Monday, September 8, 2008

More Happenings

So another thing that I did these past two months was have guests . . . a lot of guests! But that is part of why I bought this big 'ole place after all. So who came to visit? Well, you already know that these two came . . . and when they came back for a SECOND visit I was able to snap a shot of them:

Luckily the weather was a lot better for their second visit!

July also brought a visit from the Fennema family:

They came all the way from Holland to help me break in the farm. And break it in we did! We herded goats, chickens, and geese. We collected eggs, we played Harvest in the Heartland, and we watched the Backyardigans until we dropped. Best of all, we spent lots of time reading, chatting, relaxing, and knitting on the newly dedicated "Fennema Porch": They were seen in this position many a time during their stay. =-) Of course when friends come all they way across an ocean to visit, it means you can usually scare up more friends to come by to see them. This is how we lured the Sainio crew up here:
After much protesting, Heath had a great time hanging out at the farm. Craig is one of the happiest babies I have had the pleasure to meet so far. Unfortunately he was having a combination of stranger anxiety and separation anxiety when he came to visit, so I only got to admire him from afar. I made him laugh bunches and he tricked me into thinking he was going to let me have snuggles a few times . . . but alas it was all a big baby tease! In addition to the Sainios, that weekend was also Chesley and Alec's second visit - they were nice enough to bring Connor and Peter along so that we could visit with the entire Flotten Family!
Alec got to show big brother Connor around. They had fun splashing in Sabattus Pond together. Connor invented a new game called "Goose Roundup". I don't think the puddlers knew what to think about that, but they sure did get a work out and so did Connor!

August brought even more friends around. Christie, Aaron, and Peanut all came to visit! I didn't manage to catch Aaron in any of the pictures, but here is a nice one of Christie and Sam! Sam wasn't too sure about the animals, but she really liked playing with all of my turtles and we had a blast blowing bubbles in the garden!

And my most recent visitors were Cindy and Libby. Libby is almost 2 years old now! (So is Sam!). She ran all around this farm like she owned the place. I think she had a pretty good time. Cindy and I got to spend a little time catching up on the swings by the lake.
I have also had visits from my brother and sister-in-law, my Aunt Tracie and cousins Tomas and Ariel, my aunt and uncle Erin and Richard and their daughters Molly and Melanie, Gram, Aunt Sherry, Karen, Melissa and David, Dave and Yvette and their daughters Jessica and Olivia, a cameo appearance from Scott and Mindy (they live across the lake!) and Lisa! I also have frequent visits from Polly and Al, Polly's mom Anna, and I met my neighbor Marianne and another neighbor, Mrs. Greenwood, from up the street. I just didn't manage to catch them all on camera . . . and don't forget of course the parents and the sister . . . although they are here so much they practically live here so I don't think they are guests exactly.

Wow. When you type it all out like that, it really is a lot of people that have come by! The house is well broken in for guests. So come visit won't you? Next weekend is the first annual Knitting Margarita Sleepover Party at the Farm (definitely needs a better acronym . . . have to work on that). All knitters invited!



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Catching Up

Wow. I did a really good job of keeping the blog updated in July - but who wouldn't with a month free of obligations? But go back to work and good-bye blog! The sad thing is that so far I am not really even working that hard. Definitely not when compared to the standards of the past four years. All the same, I am getting up on time in the morning again, going to a place of work, staying there for the day, taking overnight call at least once a week, and then coming home again. Just the rhythm of it all makes me stray from the blog . . .
And now the problem is that there is SO much to tell, I don't know where to start. It is overwhelming really. We all know how well I do with overwhelming right? Can you say "hide in bed as much as possible and do everything BUT what you should be doing" three times fast? I owe Megan, Heather, and Debbie about six hundred e-mail responses alone. And that doesn't even count everyone else out there that I owe responses to. Sigh.

