Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's a 4 ring circus!

Every June friends and family say to me, "Am I in the dog house?"  "Did we break up?"and the like. 

June is a time of year where all of my weaknesses come crashing together into one big MESS.  All of that time I spent procrastinating and being unorganized comes back to haunt me in every space in my life.  My classroom is a disaster, the school kids' behavior is a disaster, my own kids' behavior is a disaster, and my own house is a disaster.  What with so many disasters in one person's life something has to give...yep it's sanity.  During June I barely speak to anyone that doesn't have an immediate and easily resolved need.  I have learned that I can handle chaos and disarray in up to 3 rings of my circus, but when you add that fourth ring into the mix I've met my match.

So sorry to anyone who had an unmet need this June.  Next year be sure to get your order in during May! 

Hooray for July!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Peach Leaf Curl

Last fall we started filling our yard with fruit!  We bought nearly 20 blueberry bushes and two peach trees.  A few weeks ago I went down to have a chat with the peach trees about healthy development and the role of all things living in my yard (You must be hearty to survive around here, but we will surely appreciate you if you can stay alive...).  As I was poking around I noticed that some of the leaves looked like they were melting.  Hmm.

After a bit of investigation I am sad to announce that both of these young peach trees have Leaf Curl.


I called our local garden center, where we bought them, and they told me to buy an organic fungicide spray for now.  Treat the tree every week or so after removing the worst of the effected leaves and disposing of them in the trash because this fungus can hang around and continue to infect the trees and near by (like my poor neighbor's nectarine and plum) trees.  I've pulled off all of the cute and fuzzy little orbs that thought they'd be peaches one day so that the tree can put all of it's efforts into fighting fungus.  In the fall, they will need to be treated with another fungicide that can be sprayed on as well.

They must be strong and hearty, huh? 

Let's hope so.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Seacoast Science Center

The Seacoast Science Center in Rye NH

If you've never been there, you must go!

My class goes each day for one week every spring.  We are immersed in local science topics!  It is a teacher's dream!
  • Did you know birds don't have a bladder so the pee and poop at the same time?
  • How about how to assemble the bones of a locally found seal?
  • I can tell the difference between a dog whelk and a periwinkle.  Ever seen a tiny hole bored into a shell?  Probably the work of a dog whelk!
  • Asian Shore Crabs are an aggressive and invasive species.
  • Poison ivy not only grows it's itchy three leaves close to the ground, it can grow into vines that can choke a tree!
  • Bittersweet, another invasive plant.
  • Coniferous forests vs Deciduous forests
  • Quaker's Rouge is a fuzzy plant in the Lamb's ear family used by Native Americans to line moccasins and Quaker women, not allowed to wear makeup,  rubbed it on cheeks causing a reaction on their skin, thus nature's blush!
This list could go on and on...the SSC is a treasure on our local shores.  Please visit them for a hike, some of their exhibits, or just a day digging around the tidepools!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How hard is it?

I've learned that it takes a serious amount of commitment and dedication to keep up a blog...especially one that people are interested in reading!  I love to read others' blogs about food, how they live their lives closer to nature and how they are trying to be more self sustainable.  I am inspired by them!

Today I'm also reflecting on emotional exhaustion.  Students at the end of a school year have so much to deal with...
  • the excitement of the upcoming summer
  • the stress of the upcoming summer (will I have friends?  will I have shelter? will I be bored?  will I have enough Xbox games to play?)
  • the crazy interruptions in daily schedules at the end of the year
  • multiple assessments
  • finishing up projects, with time constraints,
  • teacher's excitement of the upcoming summer
  • teacher's stress of the upcoming summer
  • seeing the classroom and school being taken apart piece by piece and stuffed into a box or a walmart bag
  • thinking about missing friends
  • stressing about the transition to next year's grade
  • did I return all my library books?
  • did I pass my math test?
  • what will my report card look like?
  • who will sign my year book?
  • will I get invited to that end of year pool party?
  •  winning Fun Day
  • owing the cafeteria money
Holy Crow, no wonder we are exhausted.  Tomorrow I will make extra efforts to see a bigger picture for my kids, big ones and small ones!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why aren't we all taking this??

