Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday!

Black Friday started Thursday this year!  It is so sad to believe that it is so easy to market to our greed!
I would rather have a loaf of homemade bread, hand kneaded, not machine processed, than any store bought  discounted item off the shelf.  Over 35 Billion Dollars will be spent this year on Christmas presents!  That is just insane!  That is more money than a trip to Mars!
   Last year I bought everyone on my Christmas list Socks.  I refused to purchase items imported and mostly boycott anything made in China.  With "Amazon" it is easy to find anything you want "made in USA" and you can avoid the scary crowds.
   This year I am going to buy Food!  I really don't know anyone who "needs" food so I am on a search for celebratory food, unusually food, extravagant purchases not on the usual grocery list.
   Several years ago my cousin visited us and he is always generous with his gift giving.  That year he brought a huge spiral cut "Honey Baked Ham", the type that just melts in your mouth.  A normal ham is less than $20 dollars and a Honey Baked one is close to a hundred dollars!  That is at the top of my Christmas List!  Also, I am after Belgian Chocolates!  Marmite from England and maybe Marzipan!
  It is early yet and there is plenty of time to order something extravagant and I am after suggestions!
What is your favorite most outlandish food item that you only purchase for special occasions?
   I have a neighbor who weekly on Sundays feeds the homeless at a nearby park.  Normally this is spaghetti or a giant casserole with bread and salad, enough to feed the 20 or so who show up every week.  He was recently given 3 turkeys and intends to cook them for a feast for this Sunday.  I am contributing the stuffing and it should be the best meal ever!  Here is what is in my stuffing, enough for one turkey:              

                                         1 package stuffing mix (bread crumbs)
                                          1 large onion, diced and sauteed
                                          celery, chopped and sauteed
                                          almond slivers, also sauteed, nicely browned
                                          mushrooms, also browned
                                          Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage, cooked
                                          1 can mandarin oranges, juice and all
                                          1 can water chestnuts, sauteed
                                          and, the song, of course!
                                          "Parsley,  Sage, Rosemary and Thyme"
                                          I add these spices every time I am sauteing each item.

It is really good stuffing and there are never any leftovers!  So, what are great, unusual foods I should add to my Christmas list?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It is just like painting...

...except you frame it first.  This is the gate I am working on, the double arches, the entire frame are finished.  It is about 13' wide and 5' tall, on the smaller side for entry gates.  Between the arches will be a cobweb of vines, seriously adding to the strength and creating a truss along the top.  This is what makes the gate strong and prevents it from sagging.  The interior lower field of the gate will be made up of wavy round bars, like rain, maybe.  The top section between the arches and overlapping here and there (think "splash of paint") will have nine grape clusters with copper leaves.  These will be powder
coated clear and the gate itself a textured black satin powder coated finish.
 Pieces on the floor! I will pick them up tomorrow and turn them into table legs for the bar.
I have 2 projects at the same time going in my shop!  I have to build 15 table legs for a new beer bar!
Nine of these, all different, should be stunning once clear coated.
having fun!
 the center piece you see is just a brace to be removed.

I admit this is a little heavier than paint but the idea is the same:  create something never seen before!  I will be 67 years old in a couple weeks.  I was almost dead a short four years ago!  It is pretty incredible that I can still do this!  Loving it!

Monday, November 4, 2013

I've been working!

Oh boy, it is nice to have some work!  I am retired but like to feel useful.
October has been a good month after a very slow September and August.  I thought I was forgotten!  Easy thing to do to retired folk!  It began with this interior rail, separating a floor level where people were tripping.
My wife wanted a pot holder so I made this for her.

a copper roof cantilever entry! you might notice it is only supported on one side!
And a Gate Job!  Three gates for one client!
It is a greedy situation!  Now I am on the hunt for more interesting jobs!