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This post could also be titled: A little slice of heaven.

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(Jack- the house dog)

So, awhile back (like in May 2011), I innocently commented on the JMF blog. Susie was running a birthday contest, and I figured that I’d add my comment to the chorus of others. I never expected to win the contest, and I was stunned when I was picked. And then I started jumping up and down, which was difficult because C was only 3 weeks old at the time.  I spent some time trying to figure out how to get us from Texas to Virginia, and then spent a bit more time trying to figure out if the kids could stay with someone while Steve and I went out, or if we’d need them to come along.

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Needless to say, it took a while to get everything nailed down and organized for the 1,300 mile journey! It was so worth it though. We ended up staying in Lake Anna, and then hopping over to the farm for a vacation within a vacation. The farm is simply beautiful, and mother nature took care of us- providing a little cool spell for the two nights we stayed.

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I am failing to come up with the right words to describe what a feeling of calm overtook me while we were on the farm. I enjoyed talking about pressure canning, and the dangers one might face if you made wine with poison ivy. It was a treat to sit down at the big, wood table and have freshly harvested vegetables for dinner. Not to mention waking up to the smell of spice bread and apple cake.

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The animals are lovely. Truly, they are just as I had pictured them from reading the blog.

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The little goat twins and triplets won me over. With their insistent maa-ing, enthusiastic tail wagging, and general cuteness, Asiago, Manchego,  Parmigiano, Blanco, and Fresca became the highlight of my day. They were pretty eager to be pet, and I was eager to pet them. I think it worked out well.

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We also got to be there for the puppies first trip outside. Oh my goodness- the cuteness!

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Before we left, intern Charlotte was taking the goat kids on their first leashed walks. That was a sight to see and hear.

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Some seemed to take to the leash much better than others, but they all were very cute.

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It was also fun to walk around, observing the chickens. Since we don’t have a rooster, I’ve never thought about how different the flock would be with a guy hanging around. Those ladies love their roosters. My favorite was Chanticleer, as he looked as if he was wearing pantaloons. 🙂

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But, Mojo was a close second (just look at all his ladies!).

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Jerry tried to sneak in a kiss, but Steve deftly dodged out of the way just in time. I think Jerry sensed a kindred spirit.

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Should you ever get the chance, I’d highly recommend a stay. I’m not sure quite how, but I feel like I’ll be back again someday. And if you’d like to look at even *more* pictures, here’s a link to the Flickr set.

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Rambles

It’s Saturday morning. Cat in the Hat is annoyingly singing his theme song on the TV. I’ve been up since 5, which is way too early as I didn’t get to bed until 11:45, then had to deal with cats fighting at 2 and a husband snoring loudly at 3. I still need to go let the chicken out of her coop. She’s probably protesting loudly by now.

Hopefully we will make it to the farmer’s market this morning. Then maybe go over to Barnes and Nobel so H can pick out another Star Wars book. Maybe a trip to the zoo this afternoon- if I feel like braving the crowd (by which I mean we might actually see other people as we amble through). Just something to keep the boys interested. S works today from 11:30-7, and he’ll probably need to grade after that, so anything I can do to stop H from saying he’s bored is good. Maybe we’ll order pizza or pick up Five Guys. I love to cook, but it’s impossible to enjoy it with C crying at my feet to be held.

I need to remember to go to the store too- we need bananas, apple cider vinegar, and paper towels. I wish Target had fruit, since it is so much more enjoyable to take H there than the grocery store. He is appeased by getting to look down a few toy aisles. No such luck at the grocery store, even though he likes to help pick out and weigh the produce.

Maybe I’ll even get to knit tonight. Or read. Or take a long, hot bath. Or watch the last two episodes of Downton Abbey. Any of those would be nice.

If you had told me 10 years ago that this was going to be my life, I’m sure I wouldn’t quite believe you. Two boys?? Knitting?? A chicken in the backyard? I can picture my life differently, but the only thing I want to change today is to add in some more sleep.

