Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Tables for Christmas finished

My 7 finished tables. Also shown closed up so you can see what little room they take up. You will count 8 in all, but the one on the back right, over by itself, is just the trial one I made last fall just to see if I could do them. One alone in front of the router is also the test one. That unpainted sheetrock on the right side wall is now painted a powder blue. I got tired of seeing that wall and how the dust collects on it, so swept it off real well, then bought some stain-blocker primer paint to clean it up and already had a gallon of the powder blue paint in the cellar, so I used that to paint the front wall and that one side wall. Did that the past couple days. Today it rained hard all day, so I spent the day rearranging everything in the shop. Still not finished. The back and the right side have that thick board that doesn`t need painting. Looks much better now. I also tore out the old bench and have hopes of getting new 2x4`s to make a better more level one.
You will notice the standard with wheels under the scrollsaw on the right. Well, today I finally put the other two bases together and can now move the scrollsaw, bandsaw and router by putting them up on their wheels. Now I can push them back to the wall out of the way to have more room for using the table saw. With the base standards that can go up onto wheels, it will be much easier for me to pull out whatever one I need to use and push it back when I am finished with it. I just won`t put a standard with wheels under the table saw even though the bases sit level on the floor when the wheels are raised. .
Still haven`t replaced the first window on the left, but hopefully will get it done later this week. As you can see I have the large double wide window on the back and three windows on the side that I can open when staining if the weather is nice. It should look better and be healthier out there when I get finished and warmer in the winter as I also sealed all around the bottom of the sheetrock where the sheetrock and floor come together. Every little bit helps the electric bill in the winter, as I use an electric oil filled space heater to heat it in Winter.

Friday, August 25, 2006


My First Ring

I was just sitting here thinking of all the rings I own and I can`t even wear one of them.

I received my first nice ring when I was about 10 or maybe a little older. It was my Birthday and my Mother had sent away for a ring with a Saphire in it. My first Birthday stone ring. I loved that ring so much and wore it every day.

I had only owned that ring for a couple weeks when an Uncle offered to take all us kids (along with his daughter and another of our cousins ) ice skating. Near our home was a very large wooded area that origionally belonged to my Fathers parents. They had both passed away long before i was born. One of my Dad`s brothers and his wife then lived in the old farm house. A few years later one of his sister`s husbands passed away. Shortly after that a bro of Dad`s wife died in child labor. So the widowed sister moved into the farmhouse to tend to the baby for her brother. Another bro lost his only son in a car accident and later lost his wife. So the others had him also move home with them. So, two of Dad`s brothers and one of sister`s were living in the farmhouse when i was small. Well, the reason for mentioning all this is to explain who then owned the farmhouse with all that wooded property that extended from the farmhouse all the way to the Feeder Canal. This canal was our private swimming hole when we were growing up. But the canal would freeze over solid every winter-- giving us a huge skating area.

Now to get back to the ring! This day, an Uncle on my Mother`s side of the family took responsibility for all us kids to go skating with him. This Uncle was married to one of my Mothers sisters. We were all so happy to be allowed to go skating with him. We had skated about 5 miles up the canal and another 5 miles back and were all having a wonderful time. We would have skated up further if there wasn`t some water locks named "The Five Combines". This was where they could close the locks and prevent any boats from going thru when it was closed. When closed it also cut down on the height of the water in the canal below that lock. But, even if we had skated down the canal the other way, we still would have eventually arrived at another set of locks, only those were even closer. Shortly before we got back to where this canal touched the farmland, I removed my gloves to rub my cold hands. That`s when I noticed my ring was mssing. I checked my gloves, hoping to find it inside the glove, but no such luck. My Uncle even turned the glove inside out to be certain it wasn`t stuck to the material someplace. A brother and a couple others skated back up the canal for about a mile or so looking for it. But we never found it. I knew it could have slipped off my finger at any of the many times I had removed my gloves to rub and warm up my cold hands. As my Uncle said, it was starting to get dark so we had to get off the ice. That was our last skating for that winter so I never was able to go back hunting for my birthstone ring.
I felt terrible from losing my ring. I also felt bad having to tell my mother I had lost that ring she had gotten for me. Why do I say mother got it for me when she used my Dads money to buy it. So, actually it was a Birthday present from both of my parents. I got other gifts along with the ring, but the ring is one I never forgot about. Like the first Doll that I had named Joan, this was my first ring that wasn`t fron the Five and Dime store. It was a tiny bit lose, but being so young I never thought of taking it off and leaving it at home. I wish my mother had thought to tell me to take it off so I wouldn`t lose it. Back then they didn`t have the ring guards they have today to make a ring fit tighter onto a smaller finger and my parents couldn`t have afforded using a jewelry worker to cut it down. This reminded me of the year both my sister and I spent a week at Church camp that was being held in a College in Vermont State. Why I am thinking of that now is because of something my mother wrote in one of the letters she wrote to me. This is what she wrote " Tell Betty to take off Buddy`s ring if she goes in swimming so she won`t lose it. " I still have that letter today. I still wonder why she didn`t just write a letter to my sister and tell her. My sister Betty is 2 yrs older than I am and Bud was her boyfriend and is her husband still today. We were about 15 and 17 at this time. But, who knows, mybe my mother remembered me losing my ring and caused her to fear Betty might also lose a ring. Or maybe her boyfriend mentioned he hoped she didn`t lose his ring while she was gone. Either way, I will never know.

