Woodworking as a Hobby

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Many people have hobbies; the ones you use working some item with your hands.

For me, it’s wood.  There is nothing wrong with oak, it makes great furniture.  Pine is good but it is a soft wood.  It can have a nice grain but it can “sweat” sap and it needs to be sealed.

Cherry and walnut are the two I love to work best.  Both have unique grains and properly worked look like nothing else.

A person starts with a piece of rough cut lumber.  Then you plane it to the thickness wanted.  Next in the process is to joint the sides (make them board straight).

Now comes the time consuming part – sanding.  I start with an 80 grit, then 120 and 220, but I go a little further.  I use a 400 than finally a 600 finishing grit.

Cherry when it’s sanded is a very light pink.  At this point a person can stain the wood to make it red, or take lye and “burn” it red.  You had better be quick to wash the lye off, otherwise it will ruin the wood.  Personally, I tan the wood.  I use oil on the wood and then let the sun do the work.

Once the wood reaches the proper depth of color, it’s time to build the piece of furniture with the wood that you worked so hard to perfect.

Now that the table, or whatever it is, you’ve just built is finished, it is time to use the tung oil to finish it.

You pour the oil on the wood and buff and polish.  It takes more than weeks.  Sometimes it takes months.  You can’t rush it.

Then the day comes and you know there is nothing more you can do to make it any better.

You have worked hard, making all the changes, taking all the time needed, and you have a finished item.

Kind of like all of the steps you take when writing a book.

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Jones, All Rights Reserved

The Summer Garden

Red and Yellow Columbine taken in Spring Missouri USA
Copyright (C) 2013 Sandra Jones, All Rights Reserved

A few years ago as a birthday present for my wife I dug an area next to the deck and made a flower garden.

My wife knows about flowers; when to plant them, where the sun is best, etc.  As for me, I figure if it goes in the ground and it gets sun and water, it’s going to grow.  It will produce flowers if I did those things.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

Even though it was early summer and we had enough spring rains, the ground was rock hard.  Using a shovel, I dug an area thirty feet wide and fifty feet long.  The ground was full of rocks.  There were small ones and large ones and a few VERY large ones.  Two days later the ground was turned over, preventive weed cloth was down, assorted plants were in and all covered with pine bark.

My wife was working out of town and was to arrive home the afternoon of her birthday and I had, in addition to the garden, planned a party.

That evening I had far too many people telling me about the plants in the wrong spots.

Keeping my mouth shut, smiling and nodding my head, I listened to why nothing that I planted would grow.

Most, after the party, went home.  A few stayed over and the next day was actually no better.  My lip now has a permanent indentation from my upper teeth.

Once they had all gone to their own homes, Sandy and I relaxed to the quiet on the deck.

She smiled at me and said how much she loved the garden.  Later that day we moved some of the plants to other, more correct, spots.

Since then we have more flower gardens than anyone else on this road.  Each garden has different flowers but all beautiful.

I know your question:  What does a flower garden have to do with writing?

Not a damn thing.

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Jones, All Rights Reserved

Ice Age Predators from the Early Paleoindian Period

The Blog formerly knowns as................ BLACKWATER DRAW LOCALITY 1

We don’t find many predators in our assemblages on the Southern High Plains.  When we do, it is generally a tooth, a single toe bone, or a few bits.  Predators weren’t hunted in droves and likely wander off to die alone so they don’t end up in the cultural assemblage.  However…

There are some interesting finds coming from UNLV lately.  Las Vegas wash has produced many fossil animals, but, just as in many other ancient sites, it’s the predators that are the rare ones.

“The Pleistocene predators are starting to pile up in the fossil-rich hills at the northern edge of the valley.

Less than a month after a California team found evidence of a saber-tooth cat in the Upper Las Vegas Wash, UNLV researchers announced the discovery of a 1½-inch long foot bone from what they believe was a dire wolf that stalked the valley between 12,000 and 15,000…

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The Library

Rachel Reading a Book

Kindergarten graduation

Years ago when my son was moving from kindergarten to the first grade there was a summer reading program.  The program covered all students in St. Louis, Missouri.  If a student read five books over the summer, the reader received a certificate for an ice cream cone from the St. Louis Public Library.  The fast food chain, McDonald’s, sponsored the program.

That summer my son, Pat, was six years of age.  Even at six his bright mind was quick and always looking to find the things that would benefit him.  Simply reading five books to acquire an ice cream cone was easy.  Pat had been in tow with me for years going to the local branch library.  That year on summer vacation my son attained his first library card.

My daughter, Rachel, was two years old and she, too, wanted free ice cream cones.  So while Pat was looking for books, I told Rachel she could get books on my card.  She had also learned to count.  Five books was a number for her to count.

Once, sometimes twice per week, the three of us were at the library returning books and getting another certificate.

