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The Genial Hearth
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Archive for September, 2006

Waiting for Bilby…

This pregnancy has been very different from Puggle’s.

And the end is feeling quite different also.

With Puggle, I woke up one morning, eventually realising that I’d been in labour for a couple of hours already (I’d been awake a couple of times before that briefly). Prior to that morning though, I hadn’t been aware of anything going on.

This time around I’ve been feeling my body getting ready to deliver for more than a week already. This has heightened the anticipation (and had me worried for the first few days, until I’d reached the magical cut off day where I would actually be admitted to the birth centre rather than transferred to hospital), but the longer lead up time is making me antsy and just wanting it over. We’ve basically been ready with bags and things since Monday (although, I do still have to sort out the car seats), so there’s not really anything to do. And I don’t feel up to doing much in any case:-(

And there’s still more than two weeks till the due date…

So, I’m waiting. Not particularly patiently:-(

MMM progress

For some time I’ve been subscribed to the Montessori Materials Makers list. Basically it’s a group that uses Flylady’s principles of zones (there are 5 areas into which montessori activities are grouped) and 15 minutes chunks of work, to create materials for doing Montessori activities.

When I first joined I got enthused, and as it was about the same time I got into Hardanger and was collecting some embroidery threads, so I made the three Colour Tablet sets. Since then, I basically have done nothing.

I started again recently:-)

I decided that the Sandpaper Letters would be a material I could see getting sufficient use, far enough in the future for me to start them now and have them done before Puggle reaches the readiness stage for them (I could just see myself making something and getting it finished, only to have him past the stage for using it…). So, over the last week or so I selected a suitable font (Chalkboard, 250pt) and printed out my templates.

The other day I got my ‘sandpaper’ (I went with 240 grit wet and dry, so that it is as near to black as possible) and I also got the cardboard to use as the backing. I have cut out all the templates, and am in the process of tracing them onto the ‘sandpaper’ and cutting them out.

At this stage, I am doing just the lowercase letters, but I’m also doing a set of numbers and the blends/dipthongs (although, I’m not sticking to just the Montessori list, I’m using the ones from ‘The Writing Road to Reading‘ as I think that will be of more use long term). I think I will probably also do a set of capitals, but not yet. I will also probably not bother with the script version!

Today I cut most of my backing cards. I had got two sheets each of green and red, and one of blue card. I cut half of one of the green sheets into ten 10.2mm by 12.7mm rectangles (it may seem like random measurements, but was what resulted from dividing the large sheets evenly), I may still trim them a little further to make them even sizes… we’ll see:-) The rest of the green will be used to do the blends and dipthongs, so I’m going to wait to cut them. One third of the blue sheet was cut into six 10.5mm by 16.8mm rectangles for the vowels (I will probably cut them to two thirds the height, as the vowels are all short letters), and most of the red were cut into twenty one rectangles of the same size for the consonants. Some of these will also be trimmed down to the same size as the vowel cards, for the short consonants. Currently, these are all sitting between flat things to uncurl them.

I’m not sticking to the zones… I think that I am much less likely to actually complete anything at all if I rotate, I’ll keep working on one material until it is finished. Nor am I sticking strictly to 15 minute blocks. But I am working on them a bit at a time… most of it is while we’re in front of the TV in the evening. So I will continue to work on the letters (actually, I could probably do the numbers in one more sitting, and they are actually Maths rather than Language, so I’d have completed something from another zone:-) ) until I have them done. I’m cutting out the letters for the blends/dipthongs, but I don’t intend finishing them until the alphabet proper is completed.

And I should be able to get them done before Puggle is ready to learn specific letter sounds!

That Personality Meme

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Openness To Experience






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Cheese making?

I don’t know if anyone else is interested, but I thought that this looked kind of cool:-) Make your ownMozzarella.

Unnamed job charts

unnamed night jobs


Through one thing and another, Puggle hasn’t been out by the mulberry tree for a couple of days… So I was just able to go and pick a small bowl of mulberries! It’s not a large number, but it’s enough to make something for dessert:-)


Post Femmeconne

I had such a fabulous time at Femmeconne! Lots of really interesting conversations and people all over the place:-) Thanks to Calli and Babylon for organising it.

I mentioned Puggle’s chore charts at one of the panels. So I’ve included them below.
Puggle Morning JobsMorning Jobs.
Puggle night jobsEvening Jobs.
The idea for them was not mine, I saw a post on Works for Me Wednesday a couple of months ago, and thought it looked like a good idea, so I did our own version. I liked the idea of the hand as a built in mnemonic.
I printed the morning one on yellow paper and the evening on blue, removed the border of the page, and then laminated them. They are stuck to the back of his bedroom door. He loves to ‘read’ them:-)
If anyone would like a copy without a name, feel free to let me know and I can send you one:-)

And if you’re after information on Flylady, just follow the link.


It’s mulberry time again:-)

Not that I think we’ll get many… Puggle loves to pick and eat them, and he’s much less particular about how ripe they are… so he gets them before we do—unless we keep him clear of the tree for a day or two:-)

Recipe error!

Sunday evening, Paddington made Broccoli and Anchovy Pasta from the recipe book we assembled (and gave some copies away) a couple of Christmases ago. He commented when looking at the ingredients about the quantity of anchovies.

Halfway through, we worked out that it was the _wrong_ Jamie’s Broccoli and Anchovy Pasta!

It’s a recipe that he has always been the one to make, and I just knew what it was called. I was the one that typed it. It’s not bad, but it’s _not_ the recipe we thought we were including…

So, here’s the ingredients list as it should be (the method is the basically the same).

2 large heads of broccoli
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
8 anchovy fillets (instead of 15!)
2-4 small dried red chillies, crumbled (to taste)
4 good knobs of butter
455g dried orecchiette
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 good handfuls of grated parmesan

Use the butter instead of the oil, and sprinkle on the parmesan at the end. It’s _really_ good (but much less healthy:-) )

Star of the County Down

Listen to a midi version here.

Near Banbridge town, in the County Down
One morning in July
Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen
And she smiled as she passed me by.
She looked so sweet from her two white feet
To the sheen of her nut-brown hair
Such a coaxing elf, I’d to shake myself
To make sure I was standing there.

From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
And from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the County Down.

As she onward sped I shook my head
And I gazed with a feeling rare
And I said, says I, to a passerby
“who’s the maid with the nut-brown hair?”
He smiled at me, and with pride says he,
“That’s the gem of Ireland’s crown.
She’s young Rosie McCann
     from the banks of the Bann
She’s the star of the County Down.”

From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
And from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the County Down.

I’ve travelled a bit, but never was hit
Since my roving career began
But fair and square I surrendered there
To the charms of young Rose McCann.
I’d a heart to let and no tenant yet
Did I meet with in shawl or gown
But in she went and I asked no rent
From the star of the County Down.

From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
And from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the County Down.

At the crossroads fair I’ll be surely there
And I’ll dress in my Sunday clothes
And I’ll try sheep’s eyes, and deludhering lies
On the heart of the nut-brown rose.
No pipe I’ll smoke, no horse I’ll yoke
Though with rust my plow turns brown
Till a smiling bride by my own fireside
Sits the star of the County Down.

From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
And from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the County Down