Sunday, September 24, 2017

Year 17, Week 35, Day One (week 921)

Year 17, Week 35, Day One (week 921)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-07-17 Thursday

Weather calm, warm, as if nothing is about to happen. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I usually keep notes of my activities so that when I get around to posting my wood working diaries well after the fact, which has happened often lately, I can get the facts straight. Well, in moving things around for the hurricane, my notes disappeared. All I did the past few weekends was go yard sailing. I THOUGHT about wood working but never got closer than that to actually making sawdust or wood chips. This storm is reducing the chances of doing anything, for a while.

At work we closed up the office after half a day of work, putting things in bags, and draping plastic over desks and such in case things got bad. The men went to jobs and shrink wrapped stuff or placed stuff in a safe location.
We knew the storm was coming by Tuesday, so we made plans. I was to stay with my parents during the storm. It will be best for them and for me, so I closed up the condo, bringing plants inside on Thursday. I had to fight with a window who’s crank is stripped. After an hour of playing, I got it closed up tight. Luckily, the wind will only come into the building, and not out, unless a window is broken by some object, and then a bad crank is not going to be something to worry about. I grabbed my two Colman Stoves and two gallons of white gas, am emergency bin containing Sterno, candles, matches, coffee pot, folding stoves, and other needed items for a storm. I also grabbed some batteries and crank lights that I keep in the freezer. Batteries go bad a whole lot slower if they are kept in the freezer, and crank lights do have a small battery in them. 

Year 17, Week 35, Day Two (week 921)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-08-17 Friday

Hurricane Irma approaches. Sky cloudy, winds have picked up, Humidity rising.
This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

My company decided to be closed Friday to give us a chance to get ready for the storm.  Mom and I started moving stuff out of the back yard. We got permission to put some stuff in the neighbor’s house, in exchange we had to put up the shutters And watch over the property.
My brother and his son came up and helped put up the shutters on the neighbor’s house, close the awnings on mom’s house and take down the panels over the work area. 
Along with the Sterno and Colman stoves, and we also had a gas BBQ grill with most of a tank, and a small charcoal grill. I figured we had no problems about cooking food if things went bad.  I let my brother take one of the stoves and a can of gas. He has one somewhere but no gas for it.
We put the machinery in Mom’s garage and found that she had very little room to get to the garage door. She would have to be like a sneak thief to fit through there. We were both tired and called it a day.

Year 17, Week 35, Day Three (week 921)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-09-17 Saturday

The eye of the storm is going to miss us, but we will still get hurricane force winds. 80% humidity, some squall lines coming through, but mostly a light drizzle. A good brisk wind of about 40 mph. This storm completely covers the whole state of florida and into Georgia, and the eye is still at Cuba!!!

I decided that the other garage, which was full of stuff for a remodel, had a whole lot more room than Mom had, so I brought the wood working equipment down one drive way, across the sidewalk and up the other driveway to the garage. Things that went into Mom’s garage last went in first. Even with the stuff in there, there was a lot of room left.
My lathe is on a set of wheels. They are welded to blocks that have a bar running through them. At one end of the bar, there is another block that has a lever attached. When the lever is pointing up, the lathe is sitting on some 3"x3" blocks on the base of the stand. This is so, when working with something really out of round, the lathe won’t roll around. Push the lever down causes the wheels to come to the ground and then lift the lathe up off the blocks. There is a two by two bolted to the base that acts as locks to hold the lever down so the lathe will roll around. 
While pushing the lathe, we got near the neighbor’s garage, the lathe dropped to the stand’s block. I have a lot of stuff on the lathe to make it vibrate less when somewhat off center items are spinning around. Along with good wood I want to keep track of, the base of the lathe is really weighted down with weight lifter weights and bricks. I had to put my whole weight into the lever to push it down and get the wheels back into place for the lock to swing into place.
We had it almost into the garage, the lever slipped and the lathe clunked onto the ground again. When I tried to lift it back onto the wheels  the lever broke. I will have to check  later to see if the metal gave or the weld gave. Mom took a hand cart and lifted that end and I pulled the lathe into place. 
Some other time, when the time is right, I will unload the lathe entirely, removing all the wood, weights, racks, the head stock, the tail stock, the tool rest, flip it upside down. I can then remove the wheels and get the lever fixed. Not now though.

The past few weeks, I had been fighting an infected sore on my foot. At the time, I did not know it was infected. I had peeled some skin a while back, accidentally, and forgot about it. When it started hurting, I started treating it at home. 
I had to go to the hospital Wednesday Night when the pain would not go away. They gave me medicine and instructions for caring for it. It was also why I was not doing much the past few weeks. 
I thought I was in shape, but “being round has no point.” lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying all sorts of things is taking a toll on my body. We got a whole lot done mainly because mom is running around like a fifty year old.

