Thursday, January 20, 2011

UBC Farm 3

The main task of the morning was to select about twenty vegetables they wanted in their garden. It was important first of all, to establish where north was, so the tall plants would go there and not block out the sun that would come mainly from the south.  There was also the issue of the good and bad companions, and economy of space.  For the latter consideration, the children arranged the rows of roots to alternate with rows of leafy vegetables.  Plants that would not mature until late in the season were best at one end of the garden so as not to be in the way of weeding, harvesting and replanting throughout the spring. And those that tended to spread out, such as pumpkins or cucumbers should have corners to allow them to expand as they needed.  Using a large piece of white graph paper, and strips of coloured paper (1" width of paper= 4" width of garden row) the children mapped out their garden bed.  (The colours corresponded to the type of vegetable: red=roots; orange=squash; yellow=onion; green=leafy; blue=cabbage; black=legumes; white=herbs; pink=flowers.)  This is how their map turned out.

UBC Farm 2

At the school this morning, the farm friends had a reintroduction session, and a rundown of what the kids were to be able to do.  The kids showed up and were raring to go.  (Grade 5 & 6)  We had a scrabble-type game, first, as a warm up.  Each group had an envelope with little squares of coloured paper with letters on them.  The kids had to sort the letters into colour groups and arrange the letters to make words.  The words were, of course, vegetables.  The colours had meanings, too, though: red was for root vegetables, orange for cucurbitaceae (squash family), yellow for the allium (onion) family, green for leafy greens, blue for brassicaceae (cabbage family), black for peas and beans, white for herbs, and pink for flowers. 

UBC Farm 1

Today was the fourth farm visit for the 2010-11 school year.  It was at the elementary school, where the children hosted us (the "farm friends" who volunteer to work with them).  The previous visits were at the farm, harvesting what the summer school children had planted, then cleaning up the beds and preparing them for the winter.  That meant being sure all the weeds were out, and only the plants that would likely survive the winter were left in the bed.  Then lots of compost was added, cardboard sheets lain over top and held down with branches.  That was back in October. 
Today, a snowy January day, we met at the school and went over the list of vegetables the children wanted to plant in their gardens this year.  These particular children had done this before in previous years, so were old hands at it.  Also, their teacher had reviewed all the things they needed to know, such as which plants are good companions and which aren't.  (For example, don't plant cauliflower next to potato.  But beans would be good companions for either one, so beans could possibly be planted between potatoes and cauliflower.) be continued...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

two suite 101 articles

Today I posted a couple of articles in suite 101--one article, really I guess, but part one and part two because the maximum word length is 1000 words, and I had trouble keeping it under 2000.  They are about learning Braille in a way that I hope would be fun for kids who have blind friends, or who are losing their sight.   Anyway, here they are: part one and : part two
I hope that works all right.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

spiritual direction

Rule # 9 of my Franciscan Rule of Life deals with obedience.  So, obedient to my rule, I visited Sister Monica for spiritual direction.  It's always refreshing to have this hour with her.  I love being a Franciscan!

library visit

Yesterday I got an electronic reminder to pick up a book I'd requested from the Vancouver Public Library.  I'd forgotten I'd ordered it, because it's the second in the millennium trilogy by Stieg Larrsen: The Girl Who Played with Fire.   While checking it out, I commented to the woman at the desk that I hadn't yet read the first book, because the waiting list is so long at the library.  She advised me to go to the section that has mystery books in paperback, and look under L.  I did, and lo and behold there was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  So now I have these two humungous books to read in just a few weeks.  Meanwhile, I'm still in the process of printing out that never-to-be-done-with play, and reading juvenile books, and writing articles for Suite 101 and Squidoo and a YA novel for Lorimer before they forget about me.  With all this reading and writing to do, when am I ever to get any exercise?!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

book reviews

I posted a couple of book reviews today, one in Suite 101 and one in Squidoo.  It sounds better than it is, because both reviews, although different from each other, were of the same book.  The length and slant of each was different.  In Suite 101, it had to be longer, so I told more about the events in the story than I did for Squidoo.  In that second one, it was mostly about the characters and little about the story itself.  I'll post the links here, so you can see what I mean.  Click here to see The Squidoo lens and the Suite 101 article .

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 in review

I know.  I never keep resolutions, and neither does anyone else that I know.  However, it's interesting to look back and see what my goals were and whether or not I actually achieved any.  And what goals I want to achieve this year. 
Apparently in 2009 I had some that were worth setting for 2010.  I even had some measures of success.  The health one, diet and exercise, is the toughest of all because I hate "going for a walk" unless I have some place to go.  And if I have some place to go, then taking the car seems the logical thing to do.  Gotta change that somehow because I really am overweight and need to take better care of myself.
Resolutions: Music--I wanted to practise the organ daily in 2009.  Didn't do it.  So for 2010, I aimed for weekly.  Didn't do it.  Maybe once in a while in 2011?  That might be achievable.
Reading--I wanted to track it and keep notes.  I have started that, but this year I want to do it on my blog.  Yes.  Right here.  I wanted to finish the last two books of Harry Potter--did that, and saw the first part of the last book movie a couple of weeks ago. Can't wait for the next one!  Will be so sorry to be finished them, though.  Wanted to reread Anne of Green Gables.  Did that.  And, read kcdyer's Mrs. Zephyr's Notebook.  Still reading the Anne Perry mysteries as relaxation reading.  Writing:  didn't do nanowrimo this year (it "would be nice to do") but instead I attempted Script Frenzy and my play, The Wolf and the Saint, was the result.  My historical juvenile novel bounced back again so slowly that I thought it was just chucked out of the slushpile.  Not so.  That publisher, Lorimer, wrote me a very nice letter suggesting I write something for their young adult readers.  I've been working on a couple of ideas for that, but it's been very slow going.  That novel is now with Coteau Books in Saskatchewan.  Still typing with crossed fingers!  Articles published have been in suite 101 and squidoo.  Some progress there, I guess.

writing the play

I did it.  I finally figured out how to make the distinctive headers for each scene while having the pagination continue throughout the document.  I just have to fool the computer into thinking that when I tell it to start the pagination at the number it would have started at if continuing, then it goes well.  As for the needs of other play publishers, who want each act to start at page one, I do the same thing.  The big trick is to watch the tabs in the menu that want to "link to previous section".  No thanks.  Don't do that.  Now, all I need is ink in the printer so I can send the play out to those who want hard copies.  I can send the email copies any time now, I guess.  One more task to complete: take care of the "widows & orphans" in the dialogues so that the actors know where their lines continue on the next page, and where they don't.  All this fiddling!