How do you like to spend a rainy day?
Up front I’ll tell you I love a rainy day. After living in Portland, OR for 10 years you either learn to love the rain or you move. Let’s just say it rains often there between the middle of October through July 4th. The rest of the year is generally the dry season.
I love the rain for the life giving water it provides to nature’s finest show. The wild lakes, rivers and waterfalls depend on it. How boring life would be without rain.
List at least five favorite treats. (They do not have to be sugary).
Frozen Green Table Grapes – They make the most intense form of popsicle ever.
Good hot fresh French bread with lots of real butter.
Homemade apple pancakes covered in good applesauce.
Chicken fried rice at a great Chinese restaurant along with an equally good egg roll.
A hot cup of Lipton tea with Splenda and lemon juice.
Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests?
I haven’t developed a list of such places since moving to Massachusetts but while living in Oregon it could be Multnomah Falls, Crater Lake, Astoria to a tiny restaurant in a converted old fishing boat across from the Maritime museum. There are so many including the Oregon Zoo, Mt Hood & Timberline Lodge etc. etc. etc..
You are trapped in an elevator, who would you want to be trapped with?
The person that could get us out of that tiny elevator!
I don’t know why this video of the Oregon Zoo mountain goats fascinates me but it is entertaining. i wonder if this is still the same pair that was there when I visited daily? I certainly don’t recall them romping around their outside environment this much! Enjoy!
In a recent email to my beloved sister, Barb, I did a lot of reflecting on what happiness is for me now that I’m 68 and have been retired for 7 years. I’m truly happy and totally fulfilled doing the simplest of chores and hobbies. I have a circle of friends and surround myself with acquaintances that I enjoy on a regular basis. There’s an old saying that there are only two kinds of people in your life, those you want to be around and those you don’t. If you can limit exposure to unpleasant people you will be happier on a regular basis, with less stress and fewer confrontations.
Thinking back through my decades on this earth I’m fortunate to have made 3-4 really good friends that I still correspond with on a regular basis. Then there are dozens of important people that you dearly love and cherish that make you who you are. They are still part of my life as well. I keep in contact with every one of these friends. I care and love each one and wish to remain in their lives as much as my daily routine will allow.
I’m blessed to have developed good lifelong hobbies. Photography, Electronics, Computer skills, Woodworking and Gardening are but a few. Hobbies you love make your life rich with a feeling of accomplishment, allow you to share with others and eventually play it forward, enriching lives.
I awaken each morning happy to be here and eager to start another exciting day. I try to keep my life as simple as I can, trying not to plan too far in advance or volunteer myself into a situation where I’m “expected” to be anywhere year after year. That’s a trap I’ve learned to avoid.
My first year in Massachusetts I joined the local zoo, explored every inch of it, photographing all the animals and exhibits. My second year I am exploring other areas of interest such as gardening, woodworking and a more robust social life. I stay healthy by watching my diet, walking as much as I can and removing as much stress from my life as possible. I’ve reached a nice balance of private time and social interaction that include a church life and my Senior Center. I still think it’s crucial to allow a lot or private time to explore hobbies and just “chill”
So onward we march through my retirement years. I get excited over the simplest things such as my new pair of windshield wipers for my treasured SmartCar. Mother Nature even cooperated by promptly raining on the same day so I could rest them. I had a broad smile on my face by the time I got home:)
Goodness I look fat in this older picture!
One great thing about my retirement years is a long lifetime of experience to draw upon when making decisions. Let’s take a look at my two main hobbies that have lasted me a lifetime, Photography and Woodworking.
Both hobbies allow the beginner to start off simple. A simple camera, whether using film or digital media, is all that a trained photographer needs to make memorable images. Too much fluff and the fun exits the big picture. In my 68 years on this earth I’ve owned dozens of cameras, built dozens of darkrooms and owned dozens of computers to edit the thousands of images I’ve taken. I still love going on photographic safaris where I limit the gear and explore the capabilities of a single camera with a single lens. K.I.S.S. KISS stands for (Keep It Simple Stupid), an old acronym that has served me well all my life.
That same philosophy has worked for me in woodworking as well. I buy quality tools and accessories designed to last a lifetime. This was drilled into me as a child while working with my dad, and old school carpenter/contractor from Germany. My fondest memories of him are the times we worked together building houses from scratch. My basic work ethics come from his tutelage. “Measure twice, cut once”! “You get what you pay for”! “Any job worth doing is worth doing right, the first time”! My dad was very wise indeed!
