A Merlin update: He has, after 6 months, decided that I'm more or less ok. He seeks me out in the pasture if I'm out there doing something, and follows me around out there. In his own unique way, he's "joining up." I'm really looking forward to working with him, and more so, riding him! He's a very sweet horse, kind of a turd to his own kind, but is really softening his attitude towards people. Interestingly, he really likes men, of which I have few around, so when a male type visits, he's all over them - pretty funny, since he's 16.2 and seems rather large (until you get around Chris, who is 17.1 and makes Merlin look petite).
Both boys have had 2 trims by a natural hoof farrier, and their feet look like horse feet should. With the biotin supplementation, their crappy thoroughbred feet are looking much better! My new farrier is about 5'2", and rides her Haflinger in dressage. She really admires Merlin's conformation, and thinks he will be really good at dressage (assuming I can get his brain to stay with his body!).
The last of the turkeys have been butchered and delivered. I have an Auburn trio left, a pair of Blackwinged Bronzes and the Peafowl pair. I'm going to move them down to the front of the barn, along with the chickens (in a separate pen) so that it's easier to feed them in the rain. This has the added benefit of moving the peacock away from my neighbor's bedroom... I learned alot this year (as I do every year after harvesting the livestock): A)I had about equal numbers of people wanting big birds and littler ones; B)The Auburns don't get that big (the toms dressed out in the 12-13 lb. range); C) I need to be able to separate the smaller, slower growing birds from the faster ones; D) I'm going back to getting standard Bronzes for the big ones, the Auburns will be the mid-sized birds,and I may get a few Midget Whites for those who want a really small turkey. I need to get an incubator, and have a brooder room for the eggs that the girls lay this coming spring. I'm thinking about a permanent "bird pasture" and turkey building that I can move them through to use the pasture effectively. Of course, this will involve using, you guessed it, a tractor and power tools! Arr, arr, arr.
I've been dithering around with fiberish things. I have a sweater that I'm knitting for my sister; unfortunately, I think the colors are hideous (sorry, Mary), and it's really hard to work on it! I have a couple of things on the needles for me, including this shawl:
As a bonus, when the turkeys were butchered, I was able to save some wing primaries from the Auburns - Is this just too cool, or what?
It has all sorts of possibilities, now. The yarn is a mohair/viscose/nylon that was in Mom's stash that I inherited. The shawl is loosely patterned on EZ's Pi shawl, but knit back and forth instead of in a circle. In the increase rows (yo, k1, repeat), it leaves these lovely spaces to put things, like leather stips with silver cones and turkey feathers...
Somehow, I've not found the time/inclination to spin lately, and as such I'm taking my mom's wheel back to my dad at Thanksgiving. He has more room, and can gaze on it lovingly and remember putting it together and finishing it for mom. Eventually, it will come back to me, but maybe by then I'll have more room!!
A friend of mine and I are driving down to my sister's in Reno for Thanksgiving - I'm bringing the bird. It will be fun to see the Homies while I'm there. My dad is bringing up his travel trailer, an older 19.5' Komfort, which he is no longer using, and is giving to me. I'm going to use it as guest quarters, and the party pad at sheep shows! In addition, if next summer is too hot, I'll just go in there, since it has air conditioning! I'm hoping that I won't have to drive back through snow, but it's not looking too promising... Gotta get chains, dang it. I'm planning to split the drive home up into two parts, which will make it way easier, and I'll be able to drive during the day, when it's warmer, and I can see...