Scaling back



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New project alert! I am almost done with my Leksak tunic, but I couldn’t resist showing you my next project. I have had this beautiful fingering yarn called Wellspring from Bumblebirch for quite some time but hadn’t decided what I wanted to do with it. The color is called Rainstorm and its this beautiful gradient of blacks, greys, and creams….just gorgeous. I decided it would be perfect for a nice, simple summer shawl; something to throw on over summer dresses when the nights are cool or wear to temple. I chose Rosewater for a few reasons: it’s less than 500 yards and has an uncomplicated lace pattern. I think I can manage a few rows every day even with a new baby in my lap. I can’t wait to cast on!

Our chickens seem to have made themselves at home here on Wander Farm. We started allowing them to free range a few days ago and they seem to be loving their new found freedom. Every morning by 9:00am I release them from their chicken tractor for the day. Gabe locks the tractor up after they are nestled together on their roost for the evening, usually once it gets dark, around 9:00pm. We have seven chickens, and they lay 3-5 eggs a day, which is perfect for our family of four.

I’m so glad we were able to acquire chickens. We have had some grand plans for this property (many that were supposed to come to fruition this summer). Gabe had intended on building two major structures this summer: a chicken coop complete with running water and a smoker. Earlier this year we hired an arborist to design a layout for our new orchard, which would include 12 new raised beds, 40 nut and fruit trees, vines, berry bushes and an in-ground irrigation system.

I told you the plans were grand.

But then, life got in the way. Gabe’s work schedule has increased and his time at home has become very limited and will most likely stay that way for the remainder of the summer. We will be lucky if he has a full week off after the baby is born. We decided to postpone the building of the chicken coop and smoker until next spring. We went ahead with the plans for the new orchard, but then tax season hit and practically every bit of money that we had put away for the new orchard was paid to Uncle Sam (don’t even get me started on this, I still become livid just thinking about it).

There was no way we were going to pay for a new irrigation system to be installed when there weren’t any trees to water anyway. We thought about planting half the trees ourselves this summer and the other half next summer, but without an irrigation system it meant all the trees would have to be watered by hand. With Gabe’s limited free time, that means the chore would be mine, and neither Gabe nor I were keen on me watering an acre of fruit trees twice a day (by hand) during my third trimester or with a newborn. And so there went that plan.

This summer isn’t a total waste. Gabe did find time to build the new raised beds and he planted the raspberry and blueberry bushes. We will hold off on the vines (grape and kiwi) until it’s time to plant the trees and install the irrigation system. Last week during a partially long nap time, I managed to plant a few rows of carrots, lettuce and radishes. Gabe planted 50 Walla Walla onions for me because my back was completely shot by that point. The garden will have less variety than last year, and I probably won’t can as much, but we will still have a garden (and baby!) to enjoy this summer.

Ready for baby. Maybe. 




Version 2

The countdown has begun. With our third baby due next week, I have been trying to live my life by the motto, live this day as though it is your last. Or in my case, live this day as though the baby is arriving tomorrow. Every night before I go to bed I ask myself, if the baby arrives tomorrow, could I live with what is done, or not done for that matter? Is there one more load of laundry that could be washed? Is the kitchen sink scrubbed? Are those burping clothes folded and ready? Did I sterilize the bottles? Are my nursing bras washed? Should I plant one more row of radishes? Freeze one more batch of spaghetti sauce? Collect one more batch of eggs? Where the hell are the slow flow bottle nipples?!

The problem with the last few weeks of pregnancy is there is always so many last minute tasks to complete, and that is when my energy is at its absolute lowest. Gabe is constantly telling me to sit down, relax, rest. I want to, believe me. My back hurts, my veracose veins are throbbing (a first for me), and my false labor pains are so intense that I find myself sucking in a breath and gripping the kitchen counter for support when one hits. As the contraction subsides, I exhale slowly and continue on my way. Moving hurts. Sitting hurts. Sleeping hurts.  But there is still so much to do.

Some of my nesting urges are logical, while others are not. I have to prioritize. Make lists. Yesterday I made two batches of butternut squash soup and put them in the freezer. (Once the baby arrives, I shouldn’t have to cook for a month: eggs for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and a frozen dish for dinner.) This was the logical nesting urge that I gave into but I must confess, what I really wanted to do was completely clean out and reorganize my pot and pan cupboard because how can you possibly expect me to relax and care for a newborn in peace while knowing that my pots and pans are in complete disarray? I mean, really. I have also reorganized my yarn. Twice.

Like I said, not all urges are created equal.

I do enjoy the act of baby preparation. Sorting through all the tiny precious onesies. Washing the bassinet bedding. Organizing little woolens and sterilizing the pacifiers. Perhaps I just have an infatuation with small things?

The reality is that no matter how many kids I have or how many tasks I check off my list, I’ll never be ready. It’s impossible. There will always be more for me to do. More clothing to wash. A few more rows to knit. One more cupboard to reorganize. Every night I ask myself if I am ready for this baby to arrive and every night the answer is no, but that’s okay. I might not have completed every task I needed to complete, but I certainly completed every task that I could complete. I did my best. It will have to do.

The weather is going to be beautiful this weekend; hot and sunny. I plan on spending as much time as possible outside with the kids, working on my tan and enjoying out last weekend as a family of four. To Do list be damned.

Side note: The socks are the simple ribbed sock I was working on a month ago. I didn’t get around to taking pictures until now. The yarn knits up beautifully and Gabe says it’s “nice and squishy.”

Have a good weekend, my friends.


of chickens and sweaters

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I cast on a summer sweater for Eddie. It’s the Leksak Tunic, which I have had in my Ravelry queue for quite some time. I first saw it on Ginny’s blog when she made it for one of her little girls. I’m using a yarn that has been sitting in my stash for probably close to seven or eight years. It’s discontinued now; I originally purchased it to knit a tank top for myself from a pattern that I saw in Vogue Knitting. The tank was too tight and not very flattering, so I frogged the whole thing and put away the yarn for a better project. And so, seven or eight years later, here we are: Leksak. The yarn is a lovely cotton and linen blend with a subtle gold thread woven throughout. It’s not my style at all anymore, but I think it will look very flattering on a little girl. The yoke only took a day to knit and I am more than a third of the way done with the body portion. I do love children’s knits. They are so quick and satisfying.

Chickens! As you can see…we have some. Seven of them to be exact. Gabe and I had these grand plans to build a huge chicken coop this summer; one that could house up to 40 chickens (if we so desired). However, with Gabe working longer hours and a new baby on the way, we decided to put the coop on hold and push it back till next summer. My parents have roughly 20 chickens this year and they are producing almost 30 eggs a day! Finally, my mom had enough and said she could no longer feed over 20 chickens or store 15 dozen eggs in her fridge at a time. I suggested they let us borrow their old chicken tractor and throw a few chickens our way, which they did, gladly. I don’t know their breed, and frankly, I have almost zero fondness for birds (dirty, loud creatures that they are) but I do love fresh eggs every morning. We have had them for almost two weeks now. Once they have been here for over two weeks, we will start letting them free range and hopefully that will mean they spend more time fertilizing our pasture and less time pooping in their water container.

Did I mention that chickens are dirty?

Now, I just need to do some research and figure out how to keep them out of my raised beds.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.

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