Osmosis, Schmosmosis

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Chapter 5

*****

 

I was geared up for a Science experiment to show osmosis.

The word and  definition were vaguely familiar from
my High School Biology class.
I didn’t always pay attention in class, did you?
Good thing my Dad doesn’t read my blog all the time,
because he was my high school Biology teacher.

Remember how I didn’t pay attention to his gold panning lessons?
I must have not been listening too well in Biology, either.

 

We refreshed our minds about osmosis.

 

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That’s alotta’ big words in Dictionary.com’s explanation.

 

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We liked this definition from ASK better.

 

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We cut the potato in half,
sliced off the round ends,
then scooped out the inside.

Good thing I’ve owned a melon baller for about two decades.
It finally earned its keep.

 

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Each potato slice was set in a bowl,
water was added to about 1/2 inch depth,
and the hollows were filled with colored water.

 

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We added 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to one hollow,
and labeled it because I knew I would forget.

Then I labeled the stuff so my family wouldn’t forget.

If you read the corn cob blog,
we have trouble with projects around here.

 

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Since I don’t want to give them impression that things are always perfect around here,
you needed to see the mess that sat here for a few hours.

 

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There ya’ go.

That’s what it looked like the next day.

 

“Trees use a method called osmosis to force water upwards. Osmosis works because there is a difference between the sap, or juice, inside the root and the water in the ground outside. Sap contains large amounts of sugary substances. Ground water contains only tiny amounts of dissolved nutrients.  Sap is more concentrated than ground water.  Osmosis forces water from the soil through minute holes in the root skin to inside the root. p. 37-38 The Prairie Primer

 

 

Here’s another osmosis potato experiment
from someone who probably listened better in Biology class.

 

I was just feeling good that we started and finished a project.
I think some Science stuff musta’ osmosised into our brains,
doncha’ think?

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Maple Syrup Taste Test

I grew up in a family that loved ice cream.

We ate a LOT of ice cream.
My mom wondered why the ice cream went so quickly,
until she caught my Dad in action.

Apparently, he left a spoon in the ice-cream bucket.
When he went down to stoke the fire,
we survived North Dakota winters heating with
a wood-burning stove,
he would have a few bites.
(I think he deserved them, don’t you?)

Anyway, we grew up on those huge buckets
of ice cream that were about $2.
We usually bought vanilla, so we could add toppings,
but on rare occasion had Neapolitan.

As an adult, I was offered Breyer’s vanilla ice cream
for the first time, and I didn’t like it.

It didn’t taste like ice cream to me.

We had the same experience with Rebekah and  maple syrup.

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The Ingalls family had the thrill of making real maple syrup,
tapping the trees and everything.

Not a possibility in my neighborhood,
so I drove to Trader Joe’s and bought real Maple Syrup and waffles.
Traffic was bad, it took me over 10 minutes to go 2.3 miles.

Life as a city pioneer can be grueling.

We didn’t see a bear, but almost saw an accident.

Back to the syrup.
She cut the waffle in half,
and tried each kind of syrup.

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She ate the Mrs. Butterworth’s first.

I grew up with the Maple flavored kind we made from scratch.
Store bought, like Mrs. Butterworth’s,  was a luxury.

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Rebekah has grown up with store-bought imitation syrup,
so real maple syrup should be a luxury.

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Does she like it?????

Pondering, while letting the natural goodness swirl around her tongue.

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The verdict is in.

If I ever find a Maple tree flowing with syrup,
I officially know I won’t have to stop and make syrup for my family.

However, if I find a sale on imitation syrup,
I better stock up.

A Corn Cob Doll Is Not One of Our Favorite Things

My girls have always loved dolls, probably because I love dolls.

I love dishes and tea sets and fake food of all sizes and kinds. Sometimes I buy toys just for me.

 

I was slightly disappointed when my kids grew up and didn’t want toys for Christmas. They wanted boring stuff like clothes and technology.

Sometimes, we bought our teenagers toys, anyway. We want them to always have a spirit of youthfulness and to be able to laugh and have fun.

Just because you’re 18 doesn’t mean you’re too old for a crazy, laughing Elmo doll. Yes, my husband did buy that for Bethany when she turned 18, and yes she did love it. She loved her other presents better, probably, but will always have that amazing memory of getting the coveted and popular Elmo doll, for her 18th birthday.

We began our Corn Cob Doll lesson by discussing Our Favorite Things.

The girls narrowed it down to one doll for a picture.

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The good thing about kids growing up and not wanting toys anymore
is they have kids who want toys.

This is a pic of the lovely Brookelyn with her favorite dolly. (Her mommy is my oldest daughter.) She is such a good mommy to her dolly.

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This is the baby of the family, Rebekah, but don’t call her that, with her favorite baby.

It was a gift from a dear friend, Romance,  because she loves toys, too, and thought all the little girls in her life needed a dolly that ate real food, pooped and peed.

Yes, Baby Alive poops and pees. Brilliant marketing strategy.

