Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Many late-night random thoughts

First, regarding the Brown fire. There is a follow up to the article. Tammy posted the link. Go to her blog, click the link, and you'll see a photo. You'll see one of the children trying to salvage the tree. Click on that photo to enlarge it. You'll also see a room with chairs, a TV -- lots of stuff. So if you've never been through a fire, you might think everything is salvageable, right? It all looks okay in the photo -- messy due to people, fire fighters, etc. But what you don't get through seeing the picture is smell.

My sister had a house fire several years ago. I was in college at the time, still living at home. Mom and dad left me at home to help her recover from the fire. I think they were gone about a week. They stayed at a motel, so they were in clean surroundings. The night they got home, I raced to the door to let them in, and although they were in clean clothes, showered, fresh -- they stunk the worse stink I have ever smelled. The smell they carried on their bodies nearly made me get sick. Everything they brought into the house had that smell. I cannot describe it with accuracy. Yes, it smelled like burnt goods, but it was much worse. It took a long time to get that stink out of our house.

So you see, you don't see the smell in the photos. Trust me, it's there, and it's bad. And nearly impossible to get out of the stuff that may still otherwise be good. The other thing you don't see is water everywhere. Water ruins things.


On another note, Thomas and I will be making gingerbread houses tomorrow. It seems if you don't buy a kit when you first see them, you're scre -- erh, out of luck. So I've been looking for recipes. I'll post photos when we're done.


On a final note, I did the unthinkable today. After I mentioned here that we use Rod and Staff math and that I hand make worksheets, I thought how silly for me to do that. So I got an exacto knife and cut the spine out of the student book. I then sliced the spine into five chunks that will fit in my extra-special high performance ($100) three-hole punch left over from my court reporting days. We then put the pages in a notebook (some people call them three-ring binders). I now have a book that I can circle what problems Thomas has to do, that he can take individual sheets out of, and he will now be forced to copy and do his own problems that can't be worked in tea book. I think I'd babied him far too long on that. I also feared keeping books in pristine condition so that I could resell them.

Phooey to that. He worked two lessons today and LOVED that he could write in his book. Amazingly, he did math in record time this morning as well. And he had to copy about 10 problems out of the book and work on graph paper -- it still went so much faster than our typical two-hour math sessions.

Whew. Why didn't I do that sooner? The photo is at the top -- I couldn't get it to move down here where I want it. It was very, very hard for me to cut up a perfect condion book.


Anonymous said...

I am all for Mom's making our life easier! What is great about putting a math workbook in a binder is that you can throw blank notebook page in after each lesson, for him to work out his own problems.

I may just have to do this with Girlie's math again as well, even though we swtiched to a consumable program (Keys to Curriculum). I forgot how nice having it all togethre was!

MamaB said...

I've heard that too Frankie that the stuff will look okay but the smell permeates everything. I for one wouldn't be able to stand it. I would be constantly smelling smoke.

That's a good idea on the math book. It goes against the grain to chop up a book for me too but when the results are as rewarding as that its worth it.

Ms.L said...

I have the same issue with books too!
I can understand what you mean about the smell of a fire.
The same holds true for certian sounds.

Anonymous said...

One gingerbread recipe with photos coming your way! Carole