Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 594 Wood Working

year 11, Week 20, Day One (week 594) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 05-28-11 Saturday

84 degrees when I got to work, 94 when I packed up. Blue sky with some puffs. A nice breeze kept things nice. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


I had worked with bougainvilla last weekend. On Monday, I noticed my right wrist was itching. Later, I recognized the allergic reaction was developing - tiny bumps all over my wrist that itched and broke when I scratched. I instantly took an antihistimine, which I knew would knock down the reaction.
When I looked on line about whether Bogainvillea was a poisonous wood, all I could find was that the leaves were not harmful in small amounts and the wood could be used as bird perches.
A friend pointed to allergic reactions. Using allergic as a search word, I found out that Bougainvillia is a relitive of Poison Ivy. My search mostly told about getting pricked by the thorns. The sap is what is reactive.
It was one thing to just grab the wood to toss it in a pile. It is another to have the saw dust, both from turning it and griinding on it. What really confuses me is the fact that my left arm got more covered than my right arm did.
What you are supposed to do is to wash your exposed skin with soap and water immideatly after exposure to remove the toxins. Since I did not do that, and had the dust on my skin for extended time, I am self medicating myself by taking antihistimines and applying a steriodal cream, both only when I feel any itching. It seems to be working.
I sent out a warning to the turning club I am a member of. If one covers up and washes immideately afterword, there should be no problem working the wood.
I decided to hold off on any sanding of my bowls until the wood dries some. I gave the "nut bowl" them some varnish to stiffen the fibers so it could be sanded. I will wait a week or two before I work the surfaces.
I think it is much like Brazillian pepper, which is also in the Poison Ivy family, where once the wood has dried, it will be more than safe to work with. One just has to wait until it is dry.


I was looking for something I need. I decided the walk in closet was a good place to search. First thing I was reminded of was that I have a lot of boxes of old papers and bills. I pulled them out of the closet. Also any clothes on the floor got tossed in the hamper. I found a jacket that my mom made for me when I was a teen and it fits. It is a just fit, but fits. I located some old charcoal drawings I did back in the 80s. I never found what I was looking for.
I now have to figure out what I did with my paper shredder. Until then, I will sort through the boxes and fill some bags of old bills that I don't need to hang onto any more.


During our art show, a photographer for the LIGHT HOUSE POINT MAGAZINE came around and took our pictures.

This is a picture of my mom with artwork of one of her students who could not make it to the show.

This is a comment that includes a mention of me.

Here is a picture of me at the art show.

We stopped at a couple yard sales. I picked up a wood cutting board at one. It had some surface damage.
Later in the day, I took the sanders to it and cleaned up the surfaces, removing the old oiled wood. This will go to my niece. She needs it.

The cutting board as I got it. Notice the cuts all across the surface.

The sanded cutting board ready for a new vegetable oil finish

At a church yard sale, I saw some yarn. I knew I could get a deal for it. I did not realize how great a deal I was able to get. I have no idea what I will do with that yarn, as I am not doing that much crochet. It could amount to a life-time collection of yarn.
Later in the day, I realized I would never have time to untangle it at home, I took the time to sit and separate the whole tangle of yarn and lay it out so I could take a picture of all of it. I also wanted to know what I had. I love some of the colors.

The bag of yarn I got for $3 with the tangles

Untangled yarn from the right side of the table

Untangled yarn as seen from the left side of the table.

I have a wood turning tool that uses an allen wrench to cut into small holes. I thought I would fix the tool by machining the surfaces level and flat. After some work, I found that it is too hard a metal for the cutting bit I was trying to use. After a while I gave up on that.
While I was at it, the lathe uses a lock pin to set it at zero. That lock pin was made from a nut but was not quite machined small enough. I mounted it in the lathe and ran a file on it while it was spinning. That little bit allows the pin to fit perfectly into the centering holes without effort.

