Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Just in time

the periodic table pillowcase is finished so it can be shown to Grandma and Aunt H over the holiday. Some additional decorations may be added later to the background. The radioactive elements are noted by glow-in-the dark paint. This cool project comes from The Elements by Ellen McHenry, which was first brought to my attention by Lorna.

We are finishing The Elements soon and may do a bit of biology before continuing with Carbon Chemistry. My young lab kids will be doing biology after the winter break so I may try to coordinate Noach's lab and home science for awhile. PRM

Monday, November 24, 2008

Of course, I forgot my camera

but we did do a bit of lab this morning. The teen chemistry lab was canceled because so few could come. There were only 3 younger kids as well, so I planned a fun lab. We raced balloons. It was another chance to investigate force and friction. I think they had fun.It didn't look like this but I like this picture anyway.

We will be shutting down for Thanksgiving and not resume until next week. PRM

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well, it was an eventful trip

Our 3 day trip turned into a 5 day trip when our flight home was canceled because of mechanical problems with the plane. This episode involved several hours in the Tampa airport, as well as a bit of time on the plane. We got as far as taxiing toward the runway when there was a loud loss of sound. It was amazing how loud the sudden loss of noise can be. The agitation of the other passengers and the general situation really began to frighten Noach who was glad to finally leave the airport and go back to oldest brother's home.

We took an extra day, Sunday, to relax, and came home mid-day Monday. Noach was still pretty nervous about the flights. Any unexpected noise caused him to ask, What's that?

We did have a wonderful time with our family, oldest son, the Big E, his wife and 2 year old daughter. We got lots of hugs and kisses. She loved to be chased through the house by Noach. This would provoke a joyous shriek that could almost break glass. I took a number of pictures but most are out of focus because 2 year olds keep moving. Every little girl should have an uncle who will get down on the floor with her. Noach was an enthusiastic participant."Look at me, Flacco." Flacco is getting a hair band. Every little one needs a sweet, tolerant dog to play with, too. Flacco, aka Hendrix, is a wonderful companion for a little girl.

We are glad to be home, but looking forward to our next trip in 3 months. PRM

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Be prepared for Bubbe snuggling. Noach and I will be there this afternoon and we are primed for some snuggling. Bubbe, AKA PRM

Monday, November 10, 2008

Purple Hibiscus - Book Review

I have worked hard at completing the 888 Reading Challenge this year. I don't think I will complete it but I will be close. I chose Young Adult books as one of my categories and I have read some real treasures from that list. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is a favorite.

Last week I finished another Young Adult selection, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi that I could not put down. It is a coming of age story set in politically restless Nigeria. The young girl, Kambili, and her brother, Jaja, live with their financially successful father, who is publicly generous, but privately tyrannical and fanatically religious . Kambili's life is rigidly controlled and largely joyless until she spends time with her impoverished aunt and cousins. There she finds laughter and love. She finds religion that can be joyous rather than restrictive and legalistic.

The exotic setting is well-drawn and dramatic. One feels the heat, sees the beauty of the purple hibiscus and smells the unfamiliar foods.

It is a gripping story and the end is hopeful as the family, now without the domineering patriarch, can see a better future. PRM

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Noach and I did yesterday

With apologies to Mason Williams
See them vote toters
Ain't they sumpin'.
Toten' them new voters
Toten' em in bunches.

I met mild-aged voters who had never cast a vote before. Yesterday they felt like they had a voice, coming from someone like themselves. Barack, like Martin, they were on a first name basis. PRM

Our long national nightmare

is coming to an end.

Obama took North Carolina into blue territory. I saw young men and women, college students mostly, who worked loooong hours to accomplish that. They deserve our thanks for their dedication. PRM

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This is it

And it has been exciting. But I am anxious that it won't go well. And I am ready to move on to the next thing.

But for today, Noach and I will be carrying voters to the polls. We will be doing what we can to get these men elected. For my children's future. For my country's future. For Israel's future. PRM

Monday, November 3, 2008


There are two Think! challenges this week. We don't have any marshmallows but we have plenty of candy.
If you have it, use 5 pieces of Halloween candy and 5 toothpicks and 2 straws to make an animal, real or imaginary. You may use scissors in construction but not in the solution. You may not use any other materials but you may use anything from your Halloween candy! If you don't have Halloween candy, use whatever you'd like to make an animal.

Here is Noach's CANDI-LION. PRM