So it is with my hobbies now in retirement. I live in a 10’x20′ single main room housing unit yet I’ve managed to assemble a killer collection of quality tools that are well made and can get the job done right the first time. I built my entire new workbench using a single Japanese backsaw and a screwdriver.
Japanese “Z’ saw
As of today I have the room in my apartment to fully utilize that new workbench as well as all my hand tools. They’re quiet, relatively dust free and efficient. I’ve improved on the quality of my power tool accessories recently as well. I graduated from the standard issue table saw miter gauge that comes with any saw and upgraded to a whole new level of accurate, versatile gauge. I look forward to the fun I will have with my new shop. 🙂
Standard el-cheapo miter gauge
Incra 1000SE Precision miter gauge
One more item checked off my “Wish List” today is a woodworker’s apron. It was under $12 and should be here by Friday. I’ve been thinking about getting on all my safety gear, including that apron, and taking a selfie of me having fun with tools & wood. I’ll see if I can make that happen.
Let’s see, there’s the safety goggles that fit over my safety glasses, my favorite Tilly hat, my ear plugs, safety gloves and dust protector mask. With my transition lenses turning dark outside in the sun I should look like some sort of alien that landed on earth. 🙂
Finally! Yes, finally the Salvation Army truck arrived today and two nice young guys hauled off my loveseat, never to be seen again. I was grateful for the furniture when it was first delivered 14 months ago but in all honesty I’ve never even sat on it. It took over 7 weeks to give it away. 😦
Now that it’s gone I can sweep up that area and gently push over my new workbench in its place. I’ve so longed for this day! I have a new workbench, indoors, where I can do hand tool woodworking without noise or lots of sawdust covering everything.
Here’s one last look at that old loveseat.
Each month I’ve been buying one new “toy”. Men need their toys and mine usually involves either camera gear or tools. Since I’m totally happy with my camera gear I’ve been concentrating on my woodworking hobby. That normally means tools.
Today is payday for me. My Social Security check was deposited right on time. That means I need to check off a few items off my “Wish List”, an evil idea by Amazon.com and my Prime account. Up front I’m telling you I don’t shop exclusively at Amazon. The reason is that they always charge Massachusetts sales tax. On larger ticket items that can cost me big money so I shop around the internet for retailers that don’t charge sales tax and include free shipping.
That was the case today as I ordered my Incra 1000SE Miter Gauge from another vendor for $139.95 rather than $164.95 plus tax at Amazon. We’re talking over a $30 savings by NOT shopping at Amazon. Forget trying to ask them to match the lower price retailer. I’ve tried that and got the ‘Take it or leave it”! reply. I no longer ask.
So without further ado here’s my new toy, an accessory for my DeWalt 745 contractor’s table saw. The miter gauges that ship with saws are a joke, inaccurate, poorly made and a waste of time. I did my homework and settled onto this particular model from Incra, a company famous for their high quality, accurate tools. I don’t know when I’ll receive it but the shipping is free. 🙂
On one of my YouTube subscriptions a post pointed out a dilemma. The poster was building a house addition by himself because he could no longer afford a helper. He was putting on a roof on a hot Summer’s day and he was exhausted, both physically and emotionally. He had turned his woodworking hobby into his full time profession with the monies YouTube was paying him. The problem with that approach is that the public is a demanding master. They want multiple video posts each week and enough variety to boot. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”! Yet this poster couldn’t possibly hope to finish his house is short order by himself. His ratings were slipping as his income from YouTube declined. He was broke, exhausted and plain old burnt out.
I feel that way with my blog at times. I don’t get paid for this blog nor do I wish to, yet it’s obvious the fickle public expects constant new content. Again, I’m not about ratings or likes or followers. I do this because I love to share my world but there are times that I just want to take some time off, not post for days at a time. Summer is a busy time of the year and puts a lot of demands on your time, resources and energy. I’ve been lazy lately, taking time off from church, my Senior Center and my woodworking. I have just taken a few afternoon naps instead. Life is good and meant to be enjoyed. When fun things become a chore it’s time to back off the throttle a bit to prevent burnout. Thank God my livelihood doesn’t depend on how many posts I put up!
I think I took the photo below just because of Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge. I couldn’t let this little guy go by without capturing his image.