Beast of the back yard, waiting for more attention

While I had the lathe set up in the machining mode, I decided I would tackle the T-nuts I started making on the grinder. After fiddling around a tiny bit, I decided to finish them on the grinder.
With some care and measuring, I was able to get all three T-bolts made so the heads fit nicely inside the slots. I used a file to remove any burrs and to clean up the surfaces. The grinder does make the job a whole lot quicker than machining them.
I also see the T-nuts don't have to be precise. they just have to fit into the slots and be big enough that they don't twist around. It is not absolutely critical that the screws are absolutely centered, as long as they do not come into contact with the breach that the bolt sticks out. That is bigger than the bolt itself.

Finished T-nuts. One nut is in slot, shown how it is used (the one in the slot) to hold down a piece of work.

The beast of the back yard sure acted like a cat today. since I was spending most of my time sitting, He laid at my feet and soaked up what attention I gave him between work I was doing. He would have loved more, but he got quite a bit.

Tomorrow, we are having a family gathering at my brother's house. He built a forge and has an anvil. I hope to be pounding on metal tomorrow. I brought my carving basket but really don't intend to work on anything in particular. We may work on other projects too. I might cut some metal to work with on my little lathe. Beyond that and eating, I have no idea what the day will bring.

I will see what I actually do Tomorrow.

year 11, Week 20, Day Two (week 594) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 05-29-11 Sunday

I don't know the temperature. I was at my brother's house and spent my entire time beneath a spreading oak tree that killed much of the heat. A light breeze made it nice. We had mostly blue sky, clouds periodically got in front of the sun which helped. Some clouds were heavy and some were light.
Around eight in the evening, when we were pretty much done, we did get a tiny bit of liquid sunshine, but only enough to make some noise on the awning.
This weather report is brought to you by the city of Fort Lauderdale Department of Tourism.

I started early, I had a lot of food to take with me, both food I was bringing and food my mom gave me to bring. I had other things with me too. It was a big load. I wanted to get my refrigerator back.

I settled outside, and decided not to do any carving. I did mess with a piece but did not do more than mar a piece of wood. I assisted setting up an awning. The free-standing frame is light metal and everything kept coming apart when we needed to move it. We ended up dropping the legs. Once we had it in place and back together, we had to figure out how to put the tarp onto it and had it upside down twice. The instructions was written by someone who knew how to put it together.

I sat and played games on my palm pilot most of the day.

We finally fired up the forge. We were not running it the way one should, turning the blower off between heats, instead we had the blower running all the time. The blower was a heat gun where the elements had died on it. There is more that we have to do on the forge. It has more parts and pieces to be added, but we were able to do something with it.

The forge in use

My brother gave us some re-bar, reenforcing bar used in concrete, to work with. Rebar has ribs down the length to hold it. I pounded the end of the bar square, with the re-bar ribs only showing on the corners. I then narrowed the end to a blunt point.
I saw several times that I was not leaving the metal in the heat long enough. I see it lost heat fairly quickly too. I had a maximum of about a minute of pounding to get it to whatever shape it needed to be. and usually about thirty seconds. My nephew liked to use a heavy hammer and go splat on the metal, slow individual strokes. I used a lighter hammer and tapped on it quickly.
After making the point, I bent the end over. At that point, It dawned on me that we needed a coal hook to moved the coal around in the forge. I had seen a blacksmith show where that was one of the first projects he made. I flattened the bent end, making it wider. I used the technique of pulling the hammer on impact to draw the metal out to the edges. it worked as well as the books said. A bit later, My nephew said that the coal hook was quite helpful.

The finished coal rake

My nephew holding a hot bar of steel
My nephew had flattened the end of his bar, He then turned it ninety degrees and flattened the next section. He then made a second bar the same way. With my brother helping him, he heated it and used a punch in the pritcher hole in the anvil (Anvils has two holes, one is a square hole for different fittings like cutters, and one is a small round hole called the pritcher hole). They then cut a small piece of rod and fitted it into the hole, pinging the ends over into a rivet.

Harbor Freight 100 pound anvil.

