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!