So I think the best approach will be to make short posts and try to get caught up on the events of the last month . . . I think we will start with the progress on Sprout. After ripping Sprout out FOUR TIMES I think I finally am making a sweater that will fit my mother. As you can see:

I am now down below the underarms and I am also about halfway through the waist shaping. You can get an idea of the size based on how it falls on the chair. It is looking pretty darn good. Still gotta finish the bottom, then do the sleeves, the button bands, and the blocking. But I am making slow steady progress.



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Eagles Have Landed

The packages have arrived.

In other words, Sophie is here! And Bart and Lila too for that matter . . .

They arrived today and we have already had a full afternoon of eating, talking, touring the farm, fighting with Tankie . . . it has been great. I will probably not post much while they are here as I am planning to fully enjoy their visit as much as I can!

Can't wait to see C+G and the fam this weekend! And hopefully we can coax Chesley and Peter and the fam down too . . . for a real live farm party!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Mystery Guests

Today I had mystery guests. They managed to spend most of the day at the farm without me snapping their pictures. Mostly this is because I was charging my camera battery - not that they are shy. But maybe you can guess who they were?

Clue #1: One of the mystery guests was able to help me figure out that my sprout is STILL not going to fit any adult person I know . . . because my gauge is way off. Oh, you mean gauge really matters? Actually, I thought I had done a proper gauge swatch for this and everything, but apparently I did SOMETHING wrong because instead of having 4.5 stitches per inch I actually had 5.75 stitches per inch. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but trust me it was . . .

Clue #2: The other mystery guest had a lot of fun with bubbles, throwing sticks in the water, and cartoon network (once it started to rain).

Clue #3: The first mystery guest ALSO pointed out to me that I "purl twisted". I have heard of knitting twisted before, but not purling! And I had no idea. Turns out that I have been knitting a lot of things in the round . . . . so no purling . . . so it hadn't shown up. Since Sprout is worked back and forth, I was purling every other row . . . twisted the whole way . . . giving my sweater a very interesting texture as it turns out. So now I am purling the correct way (and my knitted fabric is a lot softer for it).

Clue #4: Both mystery guests have hair of a reddish hue.

Clue #5: Mystery guest the first is also working on the Seascape KAL with the TKE group. Hers is blue/bluish green/greenish blue.

Give up yet? It was Chesley and Alec! They came over to tour the farm, have some lunch, and spend some time hanging out. We had grand plans for a swim in the pond, but they were interrupted by a rainstorm. So we watched Cartoon Network and did some knitting instead. I knit about four gauge swatches and we decided that I actually need to knit Sprout on size NINE needles. Holy moly. Two sizes up. Well, that might help a bit don't you think? So now I need to start over again . . . they say that beauty requires pain and it would appear this is the case.

Thanks, Chesley and Alec, for a wonderful day! And for the knitting tips too! I can't wait for you guys to come back and hang out with me again!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Take Two

But wait . . . wasn't this sprout bigger yesterday? And starting to look like a sweater? Well . . . yes and no.

One of the other things I learned during my visit to "The Big Farm" yesterday was that my Sprout, though beautiful, was never going to fit pretty much any adult human I know. Probably not even my very slender almost-adult little sister. It also became clear to me that this color was CLEARLY meant for my mother (whose shoulders I draped it over to get a feel for the size). So I ripped the whole thing out and started over, switching from the small size to large size. It goes a little faster the second time around, especially since I now have the inset pattern memorized and can cruise along. I have to say that it was VERY tempting to just finish it the way that it was . . . I was already seven inches in after all . . .but there was something about the thought of giving my first sweater (in merino and silk) to one of my seven year old cousins (undoubtedly the only people it would fit) that made me just cry on the inside a little. I feel like this is going to be a really nice sweater, in a really nice yarn, and it maybe ought to go to someone that will appreciate it. And when my dad saw it on my mother he couldn't stop talking about what a good color it was for her (which it is - makes her blue eyes sparkle more) and that was it for the first sprout attempt . . . so now here we go again!

It also helps that I am reading the Harlot's new book and it seems like something she could really get behind - tearing apart a sweater because it wasn't suiting your needs.

Wish me luck!

The "Big" Farm.

