posts tagged with 'spring'

happy spring

Harvey walking in the snow in shorts and sandals

the spring look

There was some debate in the neighborhood as to when spring officially begins, but it's got to be around here somewhere. Yesterday was a lovely early springish day: bitter cold at sunrise and barefoot-worthy by mid afternoon. So we spent some time outside.

Lijah on his new birthday scooter

lookin like he knows what he's doing

We did some running and some scootering—Lijah working on his new birthday scooter for the first time!—and some wagon hay-rides, all together with a great crowd of friends. And then when the kids all got tired of running they brought ten thousand legos out onto the front porch to play with them in the sunshine. I should have taken a picture, but I was too busy talking about great picture books and home improvements with other homeschooling parents who Know What It's Like.

You know, it's funny. Lijah didn't get nearly as much exercise as the bigger guys—he can't keep up the scootering for long, and he was in the stroller for our walk rather than running back and forth like a spring-mad puppy—but he was the only one to actually fall asleep outside. I guess growing up so fast is hard work!

Lijah sleeping leaning forward in the stroller

zzz

Happy Spring, everyone.

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surprise reprise

Remember when it snowed back in March? That was delightful and exciting and it melted quick and we all had a laugh. Then in April we had another snowstorm. Two more, actually.

snow falling in the front yard and street

what month is it again?

That's the afternoon of the second storm. The first one was Sunday, when we woke up to heavy snow starting to fall; two inches accumulated in less that two hours, making for a pretty tricky drive to church. But then the sun came out and it all melted before mid afternoon. The second one, yesterday, wasn't as speedy—but it snowed pretty steadily all day and never got warm. So there was still plenty of snow around this morning. Just like winter!

snow on the street the morning after

the scene the next morning

In March the boys were excited for one last chance to romp in the snow, but apparently they meant last chance. We stayed inside all day Monday (we were also all a little sick). Maybe it's just the wrongness of snow in April that put us off.

daffodils smushed down by snow

poor daffodils

But today was bright and sunny—though wintery cold—and we managed to venture outside a bit.

the boys walking along the snowy bike path

pretty wintery

Even though it was barely above freezing all day, that April sun is strong. There's still snow hanging around, but nevertheless you don't have to look far to see that spring has some power behind it yet!

Zion walking in a mostly-thawed puddle

spring water wins

Happy first week of April!

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surprise!

Harvey walking on the edge of the woods through thickly falling snow

howdy, spring!

I suppose we could have expected that after a winter as strange as the one that just finished spring might have some surprises for us too, and so it proved. We woke up this morning to about four inches of snow, with more falling fast. No dismay here, though: we were all delighted!

Lijah led the charge outside; we could hardly restrain him until after breakfast. I suppose he didn't think he needed breakfast when there was all that snow to eat.

Lijah in his cute red hat eating snow

he's cool with snow by now

Zion was happy to let Harvey and me go for a walk with Rascal, and after a few minutes playing with Mama and Lijah he settled down to a quiet game with the trucks (picking right up where he left off Saturday playing in the dirt).

Zion playing with big toy trucks in the snow

move that snow

And of course, Rascal loves a snowy walk more than just about anything else.

Rascal in heavy falling snow, looking back at the camera

he's kind enough to wait for us

As soon as the snow stopped falling it started melting—or maybe even before. But there was enough that it's taking a little while, and there was still plenty for Lijah to snack on as we strolled through Concord this afternoon.

Lijah on the path to the library in Concord--sun shining, snow melting fast

enjoying it while it lasts

When wintery weather follows a nice warm stretch you worry some about the plants, but there's no call for alarm this season; this delightful surprise snow was just a momentary treat, but spring is seriously on the way.

purple crocuses poking through the snow

the flowers are winning

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spring cycling for Harvey

March 31 and there's still over a foot of snow across the street on our neighbor's lawn. This evening as I read to Harvey I had a sudden memory of once, some distant moment in the misty past, sleeping with the windows open as gentle spring breezes wafted the curtains and scented the air with their perfume. There are no gentle spring breezes yet; winter still has us pretty much in its grip.

That said, there was definitely some sun today, and some warm weather—and we took full advantage! We spent most of the day outside, playing in the yard, and in the street, and roaming further afield. A considerable distance of roaming, actually; counting it up afterwards I figure that Harvey rode his bike a little over six miles on outings today, not counting the innumerable times up and down our street.

