Sunday, November 30, 2014

Year 15, Week 43, Day One (week 740)

Year 15, Week 43, Day One (week 740)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-27-14 Thursday
    56 degrees early morning, warming up quickly after the sun came up, getting to the high 60s. I was indoors all day long so other than the strong winds, I did not notice the weather other than the sunshine. I forgot to look up in the short time I was outdoors going to our family dinner. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Sunrise Department of Tourism.
    Dinner is at three and I only have to travel a block away to get there. Since we are having dinner in a condo, there is no carving today. No other “messy” projects either.
    Being home, I decided to dig into a closet in my train room. There was something on the bottom of the pile I needed to get out. I found some great memories and fun things. I now have an empty space in that closet floor that needs to be filled.
    I have some small wood carvings in two bins. I decided I would swap out two bins in shelving and place them in those spaces. I looked into several bins and found a couple that could be yard sailed. One had a whole bunch of model railroad track in it. Another had some computer parts I accumulated.  That open floor space in the closet is still empty and my wood working is in a place I can get to them quickly and easily.
    In my diggings, I found some old drawings of a model railroad plans we considered building. The layout these were part of had already been started when these designs were done, but we were exploring the rest of the layout. What we eventually built something had nothing to do with these drawings. That layout eventually was ripped out years later because the shed it was in was notoriously dirty (tracks have to be surgically clean for electric to pass from track to engine) and my brother needed the shed for stuff that would eventually be used in his job.
    These memories eventually lead me to write a post about model railroading, the first in a very long time.  I have enough scale cars to supply an auto factory, enough scale trucks-and-trailer rigs to have every train car with a truck on it.  I have train cars and engines in dresser drawers, not counting what I have sitting some place on my layout.
    This was the first Thanksgiving that we had only our immediate family together. We did not have a bunch of friends and farther relatives there. We had enough food for everybody who ever came to our one of our gatherings. Everybody went home with leftovers.  The dinner was fantastic.
    I am off from work tomorrow. I plan to work on carving on my ornaments and to dig through the two bins and see exactly what I have and see what I want to keep.
I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 43, Day Two (week 740)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-28-14 Friday
54 degrees early morning, 69 as the high, mostly blue sky with some clouds. It was sunny all day long. There was a strong breeze that early morning took away any heat you had, but as soon as the sun gained some height, the warmth matched the wind and was comfortable. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.   
    I was feeling the little work I did yesterday and was looking forward to a day of just sitting and carving. When we got back from breakfast, mom said, “I have a project for you.” Argh!
Her project was to clear off the work bench and rearrange it. This is not a difficult job. It just takes time. It really takes time.  I would have taken some before-after pictures but I left the camera at home.
I worked at one end and started stacking stuff on a folding table I use for my work. I got quite a ways when mom got out there. It took a little bit to get her to concentrate on sorting through stuff and tossing stuff. That was the hardest part.
    Since we were in process, I continued to a tall dresser that is covered with a tarp and being used as a platform for grinders and sanders. It was covered in stuff also. It had a nice coating of dust in the folds of the tarp. We found an old leather satchel under the tarp. It was in bad enough condition to be tossed.
    Everything was moved, cleaned, and either put back or tossed. I moved a bunch of stuff to a new location while I was at it.  I put a sheet of plywood on top the tarp and now have two grinders in position for use, along with my disk sander. It is now quite usable.
    When we were done, you could actually see about a quarter of the work bench surface was visible and Mom’s garbage can was full. The day was almost done too.
    After lunch, a good rest, and final clean up, I set down with the model railroad tracks in the bin. I took the curved tracks and formed a circle and counted the pieces needed to get the complete circle, which I counted twelve sections. I then sorted through the tracks and bound together fourteen sections, just to make sure they had enough. I had half of shorter sections and half the longer sections. I will tell people to alternate them.  I was going to also include straight sections the length of the diameter of the circles, but found I had nowhere near enough straight pieces. What I did, then was to put them together in separate bundles of four.
    I used different colored yarns for each bundle, the straights had bright orange, the curves had bright green, the pieces made up of smaller sections had another color.  I can tell at a glance what they are getting.
    I dug into the bin with electronics. I kept out some things and left the rest. Most of this I got at a yard sale years ago where the person was tossing a whole bunch of electronics. I should have gotten the other container she had but it seemed like so much as it was. I am positive that the stuff I did not get was more interesting...
    I am not sure what is going on tomorrow. We may be doing a yard sale. Mom is not sure about it, though. Most people are out at Black Friday sales and won’t be interested in yard sales. Then again, if we don’t do the yard sale, we will be missing a beautiful day and possible sales.
    What I really want to do, which I can do if there is not a yard sale, is to get some of  my Christmas ornaments finished. Some are about done, some need a lot of work. I also want to take a whole bunch of chargers and see if I can get them to work with my drill set. The cords of the existing chargers are bad. We have a whole bunch of charger and I want to see if I can find some with the right ends and power and see if I can get the chargers working again. It will get my battery powered  drills back into use.
    When I got up this morning, I was feeling a little bit of the work I did yesterday, and today I did a lot more. There was nothing hard about anything I did, but there was just a lot of it. Walking here and there, picking up these few things and place them there, stick them there, turn back get something else. Just a lot of repeated movements  It added up. I am really proud of what we accomplished. Mom wore me into the ground one more time. I have no idea where her energy comes from. I did not inherit it.
    This week was the anniversary of my dad’s passing. I cannot remember the year he died, but he died two days after Thanksgiving that year. 
    Last weekend was Mom’s first anniversary of her marriage to my new dad.
    Mom had not done very much in the back yard after her marriage. She was too busy with things they were doing together. This month, Mom decided to get involved in fixing up the back yard and the past two weekends fixing things that required two of us to do. The back yard is slowly coming into shape. I figure she will have it all together by the end of next month.
    Looking in my train room, I realize I have a lot of work to do in there. A bunch of stuff was stacked on top the layout to get them out of the way while I was working. I need to clear it off completely. I usually spread a sheet of plastic on top of it and use it for painting my Christmas cards each year. I need to clear the pathway around it to make sure I can work efficiently. Where can I find another multi day weekend to get that work done?
    I also have to spend several sessions cleaning track so the engines can run. They hate dirty tracks. So much to do, and so little time to get it done.
