Thursday, September 1, 2011

Making Mud Pies

One of the greatest things about being an adult is being allowed to use portland cement.  I love cement.  It brings back all the joys of making mud pies.  Mixing up a batch is time consuming and methodical, just right for mulling over a troublesome transition or dialogue that just isn't flowing right. 

I hadn't mixed up a good batch of cement since we lived in Florida.  Then, this past Spring, I helped my daughter's Girl Scout troop make some paving stones for Mother's Day.  I've been making word bricks ever since.  My daughter helps out with the spacer bricks. 

Phase one of the Word Walk.
Once the kids went back to school I was able to place the first section of my Word Walk.  To keep the ants away and to stay environmental I prepped the ground with 20 Mule Team borox and diatomaceous earth topped with a thick layer of newspapers.  Before I put down the leveling sand I added one more layer of borox and DE.  I hate ants almost as much as I hate pesticides. 

The path curves so I will have to sink wooden spacers every few feet.  The spacers also let me work in small sections at a time.  This is a long process so I don't want a huge swath of red clay open to kids and dogs. 

The first quote is one of my favorites from A. A. Milne:  One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  This could be my personal motto if it wasn't too long and awkward to translate into Latin. 

Everyone needs a favorite A. A. Milne quote.
Then there is the ubiquitous Tolkein quote: 
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost. 
 Waiting to be set in the next sections of bricks is the opening line and title of my favorite Gerard Manley Hopkins poems:  As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame.  This stuck in my head the moment I read it in college.  It reminds me of growing up on the Indian River lagoon and all the time I have spent near water and marshes. 

Some of my "words" have made it into the word walk as well: Billington, Titus, Nessie, Annie, Lavender Scented Lake Monster,and Garden of Good Intentions. 

While serving as my editor and collaborator, Catherine has taken a few words away from me:  smug and really.  I have dutifully listened to her but out of stubborn sisterly spite I set them in the Word Walk. 

I am looking for a good quote about curiosity to put on the outside of the gate.  Any suggestions?  I would like something less menacing than "curiosity killed the cat."  

What would you put in your word walk?

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