Finally Got a Shop Smith

I borrowed a pick up truck to haul some furniture to New Mexico one year. It was a nice new Ford 150, navy blue and had a real phone that came with it. Feeling mighty good about then. I delivered my stuff and stayed for a few day to visit. Now the thing that always got me excited was they had a Shop Smith in their garage that had been turned into a work shop. There was a huge work bench, hand made out of fine wood, it even had a vice made out of wood. Beautiful piece of work.. The walls were lined with cabinets with dove tailed drawers, every size to hold anything from screws and bolts to measuring instruments of every kind made. Long drawers to store saws with rose wood handles. These people had a major hobby going on. I just dreamed of having something like the Shop Smith, it had every kind of big tool to build anything you could dream of. Nice thing was when you were finished with a project, you just rolled it over to  the wall of the garage out of the way.

this was not the actual Shop Smith, I borrowed a picture from the internet. I never did get a picture of the real one~

this was not the actual Shop Smith, I borrowed a picture from the internet. I never did  get a picture of mine.

The day before I was leaving for home, they told me they wanted me to have their Shop Smith. They were down sizing and knew I had always wanted one. They were not teasing me, it was mine! So for the next several hours we were loading it in the pickup, tying it down with all kinds of straps with ratchets and ropes, and the whole time I was getting a lecture about what I could and could NOT do. I had to promise never to use the lathe and heard about incidents where people had been killed while using one. Hook the heavy board up wrong and it could jump loose and cut your head off. ( I was thinking I could be extra careful and be able to use it OK.)  Anyway it was all finally loaded and after I went to bed I started to worry. I could not sleep and had a panic attack. It seemed like it was top heavy in the bed of the truck, there was a lot of weight up on top of those four legs. I was going to be driving through the Sandia Mountains, lots of dangerous curves and heavy traffic. There was just one thing I could think of and that was to try to unload it before anyone was up the next morning. Anything that I could lift, I had it on it’s way~ piece by piece back into the garage. Then I saw the PERSON standing there and he yelled at me, “Are you crazy, have you lost your mind completely?”  So this is the story of my wonderful Shop Smith that I hardly knew, it was mine and I did own it for a little over twelve hours.

Trip to Uganda

My favorite thing on the computer is Adobe Photoshop Elements, it is the miracle worker. It clones things in and takes things out of a picture or does a big job like  this picture. I cloned that great grand baby right into my arms (from a picture of Caroline holding her). So I do get to hold that sweet baby.

Gavreilla Joy and Grammy Rita, this is not real but thanks to Adobe, the next thing to it~

Gavreilla Joy and Grammy Rita, this is not real but thanks to Adobe, the next thing to it~

My family went to Uganda to see the newest member of our family while I stayed home and kept everyone’s places running. That included 40 pet chickens, two peacocks, an orchard, trapping varmints, and taking care of three dogs and two kitties. I came home every morning to take care of my place and that was a full time job.

The family, Elizabeth, John and Gavriella

The Oriokot family, Elizabeth, John and Gavriella

I got up at 3:00 AM each morning to see the latest pictures and videos streaming in live from Soroti, I even saw the video of the big celebration at the airport when they got to meet their new granddaughter. It was wonderful, I could sit and watch and cry and it was just me and the dogs, no one to interfere with my emotions. A happy time!

Grandparents ~seeing the baby for the first time

~seeing the baby for the first time

The happy moment

The happy moment

Right about here is when everything quit for me, the internet service went out in Christoval and I couldn’t re-connect the router because I didn’t have the ‘secret code’ so I was stuck there for three weeks, no internet, no TV and a phone that I didn’t know how to work. I didn’t get to see the rest of the pictures until much later. The nights were long~they did have a wedding at the vineyard and I could hear the boom boom boom music until 1:00 in the morning. Then there were several lightning storms that came through every few days. I caught several coons in the live trap and one fox.

Anna with baby cousins

Anna with baby cousins

Gavriella and her Granddaddy, I love this picture

Gavriella and her Granddaddy, I love this picture

This was Austin Albin’s third trip to Africa with them and his first time to hold a baby. He took most of the photographs and I am thankful for all the nice pictures. Praise the Lord for the great mission work they all do.

