Yeah, I know – you should’ve seen the cobwebs I had to drag down to get back in here. Wow, that was a lengthy absence. And I do have the feeling that I might be talking to myself in this echo-ey virtual box, but I’m going to give it a try anyway. ;)
First and most important, a big hug and hello to my dear and dearly-missed friends in Holland. Heidi, ever generous and talented to a fault – if such a thing is possible – gifted me with this stunning WIP roll (which I fully intend to display year-round!). I know that Heidi struggles with some serious health issues, yet despite her own discomfort, she is always there for everyone else. She’s a true role model to me and when I find myself feeling snappish, I try to channel the grace and humor that she always embodies. Thank you for a lovely piece of yourself to treasure, Heidi! And thanks to Rachael, I recently re-established contact with Annemarie and it was lovely to get an email from her. Back when we were all in Europe, we had the opportunity to all get together (with Harmien as well!). Although I haven’t mentioned Conny, I hope she knows how much I miss our cheery afternoons together.
I’ve made wonderful new friends, here, too. What’s that saying about friends of silver and gold? Recently Dawn was doing a clear-out and gifted me with some lovely stash. I am especially enamored of these wool squares – in my head, I’ve already made them into the most darling penny rug centerpiece. ;) I’ve shown them on top of a pattern I recently purchased – need I say I’ve mentally stitched it up and picked the perfect frame and mat, and have it hung on my sampler wall?
Sadly, mental stitching is the only kind I’ve engaged in. There has been a great deal of stash-fondling however, as I begin packing for our move late this spring. If you have a horror of messes, turn away because the next photo shows the disaster that is our library and my stitching corner. Gasp!
When not stitching and making horrifying messes, I’ve been busy on the farm. Our buck bunnies somehow managed to make contact with the ladies despite being separated by cages and we have a dozen unplanned baby bunnies, including four absolute beauties from Mary Margaret and Arthur.
We had seven baby goats born on the farm this winter – six of them within a 24 hour period! – which kept us busy for a long time. All of the ones intended for sale have now gone to their forever homes, and I’ve met some wonderful new goat people. :) The day the last baby goats left, the chicks began hatching. Fingers and toes crossed for a successful hatching season this year. The first five Icelandic chicks have already been picked up and taken to their new homes. Two of the Muscovy ducklings that Mrs M surprised us with as winter set in also went to their happy new home today.
Our barn family now consists of two Silver Fox bucks and two Silver Fox does for outdoor rabbits (plus two lovely foster bunnies we’re taking care of for the rabbit shelter in Lamoine); Muscovy and Pekin ducks (with a couple of ladies who are neither but are part of the family); the Pilgrim geese; about 8 breeds of rare or heritage chickens; 3 buck goats (Nigerian Dwarf, Myotonic, and Spanish/Cashgora) and 8 doe goats (3 Nigerian Dwarf, 3 Myotonic, 1 Nubian, and 1 Nigerian/Spanish-Cashgora). I hope to pick up a couple of lambs and I have bought myself a birthday gift of a mini llama (yes, Niek knows, LOL!). The llama will not join the family until after our move to prevent undue stress (for all of us, not just him!) Here’s a bit of a family portrait, though many are missing from this lineup:
Don’t think less of me for mentioning the animals before the human children, okay? ;) The non-feathered/furred kids are doing great and boy are they busy! Some days, I have no idea how we keep up with it. Niek made the joke to a fellow baseball parent that he’d turned into a soccer mom, which I found screamingly funny but the other parent was utterly bewildered. We enjoyed a cold but exciting Easter with plenty of eggs thanks to that aforementioned barn family, and the kids also set up a number of hunts and activities for Niek & I to enjoy. It was a weekend that I wished could go on for much longer – we all lamented the fact that the USA does not have a “tweede paasdag” like Holland does. You’ll notice that Arden is not as eager to pose for pictures – our littlest boy is growing up! He’s as jolly as ever, with an extra does of mischievousness now. LOL.
When there’s no family fun, mess-making, or animal husbandry going on, there is my new job. Not only am I learning so much that sometimes it seems my head must actually expand to fit it all in, but I also have the dubious pleasure of travelling – two days a week, I rack up over 200 miles each day. On the bright side, I’ve been to some lovely parts of Maine that I’d never before seen. And of course we must always look on the bright side, right? ;)
To make sure I don’t get bored, I’ll be starting grad school in June. My first set of classes includes statistics, which I always swore I would not take again. On the one hand, I’m terrified but on the other hand, at least it will be behind me after this summer. LOL!
There’s been a little bit of baking and cooking, including some totally new-to-me stuff like this in my free time:
And so dear friends, if you’re still out there, we’re still here and we are really & truly living life to the fullest. Wherever you are, I hope the same is true for you. Best wishes, and thank you so much for visiting despite my lengthy absence!