Tuesday, December 29, 2020

November Hill farm journal, 115

 While Christmas was nice for me, I’m relieved to have it past us, as that means all my close beloveds are home, moved and settling in, and we are in the process of staying quarantined for the most part as we tighten our pod. Little Will joining us outside the womb is a huge incentive to doing that. 

I’m thinking of a pod of whales, maybe orcas, and love the idea of swimming out at sea, diving deep, breaching the water, and staying safe until we all move past Covid, a slow but hopefully steady progression back toward the way our lives were before it started. 

November Hill is for me like the ocean. I can putter for weeks here without even the thought of venturing out, and I personally do not feel alone at all, thanks to my human and animal family, my friends and writing colleagues I see via Zoom, and iphone messages that have become ongoing conversations. Technology sometimes drives me crazy, but this year it has been a blessing.

It’s winter in all the ways we mark it in NC. While we have some warm days, the foliage is gone on many trees and plants, the pasture is mostly dormant now, and after rainy days I always look at the ground and think that nothing will ever grow there again. It always does, come spring. 

My pollinator gardens are also mostly dormant, except for the birds, who are devouring seeds left over on the brown plants which I’ve left to overwinter. The bees are taking sugar patties and holding their own. Artemis hive is lower in population than Hegemone, who seem to be a very solid colony. My hope is that we can get a swarm trap up in the early spring and lure a swarm from them to replenish the Echo hive and capture Hegemone’s good genetics. 

We purchased inner covers for these two hives that have screened mesh openings in a row and the rest of the cover is glass. This is amazing - we can take the tops off the hives and see right through the glass into the top box of frames. We can put small sugar patties in the mesh circles during the winter months, and in other months if we need to feed syrup, we can invert mason jars there. I’m very happy we discovered these. I need to get photographs but for whatever reason, I just don’t seem to be focused on photos lately.

Cody destroyed a second blanket, but to be fair, these were two old ones whose straps had dry rotted. His new one is arriving today. This has effectively cleaned out my blanket stash - the pony has his new sheet and a serviceable mid-weight blanket that fit well. Keil has his new mid-weight and a nice fleece, and Cody as of today will have a new mid-weight. I need two new sheets for the big boys to round out their wardrobe. 

Keil Bay has finished his third month of Marquis and we’re giving him a couple of days before moving on to the Rebalance we have on hand. He is holding his own - and I feel like we will get through this with some more time for neuro-regeneration. EPM is a terrible disease and I wish there was more active research focusing on prevention for horse owners and their horses.

Dogs and cats are happy and healthy. Clementine is scheduled for her spaying early in January, and her Penn Hip testing. She’s so grown up. 

A large part of what happens here is me writing, or trying to (I need 36-hour days), and I’m sad to report that my 8-week ms clinic via Zoom wraps up tonight. It’s been such a pleasure to work with the instructor and the 5 other women who are in the class. Next week I’ll start the next incarnation of the Writing In The Dark course, which I’ve done through most of this year, also on Zoom. These six-week sessions focusing on short work have really been a silver thread running through this year. 

It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of it, and if you’ve never seen Chris Guillebeau’s outline for doing an annual review for yourself, google it and rejoice. It’s a great way to assess the year and how it’s gone, and to think about how you want to create the new year in terms of time, energy, focus, and yes, goals. But really, his format is more than just goal setting. I’ve been doing it for a number of years now and highly recommend it.

In case I don’t get another post in before January, happy new year to all. This is definitely a year I think most of us will be happy to leave behind, but I also know that the difficulties we’ve been through, and continue to go through, have also offered us a new and very sharp lens through which to look at our days, our country, and our flaws. Sometimes that can be a good thing. We can move forward with new perspectives and hopefully, solutions. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

Glad to hear everyone is home safe and sound. I'm glad Christmas is over too. We saw the kids and grand kids for a very short visit and it wasn't the same as years past but on a good note at least we did get to see them. I'm hopeful this coming year will be a whole lot better than last year. I'm sure your looking forward to your grandchild being born. You will be amazed at how much love and fun you will have with him. Good to hear Keil Bay is done with his Marquis. I hope it helped him, time will tell. But it does take a long time to recover so don't get disheartened if you don't see big improvements right away. Hope Clementine does well with her procedure. Happy Healthy New Year to you all!

billie said...

Thank you, A - glad you got to see your littles even if a short time. We will go to the Rebalance today - vet gave me the okay to give it with a serving of wet pellets, so he will hopefully not mind it much. Good news - his vit E level is 7 (normal range 2-4) so I can back off the 8000 ius a bit. We had been at 10,000 but it seemed he was a little spooky, so I cut back to 8k. I’m glad he’s got plenty to help with nerve regeneration!

He’s holding his own. I want perfection in terms of recovery, but I also know it’s not rational to think that 1) at his age we get that, and 2) it will take awhile for nerves to heal. It has helped to hear from you about this!

Happy happy new year to you and everyone in your family pod. :)

Matthew said...

The glass hive tops are so amazing! Love that you found them for us.


billie said...

They’ve been super useful so far!