Austin, Godwin & Gavriella

Next trip will be my turn~

The Wonderful Jujubee

Every seed will sprout that is left on the ground

The leaves are a bright shiny green and almost look lacy. These three trees are over 40 years old and about 35 feet tall. Before I got them started, I noticed someone down the road had them in their back yard and they shared with me until mine were producing.  I found where they kept their leaf rake and would clean up the stuff on the ground before I left~

I grew up with Jujubees. The kids called them ‘chu chus’ and that was the name that stuck. Granddad Christian had an orchard in his yard and it was like the Garden of Eden. Every kind of tree you could imagine and vines with grapes and lots of berries. It was almost like he found a nursery  catalog and bought one of everything. The favorite of mine was the chu chu tree. It was easy to climb and I could even get up on the roof of the house from there. It produced fruit every year and lots of it. You could eat a sack full and not get sick.

whatever falls on the ground the deer eat, seed and all~

I can eat them when they are small and green, then they get sweeter as they get speckled. They  are ripe when they turn brown. That is when they are really sweet but they will only be at their best for a few days  after that.

Jujubees are small fruit and are crisp and sweet. They have a seed like a date except it is not split. It is one of the oldest trees and grows all over the world. It originated in Asia. A tree is easy to grow and produces fruit after about five years. They are hardy, they grow in almost all climates except for extreme cold. Seeds that drop on the ground sprout and make more trees so soon there is a thicket. Mine are in the yard and that is not a problem because the sprouts get mowed down with the grass.

The limbs are gnarled and rough. The younger trees have thorns`

The limbs are gnarled and rough. The younger trees have thorns. When I mow the grass and go under the tree, I grab a few and reward myself as I make another round. (I have a friend Becky who rewards herself with a can of cold beer when she mows~)

I have managed to have chu chu trees for most of my life, planting them wherever I lived. Now what to do with them except eat them fresh, they can be dried like a date and canned and all sorts of things people try but I think they are better for eating fresh.

nice

After a couple of days on the counter, they start to get soft and are not as good. Four or five days and they start to shrivel up like an old lady. I throw them back under the tree for the deer that night.

this is the size of the fruit

They can make a mess when they fall from the tree but the deer come in the yard at night and eat every single one, seed and all. They love them! I love the deer, there was a mother and a small fawn out there today enjoying the fruit.

This mother has been coming with her baby for several weeks. I put corn out for the deer and turkeys every day and then birdseed for the quail, doves and small birds.

This mother has been coming with her baby for several weeks. I put corn out for the deer and turkeys every day and then birdseed for the quail, doves and small birds. 

Thank you for clicking on my blog. It is fun when I see that someone from the Ukraine is following it, also Kenya and especially from San Angelo~

Texas Peach Orchard

In West Texas, a fruit tree does better on a hill than in the low spots. A  late frost in the spring, usually settles in the lower places and can kill many of the blooms ~

This is about a new peach orchard in Christoval, it is small, only 12 trees that they put in five years ago. (remember, 2011 was the year of one of Texas’ worst droughts, no rain at all, hard time to start this venture) There are two apples, two apricots and the rest are different varieties of peaches. Since it is on a rocky hill up there, dump truck loads of dirt had to be brought in, it is about two and a half feet in new dirt, and the whole orchard is 40×50 feet. The new dirt was fluffy with no rocks and digging the holes was easy. Everything had to be watered daily and every tree has survived except one apple tree is having a problem.  

this Loring peach was one of three that got ripe in June. It was the size of an orange, juicy,sweet and delicious~everyone got a taste

The first peach that year was from the Loring tree and got ripe in June. There were three peaches on that tree, simply delicious.
The Princess tree has lots of peaches which are going to ripen  in a couple more weeks. Anna thinned more than half of them out since the tree was young. It is a sweet white honey peach. Some of the trees were 3 year old bare root, some came in 5 gal buckets, and others were from seeds grown in buckets for 4 years. These seeds were from Granddad Jack’s original old Indian peach trees that he started in 1937, he was well known for his fine fruit trees. He would be happy to know the tradition is still going.  The Indian peach trees had quite a few peaches this year and they are wonderful.

the Princess is a sweet white honey peach, it is freestone. These trees can live for about 25 years, the apricots and apples live even longer.

This year is turning into a great year for the orchard, the first year the trees rest, the second they come alive and the third year they flourish. We call this Anna’s Orchard~They have had a bumper crop of apricots and the peach trees are loaded. The project this year is to improve the soil with compost.                               I have another batch of peach and apricot seeds sprouting in my refrigerator and will be moving them to small buckets to grow until next spring. I ended up giving away about 50 little trees last year. Those trees will have a little sample of fruit next spring so they can see what they have. The first year they bloom you thin out all the peaches except maybe three or four, it will stress the young tree too much if you leave more. After that, you just enjoy a good fruit crop every year~   I have started another bunch of seeds and they are cooling in the ice box. They should be sprouting right away and ready to put in the small pots. They will be ready to give away next spring. 

