Random Acts of Living


Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

The weather turned cold just in time for Christmas. There was a light dusting of snow in the early morning hours, but not enough to bother taking a picture. The main concern, the roads. Conditions were still good for mom to be able to drive out. She was going to bring my brother with her, but he was still too sick today and didn't want to spread whatever it is that he has to everyone else.

Food is always abundant at our family gatherings. We have decided to forgo the sit-down meal at Christmas and reserve that for Thanksgiving. The kids are just fine with snacks galore.
Front and center are cream puffs and directly behind it are rice krispy treats my daughter made.
A little different angle. My focus doesn't seem to working as well at it tells me it is.
From the other end of the island is the tub of deviled eggs, two layers, and in the center are ham & turkey roll ups.
This one is a bit blurry but I wanted to show the plate of pretzel Rolo snacks. Some are two pretzels and some are one with an almond. The divided dish has three different kinds of Kisses, nuts, and some other candy.
Back to the other end we had salami, cheese, and crackers. The red bowl is full of string cheese for the kids to snack on. 
The "meats" - pizza rolls, shrimp, chicken nuggets, mini pigs in a blanket, and smokies in BBQ sauce.
Chips, cheese dips, and bread sticks with cheese in them. The three cheese dips are with cheddar and salsa (the children's 'original'), bean and cheese, and cheese with ro-tel (Dillons brand). 
Sitting down to eat with beautiful red tree glowing brightly.
Looks like they all found plenty they liked.
The adult's table before everyone has been seated.
After everyone had MORE than enough to eat, it was time to open presents.
The K-Monster handed the presents out. Not nearly as many packages under the tree as in years past. The children have all grown and are happier with gifts of money that they can pool together to purchase larger items. With everything that there is to be bought it is difficult to know what to buy for anyone.
Waiting patiently.
Pretty Christmas gift bags.
One for you....
...and one for you.
My daughter hands out our envelopes for us, trying to convince them that they should just let her keep them. The weren't convinced.
K-Monster's new shirt.
A big box of puzzles that will be handed out for the kids to put together.

All the gifts were gathered up, wrapping and packaging to the trash. The two granddaughters went home with my mom, their Great-grandmother, for a few days. Several of us sat down to a game of progressive rummy while the others either watched on or went to enjoy their gifts. It was a wonderful family time.

I hope you and yours made some good memories this Christmas also. Our hearts & prayers go out to all who are lonely and/or suffering. May we all be Blessed in the coming New Year!

Merry Christmas
&
Happy New Year
2013

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hobo/Sling bags

My latest craft project is making Hobo or Sling bags from X large t-shirts. This first one I made for myself. I've laid a ruler beside it to give an idea of how large these bags are...

These bags are reversible. This is the inside of my bag...

Following are two others that I have made, inside and out...


Front and back of the inside. I had to piece this material together....

Now I need to get things picked up in my studio and get it ready for the 4th of July!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shad's Shop - Trimmed Out & Well Hung

This will probably be all the work for a while, other than maybe working on decreasing the smoke odor inside. Shad just informed me that it wasn't the hinges that needed to be replaced but the interior second door latches, top & bottom.

That light certainly is bright!

All trimmed out and the doors straightened up with a new latch and lock aligned ready to be locked up.

With the light off, though it is night, you can see the trim work all finished.

Looks like a brand new shed from the outside. Even with the loss of all the tools, I find it comforting to see the shop standing, looking fresh and new.

Thank You Everybody for all your prayers and support! Keep watch for new posts on Shad's progress to rebuild his work space and equipment inventory.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shad's Shop - Face Lift

It's amazing what a bit of paint will do to a building. Hardly any external evidence of the fire remain on the outer shell of the shop.

The trim still needs to be painted, but the white primer gives an idea what it will look like when it's finished. I need to have Shad get a better picture when there aren't shadows on the back of the building, but you can no longer tell the panel was replaced.

I really like the color, it's well on the way to putting the fire in the past.

More work needs to be done to remove the smoke smell from inside. It's not bad when the building is all open and air going through, but after it's been closed up for a while the odor builds.

I'll post more as he progresses so check back from time to time!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Shad's Shop - Power & Light

Due to support of friends and family Shad has been able to purchase the material to rewire his shop and primer and paint for the outside. They are going to paint it a blue/grey with white trim to try to match the house. He says he thinks his new lights are a lot brighter than his old ones were.

He wasn't able to get the same breaker box as before so here's the panel he purchased, though he may replace it in the future.

A shot of the light switches by the door. All of the outlet and switch boxes melted in the fire, though some of the wiring survived in places behind the insulation.

A new light outside and yesterday while he was at work his wife and three children started on the painting. They put on the first layer, the primer, and it's looking 100% better already. They did a WONDERFUL job! (I may be a bit biased on that though.)