I've been on a quest (yes, there are a lot of quests...) to find alternative ways to support my busy 7 year old's attention issues.  This has presented itself over the years; in Kindergarten it was "he can't stand still during the pledge", in First grade "he swings his body around all about the room, but it's getting better", and in Second grade (this is the killer) "just think of how much more he could be learning if he were not wandering around the room"  OUCH.

My frustration with this is that where does a busy boy (or girl for that matter) get to be themselves?  Keeping in mind I teach in a public school, I am at a loss for kids like this.  We expect kids to fit into the mold for "Sit at your desk, read, write, calculate.  Do some at home.  Come back and do it some more tomorrow."  There are so many opportunities to teach kids as they move...outside, in a hallway, in the community, in small groups.  Yet we don't take advantage of these opportunities nearly enough, in some cases EVER.  Tied by so many factors; prescribed curricula, standardized test scores, curriculum maps that must fit teachers into the same mold, meeting after meeting, standards, data.  

This was not meant to be a rant actually.  I got a bit carried away!  I love my job.  I love my kid.  I so wish I had an educational solution for him and others like him...I'll keep working on it!

But today I learned about the health benefits of HEMP OIL.  Are you gasping?  In many places it's labeled the perfect oil that contains the most balanced and richest natural single source of essential oils for human consumption.  
There is a long list of health benefits:
lower cholesterol
increased energy
reduced symptoms of arthritis, PMS
improved psoriasis
healthier hair, skin, nails
improved brain function
the list goes on and on.

SO, now, on the door of my fridge I have a large brown bottle of this nutty oil and while I bought it with my 7 year old (and his teacher) in mind, it will bring good health to everyone in our family.

I'm off to see how clever folks on the internet use this dynamic oil...I'll keep you posted!  :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My 7 year old knows everything...

I wonder how it is for my 7 year old to know everything there is to know already...where is there to go as an obnoxious teenager?  :)

He assures me that when a skunk sprays it hurts the skunk.  I can't find any evidence to prove or deny this, can you?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Whole lotta learnin' going on...

Almost an entire month?  This is not good, hopefully you all can't possibly think I've learned nothing in a whole month.  In fact it's been quite exciting since the beginning of April around here...

I've learned
*that Mother Nature has a weird sense of April Fools humor
*how to navigate the NH unemployment website
*that sending out resumes and applying for jobs in 2011 is very different than 8-10 years ago.  There's no one to talk to, no one to impress with your follow up call or your fancy paper.  A lot of times you don't even get to show off your artistic formatting skills because the computer actually pulls pertinent information off your resume and automatically fills the cells it sees fit!
*Discouraged is a dirty word, and an easy one to hang on to
*how to find a broken tooth in the burn pit
*that our on call family practice doctor "is not a dentist", and therefore can offer absolutely no advice on knocked out teeth
*that you should try very hard not to break your tooth on a weekend when there is a regional dental conference in Boston, because it is very, very difficult to find someone to answer your panicked call about said broken tooth.
*that breaking off one's front tooth is not dire, and despite the weird feeling of it and the pain of having a large piece of wood jammed into one's mouth, you can actually wait several days for a dentist to fix it.
*that an accomplished dentist can actually GLUE the bottom half of a tooth back on.  I am most surprised about that one!
*that nature and gardening saves a tiny piece of my sanity
*that losing weight is hard
*that I love sweets...a lot
*that losing weight is hard
*that faith is not just the bible and what you learn about in church
And while I already knew this one, I am reminded of how great my kids are and how fast time flies! 

***Don't get distracted, you might miss something really great like that flock of wild turkeys, or that third hug before you run out the door! It's been an interesting month!