Category Archives: life stuff

where have I been – what have I been doing

- and how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming along? ;)

I had fully intended to blog on New Year’s Day after I got out of work, but I was whooped. Beat. Utterly exhuasted. I did put in a couple of stitches, however because I was going to duplicate last year’s WIP Challenge, working on a WIP every day for the first 15 days of the New Year. But then I got called in to work a few more times and … well, here’s where The Flood is currently stuck.

the flood nonprogress


About the closest I’ve come to stitching since New Year’s Day is fonding the end-of-year stash that’s arrived in the mail. I tried to get a picture of it for you, but … someone else decided it was all about him.

stash cat


it's all about me


To be fair, Spin may have a legitimate reason for honing in on any attention that can be gotten. See, we received a bit of a New Year’s surprise on the third of the month – Maybellene surprised us with a baby girl, a purbred Myotonic (fainting) goat.

Maybellene surprised us


The weather has been so bitterly cold – in the single digits – that we had to bring the girls in to avoid losing the baby. Even so, it was a little iffy until Niek managed to get the baby doe nursing from the mama. (He also bravely carried Mama Maybellene in from the barn, though thigh-high snow.) To honor his efforts, I asked him to name the baby and he finally settled on Silverjacket. I love it – it sounds like a princess from a fairy tale. :)

baby fainter Collage


Today I thought it might be nice if Silverjacket and Maybellene could make the acquaintance of their neighbor, Arthur, who has a small 2nd floor apartment in their “inside barn”. Maybellene was not fully convinced that Arthur was a suitable playmate for her precious daughter so any future playdates will have to be supervised. ;)

Arthur and Maybellene


Arthur was totally cool about everything, as always.

regal Arthur


So in closing, it might be easier to say what I haven’t been doing. I haven’t been stitching, as we’ve seen. Although I have taken down the cards and the Advent Tree, the Christmas tree is still standing and is fully decked out:

stilldecorated tree

But it’s so hard to put all the beautiful ornaments away for a whole year! I also have not been cleaning. Sigh … I used to be such an amazing housekeeper. Spotless. I would actually polish the individual leaves of all my houseplants once a week. Seriously! I guess the anti-pod-people got me or something. :P

unkempt house


I have finished my first book of the year – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – and had the strange experience of actually wanting a book to be finished before it was. I liked the novel up until the second part and then … eh. I’ve also read The Peregrine Pact by A.J. Hartley with Nick and Rowen and found that to be a good bit of fun and well-written. It’s geared more to a tween audience, but the kids were able to follow along without problem and were only scared witless by one chapter (The Jenkinses, for those who’ve read it, LOL). I have made quite excellent progress with my January resolution, which is to go through and sort/discard/label all the old photos I’ve inherited from … well, everyone, seemingly. Five large boxes and a drawerful have been reduced to one small box of labelled photos and one envelope full of photos that I need help in labeling. Yay, me! Now to get them in a proper book so the kids can enjoy learning about their foremothers and forefathers!

Thanks so much for visiting! If your New Year is as overfull and busy as mine seems, I do hope that all your tasks bring you some level of joy and fulfillment! Best wishes for 2013!


bidding farewell to 2012

It’s been an interesting year. I read 21 or so books, which is far less than usual. I know I gave Salt the highest score, but looking back over my reading list, it’s Stephen King’s book On Writing that seems to have made more of an impact (but I’ve also read it more recently so that may not be fair). Stitching went into a serious slump. I did manage to complete 25 projects, but nothing at all was stitched for both May and June, and only one project for both July and August. Thankfully, when Christmas loomed on the horizon, I found my mojo. I’m enjoying working on The Flood – and I’m loving how enthusiastic Arden gets whenever I pull it out: “That’s for me, right? That’s going to be mine, right Mama?” :) Also in 2012, Niek and I watched all episodes – in order! – of Dr Who (from the 9th doctor onward) on Netflix.  I love Netflix, though I do complain a fair amount about them. Commercial-free viewing is all I can stand – the incessant ads on cable TV have me reaching for the remote to shut it off fast than you can say ‘mareseatoatsanddoeseatoats’. Also in 2012, I decided it was time to act on my long-standing interest in mental health, so I took a few classes at the local university which led to a job in crisis services, and I’m now awaiting notification of whether or not I’ve been accepted to graduate school where I intend to pursue a master’s degree in counseling. With the kids getting older, it seems a bit of personal enrichment/career re-direction can be allowed. If all goes well, I’ll be finishing my graduate studies just as it’s time for Max to go to college, Nick and Ro to start high school, and Arden to … do whatever wonderful things he gets up to. Speaking of those amazing kids, here’s a pic I stole from myself, from my first year of blogging at about this same time of year:

