Archive for February, 2012


February 29, 2012

We have a few dwarf (?) azalea bushes that now have a few blooms.  These are red….I think that’s red.  Also, the larger azaleas in the front of the house are just loaded with soon to be blooms.  These are white and are really pretty when in full bloom.

There is an area in Newton County, Texas know as “The Wild Azalea Canyons.”  I have never visited this area, but I understand it’s a great place for hiking…if that’s your thing.  A number of years ago, Pam and a friend visited the canyons and while there the Texas Highways magazine crew took their picture.  Who could resist two beautiful young ladies amid the wild azaleas.  There picture appeared on the cover of Texas Highways and you could almost see them.  The wild azaleas were easy to see but from the distance of the photographer, the girls were almost invisible.  But, not everyone gets to have their picture on the front of this magazine.

Pretty soon the azaleas in the canyon will be in full bloom.  Here are some pictures:

Over on the other side of the Louisiana/Texas state line is Hodges Gardens.  This is also a beautiful place to visit in early spring.  So, if you feel the need to get out in nature after winter is over, you would enjoy either of these areas.


I’ve been to Hodges Gardens and it is worth the trip.  The pictures from The Wild Azalea Canyons are pretty, so I imagine it would be enjoyable also.  If these and other areas can be so beautiful, I can just imagine how beautiful The Garden of Eden must have been.  The wild azaleas in the canyon were placed there by God.  The different flowers at Hodges Gardens were planted by man…but still very beautiful.  The Garden of Eden and everything in it was CREATED by our Creator for our pleasure and enjoyment.  Adam and Eve were forced out of the Garden of Eden because of disobedience.  As I look around each spring at the beauty of new growth after the drab look of winter, I am thankful that God still provides His creations for our enjoyment.

Spring always seems like a new beginning to me.  Whatever is in the past, it is time to be revitalized and look forward with great excitement to what the future holds.

If you get up my way, have a great time enjoying all of God’s creations.


2011 in review

February 29, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,800 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


February 28, 2012

It has been a very interesting 2012.  Interesting from the standpoint that I have had a series of problems coming my way.  It all began before Valentine Day.  As you can see from the pictures (Post:  “CREATIVE OR MESSY” 7/21/11) below, my shop was in need of attention.  I have had a number of projects to complete since that post and it was time for some organization in the shop.

Well, I disposed of a lot of scrap lumber from my projects, put my tools in the proper place, and stacked the usable lumber in its place.  Then it was time to use my Shopsmith Dust Collector to remove all the sawdust and sanding dust which covered the entire shop.  Big job, but I had to get started.  Everything went pretty well and just as I finished with the dust collector, I smelled something electrical burning and smoke was coming out of it.  I turned it off…after a few minutes I turned it back on and NOTHING.  That finished me for the day.  Later, I got the necessary tools (I could find them now because I had just put them in their proper place) and began the job of finding out how to get to the electric motor.  It was not a simple chore, but with patience, I was able to dismantle the collector and remove the motor.  There were about a dozen screws and bolts to be removed and I placed them on the counter in groups…hoping that I would remember where each came from.

I had to drive to Lufkin (55 miles) to have the motor checked out…IT HAD DIED!  I order a new motor from Shopsmith and PATIENTLY waited for the arrival of the new motor.  While waiting for the motor, I would go to the shop every couple of days to look at the screws and bolts to keep in fresh in my mind where each needed to be returned.

My motor arrived and I was able to install it.  I wish I had taken a picture of the dust collector while it was just a pile of parts waiting for attention.  Here is what it looks like after managing to get every part in its proper place.

 While waiting PATIENTLY for my electric motor from Shopsmith, Valentine Day arrived and my responsibility was to determine how to celebrate the occasion with my Valentine….Pam.  The thought of dining out with others just didn’t seem as great as grill steaks on my Charbroil and spending a nice evening at home.  After I lit the burners on the grill, I notice the flames were not as high as normal, so I had to make adjustments to my cooking time to get Pam’s steak just raw enough and my steak just cooked enough.  So, after waiting PATIENTLY during the extra time needed for our steaks, the Valentine dinner was great.

A few days later, I checked the burners and discovered I needed to replace the burners and crossover tubes.  I contacted Charbroil and ordered the necessary parts and, at present, am PATIENTLY waiting for their arrival.

Burners and crossover tubes

So, now everything is great….right?  While waiting on the Charbroil, I experienced a little mishap with my electric service line to my shop.  I looked out the kitchen window while home for lunch last week and this is what I saw.