On the radio, someone said that waiting for a hurricane is like waiting for your dad to come home after Mom said “wait till your dad gets home.”
I also heard TEXAS SAYS “I’ve been through the worst hurricane in history.”
FLORIDA SAYS “Hold my beer, and watch this.”

My camera disappeared yesterday. I found the pouch on my hip was wide open. I looked at some of the obvious places but could not find it. Today, mom found it beside the chair where I sit when talking to them or watching TV. That was nice.  My alternative would have been to use my tablet. I don’t like it near as much.
I took pictures of the neighborhood so I could have before and after pictures. 
The house on the end of the street is vacant because a power line blew out the wiring of the building quite a few months ago. I went around the house and picked up stuff and put them some place safe. I had wanted to do more but that was all I had the endurance to do do. Someone had put down the awnings but there weren’t enough screws for all of them to be locked down. I don’t have those screws either. At least there would be little damage to the place.
The two biggest problems of storms is boredom and anticipation. Anticipation leads to worry and fear.

All work we intended to do to get the property ready is done. It is now a waiting game.

Year 17, Week 35, Day Four (week 921)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-10-17 Sunday

We have steady winds of about 40, with gusts above 80. 75 mph  are hurricane force winds.
The winds are coming due East. Our neighborhood is on an East-West road so each house blocks the wind for the one after it. 

Today would have been my dad’s 100th birthday., He passed when he was 89. All his injuries over the years added up. He lead me into wood working and other crafts and hobbies. 

I went outside to take storm pictures and videos. I used the houses to block the winds. I also went out to check for early damage in case there was something I could do to make it less. Other than mom’s potted plans falling over, we are doing well so far. (

The past few months, I have been making PAN GLOVES which are little socks that fit over the handles of the pans (especially cast iron or stainless steel pans) to protect your fingers from hot handles. These are crocheted in cotton and I use a metal hook that is tiny to get a tight stitch. 
Today, I did not feel like working on the one I was working on, so I grabbed some variegated blue and white yarn and started on a long scarf. I did the chain and two rows before I stopped. I was doing a skip or block stitch where you do a couple stitches, then you chain and then go in skipping a couple stitches. What you end up with blocks and holes through the whole piece. I made a mistake at the beginning on the stitch count for the first block so I have to frog it out to the beginning of that row and start over, doing it right. It looks best if the blocks of stitches and the holes are the same as the height of the stitch. I was doing double crochet, but the spaces and blocks were three stitches long. It does not have the right look.

Year 17, Week 35, Day Five (week 921)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-11-17 Monday
Clearing, a nice breeze, warm and humid.

We never lost power in our house. The power company has worked a long time to replace wood poles with concrete poles and to trim trees. I also still had my phone service which gave me internet access. 

Later in the afternoon, after I figured some of the roads were cleared, I went to work, to see what to expect when I open up in the morning. Lots of branches down but no real damage,  and then to check on my Condo where I found the screen is trashed at the condo. I put the screen in myself and that stupid idiot did it all wrong.
Traffic lights were out all over the place. One is to handle a dead traffic light like a four way stop. Floridians do not understand the concept of a four way stop, let alone stopping at all. 
Trees were down everywhere. From what I understand, nearly all our damage was caused by trees or branches falling. 
Did you know that they make trees, branches, power lines all out of feathers? People were talking about all these things being down.........

Because the eye did not pass over us, we faired well considering.

Later in the week and especially next weekend, I will see what things really look like.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Yes, I am still alive!

I know it's been forever since I've posted on this blog, which is ironic because I'm the one who started the doggone thing! Between the writing, the grandkids, and other demands on my time, I just have not had a chance to get over here. Well, that is about to change...

I have a lot to talk about and no way that I can do that all in one post. I'll pick away at that stuff as I go along.

Health issues have kind of derailed me from doing a lot of the things I used to enjoy. With osteoarthritis in all the major joints and degenerative spine, I don't get around well and can't walk for long distances. So not only did I have to give up gardening, but I just can't handle all the wandering around at the local fairs, yard sales, and flea markets. I still get out to a thrift shop or craft store infrequently and with some additional pain management I hope to do that more often. I do babysit my two youngest grandkids twice a week most weeks and while I'm there I help my elderly mother with things like showering that she has trouble with now. I've had a bunch of other things come up this year, a thyroid cancer scare (multiple nodes in a goiter that all proved benign—WHEW!) and two eye surgeries for cataracts, implanted lenses, and stents to help control glaucoma. The surgeries were absolutely necessary and proved a success, though I am still on all of my glaucoma drops and now need a minor corrective distance lens as well as the reading lens. So I will be back to wearing glasses at least part time in order to see well enough to drive and do close work.

