pictured, not pictured

I haven't had the baby yet. I hope I'm not misleading anyone into thinking I have by the silence on this site. Just in the throes of summer. A very rainy rainy summer. Also, just generally massively pregnant and uncomfortable.

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."


  1. everything sounds lovely, kate. you're in my thoughts in these last few days of your pregnancy. my doula/yoga teacher sent me this article which i have yet to read since i'm not *quite* to those final days yet, so my apologies if you dislike it. but i thought i'd share:


    also, i would absolutely stay in your bed and breakfast someday!

  2. So wonderful, peaceful pictures...I know it is hard work, but in times of intensive animal husbandry it is a bless to see that way of life.
    Hold on the last couple days....:) :) and take care of you, Kate!
    Greetings from Germany

  3. Amazing. You are amazing! If you open a B&B (or even just rent it out via airbnb), I would looove to come and stay! Your farm sounds beautiful and magical in the way that all things borne of sweat and love usually are. Sending good and sunny thoughts.

  4. So beautiful - the belly cast! We are also considering some kind of a bed and breakfast with a homesteading skills theme.

  5. The day we come visit Vermont (asap!), we would love to enjoy your B&B! Exciting time for you and Nick now! Enjoy the last of that peace until the next few months. Take care and best of luck for a smooth arrival of your baby! =)

  6. Have you read Birthing from Within? It was such a great resource for me. Hang in there, I know the final leg of pregnancy can seem like a never ending marathon. Best of luck to you!

  7. We would come stay!! :D We have had the same Rain in Maine. It can be so depressing. I love not watering the garden but I do not like having a brook run through the garden!

  8. Bed and Breakfast all the way. That place sounds like it's bigger than my house in Northampton! Diversify the income! Air BnB too- obviously...

    Are the skeeters as miserable there as here? The lawn and garden looks amazing but damned if I have 1000 bites already this summer! Ina May is great- and you can do it! I had a hospital birth with no intervention or pain meds. The body really does take over and do all the work. It helps to be in good shape too, which you obviously are! Personally, the hardest part wasn't labor- it was taking the time to rest afterwards. I don't really "know" you but I have a hunch you have a hard time taking it easy ;) - but do yourself a favor and really rest up afterwards. I wished I gave myself a bit more of a break on that front. Best wishes to you!

  9. Sounds amazing, have you looked at Mayim Bialik's book - beyond the sling? lots of interesting info about attachment parenting and it's more of a guide what works for her than a bible. I would recommend it!



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