Tag Archives: experiment

Lows & Highs: 1/16-1/22/13

Low: I woke with a splitting headache on Saturday and, though it subsided to a dull ache, it lasted all day. Nevertheless, I enjoyed talking through some of the discussion questions for premarital counseling, watching Les Miserables, and going to a local talent show that day.

Highs: While I was visiting for the weekend, Brian and I took the opportunity to have fun with hospitality. We baked cookies (really I baked while he made dinner) for game night with college students and then taught them how to play Sequence. We also had friends over for taco salads after church on Sunday.


What were your lows and highs from the past week?

Lows & Highs is a Stories from the Stairs weekly feature. Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs in the comments or by posting a link to your lows and highs blog post.

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InstaFriday: Trying New Things

I have been busy with my normal life stuff and working on my Teacher Work Sample but I have been trying a few new things.

With all the below-freezing nights we have had here in Kansas lately, I made an attempt to bring some of my herb garden inside. Left to right: Mint was already in this pot, so I think it stands a good chance of survival. Parsley and rosemary will start from cuttings plus rooting hormone, according to my research, and so far they look okay. Chives are a type of bulb, I think, so I split the bunch in my garden and transplanted part of it (this approach has worked for me before).

I am also trying out washi tape* on some of the artsy pages of my journal.

In writing classes, they tell you to "Show, don't tell" which, come to think of it, is kind of ironic.Some of my best adventures began with "I don't really want to go but I know I need to" and ended with "I'm so glad I went."

What experiments or new-to-you products have you tried recently?

*Essentially decorative masking tape that originated in Japan.


Filed under photos, something to try

31 Days of Random Questions – Day 25

What has fear of failure stopped you from doing?
Skydiving, singing solo in public (singing is definitely not my gift!), diving from a high board, flying with a jet pack or in an ultra-light, bungee jumping, stopping a speeding train like a superhero. I have no interest in trying any of these things, though!


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31 Days of Random Questions

I’ve heard of 31 Days in passing and several bloggers I follow will participate every year. I’ve never had the desire or time to do it myself, but enjoy reading what others post.

I like to write because it helps me ponder and process but I had the idea that it would take a ton of time and energy and creativity to undertake 31 Days. As I scrolled through the list of links to participating blogs, I realized that many people do lots of time and energy and creativity into their 31 posts, but some make it more simple and still meaningful and/or fun. If you are doing 31 Days and you fall into that last group, thank you for making it seem attainable.

I like questions, especially random ones that don’t have yes or no answers, that make people think, that start conversations, that invite stories. I have a whole list of good questions already, so I’m going to post one with my answer every day for the 31 days of October. Take them and ask your friends or family if you want. I would love to hear your answers in the comments (seriously. that’s why I ask, after all)! If you have suggestions of questions to include, let me know.

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Favorite Photography Apps for iOS

I like taking pictures with my iPhone (and with my iPod Touch before that). I don’t pretend to be good at it, but it is a fun, handy way to capture memories. The apps I have been using most frequently are listed below. If you have a favorite iOS photo app not listed, tell me about it in the comments. I like trying out new ones!

  • Camera+ to take photos instead of the built-in Camera app
  • Diptic to create windowpane-type arrangements
  • Pic Collage to create more free-spirited arrangements than Diptic
  • Over to add text to an image
  • Instagram to add filters and post photos I want to share on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Photo Sync to upload to Dropbox, a computer, or another device without using cables

Check out some examples of how I use these tools here.

Originally posted at Practical Adventure.

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Experiments & Trouble

My siblings and I figured out at a very early age that we could often avoid getting in trouble for doing something by explaining that it was an experiment. Questions like “What are you doing?!” and “What were you thinking?!” and “Why did you do that?” could be answered with, “Well, it was a science experiment…” If Dad were the inquisitor, he would sigh and call, “Hon, come talk to your kid!” When we told Mom something was an experiment, she matter-of-factly asked what we learned. If we could show that we learned from the incident, we still had to clean up or amend whatever went wrong, but did not get in as much trouble. Ah, the perks of growing up with a science mom!

Both of our parents taught us to pay attention and learn from the world around us. Here are the key steps we used for our real-life experiments:

1. Observe
Pay attention to the world and to people, to tiny details and to big pictures.  What do you wonder about? What patterns do you notice? What oddities stand out? Ask lots of questions. Write the questions down if you like, so you will not forget them.

2. Research – Ok, so we tended to skip this step a lot, but it is very helpful!
Have others asked the same questions (or something similar)? What do they say about it? Are they reliable sources?

3. Theorize – A good way to get Mom’s attention and curiosity when we were kids, “Hey, Mom, I have this theory…” Yes, we knew what a theory was.
With the information you have, what do you think is true or what do you think will happen?

4. Plan
How can you find out whether the theory is correct? What are the variables? Risks?

5. Experiment
Try your plan and gather more information. You will probably end up with additional questions and will may change your theory. That is terrific! Experiments that do not work out the way you expect (sometimes called “failures”) have lots to teach you.  Part of experimenting is observing. Since you are already back at the beginning of the list, you may want to go through it again with your new questions and ideas.

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