I am still writing almost daily. I have an author page on Amazon here where you can see all the things I have in print, and I still have the two sister blogs, WRITING FROM HOME & COMPANION DRAGONS TALES where you can see what else I've been working on. On the latter blog, my old pals Roger Stegman and Lee Houston Jr. are co-contributors to that series. Roger posts here regularly, and Lee does on occasion though you will most often find him on his own blogs, THE FREE CHOICE E-ZINE & FILLING BLANK SPACES. Lee gets our dedicated blogger award because he's had The Free Choice since around this time of year back in 2008 and he has hardly missed a week. 

WTG Lee! Now you have to post here too...

Over the last year or so we have put a tremendous amount of work into updating and renovating this old farmhouse, and believe me, there's plenty more to be done. But I have gained two new bedrooms that are finished and the house and a good part of the outbuildings are sided. I have a lot of pictures which I will be posting over time. We would have done this work sooner, but it was almost impossible to find someone willing to work on a place built in 1770. Glad to say that we did finally find the right company, and we're very pleased with the results. Thank you TEDCO!

Now that I have a living room that is no longer also a bedroom, I have a place to sit and crochet. Most of my evenings are spent that way, with the TV on with either programs I enjoy or a ballgame, and me sitting beneath a lamp with hooks and yarn scattered around me. I did a lot of handmade ornaments for the holiday tree that I finally had room for, and I've been making banners, buntings, wreaths, and other decorations for my living room fireplace or the big beams in the kitchen/dining room area. Now and then I turn out a doll or some other little doodad to surprise the grandkids with. I'll post a few pictures here for now, and dig up more of them as I go along. I hate to admit it but the yarn stash in my room is overflowing as are my idea files. There's worse things I could be doing.

So here's a few things I've done lately...

I went thrifting! It was just a single stop at a local Salvation Army, but you have no idea how wonderful it felt to walk in that door. I think this might have been only the second or third time I stopped in this year. I am supplementing my prescription Naproxen and OTC 8 hour time-release acetaminophen with sour cherry capsules and that has really helped me. It's been less than a month but I am beginning to get around better.

So what did I get? Not that much, but I walked through the entire store pushing a carriage and I found a few items.

A 4 cup measuring cup, and a giant spatula in almost new shape. Kept the measuring cup but gave the spatula to grandson Ben, who at 13 is starting to cook. He needed something big and sturdy to turn pancakes he made from scratch when I stayed at the kid's house for one weekend. Cooking is a great skill that this grandma wholeheartedly encourages.

I grabbed those two little folding chairs with the younger grandkids in mind. They were marked $4.99 each but are like new, no stains, rips, or bad seams and the mechanisms that folds and unfolds them are still stiff. We used them this weekend when we celebrated Labor Day and Zack's 4th birthday with a cookout/eat indoors feast. The kids loved the chairs.

Yarn. Yes, I bought yarn. Did I need it? No, but I wanted it. That's what I went through the entire store trying to find, and finally located the craft area up front in one corner. They had a laundry basket filled with tangled skeins and balls, and I picked out what I wanted. Only the Aunt Lydia's rug yarn was marked $1.99, so at the desk the checkout guy said, "$4.99 for the lot?" and that was fine with me. Don't care what kind of yarn it is, I use everything.

There were two skeins that I did not buy because they were smaller and I didn't think I'd need them. But they are brown and that's a color that is hard to get right now. So since I lamented that out loud, Lee went back to the thrift store during a shopping excursion and pored through the basket of yarn until he found them. They let him have those for 79¢ each. Very inexpensive if it gets you a hug and a big smile...

So what have I been making? Well, this and that. 

For Mother's Day I was given a yard or so of polar fleece in my favorite pattern by #1 son Jason. This summer I edged it with matching stripes of single crochet. Right now that sits on the back of my chair where I plop myself down to watch baseball and crochet. Go RED SOX!!!!

I simply blanket stitch onto the polar fleece after it's trimmed and then pick up the stitches with the hook and start the edging in whatever stitch pattern I like. I've done quite a few throws and chair shawls that way. Sure is nice to snuggle under one of those on a cold or damp night.

In my kitchen for the entire month of July hung my two patriotic garlands. The stars are the same ones I used on my holiday tree as ornaments, a pattern I found online and then made two of them for each and sewed them together without stuffing. Just enough bulk to have them hang fairly straight without being too fat.

