Vernal Equinox, 2017

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Tomorrow, we celebrate 12 years of marriage!
And now we are 12!

Today is our 12th wedding anniversary, and also the Vernal Equinox. 48 seasons together as a married couple! Here’s to many, many more with my beloved.

We kinda forgot to make plans to celebrate our anniversary (whoops!), but we *did* celebrate the Equinox as a family, so at least there’s that!

Service was "in the round" today. Very lovely!

Madrigal and I started the day with an Equinox Celebration at our UU church, which was a really lovely intergenerational service with music and dancing and seed-planting. Then, the whole family took off for Naples, NY, to go the Cumming Nature Center for the last day of their Maple Sugaring events.

Maple Sugaring time! (It's actually way too cold - the sap is frozen in all of the buckets!)

It’s actually too cold right now – the sap is all frozen in the buckets, but it was still a lot of fun to walk the trails and learn a bit about how maple syrup is made.

Watching the big pot boiling down the sap.

M even practiced carrying the sap buckets with a wooden yoke:

Ready to carry some sap!

The sugar shack was a nice, warm stop along the trail!

Running to the sugar shack!

Madrigal was SO happy on the trails, and kept saying, “mama, it’s so beautiful, it’s just like my dreams coming true!”

She kept saying, "mama, it's so beautiful, this is my dream come true!" Gotta take this girl on more hikes in the woods, because apparently that's what her good dreams are all about!!

We’ve got to take this girl on more hikes in the woods, because apparently that really is what her favorite dreams are all about! We even got her to take a photo of us, and she did a great job!

Maddy took a picture of us!

This kid loves snow:

A girl and her giant snowball.

And also maple candy!

Sampling the maple goodness.

We followed up the hike with a few gifts for M (we celebrate each turn of the seasons with “something to do, something to wear, and something to read”):

Maddy's Equinox "do, wear, read" gifts: Snapcircuits, two awesome books, and a new sun hat (not pictured)

She got Snapcircuits, two awesome books, and a new (red!) sun hat, and was very excited about all of them. Then, we ended the day with our now-traditional candles at dinner (we light them for every Equinox and every Solstice):

Candles for our (one day early) Equinox celebration.

A lovely way to celebrate the coming Spring! I wish all of you a very happy Equinox, and a delightful Spring.

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This is not Portland.

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Showing off a finished sleeve (plus a ton of snow)
(but I do have Elle-Melle sleeve-progress to show off after I ramble about snow!)

I was supposed to be in Portland today, presenting at the CCCC Convention, but Winter Storm Stella had other ideas. But of course, as these things go, I only discovered that getting there in time to present would be impossible AFTER digging out the driveway and going all the way to the airport. Thankfully, one member of our presentation team (ironically, the one named Stella!) made it there, so I’m all set to present via Skype later today.

so much snow.
(totally dressed for Skype – pretty, professional knitwear on top, comfy cords on the bottom!)

Anyway, back to the snow. Like so many folks in the north eastern US, we got quite a dumping from Winter Storm Stella. It started Tuesday afternoon and then did not let up until Wednesday afternoon. My husband and I took turns shoveling so as to make things easier, but let me tell you a fun fact about shoveling when you are getting a couple of inches of snow per hour: the air is so thick with snow that when you try to take a deep breath (because, oh, let’s say you’re out of breath from carrying 25lb shovelfuls of snow from the front of your house to your backyard because you’ve run out of room in front) you end up breathing in snow, which makes you choke and then you set off a wheezing fit. It’s FUN! But on the plus side, you do get to feel like a pretty awesome badass for moving all that snow, especially if, like me, you put on some headphones and rock out to Florence and the Machine while you shovel. This morning, I half gave up on shoveling, and just used the shovel to break up the massive snow-boulders at the end of our driveway so that I could pick them up and chuck them atop the massive 4.75 foot snow wall that now surrounds our house.


(Massive snow wall, front view)

We have a 4.75 foot wall of snow around our house now. Good thing there's no more snow in the forecast because we are seriously out of room!
(Massive snow wall, back view)

Of course, snow is TONS of (non-sarcastic) fun when you’re a 5 year old who does not have to clear the driveway and attempt to work at home during a snowstorm that follows a devastating windstorm (we got 80mph winds last week that took out power lots of places, including my daughter’s school, so we’ve now had 2 wind days followed by 2 snow days and let’s just say that’s a lot of no-school days for a household with two working parents to manage!)

My beautiful snowbaby :)
(My beautiful snowbaby)

M was so happy to go on “adventures” in her snow gear with me on Tuesday, and I will say, once I gave up on the idea of getting any more work done, it was pretty fun for me, too!

Snow Day Snuggles.
(Snow Day Snuggles)

Anyway, enough about snow – let’s talk about my grown-up Elle Melle! I’ve finished sleeve number one, and picked up the stitches for sleeve number two, rendering it at least somewhat wearable, so I decided to use the beautiful snow backdrop to take some progress shots.

Making progress on Elle Melle

I’m really happy with how the fit is coming out – I know that after blocking, it will end up slightly longer than it currently is, so it’s looking like it’ll be pretty much perfect! Here it is from the back (and slightly out of focus, but it’s COLD and I didn’t feel like getting fussy with the camera):

From the back

And here’s a closeup of the raglan edge – ain’t it purty?

Close-up of raglan join

For future reference, here is what I did: I picked up EVERY stitch (from the outside leg of the reverse stockinette stitch that runs up the edge when I do my sl1, p1 edging that I talked about in my last post), and then I knit a round in which I ssk’d each pair of stitches (to cut the number in half, since the pattern instructs to pick up every other stitch) down one side, and k2tog’d each pair up the other side, and THEN I followed the pattern directions for the raglan short-rows. One other difference is that I slip the first stitch both when I purl back across AND when I knit back across (the pattern doesn’t have you slip the first stitch on the knit rows). These two things helped me avoid the gappiness that I find occurs if you follow the pattern directions exactly.

Over the shoulder of the finished sleeve.

I’m just so happy with how it’s turning out, and I can’t wait to finish it – but it turns out to be terribly difficult to knit after you’ve utterly blown out your forearms carrying shovelfuls of snow for two days. (It’s also strangely hard to type, or do anything that requires my fingers to listen to my brain and not be clumsy.)

I hope you all survived Winter Storm Stella, friends! I’m sad that I’m not in Portland, but at least it’s really beautiful outside with the sunshine on the bright white coating of snow.