Tracking in the Mud

All things children and nature

Seems Your Eyes Are Troubled December 21, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandy Beverly @ 10:24 am

It’s back, after several years, that urge to write. I guess I’ll pay attention, lord knows I could use a little….something. I believe at my core that people should be more real with each other. I think we can more often take off these masks we wear to suggest that we’ve got it all together. Truth is, I do not have it all together right now. I feel like a shattered vase hanging and held in shape by a spider’s web that I am (somehow) holding between my thumb and forefinger. On my best days, I am holding it together; on my worst, I am falling apart. Most days, I am falling apart and holding it together at the same time, simultaneously broken and strong. I never knew both of these could be true at once.

I have friends who know and friends who don’t. When friends ask “How are you?” I sometimes say, “I’m not doing very well.” I want to believe that it helps, that sharing an ounce of your troubles with a caring friend lightens the load, but I’m not sure it does. No one sweeps in to rescue me. (Of course.) When we go our separate ways, I feel pretty much the same, just tearier. But it does help knowing that one or two people who cross my path each day know that my smile is a little weak. And later, an e-mail says, “You will land on your feet, with grace.” Another friend/acquaintance gives an unusually sincere hello and a moment of extra eye contact the next time we meet. Those connections make a difference.

I guess I’m sharing this part of my story for three reasons: First, to say thank you to those people who have been extra kind. Second, to feel a little less alone–because I find I’d rather walk into a room where someone knows, even if we don’t exchange a word. And third, just to put it out there that broken is a normal state of being. I’m not really ashamed of being broken this time around. I’ll come through. And probably when we share our brokenness, we give other people permission to share theirs, which makes for a messier, tearier, but more authentic world. I’m for that.


Making Lemonade from a “Weed” May 5, 2010

Filed under: Seasons,Spring,Uncategorized — Sandy Beverly @ 2:07 pm
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Chances are good that yellow wood sorrel is growing somewhere near your home.  This little clover-like plant has delicate yellow flowers and is informally called “sour grass”.  When I was a kid, my friends and I would eat the sour leaves and flowers, and over-react to the tingling in our jaws.  Many consider this plant a weed.

Thirty years later (thank you, Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants), I’ve learned that you can make a refreshing cold beverage—a cross between lemonade and tea—from this plant.  Want to try it?

  • Gather a bunch of sorrel.  You can find it in almost any untreated yard (and do be sure your plants don’t have chemical herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers on them). My bunch was 4 or 5 inches in diameter.
  • Trim off the roots and rinse thoroughly.
  • Steep 10 minutes or longer in hot water.  I probably used about 20 ounces of water, and my drink turned out very mild.
  • Strain out the plant, chill, and sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener.

It’s that easy.  And a fun way to teach children about the many ways that plants enrich our lives.

Note: A number of reputable sources describe yellow wood sorrel as a safe edible plant.  But it contains quite a bit of oxalic acid (which is in many foods).  It should be consumed in moderation, and avoided by people with kidney disease, kidney stones, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout.


Welcome to the MUD! March 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandy Beverly @ 9:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

Welcome!  It’s a new blog about all things children and nature.

  • If your kids are tracking mud in your house, or you wish they were
  • If you yourself are tracking animal footprints in the mud, or snow, or sand (and maybe  your kids don’t care…)
  • If you’ve got it all figured out, or you don’t know where to start

..let’s talk!  I’ll share some ideas, resources, joys, and struggles.  You share yours.  We’ll learn together.

Sound interesting?  Come on in, muddy feet and all!