My dad said something the other day about The "Big" Farm. I assumed he meant my house. But he set me straight - he and mom have the "Big Farm with the little barn" and I have the "Little Farm with the Big Barn". So now that we have THAT all straightened out . . . yesterday afternoon I went up to the original "Life is Goat" farm (aka the BIG Farm) to visit. There are kids running around everywhere! The oldest one is Barley's Nutmeg (Meggy for short):

In this picture she is nibbling on my leg. She acts just like her father (Tankie) . . . loves to be right up in your business all the time and LOVES attention. She practically came and sat in my lap for snuggles when I sat on the goat deck. Her mama, Barley, knocked any other kids that tried to steal my attention out of the way! Brown must be a recessive trait . . . Barley, Aphidia, and Maybeth are all white and they are Tankie's first generation (crossed with white Angora goats). Now that these girls have been crossed back to their father (NO, this was NOT intentional! What can I say? Tankie does what he wants . . . why do you think he now lives on my farm with no girls???) we are seeing a crop of brown babies. They are so cute! Which brings us to the youngest kid, Chickadee:

Here she is getting in a little nursing time with mom. Remember Fiddy (Aphidia)? My first grandkid? Well now she is raising a kid of her own. Guess that makes me a great grandmother. Sigh. I knew I felt old. Chickadee is only a few weeks old. She still staggers when she walks. She loves to drive her mother crazy by sneaking out from under the fence and wandering around in the yard where Fid can't get to her. She is awful cute to watch though!

Rounding out the kid cuteness are Zoeboe's twins:

Bulgar and Semolina II. My mother likes to call Bulgar "booger head" because he is always trying to get into trouble. Semolina was also the name of one of Zoe's triplets from this winter, but she didn't make it through the winter. She was a bit of a runt and Zoe just didn't have enough steam to take care of three kids. We loved the name though, so have recycled (much to my sister's disgust). These two are much more skiddish (must be the Angora in them) than Meggy or Chickadee, but they will still come nibble on your pantleg if you stand still long enough. And they are still small enough to escape under the fence and eat the goose food.

On the way back to my house I saw five moose last night. I didn't get any pictures since they were running pretty fast and it was pretty dark out, but it was fun to see them anyway. One was a baby (much bigger than these goat kids though!) and he had a very soft fuzzy brown look to him.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Progress . . .

Slow but steady. The Sprout is actually starting to look like the top of a sweater! Pretty cool. Not sure if you can tell, but in these pictures it is almost twice the size that it was the last time I posted it. The only problem with working things that increase is that every row takes longer and longer to finish . . . feels like you will never get done. But laying it out like this lets me see that I have actually made some noticeable progress! So I will keep working on it. Maybe by the time my sister gets back from soccer camp it will be big enough/long enough to measure up on her a little bit . . . I have no idea if it is actually going to fit her or not. I know it is way too small for me though!
Not much other news to share today. It was pretty quiet here on the farm. A small tree fell down in the back pasture and the goats were loving it. They were munching all of the leaves off of the tree when I went out to find them this morning. I couldn't figure out why they didn't come running for grain this morning but that was why - they had fresh tree food instead!
Tankie continues to be a menace. He is NOT a baby anymore. He is big, heavy, strong, and pigheaded. And he scares me just a little bit. My dad and mom are coming down later this week and we are going to (hopefully) build a Tankie-proof enclosure so that we can keep him (and everyone and everything else) safe. The thing is, he is a spoiled baby boy and loves to be loved . . . but also loves to get his own way. And when a 250ish pound goat with huge horns decides he wants to push you up against the wall and rub his urine soaked face all up and down your leg . . . well it's hard to argue and sometimes could be bad for your health. So it is time to contain Tankie a little bit better.
Well, gotta go play with Waffles. She is giving me her bored cry.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Well, I had some company today! Corey and Tucker came to visit. Unfortunately they couldn't spend the night due to a family emergency, but I'm glad they got a chance to come down and check the place out! I'm hoping they will come back to visit again soon!We did get a chance to have some lunch and enjoy the swing down by the lake. Tankie and the other goats alternately entertained and scared the crap out Tucker. But I think overall he enjoyed watching their antics.