It was many years later before I ever received another ring with a Sapphire stone on it. Actually my Mother`s ring has 3 sapphire stones amongst the other stones. Two of my daughters, plus the step daughter were also born in September- so Sapphire stones. Plus there is one for Feb., stepson in March and 2 for the twins born in April. I love this ring and wore it for many years.
Then I had a mishap with a steak knife which left the smaller finger on an angle and so sensitive that I could no longer wear a ring on the left hand ring finger. The ring made the damaged finger pain too much. But this steak knife is another story.

Then the arthritis got so bad that my fingers turned just crocked enough to prevent me from wearing any of my rings. Worst part was when they had to remove my wedding and Engagement rings for the first hand op -on my right hand. I did manage to put the rings back on for a few years. My wonderful Husband even bought me a larger Diamond Stone engagement ring to replace the smaller one he gave me before we married. He wanted to also buy me a more expensive wedding ring, but I refused. No way was I ever replacing the three Diamond stoned wedding band he gave me on my wedding day. He thought I would prefer one with three larger Diamonds, but how can any ring mean as much as the origional one from your Wedding day. I made them tape over my wedding and engagement rings for every cessarrian- I wouldn`t let them remove my rings. So the three hand ops over the years were the only times they were allowed to remove my rings during operations.

I also have other pretty rings that still sit in my jewelry box. All those pretty rings and I can`t wear any of them. My knuckles are a bit enlarged from arthritis, so if I had pieces put into the rings to get them over the knuckles , then they would be too loose to fit tightly onto my fingers. I can`t take a chance on having any lose rings on my hands while working with all the tools in my woodshop. it would be just too dangerous.

There was a short time when I wore my husbands larger wedding band because I just couldn`t seem to put it away with the others. Till one day while working outside in the yard, I somehow lost his ring. One of my daughters and I hunted for a long time and never found it. But the next day one of the sons went looking and found it inside a cement block in the stair steps of the outside cellarway. A Daughter and I had used a flashlight and checked every one of those blocks, and still there it was in plain sight the next morning. I wonder if the rain over night had something to do with it. Maybe the ring had ended up standing on end in a spot where it didn`t show and maybe the rain caused the ring to drop down flat. Just something to still ponder over. That convinced me to put his ring away for safe keeping

When I look back and remember that it was my mother`s sister`s husband that took us skating and it was thru the property owned by my Fathers family-- just reminded me how well my Father`s and my Mother`s families all got along. I sure was so lucky to have such wonderful relation on both sides of the family.

