It was a long week. I wasn't feeling well, we had lots of schoolwork to do, everyone seemed a little cranky and out of sorts. I think it's the time of year; spring break is still over a month away but it feels like it should be sooner because the weather here has mostly been warm - a lot warmer than average. It's nice. But it's weird and frustrating too, like we skipped a season. I think that's what's bothering me most about this warm spell - the disorientation it has created. I found good things in the week, even though it wasn't an easy one. I'm getting better at finding those silver linings, I tell you what. My days are full and I fall into bed at night, used up but mostly happily so.
The Bear and I went to a bakery on Private Friday and were stunned to see these there. Do you know what they are? They're called kouign amann, and they are a type of pastry which originated in the Brittany region of France. We had never heard of this pastry until two weeks ago, when it was made by the contestants on The Great British Baking Show. The owners of the bakery are also fans of the show, it turns out, and they decided to make some of their own. I thought it was a delicious pastry - very buttery and only lightly sweet. We were intrigued watching the show and it was a very pleasant surprise to have the chance to try such an exotic treat for ourselves. Go try them at Swiss Alps Bakery, if you're local.
I've been admiring my Valentine's Day gift from the Bear, a set of Clover steel crochet hooks in the smallest sizes. I was planning to buy a single hook for my potholder-making, and he suggested a set. Hey, you don't have to twist my arm. I haven't tried them yet but they look pretty in my hook roll. The new hooks have caps for the ends. They're sharp! I've been using my bigger Clover hooks since November, when he gave them to me for my birthday and I'm a total convert. He appreciates good tools and he thinks I should have them too. My sweetheart!
I bought purple tulips this week when I shopped for groceries. The prices are coming down so I've been treating myself more often. I'm usually drawn to the bright pinks, reds and oranges but these cool purple ones called out to me. Do you move your flowers around the house? I get urges to see them in different places and might move them once a day. First, the living room, then the buffet in the dining room, then the kitchen table, maybe after that my dresser top. I just like to see them in a new place. They look good anywhere, and different too.
Not to be outdone, the tulips in the backyard beds are all emerging now. I've planted about 40 new ones since last year, including a Darwin hybrid mix. I can't wait to see what they look like. I'm hoping for better ones than last year's mixture provided, many of which were stumpy with weird, pulpy flowers. I'm hoping for a more classic look from this batch. I'm happy to report that my potted tulip bulbs are beginning to sprout too! It's looking good so far.
These girlies are back to laying an egg apiece almost every day. They're funny and sweet and I adore them.
And these two - well. I love them to pieces. I'm really enjoying this middle-childhood phase of life, it's my favorite so far. They're independent, playful, imaginative, active and fun!
I ordered some wildflower seeds selected for desert xeriscape gardening. I desperately want more flowers to cut for bouquets in the summer. I feel optimistic about these because the Bear tells me that they use a similar mixture on the grounds of his workplace. He says they're LUSH down there, so I have everything crossed for these. I ordered them from an Etsy shop, EarthCare Seeds. They were very affordable, shipped quickly and the seller included free heirloom kale seeds too! I've never grown greens but we'll give it a try.
These gorgeous sunny days have led to spectacular sunsets. I took this photo looking over the back wall and westward down the arroyo. Those clouds tell the truth - that's a winter sky. Warm though the afternoons may be, when night falls it still looks like winter. March is usually rougher than February; there are still storms on the horizon. I'm not done with winter yet - there are still afghan evenings ahead, baking afternoons, stews and soups, mornings of crochet and stitching in the sunny living room chair, nights spent reading beside the Bear in companionable silence.