    Well, My schedule tomorrow is completely up in the air.
    I will have to see what I can get to do tomorrow.
Year 15, Week 43, Day Three (week 740)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-29-14 Saturday
51 degrees early morning near my house, 56 degrees at Mom’s house ( about four or five miles closer to the ocean), 60 degrees at around eight, 75 degrees as the high. Sunny all day with some clouds off and on. Strong breeze all day long. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    Mom just was not sure if she wanted to do a yard sale today. It is still the Black Friday shopping and most people are at stores shopping the low priced deals the stores are offering. We just was not sure if it was going to be worth the effort. After breakfast, when we still were up in the air but could do the sale if we put our mind to it. The decision finally came down to me.
It was a beautiful day and it is hard to miss the opportunity.  After the work I did yesterday which I was not fully recovered from, and the fact that I had a number of projects to do that required time and concentration, I decided that it would be best if we don’t do the sale. We figured out later that there was not the normal traffic on the road so our sale likely would not have done well anyway. We did stop at a couple sales but they had nothing we needed.
    I did see at a yard sale a ceramic flower pot that I would like to make in wood. It was a long necked squash. It was set on its side in a way where the neck was held up on an angle. There was a hole for your plants on the side that was up. Something like this, if done on the lathe, would require turning on two axis. One for the hole in the squash, and one for the shape of the squash. One could then carve in the flutes, if that is the type of squash one wants to make. I will keep it as an idea.
    When my brother dismantled his model railroad, he gave me all the trees he had made for it. He had a Christmas tree that he was retiring and he cut the limbs off at various lengths. Some he put a base on and screwed them in place on the layout. Others he drilled a hole in the plaster scenery and stuck them in. Close together, they look like some form of pine or fir tree forest. I brought the bin to Mom’s house and sorted through them on length and type of base. There were a few other trees that I kept that were commercially sold trees.
    I grouped them and put them in baggies. I figured this was the best way to offer them in the yard sale, One buys a bag for a price. 
    I had a bunch of other stuff in a couple boxes that I had grabbed from my house and sorted through them at moms. A few things I kept and other things I have for the sale. Between several bins, like things are scattered. I figure that if we do a yard sale next weekend, I will be able to get things properly sorted when I put them away after the sale.
    Mom and I accumulated a whole bunch of chargers and power supplies for various devices. I picked through them with the idea of using the chargers to replace the bad ones for my drill set. I took a sixteen volt charger with the right polarity and right end and plugged it into the battery station for my drills, and stuck a battery in. After about an our, I found that It did charge the battery, but It would take a whole lot of time to fully charge the battery, far longer than a normal charger. I kept that charger, but did not bother to look for anything else that would work. It is good to know it will do the job if given enough time. If I lose more chargers (cords go bad), I could dig out something else that might work.
    I dug out my mittens and socks Christmas ornaments, and trimmed off any wayward paint, and then drilled starter holes and added eye hooks so they can be hung. I then glued in the “presents” in the ends of the socks and mittens. I found out several things. One is that I did not have enough of each color for all the ornaments. I then found out that only a few had enough room to hold all the presents the colors offered. Instead of four presents, most got three presents in them, and I had to split a few to make them fit, having the bare wood against another present to hide them (I ended up with some extra presents left over) I added extra glue around them when I had them placed and let them dry. When I put them into the baggy, they were set, but not fully dry.  I signed each one so the ink will have time to dry. Tomorrow I will give them a coat of varnish to finish them up.
    I whittled on the mice, making adjustments. I have two blanks I have not touched at all. The ones that were started needed their ears carved and I got them acceptable. I still have a little touch up on some of them with the knife. I used a drill and formed a pocket and glued in blue seed beads to make the eyes. I will have to see how they look tomorrow as to whether I have to do anything else. I might use a black pen to darken the hole in the bead that I had out like the pupal of the eye.
    I signed them on the flat bottom. After a tiny bit of knife touch-up, they will be ready to be varnished. They get no paint at all, just varnish. They will essentially be white mice. I think I know what I can do for a tail, but not totally sure. Someone suggested that I put a ribbon and bow around their necks. I have little decorative bows and might attach them. I will think about it. It would say more about them being for Christmas.
    I did some touch up carving on the chimney ornaments. I will paint them tomorrow and get them done. The two that I had already painted needs some touch-up paint to finish them off. If I get these completely painted, and everything varnished, they will be ready for presentation. I have to see what I can do tomorrow.
    As the day wore on, I could tell I had not fully recovered from the work I did yesterday. What made it worse was that several times, I was thinking that it was Sunday, and disappointed that the weekend had escaped me. Then there was relief when I realized it was Saturday and I still had time.
    It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.
Year 15, Week 43, Day Four (week 740)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-30-14 Sunday
    69 degrees early morning, 74 in the early afternoon, strong gusts and strong breeze, mostly blue sky with lots of fast moving clouds that never seemed to darken the sun until the afternoon.  This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    A great weekend is one where you go back to work to recover. For me, by this definition, this is a great weekend...
    I remembered I had some craft supplies in the tool box within the shed. The tool box is covered with stuff and hemmed in by wood. So I decided I had to get into the tool box.
    I set up the folding table to give me more room to place things and so I did not have to bend very much when moving things. The stuff on top the tool box came out first. Then the wood stacked up by the tool box since I was not about to have the wood fall down and have to pick it up. It would be better to move them in an orderly fashion.
    When I got the tool box out, I saw that the bugs have been having a field day on the sheets of plywood up in the roof of the shed. The floor was covered in bug droppings. I moved more stuff and then swept the floor. I put the bug droppings in mom’s compost bin. I figure it will help there.
    Satisfied I had gotten as far as needed (later I realized I should have checked a shelf that had stuff on it, but by then it was too late everything was back in place and there was no way I was going to take everything out just for a look). I started putting things back. I changed the arrangement some. Some plastic coffee containers came out and also some broken gourds I was given a long time ago. I really had no projects involving them and over time, they got damaged. Those made some extra room in there so things could be placed where they need to be.
    I stacked things on the bottom that I knew I would not be digging into soon. I put the wood back in a slightly more orderly fashion. If I concentrated on making things and only depended on the wood I have, I could work for a decade before I would start needing wood again. Now if I choose a project and look around, I have nothing at all to work with.....

