production impacts  the carbon footprint on our planet. I'd like to thank the museum trip for that actually. We went and saw that exhibition again and she read it all again and had a great time playing on the political game table where you balance a governments finances, popularity, and green policy all against each other and try to stay in power.

Her latest thing has been RAT WELFARE. She wanted a new pet rat and I said no because we have two already.  I said she could get one if she could find an animal shelter with one - anything to avoid arguing - and I figured it would be hard to do *chalked up as a bad decision*. She not only found rat welfare homes, but she found a rat, and we brought her home today. All our rats are currently settling in with each other. 

My father seems to be coming around to the idea of home school - and yet still struggling with it. He has been asking questions about HSC, and is willing to help us pay for a trip to Cairns for edumacational purposes, but today when he saw us with the rats he remarked "she could be at school, instead she's at home playing with rats". I ignored it coz I thought it was funny.

We have been attending a local homeschool group and Stylish has been having a wonderful time playing with other children who have freaky parents like me. Spikee has also been enjoying the local groups and there are some kids his age there for him to play with as well. The hardest bit of it is that it happens on our usual shopping day so I need to go shopping later, and then I'm dragging a finicky toddler about trying to shop. But I'm really enjoying the whole picnic in the park, let the kids run amok thing and so are the kids.

I have spoken to some other mothers at the group about what they have done for re registration purposes. It all sounds relatively easy when I hear it expressed in their terms, but I'm still having a mental block over it. All I need to do is make a scrap book with samples of her work in it. Sounds simple - no? . NO! I clearly find it very complicated or I'd bloody well DO IT and stop worrying about it! And something interesting that one of them told me is that she was due for re-rego last October and they haven't contacted her yet!? That hardly helps me with my bid to re register, if anything it makes me relaxed and ambivalent - oh well.