Ellen has gotten much bigger.
She's a bacon pig - see the deep, wide side? THAT is where bacon comes from - the side. I have a recipe for home-cured bacon that is relatively easy and very good, in my opinion.
Sausage, tenderloin, fresh ham roast, pork for stir-fry, everything pig. I love my pigs, they are very pampered and they serve their purpose on the smallholding. Very efficient protein.
The roof is on the atrium (Thanks Big E!), I'm getting ready to make the screens and plastic for the windows. I'm thrilled. It's amazing and even without the screens and plastic? It's warmer under there! I got solar panels from Gempler's (http://www.gemplers.com/product/171501/Corrugated-Polycarbonate-Sheets-SolarSoft-85) that filter 85% of the light and 99.9% of the UV out and 100% light diffusion. I'm very impressed. It's a soft light inside, warm and I may just start calling it the veranda. They handled very nice, slid onto the frame nicely and look great! I didn't buy the grommetted screws from them - I found some similar at the local hardware store for appreciably less. But the polycarbonate sheets? Wow. Very very nice. I'm very pleased.
The mule is still continuing to hand tame a little each day. I made him work the pen (run, jump, trot, buck) telling him what a good boy he was, around and around until he almost VISIBLY had a lightbulb moment and stopped stock still for me to go and pet him. I tried the method again the next day? Well, after an hour plus I finally gave up, he came over to me and let me pet him. Silly mule. Yesterday I didn't have time so I didn't get to handle him. Tonite? I'm missing a cat so went into the paddock to look for him in the round bale feeder, totally ignoring the mule. Well, Cyrus the Punk mule came up to me and let me pet him all over. No chasing, no drama. He's mine, I reckon. The neighbor who he came from said we probably are just about even (me and the mule) when it comes to stubbornness. Maybe so.
I went to the Hoosier Horse Fair last weekend. Saw an excellent lecture on bits and bitting from Myler. http://mylerbitsusa.com/before_after.shtml *sigh* I'm doin' it rong. I'm going to try a bitless bridle and see how we get along. I want to try it on the big Arab as he constantly fights the bit and then work the mule into it. Punk's still too young to ride (at 2+ years old) but it'll be training for him. I'll probably work the big Arab back into a bit - but it'll probably be a Myler. I was very impressed with their knowledge and theory.
Well, it's 11 o'clock at night, I still have to write a paper for extra credit in my History of Horticulture class, take a shower, clean the kitchen, set some soybeans to soak for tofu/soymilk and get ready for another day!...
The honeybees are flying, the trees are budding, chickens are laying eggs again (frozen eggs are wonderful, but fresh eggs are great!), I want to make some more pumpkin whoopie pies (I'm obsessed!) and I still have to find my missing cat... Maybe my chainsaw from Clarky's in Maine (yes, the state of Maine) will come tomorrow!... Have a good evening!