So, because there is much to do and because sitting has become unearthly weird and sore for me, I will give you the farm update in the traditionally more succinct pictured, not pictured.
1. Fiona and Nick and I made a belly/boob cast of my pregnant self. The babe kicked the entire time....so it has its lumps. It is hanging on the mantel. I imagine it won't be long until the puppy jumps up and destroys it. Must find a safer place.
2. The sheep were shorn yesterday. When they were shorn in October they looked like the tiniest little girls. I was expecting the same last night, but they are fat and lumpy. Its incredible what grass can do with a growing body. They will be bred in the fall and hopefully shed some of this summer weight making little lambs over winter.
3. The milking crew. Chickadee in the foreground. Winnie as caboose. The doelings are in training for next year when they are in milk. So, they come in every night with Chickadee. Nobody needs leadlines anymore. They know the drill. We are insulting them by implying otherwise.
4. Hawkeye. Successfully helped in herding sheep once this week. Successfully helped herding goats once this week. Unsuccessfully helped in herding both about 86 times. He's learning, we try not to dwell on the failures.
1. The chickens have been moved to the northern pasture across the brook. We miss them only a little and are thoroughly enjoying the new peace of the front porch and garden.
2. The pigs, living off milk and milk by products (whey, buttermilk, skim). They emerge from their forest pen only for food, like two small black dinosaurs. First you see the foliage on top move from the rumblings below...then you hear their grunts...then they come, spilling out of the underbrush and dive into their milk bowls.
3. The rain. The rain. The rain. Fucking Vermont.
4. My surprisingly suburban obsession with lawn mowing. It is my only real sweat exercise lately as running and biking weigh too heavily on my bladder and most farm chores involve carrying things too heavy for my long-ago disappeared abdomen. It is the most fuel intensive workout I've ever come up with but I'll be damned if I don't feel high on endorphins and a neat lawn afterwards.
5. The definition of "lawn" gets a little hazy with 30 acres of open grass.
6. Fiona is in Colorado for a wedding this weekend. We both sank deeply into a despair yesterday when she left.
7. Despite feeling a little short on help we are looking forward to what is most likely the last weekend of just Nick and Kate. Dump run, flea market, bluegrass festival, in bed by 8:30pm. The possibilities are limitless.
8. The anticipation of labor. I've been reading as many inspiring home-birth stories that I can find. I've replaced all bathroom reading with Ina May Gaskin books, imposing my reading list on the entire household. I just wish I could know when it was going to start and have the smallest idea of what it was going to feel like.
9. The kindest care packages for the little babe arriving from friends and blog readers alike. The thoughtfulness makes my belly swell with excitement and love.
10. The very beginnings of musing about a bed & breakfast here on the farm. While our house is quite small, there is another cabin in the woods on our property. It has two big bedrooms and two bathrooms, a wood stove. A great wrap around porch. It is occupied with renters until September, but after that we aren't sure what to do with it. I (naively) think I would love to run a B&B and (naively) think we'd have full occupancy all year round.
11. The way a fellow very tired farmer friend, Alex, signed off an email to Nick and I last week. "Miss you both. Anxiously waiting for winter."