Ever since got his training wheels off, a couple weeks ago, he's been pretty serious about his cycling. There was a little setback a couple days after his two-wheeler breakthrough, when a friend backed over his bike with her car and rendered it unrideable; but on the upside that led us to dig through the shed to find a replacement that ended up being a better fit for an increasingly confident rider. (His confidence also extends to not caring a bit that it's pink and Barbie-branded.) Consistent riding means his balance gets better and better, and his turns are now as nimble as mine—more so, even, with his shorter wheelbase. No more, playing bike chase, can I out-turn him to turn the hunted into the hunter.

As much as we enjoy games like that on our dead-end street, he sees me modeling cycling distances for transportation and wants to get in on the action. Sure, he wasn't enthusiastic about joining us on our family walk to Whole Foods this morning (once we got going, Leah said, "Isn't life nice when none of the adults have to work!"), but he did great once we got going. Then we joined our neighbors on a ride up to the library—but we didn't have time to go in, since we had to get home and take over the Lijah care when Leah went to do an errand. Well, that wouldn't do for my pair of library lovers, so we hooked up the trailer for Lijah and headed right back up the hill. So yeah, a little over six miles without a complaint.

Even though we're riding in mittens, getting out in the fresh air makes spring feel a little more real. And with all that good outdoor exercise, we fall asleep so quick we have less time to mind the closed windows!

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spring eating

the tip of an asparagus spear in the garden

springing up

It's spring, and there's things to eat outside. I always like it when the garden starts to produce edibles, since it helps to justify my hobby to the world. Two and a half pounds of asparagus so far, over the first three days of the harvest, and it's still as exciting as the first time lo these many years ago now. Asparagus is definitely one of the embodiments of spring, culinarily speaking, so it pairs well with that other symbol of the season, the egg.

poached egg, asparagus, and corn bread on a plate

the freshest

Something is going right when we can enjoy, as we did Saturday supper, eggs a few hours old and asparagus picked 20 minutes before it hits the plate. Plus leftover cornbread, but that doesn't signify anything.

And it's not just asparagus around here either. The woods are full of garlic mustard, a tiny bit of which I made into pesto on Friday (with almonds, cheap parmesan, and olive oil). And today's couscous (made to accompany more asparagus) was livened up with a generous handful of chopped spring onions.

The best thing about all these delicious ingredients is that I barely have to do any work for them. Sure the asparagus was a bit of work to set up, and I suppose I must have planted the first bunching onions at some point, but now the food just rolls in every spring with no added work from any of us besides bending down to pick it. Since there's plenty to do in the garden otherwise this time of year, some easy payback is very well appreciated.

Do you think we'll get tired of asparagus?

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spring in all its fatty glory!

I don't know when you think spring starts, meteorologically speaking or whatever. For me it only spring when the boys decide to open the backdoor and walk outside, all on their own, without accounting for coats or footwear.

boots or barefooted, depending on your okayness with chicken poop

Also, if it's warm enough to walk up to Bedford Farms for ice cream, then it's officially spring. Officially and deliciously spring. Today we made the trip for the first time this season.

it doesn't count unless you get it ALL OVER your face.

I'd been dreaming about this ice cream for several weeks now. You see, I've been counting calories a little obsessively. The last ten pounds to lose is the hardest, they say. And with roughly 3000 calories to a pound, that's thirty thousand calories I have to expend in excess of what I take in. I don't know if you know this, but expending more energy then you take in is unpleasant.

And yet, I've been holding out this first ice cream as a sort of beacon of hope. One day, I told myself every time I went to bed hungry, one day it will be first ice cream day. And THAT day will be a day WITHOUT DIETING.

And let me tell you. The best way to enjoy an ice cream frappe made with super premium coffee ice cream, chocolate fudge swirl and whole oreos all blended together? The best way to enjoy it is to NOT GET ENOUGH FOOD FOR THREE WEEKS. Then walk a mile to the ice cream store pushing a stroller and carrying a baby. Then order the drink you've been thinking about in the middle of the night for days on end.

Once you've done that, let the full fat concoction hit your tongue with its explosion of sugary goodness. In that moment you will know that there is a God in heaven. Nay, that heaven is here and now and comes with an extra-wide drinking straw.

The boys also enjoyed their ice cream. Harvey didn't get so messy and Elijah just slept the whole time, so I'll post another picture of Zion to symbolize the event. Middle child, you win the chocolate-covered cuteness contest for today.

Zion, with ice cream on his face, smiling while hugging a tree

the after-effects of ice cream

Happy spring!

