Petal Flurry

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Oh how I love spring! I love the dull, dark days and the vibrant, inchworm greens. I love the petals fluttering in the wind and falling on top of kitties sitting in the hyacinths. I love the wet-black mud and the crusted sprouts asserting themselves through the muck. I love the drama of whipping rains alternating with golden sunset, and a hole in the sky that brings dinnertime rainbows. I love the windows open and then the windows closed and the heat back on. I love the translucent white of cherry blossoms and the translucent green of new hydrangea leaves. I love the fat lilac buds that haven't popped yet and the fat tulips waiting to open. I love the lacy canopy of ornamental pear trees that line the streets. I love sleeping in a very warm bed with a cold rain falling outside. I love snuggling with my girl in the early mornings when all is still dark and it is nothing but pillows and covers and soft rabbits and us. I love walking with my honey and a sleepy boo up and down the winding streets to get ice cream on a sunny afternoon. I love walking. I can hardly wait to get outside every day. It's the very best time of year.

I watched Little Women (the 1994 version) yesterday on cable while Amelia slept on my chest. The scenery and the March house in that movie are so beautiful, all those dove gray and mushroom-colored interiors brightened with flowers, candles, eyelets, aprons. She slept for an hour and a half and it was so nice just to sit and watch a movie. Part of a movie. The exterior of their house is such a great color — super dark brown, like sepia. I had the clicker in my hand and I kept pausing it on certain scenes just to take in all the details. That cool pergola thing made out of branches they have in their front yard? I love that!

Thank you ever ever ever so much for all of the wildflower ideas! Wow. So much amazing information there, and so many things I didn't know. Thank you thank you! I'm totally inspired. Rainy days are for reading about flowers and putting together a plan for planting. For some reason, the raised beds just feel so much less intimidating than any other gardening I've done. I'm really excited. I've been wanting to do this for a long time.

Andy and Amelia are at music class right now. Though I heard him say to her this morning, "But c'mon, let's just call it what it really is — band practice." Sweetest, sweetest loves of spring. Xoxo

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26CrewSelfie of my crew, by Andy

Aw, yeah, we're here. Have I ever been this tired? Shoot no. Even after Grandma Paulson's wonderful visit this past week, where I did nothing but indulge myself by going out to eat, seeing a movie, talking on the phone, sitting in my studio, surfing Pinterest, staying in bed until 7 a.m. (not sleeping mind you — sleeping only lasts until 4 a.m.), talking and eating some more, sewing, and occasionally actually working, I am tired. It feels kind of nice, to be this tired today, in the rain. I don't feel that compelled to do anything but the bare necessities, which is not how I often feel. Spring break indeed. It's lovely. I have needed it.

Amelia is walking around the house wearing her little parka, a mitten, and the oven mitt. As I was fixing dinner, she got a throw pillow from off the dining room chair and put it on the floor outside the baby gate and then laid down and put her head on the pillow and watched me. Tired boo, too! It's hard work getting up at all hours of the night.

I want to turn the raised beds in front into a mini wildflower meadow/cutting garden this summer. Do you have any suggestions? Do I buy individual seed packets (and can I start those outdoors — no room inside) or transplants at the nursery (expensive)? Do I buy one of those cans of wildflower meadow seeds and sprinkle it around? Does that just make a huge mess? (And maybe that's what I'm going for? Or not?) I want it to be easy and pretty. I want to be able to cut stuff throughout the summer, just enough for a couple of little mason jars at a time. It gets part sun, full sun, part shade, and deep shade. Everything throughout the day. I'll take any and all suggestions, if you have the energy! Thank you!

