Archive for February, 2009

Just some glimpses of what I’ve been loving lately:

February Days 2009_02

February Days 2009_03

L3 lost his third tooth recently during the night and it seems that he swallowed it because we haven’t been able to find it anywhere. He was quite distraught that the tooth fairy wouldn’t give him anything because he didn’t have a tooth in trade, so we convinced him to write her a letter.

February Days 2009_14
And this is L4’s birthday card for her grandma. This is the first time she wrote her name entirely by herself and I was so proud of her!


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. . . I mean needles!  I recently finished my MIL’s birthday present.

MIL Monkey Mosaic


Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.

Yarn: Berroco Sox, coloway didn’t have a name, but it’s browns and pinks

Needles: US 1 (2.5mm)

They’ve been gifted and hopefully fit!  This is the second time I’ve made this pattern and I have enjoyed it both times.  If you’re looking for a great pattern to work with some beautiful hand-painted/dyed/varigated yarn, try this one.  I hope the next socks I make are for myself–my MIL gave me a beautiful pattern from Twist Collective for my birthday (six months ago!) and I am looking forward to knitting it up with some lovely spring-green yarn.  Yum.

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It’s February in upstate NY.  I usually think of February as the coldest month of our winter.  This isn’t always the case, but I have this association in my head.  We had the tease of what spring brings about a week ago–a week of warm temperatures, melting snows, and mud galore.  Now we’re back to February’s cold, with fresh snow and brisk winds.

There are other yearly rituals besides the cold and wind of this second calendar month.  First, there’s Kerry’s birthday (my half-birthday) to celebrate, usually with some handmade goodness.  I was all geared up to knit her a new pair of socks for her birthday this year, but she too has become addicted to knitting and so she asked me to make her a case to hold all of her needles.  I can finally show it off because she received it last night at long last:
KAB Knitting Needle Case Mosaic

February also brings me to the start of my garden.  I’ve been planning and ordering, but today I finally got to actually plant my first seeds, onion and celery.  They’re all nestled in their soil, basking in the light, looking like they’re in a sauna.
First Planting 2009

I love, love, love planting and watching my seeds grow.  Every morning once seed season has begun I come downstairs and go to the seed bench to see if anything has sprouted, how much taller things have gotten.  When L1 was reading Little Town on the Prairie outloud the other night, I felt very akin to Grace (who’s all of 3 or 4 at this point) as she was watching their garden grow:

All one hot morning, the beans were popping out of the ground.  Grace discovered them and came shrieking with excitement to tell Ma.  All that morning she could not be coaxed away from watching them.  Up from the bare earth, bean after bean was popping, its stem uncoiing like a steel spring, and up in the sunshine the halves of the split bean still clutched the two pale twin-leaves.  Every time a bean popped up, Grace squealed again.

Can’t you just feel the sunshine on your head, smell the earth, and see those slender green stalks poking up through ground?  Soon I’ll be seeing my own.  In the meantime, the buds continue to grow on the trees outside and soon some of the early bulbs will begin to bloom.

What is February bringing to all of you?

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Who Would You Be?

As I was listening to a talk by Tara Brach (check her out here) she asked the question, “Who would you be if you let go of the belief that something’s wrong?”  Wow.  It’s such a huge question. “To be without anxiety for imperfection, ” she said.   From my own, “are you sure moments” to the times when I feel guilty for sharp words with my children or L1 or thinking ungenerous thoughts about others. . . oy!  I frequently think there’s something wrong with me.  I think I’ll be meditating on this a bit as the cold of February settles in, but also gives rise to the potential of what’s to come in March and April.   Who would I be if I let go of the belief that there is something wrong with me, that my imperfections are cause for anxiety?  Who would you be?

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We sometimes jokingly called L4 “Harrison Ford’ when she was a baby. monalisa As you can see, she had this wry, half smile that seemed out of place in her baby face. She still is capable of that expression, though I like to imagine there’s a little more whimsy in it today, too. I'm Harrison Ford Whatever the expression, it is just one more of the pieces of bliss in my life.

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Messy Desk

I think I almost close my eyes when I walk past it.  There are so many projects in process or waiting to be started, but the only sewing I’ve done over the past few weeks would be to hem the jeans I got at GoodWill yesterday.  I’ve been working on birthday knitting projects like the baby sweater and these socks:

MIL Monkey Beginning

Despite the chaos in the rest of my home, my desk is the one place I prefer to keep organized and somewhat tidy.  It gives me a bit of piece of mind with all of the Legos, puzzle pieces, socks, and fur that frequently are strewn across the floor elswhere.  With the desk being like the rest of the house, my mind is a little chaotic of late.  As the winter thaw continues and I adjust the to the realization that our days might not have a consistent rhythm, I think the chaos will ebb.  Soon enough there will be a fresh coating of snow on the ground and the world will look new and spring planting will begin.  Meanwhile, I focus on breathing in and out when the tension of all the little, everyday stressors build up and seem overwhelming.  With each breath there’s a new beginning–I just have to find it.

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Are You Sure?

A student asked me that tonight as I was trying to answer her question.  I was telling her about some research in relation to her question and she looked at me all skeptical-like and said, “Are you sure? Because I scored a 3 on the scale in this other class. . . ”  augh.  I was so taken aback by the skepticism, totally taking it as a personal attack, that I couldn’t formulate a response to the “because I scored” part.  If I had been in top teacher mode then I would have been able to use it as a teaching moment against using one instance as proof that something is totally wrong.  But I wasn’t, and it threw me off, doubting myself and my knowledge.  I felt off for the remainder of the class.  Obviously I’m still reeling from it a bit if I’m writing about it here.  Don’t get me wrong–I love my students to think and ask questions.  If I can’t answer it I’ll tell them that I don’t know and that I’ll find an answer.  And I do.  But this was totally out of my realm of experience.  I haven’t had someone question my response in such a way before.  I’m already working on finding a better response to her question, including checking in with someone else about it.  I’m going to work hard not to feel all jittery when looking at her now or to respond to her any differently than I did in the past.

Have any of had a similar experience (not necessarily with teaching)?  If so, how have you handled it?  Or not. . .  *sigh*  I really need to learn not to take things so personally.

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