Friday, December 13, 2013

Self-Employed Craftsmen Don’t Get Vacation Pay!

For me, things around here have revolved pretty much around preparing for and recovering from travel. In getting ready for NYC I had a ton of pieces to finish up before we left. (Self-employed craftsmen don’t get vacation pay!) When I got back I had to dive right back into it. This was partially to recover from being out of the studio for a week and partially to prepare for our next trip over Christmas. Seeing as we will be in WA at my parent’s place for a week and a half I’ve really got to work my tail off. Concurrently everything is setting into deep freeze outside now. Light frosts are behind us and the ground is now ice (at least for the first 6 inches). I would know.... I’ve been trying to finish up those lingering outside projects before they get any further buried in snow.

A table all topsy-turvy

Water damaged marquetry surface

Julia has been rehearsing for and is now performing in the Bagaduce Choral Christmas performance. It always takes a lot of practice and energy but she loves it so much. This year the director really set the bar high for them. I haven’t seen the performance yet but can’t wait to see it tomorrow afternoon.

The goats are fluff balls with these chilly days. This is their first winter and it appears to be a rude surprise to them. The chickens crossed their legs in protest a few months ago. We have 40 or 50 layers right now and are averaging about three eggs a day. Five would be exceptional. For the first time in years, we bought eggs from the store. It feels silly filling the feed bin in the chicken house only to go to the store and pay $3.oo for a dozen eggs. Molting. Hmmf.

Guess which one of these is the homegrown egg.

This is what happens when you wrestle a burdock plant

Kyle and I have done some more milling. We still have more to go. I’m making plans to convert my woodshed into a temporary workshop for cutting the joinery for the frame over the winter. I really really want to be ready to raise as soon as the ground thaws in spring. We’ll see.


  1. Are you sure the chickens get enough light?
    If they don't get 12 hours of light every day, the will more or less stop laying eggs.
    When we still had chickens, I installed a fluorescent light fixture, and a cheap timer. That helped things a bit.

  2. Yep. We have a timer set so that they get around 14 or 15 hours of light. It's worked before. Thanks for your help, Jonas. i really appreciate it.

    I think it might be molting.

  3. Hmm. I don't know what to do about that. I know there is a huge difference between the various races of chickens as well concerning how actively they are laying.
    We had some traditional Danish land breed chickens, and they weren't that great actually.
    At the large commercial farms I think they change the entire stock at least once every year. So if the chicken are too old they also stop laying eggs. But I never liked that idea. We kept the chickens for eggs and for some meat, and if they weren't 100% effective - Well then they at least looked nice and ate the potato peelings.
    Good luck with getting them to lay some more eggs :-)
    Merry Christmas

  4. I like the part about the milling, though it was very brief. Perhaps more info on the saw and your experiences and thoughts about it, or point me to one of your blogs where this has been discussed. Overall it looks like you have a nice thing going.