Actually, it’s snowing outside my window right now and we’re supposed to get quite a few inches.  I guess we haven’t quite made it through this winter yet.  Saturday sure felt like spring though, so I behaved as if it were.  I worked in our garden for the first time in many, many months.  Last summer and fall I had to give it up because of my pregnancy, so I’ve been anxious for my chance to get started again.  I planted lettuce, spinach, kale, and other spring vegetables.  Larkspur planted her own little garden, requesting a few seeds from each of my packets.  My oldest son complained a bit (possibly a lot) when I asked him to hoe a bed for me.  “Seth, you’ve just got to channel Almanzo,” I told him.  We’ve been reading The Long Winter, and the past few nights Jonny and I have taken turns reading the chapters aloud as we are met with cries of “One more!” at the end of each one.  Between daylight savings time and that book, our kids have been staying up way too late.  I asked Seth how many teenaged boys would be as brave as Almanzo Wilder and Cap Garland, traveling out onto the open snow-buried prairie in search of food for their starving town, at the risk of their own lives.  Puts a little hoeing in the garden right into perspective I think.  We’re supposed to start Little Town on the Prairie next but maybe we need to revisit Farmer Boy first.

I didn’t make it to Baltimore for the Yarn Harlot’s book signing.  I went to my church’s Friday night Lenten soup supper with my family instead, which was really nice.  Honestly, I always kind of dread going to those things because it’s kind of nerve wracking trying to keep up with lots of small children carrying bowls of soup.  But once we’re there, I’m always glad because there’s something warm and cozy about being surrounded by our community.  Had I gone to the book signing, it would have been just Job and me driving in major traffic (for hours) on Friday and I just couldn’t justify doing that to my baby.  I did get my haircut earlier in the week in anticipation of going though.  Because obviously, I needed to have recently trimmed hair in order to hand my book over to Stephanie for her to sign.  She could have written something like, “Happy knitting and hey, nice hair!  XOXO, Stephanie.”  In fact, it was my first haircut in a year and I am really glad that I finally mustered up the motivation to get that done.  The girl that has been cutting my hair for years had vanished from the salon she used to work for, but I managed to hunt her down at her new one.  I’m not sure whether that pleased or scared her.  Beatrix got her hair bobbed.  I neglected to take proper “after” photos but I think it looks really cute.  Mine looks the same minus split ends.  Well, and it is now the same length on both sides (You may or may not remember me mentioning that I burned off an inch or so on one side with a faulty curling iron months ago and rather than getting it fixed, just started wearing it in a ponytail.)

I hope there were some sunny spots in your weekend, or that at least there is some sun in your forecast!  I am telling myself that surely I can handle the next few days of crummy weather because Saturday, full of honeybees and pollen, seeds and dirt, and a good bit of spring cleaning as well–it was pretty near perfect.

Oh, and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  I’m planning to make these.  Well, not exactly.  I’ll make regular brownies, but I am totally making that green avocado frosting!


  1. I need a haircut desperately too! Last time I went to a beauty school and mus have gotten a new girl because it was not pretty. Poor thing, she did try. But I am in a sad state right now. I think I look a bit like the Dutch boy on those cans of paint, so I can’t even put it in a ponytail!

    I think you made the right choice about soup with your family. Hours of driving and lines? Yuck!

  2. oh, those pictures 0f larkspur and baby job on the blanket – how sweet. my heart.

  3. Yay for planting! 🙂 Sorry to hear winter has been so harsh. Here in the desert winter skipped us all together.

  4. We’re reading The Long Winter right now, too, and isn’t it appropriate? Our TN winters aren’t as snowy as our NOVA winters were, but we’re itching to open the windows and get our fingers in the dirt here, as well. Your babies and bees brought a warm smile to my cold winter face!