treekidspretrim 2005

Well, Niek’s building a fire in the woodstove to take the chill off. I’ve got a ham & bean soup to make for tonight’s gathering of friends, and a squash and couscous vegetarian dish for the non-carnivores among us. Niek will soon get busy with the preparation of his Dutch delights: zalmsalade, oliebollen, apelflappen … and maybe a surprise or two thrown in. Our friends and their kids will brave the still-snowy roads to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new one together with us, celebrating the bonds that keep us strong and enrich our lives so much. Wishing one and all peace, happiness, and good health in all endeavors!

second snowstorm 018


PS: I feel like I should mention my favorite stitching project of the year, having mentioned favorite books, TV shows, etc … but it’s not really possible to choose a single favorite.  I loved making the BOAF series into treat bags for the kids at the beginning of 2012. I was thrilled by Ro’s reaction to the La D Da “Old Crow” modification I made for her for Christmas. I loved the teeny Chartmakers series – with which I gifted dear friend (such an insufficient word for her!) Sara (pictured below). I had so much fun with Wash Day by CHS and Little Sampler by The Goode Huswife that I wound up keeping them instead of sending them along to others as gifts – oh, am I bad?! I was chuffed by how well my Sudberry box turned out for my father Jim and his wonderful wife Gaby (shown below).And I love that my Dad has a bright and cheery “Good Morning” wish (also below) straight from my heart to his eyes every morning when he has his first sip of coffee. :) I love how stitching brings us all closer, one little x at a time.

CHS Trio


Jim Gaby gifts 2012


Bent Creek Good Morning

if my life were a Christmas stocking, it’d be over-full

What a wonderful day! We have a little bit of snow on the ground – just enough to make things pretty, without being slippery or needing to be shoveled – and I’m sitting by the woodstove while some homemade chicken soup fills the air with its delectable aroma. Today is Arden’s fifth birthday and we started the day with homemade blueberry cake (Arden’s request) and brownies (for those who were not here to voice a choice). Here’s Arden, hamming it up for the camera as only he can:

birthday arden


And here he is again, in front of our beautiful, twice-decorated (it fell down the first time!) tree. The tree is straight – it is the picture that’s crooked (this time, LOL!).

trimming the tree 2012 Arden Elf


Our days have indeed been merry and bright. This is our biggest-yet tree. So big, indeed, that Max had to hang the lights this year because no one else could easily reach around the top. For a wonderful change of pace, here’s Max hamming up his big moment as the star of the show:

Is it too big?

Is it too big?



Fa la la la LA!

Fa la la la LA!

And once the nose-bleed heights were taken care of, the rest of the elves quickly joined in. Nicky didn’t like how Rowen’s jeans allowed for a bit of plumber’s cleavage, so he made me re-take the photo while he safe-guarded his sister’s modesty.

trimming the tree 2012 decorating elves


After it was done, my favorite ‘gifts’ of all settled down for a nice family picture:

best gifts of all


Rowen also needed to pose with Peanut, her hamster.

trimming the tree 2012 Rowen Elf


Arden was allowed to open one of his presents this morning, which turned out to be a new Harold and his Purple Crayon book, much to everyone’s delight. Nick and Rowen immediately began reading it to him. :)

opening the morning gift birthday reading

I have finished a little Bent Creek project, “Glad Tidings” from the Stoneware Wishes series. I love these charts! And this one really sums up how we’re feeling around here!

Glad Tidings


It was fun to pull out our Christmas decorations, many of which are handmade by friends far and near. <3

trimming the tree 2012 Fireplace


Our family has grown again, too! I joked that this is the first time in 15 years I haven’t been pregnant with a little boy so maybe that’s why this big fella followed me home yesterday. ;) This is Arthur, a New Zealand buck who just adores being petted and loved. :)



And his future mate, Mary Margaret, consented to have a photo taken this morning as well:

Mary Margaret


So as you can see, all is well here at Chateau Chaos. We wish you and yours all the best during this season of rebirth and renewal!

slow it down

Yikes, this month is flying! But what fun it’s all been so far. :)

We celebrated Sinterklaas on the fifth and the gifts were all so unique – the kids put more effort into it than I’d expected and I was extremely glad to get this celebration back on track in our family. It’s a bit of a toss-up as to who loved their gift most: Arden received a school bus package with an Etch a Sketch from Max and Rowen received a giant rabbit package from Niek that contained candy.

