Just some critters

New to the farm and (some) wildlife critters we have seen this week

Beans & Petunia
Six faverolle chicks
Now happily settled, waiting for their friends to arrive
Random Ring Neck Pheasant that showed up recently
Bear visiting the neighbor down the road
And some knitted wildlife. Finally took the plunge and ordered double sided needles, much easier on the hands!

Have a great Sunday folks!

What season is it?

The weather has been very confused this month (Welcome to New England). We had 80 degrees one day, then a few days later we got half a foot of snow

I’m not sure who was impressed less, the chickens or Soot

I’m not sure many other people got snow, our house is located up higher than most of the people who live in our town. So while four other houses on my road had snow, as you got to the bottom of the hill, there was rain and nothing else. I’m sure I would have enjoyed the snow day but I have lots of flowers popping up in the greenhouse

And by lots of flowers, I mean Honeywort. Yes I have popping up that do not grow in the zone we are living in, yet here they are, thriving and getting taller everyday…they are the ONLY seeds that have popped.

We took advantage of the warm, yet windy weather we had this weekend by planting some of our trees that arrived from Fedco Trees.

We added more apple & peach trees, as well as blueberry & elderberry bushes.

Later this afternoon we will be planting walnut trees and the first five balsam fir trees for our little Christmas tree area. We plan to add 5 trees each year. I can’t wait to decorate Christmas trees from our own property…I wont like, I will probably decorate them as they grow because that’s just how I roll.

Along with the trees that are currently outside, I have some trees I have started inside and impatiently waiting for them to grow and be ready for planting outside. Some will grow here, others wont but it was fun to experiment. The inside plants include: 1 Nutmeg , 5 Hazelnut, 5 Pistachio, 10 flowering Almond (sadly I wasn’t paying attention here, they wont produce almonds, but will be pretty just the same), and 20 Jacaranda trees. I also have wisteria and climbing roses started & dozens of different types of flowers just waiting till they can put put in the ground.

While I impatiently wait for the planting season to get here I will continue on with the many projects i have going on, I am almost finished with the second strip for the blanket I am making for my brother in laws wedding.

Cross your fingers for warmer weather, I have a couple dozen egg layers and meat birds headed our way, as well as some piglets, and of course as always there may or may not be sheep, but really who knows.

Anyway, I hope you have a great week folks! What are your spring plans?

Re-introduction

Hello everyone, I did not mean to be gone so long. I feel like a fair weather friend who pops in and out of your life, a little unreliable I know but I’m still working through mental health issues.

Actually one thing that I did about a month ago that really seems like such a small change, something that wouldn’t change things or make things better but it did. I made the decision to change my first name and to add a middle name, as I never had one to begin with. I spent a long time reading and discussing with not only my husband but also my therapist the mental benefits of changing your name after trauma.

I no longer have the name given to me by my abuser, but a name I picked for myself. I will tell you it is nice to not associate my name with anger, fear, and pain. It was weird at first, but I think that is normal when you make a big change in your life. Now I am filled with relief and things have only gotten better.

So I would like to re-introduce myself to you all, I know I went by Raea though I rarely said it, it was part of my first name though due to privacy issues I’ll never give out my former full first name. Mainly because I’ve never met anyone else with that name. However, Hello. My name is Isabella, it’s nice to re-meet you all.

Since changing my name, dropping my old one and moving forward I’ve been doing much better mentally wise. Yoga and meditation are a daily thing for me now, Leif purchased a VR headset with money he saved up and lets me use it for one of the meditation apps that I feel has done a world of good for me. The app for anyone interested it is called Tripp (Not getting sponsored by them, I just want to help anyone else who might need it).

Meditation has really helped put me in a good headspace, when I am in a good headspace I function better. Following cleaning checklists I had previously made for myself with hopes that I could start a habit, my house wasn’t exactly a mess, but with two cats and two dogs, sweeping and vacuuming happens more than once a day.

Also, I am ashamed that my craftroom got so bad, but I tossed a lot of things last weekend, things that had been drilled into my head that I must keep just in case. A piece of cardboard, a bit of string. I wont say I tossed out everything but several full boxes and trashbags were removed and I still have a ways to go….I hope I don’t lose my crafting card when I tell you, that some was a bit of fabric given to me that when folded looked like it would be a full pieces of fabric, only to open up and giant holes cut out.

I wasn’t sure when I planned this post, whether or not I would share this picture. However it’s part of the journey crafting and healing wise. The other side of the craftroom well, it’s not bad but I need to wash the windows of the greenhouse doors and then I will take a picture. I still have a ways to go but I don’t feel depressed being in this room any longer. I’m not overwhelmed by the clutter.

And yes for those of you who are wondering, a foot has been put down and there will be no more purchasing of yarn lol

One thing I desperately need to hit project wise is my spinning basket

This and of course the rest of my wool waiting to be spun up and turned into something amazing. Whether it be knit, crocheted, or woven

Toph made me a wonderful warping board for Valentines day, I am almost half way (this picture is from last month) finished warping it and I am looking forward to getting it on my loom.

