afterwards, childcare swapping finally initiated with dear friends. Claire and her buddy spent the morning playing, arguing, watching a yoga dvd, and eating lots of popcorn. it felt so good to help a good friend get some time to herself, and since the girls were entertaining each other I got to spend most of the morning in the kitchen making bread and granola. and getting excited about new labels for my dry goods jars. win-win-win. soon she (said grown-up friend) will reciprocate so that Mike and I can go out on a date for the second time in a year and a half. (that would be considered 'on a roll', for us)
I also got to sneak in some time working on her own little cowl. a bit different from mama's, but with the same red yarn mixed in. made me think about how the last time I knit something for her it was her legwarmers for her first birthday (I am not one of those very knitterly mamas with something always on the needles. obviously). and here we are at number four just around the bend. I could probably up that a bit. she now uses those legwarmers as arm warmers (see above photo). sometimes they warm her legs, but only from her ankles to the middle of her shins.
also, her little dolly (my first attempt at such craftiness) got herself a lil' face. and so now I can't store the needle in her head like I was. because of the face and all.
after a rainy and thundery start, the day turned to warm and sunny. I even saw some activity by the hives. mostly by one hive, which appears to be just fine. the other.... well, fingers crossed. those several days in row of zero (or so) degree weather had me worrying just a bit about my tiny insect friends.
and then today~
it was a warm(ish) morning
hot tea, granola.
papa off to kayak with friends so it was
Claire and I
we picked a purple carrot
I was surprised by how much had been going on under the surface
we had a toes-in-the-sun picnic
I started a new book, knit a few rows,
spied on the bees again and was elated to see activity at the entrances of both hives.
I had to crack open the last bottle of maple syrup for the granola. but it's a big one- a half gallon. still, it's good timing, seeing as how we'll likely tap the trees again within the next week (things happen a bit earlier down here than they do in New England when it comes to sugaring season). and so... we made it! we successfully produced enough syrup last year to share a little with the people whose trees we tapped, and to get us through an entire year of syrup! this afternoon Claire and I went walking around the neighborhood and got permission to tap 5 more trees (which will bring our total to 9, just over double what we did last year). with an additional wood stove at the ready and a little boiling-off lean-to being constructed by papa, I think it will be a good second year at this sugaring gig. we may even make enough to sell a little bit in an attempt to recoup some of the costs involved. or not. either way, it's loads of fun. two weeks (or so) of continuously feeding the fires and boiling, boiling, boiling the sap away. not to mention the warm drinks of milk and hot on-its-way-to-syrup sap. (mmm mmm good!)
this weekend I also did a little planning for a fun blogger 'event' I will be hosting in a couple weeks. I'll wait a few days before sharing much more, but if you are the crafty/bake-y/make-y type (in just about any capacity), stay tuned for something fun. because you will be invited.
*playing along with amanda at habit of being