Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vintage Printable Early Learning Math Sheet

I found these over at Google Books(free). To print, click on the source, then right click on the image. Early learning printable - 1920 number chart "The figures may be used by laying sticks or other counting material in groups containing the same number as those on the cards. Sticks may be laid to show a different combination in each group. Two combinations can be made for 4: 2 and 2; 3 and 1. Four combinations can be made for 8: 7 and 1; 6 and 2; 5 and 3; 4 and 4"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mushrooms of America: Edible and Poisonous(Free E-book)

  Some mushrooms from my garden. :)

Title    Mushrooms of America: Edible and Poisonous
Editor    Julius Auboineau Palmer
Publisher    L. Prang & Co., 1885
See here for reading online and/or free download

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Red Clover Tea Recipe


  1 cup red clover blossoms
   2 tablespoons mint (spearmint or peppermint)
   4 cups water
   Honey, to sweeten (or use sugar)

Read rest here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spring Garden Progress

Every year I try different vegetables in my small side garden, but predictably the same ones thrive: cucumbers, green peppers, carrots, onions, and mints. Still, I enjoy experimenting. I tried beans again, but they usually shrivel away by summer. They are doing it again, shriveling in a different part of the garden. I'm trying potatoes again in a mulchy unused part of the garden next to a fence. I throw a lot of garden refuse there, so they may thrive in the decomposing bits. We'll see how these do.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Staving Off Homeschool Burn-out

See pages 8-9.

Dress a Llama

Source: via Heidi on Pinterest

This pin cushion made with a plastic animal is so clever. I couldn't have this at my home because it would be a lure for busy little fingers, but I really like the idea of making authentic folk costumes for plastic animals. This one with ribbons and pom-poms looks fairly easy to make as an extension for a study of Latin American mountain animals. A decorated elephant would be fun for a study of India. Maybe dress up a camel for North African or Middle East studies. They put interesting patterns with dye on camels in Pakistan(and India), and have colorful packs, rugs and bridles.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Favorite No Fuss No Liner Hookless Shower Curtain

My Hookless 71-by-74-Inch Fabric Shower Curtain, White hangs on a standard rod with flexible plastic rings which pop on and off the rod easily, and requires no liner. It stays fairly clean; however, we live in a very humid area, so I do have to wash it in bleach for minor mildew on the bottom about once every 4 months.I added another rod in the shower to throw it over for better drying, up and away from the tub sides which has really helped.

Anyway, I won't buy any other curtain now. I love not having to change a liner, and these come off the rod so easily for cleaning. I can do it with one hand. They are machine washable and last a long time. I've had a white hookless shower curtain for the past five years. We stayed at a Residence Inn hotel recently, and they had the exact same shower curtain.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Keeping Our Small Unfiltered Above Ground Pool Clean

I finally found an above ground pool cleaner which is simple to use and efficiently cleans all the debris off the bottom of our small pool. This Pool and Spa Vacuum attaches to a garden hose which produces a vacuum when the water is turned on and draws the debris into a mesh bag. You guide it across the bottom of the pool with a long pole(included). The mesh is small enough to catch objects the size of finely crushed stone gravel(our patio material). It can skim off the top as well, but I use a net from the dollar store to quickly clean off floating debris. Our pool is very small, so this was a simple solution.

 I've been using a small pool sanitizer from wallyworld, and change about a third of the water with every use. It stays pretty clean this way. In order to avoid dirty feet in the pool, we added synthetic grass outdoor mats/rugs along the path to the back door. We've had these stored outside for three years, and they are still showing very little wear. They sweep clean and can be hosed down.

We've got a lot of mosquitoes in the summer, so we have a netted enclosure around the pool. This helps keep debris from falling in the pool. If the mosquitoes were not a problem, we'd have purchased a pool cover.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Alternative Lawn: Old Fashioned Clover Lawn

Two old fashioned alternatives to turf grass lawns:
 White Clover Seed and  Red Clover Seed
 I am trying this in our backyard where we have bald patches due to moderate tree cover. I'm also going to overseed the front lawn with the pretty red clover. Clover lawns are self fertilizing in that they add nitrogen back into the soil.Clover is notoriously hard to kill. It will be very drought resistant and tough under foot. The wildlife will love it for its sweet taste and flowers.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Saving Money with Discounted Gift Cards

I've been using discounted gift cards to purchase items at stores I frequent for at least a year now. The savings have been really good. Not only am I getting gift cards at below value, I am combining(stacking) these savings with click-through rebate(cash back) sites, coupons, and sales.

Here are some gift card sites that I've used without any problems:

ABC Gift Cards
Gift Card Rescue
Plastic Jungle
Card Pool

The savings vary throughout the year. I've gotten anywhere from 2%(Walmart) off to 40%(AMC theaters) off. It's worth it to keep checking back for the good deals. The values generally vary as well, so if you want a small or high value card, they'll be able to accommodate you.  If the percentage is high, I go for the high value gift cards. It saves me money in the long run, and is a better rate than I'd earn sitting in the bank. The gift cards have no expiration date per law.

Here(Cash Back Chart) is a compilation of rebate(cash back) click-through sites by savings level organized by store. This is so helpful! Simply look up your store and choose the highest savings rate.

Retail Me Not is one of the better coupon code sites. Check here and Google for coupon codes to stack savings.

One of the easiest stores to apply this stacking method is Payless Shoes. They are always offering specials(like BOGO), have generous coupon codes online,  and offer free site to store delivery. The gift cards are usually deeply discounted, and the cash back sites have a decent cash back rate. You can triple stack savings with current sales and take a nice chunk off your final price.

About Me

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: