A Hodgepodge

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hodgepodge.  Pronunciation: \ˈhäj-ˌpäj\. Function: noun. Etymology: alteration of hotchpotch. Date: 15th century.: a heterogeneous mixture : jumble
Noun 1. hodgepodge - a motley assortment of things.
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 I apologize in advance about my "motley assortment of things" in today's posting.
To begin, our butterflies hatched!
We fed them juice from orange slices, and sugar water spinkled on the petals of a flower for two days, then released them into the wild. I wasn't sure if the little ones would be sad about letting them go or not, but my son said that their Mommy missed them and they would like to go and visit.
This butterfly didn't seem to want to go. It hung around for a few minutes on the flower that had been in the netting home with them, and then finally flew off into the morning sky. I hope we'll catch a glimpse of them around the yard again before they leave.
We'll pack away the kit, because we can order more caterpillars whenever we want, and I'd love to do this again.
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Secondly, living on the Gulf Coast, we will be affected by the recent oil spill.  If you live nearby, or know someone who does, this article as well as this one give you places to call about volunteering.
The next week will continue to be disastrous.  I have no idea how our wildlife and our coastline will recover. 
If you do not live nearby and can't help with a cleanup directly, many of these reputable groups will also need donations for supplies and mobilization of volunteers.  I'll keep you updated about what we personally witness as we go along.
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Recently, I was intrigued after reading Etsy's posting (including videos!) about Dolly Freed and her book Possom Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money. I ordered the book and read it yesterday, and it does give you a lot to think about. The book was written originally in the 1970's, but the copy I ordered has a great updated intoduction and a final chapter added by the author last year, and I think it is very interesting to read her thoughts about her book today. When she first wrote the book she was only 18 years old! If you are a vegetarian and/or squeamish like me, you may want to just glance over the chapters dealing with raising and eating (killing and eating) your own meat. But, all in all, a very compelling book, and especially relevant in today's economy.

I also came across this posting by mnmlist called manufacturing content. Related to Possom Living by the common thread of "living simply" and "making due with less", it makes you think about all the advertising we are constantly bombarded with everywhere we look, and how it affects our spending habits. Good lessons to learn ourselves and to pass along to the little ones as they too begin to learn about money, savings, and what is really important.  The rest of the blog is an interesting read as well.

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I also wanted to pass along a series of videos posted by Real Life Montessori. According to the study, only 1/3 of children actually thrive in a traditional educational system. As our culture changes and the typical worker no longer remains at one job until retirement, the actual facts become somewhat less important than one's ability to problem solve and utilize resources to complete tasks.  The videos are worth watching and passing along.
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And lastly, (just in case you are in the mood to spend!),while I often take a visit to Anthropologie to drool for a little while, it is usually for myself or the house. But today, I spotted some lovely items for children.....
{All product descriptions and photos credit: Anthropologie}
The irreverent illustrations of Charley Harper, put to use as learning tools and puzzles. Each piece teaches the alphabet on one side (A is for Ape, B is for Bird). On the reverse is a fragment of one of two picture puzzles, waiting to be re-assembled.
Just one of Harper's spare and lovely illustrations is never enough, so shuffle through 36 pairs of minimalist wildlife images to your heart's content.
•72 pieces
Sewing Basket Kid's Apron
A swath of crisp cotton, sprinkled with stylized mums and rickrack trim keeps cookie dough off of tiny dungarees.
•Machine wash
•23"L, 15.5"W
•16" ties
Sling this pod of green, blue and white macrame from porch rafters or tree branches and take in the gentle summer breezes.
•Hanging hardware required
•48"H, 37"W, 30"D
{Looks like a dreamy place to read a book with a blanket and a gentle breeze.}
Antoine de Saint Exupery's classic novella comes to life in an intricate pop-up book. With unabridged text and folding, spinning, and popping surprises on every page, this is an adventure for all ages.
This set of five fruit- and vegetable-derived powered paints is sure to set the artistic minds of tiny environmentalists in motion. Simply mix a 1:1 ration of paint and water for them to create a garden variety of art. By Eco-Kids.
•Set of five powdered paints
•Yields about 60 oz of paint
•Kraft paper, recycled plastic, fruit, plant and vegetable extracts
•12 oz each
World Repair Kit
Engage the eco-savvy with a box of earth-friendly fun for the whole family including a book of planet changing tips and a passport, stamps and stickers to track all of your conservationist achievements.
•Includes one book, one "passport", twelve stickers, four stamps, one ink pad
{Wish they had an Oil Spill Cleanup kit, I'd be all over it right now!}

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And as a ending to my hodgepodge, I wanted to share this thought....
I was organizing some of my teaching materials, and came across something a student wrote that I saved because I thought it was so beautiful:
"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. It means always keep your heart fresh and your soul good, and someday someone that will makes you laugh will come to your life."
Here's to green trees, singing birds, and laughter.



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