After a little bit of work, they got the tongs working nicely. Because it has flat ends, it does not grab the rounds stock we were using very strongly, but it made a big difference in some work he was doing. He now has to make tongs with a rounded jaw to hold round stock and square jaws to hold square stock. At least he made something he really needed. He will have several dozen tongs when he is done.
I could have done a whole lot more work but this was all I did and I sat back down to play games. I will have to make a set of tongs next time. My nephew will be over far more often so he will be doing a lot more black smithing while I will be instead, going to my mom's house to work wood and machine metal.

Because it needed the same electrical outlet that the forge was using, we later mounted some heavy square stock into the power hacksaw to cut me a couple pieces for the cross slide I want to make.
A power hacksaw is a motor with a couple reducing pulleys, with an arm that moves a slide guided hacksaw blade back and forth. it is a wonderful machine. You get it cutting, and you can walk away while it cuts through heavy metal stock. What is great about it is that it uses standard hack saw blades and They last for dozens of cuttings, even in stainless steel. When you cut with a hacksaw by hand, you change the angle of it ever so slightly with each stroke. That twists the blade, reducing the life span of the blade by a dramatic amount. Whether it takes a couple minutes or an hour to cut through a piece of metal, the power hacksaw keeps cutting whether you are there or not. there are no sparks as you would have with a cut-off saw and if you need to do machining, the metal does not heat up very much either which would change the dimensions.
A cross slide is a tool holder for the lathe that allows you to rotate the cutting bit in my machine lathe to cut on angles. that is one tool that I desperately need on my little lathe.
I had machined some wood as a prototype of what I wanted to make my cross slide to look like. It was to test the concept and see what problems I would likely have. I have not made it because I was missing the metal I would need. By getting the blanks of the right size, I can make my cross slides when the opportunity presents itself.

We were celebrating a combined birthday of my brother and I. Our birthdays were just a week or two apart.
Mom and I gave my brother a new Saws-all that we got at a yard sale. He liked that it had a blade lock that did not use allen wrenches to hold the blade in place.
We both got gift cards and money. My gift cards were Home Depot and Sears. they will get well used.

Of course, everybody brought food and I ate far more than I should have. As soon as one of the Bar-B-Q meat was done, I would sample it. I later had a few more of them. I ate just a tiny bit of whatever was there and skipped most of it to keep from over-eating on stuff I don't need.

Tomorrow, I have some work to do around the house so I do not expect to be leaving the house at all.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.


I stayed home and did very little. I did dig through two boxes (two years) of bills. I filled a garbage bag of papers and ended up with just a little I will keep. I still have to find my paper shredder.
The morning itch from working Bougainvillea is minor now. I did use an antihistimine this morning but both yesterday and today I have not taken any during the rest of the day. I may see if I can go without any tomorrow. I may well be over the allergic reaction to the wood sap.

Next week, I visit the antique shop and check in on what is going on there. I will be dropping off a single bowl to add to the collection I have on display. The bowl is that Sea grape bowl I added sand inlay.
Unless I come up with a wood working project, I may spend my weekend machining metal for my cross slide my little lathe needs. I do have lots of wood working projects but what excites me is what is important.

I will see what I actually do next weekend.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Writing News!

I've been awfully lax about reporting it, but I have plenty of writing news.

First of all, about three weeks ago, I turned in my book manuscript to Pro Se Productions, the publishing company I've been writing for over a year now. I'm pleased to say it was accepted and should be out in print this summer. You can read all about it in the press announcement here: I was overwhelmed to hear it would be out so soon! One of the blessings of dealing with small press. The book will be offered for sale on, and I will let you know when it goes up. I am already working on the sequel. 

This fantastic piece of artwork was done by a local artist in Batesville Arkansas, Dalton Carpenter. It appeared with my second story in print, Masquerra and The Storm Lord. The story was based on an idea that Roger posted some years ago. The first magazine story I had printed by Pro Se, The Song Of Heroes: Lori's Lament features artwork by the talented Peter Cooper, and you can see more of his stuff here: I look forward to working with Pete again down the road.

