December 17, 2023

Status Quo Days

December, January, and February pretty much make up the winter season on our northern hemisphere agrarian calendar. In our part of the world, that means more indoor time with quite a few lovely afternoons to work outside. Having switched my creative pursuits from writing to weaving, I feel productive in a different sort of way, and it's nice not to spend so much time at the computer.

So while there's not much new news, I do have tidbits to share, such as, I got our Christmas tree up!

I get a live potted tree every year and then plant it afterward. Except that for the past several years I've gotten rosemary bushes that never seem to make it. So I decided to try something else. This is an arborvitae. 

With gift giving days coming up, I've been busy weaving Christmas presents.
twill table runner

crackle table runner

woven red plaid scarf

woven gray plaid scarf

The links go to technical details.

Dan spends his morning and evening indoor time woodburning.

The panel is from the bottom of one of the doors he bought off craigslist for the greenhouse. The top was glass panels, which he cut off to use for the upper center of the greenhouse roof

In the department of needful things, Dan built something we've been talking about for years; a headgate for the task of trimming the buck's hooves. 

Our bucks are all pretty friendly, but no goat likes having their hooves trimmed and tends to be uncooperative. This time of year they are still in rut, which means they are rambunctious and harder to handle. The bait, of course, is feed, but we have to have only one at a time in the pen. When we're working on one buck, the others want to take advantage of his restrained situation by butting him (and us, if we're not careful.) It's all goofy play, but they are rough and their play is not something the humans want to be caught in.

With feeder. They're always more cooperative if there's something to eat!

The headgate works very well. I just wish I'd remembered my camera the last time we tackled the job.

The chickens are moulting and so not laying at the moment. But the ducks are obliging us with eggs.

These are lovely for Christmas baking.

As you can see, not much exciting going on. We're just enjoying our season of rest. Hopefully, you'll enjoy these parting shots of Riley. 

He loves to play in the water dish, which gets water everywhere.

I hope you all are staying warm and dry.

Status Quo Days © December 2023


Boud said...

You are both talented people, lovely things.

Does your kitty drink off his paw? I used to have a cat who did -- scooped up a pawful of water to drink. He didn't like putting his face in the water, even with a bowl wide enough not to catch his whiskers.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

I have got to see all of the weaving, but the woodburning is spectacular?

After having thought about it a bit, I conceptually get the idea of the head gate. Sounds like a great idea!

Mama Pea said...

The artistic talent is just rolling off you two! Beautiful weaving, Leigh. I think we all need this time of year for things other than pushing on the "work" tasks that abound on a homestead. Happy Holiday of relaxing and creating to you both.

Leigh said...

Boud, yes, he likes to lick the water off his paws! And oddly, he doesn't mind standing in water to take a long drink. :)

TB, yes, the woodburning is fantastic! One of my favorites so far!

With the headgate, they can't pull or push away. The boys, especially are heavy and hard to control. They still try to dance around, but if there's something to eat, they're more willing.

Mama Pea, yes, it's lovely to have some relaxed creative time! Spring will bring a new surge of garden energy, but for now, it's nice to take a slower pace.

Ed said...

Trimming boar teeth was a task that I never looked forward too, much like trimming goat hooves from that sounds of things.

For me, the real winter is shortened a bit by the holidays. With the girls, it is so busy around here and I don't get a chance to consider enjoying the downtime until after the first of the year.

Leigh said...

Ed, there's very little downtime when the children are still living at home! But enjoy it while you can because those days will pass quicker than you think.

I have to say that trimming boar's teeth sounds worse than trimming buck's hooves!

Rosalea said...

Love to see Riley. I wondered if he was still around. You both are very creative. Beautiful work.

Leigh said...

Rosalea, Riley's still here. :) He'll be 14 next spring, so he's our old-timer. He's slowed down a bit, but still gets around well and does all the things he likes to do. (Including splashing the water dish everywhere!)

Goatldi said...

Lovely! I have a feeling that someone is enabling you in some endeavors.

However it keeps your post lively and leaves us wondering what will they be up to next?