In other news, Polly and Al have the barn pretty much cleaned out! This is what it looks like almost empty:

We may never see it this clean again . . .



Friday, July 11, 2008

Which came first?

Well, in this particular case I am pretty sure it was the chicken . . . but look!

Farm fresh eggs! Well, egg anyway . . . but there will be more to come I am sure. Polly and Al are giving me some of their chickens, so hopefully I will get to have fresh eggs all the time. I think they are taking the rooster though, so I may have to get a new one if I want the trend to continue. But for now I have the whole flock (? do chickens come in flocks?) and it is kind of exciting to walk into the barn and find food . . .



Thursday, July 10, 2008

After the Rain

Wow, it is SO much cooler out today after that big rain storm yesterday afternoon/evening. The air is 100% more comfortable and the breezes are awesome. It is a great day to be alive . . . and an even better day to be on vacation! Unfortunately the breezes wreaked havoc on my playground down by the lake . . .I spent the morning righting the swings and picnic table. The screen house may be beyond salvage as parts of it are bent at funny angles. But it is just a little too big/awkward/heavy for me to try to right on my own so it will stay at that funny angle until my mom or someone comes by and we can try to straighten it out. I can see there is at least one large hole in one of the screens from when it crashed up into the trees. So if it IS salvaged I will need to figure out a way to keep it from falling over in any strong winds.

In other news, I have roses! Look how gorgeous they are:

The trellis could use a little work, but the roses are such a cheerful thing to look out the window at. And to walk under on my way out the door. This fall I will need to shore up the trellis and paint it, but in the meantime I am going to just enjoy smelling the roses.

Also, I took a sweater design class at Chesley's last night. It was a LOT of math and I am still not really sure about how to do the neck part . . . but I am going to play with it a little and see what happens. I just like knowing how things work, you know? Also, I have finally settled down enough to start knitting again. I was so hyped up from finishing residency, closing on the house, moving, taking the boards, and doing all of the things involved with moving and buying a house that I just couldn't settle in to focus on knitting. Some people knit when stressed . . . I think I have to be a little bit relaxed to knit. And maybe the freakishly hot and humid weather had something with dimming my desire to knit. But I dug my Sprout out and have made a small amount of progress, see:

I will finish this sweater! I will! It has great potential to be sure.

Anyway, I'm off to do some laundry and unpack some stuff. Company coming in a few weeks and I want to get some stuff presentable and put away you know. =-)



Monday, July 7, 2008

Sneak Preview

So wanna see some pictures of my new house?? Do ya? Do ya?

Well, I want to show some to you so get ready:

This is one of the two grown-up swing sets that my Daddy bought me as a house warming gift . . . and then put up down by the water! It is a great place to catch a cool breeze and look out at the water. And when you do, this is what you see:

And also this:

And this is my first piece of brand new furniture that I bought for myself for the place:

So maybe a picnic table isn't the most PRACTICAL purchase, but it is beautiful and I love it. Now we can have picnics down by the water when you all come to visit. My parents and sister set this up for me today while I was sleeping as a surprise! Then they toted it down to the water and put it in the screen house so hopefully we can picnic without too many bugs . . . .

I think that is probably enough pictures for one day, but stay tuned for further updates! And come visit soon! The sun is hot, the breezes are cool, and the water's fine!



It really wasn't home without her . . .

But now she is here! Welcome home baby girl! We finally have a place of our own . . .