Secondly, I attended Pulp Ark 2011 in Batesville Arkansas from May 13-15, and had a fantastic time. Got to meet and hang out with all sorts of movers and shakers in the burgeoning world of pulp writing—writers, artists, publishers, vendors, and fans galore. What a treat to meet folks I had previously only known online or by reputation alone. The days were packed, and went by quickly, and yet the atmosphere was very homelike and friendly. We actually had breakfast meetings at the hotel before the doors of the convention hall opened for the day, and often went out to dinner and then met after hours at the same hotel for yak and planning sessions. I actually got to sign a few autographs! Posters of illustrations by both the artists mentioned above as well as others were available at the show, and there was an auction of some original work too. We had an awards ceremony where some very deserving individuals were honored for their work. There was a feeling throughout the convention that this was a family event, and not strictly business, and many of us brought along spouses and kids. There was plenty to do, local shops and restaurants offered discounts, the convention hosted an ongoing play, dramatic readings, panels, and all sorts of interesting events. I'm already looking forward to it next year. You can see pictures I took on my Facebook page, and while you you don't have to 'friend' me to view them, c'mon by and say hello, and see what else I am up to these days.

The rest of my life is in kind of a 'flux state' right now, as we have had our closing on the farm last Tuesday (5-17), and we now own it. Moving is a slow process, as I did a number on my back with all the charging through airports on the way home from Pulp Ark, and am just getting back on my feet. We've also had a week of off and on rain with some downpours. This coming weekend looks busy, with things being carted back and forth between houses, as well as the holiday cookouts and stuff we'd normally do. I'd like to get something in the garden over there. So far we have put up a mailbox, so not a lot has happened. That's about to change though.

So all in all, May 2011 has been quite the tumultuous month for me. Somehow or other, in the midst of all this upheaval and chaos, I still need to find time to write. All that takes is a bit of incentive, and a drive to get things done. And well, maybe just a little carrot on the end of the stick, or in my case, a bit of dark chocolate waiting in the can, along with some good music and the will to create. 

This old ammo can was a flea market find about 10 years ago, and set me back a whole quarter! Just the right size for holding 5-6 bars of the kind of incentive I need some days to get the right words to come out of that keyboard. 

Have a great day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011, Did you Write?

May 23, 2011, Did you Write?

It is that time of the week again to report about your life, and of course, your writing. Posting, whether you write is the incentive to actually do some work as no one really wants to say, "No I did not write." If you know you are going to post, no matter what, you will want to say yes to the question.

We all can agree that new writing is writing. Editing is also writing since few of us can write perfect the first time, and it even counts as writing if you are editing the works of others. Critiquing is also editing and therefore counts as writing. Poetry, blogging, writing assignments, technical writing, articles, world and character creation, and even E-mails can be writing if they are wordy and pertain to story or writing. If you have to ask, the answer is yes it is writing.

There is no word count that matters, The more the better. If you edit, your word count can go down, and there are times where that is the goal, to make it fit the space of a publication. One can write one word, or a million words. It does not matter. If you open some work in progress or even an empty page, that counts. If you do something, so much the better. A little work each week adds up to a lot of words over time. The idea is to make writing a habit, since not all habits are bad.

As for me, my total word count was disappointing. I can say that I kept going back over stuff I already wrote and making corrections and improving on it. I need to finish up the end part of the story, which I have potted out but not detailed. I keep reading over what I had and seeing how it can be better. One thinks of things that can be done better. Luckily this is a short piece so that is not a serious problem.

I am still at 45 story ideas in my compost pile. Ideas came in short bursts where I got several, then went a while without anything new. With missing several days of posting, I am caught up for the month. I did get to use up a story idea I thought sure was going to sink to the bottom, because of the end-of-the-world people. That is always a nice feeling.

I made some spin tops this weekend. You send them spinning with a flick of your fingers. it dawned on me that they could well make good Christmas ornaments too. All they need is an eye hook on the top.
A story idea came to me from that.
They are a people that consider practical items as art. One guy has a polished engine block sitting in his garden. A woman has a back-hoe bucket in her great room, filled with pillows to be used as a couch. Another woman has a photocopier without the panels on it sitting on a shelf over her mantle.
What came to mind, and great for a story idea, is that a guy has the warhead of a thermal nuclear bomb sitting next to the television and it is armed. He does not have the worst kind of art work.
Officials get a clue as to what these people have as art, and then have to figure out how to removed the objects so the region will be safe for habitation.