Also cleaning my craft room has inspired me to sew again, I struggled before with finishing the quilt. Not because I didn’t want to but because functioning was something I was struggling with. I have started making unpaper towels

It feels so nice to be sitting at my machine again, I’m looking forward to making headway on my rope basket, and hopefully other items as well. I’m trying hard not to plan things out too far in advance, as I’m finding that is when I get overwhelmed and my brain goes everywhere at once.

I’m also learning that I can no longer take commissions for items. It is one thing to make items and list them for sale, but when you have a deadline or have people who want to haggle price or pull the “It’s cheaper at walmart” move, it just makes me feel resentful inside in a way.

I have exactly three dolls that I am working on that I was asked to make before I finally decided that I would no longer take commissions. From here on I make things because I want to.

I want to say I truly appreciate everyone who has stuck with me during this….strange time in my life. Everyone who has followed my blog, even though it’s been months since I have written. You are the real MVP’s

Have a great week folks!

The wedding quilt

I finished a thing or two recently. First being the long awaited quilt that was to be a wedding gift for my best friend…the one who just celebrated her three year wedding anniversary

For the most part it was finished, then..well let’s be real, my mental health went down hill. The death of my grandmother and then my big dna surprise, followed by everything from my childhood catching back up with me and my cptsd diagnosed, I sunk into depression. I won’t say I’m 100% better, but look the binding is finally on and it’s finally finished. It’s been washed, dried, and arrived at my best friends house this afternoon!

Along with this hat for her young son, it didn’t turn out like the picture in the knitting pattern, but it he loves it.

This was worked on last weekend while we were without power, like many other people in New England

Snow started at our house around 9 am Saturday morning, while it was raining in the rest of my town. So while my neighbors ended up with 2-3 inches of snow well…

We were blessed with a bit more. Not that it bothered me one bit 😉

I have two more blankets to finish before Christmas, nothing crazy I’m just adding ribbon to fleece blankets as edging. That’s about as crazy as I am going to get. I also have another project I just started, something I’ve never done before in my life.

I keep seeing rope baskets everywhere, I had seen some for sale online but the customer pictures did not impress me, so I decided it was time to attempt my own. I purchased 400 yards of cotton laundry rope and well, time will tell but I am hoping to make this big enough for all the living room blankets….then maybe I’ll make another for more yarn, because what not?!

Have a great weekend folks!!!

Just being

As winter nears we prepare for snow, garlic planted, hoses and fencing put away and getting the winter coop ready for chickens and ducks.

Unfortunately this year we have had to take part of a day posting the property. We have no problem with hunting, but sadly this year has been huge for people treating our property poorly. Partying in our fields, leaving trash behind.

We had signs up that were ripped down, while waiting for new ones to arrive we experienced a whole new level of disrespect. A hunter parked right on our front lawn, right behind the treehouse. Claiming a neighbor told him it was okay. People like that ruin it for everyone. If you are hunting on someone else’s land, please be respectful, ask permission.

Ailey has a love/hate relationship with Soot, some days she will play with him or allow him to lay next to her (as you can see, this clearly makes him happy) other days, it’s a no go.

I’ve been digging into the binders given to me by my sister, reading old letters and looking at pictures. Including this one of my great grandmother

And a picture of my grandfather

And then my biological father

So many pictures to see, so much new family history to catch up on.

Hope you all have a SAFE and wonderful week! Have a great evening folks!

Also I apologize for any typos, I got glutened last night and the brain fog has kicked in and my hands do not want to cooperate. Celiacs for the win 😭

Birthdays and Visitor

Well friends, my youngest child has finished up another trip around the son. He is now, as he says, a preteen.

He’s gone from a sweet little boy
To a silly comedian to be

We had a small celebration at home of course, with his last minute cake of choice. He changed his mind several times over the weeks and the week of, it was changed several times in one day. “Whoopie pie cake...no wait! Rice crispy cake…actually strawberry cake”

GF vanilla cake with homemade strawberry buttercream frosting is where we eventually ended up.

We recently had a surprise visitor, if you follow me on IG you would have seen our fluffy friend who made itself comfortable on our breezeway

Hello friend!

We’ve had another furry creature wondering around outside recently as well.

Soot has ventured out a few times, staying close to the house, and of course being watched ever so carefully by “Mama” Runa to ensure he doesn’t get into trouble.

I’m happy to say I have finished THREE crafty things this week 🎉 for this year, that is a rather large accomplishment.

Potted plant cozies

This one friends, I feel took forever. I don’t know if it’s because it got annoyed having to pick bits of plastic out of it while I spun or if it was because I have been down for months. I’m sure it’s a combo. I do know it’s not my favorite.

This is from the Atlantis and Poseidon colors I picked up last year in Virginia. 524 yards 😳 happy to have my wheel back to move on to other things.

Like the romney that has been sitting around forever or you know, the luscious 12+ oz of polworth/silk braids I picked up the other week from Port Fiber. Also there is probably 100lbs of wool sitting in tubs in my basement ready to be spun up.

One way or another it will get spun up I’m sure. The days are getting shorter and unlike the last two years I am no longer working, as the resort restaurant closed. That frees up a lot of time to spin, knit, crochet, sew, and hopefully weave.

