Bible Reading Plan

>> Thursday, December 31, 2009

Approximately one year ago I did a post about a Bible Reading Plan. I thought I would revisit this topic again briefly since I have finished reading through the entire Bible again over the course of this last year.   In 2008 I read through the Bible in chronological order.  For 2009 I read through in the historical order, which is according to the estimated date of the  writing of the books.  For 2010 I plan to read  from beginning (Genesis) to end (Revelation).   Once again, here is the site where I obtained my plan.  There are numerous plans, just Google for sites offering plans to find one that may suit you better.



Stat Counter

>> Thursday, December 24, 2009

I began blogging a little over one year ago. I desired to have some kind of feedback on how many people visited my blog, where they were from, etc. Darryl had found Stat Counter which did all of these things and more. is a free invisible web tracker. I can obtain a great deal of info. Click on “” above and check it out. Click on “demo” and you will see the type of stats one receives. I personally like following the “Visitor Paths.” I know that I have several “regular” readers of my blog and know where they live. I just don’t know names. I don’t often comment on other people’s blogs and perhaps most of you are non-commenters as well, but perhaps just this once you could leave a brief note. Just say “hi” or let me know what you would like to hear about from me.


Craftsman Router Crafter

>> Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In my post about making my cedar candlesticks I mentioned my brother-in-law’s Legacy Ornamental Mill that was used.  I thought having one would be great but when I went to checking on the price I knew right away that buying one was out of the question.  But, as I did more research on the internet I discovered that there have been other companies that have made somewhat similar machines.  One that I began finding references to was a unit that Sears marketed for a number of years, the Craftsman Router Crafter.  It was much less sophisticated than the Legacy but for hobby use it sounded like something that would do what I wished to do.  However, I discovered that Sears had discontinued this piece of equipment.  Apparently a company by the name of Trend Machinery (now called Trend Routing Technology) had made this machine and had marketed their own, called a router lathe.  This machine had also been discontinued, apparently about 2004.


On a woodworking forum on the internet I saw that others had been referred to Ebay to find such a unit.  I started looking and found one listed that the individual stated was from his father’s estate, was still in the original box and had never even been opened.  I made a bid and later had to raise my bid a bit but did win the auction.  And, just as had been stated the unit was brand new.  Under the sealed flap I found the original invoice from QVC where it had been purchased in March of 1993. 

December 1-9 005 Here you see the unit set  up in a corner of my barn.  (I’m still working toward a woodworking shop!)

I’ve been “playing” with it the last few days, trying to learn how to do the various things it will do.

December 1-9 007 December 1-9 009

Pictured on the left is a piece of cedar limb I cut from the woods.  On the right the piece has been put into the machine and has been rounded down.

December 1-9 011 In this photo you can see that I have successfully turned spirals in the piece.  I’ve got to obtain a few more router bits but I’m about ready to attempt making another cedar candlestick.


Acquiring Building Materials

>> Sunday, December 6, 2009

As I began making plans to build a small woodworking shop I started thinking about where and how to obtain lumber and roofing materials without spending a huge amount of money, something I don’t have.  I started checking Craig’s List and reading the classified ads.  A couple of area radio stations have programs they call “The Trader” and “The Real Trader.”  One can buy, sell, trade and advertize for needed items at no charge.  I submitted an ad on one of the stations stating that I was looking for used lumber and metal roofing materials.  I also mentioned that I would consider tearing down old buildings in exchange for the building materials.

A fellow responded stating that he had an old house that I could tear down.  I took Darryl along to look at it.  As it turned out it was an old house that someone had started tearing down some years ago but had never finished.  Although some material was gone there was still adequate framing lumber and metal roofing for my purposes.  The house was a two story affair with a fairly steep roof.  We decided that it would be easier to salvage the material, and I might add, a lot safer if we pulled the house down.  Darryl helped me for a day and a half and using his truck we were able to bring the house down, not all a once but in increments.

