how to: play backyard croquet

^ 1988

“There is something wonderful about the feel of grass beneath bare feet — a freedom, a freshness, an at-one-with-nature effect — that must be weighed against the danger of placing a bare foot on the ball and then swinging a hard mallet to it. Of course you can only place your foot on your ball to “send” the other, now-adjacent ball to some other location. It is, of course, strategically very helpful to send an opponent’s ball to an awkward location. The ball is temporarily in a real fix and unable to hinder you as you progress to the next wicket. My older sister always had a way of curling her toes right around the ball like a sloth, and as a child she was always able to whack away without injury, or so it seemed (she did everything so well, and so competitively, that to this day I carry in my wallet a score sheet of the one time I managed somehow to beat her in the word game called Boggle).

You can, of course, go through life with a battered big toe, as it is usually the opposite foot from the direction you are swinging the mallet that gets used. If you have had a few drinks, whihc for some in backyard croquet is almost de rigueur, your toes can become even more violable… but the grass feels so good. It’s not a decision to be made lightly.”

how to: spell


in the eighteenth century, alphabet cards provided an entertaining way for children to learn their letters. educational cards were used to teach everything from mathematics and grammar to astronomy. these cards are based on an alphabet published in 1782 by carington bowles.

note: this alphabet contains 24 letters. it was customary to use the letters I and V in place of J and U. (although some writers were using J and U by this time, these weren’t used with any consistency until the nineteenth century.)┬á my A and N cards seem to have gone missing, also.



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