Shad said it will be a little while before he can do much of anything else, other than finish painting. He needs to save up for larger purchases and his wife insists that she needs to buy groceries (just kidding). On the building itself he needs to buy insulation before putting anything else in. He would like to eventually buy an AC/heat wall unit like we put in my studio. He previously hadn't paneled the walls, the insulation was visible (see the first two pictures of the first post) so I don't know if he plans on paneling before putting in a workbench and shelves. THEN he can start thinking about replacing his tools. All in good time.

AGAIN, Thank you ever so much for all of your prayers and support. We are so very blessed to have all our friends and family in our lives!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shad's Shop - Starting Over

First a big THANK YOU! to all who have donated to Shad's rebuild fund. A day short of a week after the fire and he's moving forward. An amazing find was his large nail gun, that he was hoping was at my house, turned out to be inside his shed on a shelf in the left front corner. This was one tool that he was really hoping wasn't in the fire because he needed it to make his rebuild easier. When he found it, it was covered with soot, black. But as he started to removed the black he realized that it still had it's paint and the plastic trigger was in tact. Fortunately, also, was the fact that his pancake air compressor was in my studio safe and sound. To begin the rebuild All Size Sheds donated a panel to replace the one that cracked on the back wall. This is now replaced.

All Size Sheds also gave Shad a good deal on a new window and hinges for the doors. The new window is installed, the doors have yet to be worked on.

A truckload of trash bags were hauled to a burn pile at a friend's place out of town and two truckloads of metal have gone to the salvage yard. Making headway!

After a couple days off work to tackle this he's back to work tomorrow. I'll post more as he progresses.



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Shop Fire

Got a call last Friday night (05/11/12), caller ID and distinctive ringtone said it was from my son's home. His wife was on the other end of the line, "The shed's on fire!" What? Did you call 911? I'll be right over.

Three or four years ago my son had an All Size Shed built behind his house so he could work on his various projects, and to get all his tools out from under his wife's feet. Slowly he started purchasing equipment to make his work easier. Then came the CarveWright machine.
What a pretty little machine and what fascinating things it could carve out.
Last Friday he was working on his nephew, my grandson, K-Monster's last class project for the school year. It was almost done. They had left it to go in the house for a few minutes and the next thing they know the neighbor is pounding on their door yelling, "the shed is on fire!" My son had left the shed door open, as he always does, so when he ran out and saw it was out of his control he shut the door and cut the power to the shop. Then he yelled at his wife to call 911 and stuck the garden hose in the broken window to try to knock some of the fire down.

After calling 911 she called me and I jumped in my car and drove right over. I passed downtown and saw the volunteer fire department getting ready to go. It was only seconds after I arrived that the fire department started pulling up and got right to work putting out the fire.
We have a wonderful, well trained, volunteer fire department. I've seen them at work at other much larger and more devastating fires. Our community is blessed to have them serve us.

The aftermath of the fire...
This was the following day. I would like to point out the distance between the house and the shop. The house has NO damage, not even heat damage. The fire was contained completely inside the shed. We, my son and I, are of the belief that the cement siding that is used on All Side Sheds is the main reason the fire was contained. I believe the roof might have been saved due to the loft.
This is looking from the doors straight to the back. The worst of the fire was the right back corner. The stand to the right was the dust collector that we believe to be the origin of the fire.
Dust collector to the far left with drawers visible in the first two pictures beside it.
Drill press and shelves that were in the back left corner. A.C. in wall to far left.
Dust collector to the right and I believe the CarveWright where it fell over and burned.
This is what remains of the CarveWright. Good thing to come out of this?! The project was still in the machine, finished (which is why we're sure it wasn't the CarveWright that caused the fire) and still usable. They just had to get it out of it.

A couple days later it's nearly cleaned out...

And today he said he's ready to start over...

The shop was uninsured. It is his building setting on rented property. The only thing covered by the owners insurance is the house, not even the contents. He had looked into insurance but needed to get with the agent and hadn't been able to that. I think he's taking this much better than I am. He's young. The only thing he's asked is help in hauling things away, though I think he has that covered now. What he wants is for this to be a cautionary tale to everyone with machine shops...
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR MACHINERY RUNNING UNATTENDED! 
Not without safeguards, or cameras, or some way to keep an eye/ear on what's going on with them. He thought he had taken everything into consideration and didn't think he had been gone that long.

Shad has not asked for money, but members of the CarveWright forum that he is a member of has asked for some way to donate to help him get set back up. So he has set up a donation site with PayPal. Any money that you might be able to donate will be greatly appreciated. The shop will eventually be rebuilt because he is a builder, he can't help himself, he has to build.