moments from the week

Lijah blowing out the candle on his birthday pancake

birthday breakfast

Moments from the past week.

Zion cuddling with Blue on the couch

what dogs are for

Zion and Elijah standing on the ice in the horse trough in our woods

ice in the horse trough

a fire in the firepit with snow all around

first cookfire of the year

the chickens in the grass at the edge of the snow

some grass at last!

Zion giving a stick puppet show from behind the kitchen table

pig puppet show

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it's birthday season

a chocolate cake with many many candles

how old am I now, again?

Today is my birthday. I don't like to make a big deal of it, but I can't say I mind a little celebration either; so I was pretty delighted when I showed up at school this morning and saw an enormous chocolate layer cake our friends had made for me. Then after school I got to relax, because Leah made a delicious dinner of clam chowder (and corn chowder for Harvey). She was going to make a cake too, but my mom asked if she could bring one over instead. And all that was after I woke up to the beautiful cards Leah and the boys had made for me. It was all so lovely that I wanted to hold onto it, so when Lijah started talking about his birthday at supper I told him to hold on: it wasn't his turn quite yet!

But of course, it will be soon... and now that supper is over and everybody else is in bed it's time for me to get to work preparing his celebration. I need to hang the banners and finish the card for him, and, most importantly, bring the bike up into the living room so it's the first thing he sees when he comes downstairs. Leah is MCing his Zoom party after lunch; we made cupcakes for the attendees and Leah packed them up beautifully with some party favors and materials for an activity. I'll deliver those tomorrow morning. Yes sir, exciting times around here the first week in March!

upgrade cycle

Today I drove to Landry's Cycles in Natick to pick up a new bike for Elijah for his birthday (I did the online shopping and the pickup, Grandma paid for it; we're a good team that way.) While I was there I also got some new pedals and new tires for my own bike. That wasn't a luxury purchase: my old right pedal was so worn down and broken that my foot barely fits on it, and my tires are practically bald. But the new parts are still definitely an upgrade. As I put the new pedals on (as soon as I got home, I was that excited!) I reflected that this may be the first time I've ever bought something new to make my bike better. Yes, I've gotten new tires before. You need to do that. But only when I didn't have any more not-quite-broken-down tires I could pull off another bike. And it made me worry a little bit! The new pedals are so much better, I'm already starting to wonder what else I could buy to improve my riding. This is how it begins...

practicing for spring

There were some solid signs of spring at our house today. The snow is going fast—it's gone completely on the far corner of the yard—and this afternoon I shoveled off the bulkhead entrance to the basement. We need access for all the spring work that will be coming soon! More importantly, there was lots of outside playing. I've set the kids a goal of two hours a day outside in March, and that was easy for them to reach today. There was some tag, some imaginative play, and some baseball. In the picture below you see Zion in sweatshirt and long pants; he felt warm enough that not too long afterwards he was in shorts and short sleeves. I don't know if it was that hot, but it was certainly delightful to be out in the bright sunshine.

Harvey and Zion playing baseball in the street with snow on the lawns

spring training

To cap off the day I built a fire to grill hot dogs and black bean burgers for supper. Nobody was available to enjoy it with me as I was cooking, but after supper Zion, Elijah and I had a fine time around the embers toasting marshmallows for smores. Elijah was excited for what he felt like was his first smore in a year; I told him it was probably just a little over two months since his last one, but never mind, it was still special! I wouldn't say no to one more snowstorm and just a bit more sledding, but you know, I'm fine with spring too!

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the lion was late

Yesterday it was in the mid to upper 40s, with enough clouds and wet to make us at least consider whether this March 1st was doing the lion thing. Today when I woke up it was 10°, and let me tell you that a 35 degree swing in less than ten hours will produce some serious wind! Certainly, by the early hours of March 2nd the weather was properly leonine. We lost power briefly overnight, which woke Zion up—he needs his fan running in order to sleep. Or maybe it was the wind that woke him up and lack of fan that kept him from going back to sleep for a while; my sleep was certainly interrupted by the wind shaking the whole house. The wind kept up through the morning, and on our mid morning walk with Grandma I was ready to declare it the coldest day of the winter so far. But even as frigid as it felt, the March sun is strong, and while it was well below freezing all day I got too warm moving around outside mid afternoon. And at least on the edges the snow kept melting. The lion is here now, but that lamb is on its way!