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.


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