With all that Doctors know today, I wish there was a way to straighten out the crocked knuckles and fingers that show where arthritis has made itself known. They might not have been so bad if I wasn`t born with double jointed knuckles in the middle knuckles which had allowed those knuckles to bend backward a short ways further than most peoples knuckles. Straightening out the fingers after the hand operations ended up with those knuckles bending inward a little ways when the fingers are held wide open. But, they sure could be lots worse. As long as I can still have fun making things, I have no reason for complaining. I can even still crochet using those pencil enlargers to make the needles larger so they don`t slip out of my fingers. So, I know how lucky I am But I still do wish we had found my first Birthstone ring. Had a girlfriend who lost her grade school ring and when they sold their parents home about 30 years later- the new tenents took the kitchen sink pipes apart to repair it. Lo and behold, there in the sink piping was that old grade school ring. Last I heard one of her grandchildren was still wearing that ring. So, sometimes miracles do happen. I still have my grade school and my high school rings, but the high school picture is off the hight School ring. I was repairing a bicycle, using double wrenches to remove the two nuts when one of the wrenches slipped, hit the ring, and the emblem went fyling. A bro helped me hunt for it, but we never found it. We even emptied boxes and boxes of bike parts to search in the boxes. That was over 30 years ago when we were still repairing bikes in our cellar. We later built the bike shop to work in. Who knows, maybe one of these days when I am cleaning in the cellar, a miracle might happen and the emblem might be found.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

This is a picture of my shop roller standard with it`s 3/8 inch rollers.
The legs close up together and the top can be slanted down to a verticle touching the legs to use up little space for storing when not being used. The height is adjustable and the slant of the top can be set level or at any tilt needed. This standard costs, but well worth the price I believe.

The pictures of just the rollers shows better
what the rollers actually look like. The tiny
center of each one can spin in any direction inside the unmovable base.
These single rollers can also be bought to make your own standard. They are fairly cheap. It`s like having a metal round ball
that moves so easily when ever you push anything across it. Moves so easy you can spin the centers with your finger. These roller bearings can be bought in 3/8 inch or I inch size.
Lots of the woodworker catalogues sell these. I just went on line and checked out the Rockler catalogue to find these pictures.
I am not one who shops on line unless I can print it off and mail in the order.


