I got a new toy last week. Can you guess what it is? I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.
It snowed all day Thursday then rained all day Friday and Saturday, so now it looks like a typical Maine March outside, wet heavy snow everywhere. But I have to say, I'm not sick of winter yet (perhaps because it's been so minimal, or maybe because it's not April) and I prefer the snow and ice to the mud (although I know we'll get that--again--next month).
The boys took advantage of the packable snow and spent a good deal of Sunday engaged in a good-natured snowball fight (with sleds for forts, 'cause that's easier, right?). But signs of spring are in the air; birds are making much more noise--chickadees singing their spring songs, woodpeckers drumming and a flock of purple finches has been frequenting our feeder. This is not one of them:
In sadder bird news, I came across this little owl when I was walking in the woods yesterday:
It was tiny--only about six or eight inches tall--and at first I thought it was a baby, but quickly realized its wing feathers were fully developed (the body feathers are so naturally downy it's hard to tell, right?) and there was no sign of nesting nearby (owl guano on tree trunks, owl pellets, angry mother owls). The feathers under its bill seemed stained a rustish color that I thought might be dried blood. I wonder if it could have flown into a tree. Do owls do that? I thought of taking it home to show the boys and draw it, but decided it would be happier left to be food for other wild things. When I got home, I looked it up and I'm pretty sure it was a Northern Saw-Whet Owl, which I didn't even know we had here. Poor little owl. RIP.
OK, so now I've joined the ranks of "bloggers who post disgusting pictures of the insides of their kids' mouths" but I had to share Z's crazy double tooth. The twins had a dentist appointment today and I was hoping he'd just pluck the damn thing out (the baby one, that is) so the adult one doesn't stay all crazy-crooked, but he said just give it time.
Before we went to the dentist, we stopped off at the credit union to cash in about 20 pounds of coins we've been rolling (and rolling and rolling) for the last year or so. It all came out of my Dumbo piggy bank, which I've had since I was two and to which C has been adding his pocket change for years. Dumbo finally was full last winter and we've sat around on occasional rainy days ever since, rolling up coins. We finally finished the last 300 pennies last weekend, checking each one against M's penny collecting booklets, and reading Shell Silverstein's "Smart" while we were at it. E and Z are very into money (I think it's a first-grade thing; M was in his millionaire stage at the same age), so it's been a fun and educational activity for them.
We ended up with $253.50. A pretty good haul. We're going to go on a trip to Boston with our takings sometime this spring.
I'm just about to send off my second packet of writing for the semester. I know my mentor will hate it. I've been wallowing about in self-doubt ever since I got her comments on the first packet, and this story has been such a struggle. Do you remember when you were a kid and wanted to draw something and had such a clear picture in your mind of how it would look, but when you put pencil to paper it came out nothing like what you had in mind? That's what writing this story has been like; I can't get it to do what I want it to do. Also, a friend of mine who had kindly offered to pre-read and offer comments on my work before the official comments sent me an email that said, "The other stuff you write is so good. Why is your fiction so different." I'm paraphrasing here, but that was the gist. Youch. I'm really hoping that voice inside my head telling my I suck is just my super-ego on overdrive. I guess there's nothing for it but to push "send" and hope for the best.
How is you March meandering?