Incoherent Ramblings

It is hard to get back in the groove of writing something everyday. Frankly, I suffer from writer’s block today. It amazes me as to how long it took me to develop a daily writing habit, and how little time it took to lose it. The best way to overcome the block is to talk about the day.

I spent a few hours in the garden wood shop today grinding wood into what I hope will look like a flower. This is the fourth project I am undertaking this fall. In previous years I settled on a single design and concentrated on making multiples so I could use them as Christmas gifts. I want to use them as gifts this year too, but each one has been hung on a wall within our humble domicile for the purpose of giving Peg and I great pleasure. Sorry, friends, no Intarsia gifts this year.

Each flower is different, and I have come to believe that these wooden flowers are a substitute for my nonexistent 2015 Monet Vision. Let me just say, I had the vision but did not have the energy to make it materialize. Perhaps the 2015 will morph into the 2016.

Physically, and emotionally I am all done in. Life has dealt me a hand which ten years ago I could only imagine, but never thought it would come. Age has crept into the mix, and my role has evolved from friend, lover, husband, to full time care giver. Some days are easier than others. People keep telling me to get help, but I am not smart enough to be able to know what it is I need in the way of assistance. I’m sure I’ll figure it out as we proceed along our current path.

In the meantime, at every chance I get, I abscond to the lower level to cut, grind, sand, and shape until I form a flower from wood. The activity takes my mind off of any problem that may have developed, and it releases the creative urge in me to make something nice.

IMG_1882

Calla Lily at the six hour mark.

 

Simple Flower Beauty Contest

I need your help folks.

Please judge the five Intarsia flowers below and tell me which one you like the best.

All five were hand crafted by Grumpa Joe in Santa’s workshop while Santa held Grumpa hostage and worked GJ’s fingers to the bone.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

***************

Flower A, Cedar, Pine, Poplar

DSCN4560

****************

Flower B, Mahogany, Walnut, Poplar

DSCN4561

***************

Flower C, Poplar

DSCN4563

*****************

Flower D, Pine, Cedar, Poplar

DSCN4562

********************

Flower E, Walnut, Oak, Pine

DSCN4564

Vote by taking the Poll below:

Hand Made In the USA

One of my favorite times at Mendel was the wood shop class. The class met three times a week for two hours. I had some exposure to woodworking from my grammar school experiences at the Tuley Park boat building shop. This class was different. Father Hennessey, my instructor, believed in teaching the basics. At Tuley Park, I jumped into a project and started cutting wood. At Mendel, I had to learn the name and function of every tool before Father let me touch a single one.

For the first assignment, Father H. gave me a block of maple wood to square up using only a chisel and a square. It sounded too easy, but I almost didn’t finish the assignment on time. Father H. came around the benches and asked for the piece. He inspected every corner, every edge, and every surface for square and for flatness. If any sliver of light showed under the square he bounced the piece, and sent me back to the bench to do better. The piece also had to be within the tolerance he specified.  Father Hennessey was a tough, but fair teacher.

The next project was a more complicated. We had to make a chevron-shield with separate wooden letter “M” applied to it. The last project was a table lamp that looked like a hand water pump. Pushing on the pump handle turned on the light. This little lamp was in continuous use over the years serving me well at all of my desks.

Fr. H. was a tough disciplinarian. If he caught you using a tool incorrectly, he jerked it out of your hand, and hit you with it. He also had a habit of squeezing the muscle on your shoulder, the one that stretches from your neck to the shoulder. It hurt so bad that I dropped to the floor to get out of the grip. Fr. H. hardly ever had a problem with anybody in his class.

Safety was paramount in the shop. During my semester there was not a single incidence of injury. Even though the school shop had all the power tools as I used at Tuley Park, I never got to use any of them.  Only Fr. Hennessey ever used the tools powered by electricity. The experience gave me an appreciation for the term “handmade.”

Ka-Pow

Family Bathroom sign

Image via Wikipedia

For the last few days, I have spent a couple of hours cleaning my shop.  I need some physical activity to keep me from going insane during the recovery from this flu. Each day, I came up from the man-cave and had to take a nap. Today, I didn’t. That’s progress. While I was moving stuff around yesterday, I unboxed a base cabinet that I had reserved for my bathroom. Most builders put the cabinets in place without modification. My bathroom has multiple angled walls and needs special cabinets.

After the cabinet was out of the box I examined it for how to proceed. The neurons were working full force, and within a few minutes, I disassembled a perfectly great cabinet in order to modify it to my specs.  I spent most of the day cutting, fitting, glueing, and screwing the pieces back together. The cuts kept getting fancier, and on the last cleat I had to tilt the saw blade at an extreme angle. I turned on the machine and got a tremendous flash and ka-pow. The lights went out. I haven’t blown a fuse on a machine in over forty years. Oddly enough, I had not even put the wood on the table yet. The machine did not like the set up.

Now, I have a new problem to solve, i.e. what went wrong with the saw? In the meantime, I’ll finish the job with hand tools.

Bhutadarma

Nothing is impossible (at least that does not violate the laws of physics). When you can..violate the laws of physics!

I Know I Made You Smile

cartoons/humor/fiction/nonfiction

Attila Ovari

Loving Life and Inspiring Others

galesmind

Come take a journey through my mind

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

Henry Game

The Next Testament

Gamintraveler

Travel Couple and Digital Nomads on a World Travel

summershaffer

A topnotch WordPress.com site

blogsense-by-barb

at the Re-Birth of America!

The Honking Goose

something to honk about

THE WAKING GIANT

United States Second Amendment Pitbull

Caustic Synergy

United and alone in the world

Aspiring Conservative

Conservative blog with articles about today's politics!

Conservative Kentucky

Reality From my Perspective

Hearing Aid News

HEAR it HERE first! The latest on developments in hearing aids and the hearing industry.

Socialism is not the Answer

Limited Government Is

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry

Just Cruisin 2

Where Intellectuals and Rednecks foregather.

allaboutlemon-All Around, In, And Out Of My Own Universe

Greed is an ugly default... Sharing is Caring

Nhan Fiction

"Hope is my catalyst."

prophetbrahmarishi

Just another WordPress.com site

NuVote Reach

Political Co-Dependency Intervention

The Baggage Handler

I made the impossible easy in both worlds!

David Emeron: Sonnets

If I swore not to describe my heart, would it stop beating forever?

silkroadcollector.me

An International company that offers private antique art sales to clients around the globe.