“Seriously, Mother Goose?”

Believe it or not, Mother Goose has a college degree in Journalism! I actually have interviewed people, wrote feature news stories and had those articles published in newspapers. And now, here I am writing silly little stories to entertain and amuse the masses. Light fiction has become my bread and butter in these days…

You may ask, “Mother Goose, how did you lose your serious journalistic edge? Why aren’t you covering the BIG stories, the important stories of our day? Why don’t you go down to Occupy Chicago and give us a real story? Maybe you should go to the village council meetings and report back to us about Oak Park politics? Maybe you should be doing some investigative expose`s and submitting them to The Atlantic or Mother Jones…”

You may even wonder if Mother Goose has ever had a serious thought in the last few years! I submit the following photographs as evidence that I actually think very seriously at times, and could even write a thought-provoking news article if called on to do such.

Adam, Erik and I visited the Garfield Park Conservatory when they were home visiting last month. The century old structure was hit hard by an isolated hail storm this past July which did extraordinary damage to more than 3/4’s of their glass roof. As a result, four of their beautiful climate controlled rooms have been closed due to broken glass, and damaged trees and plants. Please consider a donation to their “One Pane at a Time” rebuilding campaign. Just look how serious we are about this situation:

I am obliged to say that Mr. Mother Goose and I were up in Wisconsin this past summer, and he did a little bit of fishing on the Wisconsin River. He got his lure caught in a tree. Now THAT looks quite serious. By the way, isn’t Mother Goose dressed very nattily with all her best jewelry on for the fishing experience?

A couple of weeks before Mr. Steve Jobs passed away, Mr. Mother Goose and I were at the Apple Store in Oak Brook. We were there to discuss some connectivity issues he had been having with our home computer network. Could it be the router? Could it be the air-port? Could it be the narrow bandwidth? In this never before published photo, you can easily spot Mr. Mother Goose hacking into the mac network to determine the cause of the problems.

As you may already know, Mother Goose is very serious about nature. On a recent trip to the Morton Arboretum, I was disturbed by the unusual markings on the trunks of some of the pine trees. It could possibly be evidence of the Asian Ashbore or ever-cantankerous and amorous Red-Headed Woodpeckers. This is extremely serious business.

And look at how droopy these flowers are! Mother Goose just doesn’t know what to do. Maybe some investigative reporting is necessary to determine the cause.

And why are these plants growing in the water? I need to do some detective work and write it up for a New York Times story!

So as you can plainly see, there is more to Mother Goose than meets the eye. Her head is not just stuffed with feathers and fluff.

Seriously.

And now let’s just have a good laugh at this silliness of this post.

Eco Explorers Rock Mother Goose

Who wouldn’t want to spend the day in the woods with a whole gaggle of 3rd graders? Of course, Mother Goose jumped at the opportunity to chaperone the field trip! The sky couldn’t get any bluer if it tried, and the sun shone happily on our bus ride out to the Morton Arboretum. Excitement overloaded the bus as we neared the entrance to the area’s largest tree museum. We unloaded our nearly eighty kiddos, and then the crowd control experts arranged us in our appropriate groups with our knowledgeable and helpful docents. Our group of fifteen tator tots, including my dear AnnaRose, hiked off into the forest, into the woodland fully ablaze with autumn. We were here to learn about different ecosystems and the inhabitants thereof, and we were not going to be disappointed today.

Now Mother Goose has some experience with nature, being able to identify several species of trees and also birds and bugs. But this was an experience in “Outdoor Education” which is highly technical and very sciencey. Our fearless leader, Mrs. Becky, rushed us to the first learning opportunity under a canopy of maples and oaks, talking all the while about pine forests and deciduous trees and giving us little clues for remembering the names of all these trees. Did you know that the Sugar Maple has a “u” in its leaf design, whilst the Silver Maples have “v” in their leaf outlines? And then there are White Oaks with “w” in their leaves and Red Oaks which are full of pointy pins on their leaves. And the Sycamore Tree has a white trunk, making it look sick, and that’s how you remember its name! All very interesting stuff to Mother Goose and most of the young eco explorers in our group.