Those are pony beads in alternating colors strung on soft red faux suede lacing that I got in bulk online. Each end of the garland had some metallic gold pony beads. I've made several garlands with that roll of faux suede so far and it holds up well without lots of stretching. The little translucent faceted plastic beads on the baker's string hangers gave just enough shine to remind us of fireworks.

So for the other beam, which faces the dining room, I made those half-circle buntings you see all over on the 4th, and used gold colored yarn to tie them together. There's a smaller one on each end because that was the size of the original pattern, and I thought it was too small, so I increased rows and made it bigger.

You get an idea of the simplicity of the bunting project close up. They have picot edging to make them festive.

Because I know the grandbabies love the twinkle star song and would want their own stars, I made them each some special ones. I'm thinking of putting them on beaded hangers so they can wave them around and sing the song. Grandma sings a lot to them.

Grandkids get spoiled here. I made some little teddies. Interestingly enough, the hook and yarn used were supposedly the same size and weight, but the tan teddy is bigger than her brown ted counterpart. He seems to have gotten straw on his face—where has he been? Crochet toys are wonderfully indestructible unless you have one of those dogs who chews things up. This pattern is interesting because both sides of the bear are made together, joined by the very end of one paw. It's pretty quick.

Poor dolly got set aside while I was finishing something else. She is naked and bald in this picture but over the last couple of nights I have been working on her hair. I made her a foundation wig cap and sewed that in place so her scalp won't show through, and I'm using the same yarn to root hair for upright pigtails. She only has one side of her hair done and looks odd so I will update later. I'm not sure I like her mouth. The pattern for the doll called for underclothing, shoes, and socks that were worked into the base stitches but I know my granddaughter too well to do that. All her babydolls get undressed so they can go potty and get imaginary baths. She would be frustrated if the clothes didn't come off and the dolly couldn't be 'nakee'. LOL!

That striped throw the doll is standing on is an oldie I made years ago from polar fleece with crinkly, ripply edging.

The big fall project was decorating over the fireplace. I started making fall doodads about a month ago with no plan for what I was going to do with them. Fortunately I have some big vine wreaths on hand so one of them got decorated with all sorts of things.

On either end of the big beam over the fireplace I hung some crocheted Indian corn... 

And then I made a leaf and bead garland for each side. The left side has the oak leaves and acorns...

While the right side got the more colorful maple leaves. 

I went back and made some in brown and green to kind of mute those bright colors a bit. All the patterns were found online but sometimes I tweak them a bit.

So here's the entire display! It's far from symmetrical and wasn't really planned well, but it's one of a kind and was fun to do. Crochet is very therapeutic, it helps me relax, when I'm not yelling at the TV because the umps are making bad calls. LOL! It's a change from writing too, which is important. It uses the same part of the brain, but in a far different way.

Oh and in case you wondered, Ariel The Wonder Dog is still very much with us, and she has appointed herself boss of the entire neighborhood. She spends time on my bed almost every day letting all the neighbors, bunnies, chipmunks, stray cats, noisy birds, mail carriers, wandering zombies, UPS or FEDEX delivery vehicles and any other loud traffic know that this house has the world's most efficient alarm system. This dog does not miss a thing. She can hear a mouse scratching its rump on the other side of the house. Nothing escapes her attention, and she works for dog treats and snuggles. You can't buy that kind of loyalty.

Hope you enjoyed this indulgent little foray into recent events here at home. Believe me, there's more to come because I find plenty to do in my 'spare' time.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Year 17, Week 26, Day One (week 912)

Year 17, Week 26, Day One (week 912)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-08-17 Saturday

Blue skies for the most part. Twice, clouds and thunder heads built up over the Everglades only to head west. We are at the edge of the Tropic of Cancer. That is a band of winds that head to the west continuously. Most of our winds head to the north and west. Farther up the state, they head to the east. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

Mom needed to get one thing, so she decided to drive the yard sales. I rode along.  We do have different styles for hunting for yards sales. We skip sections that others would visit.

At one yard sale, I walked away after the woman ordered me to leave because of the puddle of drool I left. She had an old style clothes iron where you put the hot coals in the body and they would keep the iron hot. She also had a really nice condition meat grinder, a little bigger than the two I had. I fought long and hard to get both. I have no need or place for either, but they were really interesting.
At another yard sale, I asked, out of curiosity, how much a commercial deli slicer was worth. Next thing I knew I was setting it on the seat of the car. I have no idea what had happened. I have two meat slicer bodies that use the same motor. The nice thing about them is that except for the motor, the whole thing can be put in dishwater and really scrubbed.  This new one is heavy, bulky and looks harder to clean. Now I have to figure out what to do with it. Once in a while, we all make mistakes. I was able to go on line and download all the documentation for the machine. This will get thinner than the slicers I have as the “knife” as they call the blade, is not serrated. I would have been much happier with the meat grinder than this. 

