Monday, March 23, 2009

Blankets, babies, and blossoms

Tra-la... it's spring!!! (Well, sort of...) The temps have hit the 70's more than the usual accidental number of times, and we've passed the magic date on the calendar which declares the season here. I have planted potatoes and asparagus in my garden, and the trimming in the vineyard is finished. So it must be spring.
In addition, I have finished my big "winter afghan" project... I found it in the basement just before Christmas... a long-forgotten afghan that Katrina had started in 7th grade. Not being able to resist finishing a UFO, (that's knit-speak for "unfinished object") I pulled it out and began working. My goal: to surprise Kate with it on her 30th birthday. I didn't quite make it, but I came close. She and her family were here over the 14th & 15th of March and I gifted her with it then. The kids snuggled up under it like bunnies hiding in a cozy den. It's a big afghan... sideways it covers 4 people quite easily...especially if they're little. Longways, it will cover Nathan, who is one LONG drink of water!
So now I am on the lookout for my next spring project - maybe some charity knitting. That feels like fun. I could make squares for veterans or hats for preemies. And I am STILL trying to find the perfect sock pattern for Ed's size 13 feet! So we'll see what happens next!
What follows are also some shots of Rhylah and Sydney when they were together a couple weekends ago. They are SO cute toddling around and playing together. They haven't yet quite figured out what to make of one another; and it's funny to watch them "size up" the potential for playing in each other! They are going to be heartbreakers one day, as cute as they are now!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

St.Patrick's Day Run - 2009

Will she make it? Only time will tell?

Today I did something for only the second time in my life; I ran in a race. This time it was to celebrate the almost 30#'s I've lost since Sept. 17th of 2008. Kate and Nate joined Ed and I, and we ran in the St. Patrick's Day Run. It's a 5 mile jaunt through downtown St. Louis, quite scenic and very silly with a large percentage of bizarrely-dressed people running in everything from green tights to leprechaun suits! I am happy to report I survived it and managed to finish the whole thing. Kate, Nate, and Ed completed it some 22 minutes ahead of me; but all in all, I feel really good about getting out there. (It's not a bad thing to discover that you can still go 5 miles at 53!)
We had a gorgeous morning to run with temps in the 40's and nice sunshine. It was Kate's first-ever attempt at running in a race and I think she had a good enough time to do it again in the future.
When we finished, we celebrated with pastrami sandwiches from Carl's Deli and frosty cold Fitz's root beer! It was a great morning!

Nate and Kate sign up and get their numbers!

A shot ahead of some of the more than 9,000 people who ran today.

Well, I didn't come in last.... actual time 1hr.16min. for 5 miles.

The happy finishers! Let's go eat and celebrate!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Can We Go Outside for Class???!?!

Spring has sprung in St. Chuck! Today it hit nearly 80 degrees, the convertible tops came down, and the hearts and minds of my students went out the window! "Can we go outside for class?" was the question heard throughout the halls as kids begged like 3rd graders for time out in the soft breezy air. And I almost.... just almost... gave in. I must admit, in my heart of hearts, I felt for them. What is it about education the necessitates "trapping" adolescents in a building for 7+ hours a day. Part of me KNOWS there has to be a better way to greet spring than just reading Wordsworth's "Daffodils" - it's high time to go ROMP with them!

Daffodils (1804)
I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside a lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance,

The waves beside them danced but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund comapny:
I gazed.. and gazed.. but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
by William Wordsworth