Nov. 11 007 As can be seen in this photo all of the doors and window are gone and much of the siding has been removed.  There had never been any electricity into the house nor any plumbing.  The chimney had also been taken down earlier.  Some of the interior walls were ripped out and those remaining did not have lath and plaster but tongue and groove boards.  The metal roofing was not original.  It was obvious that the house had been shingled with wooden shingles at an earlier time.  The metal is quite rusted, as can be seen, but the under side is still brightly galvanized and quite usable.

Here are a few pictures of the house being taken down.  We first worked on the section of the house to the right in the above photo.  We pulled out the side walls with chains and then took down the rest of the section with a long rope, all attached to Darryl’s truck.

Nov. 11 086

The front wall is being pulled down.

Nov. 11 098 The end of the house is crashing to the ground.

Nov. 12 010 The front wall on the remaining section of the house is being pulled down.

Nov. 12 056 The back wall on the still standing section is coming down.

Nov. 12 073 It is about to go!

Nov. 12 074 GOING!

Nov. 12 075 GONE!  The entire house is on the ground  I’ve been able to work a day or two a week salvaging material and hauling some of it home.   It will take a while to get it all done.

Nov. 24 & 26 008 Some of the roofing metal and some of the rafters headed home!

As I took the still photos seen above Darryl’s video camera was recording the action.  He posted his video on line and can be viewed by clicking on this link.


My Next Major Project

After spending time with my brother-in-law in his woodworking shop while in Texas I came to the decision that I wanted a small shop of my own.  I have always enjoyed working with wood.  As a small child my parents gave me a set of small tools, access to small pieces of wood and small nails.  I attempted to build all sorts of things.  I worked with my father putting an addition onto our barn and adding a workshop to the back of our garage.  While in high school he managed to get me hired to work with him doing carpenter work during the Summer vacation two different years.  When I went to college I worked two years part-time in the campus woodworking shop.

I have done numerous projects through the 45 years we have been married, the most major being the completion of our house here in Kentucky.  But, I have never really had a shop.  I’ve worked out of the garage or on the front porch to do several projects.  My goal is to build a small shop, approximately 16’ X 16’ in our back yard.  As I plan it I envision adding a loft for storage, something we seem to always lack.  I’ll keep you updated on my progress.


Happy Thanksgiving

>> Thursday, November 26, 2009

I was awakened at 2:25 A.M. (CST) by a telephone call from my youngest son, Craig.  When I answered he told me he was calling to wish me a happy Thanksgiving.  I asked if there was something else he wished to tell me, and there was.  He informed me that I had a new granddaughter, Sammi Elizabeth Pifer, born at 12:03 A.M. (PST).  So, we have another grandchild to be very thankful for.  We now have eleven grandchildren, seven granddaughters and four grandsons.


As I was carrying in firewood this morning I noticed that one of our strawberry plants has it’s seasons confused!

Nov. 24 & 26 010  Our fall has been quite mild with a low temperature of about 30 degrees only once or twice.  I still have several items in the garden.  I went out and gathered greens for today’s salad.  I had radish leaves, beet leaves, turnip leaves, two kinds of lettuce and two kinds of chard.  With a little oil and vinegar dressing it will be yummy.

Nov. 24 & 26 012 Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!


Cedar Candlesticks

>> Thursday, November 12, 2009

On our visit to Connie’s mom and her sister in South Texas three years ago I saw some candlesticks that my brother-in-law, Roger, had made on a new piece of equipment in his woodworking shop.

Texas Trip 014 This photo is a bit dark but hopefully you can see the beautiful spiral candlesticks. (Click on the photo to enlarge.) The one set is made of pecan wood and the other from mesquite. When I first saw these I told Roger I’d like to have a set made out of our Kentucky cedar.

It was while we were there visiting that Connie’s mom suffered a stroke and Connie felt she needed to stay for a few weeks. I came on home and went back a few weeks later to get Connie. When I got ready to return I went out to our woodpile and pulled out a few pieces of cedar that had been cut up for firewood and took with me.

When we went for our visit this Fall Roger told me that I needed to make my candlesticks. He pulled out the cedar pieces (and got wasp stung doing it), designed my candlesticks, set up his Legacy Ornamental Mill to make them. As he got each step started he instructed me in the operation and let me run the machine. After getting them made he showed me how to sand them. After I had the sanding done he sprayed shellac on them (several coats). After letting that cure for a couple of days he showed me how to go over them with steel wool to take away the shine and then put a wax finish on them.

