Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weeks 14 - 17: April Showers

April was pretty busy month, lots of work. Aside from that, I taught 2 classes (2 sessions each) midmonth. One was a gardening class, and the other was a Sherlock Holmes themed chemistry class. (Projects 11 & 12) The Holmes chemistry class was a lot of work but really rewarding - one of the students was a huge Holmes buff, and the kids seemed to really enjoy all the science. The class was inspired by a project still in progress, rereading all of the Sherlock Holmes books .

Spring arrived, which has been wonderful, allergies aside! The seeds started indoors are growing nicely, and the tomatoes were transplanted to larger pots and are ready to be transplanted a second time (transplanting is detrimental to some plants, but can be helpful for tomatoes). A swiss chard plant from last summer survived through the winter and has been growing beautifully. A quick phone picture of the most recent harvest:

 Swiss chard is one of my favorite vegetables. It’s best when the stalks are tender and sweet. If you don’t like the stalks, or if they’re too tough, the green leafy part can be cooked like spinach. If you’ve never tried it, you should!

Speaking of food, after a year of delays, F and I finally baked carrot cake cupcakes. They were great! K decorated one to look like me – a smile and glasses. F's cupcakes turned out much better than mine. Decorating cupcakes is not my forte. I am much better at eating them!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weeks 10-13: Yay Science!

#10 Science Outreach Visits
My big project for the month of March has been a couple of science outreach visits to local schools. The students seemed to like the experiments and demonstrations of chemical principles!

One of the visits involved doing demonstrations with some hands on participation from the students for two classes.. I was a little nervous beforehand, because even though I've been doing similar things for years, it's usually either for smaller groups of students or I'm working with a partner.

The theme was lab experiments / demonstrations from things found in the kitchen or bathroom. All the reagents were common nontoxic household items, so you can do them at home with a kid (or just for fun).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Week 10: That flu episode of Parks & Rec was eerily prophetic

“Leslie, I typed your symptoms into the thing up here and it says you could have ‘Network Connectivity Problems’.”
-          Andy Dwyer, Parks & Recreation

Like an extremely mild Greek tragedy, F, K and I laughed heartily at and then proceeded to suffer the fates outlined in that episode. Our three fates were: feeling under the weather but still working harder than everyone else (K), a single grain of sand compromising the microchip (F), and having no appetite for anything but waffles (me). Like I said, extremely mild. 

Long story short, it was a bit of a struggle getting caught up with all the work I missed after sleeping basically nonstop for a week, which means no completed projects for this week or the two preceding weeks. However, I've been resting and am getting back on track, and I’m super excited about my next few projects!

The project I’m most looking forward to is a series of science outreach visits to local schools, where I'm going to be doing some demos and a hands on experiment. The first one is next week! I've also decided to reread old favorite books, and am currently working through all the Sherlock Holmes books. So far, I've finished The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week 7: Hooray for Long Weekends!

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend. Thanks, Washington and Lincoln, for the extra day to catch up!
On to the projects!

#7: Taught someone how to knit i-cord!
S was visiting from out of town, and she is a super fast learner and picked it up in an instant (even half asleep). She wanted to make a headphone sweater like mine, and that's basically a long i-cord that splits in two. I can't wait to see the finished project.

#8: Taxes
Nothing is sure in life except for...

#9: Chocolate Leaves:
(clear and simple directions from otchi potchi)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Week 5: No shadow!

The groundhog didn’t see his shadow this week, so it’s a good a time as any to get started on garden plans for the spring. I started some seeds this week (heirloom tomatoes (red & yellow), cherry tomatoes, and bright lights chard) and will finish starting the rest of the seeds soon (probably beans, peas, and spinach).

I got caught up in work, so didn’t end up doing any food projects this week, though I did make a quick and delicious pan fried halibut for dinner on Sunday. Looking forward to some out of town visitors in the upcoming weeks, so hopefully we’ll get a chance to cook together and I’ll have some fun food to post.

However, I did finish two craft projects. Apologies for the terrible photos - all my photos are poorly lit, I think my next project should be a lightbox!

#6: An Angry Bird!

#5: Finished knitting the headphone sweater. They even have a knitted version of the little loop. (previously)

And progressed a bit more on the sweater which is taking forever! Now named the Spare Minute Sweater, because that’s when I get to work on it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week 4: Goodbye, January!

This week, I…

Made a 3 mushroom risotto, with from-scratch chicken and vegetable stock. Yum. Risotto is such a delicious and relatively uncomplicated dish, I should post a recipe sometime. I usually use pre-prepared stock, which makes it even easier.

Did a little more work on the sweater.

Started a new project, iPod earbud sleeve. It's knit, so it's kind of like a sweater for the earbuds.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 3: Happy Birthday, M!

This weekend, my friend M brought us all to an art studio where one can work with glass and ceramics. She's very creative, and we all had a lot of fun making things. I wish I’d gotten a photo of everyone’s work - flowers, abstract art, fireworks!, an adorable Pac Man ghost, a fancy cereal bowl, and more great things. We have to wait a bit for the people at the studio to fire our projects, so it’s exciting to anticipate how everything will turn out.

I decided to make some fused glass jewelry. A pair of cuff links - the letters in the SF Giants logo are separate instead of overlapping, in case there’s any loss of detail. Some pendants. And, it’s super dorky, but the one on the bottom left is meant to represent Boron, a component of some glass! The dichroic glass kind of looks like chunks of boron, and the copper loops on the left are a p orbital.