Saturday, January 31, 2009


This photo was taken in May of 1946 in Lake Placid, NY. In the front of the bobsled is James John Bickford. He was was a bobsledder who competed from the late 1930s to the mid 1950s. He competed in three Winter Olympics, and he won a bronze medal in the four-man event at St. Moritz in 1948

Bickford also carried the United States flag during the opening ceremonies of the 1952 and 1956 Winter Olympics.

At the FIBT (international bobsledding and tobogganing federation) World Championships, he won three medals (one silver (Four-man:1949) and two bronzes (Two-man:1954, Four-man: 1937).

Why am I writing about this gentleman? Well, we are related. He is the son of my GreatGrandfather's sister's husband's brother. We would be some sort of far distant cousin!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bring me home a Surprise!

The comment I hear from Vince every time I go to Gleaners Thrift Store!
One day, I brought home these little treasures:

The yellow maverick is an actual size Matchbox car, so you can see these are tiny bottles of beer, the one on the right is a Corona, the one on the left is a Negra Modelo.

Over Christmas, Rob was here, and some beers were purchased. These are what is in my refrigerator still:
The yellow maverick is a an actual size Matchbox Car! These are the full sized bottles of Corona and Negra Modelo!

I found it extremely funny that the tiny bottles just happened to be the exact same beers that we actually had in the refrigerator!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Recycling at its Finest!

A number of months ago, I found out about another potential recycling program for a 'hard to recycle' item. Those Plastic Bottle CAPS!
Since they are made from a different type of plastic than the bottle they are on, they are not recyclable with the bottles labeled '1' or '2'.

I read about Aveda's bottle cap recycling program and thought "That's for me!".

I sent in an email requesting information and waited. Then I forgot about it.

It may have been my sister who brought it to my attention again, so I went to the site, and sent another email about it. I waited. Then I forgot about it.

Cat suggested I call to get information. Good Idea. Then I forgot about it.

In glancing through my emails tonight, I spot an email from Kendra at AVEDA!!

Yes, she has sent me information about signing up my school with the program, and Aveda will provide me with postage paid labels to send the bottle caps to them. I filled out the enrollment form and emailed it back to Aveda this evening. As soon as I have those postage paid labels I will let my students know about this program and begin collecting caps in class. In the meantime, I am busily unscrewing the caps from all of my plastic recycling bottles in the bin!

On the Terracycle front, I did receive a check from Terracycle for $0.82! That was for the one bag of cookie wrappers they acknowledge receipt of. I have yet to receive a check for the hundreds of drink pouches I have sent them and they have acknowledged receipt of. There were 10 bags of pouches received as of December. I guess an email to Parker is in order.

On a positive note, I had previously found that there was a huge turn around time from when I sent in the full bags of drink pouches, and Terracycle acknowledging receipt of them and sending me empty bags. Thus I now have a HUGE box of clean drink pouches awaiting shipping to Terracycle. The box is so full that I had my student stop collecting pouches.

Well, I sent in 4 bags on January 12th, and Terracycle acknowleged receipt of them on the 23rd, and today I received 4 new bags! YES! Monday I will ship out another 400 drink pouches.

Friday, January 16, 2009

No More Phone Books?

Do I use my phone book?
Yes, but very infrequently.
Do I need a new one every year?
Probably not.

So, when Ideal Bite's daily bite included information on how to eliminate your name from the phonebook mailing list, I checked it out.

I signed up. One less item to think about, one less item to recycle, one less tree cut down to produce paper for something I do not really need. After all, the technological age has provided me with the internet, and I can get phone numbers there without using any paper.

So,go to here to remove your name from the mailing list and you will not receive a new phone book. You can change your mind and call for one if you find you truly need one!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yay! Paper!

Today I arrived home to find a wonderful surprise awaiting me on the deck!

Yes, my Seventh Generation Toilet Tissue had arrived! Remember, I had ordered this from Amazon because I wanted to use a product that was made from 100% recycled paper, and was NOT packaged in plastic. Not only did this product meet those needs, but it was delivered to my house and I paid no shipping charges or tax!

I have to admit, I was a bit uncertain after I ordered it, fearing that the individual rolls would be packaged in plastic inside the cardboard carton.

I opened the box to find this:
As you can see...NO PLASTIC!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Toothpaste! YAY!

I finally managed to get over to Oma's to pick up the Calcium Carbonate that I ordered. It was an ingredient in a toothpaste recipe that I wanted to try.

I had tried using just baking soda to clean my teeth and while it did a fine job, I just could not stand the taste! I thought that if I used this recipe, which included baking soda, calcium carbonate and several other ingredients, it would be more palatable.

So, this morning, I whipped up my first batch! While Oma did not have any peppermint essential oil to flavor it, I thought that the final product was quite good and acceptable! It looks just like white toothpaste and has the same consistency. It does not foam up as much as commercial toothpaste but that is okay as my mouth felt clean and felt wonderful! I then rinsed with a cinnamon rinse I mixed up and my mouth went WOW!

In church, I noticed that I still had that clean feeling to my mouth, and that was 2 hours after I had brushed and rinsed.

For those who are interested:
4 ounces calcium carbonate (1/2 cup)
2 ounces baking soda (1/4 cup)
enough glycerin to make a paste
1/8 teaspoon refined stevia or 1 teaspoon honey
10 drops essential oil such as peppermint or wintergreen

Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir vigorously until well blended. Store in a glass jar with a lid. It has a shelf life of 1 year. The recipe makes 3/4 cup.
From: Better Basics for the Home byAnnie Berthold-Bond.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Silence in the Hallways

Kids like to talk.
That is a given fact.
They want to socialize with their friends.

Unfortunately in school, they have few opportunities to talk. They only have 30 minutes during Physical Education, and 25 minutes during lunch. Most of the rest of the day, they are not supposed to be chatting with their friends.

Does that stop them?

They take numerous opportunities to talk to their friends. The biggest offense occurs after we have successfully lined up in the hallway and they are wonderfully silent. Then they are dismissed to return to the classroom.

As soon as they start walking,
they start talking!

I use to compare them to pigeons, explaining that a pigeon cannot walk without bobbing their heads, so 6th graders cannot walk without talking! So, I would ask them, "Are you pigeons?".

Yesterday, instead, I asked them if their mouths were connected to their feet.

One student replied: "I can suck my toe!"

I had no response.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

More Great Educational Items!

I absolutely LOVE!
On New Year's Eve, I received notification that my second project had been fully funded!


I am even more excited to return to school next week and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of these items for my class!

This second project, entitled "Math Multiplies the Mind", has math related games and activities that I can have the students play when they finish their classwork. Some of my students are more advanced than others are and tend to finish their work earlier than the rest of the class, even their homework! They are then looking for things to do to keep busy. Some bring books to read, some do not. I will sometimes ask them to work with another student, but I do not like to do this constantly. So, now I will have other activities for them to work on that are fun and educational!

Most of my students are very into learning and enjoy variety in the lessons. I can give them any of these new games and ask them to become "experts" on the game so they can teach it to their classmates.

While some of the games are specific to certain math skills, like Fractions:

I also ordered a tub of DICE!! I plan to let the students come up with some of their own games that use math skills!
A huge thanks to anyone who donated to a deserving organization in 2008!!