Here are some photos of the end result.

Nov. 9 003 Nov. 11 001

Nov. 11 002
Nov. 11 006

Nov. 11 004

Nov. 11 005

Even if I did part of the work I think they turned out pretty nice.


South Padre Island and Red Tide

>> Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One of the things Connie wanted to do while we were in Texas visiting her sister was to go over to South Padre Island and spend a bit of time on the Gulf of Mexico.  However, when we got to Tami’s we found out that they were experiencing a red tide on the island.  A “red tide” is the term used to describe a particular type of algae bloom in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as other areas.  According to material I read the density of these organisms  during a bloom can exceed tens of millions of cells per liter of seawater and often discolor the water a deep reddish-brown hue.  The most noticeable effects of the red tides are the numbers of fish, birds and marine mammals that are killed.  And, in many cases it causes respiratory irritation to people that visit the beaches.

We were in Corpus Christi, Texas in October 1986 during a very severe red tide, stated later to be “the worst experienced along the Texas coast with effects stretching from its inception near Galveston Island to Mexico.”  We drove over to Padre Island to see the Gulf of Mexico.  We were able to drive right out onto a beach but when we opened the car doors and got out the irritation was immediate.  We began coughing and decided to get back into the car and leave the area.

Having had this experience we quickly decided a visit during this trip to South Padre Island was out.  However, about mid-way of our visit Roger, my brother-in-law, informed me that he had a bit of work to do over on the island and asked if I’d like to go along.  I agreed to go.  I found out later that he didn’t really know what the red tide was like.

We got to the house where he had some work to do, got out of the truck and we were immediately assailed by the effects of this red tide.  We began coughing and our noses were running.  Roger hurried through the work he needed to do and we left the island as soon as we could.  I did take a few pictures of the Gulf of Mexico for Connie’s benefit since she didn’t get to see it in person.

Texas Trip 013 This photo is of the house Roger was doing some work on.  It is still being finished and the owners have yet to move in.  It sits right on the Gulf.  The following pictures were taken from the patio and a back stairway, as well as from the dunes that are between the house and the water.

Texas Trip 001 Texas Trip 005




Texas Trip 011 Texas Trip 007


I’m Back

>> Saturday, November 7, 2009

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I haven’t posted anything for the last three weeks.  For two of those three weeks we were away from home.  The last week I have just not taken the time to write anything.

Connie and I left for a trip to Texas on Sunday, October 18th and arrived back home on Friday afternoon, October 30th.  We went down to the Rio Grande valley to visit Connie’s youngest sister and her family.  We had originally planned this trip for last Spring but it didn’t work out.  That was before Connie’s mom died and our main reason for  planning to go  had been to visit her mom.  Her sister still wanted us to come for a visit so we decided to go ahead and make the trip this Fall.

We had a good visit but are happy to be back home.


What A Difference!

>> Saturday, October 17, 2009

Connie bakes our bread, a good whole wheat bread.  She has made it the “old fashioned way” but has used a bread machine much of the time in recent years.  However, she has been somewhat distressed that her loaves of bread do not turn out as they have in the past.  It seems they just don’t raise as they should and sometimes the tops are not nice and rounded.  Recently she baked a loaf that looked nice but was quite “squatty,”  much shorter than it should have been.  She decided to try an experiment.  She had from time to time found that potato water seemed to help.  So, upon removing the first short loaf she started another loaf of bread.  But this time she cooked a small potato, mashed it up in the water which it had been cooked in and used that as her liquid.  Here is a photo of her results.

Oct. 6 002 What a difference a little potato water made!


Visit To The Nashville Zoo

Darryl and Anne had taken their children to the Nashville zoo some few years ago and had wanted to go back.  On Wednesday, October 7th we all made the trip.  The zoo may not have as many animals as some but the exhibit areas seem to be more spacious, allowing the animals more space in which to move around.  Here are a few pictures taken during our visit.

Oct. 7 034 We stood and watched for quite awhile as this elephant played with the log.