Well folks I hope you have a great weekend and we will end here with a picture of last nights beautiful sky

A trip to the ocean

In another attempt to just get myself together, Toph and I had a much needed day date. When asked where I wanted to go, I already knew he answer, the ocean. Having just been to Portland the prior day to visit my dad and stop at Port Fiber (like I need more fiber right?!) We hopped in the truck and made the two and a half hour drive to Damariscotta Maine.

To on a hike
Which lead to the ocean
Where we watched boats pull up traps.
Then it was off to a light house
To watch the waves crash upon the rocks
And to have a photo taken with one of my favorite humans
Followed by dinner and a exquisite Sunset

It was very much needed, I love being near the oceans. The waves, the smells, the peacefulness of it all. I felt rejuvenated and ready to get things done.

Like this quilt I made for my best friends wedding…they just celebrated their three year anniversary.

Though I have no pictures, the binding is currently pinned on and ready to go. That’s the final step, I feel like it shouldn’t have taken so long to do the binding when the rest of the quilt took three months but here we are.

Halloween was spent at home, with mom approved candy and a game of cards

Soot enjoyed helping
And then passed out in my arms like a wee baby.

I hope you are all finding ways to relax and breath today. Have a great day folks!

Not to jinx anything

Everything has been going smoothly since I last wrote. We had a small harvest this year, despite the large garden. The drought complicated things. We had a third of the amount of potatoes, some zucchini, turnips, and well radishes that no one in the house cares for.

I’m trying not to stress about it, I’m working really hard to just relax and chill out. I ended up with a stress induced ulcer, which means no coffee, bacon, chocolate, among other things 😭 so I need to be zen all the time so I can heal up and coffee can come back into my life 😂

We have a new family member who arrived yesterday

Welcome to the farm Soot! Everyone is still trying to adjust, Ailey just doesn’t care.

Soot enjoys my mini Christmas tree. He usually can be found near it.

I’ve made some headway on my knitting and crochet while I’ve been relaxing

Foxy-Fox Mittens from Winter Knits from Scandinavia

A surprise that I am working on, I’ll tell you the pattern name when it is finished 😉 sadly this is going to be too small for me *ahem* up there. However I’ve enjoyed working on it so much I will definitely make another and go up a size or two in hook and yarn size.

Also look what finally made its way into my craft room from the barn

Now I can really start to play with it. Yes, that is bags of raw wool in the greenhouse. Alpaca, Finn, there is some Shetland in there.

More in here (expect the bottom, that tub is full of my kids baby clothes), plus I have four more tubs on shelves. I figured if I publicly shamed myself, I’d have to spend more time spinning it up.

Well folks, I hope you are having a wonderful week. Stay safe and healthy!

A few words and a lot of pictures

I think we can all agree, that this year has been too much. Too much fear, too much sadness, too much anger and I for one am ready for a change.

I have so much I want to write but again I sit here once again struggling. A week and a half ago I got news of the passing of one of my older brothers. He was a favorite of the family, well loved by all his siblings. Not yet 50 years old.

He was number four. Four deaths in five weeks. How does one pull themselves above the water long enough to catch their breath and sort themselves out mentally before the next wave hits?

Honestly I don’t know what else I can say right now, but I have pictures.

Breathing

I’m not sure if it was a night spent under the sky watching hundreds of shooting stars, evenings just watching sunsets

lazy afternoons lounging the hammock that Toph surprised us all with, spending time with my animals

but I am feeling immensely better….it could also just be that my therapist is no longer on vacation and I have been bumped back up to therapy every week which I believe was much needed.

These last two weeks I haven’t pushed myself, I haven’t gotten angry with myself when something doesn’t go as planned. I’m a worried about things…the serious lack of rain yes, but it’s out of my control. So now I just take it one day at a time.

I’ve been occupying myself looking through boxes my oldest paternal sister sent my way, old letters, a journal my great grandmother kept when she was 12 lived in Paris for a year. Odds and ends, beautiful jewelry boxes filled with beautiful treasures

I pulled myself from my house for a trip that had nothing to do with grocery shopping or swimming in the river. Not five minutes from here is a thrift store, filled with odds and ends and lots of books. They were having a sale on old books and I knew if I went first thing in the morning there would be very few, if any people there, so off I went…in search of books you know 😉 and came back with more

Just different things here and there, I like old books and lamps. I love old blue china though until my kids are grown or I have a china cabinet, I don’t dare buy any for fear they will be accidentally broken. There for instead of spending $15 old the cup I really wanted, I settled for a $2 cup that is still equally beautiful…just not newer and less like to hurt if it is somehow broken.

We have had a house some guests recently, no matter how many times I send them out the door, they continue to turn around and come back in.

I don’t mind, I do love dragonflies.

I’ve added new knitting books to my collection recently, as well as some new knitting needles

Working on mittens with my brand new ChiaoGoo needles
And then this one, that just had my name written all over it.

I’m hoping, though with normal expectations, that life continues to carry on this way before anymore big changes happen. I just need to continue to breath.

Have a great week folks!