Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Embracing the WInter

Daphne is at school today, which is a rare occurrence.  They say it might sleet this afternoon, causing early release.  It also might snow again on Thursday.  I started making tally marks.  Yesterday was Snow Day number 10.  I am thinking we still have one or two more to go.  And that's OK.  I am embracing the winter.  Because no matter how much snow we get, it will melt.  It might be a pain, but it will go away.  Everyone on the Facebook has been posting pictures of the beach..."Oh, I wish I was here!" they say.  Not me.  Snow > Sand.  Snow melts.  Sand never ever goes away.  Plus, it's hot at the beach.  I'll take the snow any day.  And as you can see below, we've had a fair amount of it lately.

Our biggest snow happened when Kev was out of town.  We got about 10 inches.  It was on a Saturday, so it didn't affect school or anything.  One of my neighbors came over to help me shovel, which was great because it would have taken me hours to do it by myself.  I actually like shoveling, though, truth be told.  Don't tell Kev.  But I think it's fun.

We've been doing lots of wintry things.  I took the Girl Scouts ice skating one day.  It was a blast.  I was the only adult to skate!  All the other moms sat on the bleachers.  I don't know why.  Skating was so much fun!  Daphne is getting the hang of it, I'm happy to say.  We need to go back soon.  And we definitely need to go back in summer when it's hot outside.

While Kev was gone, we had some Mommy and Daphne style chili. 

There has been a lot of hot chocolate.

And sledding, of course.

There is a hill behind Daphne's school that is pretty good for sledding, so I took Daphne over there after the BIG snow.  After about 15 trips back up the hill, Daphne was exHAUSted.  I wish I had video of the dramatic slow-stomp back to the car.  Can't.  Take.  Another.  Step.  Too.  Tired.  Need.  Food.

After all that, it was a perfect night for chili dogs and the Karate Kid.  Wax on.  Wax off.  That Mister Miyagi.  So wise.

And we've been doing a lot of hunkering down on the couch to read.  This book (Wonder) is one of the best books we've ever read.  I think all kids should have to read it, maybe in 5th grade.  Required reading.  Daphne and I are reading this together, and we are also reading Matilda as a "whole family" book.  We read a chapter at night if there's time before bed.  HILARIOUS book.  The Trunchbull.  Genius.

On one of the recent snow days, we decided to put on our snowpants and trek through the snow down to the diner for breakfast.

And then back home, past the trail:

So pretty.  

But the best BEST thing we have done to embrace the winter is take a little trip up to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia to stay in a cabin for the weekend.  It was perfect.  

We got to try snowshoeing, which is hard work, but really fun.

And we got to spend a couple hours on the Awesome Sled Run of Awesomeness.  Up the conveyor belt:

Down the hill:

Over and over and over.  The most fun I've had in a long time, and a much needed family activity.

And then, s'mores.

WInter is awesome.  When it was time to leave, Daphne cried.  Big sad crocodile tears.  Here she is. smiling through the sad.  Poor kid.  I felt like crying, too.  I didn't want to leave either.  Cabins in the snow with my family are my favorite.

Daphne was tromping around outside the cabin, and I took a picture of her.  I kept looking at it because it reminded me of something.  Then, I realized what it reminded me of.

Bigfoot. Buddy. Daphne. Yep.

Well, I think we might get one more snow on Thursday, and then I reckon Spring will start battling to make its appearance.  I am looking forward to seeing colors outside besides white and gray, but still.  Winter is good.  So it's OK with me if it wants to hang around a bit longer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Few Quick Hits

I have been craving breakfast tacos.  I didn't think there were any such things in this town, but the People of Leesburg informed me that Anita's New Mexico Style Restaurant serves breakfast, so I went with my friend Chris this morning and got a burrito with eggs and chorizo and a mild green chili sauce which was good.  So, it wasn't breakfast tacos, but it worked.  And now I know where to go when I need a Mexican-ish breakfast.  Yay!

The girls were recognized by the Mayor and Town Council last night for helping decorate the town at Christmas.  It was cool.  The girls were really proud, and our awesome Mayor took a lot of time out to spend with them.  

Daphne has decided to make origami Yoda Valentines this year.  It's a lot of work, and probably some of the kids won't know who Yoda is.  They are really cute, though.  Handmade Valentines are good.

