Don't give up on me yet, people - I've been dealing with teeth problems, and believe me, I don't want to listen to myself whine about the constant headaches, so you definitely don't want to hear about it. I've spent the last couple of weeks fighting off constant headaches (my least favourite kind of pain) and trying not to clench my teeth so hard they break, and sleeping a lot.
In the mean time, my babies have fledged, and are hopping around after their mother, learning how to look for food.
For those of you new to my journal, we have black vultures that regularly nest near our house (that we call "the farm", for reference - it used to be an old Virginia farmstead in the late 1700s), and this year, since they nested in the old chicken coop, I've been able to follow them from egg to teenager for the first time. We've been down to the farm a lot, and I've checked on them each time. Yes, they're not as mainstream cute as baby bunnies (had those, too), but they are adorable in their own special, stinky way. Right now all that's left of their fluff is a little ring around the base of their necks, like a tiny feather boa, or a very fuzzy ruff. They're super curious, and we had a lovely time watching them hopping all over the scrap pile that was our old house, checking out all the weird bits and pieces, while their mother sat nearby, keeping an eye on them.
One of the babies is more curious and bolder than the other. Sometimes, when I get too close and the mother flies off, the other baby follows her, but this one stays back and checks me out for a bit. So I talk to it. Vultures have no natural predators, so they won't come to any harm being unafraid of us. They're very intelligent, too - I can get closer to them than Bob, and they won't stay around for anyone else. They really do recognize us.
We're going to make some repairs to the coop, in the hopes that they'll continue to use it as a nest (black vultures nest in sheltered areas on the ground, pulling debris around the eggs in a circle to protect them, rather than building a nest in the trees). Having followed them for a complete season, and watching them for several seasons before now, I think I have a pretty good idea of what they like, and how to arrange things so that they'll use the coop and not be endangered by anything falling. We're going to mend the doors, which are falling apart, and cut a viewing hole in the side of the coop, so that we can look at them without going in and disturbing them (even though the mother stayed, it was clear she didn't appreciate visitors one little bit) as much.
Some people got cats or dogs, I got vultures. This fall, we'll be keeping them in pumpkins. Rotting pumpkins are teh yum for vultures.
In completely unrelated happenings, I am almost done with the fill on the fourth sleeve piece. I've been getting bored with some of the fill stitches for the smaller leaves, so I've been looking up more designs to play with. The nice thing about fill stitching is that no matter what you come up with, it's probably period for the 16th century. I've been going over paintings and pictures of extant pieces with a magnifying glass, picking out the designs I found appealing and cataloguing them for future use. It's fun.
I've been planning for the Thistle Threads Jacket Embroidery Tour next month, and I am such a consumer whore - I've been buying all sorts of travel stuff specially for the trip, like an inflatable foot rest (not just for the plane, but the bus, too - I am a short-arse and my feet dangle from regular height seats), and a new nightie, and a special towel because I don't want to get hair dye run-off all over the hotel towels (they'll charge me, even though it washes out). I even got the cutest shower cap with lace and cherries on it. I still need a pair of slippers that will pack small (in case the hotel doesn't have an en-suite loo), and a wallet with security features (I bought a bag from Magellan's, but it was cheap as hell, and already falling apart - yuck!) (The other stuff I got was pretty good, though). Minor stuff. I like to feel luxurious when travelling, so I have a silk blanket and silk pillowcase...
...The last time I stayed in a hotel in the UK, the sheets were so rough I woke up exfoliated against my will. So this time, I'm packing my own pillowcase, okay?
I'm also planning to make it through two weeks of holiday with minimal laundry needs, so some careful packing is required, especially since we're limited on luggage size (gotta fit into the bus!). I'm not sure what the weather will be like (it's been too long since I've been there in September, but I'm guessing chilly), but bulky sweaters will take up too much space, so I'm thinking layers and maybe some silk under layers.
Oh dear, I'm rambling again. Anyway, that's what's up in my life. Aren't I exciting? Yay.