Yay! I got to work a bit with Kyra today after her lesson. Rick rode her quite a bit today. She was looking pretty comfortable at the walk and looked lovely. The wind was really gusty and the snow was falling off the roof of the arena in random big noises. But he still got up on her. This training method amazes me. I have always been taught to sort of grab at the one time the horse does what you need it to do and go on. He brings her up to that point and gets what he wants a bunch of times then sometimes goes on and then backs off again. She got pretty sweaty today, it was all of 30F which is much better than the 10F it's been. So I walked around with her and got to hangout with her. I was thrilled. She is getting muscled up and looks so good.
He's been teaching her that standing at the mounting block is the best place to hang out. When she doesn't stand or starts to walk away, he sends her off and makes her work until she come back to him by choice. It is so cool to see her choosing to be where she will have a nice quiet interaction.
I haven't gotten the designs done the necklaces I want to show for the Spring Shows yet. I am sort of waiting until the days start getting longer again. I really want to have a fire this year on the Solstice. To welcome back the sun. It's been a cold and snowy winter so far. Which is good. Every cold night we have kills more pine beetles but yikes. It's been so cold. It's hard to think about Spring. I spent the day trying to get inventory done for taxes and also get orders put together so that when we go back to work there are supplies to make things with.
A local artist that we are chatting with about making our displays suggested that we switch from white oak to beetle killed pine. I think that is a wonderful idea. Beetle killed pine is a wonderful use of a tragic loss. This artist made a wonderful break down table from beetle killed pine. The colors were amazing, yellow wood and blue/gray streaks. We are talking with him about doing the component parts of the displays which could then be assembled as ordered. We'd order ahead for him to make. I think it will give Curtis back 6 or so hours a week. There will still be time in the wood studio assembling, but not as much fabrication. I am excited as well if we could get the weekly woodworking out of the house, it might be less dusty in here!
So I got the results from the test I took to get certified as a beer judge. I was 9 points away from being Certified. But I am still a BJCP Apprentice Judge. It means I can't judge a competition by myself. It was a super hard test. One of the guys I took the test with said the quantum physics test he took the day before was less hard than the beer test. I wish there was a place that I could go a whine up 9 more points. It would be really nice to be Certified. But now I have to take the test again, and most likely the entire Class so I can learn enough more to do better on the test next time. But there isn't one teacher with office hours I can go nit pick at. *sadness*
It was particularly hard for me as I don't drink much beer. And I have never made a batch of beer by myself. A lot of the info I just crammed in by rote. I didn't really understand what I was supposed to be learning as we went through the lesson plan suggested by the BJCP organization. But I did have a reason to for taking the class and seeking the certification - I wanted to be able to do mead judging. Most competitions won't allow you to judge unless you have the BJCP credentials. I would say that since I have taken the course and the test, I do understand the comments I get from other BJCP certified folks better. I know what they mean when they say certain things. I guess that is the value of a shared education, better understanding.
The MeadFest got cancelled. There is a lot of stuff up in the air with the whole mead advocacy group. I am very bummed as I was looking forward to the next one right after the last one finished. I am trying to volunteer as I can to help out to make something happen in the future to raise the visibility of mead. Maybe I should send a bottle of Spruce Mountain Mead to Oprah! hmmm, now there's an idea. The home mead maker competition and the commercial competition will still happen somewhere but not the very fun tasting. I did get accepted as a judge for the armature competition, so that should be very cool. I have a much better understanding of mead and meadmaking so judging is much easier.
A friend of mine is active with a local animal rescue group. We were talking about it this weekend. I wonder if I am ready to get another dog. Baxter is sleeping on Emma's big mat next to the bed. He's about a third of her size but managed to spread himself out to fill most of it. He's such a Pasha. My eyes still fill with tears when I think about it so perhaps not yet. I do still feel strangely exposed without a big guard dog. I imagine one will come into my life when I am ready.
It's a week until Christmas Eve. It was crazy in the post office where I went to mail some small packages tonight. I am content to not have the Holiday Spirit. I think it's way more important to celebrate and rejoice the Lord on a daily basis than to pack it into a couple of weeks in December, more important to have the Holy Spirit! I like seeing the decorations and such when we go out and about. But mostly I am looking forward to some down time. But not too much down time! The self-employed are always somewhat terrified by down time, fearful that things won't pick up again. But I do believe that we will continue to be Blessed as we have been in the past with good customers who appreciate what we are doing.