Tag Archives: websites

Help for learning Spanish

7 May

Here is the Spanish post I promised.  The one that has taken a different direction than my usual Spanish posts.  (If you have read very many of my posts you will find that I change direction quite often.)  The direction is different, because this Spanish post will be written in English.

I won’t be writing the post in Spanish because I just can’t cover this material with my current Spanish skills  (notice I didn’t say my lack of Spanish–I’m still working at having a positive self-image).  I am going to tell of some of the different ways that help me  learn the language.

The best way would be to live near Spanish speakers, but there aren’t any living near me.  Another way, if one had the time or the money would be to take a Spanish class at the university or on CD’s.  But that isn’t a option for me at present.

I found, instead,  a small informal class that meets weekly at our local library.  We visit  sites on the internet and are slowly learning.  The following are the sites we use most often:

www.123teachme.com  This site is filled with Spanish courses, tests, games, and other resources.  We each progress at our own level at home, then do some of the lessons in class.  We frequently use the ‘English to Spanish’ and the ‘Spanish to English’ translator.

www.spanishdict.com  Although, not filled with as much content as the Teach Me site, this one has a translator with audio, Word of the Day, a featured article and common words in both English and Spanish.

http://en.childrenslibrary.org/  We use this site to read children’s books in Spanish.  We select ‘Read Book’.  When the page appears  we select set the language for “Spanish”and select ‘Short Books’.  Some books are in both Spanish and English, which is helpful.  Some are in Spanish and other languages and others only in Spanish.  We have to pick and choose to find the ones that are best for our beginning level.

From http://www.gutenberg.org we have been reading two books until we progress to a place where the language is beyond us.  Occasionally we return to the site and are pleasantly surprised by how many more of the words we have learned.  The two books we read are  “An Elementary Spanish Reader” and  “A First Spanish Reader”

In addition too the class and these sites I like to find Spanish blogs, newspapers, and websites.  Some of these I return to again and again.  I am always looking for new ones that are not just lessons, but actual writings of people posting on their blogs.  Ones that aren’t too hard for me.  I like it best when I can get the gist of the article without looking up the translation of words too often!  From my college Spanish class and in our little informal one, we find that we can often understand the story even if we don’t know all the words.

These are some I have found helpful:

www.spanishspanish.com  Lots of information on this site.  Audio, flash cards, vocabulary, grammar, textbooks, etc.

homeschoolspanishonline.com  As the name indicates, this is a home school Spanish course.  Lots of material, music, and some stories in Spanish

When I visited www.marisamontes.com today I learned that the author has died.  The site is being kept as a memorial to her.  I click on Links” and choose  ‘Ónline  Resources for Children’.  This displays a page with several websites for Spanish.

One newspaper that I continue to try reading from time to time is elsur.mx.  It is from the Yucatan Peninsula.  As with the books, I seem to get the gist of the articles.  I still need to translate many words, but my progress, though slow, encourages me.

Most generally I find sites through internet searches.  I try to remember to bookmark the good ones I find.   I have found that using different words in my search brings up different sites.  I’ve yet to find the best words for what I want, although I still seem to stumble onto some good sites at times.

Sometimes I find a blog I like from a search, yet when I go back to the main site page, I have a hard time finding the blog.  It seems, from what I can gather, that some of the Spanish blogs are connected to a main site page.  I suppose I just haven’t learned how to navigate well enough yet.

But it is frustrating.  Today I stumbled onto a blog I liked and noted–but sadly didn’t bookmark– the site.  I thought, www.hola.com, easy name, I’ll remember that.  And I did remember it, but when I went to the site later, I found it doesn’t seem to be the site of the person’s blog I had read.  It seems instead a collection of various writers, maybe bloggers?  I’ve yet to find the one which I was looking at earlier and wanted to mention in this post.  If my Spanish understanding was sufficient, I believe the blogger was a retired woman who visited different places and made videos of them.  It was a video that I watched.  The whole ‘hola’ site has a tremendous amount of material, but hopefully I will stumble onto the one I liked again sometime.

While searching www.hola.com I found another video that was interesting.  It was a video about art and food.  And there was something about the hands.  When I realized I had to have the translation it meant a trip to www.123teachme.com.  I was surprised to learn it said árt and gastronomy go hand in hand’.  I also learned that Reino Unido mean the UK.  It was good to be clear about the content of the video.  But I was still happy that I got at least part of it on my own.  I know I will return to this site over and over.  From the Food section, with help from 123TeachMe, I also learned that ‘paso a paso’ means step by step.

