I got a shiny new computer. After several weeks of trying to make do by cobbling together two semi-broken computers, I threw in the towel and got a new computer. That took another couple of weeks. Finally it has arrived and I am back online. One intact computer, one intact screen.
In the meantime, a lot has happened.
Most importantly and not a moment too soon -- Father Winter has taken a hike. The polar vortex has returned to the pole. We are, relatively speaking, warm. We survived the winter in the new house with only three furnace breakdowns and one propane outage. Yay? Eh, we survived.
When the snow finally melted and the ice thawed enough to open the doors to the barn, the ponies and other critters were knee deep in nasty winter bedding. I'm gradually cranking through the clean out, one stall at a time, but it's a monumental task and I swear I will never get caught unprepared for winter again. Did I learn nothing from nursery rhymes and fairy tales? Apparently not. Anyway, I hereby swear I will keep the barn doors free of all muck at all times and never again risk having them freeze shut for an entire season.
The big ponies have moved back into the back pasture barn. That barn is still a disaster, but I got the crucial door to open, so back they went. They are happier back there with the big pasture, even though the grass is thin and they come in hungry in the evening.
We've had two new sets of arrivals since I wrote last -- two icelandic sheep and two alpacas. The icelandics act more like the alpacas -- skittish -- than they do like their cousins the lincoln longwools. Interesting really. In other ways, the alpacas are a riot. I am convinced that Dr. Seuss must have known alpacas at some point. I will have to update my character list.
The goats weathered the winter nicely in their little insulated coats, but Rosetyler had enough last week once it warmed up and finally got hers off. She being the flightiest and wildest of all the goats, I let it go. I'll have to take them all off soon anyway or risk overheating them. They are so spectacularly clean underneath the coats that I am seriously considering keeping them coated all the time. They'd hate it though, so I'm torn.
Last I wrote I was gearing up for a weaving challenge. I will post more on that later, but can I just say WOW. I had set myself the task of making one piece of horsehair fabric to replace the tattered cover on my old messenger bag. I finished the first piece pretty quickly, but it was pretty sad really. It looked great from a distance, but up close was a hairy mess. I am, nonetheless, hooked. Completely besotted with horsehair fabric. I assume this crush will pass, but in the meantime I am on a quest to figure out how to do it well.
Oh, and I officially filed my taxes as a farm for the first time ever. Woohoo. That was pretty exciting. Now I have to actually sell some fiber. Working on that!