Palo Alto Tender Tracks Feb. 14, 2013

Waxing Moon
Day 42
Foothill Park, the Docks

All but Emme were here on this day.  She, alas, was in….. MEXICO!!!!!  We sent her love and joy and only warmth of the heart, not warmth of the weather as we knew she was basking Mexico’s warm Rays.   Giselle and Aoife knew about Mexico and it’s weather and were delighted to know this.   The mood of the day was a typical, beginning Spring day with alive energy scattered about and joyfully rising to meet the Earth and all it had to offer.
When the children came into the bus on their seats were gifts from the Earth,Shepherd’s Purse, a small and beautiful plant. Taz, Paul, Miu, and Alice really, really liked eating them and wanted more!  After awhile Giselle and Aoife did too but the ones that they gave away were gobbled up so alas, we will have to gather more later on.  But they are in abundance right at Eleanor Pardee.  They are so lovely that as their tiny leaves are in the shape of hearts! And they always come out right before Valentines Day.


  • all parts of plant are edible raw.
  • older plants can be tenderized by adding pinch of baking soda to cooking water.
  • pods and seeds are edible, and taste peppery.
  • seeds can be parched and ground to flour.
  • roots can be eaten fresh or dried.
  • burning the plant results in ash that can be used as salt substitute and/or tenderizer.
  • grows in a wide range as a weed, especially in disturbed or cultivated areas.
  • warning: seeds may blister skin.

It seemed just not right to sing our Winter Songs today but, it seemed very important to continue to sing our Rain songs.  We still need RAIN!!!!    We sang our love songs from and to the sun, to each other, to life and then off we went.
When we got to our destination they piled out, waited together to cross the road, wow, different then several months ago!, and then off to the spot they know and love, the Dock.  The Coots were beautiful today as they kept coming so close to us as if in grand curiosity.  Throughout the day we got to see some of them fight, which looked like mating fights, swim, eat, take some of the oranges that Audrey brought and walk about on the earth and swim about in the water.
We had circle and story and in circle we were blessed with snack from me, Audrey, Paul and his family and Alice and her family.  Thank you, thank you one and all.  Then, off they went to play while I got out the sewing pillows that weren’t finished, the wool to card and later on, the dye vats to dye.  And oh yes, during the story they were given soft and colored “warm fuzzies”/colored wool with a special red glass stone for their treasures.
Miu was the first and the most involved with carding the wool and finishing her pillow.  She carded and carded and then stuffed and stuffed and then together we finished sewing the pillow.  Then came along Aoife and she and I worked together to finish her pillow and lastly Alice.  Paul started to finish his pillow but was far too involved with the others in play and Evan thought it was a good idea but just couldn’t quite get there.   Giselle just didn’t want to sew and Kaden and Taz, oh dear no, their play was far grander then any gentle sewing and teasing wool could intice them into!
I had gathered some very fresh Olives from a tree the day before at Hidden Villa so later in the day I brought that out and showed those interested how to color/dye  their own warm fuzzies with these olives.  Aoife, Giselle and Paul got really into this. Alice came later but they had used pretty much most of the olives so there wasn’t much left for her.     At another time I shared a game and a story about guessing which shoe has the pebble.  I started them off , left and then saw them continuing the game in ways that worked best for them.
All along Taz and Kaden were into their Super Heroes games.  Taz came with a cape and he shared it with many of the children.  Each child was SOOOO happy to be able to wear his grand cape!  And at one point, Alice gave Taz a very big hug and then a sweet kiss on his cheek and he smiled.
All the children at one point had bare feet and were dangling their legs over the edge into the water.  Taz, Aoife, and Giselle, on one side and the others on the other side.  It was so very beautiful.  However, with the bare feet on the dock, Aoife and then Alice wound up with splinters. Warnings  were shared but… first aid kits brought out, tears dried, efforts made to take out, no success, bandaids and cream and then shoes and socks put on and, back to play.

Audrey had them running and exploring and cartwheeling all over the lawn and so the day went.
It was a beautiful, beautiful slow and unwinding day with little areas of this happening and that happening.  The projects that I had were there and available as they each in their own way came in and out. And oh yes, Miu dropped her water bottle in the water and Evan rescued it with a stick!
While getting ready to leave we shared all the wonderful ways each one of them gave “Warm Fuzzies” to each other and sang many songs on the way back home.  When we got there Evan and Kaden had great presents for everyone too.
A Happy and warming Valentines day!

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