STIR CRAZY

I borrowed this title from a 1980 Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor movie because it seemed appropriate. That movie is about two guys that get sent to prison for something they didn’t do, Much like the rest of us (Insert Laugh Track here). But where that movie was filled with real humor, much of what we are dealing with does not. I have been confined to home since March 24th. The furthest I’ve ventured out was to take a walk around the block with my wife, Vickie, and my dog, Holly. Of course, we were careful to keep our socially acceptable distance from neighbors we would encounter. The rest of my time has been spent either in my shop, my small corner of the basement, or in my easy chair watching various stuff on the TV.

Originally, the “Stay at Home” order for Kansas City was to end today, April 24th. But it has since been stretched out to May 15th for Kansas City and May 3rd for the whole State of Missouri. Since I live and work within the city limits, I’ll be here at home till at least the May 15th date. So I’ll be making the most of my time, hopefully, in the shop.

I’ve been working on bringing some order back to my shop. I’ve been rearranging things and putting up cabinets, just trying to get it usable again. While I plan to build some other cabinets for a miter saw/hollow chisel mortiser station, I’ve had to put that on hold due to a lack of the necessary plywood for the build. So my miter saw will remain on its foldable stand and I’ll build a small stand for my mortiser out of some construction lumber I have on hand. Then hopefully, I can get back to building again.

Another thing I’ve been doing is catching up on some YouTube videos.  I’ve really been impressed with some of the work being done out there. Some are very well produced and make me envious. It makes me wonder what I could’ve done if I was younger and wasn’t tech challenged. But, I’ve become fans of Mark Spagnoulo, April Wilkerson, and Anne Briggs to name a few. I’ve also kept up with some of the more recognizable names, like Fine Woodworking and Woodsmith podcasts. It has been interesting as to how they’re dealing with the quarantine experience.

**Time Shift** Woo, it’s now 30 days later! Wow, how did that happen? I guess I’ve been watching too many comic book videos on YouTube. Sorry about that, let me get you all caught up.

It is now Memorial Day weekend and my life has gone in some different directions. First off, after much discussion with my wife, I retired from my job as a bail bonds agent that I had held for over 30 years. Being an older gentleman, with an underlying condition, it didn’t seem like a wise thing for me to go back to a job where I would be exposed to too many chances for Covid-19 infection. So now my work time in my shop has increased and I’ll see what I can do with that.

With the time off, I’ve been working on refurbishing and restoring some antiques we’ve had sitting around the house. Most have been stored away, in various levels of restoration. The first one I finished up was my late Mother-in-law’s treadle Singer sewing machine. It is technically not done yet as I need to find a new belt for it. It worked for about 30 seconds before the belt broke. Oh, well.

The project I have on my bench, right now, is an oak side table that my mother started refinishing about 30 or 35 years ago. I’ve never seen it in one piece, but all the pieces are there. I found it in her basement when my sister and I were cleaning out her house, after she passed away. I remembered her telling me she started on it but lost some screws and left it in pieces and never got back to it. I had to do some repair work to it. The top had gotten broke in two and had to be glued back together. Also, one of the legs had spent to much time on the dirt floor of an old outbuilding at my grandparent’s farm. With a little bit of two part epoxy wood filler, it is good as new. It may not look perfect, but I’ll put that leg to the back, against the wall.

And the last thing to tell you about involves my dog, Holly. Holly went missing for four days last week. I don’t know about you other dog owners, but my dog is a part of the family. Last Sunday morning my wife got up early and fed the dog and let her out. We have a nice big yard and it’s all fenced. That yard is Holly’s domain and nothing had better interlope upon it. I had slept in a little bit and when I went to bring her in she was no where to be found. The gate had been bent and pushed open. Holly was gone!

We did all the things that you’re supposed to when your pet goes missing. We searched the neighborhood, we posted flyers, I posted on the necessary social media sites and filed a report with the local shelters. I was devastated. This is my buddy, my #shopdog. Then the story gets interesting.

The next day, my wife called the neighbor that lives directly behind us. This is an elderly lady that Holly was fond of. She did her best to protect her yard too. The neighbor asks if Holly had been hurt by the deer since she hadn’t seen her for a couple of days. My wife asked “What deer?” Then came the rest of the story. A doe had her baby in my neighbor’s back yard the night before and it was close to the fence. Holly took exception with this deer being that close to her yard and being in the neighbor’s yard. As she proceeds to bark, the doe gets upset about this loud intruder and has to protect her fawn. She stomped toward the fence but Holly didn’t back away. So she jumped the fence and went after Holly. They tangled and Holly apparently got the worst of it as they pushed thru the gate, at the other end of the yard, and she ran away to save herself. The doe went back, gathered up her fawn and moved on. The worst part of this story was we didn’t find out the details till a day and a half later. But it all worked out for the best in the end. On Thursday morning, we were about to go check out a possible sighting, when the phone rang. A neighbor, from down the street, said there was a dog, that looked like the flyer sitting outside our house. I opened the front door and there she was, sitting pretty waiting on me to open the door. She promptly hobbled in and proceeded to drink a whole bowl of water. We had the Vet check her out and other than the pads on her feet being inflamed and a bit worn raw, she was none the worse for wear. All’s well that ends well.

Well, I guess the title of this post turned out to be mostly appropriate. Things really did go a little crazy. With my new retirement, I hope to post more and try to be more on the woodworking topic. But hey, we have to look out for our little buddies, too. So I hope you’ve had a safe Memorial Day and please remember what the holiday is really all about. So many died so you could have that cookout. Remember them. Till next time.

KT

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