2016

This is it! It’s the last day in 2016. I spent a couple of hours this morning putting together a giant collage of my life in 2016. This has been a remarkable year for me with so many changes, experiences and great people. It brought tears to my eyes looking at a lot of these photos, especially the ones of my trip to visit my sister in South Carolina.

I had one move in 2016 to my Uxbridge Calumet government housing unit. I love my new home and pray that I stay here for the rest of my life. I love Uxbridge, with its quaint New England small town feeling. I really enjoyed my 2nd Autumn here, one filled with brilliantly colored trees and gorgeous weather. 2016 was my first complete calendar year here since moving to New England October 03, 2015.

I found a new home at Pleasant Street Christian Reformed Church in Whitinsville, MA. The congregation there is loving and caring. I look forward to attending services each time the doors are open. I’ve begun volunteering my time and talents at a place where God wants me to serve. I look forward to what God has planned for me and my church in 2017.

I continue to stay in touch with all my friends in Portland, OR, North Augusta, SC and Martinez, GA. My friend in Georgia has never owned or wanted a computer so I still handwrite letters as well as speak to him on the phone.

I found a new zoo, Southwick Zoo, in Mendon, MA this past year. I purchased a membership for 2016 and will consider doing so again when they reopen in April. I’ve taken plenty of photos there and love the way they have all their animals displayed outside. That’s one reason they close between November and April, for the cold Winters here.

So here’s a toast to 2016 and my best wishes to you all for 2017. May the new year bring new challenges and a healthy, happy lifestyle. Cheers!

2016-memories

“No Snow For You”!

We dodged another bullet yesterday as the snowstorm moving across the country missed us completely in Uxbridge. I was out with a large group of seniors yesterday doing lunch at Savini’s Restaurant in Woonsocket, RI. That’s less than 10 miles from Uxbridge, MA where I now live. The Senior Center in Uxbridge sponsored a luncheon trip to Savini’s for about 50 people. We were in a convoy of vehicles including two shuttle buses and more than half a dozen cars and trucks. Not one flake of snow fell the whole time we were in Rhode Island enjoying ourselves. We were happy the snow missed us as that number of seniors traveling the roads don’t need to have their luncheon affected by bad weather. It did rain on the return trip but no snow was to be seen. Yea!

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Share Your World – 2016 Week 52

Share Your World – 2016 Week 52

What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?

Rock Road

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to?

Eggs benedict at Mom’s Restaurant in downtown Uxbridge, MA. 🙂

Have you ever been drunk?

ROFL – Yes, I’m a recovering alcoholic. I haven’t had a drink since 1979 but I still suffer from cirrhosis of the liver. Yup, I’ve been roll on the floor fall out of a taxi drunk too many times to count. I’m not proud of it but it was a part of my life in my 20s. I’m 67 now so that was a lifetime ago. It’s a long story. 😦

Complete this sentence: My favorite supposedly guilty pleasure is…

Pickin my nose. 🙂

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“No Screw For You”!

This is a strange year for holidays, at least the way we choose to celebrate them in the United States. You see, Christmas and New Year’s Day both fall on a Sunday this year. That means we celebrate each twice, the actual day and then the Monday following the actual holiday.

I failed to realize that yesterday until I tried to go shopping for a simple screw. This small part of New England, especially Uxbridge, doesn’t have a lot of stores. The only hardware store carrying screws doubles as the only source of lumber in the area. Koopman Lumber & Hardware is a large family owned chain that dominates this part of Massachusetts. Every one of them was closed both Sunday and Monday, the legal celebration of the holiday.

I drove around aimlessly to the Dollar Tree, Big Lots & finally Hannaford’s Supermarket trying to find a common screw. Nope, niet, nada! There wasn’t one screw available in the two closest towns to my home. What’s a guy to do? My only option was to buy lunch at Burger King and go home empty handed. “No Screw For You”, the screw nazi declared!

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Candlelight Service

This was a beautiful weekend to celebrate Christmas. We didn’t get any snow here in tiny Uxbridge, Massachusetts but we did feel like Bethlehem. Saturday night my church had a candlelight service that was both beautiful and moving. I asked my pastor if he minded me roaming during the service to get different angles on the decorations as well as the congregation. He said he’d counted on it. 🙂

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Orphans

During this season of joy and a giving spirit we need to take care of those in need. The latest video from the Oregon Zoo reinforces that mantra and takes action to that end.

Blessings

As Christmas approaches I’m reminded of all the blessings that have overwhelmed me since moving to Uxbridge, MA. I have a beautiful place to live, new and old friends that make me feel loved and wanted and a bright future. I have a string of Christmas cards in my apartment and a number of Secret Santa gift cards in my wallet. I even got a surprise Teddy bear and hand written Christmas card from a local family. God is good! Merry Christmas all!

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Christmas Dinner At St. Mary’s

Just a few more days and Christmas will be upon us. I have at least three options on where to spend it this year. There’s a combined service being held at Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church in Whitinsville that will include the congregation of my church, Pleasant Street CRC. There are two services Christmas Eve at my church, also in Whitinsville. Last but not least there’s a free Christmas dinner across the street from my neighborhood at St. Mary’s church, Our Lady of the Valley. I’ve eaten there before when a cub scout troop made a wonderful ham and bean dinner for all comers. I certainly won’t be alone this Christmas! Merry Christmas all!

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Magnetic Saw Guides

Working with hand tools requires precision saw cuts. Over time woodworkers develop the knack for accurate sawing that saves them a lot of time in the production workflow. Beginners rely on aids to produce square and plumb saw cuts.

The final pieces of my hand tool kit are the two magnetic saw guides seen below. I’ve been using the Veritas guide for a few months now for longer cuts across boards. The David Barron 90 degree magnetic guide arrived yesterday. I bought it from Highland Woodworking online at http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/david-barron-magnetic-guide.

The smaller David Barron guide is great for cutting crosscut dovetail pins as well as small molding cuts. The larger Veritas guide works best for cross cutting boards up to 6″ wide. I use a sharp marking knife when striking the line to be cut so reinforcing those saw blade cuts and then using a sharp chisel to carve a shallow trench on the waste side of a saw cut creating a saw wall for your saw to rest. Next you put the magnetic saw guide in place, attaching it magnetically to your saw, and begin cutting a perfect 90 degree cut. The David Barron 90 degree guide can also be used to make accurate box joints.magnetic-saw-guides

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