The Jeep is having issues with the cruise control so we had to take it to the shop to get it fixed. We packed up school and headed out for the day.
We didn’t get it fixed the first day so have to go back again. We came home and enjoyed a daytime first in the backyard while we listed to Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
We tried making some sweet snacks but the chocolate burned and they tasted icky.
Back to the car dealership day two. More school in the lobby.
We ended up with a rental car and headed to paint your own pottery. I made a bowl for Hedgie’s water and a cool hedgehog.
My friend Jamison was able to join us. He painted a black and white kitty.
The finished products ready to go into the kiln and for glazing.
Dad was out of town all week so I took over his chair. I liked sitting in it to do my typing. Sneaky Pie didn’t know the difference and came over for her back rub with my feet.
This weekend Mom and I attended a program at Eckerd College on Microplastics in TampaBay. It was hosted by two college marine biology teachers (Dr. David Hastings and Dr. Koty Sharp). I was eager to volunteer, but not so eager to enter the water, to collect a sample of water.
We learned what micro plastics are and how, presumably, they are entering our waterways. I was shocked to know that many of the fabrics we wear put off 1900+ particles of “lint” per wash. Many of the fabrics contain plastics!
I quickly grasped the effect that micro plastics can have on sea life and beyond. I really like zooplankton and enjoyed a video they showed of the zooplankton eating the micro plastics as they filter fed.
We brought the water samples to the lab and the college kids filtered the water and then we looked at the filters under the microscopes. I got to count up the pieces of plastic on my filter. I had 16, 2 of which were possibly microbeads! Microbeads come from exfoliating products and possibly from other broken down larger plastics in the oceans and waterways. The government is working on phasing out the use of microbeads by making them illegal in beauty products.
I thought it was awesome that the professor was willing to sit and answer my questions and spark my interest.
In Tampa Bay alone they estimate 23,000,000,000,000 (23 trillion!) particles of micro plastics!
Next we switched to a different lab. I quickly volunteered to collect the sample with the plankton net.
This time we were looking for micro organisms in the microscopes. I found lots of little things moving around and noticed the size was similar to the micro plastics. I can easily see how they can be consumed.
Another spark? Yes! I now want to tell all my friends about single use plastics and why they are bad. I don’t think I am going to remove plastics from my clothing but will think about that as Mom and Dad get me new clothing in the future. I want to collect products and learn how to safely dispose of them. Maybe I can do a drive at the community center or a project for 4-H on micro plastics! Â Hmmmm… my mind is running.
We started back to school this week but Mom made sure the transition, after being off for such a long time, was easy. We played outside and met friend for park play. We made a giant hopscotch course and had fun hopping with friends avoiding lava, touch squares and other obstacles we dreamed up.
I am enjoying a break from FLVS classes and trying to focus on my math and writing. I am loving the last and final pre-algebra book in the series I am doing. Mom lets me use a calculator now but I have to be able to explain verbally what I am doing and why. It is making math less stressful. We are really focusing on writing and getting me faster and neater. I want to take some classes at the local college but I can’t until mom feels I can confidently take notes, answer written questions and stay on track a bit longer. I am really trying.
It is finally getting chilly outside. Thunder and I curled up to watch Avatar in 3D while Mom went out with some friends.
We loaded up the motorhome and headed to the woods for New Years. It was the most quiet place to spend the holiday! HONEST! The place was like a ghost town by dark. The people camping were quiet and respectful. No fireworks allowed in the park or campground.
I love riding up front in the motorhome. Mom and Emmerson take the sofa and I play co-pilot.
After we got settled we enjoyed an evening of yummy pizza at Satchel’s and then bats at the UF Bat Barn.
At dusk 300,000+ bats fly out of the houses. It is quite a site to see!
We had a great time playing in the woods at the campground. We climbed trees, play with ropes and other toys. We enjoyed a few really long hikes. We learned about the preserve and how once it was a giant lake that suddenly disappeared as oddly as it appeared!
Dad chilled outside and worked on trip planning in the shade while we made up adventure stories and played in the dirt.
We visited the Florida Natural History Museum in Gainesville. We love the butterflies.
The weather turned icky and started to get drizzle and chilly. We had a few camp fires and then check the weather for the next day. We opted to pack up a day early and drive home. We were glad we did because it apparently rained the entire next day in Micanopy.
I found a fully intact snake shed and managed to bring it home in a box to keep…forever!