Kev and I got to go out last weekend for dinner at the Wine Kitchen and the Woodshedders show at the Tally Ho.  So much fun.  This band is great.  

I have been working at the shop a lot lately.  I like it.  But it's hard to work and do all the other things, too, so I feel pretty lucky that I don't have to be a full time working mom every day.  

We are smack in the middle of cookie season.  We built a fort with all the cookies.

I started knitting some socks.

I got the piles picked up and generally put away, but I had to take everything out of the cabinets and start over and it took all day and made me sneeze a lot.  I feel so much better now, though.  

Daphne finished her sewing class.

This is my new favorite snack.

I am going to teach a class about how to fix knitting mistakes.  I never would have believed it if you told me that six months ago.

I finished my honey cowl which I love and wish I could wear every single day.

Slowly getting my groove back, I think.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Groove

Today, it's snowing.  There is no school, but not because of snow.  It's a teacher work day and the students are off.  It would be great if we could play in the snow, but there is barely any.  The photo is from the snowday LAST week.  There was barely any then, too, but there was no school.  This winter has been a real disappointment so far.  I want one good big snow.  The kind that shuts everything down and makes it quiet on King Street because no cars are out.  Maybe next week.

All of these snow days and delays and teacher work days and MLK holidays and things are making it really hard to get in a groove.  Even though I got Christmas taken down and put away, there are still piles of homeless things everywhere.  A giant purge is in order, but that will require a chunk of time alone in the house, which is very rare these days.

Daphne is home now, drawing a treehouse while I blog.  But she really wants to play with me.  And how can I tell her no?  It's not like I can send her out to play in this pitiful snow.  So, I think what I have to do is just try to enjoy hanging out with my kid and overlook the piles for a few more days.  

Sounds easy enough, right?  But, this is really hard for me.  When all the chores I feel like I SHOULD be doing are right there in my face, it's hard for me to enjoy anything.  I feel guilty taking 15 minutes to write in this blog.  I can't just let it go.  I live at my workplace.  There is no "going home from work."  I am just always there.  There must be a way to turn it off, but I haven't found it yet, and I wonder if I ever will.  Maybe if everything was DONE, then I could enjoy being home.  But it is never ever done.  Ever.  So, I need a new strategy.  And a groove.  A good normal week with no snow days or holidays.  

Or, perhaps a vacation.  But that would only help temporarily.

Or, here's a thought.  I need perspective.  Because, there are no lions after all.  I have absolutely no reason to complain about anything.  The chores will get done.  The piles will get put away.  There will be plenty of time for ALL of that, and to sit and knit and sew and read and enjoy my family time.  Right now, I am going to go play with my kid.  

Free cookies!!??!!  I am SO in!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We Interrupt This Program...

So, I got myself all in the mood to start blogging again, and we lost the internet.  For several days.  No internet, no TV, no landline service.  Yesterday, we finally got hooked up again.  In the meantime, school kept being cancelled or delayed, so I couldn't get much done around the house.  I didn't want to take down Christmas while Daphne was home because it makes her too sad.  But finally, yesterday, I just had to do it.  I dragged up the bins and loaded them up, undecorated the tree, and tidied up a little.  All that's left to do is take the lights off the tree and take it outside for recycling.  Last year, that was tough.  There were many tears when we said goodbye to "Doug."

This year's tree is called "Fergus."  We got him at Snicker's Gap, just like last year, and made an ornament from his trunk, just like last year.

He's been a really great tree, but now all you have to do is walk by or breathe on him and his needles fall out in giant clumps.  I think even Daphne realizes that it's time for him to go.

Thank you, Fergus, for being an awesome Christmas tree and making our house smell so good!  We will miss you.

I am excited to have Christmas put away because now I can get back into some sort of normal routine, sit and knit without feeling like I should be doing something else, and maybe even read a book.  Does anyone know of a good book I can read?  I need some ideas.  I also plan to improve my sewing skills this year, so I need to make some time for that.  I love Christmas, but it's just all the SWIRLING...by the time it's over, I don't even remember it.  I have to find a way to stop the swirling next year.  Be glad you don't have to spend any time inside my brain.  Especially at Christmas time.  I need to figure out the secret to SLOW Christmas.  Slow is good.  There needs to be more slow.  

