Fiona's school announced that they needed an extra two hours to gather itself before welcoming students back from what seems like an eternity of February vacations. So with the extra time we went to the library and selected a chapter from Pippi Longstocking to read aloud. We read about how she went to the circus with Annika and Tommy and stole the show by her natural ability to tight rope walk and wrestle with the strength of one hundred men etc.  We had a bit of an altercation over a coat at the check out counter, resulting in the returning of the video she had meticulously selected.  We left in tears. I guess I'm glad I took a stand? Not exactly the exit I had hoped for. But maybe she, "learned a lesson." Being - don't mess with mom on an empty stomach, and put your coat on when asked.  I will wager that New Englanders might have to deal with a wee more winter wear struggles than the average Floridian family? But the grass is always greener. I'm sure there is an epic bathing suit battle raging in someone's home right now.

The upside of the trip was that a nice librarian helped me recall the name of a book I had been struggling to remember. I was developing a tick trying to thinking of the title. I knew there was an F in it. And it involved a horse and a girl. Forever free? Waiting for Forever? Riding Freedom! Yes! A huge weight off my shoulders. Now after we finish, Starry River of the Sky we have something waiting in the wings. Grace Lin, I love you.  Every page is a cliff hanger. In the best way possible.

Myles asked me yesterday if we could find him a deerskin jacket. "You know, the kind with the tassles on the sleeves?" "Hmmm, I said. "I will certainly keep an eye out for one." That seemed to satisfy him and he scampered off to imagine himself stalking through the woods properly dressed and equipped with his bow and arrow. We are reading, The Sign of the Beaver for the tenth time and it has Myles craving for a life where one has to, "stockpile food."
I came home to a quiet house for the first time since I can't remember and I felt like throwing a dance party. I carefully sculpted a grainy salad and took slow deliberate bites, while responding to unanswered emails. It was very satisfying.  And then I had time to gather my thoughts and realize that this is my life. Its happening. I'm living it. This is easy for me to forget. I need constant, existential wake up calls. "And to ashes we shall return."  Of course, Right.

I said no to Hollywood last night. I thought I really wanted to watch the Oscars and then I realized that I just wasn't in the right place for America's nobility. But can someone please tell me if, Ida won? I hate googling that kind of stuff. 


Book Bag - no. 17

Today was an, I-made-it-day. What day isn't really, but I think at the end of those other days you don't really feel like saying, you-made-it.  We had nothing special planned. Just more snow and cold. But with the help of pizza, chocolate, and a Mardi Gras mindset we did alright.


Book Bag - no. 15 and 16

January snow.
February snow some more.
Books will keep us warm.
I can hardly contain myself, for I have just pre-ordered my copy of, Home by Carson Ellis.  I love this person.

The emotional roller coaster ride of a snow storm is something to be seen. There are highs and lows. Cozy fireside chats, and high decibel demands. We have baked, and knitted, and read, and read.  Today the sun could blind you. The kids are out playing in the glimmering deep drifts and I am thankful.


Birthday Cake

 For me, there is nothing better than enjoying the spoils of a birthday than with a big day-after slice of homemade cake.  After flipping through a cook book Myles landed on red velvet cake for his ninth birthday. It didn't actually turn red on account of not having one third of a cup of artificial coloring. But it was tinted red with the natural stuff, and tasted mostly like chocolate.  When I was in the middle of making the icing for this cake, things were looking disasterous. I was one hour away from the family arriving, and my frosting looked like cottage cheese. So then I had a revelation. Call a professional! I picked up the phone and dialed the number of the bakery where the recipe was from. I spoke with a baker and she walked me through my process and helped me fix my mistake. It was amazing! (The problem was my house was too cold for the butter to properly soften. ) Never again will I give up when things look curdlely.  Five years ago I would have dumped it out with tears beside.

So now, for us the holidays are finally over.  January birthdays always extend the festivities a bit, but now we are home with good books, and some leftover buzzing.

Literarily this is what a day in the life of our nine years old looks like:

not pictured: Tin Tin, Tin Tin, and more Tin Tin.

This post really captures some of the emotions I was feeling as my oldest child heads into the unknown territory of getting older. Thrilling and chilling in the same moment. Check it out. Rachel's writing is really wonderful.