I think our season might be turning a corner. A pagan I used to practice with, Michael, celebrated a ritual with us that he called Vita! In Vita! attention was given to awakening the trees in the garden and surrounding woods, by striking them firmly, yet lovingly, on their trunks with decorated staves and sticks. It was a fun ritual, and usually performed in mid-to-late February, about the time that the maple sap starts to flow. I feel like it's time for Vita! right now, as our days are ever so slightly more light, and longer, I'm seeing new birds around and everyone seems to be singing a new song outside. Today it got up into the 50's. I can safely say that I think I have survived this winter, though there may be yet more to come.
We had our snow last Friday, about 3 1/2 inches here in Chamblee. It was spectacular. This is a pic of the woods across the street from our house. I love how beech trees look in winter, and how they don't seem to lose their papery leaves until the new buds push them off.
The view from the Clamcave window out into the backyard, the woods and the woodpile:
Ella loves cold weather, and will stay outside in falling snow until it piles up on her back and head. She also has been known to lay down in it.
This is Cricket's second snow. He had a good time in this one, and actually was seen frolicking in it. The first snow, he would hurry outside, do his business and race back in, but this time around, he relaxed a little bit. It looks like he's catching snowflakes on his tongue in this pic.
So I am caught in Spring Fever's thrall, and have big plans for enjoying the weekend's supposed 50's and possible 60's weather. I'm going to take my bike out for a ride, and enjoy the sun. I'm trying, somewhat vainly, to regain lost ground in my Ravelympics race...I havent knit in 3 days, due mostly to having too many math papers and tests to grade, catching up on lost sleep, yoga, and perhaps the most critical reason...disgruntlement at having lost my current favorite stitch marker, a red "maneki neko" lucky cat stitch marker that was given me by Opal. I lost the damn thing in the depths of our leather recliner chair, and it refuses to give it up! I turned the chair upside down, on both sides, I shook it, I dug around in it, to no avail. This chair, so comfortable, is all scarred, ripped and a little bit falling apart, but we love it so. It has also eaten quite a number of row counters, countless dpn's, stitch markers, highlighters, and a small fortune in pocket change over the years. It has consumed cell phones, iPods and car keys, and mercifully regurgitated those last critical items back up. But alas, the red lucky cat is not to be seen. I have other stitch markers. I'm just bitter, I guess. That this all happened at 1 am on Monday night is also part of the disgruntlement. I guess that's actually Tuesday morning. I had a long weekend off work, and so was being all crazy with bedtimes, in my Olympic zeal.
Nevertheless, I'm determined to get back up on the knitting horse tonight, and try and crank out some more rows on Talia. I'm enjoying the knit; I like the Lamb's Pride yarn, and really love the pattern, so I'm motivated. I doubt I'll medal. But it was a good way to get me started and jazzed up about a project.
Another project I've been working on is the photographing and uploading of my big scary stash onto Ravelry. I'm about 1/3 of the way through that project right now, and am kind of enjoying it. Seeing it all up there makes me realize that I really have no business buying yarn, like ever again in this lifetime. At least with it all up online, I won't have to go diving into it to contemplate future projects, though there's nothing like fondling one's yarn to get the motivation going...I have my sister to thank for all this stash documentation; she started putting hers up, and in true sibling rival fashion (I'll do it if you'll do it) I had to get in on the action.
The sleep project continues with some success. I feel better. I have fallen off the wagon a little bit on the weekends, but make up for it with a nap, and am usually back in bed by 10 on school nights. I haven't had a significant headache in a while. I've cut waaaay back on sugar, too, and carbs in general, and that's helping a lot, too, I'm sure. But I wonder when the compulsion to stay up til 1am or the impulsive desire to eat cupcakes goes away? I can put myself in bed at a decent hour. I note that I feel better, think more clearly, am less cranky and achey, but I still want to stay up late...I guess it's a life pattern, and 40-something years of nocturnal tendencies don't disappear in the space of a month. We won't even analyze the cupcake thing.
My husband used to humorously describe my permanent student status/gym-going/good habit-seeking as "self-betterment." I feel like I'm in some kind of sweet spot for considering options for self-betterment, these days. I know it's a newish moon, and Chinese New Year, and that Mercury has gone direct again. So I'm riding this happy energy of the lengthening days. Could be a function of only being partially employed, though the job feels like it has totally exploded all over my spare time. In a flush of enthusiasm over making positive changes in my life, I went and took myself off Facebook for the duration of Lent, too. That can only be a good thing. I'm missing it, but more like missing it as a thing to do, a compulsion, not necessarily as a thing that brings me pleasure (like a cupcake). I didn't give up blog reading, or Ravel-ing. A girl's gotta have some pleasures in her life... I love Facebook for connecting with old friends and keeping myself amused, but have recently just been blown away by how much time I was spending on it, and by how I was tipping over into potential meaningless drama. Time to get some distance.
For Chelsea: My tomato soup recipe comes from here. I'm going to make more tonight.