Saturday, July 04, 2015

Magnetic Matching Game


I've been saving frozen juice lids for a few months. I only buy frozen orange juice for backup so it took me a while to accumulate more than twenty. I originally was saving them for some sort of picture game for Kate, but I didn't really have the images readily available, so I decided to use them to help learn numbers instead.
I printed off two sets of these numbers in black and white, and colored them with colored pencil one night while watching something on tv. After that I drew circles around them with a small glass and a pencil and then cut them out and used a regular school gluestick to paste them onto the clean lids.
Using magnetic wands purchased at a local children's store for three dollars each, we have had a great time playing matching with the numbers and then even more fun just playing with the magnetic wand and lids on their own. There really is a lot you can do with lids and magnetic wands. I've already started saving some more for future inspiration.

in the garden and out


Sometimes summer break means just heading out with your new camping chair to sit in the sun and sort your Pokemon card collection that your grandmother still supports. The whole collection has been underwritten by friends, family and Seth's own bank account since his parents do not share the same interest in these cards. They do heartily support being outside, however.


Growing up, I didn't like many of the flowers that my mother liked and grew. Geraniums, marigolds, and several others.  They all seemed to smell too strong, come in strange colors or have homely foliage. But when I started gardening and researching vegetable gardening, I relented and planted marigolds to help ward off pests. A couple of years ago, I saw some geraniums on mark-down and brought them home despite the strong odor and too-bright colors. This year, four-inch pots were marked down to a dollar each, same as the herbs. So I loaded up on my herbs and threw in a couple of geraniums for color. Terracotta and geraniums were born for each other, so I went back for two more. Now I have some serious bright lights in the garden to break up the green, yellow and white growing there.


I saw someone mention these Sweet Italia peppers called 'Carmen', so I checked them out and found that Bonnie Plants which I can buy at our local Walmart sells them. Sure enough, I checked and added these two plants in some empty spaces in the bean rows most likely caused by various chipmunks who are no longer with us because of our attempts to trap a rat. Growing peppers have not given me high yields in past years, but I'm always up for inexpensive experiments.


I watched a local black squirrel climb up our locust tree in the front yard with a long and leggy twig in this mouth.  I didn't realize at first that the mess of branches and leaves stuck in the branches was actually a nest until he stopped there and shoved his stick into this mess. I came back a few minutes later with the camera to witness two branches filled with leaves falling to the ground below as he re-worked the living quarters. We've watched other squirrels build nests in one of the other trees, and they hauled up mouthfuls of large maple leaves up the trunk and settled them into the crook of the tree. Watching animals work and play always is enjoyable and interesting.


The tent was a birthday gift from my parents at my suggestion. It looks quite solitary sitting there. Would you believe that it was actually full of kids in this photo? At least 3 boys and possibly two little sisters were all in there at one point before the nerf gun war got underway.


The tent occupants are ready to go and me and my camera appear to be in their sights. Better head back to safety and get the scavenger hunt ready.






And then here is a quick look around the garden. Peas are just starting to come, one zucchini seen below has already been consumed, along with some of that Bronze Arrow lettuce, my go-to garden lettuce.
Celery, beans, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes round out the usual suspects, along with two containers filled with various herbs.
















And blueberry handpies made with puff pastry. Thanks, Kathleen for this idea.


Friday, July 03, 2015