Little R and I have been working to create a little play spot around an old plum tree on our property. The tree is badly affected with black rot, half dead, and partially hacked down. We’ve stamped down some dead undergrowth, done some raking and planted a few bulbs. A few small pieces of wood wedged in to various crooks in the tree make little platforms for setting things on and I’m plotting some kind of letter box. Lets be honest and say that I am probably enjoying this as much, if not more, than Little R.
We haven’t yet hit the cold weather, but it does take a little bit more effort to get out these days. In the summer and fall we could move almost seamlessly in and out but now more layers are required and the doors are closed tight, firmly defining inside from out. But I still want to get out there! I like to think getting out is the answer to everything and it is my standard go-to . There seems to be quite a correlation between a good day and a day with a chunk of time spent outside. So I am making in my goal to make sure Little R and I do just that, spend a chunk of time outside. Sometimes we are just hanging about at home with the chickens but other days I like to venture a bit further to take in the beautiful nature we have around here! Certainly, in the coming months it will be more of a challenge, but it can only help to make it habitual.
(Note that when we are doing all this “getting out” I’m rarely getting much done, except perhaps cleaning out the coop or tending the chickens when we are close to home, so I do like to remind myself how important it is.)
Carefully balanced pinecones.
Puddle encountered on a walk on the dykes.
Boots on the beach.
I remember this from working with young children. Older kids and adults tend to be very interested in the build up to holidays, festivals and celebrations, but young children often can’t remember last year, and tend not to get as excited beforehand. But then after the fact, once they’ve seen what it’s all about, they often want to explore it more. Makes sense.
Our Halloween was low-key and we didn’t make a Jack-O-Lantern. I’m not saying this was a considered decision; being short on time and lacking a pumpkin that I was happy to sacrifice had more to do with it! But at any rate I didn’t fret, because I knew if it was something she was interested in we’d get to it someday. And she has been very interested in pumpkins since we harvested our own and enjoys hefting them about and hugging them. A trip to the grocery store meant stopping to visit (and fondle) the pumpkins lined up outside in the days leading up to Halloween. As we’ve been eating our way through our pumpkins I try to involve her when I cut them up and she is very keen to help wash, roast and eat the seeds. In keeping with this enthusiasm we borrowed a library book called “It’s Pumpkin Time” which became a big favourite, and which introduced the Jack-O-Lantern concept. You can see where I’m going with this, or perhaps more appropriately, where SHE’s going….
On November 13, we found ourselves carving a Jack-O-Lantern. A little late, calendar wise, but exactly right for Little R.
This morning when we opened the egg door…
we found an egg!
Courtesy of one of our Buff Orpingtons. It’s all very exciting. Keep them coming!
This is George.
George was given to Little R by a kind neighbour a few months ago, just when she was beginning to pay attention to dolls and stuffed toys. It was her first doll. Now, if I had chosen a doll for her I’m not sure what I would have gone for – maybe a realistic newborn doll that could be undressed and bathed, or perhaps a more organic and simple looking handmade soft doll. I’m not exactly sure, but I know I wouldn’t have chosen George. But George arrived, and quickly became a favourite with Little R.
I decided to make George some clothes, in part to support Little R’s interest in this type of play, but perhaps also to welcome George into the fold, as it were, by loving him with handmades.
Happily, Little R was very pleased with the pants and sweater. I also made a bootie (just one) that was firmly rejected, so he will have bare feet for the time being.