After we got back, the garage door repair guy arrived. He replaced all the wheels. He said he would schedule for replacing the pulley wheels, where at least one is shot. Expensive, but won’t have to be done again for a while. 

I had picked up a case of sports drinks a while back and had emptied most of the bottles. They have helped in the heat and humidity we have had.  It then dawned on me that I should use those water bottle flavorings. I knew I used to have a bunch but could not remember what happened to them. I planned on going to Walmart to stock up on them as they help when it is really hot. I accidentally opened a cabinet in the kitchen I seldom go into and found them. I cleaned and filled half the bottles of the case and refilled them with flavored water. Nice. A pitcher fills three of the bottles.

I will have to see what I do tomorrow.

Year 17, Week 26, Day Two (week 912)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-09-17 Sunday

I cleaned the BBQ today. It came apart a lot more than I thought it had. I could have done a better job last time (the first time) I used it. The drip pan comes out, which I did not know. I used a trash can filled with soapy water to scrub everything, changing the water a couple times. My nephew had heated it before he started and the thermostat on the lid said it got up to 600 degrees. That will be hot enough to make sure it is clean if he does that again next time. 

We went out for lunch at JBIRD’S MUDDY WATERS again, and we ate our fill. I liked my dish better this time than the first time.  I had a side of wings and a shrimp/chicken pasta dish.
We went to Walmart to get some groceries. I will tell you, it is no fun shopping for groceries when you are overfull.  I left there with only a flavored coffee. Nothing fun to have. 

I generally use a webbed belt with a slip buckle. The end of one started unraveling. I had to cut the thread to keep it from getting worse. I sat down and carefully cut the end off with one of my favorite kitchen knives as it was sharp enough to make a clean cut. They come with a metal tip that clamps on the end. Those tips come off fairly quickly. I located one and attached it properly. The belt ended up about two inches shorter, but that is not a problem as I get a bit longer belts than needed. 

I examined the slicer a bit more, using the instructions. Nice machine, but I really don’t plan on using it much. It is really for cheese and deli meats. The way that raw meat splatters and drips, it is not really a raw meat slicer.  I saw on line that these slicers are listed starting at $400 and goes up to two grand. Of course, that says nothing about what they actually get for them. It is just what they are listed for. I would rather pass it on to someone who can use it effectively. I might use it for some things, but that will only be a few times a year.

I will see what I accomplish next week.


meat slicer

Year 17, Week 29, Day One (week 915)

Year 17, Week 29, Day One (week 915)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-29-17 Saturday

Mid to high 80s in the morning and late afternoon, 90 in the middle. In the morning, we were bracketed by two trains of clouds heading to the North East. It was clear in between them. Radar showed each one with moving radar blips. After yard sailing, I had stopped at a couple stores. When I left , I could see the road to the south grayed out. I arrived home and the ground was wet. The radar showed the trains still following their rail but dots formed between them and zipped across the land. I was missed, other than a couple driplets on the windshield, everything that was out there. Those dots were heading to the north east. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

Mom goes to a painting teacher’s convention each year in the spring. She is on one of the organizing committees. Each year they have a theme which one day they dress up. This next year is LOS VAGUS. Mom got the idea of giving art materials as prizes. She decided to do part of the yard sale loop in hopes of finding art stuff that would be good gifts for the people to win.
One woman had a treadle powered singer sewing machine. I keep looking at them and wondering if I would ever use one if I got one. It is one of those space taking things one would like to have. If I knew it worked perfectly, I might have considered it. Not really for that price, but..... One problem is that I cannot sew. Also Mom has several modern machines that I could use if needed.

We finished the route, so I then went out on my own. I found one yard sale that mom missed, about the time the mom decided to head home. This woman had sold most of her stuff in the morning, Our conversation started with what we look for at yard sales, then on collections, hobbies and into arts and crafts. about twenty minutes later, it was time for me to leave. She had decided that since no one had come while we were talking, it was a good time to pack up.

I found one other yard sale that was at a storage unit. Our eyes always go to the things that are most interesting. there was a meat slicer in the box. This was a high quality home-style unit. I have lower quality ones at home. I have one motor for two bodies. I also have that commercial one I accidentally picked up.  I never asked the price, but I lingered several times....  
Several of the yard sales had glassware on display. Me and glass don’t get along too well. 

After a quick stop at Lowes, I went to a restaurant supply store called Gordons Food Supply. I ended up picking up a 17.5 pound boneless pork butt. I did not have time to deal with it tonight so it is in the fridge. It will become a bunch of steaks. 

