Backward/Forward

It turns out that we’re not focusing on plants this month. We’re still in re-use and recycle mode, and there’s been a lot of painting going on. In this case, looking back is helping us move forward.

The best care package came in the mail, and it included popsicle sticks, golf balls, corks, and my favorite art supply of all time, watercolor crayons from CARAN d’ACHE. The younger artists realized, very quickly, just how amazing the Neocolor 1 pastels are. The cigar box case went missing from my desk last night and had to be retrieved from the kids’ room.

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This month is turning out to be about plants, but not necessarily planting.

Thousands of  beautiful weeds grow between the playground and the parking lot at B.’s school. Each day, as we walk back to the car, we’re compelled to walk through that sunlit field, and sometimes the plants pull us down, to play.

 

She wants to gather them by the handful, and now the back seat of my car is covered with this memory. When I’m driving I glance back at the scattered seeds, and imagine a new field, growing right there between the kids’ seats.

Planning for Plants

It’s the first of May, and we haven’t planted anything. I thought you were supposed to wait until after Mother’s Day in Colorado, so we’re really right on schedule.

When I came downstairs to tell S. a story tonight, he was busy drawing ninja knives in his three-ring binder. I admired them, of course, because ninja knives are cool and awesome, and he’s not allowed to draw them at school. I know, that’s a discussion for another time, another venue.  Anyway, when we were tapped out on knives, I asked him if he wanted to do some garden designing with me. He did!

He’s interested in planting pumpkins, corn, and carrots. That sounds about right to me. I’m not a very organized gardener, but three new vegetables should be manageable, right?

As we make our way through May, the focus here will be on urban plants and gardening. How do you put roots down, when you’re surrounded by concrete? Well, roots always seem to find a way. If you’ve got a story or photos you’d like to share, you can reach me at edwardselise@yahoo.com – guest posts are welcome!

The Book Post and a very small contest

 

I got a book in the mail! It’s The Power of Play by Frank and Theresa Caplan, circa 1973, and it’s certainly re-used  – mercifully saved from the discard pile at Peninsula College Library.  Here’s the first paragraph, from the introduction:

We aim to present a hypothesis of such far-reaching implications that no parent, pediatrician, educator, sociologist, or politician can afford to ignore it. It is our intention to present data that will substantiate our premise that the power of play is all-pervasive. We invite our readers to examine the power of play with us so that we might garner for child play the prestige and wholehearted public support it deserves and must have.

I’m looking forward to reading more. The Caplan’s were the founders of the original Creative Playthings company. They collaborated with many mid-century modern artists and had connections with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The current iteration of Creative Playthings that might pop to the top of your google reader is not the same, so dig a little deeper – it’s worth it!

We’ve been playing with and reading a handful of other great books, that relate to re-using, reducing and recycling. Here are our top three recommendations:

 

 

And that brings me to our very small contest, to round out this unpredictable month of April. The first reader who can identify the location (the intersection or other nearby points of interest) of the bird in the photo below, will win his or her very own copy of The Creative Family, by Amanda Blake Soule.  Obviously, Denver friends have a huge advantage in this contest, but I know some resourceful people that might be able to figure this out, regardless of locale. Just post your guess in the comments, and maybe I’ll send you a book.

Are you ready?