Prussian Blue?

I thought about asking y’all to guess what this is but, honesty, it’s random and I’ve never seen it before so instead I’ll just tell you.

Maybe you can tell me why you think it’s blue now.

This is a close up shot of a shovel that had been at the bottom of a fire. (It was thrown in to burn out the handle that had broken off inside.) When I pulled it out the next day I found this brilliant blue color on parts of it!

John’s theory is that the iron in the shovel reacted with potash from the fire and created iron hexacyanoferrate better known as Prussian blue pigment. He also admits that this is not exactly his type of chemistry (the internet was heavily utilized in the theory making tonight) so other ideas are welcome!

Personally I have no idea why but I can tell you that the color was a beautiful surprise hiding in the ashes!

“ALL My Horses Talk.”

Guess what?

Ha! Just kidding, no guessing involved.  I’ve just heard that so many times today (and by the way actual guessing about what comes next is not in any way shape or form allowable) I feel the need to start every conversation with it, like this:

Guess what?

I hate playing pretend.

Unfortunately Ivy (the supreme guess whater) LOVES it.

Somethings are tolerable, I can pretend to be the bad queen (and the wicked witch) all day long if necessary. I guess somethings just come naturally…

But the one thing that I never, ever want to do is pretend to make toys talk.

Not horses, not stuffed dogs, not rocks pretending to be talking rocks – nothing.

Ivy has lots of toys (and she’s good and finding rocks), and she wants to make them all talk-all the time.

For instance, Ivy has lots of toy horses, lots of horses that need another person to hold them -in a very specific manner -and make them talk. BUT (before you get all, your such a meanie that’s not so bad on me) they can’t just say whatever you want. Oh no! Ivy wants the horses to say what she wants them to say, but you have to say it. Sounds fun huh? For awhile I was able to escape the talking horses by telling her that my horses didn’t talk.  My horses ran, and ate grass and sorted themselves by color, position, and gender, but they didn’t talk. Now Ivy walks up with her horses and says, “Mom, want to play horses with me?… ALL my horses talk.”

– dang –

I like to think I’m not a complete dud in Ivy’s playing world.  We set up forts, stables, farmyards and villages for her and her toys. I help her dress like a princess, play board and card games and sometimes we build things out of Johns chemistry models.

Tonight we built (from left to right) A Basset Hound, a Great Dane, an elephant a giraffe, a caterpillar and a duck, also not pictured were the deer, and the chicken with a nest of eggs.

Who knew chemistry could be so fun?


Then they started talking, and suddenly it was bedtime.

What can I say?  I really hate making toys talk!

Nerdy Fun

Last April when I first started this blogging thing my very first post was about John.

Specifically it was about John being a chemistry nerd.

Because as much as he tries to deny it – he is.

Unfortunately most of his chem nerd skills are not especially useful on a daily basis.

Smelling different household chemicals to identify them is a neat trick, but it is not particularly useful.

He can do stoichiometry to figure out cooking conversions, but I think that is perhaps making things a bit more difficult than necessary.

Sometimes he can figure out substitutes for a chemical we need but don’t have.  This is useful, but I can only think of twice in the last 10 or so years where it was actually needed.

So while his chemistry skills aren’t a daily boon to us at home (Other than the whole job/paycheck bit, we all appreciate that!) there are times like tonight when being married to a chemistry nerd is fun.

Let me rephrase that a bit. I love my husband, and of all the nerdy chemists I have met he ranks very high on the fun scale. Being married to him is almost always fun.

-Except for when he falls asleep in .2 seconds while I toss and turn. That’s not fun, I hate that. What is it with men and being able to do that anyway? Anyways, as I was saying…-

Tonight there was fun, nerdy chemistry fun.

Tonight there were boxes of dry ice to be had.

A box of dry ice and a bathtub full of water, and we had a good 20 minutes of nerdy chemistry excitement.

Ivy almost had as much fun as John did. As she played in the smoke  she asked, what it was, what was happening, and why it was happening faster than John could spit out answers in three year old language.

On the other hand Clara was less thrilled, while John and Ivy played around she exited the bathroom.

I’m not sure if it was that she couldn’t see her feet, that the rest of her family was acting ridiculous or that she’s not cut out to be a chemistry nerd herself, but whatever the reason, Clara was not impressed!

My Husband

This is my husband He is a wonderful husband, dad, sometimes farmer, car mechanic, general fix it guy, and then he goes to work as a chemist. Couldn’t ask for more out of a guy! Now he tries to deny the nerdy chemist side of himself sometimes, but when I find something like this in the kitchen it’s hard for him to argue, he is a chemistry nerd. This is what he did when trying to figuring out how to use tomato paste instead of tomato juice in a stew. Did I mention he also cooks? And the stew turned out delicious! But when you use stoichiometry in your cooking, you are a chem nerd, sorry honey!