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Greetings from beautiful Wisconsin!  It’s been so lovely here, and filled with so much goodness.  The Duchess and I headed out from Ohio Wednesday, arriving at Tree and Ivy’s dairy farm late Wednesday night.  We woke up Thursday morning to beautiful blue skies, home-grown raspberries for breakfast, and two small people eager for new playmates.  Tree and Ivy have two children: a two-year-old daughter with an impish sense of humor and an insatiable appetite for books, and a nine-month-old baby boy, a chubby happy baby who would break out in gurgling laughter at the slightest provocation.  They were a delight.

I’ve loved that farm since the first time I visited it, so it was a special treat to be back.  I don’t know what it is about that particular spot that feels so much like a home to me.  I just know that I love it.  This time I also got to share the farm with The Young Queen.  She drove up after work on Thursday, had dinner with all of us, and then took a tour of the farm with Gigi and myself (Tree had to do the milking).  It was beautiful walking around, seeing the sliver of a moon rise over the fields, feel how peaceful the land was around us.

After the tour was done, The Young Queen  and I got into her car, and she brought me to her family home here in Watertown, where I’ll be until tomorrow afternoon.  I always love visiting her family.  All her brothers and sisters feel a little like my family too.  Today TYQ and I went gallivanting across the Wisconsin countryside in search of yarn shops.  We tried one place, only to discover that two months ago they moved to another location an hour away.  However, that was near the cheese packaging factory where TYQ’s father works, so we visited him, and picked up some cheese (you can’t come home from Wisconsin without cheese, right?)

Our second attempt at visiting a local yarn shop seemed similarly doomed to failure.  We went to the address provided by Google maps, which turned out to be a big, beautiful home on the lake shore.  It didn’t look at all like a store, but we thought perhaps it was set up in a spare room, or in the garage, or something.  When we cautiously approached the front door, the only creature that greeted us was a geriatric black lab who snuffled my hand, discovered that I know the secret to scratching behind a dog’s ears, and decided that I was his new best friend.  I called the number I’d gotten off the web, but no one answered, so we decided to meander a while through the charming downtown.

While we were downtown, we found a shop selling some of the most beautiful pottery I’ve ever seen.  It also had a very friendly shopkeeper.  When we told her that we had originally come searching for a yarn shop, she said, “Why, that’s the one right across the street!” And so it was.  Nestled in the back room of the store was the yarn shop we’d been looking for.  The address that Google had sent us to was the shop’s billing address (the shop-keeper’s home), not the actual address of the shop.  So I did get to show TYQ how beautiful yarn can be, plus found some gorgeous red sock yarn, and beautiful lace-weight baby angora at an incredible price to take home.

Now I’m back at TYQ’s family home.  We’ve had a great dinner of quiche and fresh sweet corn from the farm stall down the street.  The dusk is falling softly in the street outside, and I’m very glad to be exactly where I am.  I hope that wherever you are as you read this, you feel exactly the same.