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Home Sweet Home

That's right - I am a homeowner! Or maybe the bank is a me-owner but either way, I get to live in this amazing house! The closing went smoothly followed by a rapid moving in. Big thanks to my family including our close family friends Dave and Yvette! I can't imagine trying to do all of this without them! I have a ton of unpacking to do, but am trying to come up with an organized game plan for everything. Right now I am just using the back half of the house - which is more space than I have ever had to myself before in my entire life! My parents are going to help me remodel the front one room at a time. There is more than enough work around here to last a lifetime but it is all mine so it is worth it! And I feel so official! Today I registered to vote, I picked up my dump sticker, and I even started getting mail at the new address. Life really is good here in Maine, especially on the farm. I am still a little dumbfounded that this could actually really be mine . . . I went shopping today and came home and put the groceries . . . wherever I wanted to. It made me smile and laugh that I could look in the fridge and all the cupboards and everything there was mine and I could keep it or move it or throw it all out without asking anybody else. This new found freedom is something else.

Well, if you like gardening, farming, or carpentry work come on over . . . I've got work for you to do!



Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Final Countdown

Well, we done did it. After 4 years of blood, sweat, tears, and a few laughs as well - they let us graduate. Of course then they sent us right back to work, but the promise of an end is there. I have a diploma. We are almost grown up doctors now.

Which means I have 5 days of work left. Five. That is such a bizarre concept to me. This job has been virtually my entire life for four years, and now it is all boiled down to five days. Five. And they are going to go fast. Oh sure, there is PLENTY of working left in my future. A whole new job to start in August in fact. And let's not forget the money pit of a house that I have committed myself to and the goats . . . oh yes there will be plenty to do! Still . . . I'm just a bit frazzled by the change. Don't get me wrong - I am SUPER excited to be through this phase in my life. All the same, I am just a little scared about being a grown up. All of this schooling has meant that I was able to push that off for the longest time . . . now here it comes!

But I am going to finally finally have my very own house, I am going to get a WHOLE month off to relax and recover, Sophie is coming at the end of the month to play with me (hurray!), and I am planning on a trip sometime soon to meet baby Ryan, and baby John (aka the Colonel) will be joining us in the fall. There are so many things to look forward to! It's gonna be great, just wait and see . . .


Thursday, April 24, 2008


First of all, don't ever read your work e-mail while you are on vacation. It is a stupid, compulsive thing to do and it can pretty much only end in you feeling bad about something you should have done or shouldn't have done. So learn from my mistakes, and just leave your work e-mail alone when you are not there.

Next, here is what I have done on my vacation so far: 
- cleaned the barn (twice)
- sheared all 7 "big" angora goats
- trimmed hooves on all 17 goats (thats 68 hooves)
- helped clean up the yard (which still needs a ton of work . . . every day as the snow melts more, more crap appears in the yard to clean up)
- moved my mom's office back downstairs (it was upstairs in anticipation of Nana coming home and needing a place to sleep downstairs; now that Nana is never coming home the office can go back where it started)
- done the dishes/emptied the dishwasher about 10 times (my roommate will never believe this)
- done about 6 loads of laundry (I can't believe this)
- helped feed/water the animals and/or put them away pretty much every day
- helped cook dinner and/or clean it up most nights
- gone to the dump
- run errands around town for my mom's business

The funny thing is that I don't do any of that stuff in my own home right now (well, once in a while I do laundry . . . .), so it is really funny that I am spending my vacation doing it in someone else's home. 

But it isn't all work. Today I took a nap, started the malabrigo square, played a board game with my siblings. Yesterday I met my friend Sarah for lunch. Yum. Red Onion Pizza and mozzarella sticks. An old fave.

Tomorrow it is back to work. My brother and Sarah's dad Gary fixed the tractor, so tomorrow I plan to spend the whole day hauling poopy hay out of the front yard back into the woods. 

The great news is that it has been sunny every day, with temperatures ranging from 50-75. And here are no tourists around because it is mud season here in the hicks. So it is actually a pretty decent time to be here.

Okay, enough ranting for one night. I was laying in bed having an anxiety attack and needed to do something to work it out. Typing seemed like a good bet . . .

Good night!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Change of Pace

Well, I am on vacation! A few days earlier than expected and not exactly what we had planned, but still . . . I am not at work. =-) So it still constitutes a change of pace. And the sun is shining and the goats and geese are marvelling at the disappearing snow (yes, there is still snow), and things are looking up.