Memories of Mother and dad

Was telling about my Dad called Jack to a friend and it got me really thinking of my Dad and Mom.
My Dads real first name was Frederick and most called him either Fred- by all those he repaired cars for- (a mechinist at work and a mechanic in evenings at home and a worker for everything else that needed repairing at home) or at the first mill he worked for they clled him farmer as they knew he had a cow, pig, chickens and was quick to plow the field next to our home for Mothers huge garden.
I was in grade school when they called him Farmer. By the time I was in the middle grades he was working as a fine mechinist at another mill with much better wages. He stayed at this job until he retired. He didn`t retire as early as he could have. he worked an extra year. He told my Mother he was working the extra year to make an even number of years working at the mill.. But he told me he was really working the extra year so that my mother would be able to start drawing full social security the exact same year he retired and neither of them would have any reductions as they wouldn`t be retiring early like many of his friends did. In fact Dad had one more full year extra to his credit.You see, Mother was just 1 year 4 months younger than Dad was. he was born in Jan. 1903 and mother was born in May of 1904.
But to get back to Dad`s names--all his own Family called him Jack. I never thought to ask anyone where they got the Jack from. I did hear a rumor once that my Dad was always doing something, he wasn`t one to just sit around. I heard he was like a jack-in-the box, always jumping up to do something. So, maybe that is where the name jack origionally came from. So, he was known as Jack by family and close friends and he was a jack of all trades and master in his machinest mill job ( according to his Boss and others at work) and master mechanic at home in his evenings and spare time ( people just kept bragging after he fixed their vehicle and word of mouth kept him loaded with more and more to repair. He never had to advertise to be loaded with repairs to fix for someone. ). I can`t remember a time when my Father wasn`t working on someones car or truck. Even as a small child I can remember running out to the garage just to see what my Dad was working on then. As busy as he was, he never once told any of us kids ( 7 of us) to go play, or that he was too busy to be bothered by us. he always talked with us, even though he never stopped working on what he was doing unless we needed him to look at something. I can remember many times when he would be on his wheeled platform under a vehicle when one of us would ask him to see something. he would quickly slide out on his back on that flat wood platform with the wheels under it. I never thought of it at the time, but he must have kept those wheel axels very clean for them to roll out that fast. He even repaired a neighbors truck the day before he died at almost 73 yrs of age. But he always said he was jack of all trades, but master of none of them. Thought you might get a kick out of this - a Fred called jack!
Now my Mom was one who thought she couldn`t do anything well. I never did understand why she felt that way, but she did come from a large family. I know my Dad was always telling her how wonderful and intelligent she was, so she should have believed him, as he meant every word of it. Shw was his world.
My Mom used to have a choc cake recipe and noone was ever able to make it taste just like hers. Then one time I noticed her silver colored measuring cup had no markings on it-- so after we lost our Mom I asked my bro for that cup. As it turns out that cup is just a tiny bit over a measuring cup size and that turned out to be the difference. Funny how that tiny bit of difference made so much difference in the taste. I don`t think the rest of the family ever did figure it out. Everyone loved her baked rice, but noone could do it like hers. Finally one day I asked Mother to let me know the next time she was making it so I could watch her. Well she did even better. One day she phoned me to see if I was free to come down home. When I got there she had everything sitting on the table waiting for me. Well, I thought i was just going to watch her, but no way. She had me do the work myself using her directions. I can honestly say it tasted like my mothers rice. My oldest bro and his wife were up from N. Jersey that day in time to eat with us. My bro never forgot that I had learned how to make mothers rice, so after we lost our Mom, he asked me to continue to make Mothers rice for our large families yearly reunion. I have now been making that rice for the past 10 years.
Now to get back to my Dad--When we lost our Dad 30 years ago, I told my Mom there was just one thing I would like of my Dads- an old pocket watch that belonged to his dad. my Mother couldn`t see what I would want that old watch for as it didn`t work. But I had great memories of all the times my Dad told me the story. It seemed that watch was all his Dad ever received from the railroad when he retired after over 40+ years of working there. It bothered my Dad that the railroad never had it engraved and it wasn`t a watch with a train or anything etched on it-- just a plain pocket watch, but it did have the covers to close it up. Every time he told me that story my Mother would always say that the pocket watch she bought him was nicer and much more expensive. I can still hear my Dad saying "I know that Ann, I was just telling Dot that it was all my father had to show for all his years of loyalty". I can`t even guess how many times my Dad told me that story over the years. Think I was the only one he felt was interested enough to talk about it to. I was real close with my Dad, he always knew how to make me feel real special. But then he did that with all us kids. think there was just one who felt closer to Mother than to Dad, not that Mother didn`t love us all, but she did have her favorites when we were growing up - her first son and first daughter and whoever was the baby at the time. A few years before she died her favorites changed some. But thats another story.
To get back to the watch-
When I told her I would like the watch, I also told her all I wanted of hers was the old tall green candy dish with square standard bottom and the pointed top cover and the pretty pattern all over it. We grew up with that pretty candy dish. tTimes were hard in the 30`s and early 40`s and we were told to only take one piece at a time so there would be enough to go around till my Dad`s next payday. Mother went to the cupboard , got that prettygreen candy dish and gave it to me-saying take it now, I never use it anymore. So, when everyone else started arguing about what they wanted after we lost mother ( 10 years ago ) I just left. I already had all I wanted. But there was one thing that did stir up lots of trouble later. Before she died, my mother gave me the very large baby picture of my Dad sitting in his highchair because as she said, I was the only one who cared enough to clean it for her. It was a hand painted picture measuring 21 inches tall x 18 inches wide, sitting in a gold painted fancy frame with fancy cutout designs all over it. Frame measures 30 inches tall x 25 inches wide. So you need a large area to portray it well. I am not sure what that hand made frame was made out of, only that it is quite heavy and beautiful. I refused to take it right then, and told her thankyou for giving it to me, but I probably won`t get it, but I thank you anyways. My parents had that picture on their wall ever since Dads parents died, long before I was born. She again told me to take it now, but it had hung on my mothers bedroom wall every since we lost Dad, so I knew how much it meant to her to see it there. So she then told me to take it the minute she passed away. Of course I couldn`t do that. Then a bro who lived in the home place refused to give it to me, but one time a friend of his was there helping him after he had an operation and she was discusted with him for not giving it to me when he knew our mother had given it to me. One day she just took it off my mothers wall, told my bro to get her an old sheet or something to wrap it in, put it into a large box her electric fan had come in and put it into my car and thats how I got it. Even though my bro was there when Mom gave it to me, he raised the biggest stink and never told the rest of the family that Mom really did give it to me. I remember the day Mother told me it was mine, that same bro followed me to the car saying she had no right to give it to me as he had repainted the frame. My mother heard him thru the open window and yelled out " Yes, and I told you not to, but you did it anyways". It was an antique frame and according to my Mom it hung on my grandparents wall from the time my Dad was little until the day the last grandparent died. and on my parents wall every since then. She said it never needed painting in all those years and it didn`t need it now. Of course his using the newer gold paint ruined the value of the antique homemade frame. I much preferred the -a bit duller- gold color that it origionally had.
Isn`t it funny some of the things you never forget? I have so many more wonderful memories about the 20 years living with my parents and their years after I married and moved out, but they will need to wait for another day.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