In trying to find a blog about gardens written in Spanish, I found this site  www.buenastareas.com/ensayos/Jardin-De-Ni%C3%B1os/6681595.html    I have just copied the whole link.  I’m afraid if I try to just enter the main site I won’t be able to find the article again.  Although I didn’t read very much of it, I plan to return.

Another way I learn is by writing in Spanish.  In our class we are now each writing a paragraph something about our week and then reading each other’s in class.  Reading, listening and writing Spanish really helps me.

So I stumble along in this blog, in most of my Spanish posts, writing in my own level of Spanish.  Struggling but keeping on for some reason.  I feel, like a member of our class who said, “I really don’t know why I want to learn Spanish, I just do”.  And really, do we always need the ‘why’ of something?  Can’t we just do it because we enjoy it?


Websites I love

8 Aug

When checking my email this morning I realized , again, how much I tend to go overboard.  Because I am interested in so many different things, I visit all kinds of websites.  And, often, I check the little box that puts me on their mailing list.  Such a little, seemingly innocent,  action sure can create a  deluge!  But if I unsubscribe I might miss out on something.  So I usually just browse thru, deleting as I go.  When I see something that looks interesting I may check it out.  Most often, tho, I leave it till later, which only makes the job take longer next time.  When I get more time I scan more closely, saving what I want.  My email folders grow larger.  To make matters worse, when I  visit the sites, many times I will create bookmarks, causing those folders to grow.  It can get a little overwhelming, at times, but at least I always have something to check out!

One site that has me on their email list is www.instructables.com.  You can find almost anything on this site!  Often, something quirky will catch my eye and I have to check it out.  I hardly ever really do any of the activities, but I love reading about them and looking at the pictures.  One that recently caught my eye was this  http://www.instructables.com/id/Magnetic-Sugru-Stix/  This is one of those things like I always wished I could get my kids to try, and now my grandkids.  I don’t know why I can’t seem to want to do it for myself.  I guess I would rather do it with someone.  The Instrucables site reminds me of the “Make” magazines that I get from my son once they are done with them.  After I check them out, wonder about the ideas, then finally realize they are just ideas–not something I really want to do–I pass them on to my grandson.  I don’t know if he ‘makes’ anything or not.  But at least we enjoy reading about the ideas.  We all seem to share the same spark.

Since I enjoy knitting I subscribe to some of those sites.  Purple Kitty Yarns www.purplekittyyarns.com offers some free patterns.  Creative Knitting  www.creativeknittingmagazine.com sends me helpful “how-to” info.  I get notices from two yarn companies, Knit Picks www.knitpicks.com and Loin yarn www.lionbrandyarn.com.  Both offer free patterns as well as other patterns, yarn and knitting supplies.  I purchased a set of interchangeable needles from Knit Picks.

Knitty, www.knitty.com is  another site that has me on their list.   I just love this site!  Unlike Instructables, I actually do things from this site.  I like looking at their knitting patterns–they have lots of free ones, and very helpfulf tutorials.  They are connected to Interweave, http://www.interweave.com which has magazines on crafts and art.   I get emails from two other Intervweave sites besides knitty.com:  http://www.artistdaily.com and www.sewdaily.com,  Interweave sends me offers of  free ebooks that I can download.  You are starting to see why my mailbox fills up so quickly.  But it doesn’t stop here.

I am also subscribed to www.flylady.net.  This is one I browse through.  I send the kids challenges to my young granddaughters.  I usually delete the testimonials cause I just don’t have the time or desire to read them.  I did at first.  I really think Flylady has a good thing going.  This site helps motivate me.  I don’t do ALL the challenges and my dishes aren’t always done, but I really like the looks of a clean, shiny sink!  Like I say, the site helps motivate me.  And I need that motivation.  I like the looks of a clean, well ordered home, but unfortunately I don’t love housework.  But, I think/hope that is improving.  I tend to go in spurts with housecleaning like I do with other stuff.  So any motivation I can get helps.

