Friday, February 17, 2023

Another Hiccup

So far I'm keeping up with my weekly post resolution, but if I take too long to finish this post (started days ago) I'll fall behind. Better herd these cats into formation!

I finished my Crofthoose Hat. It's not yet blocked, but is clearly big enough in the body to be a tam, so will be blocked as such.

You can see the pattern a bit better with flash
If creating this post doesn't take too long, Da Crofter's Kep will be cast on today – while there's plenty of daylight!

Of others' knitting, I was the blessed recipient recently. My dear friend Kate surprised me by delivering a gorgeous sheepy Fair Isle cowl on Valentines Day; I wore it to work and agility yesterday. She also delivered the good news that she has reserved a puppy from a litter of Flat-Coated Retrievers due next month. She has had two, neither of which got to live to old age; I pray that the third time's a charm (and suggested Charm when she solicited name ideas).

I am currently creating a slightly fatter, softer-twist single of white Suri alpaca to eventually ply with the dyed Wensleydale single I spun earlier this year.

Sheep stuff
Last Friday and Sunday I got all the ewes' toes trimmed, and followed up with Spot a few days later. He has been laying around a lot so I was concerned about his feet, but they were actually pretty good. In spite of having free choice high-quality hay, he's lost some weight, so I've started supplementing him with some alfalfa and rice bran pellets. That perks him up! In the meantime, the five ladies from his fall harem are growing bigger bellies, and all eight girls impatiently demand more of this:

Horse stuff
My dressage blog is still languishing from neglect, but Stella's training is not. In fact, she has made so much progress that I started renewing some of my equine association memberships and looking around for show opportunities. That was a downer. In the last five years, the dressage show landscape has drastically changed. I could find NO schooling shows (more relaxed and affordable) in the area, very few League shows (the next step up), and the only venue near me now hosting shows of any ranking requires weekend stabling (plus bedding purchased from them). No matter that I would be hauling in for a couple classes on one day; their requirement almost triples the cost of a show for us. The closest venue that doesn't require stabling is an hour and a half away via interstate. (Oh, how I hate to haul a horse trailer on the interstate; most other drivers don't have a clue about braking distance required for a rig.)

So we could get all dressed up but have nowhere to go. With the arrival this week of a (very reasonable) stock tie I ordered on Etsy, I've completed our "Princess Bride" show outfit. I bought the used saddle pad and bridle last fall from an acquaintance who had sold her horse; the pin was a Christmas gift from a dear and generous friend.

Guess we'll just keep schooling and 'trail riding'!

Sad anniversaries
This week brought round the anniversaries of my first trip of 2022 to Texas, dad's hospitalization, and his terminal diagnosis. Those were already weighing heavily on the minds of my sister, mom and me; then my dad's best and oldest friend died this week, too. 😞

Valentines Day Surprise
In lighter/whiter news, we celebrated Valentines Day with the biggest snowfall we've had this winter!

Rick and I beat the crowds and went to a favorite restaurant for a fabulous meal on Valentines Eve. To celebrate the holiday itself, I made the three of us a nice dinner topped off with these Instant Pot Black Forest Lava Cakes the next evening:
Just add whipped cream (NOT whipped topping)!

Title reference
In case you're still trying to figure out what exactly my hiccup was, it's not mine – it's a friend's! Hiccup, a German Shepherd/Malinois cross, is my friend Debbie's newest family member. She loves dragons, one of the dragons in How to Train Your Dragon is named Hiccup, and Mals have a reputation for being, um, intense, hence the name. He just completed all his puppy shots, so I invited her to bring him over for some socialization with dogs other than her own this week. He was pretty snappish with Poppy, but found Leo less threatening (although if you click to biggity the photo below, you'll notice he's still giving Leo side-eye). We will be doing this again.

Mostly dog pix, but a few other shots, too.

That's the latest update from . . .


Mama Pea said...

Great update, Michelle! I enjoyed it all. But :o( too bad about the lack of events you and your beautiful horse can enter. Love that cowl that you so elegantly modeled. And running through the obstacle course with Poppy . . . you be in good shape, girl!

Michelle said...

Thanks for your comment, Mama Pea! I might manage a couple shows in spite of the interstate; we'll see. And I HAVE to work on staying in good enough shape so I can continue to do things with both dog and horse!

marlane said...

Wonderful photos and especially of yourself, the pose is great !! thanks for posting all your latest news.

Florida Farm Girl said...

It's so nice to hear all the news. You're keeping busy, busy as usual. Here's to a happy, healthy spring.

Tim B. Inman said...

I'm late to the party, but I really enjoy seeing your pups, etc. When we lived in Wisconsin, we were often able to attend herding dog field trials which were held at the UW research farm near Platteville. They usually had an international representation - dogs from Ireland and Scotland, plus Australia. It was wonderful. I really miss being able to see them. I understand Covid pretty much stopped that activity, too. Everything changes. Good luck with your horse and shows!

Michelle said...

I hate taking/allowing photos of myself, Marlane, so they are pretty rare. 😉

Glad you enjoyed the update, Sue!

The luck you wished me was granted, Tim! I happened to think of a horse show venue I competed at years ago up in metro Portland, so I looked them up. Lo and behold, they are hosting several schooling shows this year, no stabling required and reasonable in all other ways as well! I've already entered the one scheduled for April 16 and I'm sure we'll go to others. I'm excited. And I'd better get my other blog updated!

A :-) said...

You're lookin' good, sister! :-)

And what a bummer about the lack of shows. I do hope you will be able to find a few this year. COVID really has changed pretty much everything . . . It's bothersome. And I JUST read your last comment - so glad you've got a show or two to look forward to!! Yay!!

Jeanne said...

I really enjoyed all of your pictures. The snowy ones are really nice. The one of Mt. Hood is very special. Our area has had quite a bit of snow, too. The Kep is pretty! And the two braids of fiber are lovely. I look forward to seeing your work with them.
It's really nice that you have some space ready for the lambing.

Take care!