Sunday, January 28, 2007

Wood for the cookstove

As you can see from the picture winter finally arrived here in Virginia. We haven't had much snow but it's very cold and icy.

Since Ken's working full time now (Yes!!!) he hasn't had time to go out and cut wood so we had to break down and buy some. We had a few days without the woodstove going and what a difference. The central heat just doesn't warm the house up like the Pioneer Maid. Of course it does heat the house but it's just not that nice cozy heat that the stove puts out. So now we're back in shape for a while. I dont know how long this load will last us. We should make a pont of keeping track of how much we go through then we'll know how much to have on hand next winter. He's going to go back and get another load next weekend.

Now, perhaps I can get back to knitting. I've accomplished a LOT on the knitting front this year. I've finished a sweater and a bunch of hats and socks. There's just nothing like sitting by the stove in the rocking chair with your needles on winter nights after all the barn chores are done. When all the farm animals are out there bedded down and happily munching their hay I can finally relax.

No relaxing now though. I need to get out there and help download and stack this wood.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Easter Greeting Cards

I know it isn't Easter yet but I'm trying to be get ahead a bit!
Thought this print of spring daffodils growing in the woodland would look nice as an Easter Greeting Card. It's another eraser carving I made during the six months we lived in Maryland. I haven't done much carving at all since we moved here. But, the table in my art room has been cleaned off, the lamp set up, and the scalpel knives and erasers ready! Maybe I'll actually turn out some new work soon!
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The Return of the Ox

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Well, the beast is back!
Mr. V. brought him back the week before Christmas. This time we got a halter on him and here he is in his new stall in the barn as suggested by the more experienced ox drovers I've spoken with.
Ken fastened an iron bar to the post and he's secured to that with a chain with swivels. The ring on the chain slides up and down the pole when he stands up or lays down.
The barn floor is dirt and we were concerned about a mud hole forming underneath him so we dug a pit in the center of his stall and filled it half full with gravel. We placed a pallet on top of that then continued to fill in with the gravel. He's kind of standing on the wood slats of the pallet rather than straight gravel. It's working out well. In the morning I take out the poop and any wet bedding then push the dry stuff to the side so the damp area can air out and dry. He stands up all day anyway so he doesn't need bedding. Then in the evening I clean out the poop and spread dry hay under him so that he's nice and comfy for the night. I thought having a cow in the barn was going to be a major pain in the neck but he's very easy to keep clean. He's really come a long way. He's no longer quite as intent on disemboweling me whenever I go in there! Gosh, when he first came he would give me the evil eye and get ready to charge whenever I walked by. Since he's realized where his food and water comes from he's starting to look forward to seeing me and begins mooing as soon as he hears my footsteps. He'll now let me scratch his shoulder while he eats, which I think is quite an improvement. I still move very slowly and keep a close eye on him but for the most part as long as there are apples in the offing he couldn't really care less about anything else. He's also learned the command "over" and steps to the side while I clean out the soiled bedding. Yesterday I was able to brush him a little bit.
I guess February's goal is to be able to brush him all over and live to tell about it!
Oh and here area a couple of ox and oxen related t-shirt designs I just uploaded to the cafepress shop.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Box Turtle

Someone I met on the trail just before Christmas. Look how camoflaged he is. I almost stood on him. Or her!
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Monday, January 08, 2007

Tree Farmer

Well, I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much. Blogger was giving me fits every time I tried to upload something. I wanted to wish everyone Merry Christmas but couldn't. So now the holidays are over. Hopefully this post will publish and I can at least say Happy New Year!!!

In the mean time I've been working on my Cafepress shop. A big Thank You! to those who bought t-shirts and hoodies over Christmas!!! Your custom is much appreciated. I'll post some of the new designs on here.

While looking through some eraser carvings I did last year this one -above- struck me as having possibilities. Thought it would make a nice design for tree farmer t shirts. So, if there are any tree farmers out there or if you know someone who has a tree farm or orchard you could surprise them with a t-shirt for Valentine's day! Actually, it would work just as well for Father's Day, Mother's Day, or even Easter! Or just beacuse you love a tree farmer. What the heck.

Ok lets see if this will publish.

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