My extension table to hold long boards

WOW! I added the picture three tomes before it finally appeared.


my Extender standard

If you work with wood, you probably have seen this extension standard. It is used to hold the other end of long boards when you are cutting them on the table saw. When opened up I have it adjusted to match the exact height of my table saw standard. The roller balls on the top surface spin to allow the boads to roll along as they go thru the cutting process . It sure has made it possible for me to keep working with some larger boards, so I waste less wood. It was getting way too hard for me to hold up the longer ends and keep them level while pushing the boards thru the saw blade at the same time. Since I didn`t want to quit wood working I knew I had to find something to hold the heavy long ends up even while I was cutting them.

In the picture the standard is partly closed up to give me more working space. my reason for showing the extender table is to show you I also use it for other things besides supporting boards. I often need a place to hang some items so I can stain or paint them entirely at one time.
Hanging on the extension table you will see 7 short sections of dowels that I hung and stained yesterday.
I just take a screw and screw it into one end of the dowel, tie a string to the screw and drape the string across the top of the extension table and then tie the other end of the string to another screw in another dowel and let it hang down on the other side. . That separates the dowels so they don`t touch each other while drying. The reason I use one string for two dowels is -this way you don`t have to tie the string to the frame, no unting when done and just unscrew the screws from the dowels to remove the string and put the strings and screws away till I need them for another project. Best to hang them so they don`t get tangled. No wasted string or screws. Works great. I used to hang them other places, but found it easy to move them with the table if they get in the way where I am working. Actually the extension table top lays flat for holding boards. I just closed up one side a ways and thats why it is on a slant now. Both sides close up and the bottom legs close together for less room needed when storing.
Well, enough about this extension table with the rollers. here is the picture of it:

Saturday, August 12, 2006


My Shop

This is what it looks like in my shop right now. All the boards I sanded and stained yesterday and the day before are laid on their sides to give me more room to place all the boards that I sanded and started staining today. My small table business in progress.

The first picture above and the last one on the left side are the finished ones turned sideways and pushed together for more room. The 2nd and 3rd picture are the ones laid showing width of boards and are the ones I worked on today. Hoping to get the 2nd coat of stain on the ones in the third picture (top right) tomorrow and start the other side of the ones in the 2nd (middle) picture. Had to push all three saws back to get enough room to work in. As you can see i even used empty boxes for more work surface.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Thusday, Aug. 10, 2006

Cleaning out a lot of old papers I came across a letter I wrote back in Feb. 2003.
I had forgotten all I was going thru back then. I had lost Walt in July 2002 and seemed like everything started falling apart, one right after the other.
Well, this day, on Feb 8th of 03. I had just filled my washer to do a load of washing and once the washer was filled with water it just stopped working.
I had to move the Dryer to get to the washer plug. I pushed the plug in tight, but still it didn`t work. But one of the leveling legs fell off the dryer when I moved it.
I decided that leg could wait till I figured out the washer. Next I went to the cellar to check the breakers and sure enough, something had knocked off the breaker. I never did find out what had thrown the breaker off, but it never happened again.
Once I threw the breakler back on the washer worked just fine. So while the clothes were being washed I figured I better fix the dryer leg and have it ready before the washer shut off.
I tipped the washer up far enough to slide some boards under it. Then I was able to screw the leveling leg back in.

