The Backyard News: Vol 2, No. 1

video: dolly racer competes with bicycle at Grandma's house

In Sports...

"The Dolly Racer", by Sonia

The dolly racer is something I made up with Sara. You know what a dolly is, but I will tell you what a dolly racer is. It is a four-wheeled dolly. All four wheels touch the ground. You go up to the top of a hill or paved driveway and sit on the back where you would put boxes if you were only using two wheels.

Once you get to the top of the hill or paved driveway, you lean forwards. You steer and stop with your feet. Gravity will make you go down the hill. Make sure you wear a helmet!

In Arts and Entertainment...

"Love", by Sonia

More than a day,
more than a night,
more than a sunset,
more than a sunrise,
more than forever,
I'll love you.

3 by Sara:

"What a Beautiful Morning..."

What a beautiful day,
what a beautiful evening,
what a beautiful rain.


slide down my
window, and I think
of tomorrow.

"April Showers..."

trees and flowers,
all those hours, all
those flowers, rise up
and bring the world
into full bloom.

And a riddle, by Sara:

As sad as a morning
dove, when you see
me I am cold.
If it's summer I'm warm.

Racing Video by L.L. Barkat. Riddle answer: "rain".



Allergies Be Gone, the Lovely Way

Forsythia Sprinkled Omelette

You know how people say to eat honey, or take bee pollen, to combat spring allergies? I have a theory, based on my own humble experience: eat the flowers themselves and you can make your allergies calm down.

My favorite edible spring flower is forsythia. And we have them in abundance here. Slightly sweet and mildly bitter, I use them in any dish where I might otherwise use something like sage. Omelettes, green salads, apple salads.

But mostly, I just love eating things that are so beautiful. Yellow upon yellow, this floral cheese omelette is a personal favorite.

Regarding how to find the best forsythia, my kids gave me a little tip the other day. I can't vouch for its accuracy. But they say the flowers which are in the sun grow sweeter. Sounds like a parable for life.

Forsythia Omelette photo, by L.L. Barkat.

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Little One enjoys the swing that big sister constructed and managed to hang from the high tree branch. Truly, where there's a will there's a way.

Photo by Sara. Used with permission.



Earth Tones

Sandy Anemones

Somehow, these sand-covered anemones seemed to go with this quote I found tucked into my notebook. The words are from Stephen Cefalo, an artist who combines body with earth. He is discussing a particular piece called "Earth Tones"...

"'Earth Tones' embodies my interest in connecting the nude figure with the earth, its source and primal essence. We are made of earth— and depend on it throughout life to give us food — but spend our lifetime trying to rid it from the surface of our bodies and keep it out of our mouths."

Cefalo's words remind me of the Genesis account, "then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being." (2:7) We are dust— though one might argue that it is not our source and essence, this coming rather from the God who created dust itself, then formed it with creative hands and breathed in spirit life.

Still, I like Cefalo's final observation about our actions. This suggests that we deny our humble origins through an aversion to earth, soil, dust. His artistic attempts to make us remember may help us think more like God, who "knows how we are made; he remembers that we are dust." (Ps 103:14)

This remembrance is the beginning of life. As we place our dusty selves once again into the tender hands of God.

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