Monthly Archives: October 2010

I married a Geek.

My dear darling husband is a Geek.  No really,  I do know the definition of the word.  Daniel knows the songs to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, can debate the merits of the various Star Trek shows, reads Reddit, and proudly owns all the Buffy seasons on DVD.  Ahhh now you see.

One of his oldest friends from College days is the founder of the Charlotte, NC’s Geeks Group. Their major fundraiser of the year is the Geek Gala.  It provides a smashing party for geekdom and provides funds for the Carolina Children’s Home. DV offered to photograph the event.  We drove up to Charlotte, set-up equipment, and photographed the costumes and participants participating.

I’m a bit interested in the Steampunk sub-culture. (I’ll wait while you look it up.) Ms. JW and Ms. ER decided to help make an amazing costume for the event.

JV took a series of photos of the details.

We took an old bride’s maid’s long skirt. Hiked it to my arm pits – it was still to the floor – and drove grommets into all three layers of silk and tule.  We made it hike up like a Roman shade.  We made a corset out of stretchy velour and hung clips to hook up the Roman shade’s straps to it.

Ms. JW worked very hard to create a hat from all kids of stuff in our home. Our boy’s Godmother lent us a cape to complete the look.  It was very sweet.









This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Filed under Montessori

It’s Project Week!

For long time readers, you know to brace yourselves.  It is always a wild ride through project week. Hold on everybody.

Here is a list of projects.

For the lower and upper elementary children, the topic must have something to do with our geology studies.

For AV as an Erd Kinder, he is to work from his Chemistry text.

BW – Crystals and the Mohs Scale

BW has been studying different crystals and their hardness.  He is looking at the molecular alignment and fracture lines.  He is planning on making some three dimensional models of crystal structures.  His also growing sugar crystals and alum crystals.  He is enjoying the process of creating his display.

AR is discovering about Germany in WWI and pre WWII as she researches Alfred Wegener.  Wegener is the researcher who theorized the idea Pangea.

She is creating a video overview of the life of Wegener and a video with her dressed as Wegener. She will become Wegener presenting his ideas about Pangea.

She has used a very fine needle to pin push out the continents hidden in Pangea so she can show how they have moved around over time. She found a round tin that had a blue top.  She envisions others being able to show how the continents slid into place on the top.

DW is working on a project that discusses the progression of minerals used in paints.  She is researching cave paintings, Minoan, Sumerian, Hellenistic, Roman, Celtic, and Medieval paints.  She is looking at neolithic and copper/bronze age methods for applying paints.

She is planning on pulverizing several substances in a recreated “calcium-rich” water to approximate cave painting.  Apparently the basic level of the water in caves added something to the pigments.  (I guess we will find out.)

Her timeline is growing and her thesis rough draft is complete.

BR is researching the Brooks Mountain Range.  He is looking at the Biomes, minerals, make-up of the range, formation of the range and its morphology.  Unfortunately we have no photos yet of his work; he was ill today.

LR is studying Mount Etna.  He is researching the volcano and its eruptions.  He is attempting to understand the plate tectonics which produce this type of volcano.

He is still enjoying working with paper.  His timeline of Etna’s eruptions is a lovely historical event moment melded with the volcanic activity.

JV is looking at wind erosion in the US.  This is challenging him to not think his theories are always right and adjust to new information.

He is looking into the Great Dustbowl of 1934.  The direction of the winds and the storms that washed across the eastern seaboard are an historical interest.

He is also looking into the Navajo Sandstones.

He is hoping to speak with someone about the mathematics of wind erosion.

AV is working through his Chemistry text this year.  He is going to teach us through Chapter 1.

The topics he is covering are:  Aristotle’s theory of matter.

Lovisier’s process of understanding matter.  The steps to go through to decide whether an object is a compound and element.

He must also construct a bow method fire in the design used by the book.

While talking us through the fire starting he must discuss cellulose and the type of matter.

AV set-up right in the middle of the main traffic area of house today.  His voice protested the project.  His body wanted everyone to see.  Hmmm.

Leave a comment

Filed under "Coming of Man", American History, AR, Art, AV, BR, BW, Camping/Basic Survival Skills, Chemistry, DW, Geography and World Studies, Geology, JV, LR, Montessori, Practical Life - Elementary, Projects, Science, Writing

LR’s Intrusion Mountain Book

Intrusion Magma Mountains

Intrusion mountains are formed when magma slowly moves into cracks and crevices under the Earth. The magma pushes the ground above it upward. This magma cools into rock and becomes part of the mountain. The magma turns into crystals. They kinds of crystals can vary because there are different gasses that are trapped in the cooling rock. This can change the magma’s chemical structure.

The Batholith it is a large body of magma and is the source of the magma for the intrusion mountain. A stock is a miniature batholith. A dike is a narrow tube. Most are vertical and usually connected to a feeder pipe. A sill is cooled magma between two layers of rock. Laccoliths are a larger sills but move the rock above and form the mountains. Pegmatites are a large deposit of crystals. Sometimes intrusion mountain suffer from erosion and show a line of hardened magma that is going straight though a layer of rock.

