...I pushed them into the dirt under the asters. To my great surprise, in the spring a volunteer pumpkin plant grew there...and grew...and grew.
It grew into the grass, past the asters, past the raspberries and almost to the gate. It must have been close to twenty feet long. It produced five good sized, beautiful pumpkins and I delighted in picking them and putting them on the front steps.
...and so I took the leftovers and once again stuck them in the dirt, under the asters and can only hope I might see a return of the pumpkin plant next spring.
At my preschool, we have a pretty simple play area in the back of the house. We have a small hill made from dirt, a house built out of willow, a sandbox house, a ring of rocks and tree stumps. When my mom lost the birch tree in the front of her house, I was happy to relieve her of some of the stumps. They are played with every day...and thanks to the wonderful and imaginative minds of children are used in more ways than I ever thought possible.
They are used as tables, for building a nest or a city scape on...
They are made into cars and ridden like a horse... They are turned into a stage for a puppet show... used as drums... and are nice to just sit on for a rest. They can be jumped on, used to make a balance beam or can be easily made into a teeter-totter.
After they have been sitting on the grass for a while, it's fun to turn them over and see what kind of creatures live underneath.
When they begin to break down a little, they are fun to dig in...
...and by filling the little holes with flowers, it can even become a vase.
I waited too long and now I'm feeling a bit stuck. Tomorrow we are celebrating our first birthday of the year at the preschool...and I've yet to make the child's gift from the teachers. It's an important tradition that we give the children something special that we make with them in mind. The first year I stitched each child a small wool felt animal (see some here)...I think most of the children then were kitty fans, but for some reason I never photographed all the cats I made.
Last year we found out each child's favorite animal and my teaching partner lovingly created a beautiful animal out of wood. I then hand-stitched a pouch from wool (with matching appliqued face) to keep the animal in when not playing with it. It was nice to each have a part in the gift in this way.
Now, here we are...a new year and I'm drawing a blank. Each child is so special and I want their gift to reflect that in some way. I thought posting a few of last years gifts here would inspire me, but I guess it's best to just get started and see where I go with it. Wish me luck.
I'm playing along with Poppytalk's Autumn Colours week this week. Taking photographs during this transition into the darker months is always difficult for me. This challenge seems like a good way to focus on using the days light when we have it.
"Look Ma, they named a town after me in New Mexico!"
This is Polly. Childhood friend who grew up across the street from me. You can see her in this earlier post, where I shared a photo of the birthday party I had for my cat Jessica. (She is the one wearing glasses).
Here we are on First Avenue where we grew up. I'm in the stroller, she's wearing the headband.
She has long been a hero of mine. It is thanks to her that as a child I became a gymnast and a runner. She taught me how to do a cartwheel, and walk our picket fence like it was a balance beam.
I don't see her much these days, she's lived in Colorado most of her adult life, but we keep in touch and she is more my hero now than she ever was. Polly has done something quite incredible with her life. In an effort to raise awareness about breast cancer she devoted five years to walk around the world talking about this horrible disease to anyone who would listen. Her story is quite amazing. And she tells it with all the wit and charm and humor that defines Polly. Just watch this short clip of one of her inspirational talks and you will see what I mean.
Polly has written a book about her adventure called 3 MPH and has a website where you can learn more about what she has been up to. Her brother PJ has created a documentary about her journey in a film called, Polly's Globalwalk. And now, her movie is being shown on PBS-which is the whole reason for this post. Starting today, PBS (schedule here) will be showing her documentary for us all to enjoy and to feel inspired by. In her effort to continue to spread the word about breast cancer, I encourage you to tell a friend or two about it...she gave five years of her life to raise awareness, it's the least we can do.