Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Polynomial Pancakes and Other Pursuits

I'm guessing it's technically a monomial, but please excuse the creative license taken for the sake of our favorite literary device.

I've been having serious pancake-pen-envy ever since Sheila mentioned this cute one from Williams Sonoma. With our recently busy schedule, our nearest WS always seems so out of reach (and I'm too cheap to order it online when I could so easily spend that money on books) so I improvised with a washed honey bottle (we seem to be collecting all sorts of bottles around here in the name of science). Lopped off its narrow spout with a very sharp knife. I am curious about how long we can re-use the bottle (and heck, I might just cave in and buy the real thing some day) but for now, we're as pleased as punch...or should I say pancakes...with the result.

Kiddo's been bitten by the garden landscaping bug! I know! To say I'm astonished is putting it very mildly. The two men of the house are discussing putting a pond into the small rectangle of pebbled yard we have on the side of the house. I'm staying clear of getting too involved (other than driving kiddo around and helping with some writing when he feels unable to). I'm too much of a control freak. And chances are if I get too involved, I'd be expected to maintain the darn thing! So the kiddo is in charge of researching this project and coming up with a list of appropriate materials, suggestions for his prefered pond-assembly kit and possibly a small fountain, and a list of climate-suited plants to provide the eye candy. All within a specified budget.

We spent some time in Home Depot and OSH today comparing prices, reading labels and asking questions. I finally think I understand the difference between perennials and annuals lol. I'm going to be optimistic: Watch this space!

After avoiding all the disappointing science curricula out there these past months, we're trying Exploration Education now. The box took about a month to arrive, seems to be missing some parts and the log book contains typos but the overall combination of having a lesson on the computer, a book to write observations in and a box full of materials for all projects (read: minimal teacher-prep) is perfect for where the kiddo is developmentally. I'm happy that he hasn't complained about writing in the log book yet.

Just to be clear, I'm mentioning this curriculum with mixed feelings. On the one hand, anything that kiddo chooses to do when it's clearly his free time is obviously a huge success...but I'm also always put off by lax proofreading, missing parts and late delivery. I've written to them about the missing parts so will wait for the reply before commenting on customer service and overall product quality.

Latest kiddo-initiated piano project...learning the Jeeves and Wooster theme song. Again (did I already say I'm trying to be optimistic?), watch this space for updates!


  1. Perennials and annuals! You little garden virgin you! LOL

    Your pancake thingie is exactly like my overpriced WS item, I'll have you know. Exactly. Maybe a little shorter, but looks just the same.

    If you need any garden advice do ask. I'm always happy to tell you what's perennial and what's annual...providing I actually KNOW.

    PHANT: An elephant without its article ("ele"). Articles are essentials for elephants, without them they are merely phants.

  2. Guilty as charged Sheila! :) Is hailing from a tropical country a good excuse? ;) I found out today that a plant may be both perennial AND annual! Heavens!

    My pancake thingie doesn't have that handy dandy removable bottom so I have to pour batter down a narrower opening and it holds at most 2 cups of batter not 3. I think I will eventually buy the WS one...just holding out for as long as I can.

    You are so sweet to offer to help...and I know you've offered before too. I'm so new at this I don't even know what to ask...perhaps kiddo could email you some time? Don't reveal your amazing sense of humor though or he will never leave you alone! :)


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