But there’s always a few young eco explorers who think that the woods and forests are places to play! Imagine! Some of the boys and girls were actually running off the wood chip path and into the “wild”! Oh…my…gosh… And there was the little fellow with autism who had never been on a field trip before and was trying so hard to get it. And that was a challenge for us grownups to meet and beat. Oh, but mostly they were all very good young ‘uns, and listened very carefully to Mrs. Becky’s directions.

We learned about The Producers (not the movie…) and The Consumers (not the shoppers…) and Decomposers (not the song writers). We learned how important each category is to the health and the continuity of the ecosytems. Our first task was to take metal spoons and go digging for Decomposers. (Other names for decomposers include critters and creepy crawlers.) AND WE FOUND SO MANY OF THEM!

AnnaRose was the first person to find a slug, so Mother Goose held the slug in her motherly hand whilst the children hunted and dug in the composted soil, and rotten logs and fallen leaves for more bugs and worms. And ohhh did they find some doozies! There were soon many roly polies in my hand with the slimy slug! And then they found the grub worms which started out all nice and rolled up in pretty brown balls, but soon opened up in the warmth of my hand showing us their full glorious length and numerous legs. And then the earthworms found homes in the hand of Mother Goose. I think the boys and girls were impressed with the peace and tranquility on the face of Mother Goose as these decomposers mingled and interacted on her hand.

Just keep smilin’ Mother Goose. Just keep smilin’…

From the woodlands, we marched into the prairie lands where we spotted both an owl and a hawk. We heard many crickets chirping but couldn’t land one. And from the prairie to the wetlands we hiked full speed ahead as though we were late for an appointment with the turtles on the logs and the damsel fly nymphs. The chorus from “This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land” comes to mind as I write this report:

“This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me.”

I think old Woody Guthrie would have been proud of these Eco Explorers on this perfectly lovely day in America. I know Mother Goose was very proud of them, and now I think I’ll go wash my hands just one more time.

Bee blessed today!

An Artist Date

Part of my twelve week artist recovery program (The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron) is to use the tool, An Artist Date. Very basically, I am encouraged to take my inner artist person out on a date — just the two of us. (Jessi is very concerned about this. Little wonder as I have begun talking to my artist, turning my head to the right and speaking down towards my elbow. I told her that maybe I was talking to my dear friend, Little Wife!)

Anyhow, my artist and I stopped at the Morton Arboretum for awhile the other evening and were happily engaged in admiring not just the trees, the flora and fauna, but also the summer art exhibit “nature unframed”. So many artists, so many pieces — the sun was going down so we could not stop to enjoy every one, but this was my favorite.

My artist wanted to quickly walk away from this, but I begged her to walk closer with me. So glad she listened! This piece, created by Thomas Matsuda from Massachusetts, is made from charred and carved trees and stumps. He challenges us to think about fire and its effects — is it destruction or is it the path to purification?

Sitting near it evoked so many memories within my heart. My dad was a forester in Minnesota, and part of my growing up was getting educated about the dangers of forest fires. Smokey Bear was always there, sometimes visible, sometimes not. I remember as a shy five-year old going to my dad’s office, walking down into the lower level with the rest of the family and watching a very scary movie about a very big forest fire, probably out west somewhere, but in my precious egg shell mind, it could be right outside of town. My family and I could easily be in danger at any time. When Smokey said, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires”, I took that very personally.

But anyway, enough with my digress. Bottom line: my artist and I had a great date. We nurtured each other’s creativity. We had a good talk about the art we viewed. We enjoyed each other’s company. And that’s a really important part of having dual personalities!

Enjoy your gift of today! Be creative!

Important Stats for a Goose

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