Arden enjoys his gift from Max

Ro enjoys her bunny from Niek

I was pretty pleased with my hat from Arden (with some assistance from Niek) with a poem from Arden Himself about my need to “keep my brain dry from the rain” and which sported a nifty pair of new barn gloves. :)

I enjoy my hat from ARden

The poem Max wrote to accompany Arden’s gift was a little longer, as you can see here:

Max and the Poem

Less pleased was Nicky with his Timelord homework folder. He said he’d wished his Dad had gotten his name :(

timelord homework folder

My stitches came out on the 4th and although the Doc reluctantly agreed that my career as a hand model is over, I’m just glad to have use of the hand back again. Niek cut himself last night while chopping cauliflower, but thankfully it was more of a normal cut – painful, but not too deep.

I did some framing this week for Christmas gifts and got them sent off. I’m dying to share pictures, but of course I can’t. My skills as a framer will never put anyone out of business, but they were all done with love. I’ve since stitched two small ornaments that I need to finish-finish. The teeny one is a freebie from Nikyscreations (slightly re-worked in my interpretation) and the other is from Pineberry Lane.

Noel freebie Nikyscreations

Pineberry Lane PeaceOnEarth

We don’t decorate until after the Sinterklaas celebrations, but I did put out the lovely Advent tree that Sara made for us – isn’t it stunning? Obviously, I took the picture back on the 5th when I had the camera out. And those utterly adorable snowmen are handmade by Annie - aren’t they adorable? Watch out for her TDIPT Mercantile listings!

early christmas decos

And to remember that we need to take time to relax during these busy but wonderful days, Flip and Twist once again wisely demonstrate how to enjoy some down time.

couch kitties

Thanks for visiting! Your comments and visits are always a joy!


It’s really been quite the week! We had our second bit of snow – but really, this seemed like the first snowfall of the year because the other one just took me completely by surprise. This was little more than a dusting, but it was beautiful and put me in more of a mood to enjoy our winter weather. I was especially looking forward to seeing the baby ducklings out there in snow – ducks are an absolute riot in snow! – but there wasn’t enough for them to really notice that it was any different from a heavy frost. The goats escaped that same day, though, which was a lot more exciting. No pictures – sorry! – we were too busy trying to catch them, LOL. But in case you’ve been yearning for a bit of bucolic beauty, here are some other recent farm pictures. ;)

water fight

i feel good enough to climb this tree

I guess the biggest excitement of all came as a result of trying to do some housework. Housework is dangerous and really should be avoided! I cut my hand on a chipped glass badly enough to require stitches. I went all woozy in the knees when I looked at the cut and realized I was looking inside my hand. Ugh. Blood doesn’t bother me, but I have no desire to see my insides. It started healing up very well, though – here it is after only a day:

wounded hand 002

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I popped a stitch on the 5th day (for the record, I was trying to catch an escaped goat). Note that it is difficult to take a decent photo of your right hand using your left hand, when you’re right-handed. ;)

wounded hand dy6

Trying to do anything has been a challenge, as I’m right-handed and the wound is in a spot that seems to affect any motions I make with my hand. I couldn’t cross stitch at all the first two days (not that that stopped me from trying), but then everything just seemed to limber up and the silly thing stopped bleeding every time I accidentally over-stretched it, so I was able to finish Hope 1727  by Chartmakers and I immediately began Faith 1708, the last one in this series. These pictures don’t please me. My new camera and I do not get along that well when it comes to taking photos of cross stitch projects. :P It’s a sweet little piece IRL and the 40 count linen (Vintage Pear by Lakeside Linen) has not been at all difficult to stitch on.

Hope by Chartmakers 001

I put the last stitches into Faith last night. I changed this up a little because the dates just didn’t work for me. I’m always a bit puzzled over why we seem to think a design is improved by throwing in a random long-ago date. Here, I gently tweaked the blue “thing” in the upper left corner hoping to make it look a little more like some kind of bad weather, and added a sun. As in ‘faith brings sunlight after storms’ or something along those lines.

Chartmakers Faith

(Oh my heavens, those pictures look so crooked – you’ll have to trust me that they are stitched straight, LOL!)

I have a few Christmas projects yet to do, both stitching and finishing, but my big start for 2013 has already been decided upon: The Flood by Plum Street Samplers using the NPI silks on 34 count Legacy Linen. I used this linen (in a different color) when I stitched a CHS sampler as a wedding gift for Niek’s youngest brother, shown here,  and I’ve longed for a legitimate ‘excuse’ to use it ever since.