Spring Scramble

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Since daylight savings time, we have not been sleeping through the night again. At the three a.m. wake-up call (and sometimes, that's the third wake-up call of the night) I do my Nancy Kerrigan, clutching at my knees and howling, "Why??? Why???" into the darkness. (I don't know why everyone made so much fun of N.K. for doing that; I do it quite regularly for far, far lesser catastrophes, and even then it feels like I could still stand to dial it up a notch or two.) Like clockwork (ha ha), our nighttime routine got garage-saled — parts and pieces everywhere, everywhere — on the night we turned the clocks forward, and has yet to be cleaned up. We are scrambling. As everyone says, this too shall pass, so I don't worry. But I am tired. I can't tell you one thing I've had for dinner (let alone made for dinner) in the past week (aside from the Irish soda bread, corned beef, and cabbage [and apple pie Andy made for Pi Day, 3/14]) though I know we ate. I can't remember where we went or what we did, though I think it was fun. The days sort of pass in bright, breezy, flower-sprinkled blurs. The yard is sunken and scuzzy, the sidewalks wet, the stroller wheels caked in mud and petals. In a fit of nostalgia, I buy Crabtree & Evelyn Spring Rain shower gel and some hyacinth oil. I pre-wash fabrics and plan spring dresses for me and for Mimi, having gotten rid of nearly everything in my closet recently, leaving only two new pairs of pajama-jeans, five old pairs of knit pants from Target that are supposed to be actual pajamas, eight variations of the same Dansko clog, and fourteen navy-striped long-sleeved t-shirts. Uuuuugh. Turns out I wasn't actually wearing anything else in my closet. In my head, I don't dress like my junior-high volleyball coach but like a Bloomsbury poet, all Liberty smock tops with bell sleeves and big pockets holding my garden pruners, ready to clip off frothy cones of lilac blossoms shining with raindrops. Or like Jane Birkin in a peasant dress and market bag. Or Tasha Tudor in a calico apron and Gunne Sax skirt. I need new clothes so bad.

I do know that we got some flowers (from one of my favorite nurseries, Cornell Farms) on the weekend and planted them in the front porch pots with help from our little flower girl. Clover's incredulous expression — she votes "no confidence" daily in our ability to successfully wrangle Amelia — is typical. I see that face several dozen times a day. She thinks we are quite incompetent. And Amelia did fall down on Friday afternoon and smash her lip on the floor. There was a big fat lip and a lot of tears (and baby crying always means dog howling at the same time — the cacophony of them plaintively wailing in stereo is seriously deafening). But Amelia gets over stuff so quickly (faster than Clover). It's inspiring. So the porch looks better, the lip looks better, and we'll probably uncover the back yard furniture today. That's my "confidence" vote for you, spring! Bringing out the pillows.

In the studio, the kits continue to come together, and concurrently, I'm having a new logo designed and new web site built. I know. It's a big project and we've been working on it for a few months now. We just finalized the logo this week. It's so pretty. I love doing stuff like this, but it's nervewracking, too. I care so much and drive everyone insane. I have a vision for things but can't do them myself. I'm planning on having the new web site finished at the same time that the new patterns/kits — for four new animals (kitters, doe, mousie, and fox) and their clothing, which is all interchangeable between animals — done sometime toward the end of May. That's the plan!

Grandma Paulson comes from Chicago for a visit this weekend. Andy and I talked this morning about going to a movie! I think it has to be The Grand Budapest Hotel. It's been a year and a half since we went to a movie. Hot popcorn! Giant sodas! Movie trailers! No cell phones! People do this!!! It's really quite thrilling. Ohmigosh. I can't wait.

The Sweet

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Oh, the luminous, exquisite loveliness of early March. I tried to capture the riotous beauty of our plum tree day by day as she blossomed, her lacy boughs like garlands against the storm-dark skies. Amelia walks around the house in pink ballet slippers (which I've decided must be the best baby shoes ever, as they're the only thing she's never taken, or wanted taken, off her feet). She carries a model horse in each hand. Back and forth, around the table, to the toys, to the door, to the sofa, to the chair, back and forth. It was the sixteenth anniversary of my accident last week, a day which can alternately feel like it was a thousand years ago and then, occasionally, and only for a few seconds, like it was just yesterday. I remember looking up at the sky out the back windows of the ambulance. I remember the trees as we went up the hill. Amelia stops and kisses the little black horse squarely on its baby-mouth-sized nose and makes her humming-kissing noise, holding it out toward me. I try not to explode with secret joy, a charging froth of pink plum petals shooting straight out of my heart. God, how lucky I am. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, God.