Oct. 7 041Naomi was quite insistent that we go and see the giraffes.  We all enjoyed watching these long necked animals.

Oct. 7 052  The children were able to go through a tunnel and look into the meerkat enclosure.  Below is a photo of one of the little critters.

Oct. 7 051 We also enjoyed viewing the exhibits of fish, snakes, etc.  Here is one photo taken in that area.

Oct. 7 011 All in all it was a very good day!  There were some things we missed seeing so we will have to go back another time.


Recent Excursions

Last week we took a number of excursions with Darryl and family (and Danny on a couple).  We visited and toured Diamond Caverns near Park City, Kentucky.  Connie and I had taken our grandchildren from Wisconsin, Beth and Cory, as well as Jessica, during the summer of 2004.  Darryl and Anne had been there even previous to our visit.  The younger children had not been there or were too young to remember.  Below are a few photos taken during our visit.

Oct. 6 025 Oct. 6 027

Oct. 6 029 Oct. 6 036

Leaving the caverns we drove to Bowling Green, Kentucky and visited the Historic Rail Park and Train Museum.  The museum was quite interesting but the real highlight was being given a guided tour of several restored rail cars.  Again, a few photos.

Oct. 6 051 Here we are preparing to enter the caboose that is on display.

Oct. 6 054
In this picture we are standing in the dining area of the personal car of the president of the L & N Railroad.  This was used not only for dining but also as a conference room.

Oct. 6 055 Oct. 6 057

         In the picture on the left we are in the dining car.  On the right is a photo of a post office car, one of two in existence.

The next day’s excursion will be covered in the next post.


Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

>> Saturday, October 3, 2009

The above proverb has been credited to the Dutch, the Pennsylvania Dutch, the Germans, the Swedes and others.  No matter where it originated it seems to bear a lot of truth.  Life moves on and though at the time we often don’t recognize it we grow older.  And, sadly, we don’t gain the wisdom or the smarts we should.  What gets me to thinking about being older?

Last weekend Connie and I made a quick trip back up to Illinois to attend a family reunion.  There were 15 of us first cousins in attendance.  There were gray and white haired cousins.  How could that be.  It was just a short while ago that we were all “kids.”

Here is a photo of the cousins taken in front of my parents home in the spring of 1952.  The names of those attending the reunion last weekend are in capital letters.  A photo from the recent reunion is on below.

scan0005Front row, L-R, Connie, HELEN holding JIM (or is it JOHN), VERA ANN holding JOHN (or is it JIM), BETTY, FRIEDA with GLENN in front of her, Margaret, REVA, KAY with her arm around REVA, BRENDA.  Back row, L-R, Larry, Roger, RONNIE, GARRY (that’s me), ELLIS, Patricia Sue in front of ELLIS, Jeannie, Grandpa Arlie, Diane being held by Grandpa, Sandra in front of Grandpa, GENEAN, Donna being held by GENEAN.  Lyle, Mike, Lorie, Penny, Kayla and KATHY were born after this picture was taken.  Roger, Patricia and Grandpa Arlie are deceased.

Sept. 27 017  From L-R, Kathy, John, (Jim for some reason didn’t get in the picture), Reva, Brenda, Glenn, Ronnie, Ellis, Betty, Garry, Kay, Vera Ann, Helen, Frieda, Genean.  As you can see we have all aged some in the last 57 years.  I do believe we are all a bit smarter than we were then as well.


Lawnmowers Can Be A Headache

>> Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When we moved here to Kentucky I brought along an old push type lawnmower that had been left with the house we bought in late 1999.  It was several years old then and we used it regularly until moving here.  I mowed the large lawn that went with the old mobile home we rented in town all summer long in 2004.  By the time I started mowing here around the house it was finally beginning to fall apart.  I purchased the least expensive mower Wal-Mart had in the store.  After 5 summers it was also having problems.  The metal was breaking out where the wheels mounted causing the wheels to flop over and there wasn’t much one could do to repair this.  The engine was not running right either.  I replaced a diaphragm in the carburetor (I hope this spelling meets your approval as there are 4 different possibilities in the dictionary!) but it still wasn’t running as it should.