Vacation started a bit early because my mom got appendicitis yesterday and needed a laparotomy. So now she is recovering in the hospital and my sister and I are hanging out with her. Right now is nap time . . . I was napping too but dad wanted me to wake up and fix the computer so here I am.

How about that modern technology? My dad can now comandeer my mom's computer over the network and watch her sleep in her hospital room from his camper in Phoenix. Times have certainly changed.

Well, maybe more posts about the rest of life later this week. Mom is doing well, just typical post-op recovery.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Best. News. Ever.

Sophie is coming.

Did you hear me?

I said SOPHIE IS COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, it's true! And we are going to have an awesome time when she gets here. And yes, I pretty much screamed out loud at work when I found out. Work is pretty used to me acting crazy, so barely anyone noticed. But this has definitely made my February (and she's not even coming until July). =-)

Okay people, look alive, we have some planning to do! But I am thinking that one possibility (and this of course depends on what Sophie, Bart, and Lila want to do while they are here) would be to have a road trip to TKE on the way to a sleep over BBQ party at camp on Orr's Island. I'm thinking Caitlin, Garth, Chesley, Peter, and short ones might all wish to participate in such an affair . . . and maybe others. Who's with me?

Can you feel me smiling? I don't think I've been this happy since I left Peru . . .

And for those of you that read this and don't know who Sophie is . . . I'm not sure that's even possible . . . but just in case . . . Sophie is my soul sister. She is Dutch so she lives in the Netherlands with her family. But she went to college with me here. Since neither one of us gets to cross the pond all that often, it is super special that she is coming to the US. I think this will be the first time in something like 5 or more years??

So sing it from the rooftops! And get ready to party - Big Green Style.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Penguin Playland!

Last weekend was GREAT! I finally finished knitting Will's penguin:

I think he turned out really pretty well. It was a pretty easy knit. The hardest part was sewing the pieces together. Then I felted him (took 3 cycles in the washer), dried and shaped him, stuffed him, and needle felted the eyes. Then I took him with me to Boston for the annual winter gathering of the Power Science Girls (PSG's) and associates. Will thought he was pretty cool for a few minutes, gave him a nice hug, and then quickly abandoned him for a paper bag and two boxes of tea. I wasn't offended since I recognize this as perfectly normal 16 month old behavior. It got a hug, so that is pretty much the Will Seal of Approval. We took Will and Baby D to see the Penguins at the Boston Aquarium. Baby D slept through most of it, but Will had a great time. Here he is in the gift shop at the end, surrounded by penguins - doesn't he look happy?

Well you might actually say he looks pretty serious, but hey, he is trying to figure out how to get his parents to buy him that styling penguin roller suitcase/backpack (or he is trying to figure out which one of those penguins is the attack penguin - see sign). All it took was him to walk the full length of the store pulling the suitcase and smiling. They were sold. And we won't tell anyone this, but if they hadn't bought it for him I think I probably would have. I just couldn't resist. :-)

At the end of the excursion, Baby D woke up and was in excellent spirits. I even caught a smile on the camera!

Okay, well, Debbie is smiling anyway. Dylan was smiling about two seconds before this (and again about two seconds after), but he really likes to play the serious card for the camera. Trust me, he was happy. Well rested, well fed, and happy!

We spent the rest of the weekend gabbing about life, babies, work, fun, the Patriots (go Pats!), college memories, job propositions, and anything and everything else under the sun. We played Apples to Apples (I didn't even come close to winning). Then Megan, Paul, and I headed up to the farm Sunday for a few nights. We played with the baby goats, watched movies, did some knitting (I finished another pair of mittens) and generally had a good time.

Now it is back to work as usual. I was really depressed the first morning back. I even practically started crying. But now that I have delivered a few babies I am back in the swing of it and happy again. I am probably going to sign a job contract this week and that is VERY exciting. I am starting to think ahead to house buying, moving, living with my cat again, and starting a new job/life. It is a little scary and overwhelming, but incredibly fun and exciting too. I will have to keep you all posted.