Well, I thought, Good, that is done and it wasn`t too hard. Was I ever wrong as when I pushed the dryer back to the wall it wasn`t level. So I pulled it back out far enough to put the boards back under so I could re-adjust that leg. I should have been smart enough to tighten all the legs the first time. But, no I didn`t. And tipping it back up allowed the other levering leg to fall off.
Are you laughing yet? I remember my kids laughed when I told them about it.
I finally got both legs tightened and the washer leveled and was able to do two loads of washing and drying with no more problems.

Then the next morning I found the bathroom sink leaking. Luckily I had bought Walt a new pipe wrench a few yers before. All I had to do was tighten the pipe and the leaking was cured. A few months later the water in the tank for the seat wouldn`t shut off. I ended up grabbing a shoe string and tied the lever up inside so no more water could run into the tank. I cleaned up the mess and headed off to the wood place and bought a new tank inside works. Once I got it replaced in the tank that problem was solved.
Much has needed repairing since Ii wrote that letter.

Since then, in the last three years I have replaced the insulation in the attic side upstairs ceiling, plus covering it with some heavy plastic which warmed the house enough that I have ordered furnace fuel one less time every winter. With the high price of fuel today, it sure has helped.
Next it was the main roof on the house that I had to have new paper and new roofing tiles replaced. Once that was done ( two of my sons did that for me), then
I had the bad eave boards replaced along the back of the house. This cured the leak that had showed up in the upstairs bedroom.
After that There was the time I laid down the house keys to refill the dogs water dish and the dog jumped up on the door and shut it. The handle was already in the locked position as I was ready to leave when I noticed the water dish getting low.
I had fixed all my doors so they couldn`t be opened by a credit card, so a daughter climb up the high ladder to see if the upstairs window might be unlocked. No such luck. We thought we were going to have to break one of the small door window panes to unlock a door. Then I remembered there was no inside casing on the door in the laundry room and I was able to break in there. That meant buying wood to repair the door frame. Then I bought casing to put on that door so it is sealed tight now.
Then the kitchen addition roof started to leak. The boys made a whole new roof over it. Another problem solved. Next was a broken window. A son hit the window to kill a wasp and then I had to replace the window. I also had to add to the kitchen roof as the eaves were running down onto my outside light meter box and building 2 inch thick ice over it. Another problem cured. There was lots more, but I could write a whole book about all I have done or had done for me in just the last 4 years. Like I still have a cracked garage floor from when we had the earthquake a few years ago. It had also broke a window in the shop that had to be replaced.

Well you get the idea. Everything started falling apart soon after I was on my own here. And all I could think about was what Walt had said when I first wanted to improve the house. He said " It will last for as long as you and Ii ever need it, let whoever gets it next do the repairs".
You guessed it, the one who had it next was still me. I had to get all the repairs done.

This last year is the first I haven`t needed to do more repairs so I was able to redo part of the bathroom and start enjoying myself making things in the shop. Walt never liked me working much with 5-in- one combination saw, drill, lathe ec. , he was always afraid I would get hurt. We finally sold it to our youngest daughter and I got the table saw I wanted. It had gotten way to hard to lift up that heavy drill press, and the arthritis in my hands made it impossible to hold the sharp tools for the lathe work. I pray there is no more major repairs in the near future,

Monday, August 07, 2006


What to do today? That is the question.-8/7 06

What to do today? That is my question.

Here I sit resting at the comp and also watching the soaps on TV.
I know I want to do more wood cutting in my shop as I have started
working on Christmas gifts for my kids. Since my Uncle loaned me
the small table he made so I could make myself a pattern from it,
I did make myself one. Then I got the idea that they would make
nice gifts. So, last week I made two trips to our local Curtis Lumber
Co. for wood. Since I carry the wood in my Mazda car, I often make
more than one trip.This time I could have carried all the necessary wood
in one trip, but felt it would be less wear and tear on my old 80 Mazda
if I did it in 2 trips.