I got home, and we lingered a little, and then went out for Chinese. As we ate, mom told about a book she is reading. It was like an hour and a half later when we left there. when we got back, I laid down and napped for a while before leaving.

Year 17, Week 29, Day One (week 915)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-29-17 Saturday

90 degrees, 60% humidity, partly and then mostly cloudy. Large blobs on the radar passing from the west, but avoiding us. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I found a yard sale in the morning on the way to Mom’s. He was still putting his stuff out. I picked up a small wood box with a nice lid design. I have an idea for it. 

I later stopped at a “community” yard sale at a historical house. There were like ten people with displays, one had food. Many looked like vendors (stuff in original packagess). One person had all sorts of elephant figurines. A couple had glassware. One had a old style sewing machine. Just the machine in the box and it was three times the price of the one I saw yesterday. There was a “high hat” cymbal stand. This is the stand with the foot peddle where you step down on the peddle and the two cymbals clang against each other. This is another case that if I buy it, I will kick myself, and if I don’t buy it, I will kick myself. I found myself out by my truck when I realized I did not buy it.

I found out that my brother was coming up, so I decided to cut the pork roast I picked up yesterday. I have all those meat slicers. What did I use to slice it? A knife. This was two boneless Boston Butt roasts. They simply removed the bone and sealed two of them into the same package. I sliced one for lunch and I sliced them thick. I sliced the rest of it into thinner steaks, and cutting some of the larger pieces into smaller portions. 
I am one of those people who, “If I cannot tell the difference, why pay the difference?” and if it is a whole lot cheaper, I will gladly go with a lower quality.  I eat a lot of pork steaks as the quality is close enough to a cheap beef steak, and at half the price, I can have a lot of it, whenever I want. 
I am also one of those people who believe that if a labor savings device takes more labor to clean than it saves, I will use the other way. I used the knife as it is a whole lot easier to clean than my meat slicers. I can slice fairly evenly too. You end up using the knife anyway.  My freezer is now filled with packages of steaks. The meat slicers are best for stuff like sandwich meats where you want consistently thin slices. 
Mom fixed dinner and it was so good. We sat and talked for quite a while. By the time my brother and niece left, it was too late to do anything outside. 

This week, I was thinking about ornaments to make for next year. Each year, I TRY to do four designs, and a dozen of each. These are generally carved out of two by twos. Last year I had planned to do some rocking horses. I have three ways of making them and will try each and see which works best. Because of hurricane Matthew and some other things that were going on at the end of the year, I could not even think about doing ornaments. 
The hardest part is to do an ornament that one has not done before. That is getting very difficult after 17 years of carving. There are only so many variations of Christmas Trees, Snow men, Penguins and Angels one can do. Many times, I have searched the web pictures for ornaments and they end up being all the same. Most years, I try to have them done by the beginning of November and most of the time I am into October before I find something to try. It does not matter when I start searching for ideas, I am always under the gun to find something. Now a few times I came up with ideas early in the year and they ended up being the least liked designs. 
I also should start thinking about art for the Christmas cards to do next year too. I tend to be doing them on Christmas Eve when I am to give them out.... With the cards, I have done too many snowmen, Christmas trees, and palm trees. Again finding good ideas are tough. 
With both carvings and cards, the problem is that it has to be simple enough to do quickly but complex enough to look good. One cannot spend a lot of time on each one. 
With the carving, I have blanks for many of the designs I did over the years that were not carved. They tended to be too tough to carve when it came down to it. 

I will see what I do next week.


Year 17, Week 28, Day One (week 914)

Year 17, Week 28, Day One (week 914)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-22-17 Saturday

The temps got up to 90, but we did not get any weather in our area. A giant blob headed west, but north of us in Palm Beach County. We had a lot of sun, but later it clouded over with a light cloud cover. Late in the day it dropped down to 86.  This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

We went to get the trees. One was a queen palm, and the other was a purple Tabebuia. The tabebuia usually is found in a bright yellow and is sometimes called a golden shower tree as the flowers fall all over the yard. Usually people select the biggest queen palm tree they can find as they are expensive to buy. We picked up likely the smallest queen palm tree they had. It will be small for a very long time.  

We stopped at a yard sale along the way and I got a good recorder (flute) in a case. At a later yard sale a woman had two professional recorders and really had no clue what to sell them for. She paid good money for them. One, though a different brand, but was just like the one I got. I later found that mine was a professional brand also.. 

