Monday, May 19, 2014


I often wear skirts or slacks that do not have pockets. As a teacher, I need to have some stuff at my beck and call. Like pencils, markers, pens, a whistle, lip balm. That sort of stuff. But my wardrobe did not cooperate.

So I made my own pocket. And, this cracks me up (probably only me, but I get the joke), I made my 'pocket' out of a pair of Taylor's (Army son) jeans. I just cut off a front pocket, sewed the holes, trimmed the edges, and added a strap.

Et voila! A pocket, worthy of a teacher. A pocket from a pocket. Ha-ha.

A bit of history. The pilgrims did not have pockets either. So they had a pouch they tied around their waist as a pocket. So triple ha!

And my students know exactly what I want when I say, "Where is my pocket?" or "It's in my pocket."

They caught on. And wanted their own pockets.

Whacked off some more old pants, trimmed the edges, added straps, and let them decorate with permanent markers to their hearts content. Ahhhh.

Recycle. Yes. Reuse. Yes. Repurpose. Yes.

The new 3 R's. All in kindergarten.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Butterfly Freedom Day

Go free, butterflies, free!

Yes. It was release day. Totals: 7 happy students and 1 happy teacher. 1 smashed (accidentally) butterfly. 38 initially flew off to freedom. Minimum of 20 caught and released and re-released and re-re-released. 1 definite bird attack. 2 lurking birds hanging on chain link fence. 1 student on bird patrol. 2 leftover chrysalids and 1 caterpillar (still!).

Related activities for kindergartners: daily journal observations and entries, observations, reading related books, studying life cycle charts and posters, counting days for each stage, illustrating and writing journal entries, hands-on experience while freeing, catching, and releasing live butterflies. Also creative ownership in naming butterflies.

Science experiment complete.

P.S. You definitely should do this project with your children. Or just for yourself. It's fascinating. I will put out a plug for Their kits have excellent results.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Barn Wood Headboard

She takes a chip off the old block. Wait. That makes me an old block. Check out this headboard my daughter made for her bedroom. Old wood. Saw. Hammer and screws. A few extra hands.

Et voila. Beauty.

That's my girl.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Ragout?

Saw this easy and excellent recipe in the current issue of Martha (May, 2014).

But there must be something wrong with me. I CANNOT just follow a recipe. Seriously. I am always adding, guessing, tweaking. So what she had planned for easy dinner, I totally changed. Ok, a few items were the same.

Suggested items that I actually used (but my own measurements of everything - estimations really):

~ white beans, roasted red peppers, chicken broth, olive oil, crushed red peppers, garlic, polenta

What I made was actually not even close to the original recipe. Forget the ragout. It was a thick soup spooned on top of polenta. Served with a side of roasted asparagus.

What I added:
~ cannellini beans (rinsed); the entire jar of rinsed, diced red peppers; 2 diced carrots; a diced onion; 6 cups of chicken broth for the soup (no ragout for me) and 2 more for the polenta; chopped cabbage; 4 stalks of kale, stem removed and chopped; 1 can of diced tomatoes (not rinsed) and hominy (rinsed); fresh parsley; fire roasted green chillies; about 2 cups of turkey; a splash of Mrs. Dash; fresh ground black pepper; some cayenne; a bit of cumin and oregano

This was a very delicious NOT RAGOUT recipe. :)

Just wished I had low sodium broth as the recipe suggested. And celery.

And for once, that I could follow a recipe as written.