Spring does seem to have truly arrived this week. I spent yesterday morning looking at photos of the gardens of Piet Oudolf and dreaming of new borders for our front yard, inspired by his enchanting meadows. It's time to clean up. Our yard is a swampy disaster. I do rush to the clean up because so much is blooming — it's just buried under piles of dead leaves. My 'Minnow' daffodils and my pink woodland violets. My one little hellebore and a carpet of blue vinca. We walk through the neighborhood and look at everyone's parkways. Things are a mess all over, really, though every once in a while we'll come across someone who has already laid a new carpet of compost and mulch, and I love that earthy, strangely medicinal smell. This is my favorite season, this long, chilly, wistful, anxious, shyly budding month of awakening and hope. At night we keep the bedroom window open and can hear train whistles calling off in the distance, and birds waking and singing at the same time as Amelia. In the big bed she stands and pulls on the shade, falling over and pointing, "Buuurdy?" Eyes bright, inquiring. "Tweet, tweet," I say, pushing her hair out of her face. "He's singing to you."

My to-do list is a million miles long. All I really want to do is build block towers, watch movies, sew hexagons together, and plan perennial borders and future rail vacations to Glacier National Park. But: taxes, patterns, logos, floss winding, bill paying, paperwork, blah. I've really been procrastinating lately. Spring forward. I gotta do that!!!

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Rainy-day ways: Walking, walking (in any kind of weather). Every morning, we are out, rain or shine. It's quiet, and the birds are singing. The robins hop around in the squelching grass, looking for breakfast. The wind blows the rain from the dripping tree branches, and everything's soaked. It's cold and quiet. You can hear the wind. It won't really be warm for a while, though compared to the rest of the pitiable, winter-locked country, we're balmy and flourescent here. We talk as we walk or sometimes she sleeps, only to wake at the bakery where we frequently have our breakfast (chai, toast, blueberries). She sits in the high chair, watching all the people, occasionally stopping to munch while she quietly watches. She comments: "Uh oh!" if a dish falls. "Hi!" to every and all. "Da!" and pointing at every pendant lamp (there are many — now I notice them everywhere we go, because she does). Signing for "more" (put your fingertips together) breakfast. I drink tea and read my book (my gosh, I had to put down The Little Stranger! Right after the party scene [i.e.: not very far in!]. I was so scared I couldn't continue. You warned me!) while she people-watches, turning her head to follow anyone moving, sometimes just sitting and looking like she's listening to and considering other peoples' conversations, chewing. She loves everything. I love everything with her. Sixteen months. I love this age. Just starting to talk. "Hi baa!" at the store, waving to a bin full of colorful rubber balls. Hi pendant lamp!!! Hi new glasses!!! Hi flower that smells like spring!!! I clip a sprig of daphne to put in a buttonhole on my shirt every morning. She brings me her scarf, her boots. I put them on her and she wears them around the house after we get home.