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catching up

Trying to sit and write has been a bit hard lately, but I finally found two minutes together.  Charlie is settling into a bit more of a routine, which makes everyone a little happier.  He’s such a happy baby, but like his brother, he prefers to do the majority of his sleeping on my chest. That makes typing/knitting/eating/etc somewhat difficult. Difficult, but so worth it. I learned with H that the snuggles don’t last nearly long enough (and H is a cuddly three year old), so I’m soaking it in while I can.   It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a month already.

photo by Katie Wolfe

The other thing keeping us busy- we’re in the process of buying a house. The inspections have been scheduled, so it feels a bit more real now. Although I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that a) I’m old enough to be buying a house, and b) that we’ll be in one place long enough to justify buying a house.  I suppose that having two kids and buying a house should make me feel like a “real” adult, but I don’t think it does.

In normal news, our CSA has started up again. It’s been lovely getting fresh lettuces, carrots, beets, dill, cilantro, parsley, and kale. It’s been a great supplement to all the frozen meals I made when I was pregnant. It’s nice to know that we have fresh vegetables even when we can’t make it to the store.

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Preparations

My official due date is now less than two weeks away.

This time around I’m not quite as anxious to meet my little person (even though I am), as much as I want everything to be ready.  I’ve got the freezer fully stocked with meals, bread, and a few snacks.  The pantry is likewise stocked with food that is easy to eat when nursing.

H keeps asking me when the baby is coming out.  All I can say is soon.  He’s so sweet about the baby.  He’s taken to reading the baby stories, singing him songs, and giving him kisses and hugs.  I really hope that he continues to be so sweet after baby brother makes his appearance.

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Cardinal Puppet

Cardinal puppet, knit for my April moms swap partner.

Fiber Optic Merino/Bamboo Yarn Pirate Merino

Spinning- Fiber Optic Honeysuckle Rose #2 merino/bamboo, Yarn Pirate Inky merino.

Herringbone Cowl

Knitting- Big Herringbone Cowl. Knit in Malabrigo.

Lisa Souza Roving

Spinning- Lisa Souza Leaf Pile merino/silk

my view

Gestating- 36 weeks (That was 2 weeks ago!)

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2010 vs 2011 (take one)

Here were my ambitions for 2010:

* Make at least two sweaters for me. I actually accomplished this one.  I knit Mystere and the Dixie Lace Sweater.

* Stop buying one or two balls of yarn at a time.  1500 yards minimum, unless I have a specific project in mind.  Sock yarn is exempt, of course.  Also done.  I stuck mostly to sock yarn, save a few hat/longie/baby sweater projects.

* Finish all the single socks. Nope, not even close.  I think I have 5 single socks now, with 2 of them being added last year.

* Re-sew the curtains for H’s room so they all match. Again, nope.  Just not enough motivation.

* Figure out a system to rate/remember/review recipes. Not really. I need an app for that.  It’s still a combination of old favorites tucked away on recipe cards or cookbooks, my bookmarks on the computer, and my brain.

* Plant a small container garden.  Mostly successful.  The herbs did wonderfully, the beets did not.  Lettuce is still growing.  This was mostly eclipsed by joining the CSA, because there were overflowing veggies all the time.

* Get my hair cut in a salon. Ha! Not even close.  I think my hair might be longer now that it ever has been.

I’m not so sure I’m going to do any resolutions/ambitions/goals for this year.  With a newborn coming I just can’t see it working out real well.  That said, I’m excited for some firsts.  2011 will be the first year we are purchasing a (portion) of a side of beef.  It will be the first year with our 2 boys.  It will be the first year S is officially on tenure track.  And, I’m excited to see what else surprises us in the new year.

 

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Wrapping Up

In 2010:

I knit 63 finished objects, apparently many of which did not make it to the blog.
2010 knitting projects

Designed 8 new things.  Some of which are still waiting to be released.

I spun 18 3/4 skeins of yarn.
2010 fiber mosaic

It’s been a busy, but productive, year full of exciting things.  We joined a CSA, I got a wheel, a yarn store opened, and a new baby is on the way (and kicking up a storm).  Here’s hoping 2011 is just as great.

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