The little packets of food and little packages of diapers are outrageously expensive, but outrageously fun.

Beka has to use cloth diapers some of the time. We eventually will learn to make our own baby food. After all, she grew up on homemade baby food, it’s good enough for her dolly, too. 

I can’t fathom Laura playing with a Corn Cob Doll.

I can’t fathom Ma not making her a rag doll sooner.

Sometimes I have a hard time walking a mile in their lace-up shoes.

We weren’t sure if we were supposed to dry the cob with the corn on or off.

We opted for eating the corn off.

 

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The first time I bought corn, I forgot it in the fridge. When we remembered to cook it, we forgot to save the cobs. I bought more. I was determined to finish the project.

We shucked the corn.

I boiled it.

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We ate it.

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Grandbaby Maddelyn loved the corn and gnawed and gnawed and gnawed.

She reminded me of my Aunt Hedi, the family record holder for eating 12 cobs of corn at a family reunion.

Aunty might have some serious competition soon.

Since the corn cobs weren’t dry, we decided to make a different kinda’ doll.

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We used large beads, dowels and chenille stems, although I have called them pipe cleaners my entire life.

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We added the corn husks and just tied it on.

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We thought corn silk would make adorable hair.

They were pretty cute, until they shriveled up and looked ridiculous. It might work better to dry the husks flat in books, then try gluing them on the dowels.

STRIKE ONE.

(If you want to make authentic corn husk dolls, check out Native American Life Living Art.)

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I scraped the rest of the corn off the cob, hoping it would dry sooner.

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I left these on the counter, clearly marked, of course.

They didn’t dry well, so I tried something else.

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I twisted wire around them and hung them outside to dry.

I forgot about squirrels.

I brought the only cob in the house, put it on the counter, and forgot about the children.

Thinking they were “helping me” they threw it out. (Now you know why I labeled the cobs the first time.)

After digging through the garbage bags, yes, we did that, I’m a mighty determined woman, we found the lone Survivor.

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There ya’ go. 

The cob that survived the Squirrel Attack
and the Kitchen Cleaning Frenzy.

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Beka is clearly excited about the long-awaited day.

Really.

I’m going to play with a corncob.

I can hardly wait.

 

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Trying to make it a little more enticing, she picked out a favorite vintage handkerchief.

We WERE going to finish this project.

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It wasn’t fun.
We couldn’t even pretend it was fun.

The instructions were to play with this doll only for one day.

After school we were running an errand and Beka wanted to bring a doll. I reminded her of her assignment, and asked if she would bring the Corn Cob Doll.

The look on her face let me know it would be a humiliation beyond comprehension, ya’ know the kinda’ family tale of woe the kids repeat behind your back for generations to come.

“You think that’s bad, how about the time Mom made me bring a Corn Cob Doll everywhere I went?  I am scarred for life.”

We left the Corn Cob Doll and grabbed Baby Alive. The cob ended up back in the garbage can. I should have given it back to the squirrel, he would have appreciated it.

Weeks of planning, preparation and it was
STRIKE TWO
for Corn Cob Dolls.

Even though the dolls were failure, the lesson wasn’t.

How can you NOT be thankful for the bountiful blessings we have when staring into the face of one pathetic corn cob that is compost/garbage to us,  but a toy to a previous generation?

How can you not admire little Laura who tried really hard to play with her pathetic doll and be thankful and not jealous of Mary?

If the essence of thankfulness
burns into Rebekah’s heart and mind,
the project won’t have a
STRIKE THREE.

Prairie Primer is Prime Way to Begin New Year

I’ve been a mommy for 25 years,
and the majority of that time I have been homeschooling.

My 19th year just started,
but who’s counting?
Apparently, I am.

Do I dare admit,
at the beginning of a new blog,
at the beginning of a new year,
I’m a little burned out?


YES I DO!


I’m not tired of teaching, I’ve always loved school.

I’m not tired of my children,
they were all in my Gifted and  Talented program,
despite not making their beds and brushing their teeth regularly.
I didn’t begin homeschooling because
I was exceptionally brilliant and talented.
I loved my children and wanted to be around them.

I’m tired of reading a few pages and answering a few questions.

B-O-O-O-O-O-R-R-I-I-I-N-G!
The motivation to cross off one more assignment on the weekly goal chart,
had totally lost its thrill and luster,
and our love for learning was being quenched.

We long for time to sew, craft, bake, read, explore, dress-up,
pretend, play with toys, snuggle, and laugh.

Above all, we need to regain our love of learning.

With four students graduated and one entering college,
I am departing
 from the workbook teaching
and am going to a hands-on, literature based learning.

I’m wondering why I waited so long to do this.

This year, we’ll be living, laughing, loving, and  learning  through
Margie Gray’s Prairie Primer,
using all the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder as our educational foundation.

Even if you aren’t using this curriculum this year, I will be sharing all kinds of veteran tricks  hidden up my sleeve, or should I say, for this year, in my apron pocket?

I’d love to have you join us on the adventure.

We intend to fan into flames our love for learning.