From the Flylady site I got hooked up with Big Tent  www.bigtent.com    I was subscribing to to some exercise emails, but discontinued them.  It was just too much.  I liked the exercise idea and I know I need to do it, but when  I went to the website I  hated the sound of the  coach’s voice!  I just knew I could never listen to that very long.  But, of course, that didn’t stop my from saving some of the emails.   (Wish I knew how to add a smiley face).

I also get two more emails from the Flylady link, www.savingdinner.com and www.missussmartypants.com.  At least the Miss Smarty Pants is a weekly, not daily one.  I have listened to her radio a few times, but find I would rather just read the emails–I do always read hers, and occasionally visit her site.  I feel they are both good sites, but I am considering removing myself from the Saving Dinner  email and just visit the site.

I recently joined  the National Gardening Club, www.gardenclub.org and get an email called “Extra Dirt” from them.  It features items that members have tested and approved.  I like to see what is on the market.  I wonder if any items I test will end up there?

National Wildlife Federation, www.nwf.org lets me know when the subscriptions for my grandchildren are due.  I like giving magazines to the kids as gifts.  Its something fun, educational and lasts all year, not just for the moment.  The older kids are getting too old for these magazines, but the younger ones still love them.  I haven’t found any magazines I want to subscribe to for the older ones yet.  I thought of  “Make”  for one of my grandsons, but it costs too much.    I can afford the NWF ones, it is a good value for my money.

Other places I get mail from are:

www.motherearthnews.com, lots of ideas from this one.  I used to get this magazine from friends when they were done, then passed it back.  This seems to be a magazine people want to hold onto.  You can now get back issues on DVD.  Some other magazines I used to get were “National Gardener”, “Homesteading”, and “Organic Gardening” (I used to have back copies of this one).  But, alas, every time I moved I had to get rid of more stuff, and now the magazines are gone.  But, thanks to technology, I can get the articles via web now.

www.amazon.com (you can get almost everything from this site),

www.tumbleweedhouses.com, The tiny house site is interesting, although I would never want to go as small as that.  And it seems to me their homes cost a lot for being so little.

www.30daygourmet.com,  This one is mostly just ideas and sometimes a recipe I like.  I really haven’t ever done the freezer cooking.  Sometimes I freeze leftover, but don’t plan it.  I don’t even plan menus or meals ahead.  I know all the ‘experts’ say we should.  But every time I try something comes up and I have to change it anyway, so I just don’t bother.

When I started this post I really didn’t expect it to be quite so long.   It’s just that I see something and get carried away on to another and then another thing.  Even though some times it can sometimes be a little overwhelming, at least I never get bored!

Cosas leo

21 Jul

Para mi aprender español asisto una clase.  En la clase leemos los libros para niños de el  Children’s Library International en el Internet.  Que tenemos que hacer una búsqueda en Internet porque no es posible para accedar a el sito web directamente.    El libro leyendo se llama  “Una aventura con las animales”.  En la clase algunos estudiantes saber mas español que otros.  Cada uno de nosotros lee una pagina, aprender unos de otros.

Tambièn, tenemos acceso a el sito www.123teachme.com.  Usamos este sito sobre para traducir las palabras.  Aveces usamos el sito para hacer los ejercicios.  En otros ocasiones usamos el sito www.translate.google.com.

Después de la clase, cuando el regreso a casa, practicamos leer el libro en el Internet.   Varios de nosotros usamos el libro se llama “Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish”.  Este libro tiene ejercicios hablar y escribar.

Visito la penisula de la Yucatán en el ano 2001.  Voy a Campeche, Valladolid y otros ciudades y las regiones.  El viaje fue una clase de los negosios de la Yucatá, una clase de la universidad.  Hemos visito las regiones marina que las torguas ponen sus huevos.  Hablé con los funcionarios de este servicio.

Aprendé mucho en mi viaje pero me olvidé mucho y así  lo que es necesariamente para practicar mucho.  En el IBooks de mi IPad tengo los articulos y los libros en español.   En el sito http://www.seduma.yucatan.gob.mx leo de proteción para las tortuas. También leo el periodico se llama “El Sur” en el Internet en el sito www.elsur.mx.  Esta periodico es de las ciudades Campeche y Carmen.  Uso el sito  “123Teachme” mucho para escribar en  español.

Websites and Ideas

20 Jul

I seem to be in a writing mood.  This is my thrid post this week.  I tried to do this post a few weeks ago, but got discouraged with my knowledge (really my lack of knowledge) of technology.  But since then I’ve had a bit more practice I’m going to try again.