So what’s my justification? Well, we are (fingers and toes crossed) moving to a house of our own in the spring and Arden will finally have a real room of his own, which I am decking out in a Noah’s Ark theme. I’m so freaking excited it’s ridiculous. But all the other kids had special rooms when they were little – Rowen and Nicky’s was the best, decorated in custom wallpaper by Niek and his brothers as a surprise – and it’s bugged me that Arden has been stuck in a bright pink bedroom that is actually more of an alcove off our bedroom. So … a justified excuse for that sumptuous linen and those scrumptious silks. ;) More finger-crossing is requested from you in that this purchase goes though – as always, nothing is as straight-forward as expected and we are running into some little bumps in the road.

So what have I been doing when not stitching ,being stitched, or popping stitches? I’ve been hanging with the kids. Rowen’s been training her hamster, Peanut, to go through some mazes. My friend Joanna, who is an amazing teacher down in Florida, suggested Ro polish Peanut’s performance up for a classroom display of his prowess, and that has consumed all our free time this weekend. ;) The mazes began as fairly simple constructions, becoming ever more elaborate, and they are now busy with a top-secret version for school:

Hamster Training Rowen

Peanut and Rowen have a great cheering section, too. (Can you pick out which one is not a morning person? LOL!)

cute boys Collage


Thank you for visiting! Your companionship and comments always bring a smile to my face. :)


staying warm


Despite our best attempts at denial, it would seem that Winter is settling in anyway. This morning it was 19 when I got up, which is -7 for my friends who use a civilized measurement system. ;) Brrr! Niek wasted little time getting a fire going, which I nearly put out again when I threw a log on that was a little big. (But it’s roaring again, and we’re staying pretty close to it!) We’ve continued with some sickness here in our midst – Max and I had been holding out, but he succumbed last night (though insisted on going to school today). Niek is sicker than he was and could probably do with a day in bed. Rowen and Nick seem to take one step forward and one step sideways in their recoveries. And Arden is home again today due to not being able to sleep well through the night, but judging by this face, he’s just about ready to go back to school.


My mom has also been ill. The nursing home called to say they were taking her to hospital for breathing trouble, so I’ll be driving down tomorrow to visit her. I’ll combine the trip with a friend who needs a ride to the Big City, so at least I won’t have to make the trip alone (which can be such a bummer). My dad meanwhile had an operation on his shoulder, which I’m glad to say seems to be healing well. Sending good-health vibes to everyone out there!

I’ve done a bit of reading – and for anyone who enjoys YA fiction, I can heartily recommend Wildwood. I’d recommend it just for the amazing illustrations, but the story is fabulous, too.


And there has been some baking. Most of which has been eaten. But here’s a chocolate-swirl bread I made for the kids, who have gently complained about the sameness of their bag lunches. ;) We were all quite excited to see that the chocolate actually swirled, LOL.


And there has been stitching, though at a less heady pace this week. I’ve been picking away at Hope by Chartmakers, and here’s my progress on that.

I guess that’s really the bulk of it. Not the most tremendously exciting week, but certainly a fun one. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with good friends and have nearly reached the end of our turkey leftovers (always a sad moment for me, as I love turkey). I hope all is well with you and yours, and I thank you for stopping by!


stitch, stitch, stitch

It’s been a productive week for stitching. So productive that I’m actually wondering if it’s been two weeks since my last post … let me check. Wow, it really has only been one week. :)

First up, I got busy on my Sinterklaas surprise gift, which is intended for a member of our family (remember, these are supposed to be anonymously given so I can’t give too much information!) who has, shall we say, a little difficulty managing time. I thought, “What better for that problem than your own time machine?” Viola, a Tardis! I bought the pattern here, but do note that I made some changes to the original.


After that, I hurried back to Wash Day, the last pattern published by Kathy of Carriage House Designs. I finished it today, and found it interesting that I was working on this pattern when she made her welcome announcement that she’s returning to designing. Hooray! I used the DMC conversion and stitched this on a low-count mystery linen because I needed a result that was large enough to make into a bag and that would be washable should the need for a trip through the laundry occur.


I’ve been stitching such a lot that I didn’t feel too awfully guilty when I snapped up some of the kits that Becky was recently parting with, and picked up a few odds and ends from ebay around the same time. ;) Sorry for the dismal quality of the photo – all the patterns are in plastic and I didn’t want to fool around with taking them out and putting the back.


