Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Hello all.
This is part of what I have been up to
I mentioned in passing that someday I'd like to learn to carve wood.
We had been watching a woodworker's show on the tube.
A man showed how to carve claw and ball feet for a nice coffee table.
So I opened my mouth and expressed my interest.

Randy has a quirk or two.
One of which is that he likes to drive the truck and not tell me where we are going.
It amuses me. He knows it.
I frequently find myself in the truck just going with whatever happens to show up.
I did not think much of it when he pulled into his favor
ite woodworker's store.
We have been there numerous times for a variety of tools.
He makes furniture and toys after all.

Once inside, he stopped at the desk, which is pretty much what one normally does in this shop anyway... then a clerk helps you to locate the special tool you want.
This time, and it is the day after I uttered my desire to learn to carve,
Randy asks when they will have another beginner carving class.
As luck would have it, it was less than a week away.
Randy signed me up and paid the ma

Now I have many times uttered desires to learn or do this or that.
I'm not very good at following through on them.
Randy is.
Off I went to carving class.
They had tools, the wood and the teacher.
I was given a funny shaped piece of wood with rough sawed edges at odd angles.
In the middle of the table sat a cute little carved rabbit.
There were 3 men there about my age.

I sat by myself to one side.
The teacher came and drew lines on my funny piece of wood and handed it back to me.


The other students were flicking off bits of wood on their blocks.
I looked at the finished rabbit and tried a feeble scrape or two at my lump.
Nothing bad happened, I glanced around an
d continued to shave off bits.

Three ladies showed up.
They did not use the tools there.
They had fancy expensive carving knife sets all rolled up in snappy leather pouches.
Soon I was surrounded by chatty women who seemed much better able to pull a rabbit out of a block of wood, while I might as well be trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

The teacher had mercy on me and came by to rough out my bunny.
This is a matter of getting rid of the excess woo
d that the saw didn't cut away so that you can get down to the heart of the matter.

I felt like a dufus.
Everyone else had a good grip on what was required.
I struggled and strained and kept looking at the finished rabbit like it might tell me what
to do.
It did not.

One of the women with fancy knives leaned over and told me
"It's worse than heroin."
I nodded, bewildered.
Just what exactly was addictive here?
The desire to feel like a dufus?
I did not think so!

However, I continued to scrape and try to bend the wood to my will.
About that time my knife slipped and I managed to cut myself.
This was celebrated by all and a bandage was gleefully bestowed.
I was there after referred to as "the cut one".

That was in the first hour.
This was a 3 hour class.
By the second hour I could see that a bunny might just be in there,
if only I could get to it.
What I held looked rough.
But it had ears and a tail and you could se
e there would be big buck teeth at some point.
Then I reached the spot where rough begins to take shape.
I lost track of time and worked.
I stopped hearing the women chat around me.
The teacher came by to check on my progress.
This time, no suggestions, he simply handed it back.
I said "What do I do now?"
He said "Looks like a finished rabbit to me."

I looked at it. He w
as right.

I was amazed to see that it was done.

I left the class room and headed through the store.
One of the clerks stopped me to look at my carving.
He told me it was good for a first try.
Well what else was he supposed to say?
They do want me to come back and carve some more.

I took my creation home and handed it to Randy, who is fond of calling me a "silly rabbit" when I do something nutty.
Yeah, it happens often.
So I tossed it in his lap and said
"Here's a silly rabbit for you."
He has it sitting on the mantle like a prize.

The next day we went to the same store and bought me a detail knife, some pattern books, a kevlar glove... to avoid cutting myself... and a thumb protector.
I began the moose at the top of the page.
When I reached a point where the detail knife would not allow me to get to a place I needed to go, we went back to the store and looked at all the other carving tools.
I picked out a nice gouge and so began my collection.

The worst part is that the chatty lady with the spiffy tools is right.
It is an addiction.
Once I start to carve, I lose time.
The next thing I know,
I've forgotten to eat or the sun is gone and darkness has fallen.

I think it is sometimes good to have an obsession.
A place where you can let whatever stress drags you down in the course of the day... like job hunting...
and let your mind fade into creation or occupation.
I'm no where near good at this.
But I enjoy it.

So here is my question for you...
What do you enjoy getting lost in?

By the way, we set the date finally.
May 21, 2011.

Friday, March 4, 2011

We went to the beach! Roxy was under impressed with the ocean, but she made some new friends within feet of the truck.
I don't know how they know, but dogs know who does or does not like dogs.

I had just enough juice in my camera to snap this one and three others.
I even charged it the night before.
No matter, we got a new camera battery and the problem is now solved.
Randy had an "accident" disposable camera in the glove box, so I still managed to get some great photos.
Now all I have to do is finish the pics left and get them printed.

We stopped here briefly to check out the dates, times, etc. that we could return to visit.

Sea Lion Caves - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We did not want to have to leave Roxy alone in the truck long enough to truly enjoy the experience. This was her first long distance car trip.
Sort of a trial run and fun day for her.

Our next stop was here...

Heceta Head Lighthouse

We weren't there at night, so I didn't really see this view of it.
However, we will when we return to visit the Sea Lion Caves later this spring.
We'll do an over night trip then.

This is all around a town called Florence, where we visited their "Old Town".
Typical coastal touristy stuff.
We got salt water taffy and looked through the shops for some little thing to take home.
I have a serious problem with gift shops... called exaggerated pricing.
I simply could not spend that kind of money.
So I bought an artist's print of the Heceta Light House on a card for seventy-five cents.
I did see one thing that I truly wanted.
Very cool!
Encased in glass, a jelly fish paper weight.
But not for $350!!!!
I'll visit the coast aquarium and sit and watch the living jellies for hours, pay for the motel, gas and diner for that.

I'm not a good tourist.

Other than that, we have been busy with life in general.
Nothing fancy or fascinating.

Tomorrow I will tell you about that.
But this is enough for today.