I love to search the web!  Seems like there is always something new, or different that I haven’t noticed before.  I tend to visit the somewhat quirky sites-to see things a bit different from the norm.  Some of these sites I return to over and over.  I’ll try to list a few.

Since I have moved to a smaller house I love to browse ‘Apartment Therapy’.  www.apartmenttherapy.com/   This is a site filled with ideas for living in small places. fugal living and more.  I usually get an idea of something I would like to try.  Many times they are just ideas-I never really do it.  But I really enjoy the idea of it.

Another is www.digsdigs.com  Again, really love this site.   And how about www.freshome.com where I can find ideas by rooms or search.  Often I will click a link from a site which takes me to another link and from there I go on and on.

One idea a really love (idea only as I think a lot of these ideas are way out of my budget range) is a circular kitcehn.  It can be freestanding or in a corner.  It is very compact and can be completely closed off. This would be great for those of us who don’t clean up our messes quickly.  I don’t remember which site I first saw it on, but I find it again from time to time.  Another idea (this one is a bit quirky) for a kitchen is the Flow kitchen and Flow kitchen 2.  I think I found it on www.studiogorm.com   Such a neat idea.  After washing the dishes, by hand, they are hung to dry in the place in which they are stored.  The water dripping off waters the plants underneath.

Flow kitchen 1

And it looks so streamlined!  I love the look of minimilism.

Then there is the bathroom.  I want to remodel mine.  It is arranged in a way that it is very close quarters.  One day my granddaugher was using the facilities and started yelling “Grandma, my hair is caught.!”  She had leaned forward with her head on the sink cupboard and her hair was caught in the cabinet knob.  Funny, but it shows a remodel is needed.  So I have been searching for ideas.  I”ve found plenty.  My bookmarks are imense.  And I clip pics a lot.  I like to look at the google image site.  Often I will click on a site from there.  I usually have several tabs open at once.  And many times several windows too.

One small bathtub is the Ravak Avacado  www.rafvak.com


Just think, a really small comfortable tub.  I love to take long soaks.  My present tub is not at all comfortable.  It is too long and the back doesn’t slope enough.  I have tried to find a bath pillow, but haven’t been successful in finding what I want.  In the few times I’be taken a bath–I take showers now–I use several towels.  But still not very comfortable.  A friend told me to search for ‘world most comfortable bathtub’.  I did and guess what came up?  The Ravak ‘YOU’.  It has a really sloping back and arm rests and is deep!  Even has a headrest.  I have no idea how much it costs or if it is even available in the USA.   A lot of the sites I visited for smaller bathroom fixtures were in Europe.

For my laundry/bathroom I purchased a tiny sink locally.  I bought another to use in my main bath.  But some of my kids think it is too small for the main bathroom.  So I am still looking.  I may return it, haven’t decided yet.  I found one I like at Ikea  www.ikea.com , the Lillagen.  It is narrow which is good as it would be best if my sink didn’t stick out over 12″.  The problem with the little sink I purchased is that is is wall hung and there is no place to put soap, etc.  This Ikea sink has an insert to hold a few items and it has clips on the side for towels.  Or I could get a bowl type sink that sits on a counter/shelf.   We will have to remove the cabinet and I really like the look of shelves.  Maybe with baskets?

I want a beach theme.  On one site I saw a pic of a clock with sand and waves. I liked the restful feel.  I have a shower curtain, white with  lengthwise blue stripes.   It has a restful beach feeling.  I could put my huge straw tote on the floor to hold towels.  Then maybe hooks for wet ones and robes.  And some shelving.  I also have a special cabinet for my aromatherapy, but it needs something (a shelf?) to sit on.  I will keep getting ideas until I find something that works.

I have changed my bedroom two or three times already, but I really like the way I have it now.  I made the other bedroom into a library, office, craft, sitting room.  It has a loveseat futon for a guest.  I would add a photo, but can’t with my Ipad and don’t have the photo on my laptop yet.  I wIsh the pics in this post looked better.  Althought I centered them, I think  they woukd have looked better either on left or rig side.  I don’t know how to edit photos yet, if it is even possible.  So it will have to do with this for now.

Well, I guess Ive run out of steam.  I will probably add more sites on a later post.

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