When not working or stitching, I’ve been admiring the animals’ ability to really get into what winter is all about: All day napping. Here in the kitchen, it’s toasty warm thanks to the wood stove (you risk frostbite in the rest of the house), and these guys really know how to wallow in their comfort.



And now I’ll have to dash off. My computer has become the family computer, and Nicky has a report due on Monday … which means he gets my laptop and I don’t. Oh well, more time for stitching, right? ;)

Take care, and thanks for visiting!!

in the rear-view mirror

The past two weeks have been something else. I’m ready for a little boredom, if anyone has any to spare. ;) Life has been interesting, in that Chinese-curse kind of way. So instead of being here as planned last Sunday, unveiling the winner of the Wabbit pattern, I was elsewhere doing other stuff. In one week, Max dislocated his knee and my mother opted to move into a nursing home about two hours away – those are just the highlights; there were also plenty of “minor” dramas and excitement unfolding seemingly at every minute.  So here I am, waving goodbye to the negative stuff as it recedes in my rear-view mirror: adios!

For good stuff, the kids enjoyed a spectacular Halloween. Our little town offers daylight trick-or-treating among the local businesses, which is just so wonderful – nighttime trick-or-treating is thrilling, but even in such a small town it’s challenging and a little scary trying to keep track of your kids, avoid running over anyone else’s little ghost or goblin, and maintaining a strict policy of staying outside people’s homes even if they ask you nicely to come in. Nick made a last-minute decision to go as a gangsta, Rowen’s brainchild of a costume this year was Dracula’s Granny, and Arden was an adorable Punkinhead. :)


And of course I enjoyed the opportunity to take out my favorite spooky stitching smalls. It’s wonderful to reconnect with stitching friends with different seasonal displays.


Speaking of stitching, I finished the Prairie Schooler WIP and have been enjoying an interpretation of Old Crow by La D Da that I’ll use as a box top for a surprise Sinterklaas gift I’m constructing for Rowen, who has become extremely fond of the murder of crows that frequents the playground at school.


I loved reading everyone’s responses to my last post and felt so connected to everyone’s loving thoughts of friends and family. Margaret, your recounting of your grandma that worked but was also the quintessential grandmother brought my much-missed Grams immediately to mind. I LOL’d at a number of comments and cheered along with others. Breast cancer has touched us all, it seems, in one way or another. I’m happy to say that Coral’s the lucky winner and she’ll need to contact me with her postal mailing address. Thank you all for your comments and for sharing some special moments with me.

I’d also like to shout out a huge thanks to Ranae for swapping PS charts with me, so I now have all the animals that I want to stitch!

It’s a chilly, overcast day here today. We’re cozied up around the woodstove, which is crackling merrily and making us all feel toasty. The cats are curled up in the burn box, and the dogs are enjoying their new massive dog bed. From our home to yours, we send our love!


autumn, and life on the farm

Oh my heavens, what a gorgeous autumn this is! Every time I go someplace, I forget my camera so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. ;) Yesterday I drove out to Cutler to pull in most of the remaining vegetables and I’m happily up to my ears in kale. At least, thanks to Kathy, I will be well dressed for it :) Kathy surprised the heck out of me today when I opened a package from her to find these handmade goodies!


Just in time for a flurry of baking activity, too! Today I made cranberry scones and then a double batch of cherry/chocolate/almond scones and a carrot cake. :)

I’ve managed to put in a few stitches nearly every evening, so my interpretation of the Homestead snapperland by Bent Creek is done and ready for framing. I have a great little frame that is going to fit it perfectly (I adapted the pattern to make sure of that). The colors are less drab in real life, but it’s a dreary day out and this was the best my camera could do.


It’s been a funny week. Nick has been lax about schoolwork, so I’ve spent every afternoon being The Homework Police. It seems to be paying off, though, so it’s time well spent. I’ve also enjoyed some really great time with the other kids as well, and tonight we are off to a pizza gathering that we’re all looking forward to.