  5. jere Wiineman says:

    My twins decided to play Barber Shop. The boy was the barber, of course. The girl was the much too willing patron. The new style was the back cut to the nape of the neck with long streamers to the shoulders on either side. All I could say was “It will grow, hopefully in time for prom night” They were four, and dull school scissors were used so it was not very neat. I had almost forgotten about that until the mention of haircut in these comments. Jere

  6. Saturday I packed our travel trailer so we can spend a week in Myrtle Beach. We aren’t going for a month, but with this weather I had to take advantage of being able to go to and from the house to the camper without freezing. Beds are made, drawers are stocked, clothes are packed, now just to decide on yarn 🙂 Oh and get a hair cut. I’ve followed my girl to 4 different places. I hope she wasn’t trying to escape me.

  7. The pictures of the kids are absolutely beautiful!!!I am so envious ,we have snow still and no signs of green here in New England.I cant wait for winter to be done!!!!!!Thanks for the pictures of hope!!!!

  8. I’m a fan of the photos of Lark and Job, laying on the blanket. I hope Little Man is as good a big brother as Lark appears to be as a big sister…we’ll see. He won’t quite be 4 come October.

  9. I’ve made black bean brownies before. They’re so good and no one knew the difference. I made them in muffin tins. I love your relating to Almanzo in parenting. I do that all the time with this book series. We’re reading By the Shores of Silver Lake and anytime my eldest complains about his few chores I remind him of Laura & all her chores that she happily does. So much to learn from her and that time period.

  10. Your photographs are fantastic. I love all your bees pictures but I admire your talent in catching your beautiful kids, too.
    Winter will end some day, for sure!

  11. March is a trickster month. Glad to see those bees are well!

  12. The highs and lows of late winter are indeed frustrating, especially being so close to a consistent swing in the nice weather direction. Enjoy those last remnants of winter though!

  13. Love the brownies and green frosting, such a clever idea and way better than the bottle of food dye that my mom always used on mashed potatoes and milk every year!

  14. I’m so, so, so jealous of your daffodils. Everything here is still buried under a couple of feet of snow and it’s supposed to be dipping down to -5 tonight. bleh. I’m so ready to be done.

    In our home, the “little house” moral that we always refer to is from “Little House in the Big Woods” when Ma slaps the bear and then sends Laura back to the house. Ma tells her what a good girl she was for listening quickly and not asking any questions. Whenever the kids are giving us the “but why???” bit we tell them they just got eaten by the bear!

    We’re making Irish Soda Bread, Irish Potatoes and shamrock “stained glass”.

    Have a lovely day!

  15. Such sweetness! Enjoy true weather while you can!

    Samantha Disch {Wild Maple Wool}

  16. The Long Winter is the perfect book for this winter, it puts things in perspective. My kids wanted to make flour in our (electric) coffee grinder after reading that book.

  17. We haven’t got to “The Long Winter” with my kids yet, but we did do “Farmer Boy” last year. I’m a little jealous that you got such a hint of spring. We got a hint of spring too, which meant our 5 foot snow drifts shrank down to 2 foot snow drifts. It’s a good start, but still a long way of from sowing seed.

    We went or our church’s Lenten soup supper last night too. I hear you with the kids and juggling soup! 2 of mine downright refused, but we drained most of the broth out and they picked at the vegi/bean pieces. At least that’s something.

    What fun, sunny, encouraging pictures! We’ll make it through this winter yet!

  18. Had to pop back in to say thanks for the brownie and frosting link, the brownies are baking and I am starting on the frosting.

  19. It’s still super cold here too. The windchill was below zero yesterday.

    Ginny I love the little glimpses of spring, thanks for sharing those photos!

    By the way, Almanzo was ten years older than Laura. So, that winter she was 15/16 so he was 25/26.

    • Yes! We’ve been discussing the discrepancies between the ages mentioned in the book and in other history books about Laura. According to the book, Almanzo was only 19, but was claiming to be 21, but from other sources, yes-he must have been even older!

  20. Lovely! I thought of you all when I was at an estate auction last week and they sold the BIGGEST shark tooth fossil I’ve ever seen! It would fill the palm of your hand. Who knows where they found it. Soon enough, this snow will be past and you’ll be out hunting again!