OK, I have just a little while before Daphne gets home from school, so I am going to go make good use of the time.  But not in a frantic swirly way.  I may even knit.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


So, it's January now.  2015.  And I haven't blogged since the Great Mouse Invasion of Last Summer.  When I left off, we were just about to catch and release "Lucky," our seventh, and thankfully LAST, mouse.  I hope blogging about it doesn't jinx it, but since then we have been critter free.  So in spite of all the wild internet rumors that are probably flying around out there on the facebook about the reason for my sudden absence, we were NOT overtaken and enslaved by the mice.

Why did I stop blogging?  I don't know.  August was busy, and then school started, and then suddenly it was Christmas.  I have a lot to catch up on, I guess.  Today, it snowed but school is going on as scheduled.  Last year, this would have caused at LEAST a two hour delay, but there's a new superintendent in town, and it looks like he means business.  Facebook is on fire with mad mommies.  Reports are that the roads are pretty bad, but luckily Daphne only has to go 2 blocks on the bus, and our street is looking pretty clear.

It's quiet here. It's still snowing.  It's that really pretty sparkly snow that looks like glitter is falling.  I figured if there was ever a good time to finally blog a new blog, this is it.  Plus, I am avoiding having to take down Christmas.  I just can bring myself to do that yet.

The problem is, I am so far behind on this blog that I don't know where to start.  I think what I should probably do is go back through my pictures from the last several months and do some "flashback" posts to get myself caught up.  

But here is what is on my mind today.  New Year.  I like that.  I need that.  The holidays were sometimes fun, but also tough and stressful and really sad at times, and I am ready for a fresh start.  Yesterday at Wegmans, they were playing Hall and Oates, and Van Morrison, and REM, and it was so nice to listen to regular songs again instead of Santa Baby for the 700th time.

This year is going to be good.  I can already tell.  So stay tuned for that.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Space Invaders

Guess who is in there?  Yep.  Mouse Number Seven.


I'm too freaked out to open the drawer and look, but I KNOW because I can hear him in there, trying to escape from the trap.  Little scritch-scratchy sounds, slowly driving me insane, like in the Tell Tale Heart.

Kev isn't here.  He had to work the night shift last night to support the launch (finally!) of his project.  During dinner, we watched the rocket carrying the satellites head up to space to get them into orbit.  So cool.  I got a little teary-eyed during separation.  So, Step 1: Getting the things to space, seems to be a success.  Now, the hard part, getting them to do what they're supposed to do up there.  I have confidence.  But it's mind-boggling to me, all this space stuff.  Amazing.  

Here's what I want to know.  If all these scientists can get rockets and satellites and things to space, why can't they invent something REALLY useful, like personal forcefields?  Because that is what I need.      Then I could stop worrying about mice crawling on me or scurrying across my feet.  

We are still going through an almost daily Catch and Release ritual with these mice.  I have this mental image of  hundreds, maybe THOUSANDS, of mice, having a big mouse party under my house.  Soon, they are going to become organized and plan their take-over.  They will come streaming out of the oven drawer in a big mouse wave, with their little round ears and stringy tails.  It probably doesn't help that I'm reading a Stephen King novel, but I think I'm going a little crazy.  The mice are winning.

I'm not sure how much more of this I can take.  We are a "no-kill" kind of family, but these are desperate times.  One of these days, Kev is going to come home and find me huddled up in a corner (up on a chair, of course!), rocking back and forth, slowly humming some creepy children's song like Three Blind Mice over and over.

I'm only sort of kidding.

On a happier note, Daphne and I had a fun day yesterday.  Lunch, book store, Sweet Frog, playground.  I love the Polar Vortex.

OK.  Time to get going.  I hope Kev gets home soon to take our latest captive down to the creek before he gets so mad that he Incredible Hulks himself into my kitchen to take his revenge.  

Seriously.  Forcefields.  Come ON, Science!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What's Worse than Catching Mouse Number Four?

Wanna know?  OK.  Here's what's worse:

THINKING you caught mouse number four, only to discover that mouse number four just triggered the trap but wasn't ACTUALLY caught and is therefor still at large, waiting to scurry over my feet at any moment.

Things to be happy about:

1.  The knitting classes I taught last night were so much FUN, and my students left happy and confident.  Yay!

2.  Tomorrow will be way less hot than today.

3.  I screened a shirt today.  And Friday, I will teach kids to screen shirts.  My shirt is about knitting.

4.  Project Runway Season 13 starts tomorrow.

5.  Ice Cream.

6.  A whole weekend with NO PLANS.

7.  My Hall and Oates Pandora station, which is GREAT as long as you are standing by to "thumbs down" any Huey Lewis or Phil Collins nonsense.