Danny had an old mower that someone had given him that had the recoil starter messed up.  He said I could have it so I worked with it and got the starter fixed but I could not get it to run.  With some starter fluid sprayed into the carburetor it would fire and burn out the fluid but wouldn’t keep running.  I discovered that the intake manifold, which was made of plastic, was broken on the end that attached to the carb.  I bought a new one and I still couldn’t get it to run until I took the carb off and cleaned it.  I did some mowing with it but the engine wouldn’t stay at the RPMs I needed.  A throttle cable should fix that, I thought.  So, I purchased a universal throttle cable.  I soon discovered that I needed a small cable clamp to hold the cable.  I checked with the largest mower dealer in our nearby “big” town.  They didn’t have such an animal.  They referred me to another business which also didn’t have such a clamp.  I decided I could make my own.

Now that everything was back together I should have been back in business.  But, again the engine didn’t want to start.  While pulling and pulling the starter rope snapped.  Now, that shouldn’t be a big problem.  I’ve rewound many recoil starter springs BUT this one was different.  I couldn’t seem to figure out how it had to be done.  Searching the internet I could find parts manuals, operator manuals but no info on how to rewind the spring in the recoil starter.  I found where I could purchase a repair manual for $20.00 or so.

Needless to say, about this time I was tired of working with old worn out mowers.  So, yesterday morning I went mower shopping.  I was hoping that maybe some of the stores would be putting mowers on clearance this late in the summer.  Lowes had a good selection but no clearance sale.  TSC has only ONE push type in stock but they weren’t discounting it.  They told me that they had purchased fewer mowers this year and had planned to sell all inventory.  Wal-Mart was putting their mowers on clearance but I didn’t find what I really liked.  So, I went back to Lowes and was able to buy one that seemed to meet my needs.  Hopefully it will last as long as I will need a lawnmower.


My Little Girls Are Gone

If you have ever had goats you know how hard it is to let go of any of them.  My little goat kids are now over 6 months old.  I should have gotten rid of some of them before now but I kept wrestling with myself, trying to talk myself into keeping Annie’s daughter (A.G.).  Brownie’s little girl (B.G.) was a beautiful little goat as well but A.G. was just a gorgeous little doeling.  However, I finally made the decision to sell the girls and ran an ad on Craigslist. 

A lady called and wanted both of them, so they will still have each other.  They also will have other goats to make friends with.  The lady could tell that I was having a hard time parting with them and she sent me an e-mail to let me know that they are doing fine.

This is what she had to say, in part.   “Anyway, the one you liked so much....I haven't named them yet......she got a ride on the 4-wheeler sitting in my lap.  I think she enjoyed it as she was in no hurry to get up.  The other one was running along behind us calling her head off!!  Anyway, thought you'd like to know how they were doing :)”  I got quite a chuckle picturing this in my mind.  I feel sure they will get good care.

Here are a couple of pictures taken just before they left here.

Sept 17 009A This is A.G.  Isn’t she a beauty?

Sept 17 011AB.G. is spotted much like her dad.


The Front Porch-Part Two

>> Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I mentioned in my last post, The Front Porch, that I would keep everyone updated on the completion of the project of screening in the porch. Well, I’m happy to report that the carpet is down and the new door is up. I also redid the sidewalk. It is a “board walk” and the old one was put down hurriedly nearly 5 years ago. It was sagging in some areas, boards were warped and a few were beginning to develop some rot. Here are some photos.

August  30 001 The carpet is blue, Connie’s favorite color.

Sept. 1 002 The cedar screen door and carpeted front steps. The bottom section of the screen door is expanded metal, which should take the beating given it by a dog and grandkids.

Sept. 1 012The walk extends from the front steps to the parking area. It runs at an angle of about 24 degrees.

Sept. 2 001 We have been enjoying eating on the porch without being bothered by insects. Last evening Ramiah ate with us and this evening we were joined by Malchiah. In the photo above we were preparing to eat our lunch today. This evening as we were eating there was a light rain falling. Without any wind blowing it was very pleasant. In case you can’t tell, we are enjoying having a screened porch.


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