The season

Winter | Clean

Winter | Clean

Winter | Clean.

Winter | Clean

In which I show photos of snowy animals while taking about crafts.

Try not to be confused.


It's the time of year when I'm obsessively pouring my creative energy into making of all sorts. Knitting, sewing, embroidery, glass etching (what the?!), and woodworking.

Every. Day. Because Solstice is what… 3 days away?


And baking.

Oh, mercy. The baking!


I'd forgotton about the baking.


With just one batch each of biscotti and thumbprints baked so far, I'm wondering if I've got gluten-free lefse and rosettes in me this year. Or anything else for that matter.

Time will tell.

(And less is more, right? Right.)


The kids are busy too.

Embroidery, cross stitch, snow globes, ornaments, and various wood-crafts.

Pete's been hiding out in the woodshop – and yes the sewing room – crafting up some magic of his own. (No, he's not knitting these days. He was a one-hit wonder on the dpn's.)


Tis the season for being crafty.

And it's fun!

And insane.


Okay, it's totally insane.

How did this happen anyway, with all my talk of keeping it simple?


Because though our gifts are few, we go a little crazy with the handcrafting.


When I look at what we're making it's a lovely small heap of handmade goodness. Warm jammies. An ornament. Stockings stuffed with "love coupons", twig dollhouse furniture and a small handknit each.


But still.

When you add extended family to the holiday list, the crafting becomes a full-time job.


Thus it's simple. And remarkably overwhelming.


But I wouldn't want it any other way.


When we're not hunkered down crafting in far flung corners of our house (if that's possible in 1000 square feet) we're outside hauling hay and water and talking to animals.


Our first winter as animal keepers/pseudo-mini-homestead-farmers is upon us.


It has been a bit of a roller-coaster, reminiscent of those first weeks with our first child.

Not because that much has gone wrong. But rather because I'm anxiously waiting for it to go wrong.

You know. The "I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing-and-I-suspect-everything-is-eight-seconds-from-going-haywire" stage?

(Please tell me some of you went through that stage as a mother and I'm not the only one. Even if you didn't.)

The "What's-that-noise?-What's-that-lump?-What's-that-smell?-Oh,-Lord,-please-don't-let-me-kill-them" stage? You remember. Don't you?


Well, regardless, we're there again.

But with livestock instead of children.


Thank goodness for patient, more experienced friends who can respond to my neurotic emails with a laugh and a "No, honey. That's not a tumor. It's her rumen."


Oh, mercy. It's going to be a long winter.


And then?

And then we got a llama.

Just in case we needed an animal over 6' tall to fret about.

Winter | Clean

Winter | Clean

Meet Guinness. Our guard llama.

He's a honey. Unless, of course, you're a predator who comes to mess with our lambs.

Then he's supposed to get nasty.


Oh, my. It's going to be an interesting winter!


18 thoughts on “The season

  1. bren says:

    Thank you for putting into words how I’m feeling! How the heck did I think it was a good idea to carve this many spoons in so little time? Plus the knitting, and slippers, and food, and sewing, and {insert every other thing I keep almost forgetting}. Next year…next year I will start earlier. It will be more simple and less frantic. (No, I/it won’t.)

  2. Karen C says:

    I’m feeling the frenzy, too. But it is a good frenzy and not too stressful (yet). I have one more hat to knit, teacher gifts to make, cards to send out, and caramels and waffles to make. Oh, my…looks like I will be busy for a while!

  3. Margaret B. says:

    well, at least you are funny when you’re frenzied. the livestock fretting in this post made me laugh (and yes, I went through that same stage with my first son. I was afraid to leave his presence or go to sleep for fear he would stop breathing or otherwise somehow cease to be…)

    happy crafting, knitting, stitching, baking, glass-etching & woodworking, etc…

  4. Thomasin says:

    The google photos of “rumen” are less than ideal, but I think I get it. (Felt lost there myself for a sec.). Your holiday prep sounds as memorable as the holidays will be themselves. Happiness to you all!

  5. Sagetribe says:

    “The “What’s-that-noise?-What’s-that-lump?-What’s-that-smell?-Oh,-Lord,-please-don’t-let-me-kill-them” stage? You remember. Don’t you?” It goes away!! 🙂 They look loved and nourished. Happy Solstice! in 3 days (ahhh)

  6. Rachel Wolf says:

    We sure have! Guinness the llama came from the same farm that our goats came from, so they are old friends. They just needed to hang onto him until now to protect the remainder of their flock. We’re happy to have him.

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    Bren, I love that you are carving spoons! That was my plan but I’ve only made one so far. Next year will be a spoon year I think. And yes, I’ll start earlier too. I’d love to get together and quietly carve again some day!

  8. Rachel Wolf says:

    Thanks Alana! Our flock is a mish-mosh of a little bit of everything. The long-coated critters are (mostly) Icelandic. Those with wool down on their forheads and a tight curly coat are either Corriedale crosses or Polypay. Among other things!

  9. Knitting Mole says:

    I’m so looking forward to photos of Guinness doing his job protecting the flock! (my only frame of reference is Polka-dot on Beekman Boys, and he was pretty damn entertaining!!)

    And absolutely, new baby worries are the worst! And those What to Expect books are as bad as hanging out on Web MD! So worrisome 🙁 But we made thru it just fine and I’m sure your flock will too!

    happy Solstice!! (only 3 days?? are you sure??? i’m not prepared!!!)

Leave a Reply