As to the question of the week,



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week 593 Woodworking

year 11, Week 19, Day One (week 593)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-21-11 Saturday

85 degrees early morning, with some clouds. One bit of drippy liquid sunshine hit but not enough to warrant getting my equipment under cover. The rest of the day was blue skies, light breeze and sunshine bringing the temps up to 94. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

Feet were bothering me the past several weeks. I decided I needed some new shoes. The old pair was so worn on the bottom that the air cells inside the soles were opening up. I got what should be a good pair of shoes. Hopefully they will last a year like the last pair did.
My hip decided to start bothering me. It is like a tendon is tired. It effects me the most when I twist or change direction. It is a bother, more than anything else. There are times I feel like I am walking like an old man.


It was the day of the turning club meeting. I brought my pieces to work. One boss that seldom takes notice of my woodworking, liked the spin tops I made. I know what I will make this weekend. They can pass as Christmas ornaments so that gives me double reason for making them.

At the club meeting, I displayed my three spin tops, the toy cannon and the Sea grape bowl. I am always impressed with the work others bring in and disappointed with the work I bring in, in comparison. My work is so different than theirs so I have that to my advantage.

The demonstration was on making boxes. The hard part is always getting the lid to fit tightly. It was good to see the process again.

We then had the club challenge. The club challenge is to get people to make things they never made before or in a very long time. There were some rather interesting designs people did. I learned that for the tops to spin, the weight has to be really close to the bottom. This gives the top stability. Also, it does not have to be very wide if the wood is extremely dense. In light wood, you need it with a big radius to carry the spin around.
They had us spin the tops to see how they did. As each person came forward to demonstrate, they gave them a raffle ticket. My two carved ones did poorly, but my big one did well. One guy made the old string style top where you wrap the string around the lower part of it, and then you throw it, hanging onto the top. Those really spun nicely as the string gave them great RPM. He had one with a metal point and another with a plastic point. He said that the metal point one was damaging floors.
After everybody demonstrated their tops, they then drew three tickets out of the “hat” and the winners got gift certificates. To Woodcrafts. They used to have actual competitions, but this is much better system. The main purpose is to get people to try the project.

Someone had brought pieces of Mahogany stump for the club members and as I was leaving, I saw his truck and him standing there. I stopped and took the last piece, about twelve inches in diameter.


I took my little cannon over to my grandnephew. He wanted it the instant he saw it. I handed it to him and said “boom.” About a minute later he said “boom” He ran off with it in smiles.
I doubt I will make another cannon unless I get an order for one. I may well make a few more wooden toys, though.


Mom had some projects for me. She had fallen a couple months ago and hurt her shoulder and it is still bothering her. She has not maintained the yard as well as she would have liked. She decided to get some projects done and needed my help.
Dad made Mom a light house years ago and it had a couple lights inside and Mom strung white Christmas lights around the platform and up and down it. In recent years, it was showing signs of decay. The plywood walk way around the light was drooping it was rotted so badly. Mom decided it needed to be taken out. The walkway came off with a tug. I then unscrewed the plug and light switch box from the side of the piece so I could cut the wires. That allowed us to pull the body off the base. I was breaking the wood as I was lifting it.
The base was the only thing not rotted. Dad had run tie-down screws deep into the dirt and had two chains attached to it. There had been a rash of such displays being stolen so Mom wanted it to remain. I had to dig into the ground to get to the tie downs, and then pull the chains to get them free, then draw them through the holes in the base.

Then mom had me trim a palm tree, cutting the fronds and seed stems.
The neighbor had yard people trimming their yard. They cut out a Bougainvillea and left the stump in place. I got the electric chain saw out and cut it as close to the ground as possible. A bit later, Waste Management came by an picked up the bulk garbage. One long piece of the tree was laying there, left by the claw. I picked that up too.