When I had my 83 Plymouth totaled by some crazy truck driver I was so
upset. I had owned this car since it was new in 1983 and after driving it for
12 years and keeping it looking like new, to have some driver cross onto my side of the road and hit me head on really was irritating. I cooled off some when I figured that driver crossed to my side of the road to miss hitting a car that was backing out in front of him causing him to go around it or hit it.Just a couple weeks before this accident, I was visiting a friend when her husband told me " Dot, I sure wish I could afford a new car like yours" I told him that I wish I could afford a newer car like his. His was just 2 yrs old. You should have seen the shocked look on his face when I told him my new looking car was actuslly 12 yrs old. Last fall I had a few rust marks touched up on my Maxda so it now looks like a new car again- no dents anywhere, no bad scratches, so maybe I should knock on wood, or thank God for my good driving record, or just be very grateful I have been able to avoid those dangerous crazy drivers on the road. Who knows, maybe this trusty car will last as long as I do if I just keep taking good care of it. It is already older than my Plymouth was and I have owned it almost as long.

I had origionally gotten this Plymouth especailly for carrying Scout items. It had the back seat that could lay flat , so when I removed the trunk cover I had loads of room for carrying everything I needed with me at the Round Table meetings that I helped run every month where we taught Scout Leaders - both Cub leaders, Webelow Leaders, Den Mothers and even had some Boy Scout leaders attending to learn. That was fun, but I also carried things needed for the summer scout cub camps where I also worked , and for the monthly Parent/ Cub meetings. I stayed invloved for over 15 years and loved every minute of it.

So, years later, when I went looking for a new car, I still wanted one where the back seats went down to carry things better. When I found this Mazda that the police chief from the neighboring town was selling, I rushed to look at it. Didn`t take me long to decide I wanted it. I still miss the Plymouth because the back seat of the Mazda doesn`t go down as flat as the one in the Plymouth did. But, it still had the back trunk cover to hide whatever I was normally carrying and with the seat dropped I could still carry more than I could with a reg. car. So. I seldom need to have anything delivered or ask anyone to pick up boards for me. I like this. I go to Curtis so often that they are forever asking me what I am working on now.

Yesterday my future son-in-law ( next spring or summer) came out to the shop to ask me what I had been working on the past few days. I guess they had heard all the saws going so much. I showed him a couple boxes of already cut boards and told him I was running a small table factory. I am cutting out enough pieces to make at least 6 or 7 of those small closeable tables. I only have a few slats yet to cut before I can do a finish on all the boards and put them together. I still have sanding and many screw holes to drill also. Each table requires 12 top slats, 8 shorter support slats, 4 legs, 2 leg support boards, one piece of wood dowel, plus a few minor pieces. So, for 6 tables, I need 72 longer slats, 48 shorter slats, 24 legs- each with the slanted bottom end to fit flat on floor when opened, 12 leg supports, 6 dowel pieces, plus the minor items. All the legs and leg support need the top end rounded off so there are no pointed edges. I did this on the scroll saw. I started cutting the bottom slants on my Band saw, but ended up finding it easier to also do this on the scrowl saw. Then back to the table saw to make the slats. To make the thinner slats take a lot of cutting. After cutting each slat the correct width, I then have to run each slat back thru the saw to cut them in half to get the right thickness. This is where you really need to concentrate as they are smaller boards that are being cut in half. So now you know why I called it a small table factory. :):)
I have just 12 more of the shorter slats to cut out and the cutting will be finished.
I will probably do those today.

Next is to decide exactly what type finish I want on them. I could just leave them the origional wood color and add a good protecive coating to protect them from spills or dampness. With luck, I should get them finished long before cold weather gets here. Gee, last week we felt like the heat was going to do us in, and here I am talking about the colder weather that will be here again in just a couple months.

Guess I will need to start cooking again. A couple days ago I made a boiled dinner style, only I cooked it in the pressure cooker so it would be quicker. I cut the small cabbage in half, cut the small ham in half, and froze the rest of the ham. Rest of the cabbage is still waiting for me to decide what to use it for.
To get back to the meal, to the cabbage and ham, I added some uncooked carrots, 2 potatoes cut in half, and an onion. The flavored ham/ vegetable water left in the pressure cooker made a delicious gravy. I had this for dinner for two days. Today it is cooler, so I will add the last half potato and cut up the rest of left over ham and add some more fresh cooked veggies and make a stew using the gravy for flavoring. This way I get a change and nothing goes to waste. If I don`t eat it today, it just might go to waste. Can`t let that happen. It has been a long time since I have made a full meal like this one in the pressure cooker. I have been getting lazy and using either the microwave or the electric cooker so I wouldn`t heat up the house more.
Guess I should get off this comp and get the stew started so I will still have enough time to play around in the shop.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Trellis update

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Todays Weather 8/1/06 & Yesterdays small accomplishments

Here is our weather report for today and tomorrow.