My electric service pole had rotted at ground level, and we had a strong wind that morning so my pole broke and was being held up by the electrical wires.  I left work a little early that afternoon and dug up the part of pole that was still in the ground…about three feet deep.  My plans were to remove the “stump” and place the pole back in the hole.  After digging around the “stump” I tried to pull it out of the ground with no success.  I either had to dig deeper in the red clay or get my trusty Cadillac Escalade tractor and pull it up.  So, Escalade to the rescue and I was able to remove the stump and place the pole back in the hole.

Now, I discovered one of the insulators where the wires attach to the shop building had  pulled loose when the pole broke.  Also, one of the wires had also broken so I needed to make a trip to town for the part necessary to splice the wires back together.

With darkness approaching, I had to wait PATIENTLY for the next day to finish my electrical job.  The next morning I finished with everything and I now have electric service to my shop.  I have a couple of projects for Lyndsey, so I need electricity.  I brought her coffee table back from Austin to refinish and she also sent me a picture of medal holders for her last two 1/2 marathons.  I told her to be PATIENT last night while I take the time to refinish the coffee table to restore its original beauty.  I will probably be able to make the medal holders in between the refinishing stages.


I learned years ago to never say “What now?”  I have always considered myself to be a man of PATIENCE, but sometimes God must feel I need a few more lessons.  God allows difficulties and problems to come into our lives to increase our faith in Him and then we have that experience to remember and use in the future.  Not only is there a lesson in PATIENCE, it brings with it a lesson in humility.  So, I am thankful for a new lesson in PATIENCE and the knowledge that whatever comes my way, I know that God is still in charge and sovereign over all things.  Not only do I learn how to repair dust collectors, grills, and electrical service, I get to learn about the Spiritual things from God.  Both are useful.  Both are important.  Both can be used to overcome those difficulties that will come my way in the future.  This is how I learn to continue to place my faith in God and remember that He wants a part of all things that come my way…both small and large.


February 8, 2012

I got an e-mail from David Black yesterday.  He informed me:

“Things we forget”

Seems like you “Have Forgotten.” To write on your BLOG since January.  I left you a comment on the Blog from January.

I plead guilty for neglecting my blog.  The blog he refers to is titled “Things We Forget” and was posted on January 13, 2012.

There are things I don’t forget.  Sometimes it takes me a little while to get around to some of my projects…but I don’t forget them.  Pam asked me to build a cabinet for her in early 2011.  I began the project and it seems like there were a lot of interruptions.  First, it was pretty cold in my shop.  And then it was Longhorn baseball season.  Then it was too hot in my shop.  These are not really good reasons, they are just excuses.  I have a propane heater for the shop and I also have a window air conditioner.  I also had a request for a Sleigh Bed from Lyndsey…probably November or December of 2010.  She sent me a picture (as usual) of her request and asked, “Daddy, can you build this? (as usual).  My answer was yes, but it will have to wait in line after Pam’s cabinet.

So I finished Pam’s cabinet in September (I’m Finished” – Posted September 22, 2011).  Then it was time to start on Lyndsey’s project.  I thought I might be finished for Christmas, but I would have to really rush so my next target was January 27th because we were going to Austin for Lyndsey’s run in the 3M One-Half Marathon.  There were 6,.000 runners and I am very proud of her accomplishment in running 13.1 miles.  Pam and I made it from start to finish.  But of course, after the start before daylight, we went to Starbucks for coffee and then drove to about the mid-point, and then to “Another Broken Egg” for breakfast.  Then on to the finish line to greet the triumphant “Lyndsey.”

So, after going down that “rabbit trail,” I will get back to the Sleigh Bed.  After approximately 300 hours it was complete and here are some pictures:  (Before stain, after stain, and In Lyndsey’s apartment)

So, I didn’t forget.  Delaying and forgetting are two different things.  I picked up a new project on our visit to Austin.  I had built a coffee table for Lyndsey years ago and it has gone through all of her moves across the country.  She had sanded and stained it a year or so back.  It did not make the move from Kansas City to Austin very well, so I had to take my glue and clamps and do a little repair work.  All of the finish needs to be stripped, re-stained and finished with a little hand rubbing included.  I will pick up the coffee table on our next trip for baseball and I will have another project.


I have started back in Genesis again in my daily reading of the Bible.  After Adam was created by God and provided with all he would ever need in the Garden of Eden, he forgot the instructions from God on his “eating habits.”  Then Even forgot what Adam had told her.  We’ve been having problems with sin from that day until today.

In Exodus, God heard His people’s cry from Egypt and rescued them.  They traveled through the Red Sea as God made the pathway safe.  He provided water and food but they later forgot all of those things.

Many times in life we forget all the difficulties through which God has walked with us.  Something new comes up and we want to handle all by ourselves.  Then when we fail, we turn to God.  We seem to often forget that God wants a part in every facet of our lives.  Our faith in God is not something we should turn on and off as we please.  Our “faith switch” needs to be permanently stuck in the “on” position.