As the Snow Flies

As the Snow Flies

So Wednesday was Sophie’s birthday– she’s 12 now. I’ve got three kids in double digits and I look at my big girls and… they’re really big. Bella is maybe a bit taller than Dom and Sophie is sneaking up on them both.

For her birthday cake we decided on cheesecake. I made what was supposed to be a chocolate and raspberry swirl cake– but all the chocolate and raspberry stuff just sank to the bottom and made a dark layer under the cheesecake. It still tasted good, though. I made a lovely chocolate crust with a mixture of graham crackers, almond horns, almonds, and cocoa powder. And I added a bit of amaretto to the cheesecake, for a nice almondy flavor. It was subtle, not in your face. So… definite success, but next time I’m going to try to tweak it so it gets real swirls.

For her birthday dinner we went to Wahlburgers, the burger place owned by the Wahlberg brothers.The burgers are really good and we introduced Sophie and Anthony to fried pickles– the other kids wouldn’t try them.

I’m trying to get into the habit of walking. Today and yesterday I went out walking with Bella. Looking at birds and finding signs of spring. Fields of crocuses, maples in bloom, green buds on bushes. Oh and also Bella found a fat green grub on the top of a brown stalk.

And then we also heard the birds singing their springish songs. We saw a huge flock of birds and spent some time looking and listening. There were definitely starlings. And grackles. But Bella swore she heard redwing blackbirds. Well, I looked them up and we checked out photos of their winter plumage… and we also read that grackles, starlings, redwing blackbirds, and cowbirds will all flock together in fall and winter, forming big mobs. So it’s entirely possible for Bella to have heard redwings in among the starlings and grackles.

I’ve decided that on days when none of the kids wants to walk with my I will reward myself by listening to an audiobook. We’ll see how long I can keep it up. I definitely need the bribe. It’s not that I don’t want to walk, really, it’s that inertia. Dom walks first thing in the morning, and I need to be here to get the kids going. So if I walk it’s at lunch time. But I get caught up in things and just forget to get myself out the door. I figure if I tie it to a book I really want to finish, that incentive will help me to remember.

It felt very springish today, but tonight the snow is flying and the wind is rushing about. I’m shivering in my bed and had to turn on the space heater. I just couldn’t get warm. March, you are a confusing month.

Tomorrow Isabella is going to Merit Badge University– which is a fancy way of saying a bunch of workshops to help scouts working on their merit badges. She’s working on three: Nature, Cooking, and Art. Doesn’t that sound just like her? For her nature badge she needed to bring in 10 pictures of insects. Obviously at this time of year there aren’t all that many bugs out. But we combed through my photo archives and found a couple dozen pictures from the last few years: butterflies, mantises, grasshoppers, bees… yeah, my penchant for nature study through the camera lens paid off. She’s got a nice collection of pictures to take in tomorrow. Sophie is opting not to go to MBU at this time, she just couldn’t decide what to work on and I told her it was ok to sit this one out.

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