Tag Archive for: Palo Alto Wednesday 2013-2014

Waxing Crescent Moon

Computer malfunctioning so very quick journal here:

Beautiful clear sky and Natalie on Holiday. Children filled with exuberance, again and ready to explore.  We went to find Frogs, California Newts and water in the pond but there were NONE of these.  We did however work at making fire with magnifying glasses and flint and steel. We worked at finding dry grasses but did not really succeed and, we didn’t even find mushrooms after all this rain!!!!  How is this possible. Jasper was delighted to have climbed the FULL BIG FALLEN DOWN TREE with Bosch. He was so proud of himself.
Easy, sweet, fun and, well at least for me, a bit disappointing that we found and heard no frogs and the like. However, the birds were alive, singing and the Peacock was even heard by a few.  Poison Oak was brilliantly alive  so our awareness of it was woken up often.
Sorry for the short journal. Computer to the Dr. soon.

Waning Crescent Moon
Eleanor Pardee Park

Anissa was gone on holiday yet everyone else came suited up for the RAIN!  Bosch and I were getting the canopy set up and the camp chairs put out when the children came and so our day began.   We all checked to see if we had everything to make a fire, for the popcorn we planned to eat.  They named all the things we would need and off we went, one by one with each part needed to get to our Popcorn.
They focused on the making of the fire, helping put sticks in, smelling the scent of flames and hiding their eyes from the smoke.  They watched how the fire changed shape, color and size, how and when the smoke diminished and  when it returned.   When the pot of popcorn was put on there was listening for the grand music of the corn. But, did it sound the same as the rain that was pouring down on and off over our heads?  We encouraged them to listen to the many sounds around us. However, Emme and Natalie were having, I do think you could call it, a “Sing off.”  Both of them REALLY were into singing the songs that they loved and were not so interested in listening to each others songs.   Nareya had her FAVORITE rain song, “Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens…” from the sound of music.    A good amount of singers in this group.
Aurora however really likes and wanted stories at lunch time so I told a story about Why our Food Doesn’t Come from the Sky Any more.  ( This story comes from an old African tale about when the people did not respect the food they were given and wound up having to grow all their own food instead of having it come down from the sky to eat any time and all that they wanted.) This story arose from Nareya and Emme pretending that their cucumbers were their tongues. I asked where Cucumbers come from. Natalie said “Your Moms” and I launced into the story.  After the story Aurora said “Another story!”  So, today there were quite a few stories that were all linked to what was going on in the moment.  At the fire I told a story about How Music Came to Be and this was inspired by Emme and Natalies Sing off.  It got them still and after that we began listening to the many sounds around us.
They wanted more popcorn so, more fire wood placed on by each one of them,rack on the barbecue pit , oil in the pot, children putting popcorn in the pot, pot over the fire and……POP, Pop, POP, POPPPPPPPPPP until we had the finest popped popcorn.
After all of this eating and popping finally the traditional, Tender Tracks Fire Soup!  They each went in search of water in puddles and then found the water faucet.  They put water in their bowls, then we all at once put the water in the burning embers and listened to the music it makes. From there, more water, stirring and making the soup.   Then there was the scattering of the soup.
We wound up running around on the lawn a lot and then I led a lot of them over to the garden. There we ate Fennel and washed our hands with Ceanothous flowers.  Earlier we ate Mallow and Dandelion greens: Eating Better Bitters is Better for your Body!  Nareya did not like the taste of the Dandelions.  We found Plantain on the lawn too. No one had a cut or a bee sting so we didn’t need to use it for it’s medicinal gifts.    I heard that Bosch, Auroa, Emme , and the boys were all doing some sort of play while Dahlia and  Nareya were looking for things that “I lost” and that were camoflauged/hidden under the leaf litter.   They had so much fun trying to find this that they called the others over to play the game.
The Sun and Rain played and danced with each other all day so that it really was a Sunny day, cloudy day, rainy day, sunny day, cloudy day, rainy day on and on.
We wound up packing things up, playing games and oh yes, the really fun part was finding a dead Squirrel that someone had propped up on the Laying Down Tree. The children really loved exploring this creature and noticing as much as they could about it.
This was a fun, and exciting day today: Fire, Rain, Earth, Air, Singing, Stories, Eating Plants, Giving Thanks for all that made our Popcorn possible, Birds, Play, Laughter, Flowers, Games…..

Waning Moon
Hidden Villa

Well, the children are truly leaving or have left their three year old dreamy selves and are immersed in the world of the “Wild and Wonderful”, so named by Louise Bates Ames Ph.D and author of Your Four Old.
They  were indeed wild and filled with Spring time aliveness throughout the day.  They were laughing, joking, playing, giggling, running, loud and EXUBERANT!  Basically, they were very fun and funny. And, they were able to settle down regularly with little effort on my part.  🙂
While we drove to Hidden Villa they were given the task to MAKE BUTTER!  Yes, we made butter by having Fresh Cream in a little jar with two marbles in it. They had to shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake…… all the way to the farm.  Anissa, was so delighted with shaking. If only you could have seen the determination in her and the strength in her arms as she SHOOOOOOKKKKKK  that jar!   When we got there it wasn’t quite the way I wanted it to be however, for unknown reasons, yet, butter good enough it was and so, after playing a little bit we went to circle for some new songs, and a story about Sean O’Hollihan, a leprchaun and Mrs. O’Malley.   Mrs. O’Malley taught him all about finding the gold all around you instead of going to far off places and rainbows to find what gold/beauty is right in front of you.  We spent the rest of the day looking for the Gold in things and eating Leprechaun food: miners lettuce and chickweed mostly.
The children were amazing with where and what they found gold in: sticks, stones, flowers, leaves and the like.  The best part was when we settled down at a place they haven’t been to before and were playing around, what did they find?  GOLDEN  NUGGETS!!!!  They were nestled inside so many of the trees that we were near.   They had such a good time with finding these magickal treausres!!!!!
Particularly, Jasper, Emme and Aurora. Aurora was the first to find one, then Jasper and then Emme.  Nareya really wanted to find one and some how, when she and Bosch were playing by a tree,ONE WAS THERE!!!   Natalie was just in delight to be RUNNING all around with her friends and she played a lot with Emme and Aurora.   All the children were in constant state of exuberance as they played in the creek, found water, threw rocks, found stones, ran races, petted sheep, held each others hands, walked on logs, discovered leaves with many colors……Bosch had most of them laughing and laughing with silly games he was playing with them, Anissa was delighted to eat lunch with Bosch. He gave her a small piece of his chocolate croisant he had for lunch and she had a JOYFUL look of, Wendolyn look what Bosch gave me!  We all laughed.   Emme was beside herself with joy in finding golden stones, Jasper was in a similar boat.  Eric delighted in playing in the creek and looking for golden nuggets and he too found, two? I believe.  Dalhia was happy in the creek playing and running up and down the creek bed as well as eating wild foods.   Aurora and Natalie were eating wild edibles, exploring the nooks and crannies of trees and Natalie created a game of throwing rocks in the water with Dahlia that the two of them loved.  I think that gives a teeny bit of info on them.
The day just was, well, thrilling.   I think that would be a good word to summarize.