I'm procrastinating. Taxes, pattern writing I need to do, a yarn order that was received without everything on the packing slip, and a funky, almost-felted cone of sport-weight wool needs to be returned, along with the pajama jeans that are too big and the raincoat that I ordered for myself without realizing it was a kid's coat (what in the world). Also, the Minut lamp for the crocheted lampshade needs to be the large size, not the small — the pattern doesn't specify. Naturally, I bought the small. Instead of doing chores, I sew, and find Simplicity pattern 6713 from the year 1966 to be just about the most perfect shape ever conceived — the circular yoke, the right amount of fullness, such nice angles at the sleeve. I've made it for her before. This time, I used the gray with yellow flowers (from JoAnn's) which was so lightweight it almost felt like lawn. You hand-sew in the bodice lining and the hem at night while watching Psych (and yes, we are crying on the inside during these last six episodes — Andy was seriously disappointed in Wednesday's episode; I was, too, but I think it was just a set up. They have a lot of loose ends to tie up, if they do wind up tying them up. And if James Roday I mean Shawn does not ask Maggie Lawson I mean Juliet to marry him I'm going to start shreiking with pineappled frustration, FYI. Yes, James Roday I want to see TWO WEDDINGS [yours, and yours] come out of these six episodes, dangit!!! Or at least two engagements. C'MON SON!!!)

Now: Bobby and Bibby. The deep-sea diver and the squid. Crocheted by DADDY. Who is also writing an album called The Bobby and Bibby Show, a variety show featuring original songs by every one of the most-loved stuffed animals in the house. Bobby, Bibby, Nighty Knight McNye-t'aghin, Mr. C, Heather, Margot, and Billie. So far. The man is amazing.

A Dress Like Maggie's

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It's been a quiet week here. Andy and I were fighting colds all weekend, and they actually came and went very quickly, but there wasn't much energy for things beyond the usual chores. Greta was called out of town unexpectedly, so all orders from this week and the end of last will go out today, when she returns. I cleaned the office and put away piles of things that had been stacking up. So weird how those piles happen. I shudder at clutter like that, so I think just going through some of the stuff I've been meaning to get to for a while actually made me feel better. That and a lot of Cold Calm, Airborne, and Sambucol, and orange juice and the amazing chicken soup (his specialty!) that Andy made for us on Saturday! Don't omit the dill or the peas on that one. It's ever so delicious.

One of the things in the office that stared me down and won was the gigantic fabric scrap bin that I keep under the table. It's overflowing. I had some 1 1/4" paper hexagons (that I found under one of the piles, actually) and finally got a brainstorm for pillows for Amelia's window seat. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for these pillows but recently I saw this gorgeous pillow that Kristen made (the one on the porch swing) and thought I would try that. It's been a long time since I made hexagons (back here, where I very pedantically explain how, and here, where I put them together a little bit). I ironed a few big handfuls of my scraps and then tossed everything in a basket to take out to the living room at night. I cut the squares with scissors just by eyeballing the square, around the paper hex. I've been doing them for about an hour or so the past couple of nights. My crochet and my embroidery are just sitting there. I seem to need something even easier — no counting, no reading, no papers of any kind to shuffle through — at the end of the day. When I get enough of these, I think I'll lay them all out and make an 18" square, and then turn that into a pillow cover. Well, at least two pillow covers, for the window seat. And actually I'm pretty sure we have two pillows at each end of the window seat, or at least we should, so that would be four. (If you're sitting in the window seat you gotta be comfortable.) I like log cabin pillows, too, so maybe I'll make a couple of those?

I really want to start sewing entirely from my stash, but I just love taking Amelia to the fabric store so much. She loves being in the shopping cart — any shopping cart, really — but the fabric store is far and away my favorite place to hang out with shopping carts. That said, I do not need one more fraction of a yard of fabric. At all. Ever again. Maybe we could shop for buttons, or ribbons. . . . I really, really want to use up what I have. I have so many plans for things I want to make for her. I made her a little Maggie Rabbit peasant dress yesterday (from vintage pattern Simplicity 7197), and when she saw it she grabbed it and kissed it (and then wiped her nose with it) and oh how that inspires a mama!!! My heart did little handsprings across the (now cleared) sewing table. Next up is the dark green calico in Simplicity 9532 (also vintage).