I think I'll go listen to it now...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Resident Evil

Here is a picture of a nice bluebird.  The bluebird of happiness.  But today, I am NOT happy.  Do you want to know WHY I am not happy?  

I will tell you anyway.

Because the people next door got a stupid divorce and the lady moved out and she took the stupid cats and since we have been back from Cape Cod, we have caught THREE mice in the drawer below my oven and there is at least one more that we know of, and probably even more than that and I am FREAKING OUT.  


Kev said I would feel better if I blogged about it, but he was wrong.  And that is saying something because he is only wrong 3% of the time.  According to him.  

I don't feel better at all.

I hate mice.  They are dirty and they carry diseases and they poop everywhere and if you aren't careful, they get in your food supply.  And you never know where they are lurking or if they are at any moment going to scurry by and run across your feet which are essentially bare because you are wearing your summertime flip-flop style slippers instead of the heavy duty winter ones that keep your feet warm and safe from being trod upon by wayward rodents.  

Here is the routine:  1.  A trap is set in the drawer below the oven.  2.  A mouse is caught in the trap.  3.  Kev (my hero!) takes the trap down the street to the bike trail and releases the mouse by the creek.  4.  I clean the hell out of the oven drawer.  5.  More poop is eventually discovered and we start all over again with step number one.

I can't go on like this much longer.  And to make matters worse, Kev has THREE work trips coming up and I will be left here to deal with the mice alone.  I can't be expected to do step 3 without a Haz-Mat suit.  Seriously.  And when I told Kev this, he just laughed at me because I am "like a cartoon."  Then he said maybe if I played my Hall and Oates Pandora station it might drive away the mice.  Salt in the wound.

So, that's why I am not happy.  I am so grossed out.  I know these things are to be expected when you live in a 106-year-old house, but this is a problem that needs to be solved because I can't live the rest of my life going through steps 1-5 over and over and over again, and worrying about mice scurrying over my feet.

At least there are no lions.  But all bets are off if something crawls across my feet.  Sigh.

Calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean...

UPDATE: DANGIT I just checked the trap and there is a mouse in it.  That's mouse number FOUR.  It will just have to stay in there and wait for Kev to get home.  

When will this nightmare end?  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Instagrammed

On Friday, we wrapped up another week at Swim Kids, and I got crafty with my glue gun and my Cape Cod rock collection.

Friday night, Daphne got to sleep in the attic teepee.  I wish I had a teepee.  I don't really fit in Daphne's very well.

On Saturday, Kev and Daphne went to the water park and I worked at the Finch.  It was busy and I forgot to bring any food.  But two nice customers from Maryland brought me a cup of Lightfoot crab bisque, so I got to eat after all!  Can you see that pile of fat quarters?  I cut fat quarters all day long.  I'm getting good at cutting fat quarters.

On Sunday, we went to brunch at Market Table Bistro and went to a family pottery class to make bowls.  I made a yarn bowl...see, it has a hole in it that your yarn goes through.  Plus, I put a bird on it.

Daphne and Kevin made bowls, too.  It was fun.  I would like to make bowls and other pottery things more often.  Daphne said she wants to be a potter.

I think Kev had a good time, too, although he got made fun of for being a perfectionist about his bowl, and the teacher asked if he is an engineer.  Which, of course, he is.  

We each made two bowls.  We get to keep one, and the other is donated to the Empty Bowls program, which is very cool.  

Which brings us to today, which is Monday.  I dropped Daphne and her friend Ruby at camp this morning and went immediately to Shoes to sit ALONE and drink coffee LEISURELY.  This is the first day I've had without a sidekick since school got out last month.  And I refuse to feel guilty for enjoying the heck out of it.  Believe me, Daphne needs a break from ME just as much as I need a break from being Mommy all day.  It will be good for both of us.  I am hoping that my battery will be recharged by the end of the week.  I also hope there will be some sewing.  Maybe tomorrow.

Kev is the one who REALLY needs a break, but he isn't going to get one for a while.  Stress is bad for people.  


Well, time to go do something productive.  Or maybe take a quick nap before camp pick-up...