So. I am being a bit on the lazy side today. I did get up early to check on the garden and watered it, plus I have the cutest little lawn sprinkler to connect to my long hose and I watered the front yard and the flowers with it. It is a small helicopter that spins around while the top also spins and sprays water everywhere. I have had it for years, but for some reason it had stopped working a few years ago. This past week I got it down from the attic and finally got it back working. One of my daughters asked me where I got it, she hadn`t seen in so long she had forgotten I even had it. The little kids in her day care love watching it from the window next door.
Next was to feed Sassy, my Border Collie. I have one of those huge watering fountains that I filled with a lot of crushed ice before adding the water to help keep the water cooler longer. I just tried again to convince Sassy to come inside out of the heat, but she still prefers laying on the side porch out of the sun-- but I still worry that it is much to hot outside for her. I will keep checking on her and asking her every so often. Maybe eventually she will give in.

Yesterday I went to the wood place for more boards and screws and then spent a few hours cutting the boards in my shop. Much too hot to get any more done today or tomorrow. I want to get at least 6 more of those small close-up tables made for Christmas presents. I also did some canning yesterday- more string beans ( now have 17 pints canned for winter use), plus made some sweet pickle/ onion relish. I gave one pint to my daughter next door and canned another 5 pints, which left just one pint in my frig to eat now. It was either make some relish or give cucumbers away as they were getting too large faster than I could eat them. I hate to see anything spoil.I like to slit open hotdogs and fill the center with the relish. Now I have enough relish to do that all next winter. Yummy, I like that idea. I also managed to pull all the grass and weeds out of most of the flower beds. Figured I better get a lot done yesterday before the heat got worse as I was sure I wouldn`t accomplish much today.
I even caught up the washing so I wouldn`t need to run the dryer on these awful hot days.
I can remember when I used to feel sorry for my daughter-in-law and her family in N. Carolina as they were always much hotter than we were up here. Not so this year as some days we have even been hotter than it was there. Funny, how I live further North than N. Carolina is located and still we are getting some hotter days here. The weather sure is changing. OH Well ! , Guess we have to feel lucky that we are still alive enough to feel the weather. At least we know when it is best to stay inside whenever possible. I should be thankful that I am retired and don`t have to work outside in this heat like so many others do. One of my sons works for the Town and is now riding around in one of those large open tractors- cutting all the grass along all the roads. No windows or doors to close out the heat, so the sun just billows down on him. I know there are many others like him- working out in this heat .
Well, it is now supper time, so guess I will check around and see what looks good to eat. I usually eat anytime between 5 and 7pm, depending on when I feel hungry. With no one else to cook for, I don`t have any set eating time now. Not sure I want to get up from the computer. I have one of those small computer fans that plugs into the front port on the comp and blows the air at me, plus the overhead fan - connected to the ceiling light just behind me is running. Plus the air conditioner in the laundry room window is running along with the furnace fan on my cellar furnace. So the blower on the furnace draws in the cooled off air from the Laundry room and then the furnace blows it back up thru all the heat registers in all the rooms. This doesn`t cool like an air-conditioned house , but it sure is lots cooler than outside air. That was one thing I insisted on a few years ago when we bought the new heating furnace. I insisted that they run an extra electrical line with the on/off switch in the cellar way so I could turn on the furnace blower without the furnace running. I have three switches just inside the cellar door. The closest one to the door has a regular house switch cover and turns on my cellar light, the next switch is over and a bit up higher and red colored and this one is the emergency switch for shutting off the furnace in emergency. The last and further located one is silver colored and turns on and off the furnace blower.
Well, I`m off to check the frig.. As my Mother would say= there is nothing in there now that wasn`t there the last time you looked,- so decide what you want before opening the frig door and don`t just hold the door open while looking. Haven`t lived with parents since 1951 when I got married and still I remembered Mother saying that like it was yesterday. Been 11 years since I lost my Mom. Mind is funny in how it decides what things to keep remembering, isn`t it?.

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