Thank you so much for the sweet comments on the quilt top! A few people also asked about my garland: Very easy. I used this heart punch, this circle punch, and this scalloped circle punch to make shapes out of this cardstock and this one. Then you just stack four of the shapes on top of each other and sew through them using regular polyester thread on the sewing machine. Hold the threads as you stitch the first shape or they'll get all tangled up. Just keep sewing to twist the threads and then add the next set of shapes (I just did mine randomly). When you get it as long as you want it just open up the layers and fold them outward until you get a puff you like. Easy. I'm not sure how good this is for your sewing machine, but I change my needles a lot so I wasn't too worried. But you'll probably want to change your needle after sewing it at least.

Windy and cold today!!!

Afternoon-Morning Quilt

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On Tuesday afternoon I felt the stirrings of a fit of restlessness. Usually when this happens it means that I'm on the verge of a creative tantrum. Thus it was that I found myself going to JoAnn Fabrics at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Also known as almost rush hour. Andy was home with napping Mimi, texting me to "take your time out there, honey." Ha! I scanned the quilting cottons as I approached, like an alpine skier at Rosa Khutor before the Super-G. [Horn blows!] I hit the aisles: Into my cart they flew, bolt after bolt, peach, pink, navy, olive, coral, lilac, pale mustard, cream. Groovy flowers, tiny flowers, gingham, whales. Elephants! A couple of solids, a couple of Little House on the Prairies. A couple of really?!?s. Eighth yards of most, quarters of a couple. Home by dinner, done, and done!

Apparently now my only shopping speed is lightning fast. This from the formerly slowest person on earth. Who used to be able to saunter the aisles at Goodwill for hours straight looking for the right tea pot without getting even slightly bored. No more, people. The next morning (Andy's day off) I was at the sewing machine by eight, drinking a smoothie so I wouldn't have to sit down to breakfast.

Oh, silly, silly lady. :)

I decided not to rotary cut anything — I literally took the 1/8-yard-cut-at-the-store strips, cut a couple of them into chunks (with scissors), cut one lengthwise into two skinny strips (eyeballed that), and then just started sewing strips together randomly. If you look at the photos you can kind of see how I did it. Sometimes I'd take a piece of a few sewn-together strips and cut off a few inches of it and sew it to another strip. When I had a few pieces I hung them all up on the sliding-glass door to see what I had. I didn't measure anything; I just kept sewing pieces together and trimming them a bit, or adding strips to get "blocks" that would match in length along one edge. Eventually I could kind of see how I could fit pieces together to make a big rectangle that would fill most of the door. And then I was done with the top by lunchtime.

Aw, it was so much fun. You have these ideas and not a lot of time, so you don't overthink it. And that can be really  liberating. If you're intimidated by the idea of making a quilt you should try one this way! My quilts are always simple and done pretty randomly, without patterns. I've never been one to belabor my fabric choices, for sure. I've always been a pretty intuitive and impulsive color picker. And I've never had the stamina (or the room) to lay a quilt out beforehand to see if everything is going to balance or match (except maybe for the Spring Rain quilt that I made a couple of years ago from that pattern I did on the computer; if you click on the links in that post's text you can see how that came together). That said, I don't know that I've ever made a quilt that I didn't look at immediately after finishing and wish I had done something different, added something, not added something. But before I can worry too much, the poor thing is put into service. Our quilts are so hardworking here. They've been sat on and under thousands of times and washed dozens. They've covered babies and cushioned dogs and been picked on by cats. They've been in the trunk of the car, on the front lawn, and at the beach. They've had formula spilled on them, tears cried on them, diapers changed on them, and feet running across them. We love our quilts but we do not coddle them; they earn their keep, like draft horses.

Now for the backing. And the binding. And the quilting. I want this to feel like a flowery, groovy, puff. Maybe two layers of batting. And some hand quilting, with big running stitches.Worked on my lap at the end of the night, when the house is warm and quiet.

