It’s been a mix of highs and lows at this farm all week. The holidays are tough. I still haven’t managed to get the plumbing fixed and won’t until I make a mortgage payment. As much as I want flushing toilets and drainage I need to cover that first. I am gaining ground a little each day but things like dental bills and emergency visits to the Urgent Care really were a sieve in this month’s income. Not the most uplifting of news but the truth.
As rough as things are here, I have enjoyed the nesting that is candles and a wood stove and Christmas lights. In the evening this place turns into a Hobbit Yuletide Special. I have been knitting (or mending shirts) and watching childhood favorites like Beauty and the Beast and Muppet Family Christmas. I don’t have the tolerance right now for hard-hitting drama or injustice in Documentaries. It’ll be December before I check out Black Mirror, for sure. Maybe it is how much darkness there is in the cold months, but to know that home is this warm and glowing place of comfort has been a balm.
Hunting with the hawk has been exceptionally good! She is unstoppable. The last time we went out rabbit hunting she caught 2 and dove five times! We were granted permission to hunt on the back fields of Common Sense Farm that has generations of established warrens of cottontails. It is a North East Falconer’s Dream! I have been letting her eat her fill of whatever she kills but am going to start teaching her to trade off. This means when she kills something I cover it with a tarp or cloth and hold out something tasty in my hand - like a piece of dark meat already boned and unfunny. Shell hop off her game and take the easy meal and quick as a whippet I take the game and slide it into my bag. That is how we can take another head of game in one hunt. She has the drive for it!
The animals here seem okay in the cold. I haven’t ridden Merlin in ages. I miss it. The dogs have become my tireless friends and follow me all over the house looking for biscuits or scratches, wanting to go outside and run in the snow. They put up with many hours of me sitting in front of the computer designing or illustrating. The irony that I left a desk job to farm and can’t farm because of desk work - it isn’t lost on me. But that’s okay. I am honored to work on the projects I am given, and grateful to be close to my own fire. There is far more to be grateful for than not.