The 1,167 foot tall Devil’s Tower in Wyoming is an intrusion magma mountain. It was once made of molten igneous rock. After the hot magma cooled inside Devil’s mountain, it shrank in volume and made the small cracks along it’s distinctive vertical lines. The tower was once hidden in surrounding rock but as the rock eroded, it exposed this beautiful tower. Also in 1909, Devil’s tower was the first US National Monument. Here are some other well known intrusion mountains: the Navajo, La Sal, and Abajo.

Leave a comment

Filed under Geology, LR, Science

LR’s first weekly topic project

LR has not tried this method of learning before.  He is finding it difficult to integrate grammar expectations into his writing for a “science” topic.  However, he is working through it. He was inspired by JV’s paper works and has begun working in this medium as well.  He is showing a talent for this type of work.  I hope my stock of papers from my days of training holds out til Christmas.

He is learning quite a bit a but presentation quality work.  We discussed font, margins, and balance this week.

He became fascinated by Intrusion Mountains. There are numerous terms to discover and understand in this type of mountain.


LR carefully mounting his copy and illustrations into his book.

Leave a comment

Filed under Geology, LR, Projects, Science

BR’s Folding Mountains Book

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Leave a comment

Filed under BR, Geology, Science

AV’s short story


The 1940 shoe business repair was not booming one might say. In fact it was plummeting – but not for Seth Weel. Although his shoe repair shop was close to going under, he was not as worried because of a small job on the side as an under cover police officer. This was a good paying job; it was enough to pay the rent of a modest New York apartment and to feed a family of four.

The door creaked as I entered the employee only’s room, and the familiar greeting of “WEELS!” as soon as I was in the doorway. I replied just as fast, “Big Dan.” Big Dan’s front, The Baritones, was a four star restaurant in the heart of New York City. Baritones was more like a two star restaurant but no one wanted to offend Big Dan… no one.

It had been the same routine for the past three years. Go in with microphone shoes that I made myself. The reel to reel tapes I used had four hours of recording time, and problems would arise if I were there for five or six hours. I didn’t dare take more than one tape. I knew that if I were ever caught that I it was lights out for me.

The mic was concealed in the toe of the shoe. Starting in the heel and moving to the front of the foot was the reel to reel tape. The tape was under a thick sole, but the mic was behind mesh for the reason that the mic was useless under all the rubber. This was an uneasy subject to navigate with big Dan and his Mafia friends. I told them that I had very bad foot oder. some how they bought it.

Today, I drove Big Dan to a old warehouse where we were to stay for as long as it took for Big Dan’s client to show up. It was my understanding that the information was a list of moles in the mafia. This worried me because that meant my name was on that list and there was was mole in the police – a powerful mole at that. l knew that I needed to leave, but l also knew that l needed to get evidence. l had to stay. Big Dan always carried a gun; that made it even more dangerous because he would shoot his mother if he found out that she was going to turn him in. After about two hours, to my surprise, a police major came stumbling in as if he had been tortured and then sent here to delver something.
That something was in his trembling hands – a blood speckled piece of paper. He lurched over to where Big Dan was standing. He barely made it to Big Dan before he collapsed in a heap on the concrete floor. High above us a man unzipped a duffel bag and extracted three things: a long black tube, a small black box, and a gun. The gun was a Barretta M95 sniper rifle; the black tube was a navy silencer; and the black box was a three round magazine. A few minuets later and,with a click a pop and a ping, that was the end for the major.

As soon as the hole in the major’s head appeared, I picked him up and slung him over my shoulder, not looking back to see the list of names crumple in of Big Dan’s hand. This proved to be an almost fatal mistake. Because with the other hand, he reached for his gun. It was sheer luck that the major’s head caught the bullet instead of my back. As soon as that shot went of and I realized that I was not dead, l dropped the major and ran. l ran thought the huge double doors out in to the sunlight.

As I saw the getaway van, three bullet holes appeared in the van’s side. l opened the door and there again was the all too familiar sound of a gun shot. But this time it was not followed by the ping of metal or the breaking of glass. This time it was a pif, the sound of a bullet hitting my leg. And less then a split second later the pain reached up my leg bellowing into my brain like a charging bull. The pain was excruciating. As l sat down in the driver’s seat, l saw my chance. Big Dan was loading his gun.  I turned the van around and squealed out of the parking lot.

Now, l was faced with another task, keeping consciousness for the thirty mile trip to the police station. With every heart beat, it was harder and harder to keep my grip on conciseness. l had ten more miles to the station when l blacked out. The next time I woke up it to the sound of sirens.  I must have blacked out again moments later. Two months later l puled out of coma in the hospital surrounded by my friends and the Chief of Police. Two weeks later l was fully recuperated and found out that Big Dan and his group of thugs had be captured. l was driven in a limo to the front of city hall where it seemed like the whole city turned out. l was driven to the main platform where the Chief was to give me a the keys to the city.

Leave a comment

Filed under AV, Writing

BR’s project book

BR using the light box to help get his writing straight.

BR is ecstatic to get back into digging away at a topic.  He provided the class with a project covering an overview of directional forces in various plate interactions.

His primary focus was on folding mountains.  He discussed the action and reaction of the plates when they bump together.  He concluded with a look at the Himalayas.  He drew a wonderful map of the Indian sub-continent as part of the conclusion.



BR finger chaining ties for his book binding.

BR relaxing with a round of world landmarks quizzing after completing his work.

Leave a comment

Filed under BR, Geology, Projects, Science, Writing