Wild and Wooly

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To the north, the sky was pewter gray, that deep, thick color that means snow somewhere. Instead, we had wind and we had rain. All last night the wind wouldn't stop; it whipped the trees high above the house, and rain peppered the windows unevenly. Restless sounds. This morning the wind settled and the sky cleared for a bit and Amelia and I ventured out into the green and the wet. There were branches and debris everywhere, ancient, craggy limbs and sticks littering the road and the sidewalks. Spring signs pushed forth everywhere we looked. Spring in Oregon is blustery, wild, and wooly. It's slow to start and long to linger.

Thank you for your feedback on The Goldfinch! I truly appreciate everyone who took the time to give their opinions (especially ones that were different than mine)! That book was a major reading adventure, seriously. It was good to debrief — I needed it!!! It was so much fun to read a book that a lot of other people are reading at the same time, too. Thank you also for the book recommendations. We went to Powell's on Saturday. It was my intention to take my phone, pull up the blog comments, and look through the suggestions and leisurely browse for some of the titles you suggested. Nothing could've been further from what actually happened. It was sooooo crowded (doi — Saturday) and the store is being remodeled (doi — forgot); huge chunks of it are off-limits and the books have been moved to other sections of the store. Things are really tight now. The temporary shelves were great but the aisles were skinny. Andy was across the store and I had Amelia in the umbrella stroller dropping shoes, bottle, and barrette every few yards. We'd already had lunch and been lamp shopping and gone to Anthropology so the window of opportunity was closing, and I was on the run. Turns out, this may be a great way for me to pick out books! I pulled an Amelia, speed-reading my way through the flaps and blurbs, hurling used paperbacks under the stroller, and picking up tossed baby accessories as fast as I could. I got four books and I can't even remember what they all are (but I know one, the one I'm now reading, is The Little Stranger). There must have been thirty or forty people in line by the time we got to the checkout and I'll tell you what, they were doing an Amelia themselves, because we went through that line so fast it was actually funny. We were out before the nipper got cranky and even had time to go get a hot cocoa across the street on the way back to the car. Boom, done, and done [brushes off hands]!

But I am going to spend time looking through the suggestions and making a list for next time I get to go to the store. Thank you again!

Slowly but surely working on my crochet and embroidery at night while watching the Olympics. Very excited to be done with the lampshade and see how it looks. The pattern doesn't tell you which Minut lamp to get from Ikea, and there are two sizes with the same name. I got the smaller one and it seems to be fitting okay. We'll see.

Valentine lasagnas! And just look at how utterly scrumptious that adorable, wonderful, loveable, squeezeable, precious pudge of a baby girl was at this time last year:

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Oh my stars. Time flies. What an amazing year.

Snow Dream

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Though a massive winter storm is pounding the South and Northeast as I write, the snow that enchanted me here in town last week is completely gone. All gone. As if it were a dream. The temperature was so warm today it felt like spring. Everything's muddy, and green, and gray, and wet, and squelching again. I'm wishing good luck, safe days, and patience to everyone out east; the videos of the storm that I've seen on the news today are really astonishing. I hope you can stay inside and stay warm and safe.

I spent pretty much every free moment I had this past week finishing The Goldfinch and

 

! ! ! S P O I L E R    A L E R T ! ! !

Don't read below this if you haven't read The Goldfinch and plan to!!!

 

oh man, I was soooo disappointed in the ending. I almost screamed. I was putting up with my own confusion once Horst, and Sascha, and Ulrika, and Gyuri, and Martin, and Viktor/Cherry showed up in the story, and going along with things, more or less trusting that the end would be worthy of this huge, looooooong story. But his inability to write the four letters in the hotel room was just a complete cop-out. That, to me, was the worst moment. He writes two of them and then pretty much says, "Aw dang, these aren't as good as I wanted them to be — forget it." I went from being in almost total sympathy with him, through everything, to feeling so irritated and disappointed that he wasn't going to be able to get himself together — or actually, it felt to me that the author wasn't going to be able to pull the character together, because I really think it is actually inconsistent with his character that he blows it there. For him not to be able to be honest at the apex of his crisis, when there was nothing left to lose — I actually almost put the book down. That was such a disappointing moment, for me. Then, at the absolute height of the tension, to instead just have Boris show up and say, "Oh hey, here's your passport, don't worry, it's all good, the painting's safe now, oh and actually here's a bunch of money, OH and you're a hero!!!" WHAT?!? Seriously? It was such an "and then I woke up" ending. No, it was an "and then I woke up AND found out I'd won the lottery overnight!!!" ending. MAD!!!

