By Lynda Shadbolt

My husband and I have a new “shop” that was added onto our house when we built a place for my parents to live. Having a space to work and a place to keep all the tools is really helpful. All kinds of creative projects have started to emerge. Charcuterie boards, bird boxes, repaired furniture and more.
My husband is becoming quite a handy guy. It is interesting what can happen when you have a dedicated space. I’ve been watching him with a little envy. I’m not handy at all, and not the most creative person, but I’ve decided that I want to make some wooden reindeers for our Christmas decorations on our driveway. By “I”, I mean “we.” And by “we”, I mean I come up with the ideas and give directions and he responds. And I saw the perfect reindeers at a friends, and I have that image in my head.

I am trying my best to help. Our neighbours have been cutting firewood and when we told them of our project they offered some logs to use as the body and the head. So we’ve been back and forth carrying logs. This is a nice way to spend some time in November. They also had lots of branches that were ideal for the antlers. We’ve been dragging them through the woods to our place, only to find out that our dog has been chewing them and pulling them apart. Some of the branches even made it into our house. Oh the challenges of having a dog! Back we go into the woods to collect more.

Finally we have all the parts and we start to put them together. I thought it would be so easy to build them. Our first deer looked like Rudolph who had just been born and couldn’t stand up. All the legs splayed in the wrong direction. Getting the ratios correct, neck length in relationship to body length and head size was no easy task. Our second deer looked like a giraffe. It’s neck is way too long! We laughed so hard we couldn’t stand.
One thing I keep saying is “wait till the antlers are added before we evaluate it”. I learned that in an art class once. Keep going. You might just be surprised. My (our) goal is to have the three reindeer and now I am thinking of adding a Christmas tree and creating a full little Christmas scene. Jim just smiles and nods as my vision expands. The best part about this little project is that we are outside working together.

The weather has been so beautiful. November in the woods is so quiet and we can see far in the distance since the leaves are gone. We are working with our hands and being creative. All of this is good for our well-being. Doing something together is good for our relationship (as long as I get what I want ha ha ha). Our daughter loves to get the pictures as the project evolves. It all gives us something to talk about that is positive, and that is a good thing.