  21. While I enjoy reading your blog, does anyone ever notice that Silas needs his hair cut so he looks like a little boy?

    • I know, I know. It actually almost happened over the weekend. We’re having a hard time for some reason. I think because it curls at the back and we don’t want to cut the curls! He is also one who has to be pinned down every single day to get his teeth brushed and moisturizer put on his cheeks. I’m afraid a haircut is going to be brutal. He did take scissors to some of his hair last week though, so it’s going to need to happen soon because he’s really looking like a mess!

      • Oh Ginny, L is the same way. <3 I have butchered his hair, failing to create a surfer boy cut and he needs a "real haircut" so he looks more like a boy, too – I just don't know how it will happen b/c I know he'll despise getting it done. But that said, I love baby hair and I see no need to rush a haircut. I think our boys look sweet 🙂 Your older boys had longer hair for awhile too – didn't they?
        We had spring weather over the weekend, too but winter came back today. Soon enough spring will stay!!

      • he does look like a boy, and if you love his curls ginny, let them be! he does not look a mess, he is gorgeous and a boy, goodness. my sister and i didn’t cut our sons hair because it was so beautiful and we loved it. my daughter let my grandsons hair grow too, she didn’t have the heart to cut it. eventually it happened, when the time was right. you should do what you and jonny like.

        p.s. those are the cutest little garden markers ever!

  22. I am thinking of bobbing my hair too! Right now it is waist length so I have to work up enough nerve.

  23. We read The Long Winter as well recently. It seemed quite appropriate, this year, but it was a total coincidence. 🙂 When we had a bad storm here a few weeks ago, with almost zero visibility, Julia asked: Mama, is this a blizzard? And it certainly seemed like one…

    We’re thawing out now, it seems – more snow this week, but temperatures in the high 20s/low 30s – so we’re hoping to start sowing out our early seeds next weekend. xo

  24. We’ve moved the chickens into the garden for their annual job of digging and scratching, eating weed seeds and hopefully pest insects. I haven’t planted anything in the ground yet, except I did notice our garlic (planted in October) is peeking through.

    I’m going to get started on my peat pots of zucchini, squash, cucumber and melons today on this snowy St. Patrick’s Day. It will put me in the mood for spring.

    For a few weeks now I have noticed, on days when it’s warm enough for them to fly, our bees have been bringing back pollen. I couldn’t figure out what the heck is blooming. On Saturday afternoon I took a pollinator course and the instructor (a master bee keeper) said willow, skunk cabbage and witch hazel are blooming right now. Interesting!

  25. I have always tracked down my hair dresser! She did my hair for my wedding after 7 years of being in Ottawa with her and whenever I go back to Ottawa (since I now live near NYC), I still get my hair cut by her! and I tell her, I could have a NYC hair dresser, but really, I just want YOU to cut my hair; she appreciates it I think and I love the continuity, though it does mean that I don’t get my hair cut often, but then when you have someone that does it right, then the cut will last for months! 🙂

    I am SO ready for Spring now!! lovely photos; love the blue on the bees’ box; the colour for the Mother of God; so wonderful…

    I think you choose the less stressful and more meaningful (i.e. with community, family) option on Friday… at least it would be so to me! 🙂

  26. It is so cold here and yet I feel like spring is finally arrived. I think the time change helps a bit. We’ve walked daily and it feels good to be outside more than usual. I would have dreaded the drive and the crowds! Not a fan of many people in one area and that is why I shy away from Rhinebeck every single year. Yet I’d love to go to that fiber festival without the crowds and parking jams.

  27. It is hard to believe I am watching snow fall and seeing icicles on the gutters again after the beautiful weather on Saturday! It was nice to spend some time outside sprucing things up and preparing for gardening. Thanks for sharing your lovely snapshots. 🙂

  28. I am not feeling brave enough to sow any seeds yet. We keep having heavy frosts at night. I have been tidying in the garden tho’ all the jobs that I really ought to have done in the the autumn and winter but just got round to now……..no excuse here just well, busy elsewhere.

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