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October 17, 2012
Grandmas love tiggers.  Everyone knows this.  Tiggers probably love Grandmas too but that's not really the point.  You may be sensing a theme here.  First an elephant.  Then a beaver.  Now a tigger.  What will be next?  You'll just have to wait and see.  Elizabeth has so far even managed to keep the lid on things despite all the fun she's been having making them.
   

October 9, 2012

The experiment shown below is pretty neat in theory, designed to show how chlorophyll covers up the other colours in a leaf. Elizabeth enjoyed the experiment very much (collecting leaves! cutting leaves! covering leaves in smelly smelly rubbing alcohol!). But the alcohol did not turn black as promised and there were no yellow or red coloured lines that appeared for the green leaves. Did we use insufficient leaf quantities? Did the leaves need to be ground up more finely? Should have we used bleached coffee filters? No idea. But maybe this was to be expected...

 

We do a fair number of random science experiments off the Internet in the name of education, but a surprisingly high number totally fail to show what we expected them to show.

 

For instance, we've taught Elizabeth that a toothpick stuck in a marshmallow and positioned on your arm does not do anything interesting (it's supposed to vibrate to your pulse). Salt on an ice cube just melts (this is the famous pick up an ice cube with string and salt one - we did eventually get this one to work but it took quite a number of tries) And do not talk to me about pupating caterpillars! The Internet claims that caterpillars are actually ideal pets because all you do is feed it greens for a couple of weeks and then let the resulting butterfly go free. HAH! Someone forgot to mention the parental trauma associated with dead caterpillars when you apparently fail to get the humidity levels right, nor did it mention that some species pupate over the winter and therefore need to be kept alive for months and months with very little indication of whether the grub is still alive or not.

 

Perhaps it's just as well that I did not choose a career in research...

   

October 8, 2012

It only took 11 and a half years, but I finally framed pieces of my wedding bouquet, my "engagement ring" (a piece of grass someone tied onto my finger as a joke because they couldn't bear the idea that I didn't want one) and my "tinth" anniversary present.

 

Now, any bets as to how long it will take before we get around to hanging it on the wall somewhere?

   

October 7, 2012

Thanksgiving was filled with food and many walks in the fall leaves.

 

Elizabeth, Dan and Erika went for a bike ride together. Despite not having pedals, Elizabeth kept up - all three of them were riding circles around the rest of us!

 

There was a lot of playing in the leaves - so much that we never made it to our intended destination. So Elizabeth, Brendan and I went back the next day. Have I mentioned that Elizabeth loves biking? It's a good thing that she's a fan of skating and sledding too, or winter would be a bit of a trial...

   

October 3, 2012

We went to see Carleton's annual butterfly show, but chose a weekday in the vain hopes of avoiding standing in line for several hours.

 

It more or less worked, although it was still pretty crowded in the actual greenhouse, mostly due to a school trip. It could have been worse though - we managed to arrive just after a large daycare left and left as another two bus loads of students arrived!

 

Auntie Karen had never seen the butterflies before and was duly impressed. Elizabeth was okay for the first thirty seconds. Then a large butterfly landed on her leg. She didn't notice and kept walking, crushing one part of a wing slightly between her legs. I of course begged her to stop moving right away. She *freaked*. I ended up getting it off her without too much further damage to the butterfly but Elizabeth was hysterical. There were crowds of young teens around us that clearly did not care about much other than getting to hold a butterfly, so no sooner than I got the poor thing off Elizabeth and into a safe place than they grabbed it. In the ensuing tug of war between two of the tweens, the butterfly ended up on the floor, under a large piece of orange. It did survive but it was all rather horrible and intense. I think those butterflies lead a short, brutal life...

 

Anyway, Elizabeth did calm down and we managed to enjoy our visit in the end.

   

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