Monday, December 31, 2012

Country life = a new family "member"

We heard a knock on our door last evening, and when we opened it, we found our VERY EXCITED daughter-in-law Katie, son Kevin, and......... a baby goat.

The baby goat had been born at our neighbor's goat farm just a few short hours earlier, and the mama was unable to feed him. Normally, on our neighbor's goat farm, the girl goats get names, but the boy goats don't, because they all get sold.
But that's not stopping Katie, who promptly named this particular boy goat Teddy.
George got down on the floor to play with the goat, and they ended up head-butting. Must be a guy thing.
Teddy had eaten just a little from his mama, but it didn't appear he would get any more, so once they showed him off, they took him home to feed. Or try to feed. When we went to their house a little later, they had Teddy in their kitchen, trying to bottle feed him, with no luck.

Teddy was crying, but was refusing the bottle. George and I found the situation very amusing. We told the newlyweds this is nothing - just wait til that baby is their own human newborn! Anyone who has had the blessing of caring for a newborn knows the helplessness of a screaming baby!
George (who grew up raising sheep) jumped in to help. But Teddy still wanted nothing to do with that bottle. (though he did think our daughter Jessica's fingers looked promising)
Finally, both Kevin and Teddy fell asleep. And George told Katie that Teddy would eat when he got hungry enough. Which would more than likely be in the middle of the night.
Sure enough, at 12:24 AM, Kevin sent this text to his sister:

He woke us up crying,
drank almost 8 oz milk and wanted more,
peed twice soaking up 10 paper towels,
 pooped once,
and now won't quit crying because he wants to play.
Hee, hee. Welcome to "parenthood".
And this may be just the beginning. Kevin and Katie own a VERY PREGNANT goat name Faith who should be delivering any day now. And by the looks of her, she at least has twins, probably triplets. Maybe even quadruplets.
Keep that milk bottle coming!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
Luke 2:14

From our house to yours, we wish you a Christmas full of joy and peace.
George & Barb

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter hours announced

What a busy time of the year!

As you can imagine, the Christmas season is the busiest time for my shop as customers are caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping for just the right gift for their loved ones.

In between customers, I've been going through inventory. I created a clearance corner, and have been keeping it filled. As fast as something sells off it, I add something else. There's been some great buys there!

I'm moving anything that's been on the floor longer than a few months back there. And some things that had been moved to clearance, and didn't get any attention there got moved out permanently yesterday - to Goodwill!

Why am I doing this? Because like last year, we're closing for the winter.

Closed for the season. Reason? Freezin'.


That old building is so cold. No matter how much I turn up the heat, no matter how much money I spend to turn up the heat, I still freeze in there.

And, when it's cold and snowy, not that many customers venture out anyway. Which means I spend more money heating the building, while making less sales. The math tells the tale.

So, we experimented last year with closing for the winter. It worked great. I get lots of time to be in my workshop creating new inventory.

Which is why I'm putting so much on clearance. I need room for all the new treasures that will be coming in!

There will be days here and there that I will open if weather permits. I'll need to keep taking things in so my workshop doesn't get overwhelmed. Last year, I was open 6 or 7 days. I would announce on facebook that I would be open, and the end result was that I sold almost as much in those few days as I had the previous winter when I was open every day. Again, the math tells the tale. I'll be doing the same this winter. Watch facebook for days I will open.

That explains the why I've been so busy in the shop. As for home, it's been just as busy as we've been doing our own Christmas hustle and bustle. I'm happy to say that I'm done shopping, and everything is wrapped.

That also makes Billy happy. As far as sleeping quarters, Christmas is his favorite time of the year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Snowmen Insulators

I saw some old glass insulators somewhere online that had been painted into snowmen.
For once, it wasn't on Pinterest!
But...I don't know now where it was.
They were pretty fancy, full of detail.
I decided to experiment with some too, but keeping it simpler. 

The ones I had seen online had the eyes up in the recessed area
where I have a fabric scarf.
My hands are steady with a paint brush,
 but I don't know if they are THAT steady!
When my sister saw the above photo on my facebook page,
 she commented that I should paint some with black hats.

So I did.
The second one from the left in the front row reminds me of something,
and at first, I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
Then it hit me........
Keystone Cops!
Please tell me I'm not the only one who sees it!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Shipping box snowman surprise

Look what I found when I started cutting open a box on a recent order:

Someone (probably in the shipping department) had drawn a snowman on the outside of the box with a sharpie.

It made me smile to think of someone anonymously spreading their Christmas cheer, one shipping box at a time.

It truly is the little things in life!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sawmill slab pine trees

When we bought a sawmill a couple years ago, we planned on using it to cut lumber. Kinda obvious, don't ya think?

That's our son Kevin, the first time he used the mill. Timber is in his blood. His Grandpa owned and operated a business that included selling and repairing chainsaws, and he also heated his home most of his life with the firewood he cut each year. Kevin's PapPap had his own sawmill, selling lumber as a side business. Kevin's love of the woods and timber runs deep in his veins.

Anyway, as I was saying, we bought a sawmill to cut lumber. And lumber it does indeed cut. But we're finding some other uses, besides strictly 2x4's, or 1x8's.

If you picture a log, it's round. Those rounded edges have to be cut off to square up the log.

Some of the slabs are just right for cutting pine trees! It's hard to see in the photos, but each tree is somewhat rounded on the front, making each tree very unique.

The 2 trees in the above photo are very thick. So thick we couldn't cut them with our band saw, or even a saber saw. George ended up cutting them with a chain saw!

 We let the slabs dry out for over a year, and the bark dried out and fell off most of them, but we had a few pieces with the bark intact. It may fall off eventually, but that will just reveal the smooth wood underneath.
The scraps were big enough to make some small trees. No two are alike, it just depends on the curve of the wood.

This grouping of trees is in the display window, and shows the size variation. These range from 3 or 4 inches to a couple feet in height.

As they are using the mill, George keeps an eye out for slabs with "tree potential". Surely there will be a few that work in this pile!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Railroad spike stocking holders

I just finished painting 33 railroad spikes, a sampling of which is shown here. I've sold lots of these as stocking holders. They work great for an empty stocking. Just let Santa know that it's best to put the stocking on the floor after he fills it, so the railroad spike won't tip over.

Some folks have also bought them as door stops or shelf sitters.

Word of warning - I believe it's illegal to pick these up along the track if there's any laying around. And it's definitely illegal to pull them up! No train derailments please!!!

Fortunately, we have another source for them. Yay!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Scraps and more scraps

What do you do with some scraps of wood, and some scraps of an old cutter quilt?

Well....... I made a snowman family.
And what do you do with scraps from an old chenille bedspread?

Well......... I made them into trees.
So many scraps.
So little time.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The start of December

In honor of December 1st, and all the holiday parties this time of year, I give you this...........

Switching Gears to an Occasional Shop

For a loooooooooong time, I have wanted to switch our shop to an occasional shop. Until yesterday, we were open 5 ...