And to still be engaged to Kitsey, a year later? No way. :(

Maybe I'm wrong that these things are inconsistent with his character. And maybe the story is, at the end, about someone who, I hate to say this, utterly fails. Because I thought it was a fail.

Did anyone else think that?

I write of my disappointment because I truly LOVED reading this book. I have read few books in my life so fast or so furiously. I talked about it to almost everyone I saw (and hardly any of who were actually reading the book). There was so much about it that I loved and admired. But the ending left me quite cold. . . . I felt like the book deserved better, somehow.

Now to find another book. . . . Hrmmmmm.

Snow Birds

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7SnowDay1

Super duper completely wonderful. Two whole days of snowing, snowing, snowing, and possibly more on the way. Apparently snow is like a cat: Threaten it with your complete disinterest and the next thing you know it's all over you. Oh joy, joy. I love it so!!! All delight. Before it started, we were already back from the grocery store, making blueberry muffins and planning pork chops, creamed spinach, sweet potatoes, and, for lunch, my childhood snow-day favorite, Lipton chicken-noodle soup, the kind in the little package with the dessicated pieces of chicken and powdered broth. Add more noodles and a pat of butter and it's right there: the blizzard of '79.

All afternoon on the first day Mimi and I watched it blow in. Light at first, the snow fell harder and faster through the afternoon, blowing sideways for hours, whipping pots off the front porch and filling the sky. The birds crowded our feeder, and in the house we could hear them singing with nervous excitement. We snuggled under quilts and watched the local news, its reporters stationed at all of the highest points in the metro area, on the worst roads, at the scene of cars rolling into ditches and people "WALKING in FOREST PARK!!!" as one reporter incredulously exclaimed. I giggled with envy — those luckies! When I opened the back door to let the puppers out (worried, worried — what was this??? — she tried to dive back into the kitchen) I could feel that cold, clean, icy air, unlike any other air, and took a deep breath. Yes, that's it.

Yesterday the wind had stopped but the snow remained. It could not have been more beautiful, and didn't even feel that cold. Andy was at work, up on the hill, texting us bird's-eye photos of the city. People cross-country skied past the window, right down the middle of our street. Neighbors came out and started shoveling (most, including us, with garden shovels, hilariously — that's what we have here). Cabin-fevered, Amelia and I bundled and braved the blanketed streets (Yaktrax, you are the best!). It was glorious. Pristine and white. Quiet as I've ever heard it (almost everyone in the city who was able to [not nurses, alas] stayed home from work and school, and there was no one on the road). It was like walking in the forest, but with houses. Everyone in the neighborhood was gathered at the park, pulling little kids in sleds, throwing balls for bounding dogs, skiing across the baseball field. We clustered at the little sledding hill and watched for a while, then came home for lunch, cold and flushed. That afternoon it snowed again, as much as on the first day. I held my breath — keep going!

This morning — oh my stars, it snows again. Andy is home. I'm still in my nightgown. Amelia is playing with her yellow boots on the floor, wearing them on her hands. Snow fills the air, so white I almost can't see them: Andy in an Irish sweater, shoveling the neighbor's stairs; Clover's fur dusted so white she disappears. Here's another neighbor, come to help. And another. Bright hats against the white. The sound of metal scraping the sidewalk, laughter. It's falling faster than they can shovel. So beautiful. I'm going up to get dressed.

About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.