A Break from the News

Schneckenband

When I first heard the news about Boston yesterday, my kids were in the middle of playing.

We need some string.

What?

The red string. Where is it?

I made a half-hearted attempt to find the string and then told them I was busy, couldn’t find it, they would have to figure it out somehow.

My eight-year-old, very sweetly: It’s okay, Mommy. We’ll find a way. Don’t worry.

And they left.

Boston holds a special place in my heart. It’s my husband’s hometown and the place we lived when we first met. I fell back into iPad world, checking to make sure friends and family were okay, writing people I knew might’ve been near the blasts. I couldn’t do anything else for what seemed like a long time.

Awhile later I went downstairs to find this scene in the back yard, kids happily occupied. Sigh. What a welcome relief from sad news, and how nice to see they “made it work” with one of our favorite toys. More about the Schneckenband (literally snail-band—–the thing holding up the bucket) here.

We ate scrambled eggs for supper at the campsite. It was a happy distraction.

I hope you and your loved ones are well. My heart and my prayers go out to the city of Boston. I miss you always, but especially now.

Magical Mystery Beasts

My love affair with all things Waldorfy continues. I’ve been smitten for a long time with these animals in my son’s classroom. Unfortunately, replicas are not for sale at the spring bazaar. I wonder how they were made and if I could learn to make them, because I think they’d look awesome in the living room. And oh yeah, the kids might like to play with them, too.

The kids in the kindergarten love to tie up the animals into a team and then tie them to chairs, creating a kind of buggy.

When I asked the teacher who made them, she said, laughing, “Your grandfather, probably!”

Here’s what they tie up the beasts with:

It’s called a schneckenband (snail band), and they have a whole basketful in the classroom. They are hand-crocheted. When my kids received one as a gift, at first I thought, what on earth?

But then I saw them in action. As usual, the simple, open-ended toys are the best. The kids use them as animal harnesses, belts, fire hoses, and even to wrap “wounds” like this:

Here are some other beasts (wildschweine, or wild hogs) from the playground in the forest near our house:

Oh, and here’s some homemade jelly I bought at the Waldorf playground the other day. I think it’s student-made. The students have a little cart with various seasonal items they bring out once or twice a week. Most of the stuff seems to be from the school’s large garden in the back.

The label reads, in English, “Grape Jelly with Mint.” It’s got this lovely pink color, which I thought was kind of strange until I stopped to think about it. Is it really natural for grape jelly to be as purple as a crayon? In this case, anyway, no. Germany, believe it or not, does not approve of artificial colors or flavors. I think they’re actually outlawed.

It’s been a slow few weeks creatively. I had planned to get a lot done but sicknesses have intervened. Thankfully we’re all feeling better now.