Katie C. said...

Ugh, that’s Sophie kitty. She has to spill the water all over the (newly refinished) floor before drinking it. I need one of those goat restraint systems for trimming the two cats’ claws. We just can’t do it and the vet cost continues to climb.

Leigh said...

Goatldi, we all need a little enabling in our endeavors! :)

Katie, ha! Isn't it interesting how some cats love water - so uncat-like! lol.

Surely someone has a good video on youtube about how to trim claws. Someone must have figured out a non-lethal way to do it. :)

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

The scarves look amazing, and the wood work too. It's nice that you have some hobbies for winter. We are still hoping for good weather to finish the new coop, but the holiday entertaining has us delayed too. Our chickens are molting as well.

daisy g said...

I agree with Mama Pea and the others who extol the creativity of you both. You say not much is going on, but you are both still very productive folks.
Enjoy the slower pace of winter.

Leigh said...

Kristina, good weather for outdoor projects is always desirable! Even when it's nice to kick back and not be so busy. Even so, it's good to set aside holidays for family and friends.

Daisy, it's hard to sit around and do nothing! Even movie watching gets boring pretty quickly. :)

Cederq said...

I like that headgate! I wished I had thought of it. I didn't have bucks, but does are not appreciated of having their hooves trimmed. I use to do it by wrestling them to the ground and basically sitting on them and trying to trim with an uncooperative 80 pound pissed off doe. I bought a commercial headgate that also pinched them and I could turn 90 degrees to facilitate doing most anything.

I like that door panel, would look great as a wall decoration or a divider of sorts.

I use to have a cat that loved to get into the bath water too, so a lot of times she got a bath as well. Only problem with a mischievous cat in a bath is claws and teeth when you are most vulnerable.

Have a Beautiful Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Cederq said...

Oh Leigh, I wanted to say I miss Redbirds from my time I lived in LA... Not the same anywhere else during the Christmas season, They just go together in Alabama...

Leigh said...

Kevin, thanks! How did you manage with no buck? Rent one during rutting season?

No self-respecting goat likes their hooves trimmed! I do the does when they are at their feeders. Each goat has her spot and is chained there during feeding time to make sure she gets her ration and that's it. They are all used to it so the system works well. That's when I do hoof trimming. They try to kick at first to protest, but usually are more interested in eating.

One nice thing about living in the south (besides milder winters!) is that we're wintering ground for so many more northerly birds. They like it here because there's always so much chicken scratch scattered over the poultry yard. Nobody goes hungry!

Cederq said...

I rented them from several sources around the area, I used a different buck every year and made sure there weren't any crossbreeding. I just didn't want to deal with a buck all year round when he was only productive during the rutting. Unless I found a mellow, easy to manage buck then I would have kept one.

Merry Christmas Leigh and Dan!

Leigh said...

Kevin, I kinda wish I could do that. We love our bucks but they can be a handful. Plus noisy. And stinky. Except, I was the first Kinder breeder in my area, so all nearby bucks are related to my herd. My association does have an AI program, but I just don't have the $$ for that anymore.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed
reading it, you are a great author.I will be sure to
bookmark your blog and will come back someday. I want to encourage
that you continue your great posts, have a nice day!

Leigh said...

Thank you! Your encouraging words are very much appreciated.

Quinn said...

Leigh, that first picture of a woven table runner took my breath away! The others are lovely too. You are talented in so many ways. And I had forgotten about Dan's wonderful woodburning - I remember when he used to sell some of his boxes. I always appreciated his use of space in his designs, and this example shows that very well!
A headgate can be so useful. When I had one, my only difficulty was convincing my second doe to put her head forward to get to the food, after that first time. She was smart, but she was stubborn beyond all get-out.

Leigh said...

Quinn, thank you! I admit I'm wondering how it will go the next time we need to trim the boys' hooves. Hopefully, they won't balk!

Flynn said...

your weavings are so beautiful! Amazing. You are both such talented people, thank you for sharing! Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year!

Leigh said...

Flynn, thank you! Happy holidays to you as well. :)