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spring of the mind

Zion's and Harvey's bare feet in the yellow winter grass

brave pioneers

The weather report tells us that today saw a return to bitter winter cold, and indeed, it "felt like" 6°F when we got up this morning (a breezy 16° or so). But when it's spring and sunny, it's hard to keep shoes on the boys! Never mind that, above their bare feet, they had on lined pants, two shirts, sweatshirts, and winter coats—the spirit of the day demanded that snow boots be kicked off so that feet could feel the sweetness of the sun-warmed grass.

Well, actually, it didn't demand it to me, and probably not to Zion either, but it did to Harvey. And with him running around exclaiming gleefully about how wonderful each bit of ground felt under his feet it was hard not to join him in his revels. So I did. And it did feel nice; and also pretty cold.

Zion walking past the chickens and Rascal

everybody enjoying the sunshine

But not so cold that we didn't stay out for a long time—even Zion, who has not been the most hardy in the past was happy outside the whole time, including more than an hour shoeless. The air may have been—read, was—below freezing, but the late March sun is incomparably warmer than what we had a month or two ago. As you can see above, our animal population was also very happy to take the air.

I don't put much stock in the calendar or the equinox as a marker of spring: in many ways it still feels pretty late-wintery around here, and the planting is delayed accordingly. But clearly even on this chilly afternoon there was something irresistibly springlike in the air, and besides fixing the fences we took plenty of time to run and wrestle and roll in the grass.

Harvey and Zion wrestling in the grass, bare-footed and winter-coated

spring energy

They kept their boots off until the end—past 4:00—though that did mean I had to carry them inside, because between the sunny spot where we were playing and the house is still a considerable patch of snow and ice. Oh well. Our feet tell us it'll be gone soon.

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late February

snow on the trees bright in the morning light

February morning sun

February means snow and rain, longer days and stronger sun, boys getting spring fever before its time. Plants, animals, and people here are all just almost bursting with desire to get going the business of spring.

I've always felt February vacation was kind of a waste. I heard a theory for the first time this year that it's meant to give everyone a chance to work through their various illnesses in private without further epidemics in the school buildings; more likely to allow folks who can manage it to get a summer preview in Acapulco (yes, people do still go there). I'd rather work at school through February when there's nothing else useful to do and have the week off in March or June, myself, but they rarely ask my opinion of such things.

The boys really are ready to explode outside. They're playing together really well the last few weeks—sometimes we don't need to interact with them for as long as 15 minutes! But often their play involves running around the house shouting at the top of their lungs, and optionally banging things; activities, in other words, that would be much better conducted out-of-doors. As yet it's still a bit too cold and snowy and wet for that (especially since Harvey often declines to make any clothes part of his imaginative games), but I recognize their energy and resist the urge to shush them or, alternately, to pick them up and toss them out. In just a few weeks that'll be an option!

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beautiful spring weather

a snowy spring morning in our yard

sometimes the weather makes fools of us all

I'm not a fan of April Fools Day, but I can't say I mind the prank that the weather pulled on us this morning. Sure, there was a lot of complaining from folks who are well past ready for spring, and I think that attitude is starting to be a little bit justified (not like last time), but we know that snow now won't stick around for long. And just think how much better it is for the garden than hard rain would be!

There was a break in the precipitation just as I was leaving for work so I took the bike, which would have been perfect had I been wearing footwear for rain rather than for snow. It was pretty wet out there. Still, while my feet were damp all day, at least they were plenty warm. And on the way home the bike path was even plowed!

I stopped for a minute coming home to snap this picture. See, you can't keep a good spring down for long!

young plants in the snow

the plants know it won't last

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seasonal changes

The weather's been tolerably pleasant lately: this afternoon we were outside from 4:00 to 6:00, so it can't have been too cold. The cycling has certainly been fine (or at least fun). And yet people are beginning to complain about the continued cold and the continued presence of the occasional pile of snow. Since I don't want to be blamed for winter's ongoing grip, I went ahead and turned on the spring style here on the blog even though the rest of the pages elsewhere on the squibix web aren't quite ready for the switch. It isn't the first time I made a precipitous change in order to propitiate the weather spirits neither (for the record, it worked back in 2007 once we got the right style up).

As always, hold down shift and reload if there are any traces of the old style lingering in your browser, and please let me know if anything looks amiss or doesn't work the way it should. There may well be a few issues: as well as changing the style this time I also updated the blog machine. It wasn't right that other folks were using the latest and greatest version when we, the bold originators of the system, were stuck with second-class product.

One thing that changed between versions was the name of the cookie that stores your saved comment information, so you'll have to reenter that if you're used to the blog remembering your name. Sorry about that! I suggest you post a comment to test it out, and reacquaint yourselves with our software.

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