Wildlife in Delaware Mountains

Today I was working on the deck chair I wrote about a several days ago and didn’t have a blog planned for tomorrow. The chair is stained and ready to put back together. I am thankful I made pictures as I was taking it apart or there would be no way for me to remember where all the 48 pieces fit. I will be showing it on my blog soon.                   This evening  Earl Calhoun sent me pictures he took of some of the wild life from the ranch in Culberson County and I can share those with you. Earl is a nephew and has almost 50 thousand photographs on his computer that he has taken through the years, and they are all sorted, grouped together and updated often. I can’t imagine~

Young antelope

Young antelope

This is a javelina hog and her young one~

A  javelina hog and her baby~they are small hogs and usually run in groups.

An antelope mama and her young one.

An antelope mama and her young one. I like this picture,  you can see almost a hundred miles off in the distance. This is an unbelievable place. It will take your breath away.

This is another nephew, John McWhorter. He went on his first hunt on the ranch a few years ago. He was a pilot for Southwest Airlines and flew over the ranch many times and he finally went out to enjoy the real thing. It looks like it was a successful hunt~

John McWhorter enjoying his first hunt on the family ranch in Culbesron county

John McWhorter enjoying his first hunt on the family ranch in Culbesron county

Bingo Singers

Gig at the court house

Here are Dale, Leonard, Rita and Jim  singing at the court house square, our group changes often, just who ever is available and willing~for the past two years, Carmen Rodriquez has joined our group playing his bass guitar.

The Bingo Singers~this little group has been active for at least 26 years. It started at the nursing home when I was helping with the Bingo games. Willie Johnson was singing one day and I told her I had a guitar and brought it the next time and we were off and running. She knew every song there was, I  made copies of the lyrics for everyone and we sang for an hour before Bingo twice a week. We sang everything from old ‘he done her wrong songs to hymns’. Through the years we have had some great singers, some of the guys like Jack , George , Claudie , and Wally  to name a few, and volunteers  like Jim , James , Mary , Norma Lynn  and a group of women who love to sing . We’ve played a few gigs at socials on the court house lawn.

This gig was several years ago, always lots of fun. Our little mini group will be singing at Church on the Water at Clear Creek next Sunday. This is a yearly event at the Powell Ranch, a wonderful place to Prarise Our Lord~

This gig was several years ago, always lots of fun. Our little mini group will be singing at Church on the Water at Clear Creek next Sunday. This is a yearly event at the Powell Ranch, a wonderful place to Praise Our Lord~

A nice comment was, “you don’t mess around tuning guitars or warming up, you just get up and sing“.  It has been fun being a part of this sweet nursing home family, some of my best friends ever, it is nice having a good audience~We meet every Friday at 9:00 and sing our hearts out for an hour. Everyone is invited.

New Girl in Town

Here is Nancy leading the exercise class at the wellness center. She and Bob are into just about everything in town~

Here is Nancy leading the exercise class at the wellness center. She and Bob are into just about everything in town~

Mother used to can fruit cake. It had pineapple, maraschino cherries, raisins, some dried fruit and loaded down with lots of pecans. She cut pieces of wax paper which she lined the cans with after greasing and flouring them. In went the cake dough up about 2/3 rd full, sealed the cans and into the pressure cooker. That is all I remember. When we wanted fruit cake we only had to open both ends of the can, slide the cake out and cut it  in nice round slices. Delicious.

I canned things but didn’t know the time and temperature for fruit cake.I called Nancy Baumann, our new Schleicher County Home Demonstration Agent to find out if she had a canning recipe for cake. No, but she got in touch with A&M Extension Service and they sent her a whole packet of information. So that is when I met Nancy, she came to my door with the answers. There she was, so so young, so enthusiastic, all bubbly and happy and excited. She invited me to a demonstration she was having so she could meet with the ladies in town. There was a nice gathering of women who came, young and mostly old, (you know those who already knew everything). I sat between Ola Ruth and Mrs. Jeffery. Nancy starts out explaining basic rules of canning and equipment needed. She was holding a long thermometer and said it was very expensive but we could borrow it if we needed to. (she was being animated with it as she stressed her points).  Mrs Jeffery leaned over and said, “she’s gonna break it”  and that is exactly what happened, she hit the pan with it and it shattered. Mrs. Jeffery whispered to me, “see I told you!” Then for most of the next hour, everyone was telling her how they did things. Nancy was explaining how important it was to know how to can properly so you wouldn’t make anyone sick. Water bath was for things like tomatoes with their high acid content, and most everything else needed to be canned in a pressure cooker. Now Ola  Ruth ‘took over’  to tell how SHE canned her green beans. It called for 8 lbs of pressure so she weighed 8 lbs of bricks and put them in the oven, put the lids on the cans, put them in a pan of water and and after the right amount of time she set them in cold water to cool. The lids popped down and sealed but it was just a perfect recipe for killing someone. All l could think was poor Nancy, she had her work cut out for her. She stuck it out and worked at this job for years. She especially liked working with children in 4 H, teaching them to cook and sew.  Everyone loves Nancy. She married a great hometown guy named Bob (Elvis) Lester. Thank you Nancy!

Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Everyone busy getting dinner ready, someone is already on the table~

Everyone busy getting dinner ready, someone is already on the table~

Several days ago I had a blog about Our Secret Forever and could never put the blame on Kobi Joe for knocking the music box in the floor that day. When I was going through other Kobi pictures, just enjoying remembering that little fellow, I came across this one which we must have all missed. Anna and Debbie busy getting dinner ready to serve and there was Kobi in the utility room up in a chair and going through the stuff on the table. Miss Molly was being a good girl, just trying to tell us something was going on. One of my favorite Kobi stories is when someone gave him a treat and he took it in the den on the carpet. His papa told him he had to go get on this bed in the kitchen, so he dragged the bed in the den~ got on it and ate his treat. He was so smart.

Refinishing Old Teak Deck Chair

I refinished a teak wood deck chair years ago and once again it was needing some real work. The bottom of the legs had started rotting from sitting on a wet patio while the rest of the chair was in good shape. This was a special chair because they got it about the same time they got Schatzie~ their sweet wonderful little pound dog in 1989.. She loved to sit out in her chair.

Here are Marcus and Stacy Mae with their new pound puppy, Schatzie Kay. She loved her chair!

Here are Marcus and Stacy Mae with their new pound puppy, Schatzie Kay. She loved her chair, we all loved her~

Teak wood comes from Indonesia, it is great for using on boats and for making outdoor furniture. When new it has a beautiful golden brown finish and after about 6 months, it starts to turn a sliver grey color. Some people don’t mind it being grey but to keep it looking new you can do one of two things. Either use a teak oil and rub it on once a year or use a polyerethane varnish, which will have to be removed and and refinished after about 8 or 10 years.

This is the fun part, you start seeing some real results.  I am using Crown Handi_Strip from Lowe's and thnk it is the best  I have ever tried.

This is the fun part, you start seeing some real results. I am using Crown Handi-Strip from Lowe’s and  think it is the best I have ever tried.

Since I had used the varnish the other two times, I am doing it again this way. It is a big project since there are so many parts (46  pieces of wood)  and every single piece has to be striped, scraped and sanded.

Ready to begin taking apart, I made sketches to help remember how it goes back together later~

Ready to begin taking apart, I made sketches to help remember how it goes back together~

I worked on this chair for over a week to get to where I could see that it was going to turn out. The good thing is when you get tired, you go get a Dr. Pepper and rest a few minutes, then it calls you back. It is a wonderful  thing for someone who has a compulsive disorder, or maybe it is a blessing for someone who just loves to work.

All the parts that have to come off need a strong screw driver and lots of arm power. I have been spraying them with WD-40 and letting them soak  for a while and so far, I have  not  to drill any screws out. All the metal parts, screws and bolts are brass.

All the parts that have to come off need a strong screw driver and lots of arm power. I have been spraying the screws and bolts with WD-40 and letting them soak for a while and so far, I have not had to drill any screws out. All the metal parts, screws and bolts are solid  brass.

This was the most damaged of all the wood, it  was the leg on the leg rest.  All of this had to be sanded so we could make an accurate pattern for the new legs.

This was the most damaged of all the wood, it was the big leg on the right side, so rotten it was two inches shorter than the left leg.  All of this had to be sanded so we could make an accurate pattern for the new legs. I will put little gliders on the bottom of the new legs to keep the wood up off the patio.

The leg rest had to be taken completely apart part and morties & tenons  cleaned inside and out.

The leg rest had to be taken completely apart and morties & tenons cleaned inside and out.

You can see how nicely this leg rest cleaned up, all of the rungs had to be taken out and cleaned. When I put it back together, there will be a little dab of Elmers Wood Glue to hold them in place.

This one last leg  is the only thing that hasn't been removed.  After it is off, all the damaged parts will go to Dan's since he has a  Shop Smith and the drill press. Oh yes and the router.

This one last leg is the only thing that hasn’t been removed. After it is off, all the damaged parts will go to Dan’s since he has a Shop Smith and the drill press. Oh yes and the router.