 I had looked in the tool box and was reminded that a while back, I had removed the stuff I was looking for. So much for HALF A MEMORY!!!! I remembered I had put it in there, but did not remember that I took it out. It is in my house, but I have no clue where.
I got everything put a way and closed up the shed, and then took a nap. That was a lot of work that my body is not designed to do. The nap helped but not as much as needed.  Of course, I forgot to take “before” pictures and did not bother taking “after” pictures.

I went back out and settled on my Christmas ornaments. I trimmed the mice and the chimney ornaments, making sure they were quite clean. I then took out my paints and worked on finished the chimney carvings. Black, red and white paints “carefully” applied. I had to do some touch-ups on a few spots where drips or finger prints showed. I sanded the bottoms again to make them clean and flat, and signed them.

Last week, I dumped over a can of Wipe-On Poly Varnish when cleaning up and the lid came off. It had only a little varnish left in it and I saved that.
It was time to varnish the ornaments. I varnished the mice first and that mostly used up the varnish. I had dumped the varnish in a gallon baggy and then swished the mice all around in it, making sure they were coated and soaked. I then set them out to dry.
I had found a small can of varnish and dumped some of that in there and varnished all the other ornaments. It turned out to be very slow drying. I had placed the ornaments on a sheet of old plywood and moved them around periodically so they would not stick, and would dry on all sides. When it was time to go home, they were still tacky.
I set them on a small plywood sheet scrap and put them in the back of the truck so they could dry safely on the way home. I left them on the plywood and will let them dry over night and hope they are ready in the morning.

This was the most active weekend I have had in years. We have results to show for our efforts, and My body has let me know I am too soft for this kind of work. I would say I am out of shape, but round is a shape.....
    If the weather is any good next weekend, I am looking at our having a yard sale. I had doubled the stuff I have to show off. That means twice as long a setup. I do have more ornaments to carve and there are some other projects I need to do.
    I will see what I actually do next weekend.

 Model railroad trees. These were made either from a Christmas tree or a wreath. Hopefully someone else will make good use of them.

A Clean (?) work bench, after a garbage can worth of stuff was removed.

Except for some eye hooks, these are finished ornaments. The mice may end up with tails and possibly bows around their necks. I am not making those decisions at this time.

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