My newly accumulated wood
big piece is Mahogany the straight piece is from a piece of old furniture
The other three pieces is bougainvillea

Mom has a plastic rack for hand tools in her laundry room. It had been overloaded for years. The plastic rings finally gave and the thing came down. Mom told me to fix it for her. The plastic had twisted from the uneven weight.
To fix it, I cut two pieces of wood and put one small strip behind the plastic and screwed through the big piece of wood into the small piece of wood, through the plastic. Several screws made sure they were bound together.
I then screwed it on the wall where it once was. It will hold nicely now. Mom was loading it up as I was going back outside. She was happy with that.

One of mom’s plants was doing good. All her plants were in pots. This plant was leaning into the walkway. She had me pull it back and we found the reason it was doing well was that it had gone into the ground. That is not allowed. We broke off the roots sticking out of the pot.

Showing the color in the bougainvillea wood.

I finally was able to work on my projects. I made two spin top blanks. I then sat down and ground away wood, carving them. I made one with three spokes, and another with four spokes. Since I knew what I was doing this time, they went fast. I accidentally cut into one spoke on the four spoke spin top, so I cut the damage away, took a piece of tenon that was still in the lathe and made a replacement piece. After it dried quite a bit, I shaped it so it is hard to find where the damaged piece was.

Two new tops with the one I made before

I took a piece of the Bougainvillea that had two stems. One big stem and another small one that had been cut previously. I tried to hollow the big log (about five inches in diameter). Because of the angles, getting smaller as it went to the base, and the base which was not square, I got it off angle and cut into the side of the piece. I ended up grinding the inside instead to get the shape right. I used a spade bit to drill the small stump, (two and a half inches diameter) and then grind it deeper. I am considering ways to finish it up. I may work the base a little more, possibly using a saw to make it more acceptable a design. It was cut in a wedge cut that really makes it tough to deal with. I will explore some concepts a bit later.

The bougainvillea stump as I finished Saturday

Tomorrow I should try to finish up the stump bowl. Beyond that, I really don’t have any projects that really need to be done. I do have loads of projects and lots of wood to work with.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

year 11, Week 19, Day Two (week 593)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-22-11 Sunday

86 degrees early morning 94 when I left. Random thin puffs to add interest to the blue sky. A light breeze just strong enough to move the lightest dust around. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I started the morning cutting a piece of the long Bougainvillea and mounting it on the lathe to make what is called a banana bowl. I had a design for the bowl based on the features. A knot on the side, angles of the existing cut end, ripples on the top, and so on.
As I started shaping it, little design changes were required. I first created a tenon on the base while it was between centers. Once I was satisfied with the way the tenon was made, I turned the work around and mounted it into the chuck.
Because of something I saw at a turning club demonstration one time, I now stick the drive spur into the chuck and close the chuck down on it. It is not really a good practice as it could dig into the sides of the taper. The taper uses friction between the taper and the shaft to hold very tight. My method of using the chuck to hold it could eventually cause problems on how the taper fits into the shaft if you decide not to use the chuck. Little ridges and indents could compromise the friction fit. The advantage is that changing from chuck to taper is only a moment, just releasing the jaws and it comes out. I have not noticed any mars on the surface and assume that is because it is a super hard finish.
As I worked, the knot I was trying to keep was coming apart. I got to working the inside and intended to have it thick where the knot was. As I worked, that concept faded away and I ended up going with thin walls. Design changes as I went caused my original shape to disappear.
Once I got the inside about where I wanted it, the post that the tail stock was holding it in place, caught on the tool and broke.
I turned the piece around and fixed the bottom of the piece before permanently taking it off the lathe. I then sat down and removed the remains of the posts with the grinder and doing some touch up.