Out on my own I found a Garmon Nuvi Navigation system. They said they did not have a computer in order to use it as it had a USB cord on it. My truck has a USB outlet so I plugged it in a while after I had left. It works! I have to play with it a little. This uses the same USB outlet plug as the tomtom I picked up a while ago, so I can swap the charging cord with the USB this one has. I can use them both if needed. It has a bracket to hold it and it appears that the ball socket had broke off. part of the bracket is still there, but there is some broken plastic in the ball socket hole. I plugged it into the computer and it just got power. I then saw there is a different plug in for data. 

At one of the last yard sales, there was one of those stainless-steel pot-racks that goes into the kitchen to hang pots from the ceiling.  I looked at it a couple times and decided against it, then I started walking to the truck to leave. With a sigh I said "I'm going to kick myself." and I bought it. sigh. I likely will for a while too.

My brother and my nephew came over. After doing a tiny bit of work, we got together for lunch. I like mom’s cooking. I napped afterwards before having to leave.

Sunday, we went for Chinese buffet lunch so I had nothing to report.


Year 17, Week 27, Day One (week 913)

Year 17, Week 27, Day One (week 913)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-15-17 Saturday

90 as the high, mostly blue skies with puffs and towers sometimes over the Ocean and sometimes over the Everglades.  

Several cities are having tree give-a-ways now. They give away trees in hopes that you will plant them in your yard and “green up” the city. The city of Pompano had a tree give-a-way today and will have another next weekend. You just have to show proof you live in the city. Driver’s licences are now all that is required. It used to be that you also had to have a bill, preferably a water bill, for the address. 

Mom was really wanting a SILVER BUTTONWOOD. These have a bluish green leaf that stands out from other foliage. The guy said that when they went to pick them up, they did not look good enough to offer. We picked up a foxtail palm and a triangle palm. From a distance, the fox tail fronds look like the fluffy tail of a fox. The triangle palm has the leaves come up in a diamond, rather than all around, forming a triangle. 

When we got back, I headed out to visit yard sales. At one yard sail, they had a “Family” bible with white leather cover. I intended to give it to my dad, but then decided I would rather keep it. Mom later showed that she had something like that already. There is a lot of reference material in the front and back of the bible.  That yard sale was selling stuff from their late mother. There was a set of serving dishes that had yellow flowers on them. A Gravy boat(?) Had a bouquet of the yellow flowers on the lid. It was so pretty, but I have absolutely no use for any of that kind of stuff. 
At other yard sales, I picked up a few humor books. 
I then hit several stores on the way home.

Several weeks ago, I picked up a case of sports drinks. I was running out and considered buying another case. It dawned on me that I have, somewhere, some of those water-bottle flavoring packets. I accidentally found them, right where I had intentionally  put them. I had not thought to look there. I previously found those packets were way too strong for a normal water bottle. I washed the empty bottles of the sports drink, and added one packet to a pitcher of water, just to add a slight flavor to the water so you can guzzle it. One two-quart pitcher filled three of the sports bottles. Some bottles got thrown out, but I had twelve. That is a lot of pitchers of water.  They are in the fridge cold when I need them and in a useful amount to carry around. The lids prevent leaking when needed.

I lost a pin on my watch so I may have to go get it repaired tomorrow. One part seems to be missing to attach it properly. 

Year 17, Week 27, Day Two (week 913)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-15-17 Saturday

We had a nice rain this morning. It petered out before I headed to Mom’s and then became mostly blue skies the rest of the day. The high was 86.

We decided to go out for Chinese food after church and we all ate more than we needed, but it was so good. 

My watch has a clasp locks the buckle in place. I was using that to hold my watch on, and it worked well. Last night, while checking band out before I headed out, I figured out that the missing piece to put it together, was a plate that folds against the other and held in place by friction on a bar. They unfold so your hand can slip comfortably in, and then fold together to pull it tight. when I saw it was two pieces, I investigated and found where the pin went. Mom replaced the pin today. Her pin was a hair too long and she had to adjust the band slightly. Now the clasp does not want to lock closed. Not a problem. I will fix that a little later.

I have noticed that there is no woodworking mentioned in these posts, even though it is referred to as a wood working diary. I have to change that somehow. Something has to give somewhere. 

I will see what I can do next week. We will get more trees. 


power outlet (cigarette lighter) outlet adapters.

