Friday, February 4, 2011


1. Daydreaming
It's official: February is here. I don't even need to look at a calendar to know this. I can tell just by the lack of motivation that defines my existence right now. If pressed, I might be able to come up with half a dozen items of business that I should have taken care of already, starting with washing the dishes, turning off the TV that no one is watching, and letting the dog back into the house. There's probably some wet laundry that needs my attention too and I'm pretty sure that both the play room and the basement are entirely blockaded by toys. But, you know. It's February. Why bother even making the list. It's not like I'm going to do any of it. What I'd really like to do is sleep and eat chocolate. In fact, the only things I managed to get done today were the grocery shopping and making brownies for dessert. Neither let me catch up on my sleep, but one involved buying chocolate and the other involved licking a lot of chocolate off of the mixing spoon (yes, after the bulk of the brownie mix was in the pan: I'm lazy, not gross).

On the up side, since I don't use the time for accomplishing anything, February offers a lot of time for dreaming. For all my lack of motivation in winter, I harbor tremendous ambition for my future self. Ignoring the failure of my garden for the last two years, I imagine that this year I will not just plant and tend to my veggies, but will also start the entire crop from seed, build a cold frame for moving my tender plants outside, and harvest and can or freeze anything that my kids don't eat straight out of the garden. (Incidentally, this last bit accounts for the unexpectedly low yield of some of my garden plants, particularly cukes and peas. It was recently revealed to me by one of the parties involved that certain  thieving parasitic residents children of mine have been sneaking out to the garden and stuffing themselves silly on nature's bounty.  I don't know what to do with this information.  Punish the little burglars for their gluttony and sneakery? Praise them for choosing nutritious snacks?  Plant extras?)  Anything I cannot grow myself, I will purchase from my weekly trip to the local farmers' market and then preserve to sustain my family through next winter (says the woman who had her daughter order pizza last night because it was too much trouble to make spaghetti for dinner).  I will also use this spring to get myself into the best shape I have ever been in. Following this miraculous transformation, I will shop for an entirely new, and very fashionable but easily washable, wardrobe and get a good haircut. I will also read all the of books that I've been buying over the last few (ahem, 15 20) years so that I can become a well-read, educated, and politically aware person with sound and interesting opinions on a wide variety of matters.  And I will give my house a thorough cleaning.

2. A perfect winter afternoon

Once I start to add cleaning plans to the list, I know that I'm losing touch with reality. Getting back to the planet I actually live on, Matty, who has been feeling very mommy-ish lately, decided yesterday that he couldn't possibly go to pre-school because he needed to spend the afternoon with me and his collection of Playmobil toys.

The first order of business was to make a dragon hat:



I love the way little kids will wear this stuff all day. We spent the rest of the afternoon making and writing books.


The yellow book is the only one we completed.  It is called "Every Dragon vs. Humans, Except Toothless and His Family."  The other books are for distribution to friends and family, but we have not decided whether they will be original stories or copies of the yellow book, which is destined to be a best-seller.  How could it not be when it includes painstaking artist's renderings of the Fire Breathing Jelly-Fish and the elusive Fire-Breathing Giraffe:


We expect to receive notice of our nomination for a Caldecott award any day now.

In between drawings, we engaged in a little known mid-winter ritual.  Sunny winter days are rare around here, but every now and then, around 2:00 in the afternoon the winter sun pours through the south windows of my house.  My office (or the Writer's Workshop, as it was yesterday) gets the full benefit of this and the only thing to do is find a puddle of sun and lie in it.  Turn your face into the sunshine, close your eyes and imagine for a few moments that you are lounging on the beach in the middle of summer.  Bliss.

3. A little knitting

Up until last week, I would have said that I wasn't getting much knitting done.  This wasn't for lack of actual knitting time.  It had more to do with the fact that two of my projects are scarves and no matter how much I work on them, they don't seem to grow. This left me vulnerable to some knitting indiscretions.  While I was working on my scarves in a way that could only be described as obligatory, my thoughts began to stray to other projects.  The one that turned out to be the pit bull of my knitting world was Springtime Bandit, my first lacy-shawl-thingy. First I dug out the pattern-- which I really meant to knit much later in the year--just so I could take a quick look, a teensy little peek,  at how the thing was constructed.  Then, inexplicably, I wound the skeins of yarn for the project into yarn cakes.  And then, suddenly, I had the needles in my basket and I was casting on, just to see how it would work. That was the end of me.  This project bit me hard and would not let go.  On the first night, I knit my way through the set up rows and the first repeat of the body pattern while we watched a movie. On Saturday, I knit for 6 hours while alternately listening to an audiobook and making sure that my kids did their homework.  On Sunday, I had to do something that was not knitting, due to the hand cramp I had from too much knitting on Saturday. And by Wednesday, I had burned through over 300 yards of yarn and I had this:


This was a thoroughly addictive project, from the yarn (Dream in Color Classy, in Beach Fog) to the way the pattern grows from the two stitches cast on for the center top to the hundreds that make up the outside edges of the triangle.  YUM!  I  would knit the thing again in a heartbeat, and I'm not one to repeat a knit.  We are headed out to a small dinner tonight and I would love to wear this thing, if only I didn't have holes in underarms of my turtleneck.  I suppose most people would get out the needle and thread and sew the stupid things shut, but this is February, after all, and who can be bothered. I'm off to put on a sweater that covers the holes instead.  Good night!


  1. Oh, what a lovely shawl ! Congratulations :-)

  2. I love that your not-accomplishing led to scrumptious brownies, a dragon hat and a pretty scarf. That is the right kind of not accomplishing.