There are lots of fun things online attracting my attention these days, from preparing for next year’s garden and getting it set up to bringing some plants in to overwinter. There are some cool craft ideas, like DIY wrapping paper. There are all kinds of great free stitching designs available, too, like Marly’s, and By the Bay Needlework - not one, but two!. Of course, cooking always enters in when there’s free time to be had and I can whole-heartedly recommend these muffins (I made mine with Grape Nuts cereal). And of course there’s lots of time spent with the animals. I’m so in love with Maybelline, our Myatonic doe, that I’ve been looking for a permanent mate for her and think I’ve come up with one. What do you think of this fellow?  His name is Rich (it has nothing to do with my baby brother of the same name, I swear it!) and he’s a Silky Fainter:


Speaking of the animals, if we’re going to make it to the pizza night, I better get my chores done! Thank you for visiting, and I am overwhelmed by all the wonderful comments on my last post. I treasure each & every one of them! Wishing one and all a wonderful weekend!


much to celebrate

27 sept 12 026

Autumn tends to be a transitional time for me – as it is for many, I suspect. Now that I’m back in Maine, I love the season: the crisp air, the  bright foliage, the impossibly blue skies. But for some reason, it also tends to be a time of emotional “housecleaning” and that can lead to some ups and downs on different days. Add to the mix how incredibly busy each day seems to be between our jobs, the kids’ schooling and extra-curricular activities, the farmette, connections with extended family and friends … the list seems to be endless. It could be an easy time to feel overwhelmed, so I’ve decided to instead feel grateful for some of the amazing gifts that have come to us out of all this activity.

First and foremost, I’m extremely grateful that Niek’s sister has safely given birth to one incredibly-anticipated baby girl. Anna is one of those babies who has been dreamed of and wished for long before she made her appearance and we’re all thrilled to welcome her to the world and to congratulate her parents. I know Niek would love to hop on a plane and go see his baby sister and niece – maybe this is the week to buy a lottery ticket? Congratulations, Amarentia & Benjamin on the birth of your beautiful daughter!

On the subject of kids, I obviously can’t move on without saying something about our own amazing brood here at Chateau Chaos. Arden adores school (though he continues to miss Miss Chloe, his favorite teacher from the Montessori School he attended last year) and thinks riding the bus is the bees’ knees. The bus driver has taken me aside to tell me what a joy it is to see Arden’s smile get bigger and bigger the closer the bus gets to our house. :) All of the kids are doing well and enjoying school and I am still, nearly three years later, pinching myself to believe it is real after all the difficulties the boys had in their Dutch school. I shout out my thanks to Mr Look and the amazing staff at our local elementary school, the Rose M Gaffney. Talk about landing in clover when we moved home; this school would stand out in a wealthy suburb – in a tiny rural community it’s an absolute gem.

arden in ro's room

27 sept 12 016

Ro recently got a real pet rabbit – not just a “pet” chosen from the meat rabbits I raise here on the farm – and it has been love at first sight. She worked hard to earn her new companion and I’m tremendously proud of the dedication she puts into the things that are important to her. I’m really enjoying the journey I’m on as her parent (as I am with all the kids, of course!).I know the photo is blurred, but the emotion is just so palpable!

27 sept 12 002

Speaking of journeys, my job continues to challenge, educate, and exhaust me – not necessarily in that order! I’ll be making the formal application to graduate school and taking my MATs in a couple of weeks. If all goes well, I’ll begin my official studies in June 2013. With how much that happens on the job, I feel like I might be in a position to teach some of the classes. I had a good session with our clinician last night and received some very positive feedback regarding my own clinical development that was appreciated. Apparently my inability to suffer fools gladly – and here I refer to desk jockeys, not to the clients we serve! – continues to be an area that requires improvement, but otherwise, all is well. ;)

The farmette has been downsized due to all the other wonderful things going on that take up time, but Niek pointed out yesterday that it doesn’t really feel smaller to him. I guess there are those who’d say 30 or so birds and 5 goats is still a lot, but I’d have to respectfully disagree (see, I can be polite! LOL). The rabbits and the goats are cohabitating at the moment with the hope that we’ll have a healthy group of baby goats born in late winter and a couple of litters of bunnies born before winter gets underway. My goal of supplying the bulk of the food we eat through the year has made a giant leap forward – our gardening venture with friends was a success in many ways, though I really do need to become more comfortable with canning, and our freezers are full of meat and vegetables that we’ve safely raised with our own two hands. :)

cry fowl

fresh eggs (1)

kale and wild mushrooms with foccaccia

Believe it or not, I’ve even been stitching. I’ve finished Good Morning, a Bent Creek kit I recently bought on eBay, and I’ve been working on my own interpretation of one of their Snapperland series. I changed the horse in the design to our goat, Annie. :)  I’m still hoping to make a great deal of our Christmas gifts, as I did last year.

Bent Creek Good Morning

snapperland WIP

Well, at the risk of driving the few readers who still follow this dusty blog into a coma from reading about the minutiae of our lives, I’ll stop now. Those friends who still stop by to read and comment are deeply appreciated.


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