I then started grinding on, cleaning up the Bougainvillea trunk bowl. I wanted to figure out the best way to fix the bowl. I decided the best way to fix it, to make it nice, was to plug the gap that formed while making it. I took a piece I cut off when I started that had a bit of bark on it. I was a bit hesitant on messing up, but decided to go for it.
I cut the piece a little longer than I needed and then worked both the piece and the gap of the bowl to get the piece to fit in nicely. I would grind a little, then fit, then grind a little more then fit. I finally got a good fit within the gap where the bottom gap was blocked nicely. I then loaded up the glue and stuck the piece in place. I then took sawdust from the grinding and worked that into the glue and worked it into the gaps. I will see for sure, but this seems to be a good filler for me.
After it dried a bit, I shaped the inside, made sure any gaps were filled, filled in a few other thin spots and worked the wood all around.
This piece actually looks pretty good. It will need a lot of sanding and touch-ups, but considering the problems I've had with it, it looks pretty good.

Repaired gap. Looks even better after it was cleaned up.

bougainvillea stump, pencil holder and nut cup.

Banana bowl - dark ring is from the chuck - metal rubbing against wet wood.
I will eventually sand that out.

I took it easy after that, resting, cooling off with the fan running just to make sure air was moving around, and dust was blown away from me when I was grinding.
I did cut off a stub of a branch and tried to cut what was supposed to be a bird head for the banana bowl. I have done that many a time, where I made them into bird bowls by carving heads and sometimes tails onto them. My results are not satisfactory. I likely will try again next weekend if I decide it is worth doing.

Mom started dinner then found out that my brother was not going to be able to come up. Twenty minutes earlier and Mom would have fixed something simple for the two of us and I would have taken the uncooked chicken back home. Instead, I brought home a whole bunch of cooked chicken, potatoes, vegetables, and so on. I will be eating good this week.
We have a tradition where I provide the meat and mom fixes dinner for my brother and his wife, and mom and I, and sometimes someone else who might come up. This tradition started when a new store opened up near my house and had fantastic prices on the meats. I kept bringing up whole bunches of meat to stock up mom and dad, and it took them a while to get me to understand that I should only bring up for the Sunday meal. I have done that ever since. It worked well for all of us.

I don't have any idea what I will be working on Saturday. I will come up with something.
I think I will be on my own Sunday as Monday, I think we are having a gathering at my brother's house on Monday where we can really test out the forge he made or work on other projects we can come up with. I will gather my carving stuff and have them in the car, though I might not ever touch that when metal working is possible.

I will see what I actually do next weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May Flowers from Florida

It is time to show what is growing here in Florida this time of year, which is our May flowers. We are nearing the end of our dry season, but have a bit longer to go. Many of Mom's plants took a hit from this year's cold winter, but others are blooming nicely. I will admit that I will hear plant names and totally forget them minutes later. Most of these plants are in pots, which Mom can move around when desired.I will post the pictures and add comments only when I know something. Hope you enjoy.


Beggar the cat - the beast of the back yard. when taking pictures, he is either too close or looking the wrong way

Scar Face or Tom, depending on our mood. He adopted mom and comes around to eat most days. He is a sweety but often gets into fights, hence his name.


A look at part of the back yard - the area i do my wood working also

I loved the contrast of the light leaflets and the dark moss.

Figs - What you get when you cross a frog and a pig....

These are out front. I have one on my porch and it tells me when to water all my other plants

desert rose flowers

Curly tail lizard - each of those squares is a foot across to show the scale of these lizards at their largest.

peace lily past its prime

these have a strange shape to them


This bud is for you.

I love the overlap of the petals

Pony tail Palm in flower

Pelican spinner - a present from the antique shop I have my woodworking in.

Another purple leaf with a view of the back yard.

One of her newest acquisition.

pretty purple shades

A shrimp plant I gave my mom for Mother's day years ago. Never blooms on Mother's day after I got it home.


Looks almost like they are wearing scale armor

These are always interesting leaves

a tree Mom got from the county. Won't grow fast while kept in a pot

Found this one accidentally

I love this mixture of tiny flowers and colorful leaves

spotted leaves

Close up of the spotted leaves.

That is it for now. Will wait for changes in the plants and flowers before I display them here agian.