Monday, March 24, 2008

Progress on all fronts

The chicks are growing and changing fast, as birds are wont to do. Their little wing feathers are coming in; it's so cute when they stretch those little wings out over a leg! And the darkest chick (second from left) is definitely the Easter Egger, as she has poofy little cheeks.

Yesterday while I was at a horse show, Rick and Brian worked on a "chicken palace." They picked up four 10' chain link dog kennel panels (Rick said it wasn't much more than doing chicken wire and posts, and it would be moveable besides), and then Rick built a frame and solid floor for the chicken coop. Remember the little 8'x8' shed Braveheart and Brava used during quarantine? We always had in mind to make that a chicken coop, and that is what it is becoming.

At the horse (dressage) show I rode both my friend Debbie's horse and my own in Third Level Tests 2 and 3. Ivy was nervous and tense and didn't show off what she can do, but Russell exceeded my expectations. After his injuries and treatments and having the winter off, I approached this early show with caution, not schooling him a lot even though some movements that we would be doing at this level needed work. But he felt good, and blew me away with the best medium and extended trot work he has ever given me. I left the arena after the first test with tears in my eyes, I was so happy and thankful! I will share photos as soon as I get them from a friend....

In spinning, I finished up the light Gotland roving (at the front of the bobbin) and am working on my last wool sample from Kathy, a dark blue-face leicester combed top (in the baggy). After this all I have left from Kathy is what I consider my "final exam" -- some angora rabbit and some sea island cotton roving, both fibers that I have heard are more challenging than wool to spin.

No lambs yet (I have a feeling they will all hold off until April), but I now think I indeed have three expectant ewes! Just subtle clues, nothing concrete; this morning Valentine moved slower going out to pasture and looks a bit thicker. But those are definite changes. I can't wait to see what my sweet, beautiful Valentine produces!

That's it for now at . . .

9 comments:

Lauren said...

I LOVE that little wing-leg stretch, too. Just adorable!

I hope you're right about your ewes. Just when our lambs begin to lose their bouncy newness, I'll get to live vicariously through you. Hooray!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I used to have chickens, then I got Zip. I liked my chickens, but so did Zip; I liked Zip better; got rid of what was left of the chickens.

Windyridge said...

Good going Russell! You must have been so happy.

Tina T-P said...

Very nice job on the spinning - gotta get those little stashes all used up - Black Sheep is only 3 months away - I'm already making plans on what new fibers I want to try! :-) T.

Nancy K. said...

Congratulations to you AND Russell! What a good horse. ;-)

What will you do with the bobbin of yarn that you have spun from Kathy's samples? Will you ply it back on it's self? Will you knit something from it? What a fun project!

Can't wait to hear about your girls and see your baby pictures!

Sharon said...

I think you passed your final exam with flying colors. You're spinning is lovely. I grew up in East San Diego County where people all around us had horses. As long as I can remember, watching a horse perform well brings tears to my eyes. They are like magic - sometimes their feet don't seem to touch the ground, like they float somehow. I'm sure if I were to do physical work with them, reality would take care of all that.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Nancy,

My plan has been to ply each variety of fiber back on itself and then make a big scarf from all the different kinds and colors, even though that will give me lots of joins. What do you think?

Kathy said...

I think you are doing fabulously well, Kiddo! :)

And I was dee-lighted to hear that Russell did so well. How is he afterwards? Any signs of pain?

Those chickens will have quite the "Palais de Poulet" (that's what we call ours) when they move in to their new digs.

And how's the "House Bird" doing? We never hear about her!

Laura said...

I have the "chicken shack" for mine - it keeps the rain off their little heads, and that's about it! They don't seem to mind, though. Currently, it's trying to snow again, and I have 29 chicks in a brooding pen on my porch with one heat lamp. I'm going to have to add one for tonight to keep their little toesies warm.

I used to ride dressage, and did clinics, etc. for about 6 years. I never really competed, but loved the interaction and integration with my horse. I sold my last horse 10 years ago, but held onto my saddle until 2003. I still miss it terribly, but with a full-time job and the farm, I really don't have the time, much less the $$ for a horse, too!! There is nothing better than watching a good ride - goosebumps don't even begin to describe the feeling!!

Congrats on your accomplishment!!