 

Damaged legs and pieces, ready to copy and cut~

Four new legs and three cross pieces have to be cut now. Every screw hole and channel has to be exact. There are holes for the dowel pins, it takes real equipment to do this work or it won’t go back together. Fingers crossed and it is his chair and he will be responsible.

My part is done up to this point. After the legs come back, I can start staining and varnishing. It is looking pretty nice right now. I have been protecting the head rest with Schatzie’s name on it.

I am being careful to keep the head rest original. I don't want to try to paint in the name again.  It has stayed in good condition for 28. years.

I am being careful to keep the head rest original. I don’t want to try to paint in the name again. It has stayed in good condition for 28. years.

 

Cleaned, striped and sanded, top to bottom and underneath, just waiting for the new legs~

Cleaned, striped and sanded, top to bottom and underneath, just waiting for the new legs~The head rest is covered in heavy plastic until the the staining and varnishing starts. 

The last part of this blog will be posted when the job is completed.

Out Of Business After The First Day

This was in 1943, the year the R&N Cafe opened for business. Here we are, Rita, Nancy and Tricia, all ready for church. we had been to the beauty parlor~

This was in 1943, the year the R&N Cafe opened for business. Here we are, Rita, Nancy and Tricia, all ready for church. We had been to the beauty parlor for perms~

Nancy was about six years old and I was ten.  One day we found some stuff in the alley that Tutt and Dorothy Ellis had thrown away. There were a couple of old fancy wall lamps, a matching light fixture, and a pair of green draperies. We had found a gold mine~ we took it home with no real plans but decided to spruce up the garage. There was a floor in the back with one window and a door, it was mostly filled with junk. The two lamps went on the sides of the window and we hung the fancy light fixture from the rafter. It was looking good. (except for all the other mess which we hauled out to the alley). There was an old ironing board and two bar stools and this is when our plans came to life. That is when The R & N Cafe was born. (aka Rita’s & Nancy’s Cafe). There was a big trunk that held all the old Life Magazines that we were never allowed to look at, it was during the war and there were pictures too horrible for children to see.   (We looked at them many times) Anyway, with a drapery covering the trunk and the other one on the ironing board, it was coming together. We moved a few dishes out from the house and a stew pan. Now, ‘What to serve our customers?’. Mother canned most of our food, there was a closet full in her kitchen. We picked cans of  strawberries and hominy. We took a turn being the waitress and raved about the fine food. Delicious!         Now  Monetta Bradshaw and Linda Jones lived on the next block so Nancy ran down to see if they wanted to come and eat at our new cafe. They did and it was free and we had a cheerful crowd. There was still most of the pan of hominy  left but we were tired of this venture and all went over to grandmother’s house to play on the swing. We forgot about our cafe for  a few days and when we went back the hominy was green and had fuzzies growing on it, we just threw the ‘pan and all’ out in the pasture.  Our grand opening had only lasted about 30 minutes but it was fun.                                                   Nancy and I talked about these old times often, it was one of the things she always remembered.

Goodbye to My Old Redbud Tree

Forty three years ago when we built our house our neighbor Doy Mittle gave us a Redbud tree sapling from her yard. It grew into a nice big tree in just a little while and had beautiful blossoms every spring that lasted several weeks. This is more like a pasture tree, they grow out in the wild with no special care. Just nature takes care of them with a few rains~ they are hardy. Fast growing trees are short lived trees though, not like a live oak, slow to grow but can live a hundred years or more.

This is how I found it after the thunder storm. Pretty sad sight~

This is how I found it after the thunder storm. Pretty sad sight~tree verses storm and the storm won this time~

Mine gave up the ghost this last week after a rainstorm with wind. When I went to town later, I saw it lying on the ground, it had bit the dust and took some near by oak limbs with it. I am a little bit sad but it did it’s time and made me happy for all those years. Now for the cleanup.

A Redbud tree usually have two or three trunks that are joined down about 3 feet from the ground.  They have nice shiny leaves and are pretty even when they are not blooming.

A Redbud tree usually has two or three trunks that are joined down about 3 feet from the ground. They have nice shiny leaves and are pretty even when they are not blooming.

A friend came with his chainsaw and cut it into manageable pieces, he even cut me a path through the pasture with his weed eater so I could drag it off. (he is afraid of snakes so I told him I would finish).

 

One thing on a brighter note, now I won't be hanging my hair when I go by on the ridding mower

On a brighter note, now I won’t be hanging my hair when I go by on the ridding mower

I never knew why they were called Redbuds, their blossoms are a beautiful deep rosy pink, much like the crepe myrtle and bougainvilleas~ anyway, goodbye to a sweet old tree, I will be hauling you to the pasture in the morning.