Family bible 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Year 17, Week 25, Day One (week 911)

Year 17, Week 25, Day One (week 911)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-01-17 Saturday

The official temp was 89. It was 95 under the awing in the late afternoon. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

One yard sale was right near my house. They had a bookshelf out there with some stuff on the shelves. I strongly considered asking a price on the shelves, but decided not to. At the end of my run, I decided to stop and ask if it was for sale. She asked what I would give for it. This is always a tough thing. You don’t want to spend too much money, but you don’t want to insult them with a really low price. I gave my price, which was higher than I really wanted to give and she said “It’s yours.” It was not a bad price. They helped me get it in the truck. Hand carts and grunt work got into the house, but not much farther at least for today. I will relocate it later when I am up to it.
In my travels, two people recognized me from previous yard sales they have had that I visited. One, who has had several,  asked about Mom as she was not with me. 
Some yarn dropped kicked me and tied me up until I agreed to take them home. I don’t need more yarn, but the colors were nice. When I went through it later, I found there were hooks, needles and other items in them. There was a big tangle in the basket. I had some pleasant time drawing different colors out of the tangle while waiting for a place to open. Just a little while and the tangle had disappeared like magic. 
There was also a travel alarm and I decided it would be useful. It is nice to have extra alarms for when one, for some reason, decides not to work. As long as they are wound, mechanical alarms have done me well.
At one yard sale, I picked up two laptop cooling fans. This is where you set the laptop on them and they blow air to cool down the laptop. I have a powered USB tower in order to have as many items going into the laptop as I need, and I had the fan plugged into that. The fan was supposed to be powered by the laptop, so that when the laptop was turned off, so was the fan. Well when in the tower, it was on continuously.  One of these had an on-off switch in the wire so that I can turn it off when I power down the laptop. 
As I search the yard sales, it is fun to see what people have accumulated. I see stuff that would be nice in a museum. Stuff from their travels, pretty dish sets, items made by craftsmen. It is sad I cannot take it all home, 

After a short nap after I got home, I went to Taco Bell to get lunch. The young girl behind the counter keeps giving me the senile citizen;’s discount.  I mentioned the discount with that description and she cracked up laughing. 

A while back, I picked up a rocking chair. It has been sitting outside under the awning for a while. It gets wet by angled winds. I found it was coming apart, so I decided to glue it up. I learned that it came apart at the joints. They must not have used water resistant glue. I glued it up and braced it with clamps. Then set it to the side to dry. I may have to add straps across the bottom to hold it together. 

Year 17, Week 25, Day two (week 911)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-02-17 Saturday

We had a small shower in the morning, but the rest of the day was nice. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism. 

Mom mentioned that she wanted a cast-iron stand for a project. I stopped at a yard sale on the way to Mom’s and there was a stand there. It was aluminum, instead of cast iron, but it was the look that mom wanted. She was happy to see it.

Family came over. So not too much was done. I was getting ready for the Bar-B-Q on the Forth.  I stopped and got some needed groceries. Mom and I are providing most of the meat. I am also going to have different flavors of coffee. Since I work tomorrow, I will bring home my carafes that I put the flavored coffees I make into.  I am leaving a lot of the final work for the day of the event. 

Other than a little bit more work on the rocking chair, I did little else. Will see what happens on the Forth.

Year 17, Week 25, Day three (week 911)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-04-17 Tuesday

87 degrees, one passed as we set up the Grill. Humidity hit right after that for a while, then a breeze with blue skies picked up to cool things down.  It was mostly blue skies and hot. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of T

  There were nine of us, including the two kids, over for our event.  We had enough food for 30 people, but that allowed us a lot of leftovers. 
My nephew did the cooking and he was in his element. Hotdogs, chicken legs and wings, brats, hamburgers. Mom had fixings inside and she forgot to put a few things out, and no one noticed. Several kinds of cheese, tomato, onions, some deserts. I had 3 kinds of coffee, but most people brought their own drinks. 
I had to do a lot of cleaning that was not done when I could have done it easily, and then when my nephew was setting up, I had to go and get stuff he needed. I was on my feet most of the day and by the time things settled down, I was done in. 
The kids played on the computer and that helped keep the older one out of trouble. The little one had made sure he got soaked when it had rained and was on the go all day long. He was energy looking for an outlet. When he was little, my brother described him as a high pain tolerance with no memory. He is a little better, but not much......

After everybody was done, then there was cleanup. I was on my feet putting things away. The garage door is powered. I lowered it and it stopped. After I tried it a couple times I had a look. Something was in the way. A couple of the wheels had come off. I got one on but one required a lot of stuff moved to get to it. It was one of those things that happens when you are tired. I could close it manually so that was solved for now. I will call someone to fix it.

Everybody enjoyed themselves. I even had fun. It is a lot of work I want to do just once a year.......

I am wasted and won’t stay up for the fireworks. 

I will see what happens next weekend.

sanding strips for a belt sander, book on pasta sauces, and a holder for papers when on the job.

large yarn, a bin, the long green thing is a crochet hook holder, a big of embroidery yarn

small yarns with a tangle which came out pretty easily later.

hooks, needles, beads basket. 
all these were someone who was getting out of the craft.