Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Herbal Ointments

Anything herbal interests me. Years ago I was introduced to Maria Treben and her herbal book and remedies. Her name kept coming up by people who believed in healing herbs. I finally found her book, Health from God's Pharmacy, and was hooked. I know many of her stories seem far-fetched to some people, but I admit, I believe what she is saying and like trying her herbs. I would like for someone to introduce me to all the plants. I'm sure they could all be found locally.

Yesterday afternoon I made an ointment from calendula. This has been put off too long and should have been done ages ago. Well here it is. The herbs have been standing on the kitchen window for a while now infusing in the warm sun.

Beeswax is from our own beehouse. I like using ingredients that are accounted for locally. Here is the recipe for any adventurous soul who wants to dabble in cosmetic making naturally and chemically free.

For a write-up on the healing powers of calendula, check out the Maria Treben link in my side bar -- Common herbs and their uses.

Herbal Ointments

Use dry herbs only

1. Cover the herbs in olive oil and let them stand in the sun for two weeks. Shake two times every day. In two weeks time, pour the oil through a clean cotton cloth and squeeze out the oil.

2. For each quart of infused oil, use 4 oz beeswax.

3. Preheat beeswax. Warm herbal mixture to 120-130 degrees F, add melted beeswax, stir well and pour into containers.

The mixture may be re-warmed if it isn’t the right texture.

Use throw-away items as much as possible.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This morning we made Easter baskets. This is a tradition in my classroom. We make a basket every year and add a few dyed eggs. On the last day before break, I add a few goodies and hide the baskets somewhere in the school. Since our school isn't too big and there are a few areas which are off-limit, the kids know where abouts they can search. They love that and know that if they find someone else's basket it remains a secret.

These are the baskets we made today and the link to where I got the instructions from. This is a cute little basket, a bit more sturdy than others I've made and fun to make. The folding and making of the basket is a great activity. I folded one for a template and the grade 2 and 3 kids used that to know where the score lines go. They then helped the younger kids with their baskets when they came back from German school.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Student's Pysanky

These are my student's versions of Ukrainian dyed easter eggs. I used the same dye as mine, however we did not use the candle and kiska. I went through my sticker containers and picked out what I felt will survive multiple dye baths. I picked smaller designs with distinctive shapes.

Some did not work and we peeled them off before the second dipping. I also found some magic (wax) crayons left over from some cheap dyeing kits we used last year. Those worked wonderfully well. I liked them better then the stickers, but as they are clear, it was difficult for the kids to see where they went with them. I think next time I would use all light coloured Crayola crayons.

This was fun for the students as egg dyeing always is. Now on to the baskets tomorrow.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Today I tried Ukrainian Easter egg (pysanky) dyeing. The concept seems so simple but the process is not so! Or should I say the process is so simple, but guiding the tool(kiska) is not! I do not have a steady hand and this project requires just that.

When I did some web research, I thought everyone does it and so can I. And I did, and they actually turned out nicer then I expected, though not as intricate as I hoped. The flowery one was easier to do then the star pattern. Getting straight lines on an egg is difficult at best. (Or maybe it is just me)

I was going to do this with my class but am having second thoughts. Using the kiska involves a candle, beeswax, and keeping the tunnel filled with melted wax. I didn't master it, so how can 5-8 year olds do it?

Also, the final step involves using a candle to melt off the accumulated wax and that would have to be done by me. I shy away from projects that require me doing most of the work. Unless I find an easier way of doing it, I will not attempt this with my class.

This egg was scribbled by my 3 year old nephew with me holding the kiska with him. The final product is still stunning, but I can not do this for nine students.

In any case, the picture of the basket of eggs in their natural state is wonderfully beautiful and it seems a shame to actually spoil them.

The following site has, among other great lessons, a step by step tutorial for classroom use.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gray Day

This is the kind of day we're having. Kind of nice -- it makes you want to stay indoors.

It didn't suppress the mud in the school entryway though. Glad I am not the sweeper upper of it all. And no, you do not have the pleasure of seeing a photo of the mess.

With the cold chill snapping in, the fun will be frozen over, bringing us nearer to our Spring and Easter break; Parent's day too at the end of next week.

I still have some ambitious plans for the four school days next week. Hope to do some AIMS egg inspired math and get some pysanky done. I think I got the word right! Ukrainian decorated Easter eggs -- I've been meaning to do them for a while now and might be brave enough this year.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I found this poem on the net looking for a 'puddles' poem. I just had to get a splashy one for this weeks's focus poem as this is what 'WE' live for these days.

Is it not?

And why wouldn't it be? This is the scene from the school doorway... and this is what greets us all on the way to school, at recess, and on the way home.

I was going to wait for a picture of a few kids in a puddle, skirts hiked up, gingerly threading through the icy water. However; Chris took matters into his hands and forbid the kids to be in the puddles during school hours. So that is that!!

We will see how that is taken:)

In The Puddles

Rain bashing, rain crashing,
In the puddles, children splashing,
Mother's tongue has started lashing,
Everyone is wet!

Rain slopping, rain stopping,
In the puddles, children hopping,
Mother's hands have started mopping,
Everyone, I bet!

Sun waking, sun breaking,
In the puddles, children quaking,
Mother's arms have started shaking,
Everyone, she'll net!

Sun applying, sun drying,
In the puddles, children crying,
Mother's breath is now a sighing,
Everyone's upset!

Sun gleaming, sun scheming,
In the puddles, children steaming!
Mother's smile, now is beaming,
Everyone's her pet!

© Ernestine Northover

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sesame Candy

If you need a healthy sweet, try this. It is so good! My all-time favourite candy and you need only butter, honey and sesame!

Recipe coming later.

Couldn't find my file so I am inserting a photo of the recipe from my book. Enjoy!