A happier birthday

Christmas birthday window

Christmas birthday

During the northeaster, I was not only cold, but seriously ill and bitterly regretting my procrastination over snow tires. In spite of hanging quilts at the windows, the only warm spot in the house was my bed by the stove, so I lay there, only getting up for work or to feed the child. In the middle of all this, my cat brought a Norway rat into the house and released it, unharmed. I did my best to harm it, failed, and went off to sleep at another house. I know that was stupid, but it was late at night, and I was sick, tired, and actually quite terrified. I came back the next morning with gloves and boots on, trapped it and herded it out the door. Why does my cat do this? (It was nonstop when I was pregnant.) Does she think I need more protein? A hobby? I’ll be delighted when she’s too old to catch anything. Even watching her nap is making me cross.

Lying still for a change gave me plenty of time to plan for the holidays. My daughter’s birthday is right before Christmas; there’s no time to swap decorations, so I steer away from red and green and try to come up with something that works for both. I redid the front window, and am experimenting with white LED lights veiled with white fiberfill, courtesy of Pinterest, which finally sent me something I liked, a picture of a cloud lantern. The Christmas tree, this year, is a cryptomeria japonica. It is an evergreen, but the one I bought looks like fragile green feathers. The lady who sold it to me was extremely stern, as if she doubted my ability to care for it – and she should. It’s down in the basement now, because I’m following her instructions very strictly. It can come inside for ten days, when it will be swathed in illuminated clouds and tiny ornaments, and then handed over to my former mother-in-law, who is a serious gardener. Even she hadn’t heard of cryptomeria, so she’s pretty excited.

Anyway, the birthday-of-the-glowing-clouds will feature lunch, cake, and a high-stakes game of hunt the thimble. Our cabin is perfect for hiding thimbles; the children will be totally enraged by the time I’m done with them. After that we’re going ice skating. Some of them can skate, and some of them are going to be hanging on to adults or the wall, but as Thurid says, everyone is happy on the ice.

The owlets

The owlets, courtesy of Miss M.

The owlets, courtesy of Miss M.

Here they are. I’ve been collecting past beasts that I made for children on the island because the library wants to have a knitalong for charity, and toymaking is the lure to bring people in. Also cookies. My owls are not as pretty as the original owlet (here’s the pattern), because I used a bulky yarn. The largest owl looks fine, but I didn’t resize the masks very well for the smaller ones. When I do it again, I’m going to switch to thinner yarn for that part of the small owls.

The nest is a ball of llama fleece with a few weeds and some curly ribbon. I’ll be making white and gray owls for my daughter, so her nest will probably have some silver and green fleece or ribbon woven in. I’ll also enlarge my litter of Silk and Wool kittens by Christmas; they will of course look nothing like their French mama.