Rachel would sit on my lap and we read each book together.  She learned her alphabet and was sounding out words over that summer.

While at the library returning books, Rachel asked in her soft, sweet voice, “Daddy, when can I get my own “libraby” card?”

The ladies working at the library heard her question and told her she had to sign her name.  That was all that was needed.

Those two bright, brown eyes looked to me for the answer.  I asked the younger of the two ladies for a sheet of paper, then we sat at a table.  Starting with large block letters, we reduced the size each time until she wrote the letters.  Pat stopped looking for new books to read and was cheering Rachel on.  Soon I noticed the crowd of adults and other children watching.

Finally Rachel signed her name twice, the same size, to go on the back of the “libraby” card.

It was time.

I filled out the card, the one that told the librarians where the book that was not returned was located.

Rachel took the pen from the librarian and signed her name in the block letters.  When she finished, it seemed Rachel had drawn a crowd –  everyone applauded her!

My daughter was not just happy but proud of herself.

Now she was able to earn her ice cream cones on her own and Pat was every bit as proud of her.

A few decades later, Pat is Director of Informational Technology for a school district.  He is currently working on his PhD and Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree as a Geological Engineer.  All from reading at a local branch library.

One other thing, I have always been proud of both!

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Jones, All Rights Reserved.

Ink Blot Test

The Wolf's Moon by Patrick Jones
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Let’s Do an Ink Blot Test for those of us who are HAPPY it is the brand new HOWL FOR FRIDAY event!!  It just seems an appropriate activity for the day!  I think it looks like two wolves dancing in the moonlight.

What do you think?

The Wolf Moon Cycle

Copyright (C) 2012 Sandra Jones, All rights reserved
Copyright (C) 2012 Sandra Jones, All rights reserved

The picture above was taken by my wife, Sandy, last year on the Wolf Moon.  This year in 2013, the Wolf Moon occurs on January 26, 2013.  Cycles of the moon have been named many moons ago by various cultures throughout the world.  Rob Mahan has a great synopsis of the different cycles of the moon and has graciously granted permission to include his blog for the information.  I am also attaching the link to The Farmers Almanac, so that you can see the various dates of each cycle of the moon as well as the name.

It is simply amazing that our ancestors charted so much about the celestial skies.  One needs to step back from the hurried pace of today’s technology and think about how this wonder was documented throughout the ages in such an accurate fashion, with just the use of the human eye.  Sometimes going back to basics and understanding the fascinating history of the moon and how it has been studied throughout time offers a bit of tranquility to the human spirit.

The title of the book, “The Wolf’s Moon” evolved because the book started in January and I finished it in January.  My wife took a picture of the Wolf Moon in January.  Kind of a coincidence, isn’t it?  If you look even deeper into the picture, can you see the wolves dancing in the moonlight?

The Ozark Mountains

Patrick Jones

I now live in the Ozarks.  It’s a great house in a great area of Missouri.

In past blogs I wrote on the people here that I am proud and honored to be allowed to call my friends and neighbors.

This blog, though, is about my cabin even further into the mountains.

It is a log cabin set on a hill looking down into a glade which is part of Pine Hollow.  On most any morning, as the sun rises, one can watch wildlife wake from their slumber.

Ground squirrels scamper about under foliage and leaf cover looking for a morning meal.  Birds start singing, then flying the skies by picking up the winds to glide among the wistful clouds.

Embers in the wood burning stove caused fresh logs to blaze and cooked coffee in an old, blue metal pot.  The aroma forces a person to pour some of the black liquid into a matching blue metal cup.

Sitting on the steps, blowing on the coffee as if that would cool the hot beverage, your attention is again drawn down the hill.

One by one, the deer enter the valley to graze.  They see me sitting and drinking my coffee but know from my disposition they can continue their eating in safety.

By the time the cup is empty, the bacon in the cast iron skillet is crisp and the grease is ready for the eggs.

The log structure is small and even smaller inside.  There is enough room for one, cozy for two.  Light comes from two windows during the day and kerosene lamps in the evening.  Water is in five gallon containers stacked in the corner.

After breakfast, there is wood to be cut from down wood.  Some to be stacked inside the cabin, some outside under a cover, the rest just stacked by the fire pit.

When my son and daughter were small, they carried all the rock to line the bottom and sides of that fire pit.  That was thirty years ago and the rocks are still in place.

By the time I finish all the chores, the sun is below the treetops and it’s time for supper, consisting of a steak and veggies.

While eating supper, I listen to “The Radio Reader” on the local PBS station.  Every evening during the week a chapter of a book is read over the radio.

The coffee is hot again and there is the sound of a truck pulling up the hill to the door of the cabin.  It’s a friend and neighbor.  His name is Dan and the coal black hair is grey now.  He still walks with a small limp.  He lost his leg to a landmine but unless you knew that fact, you’d think he just had a rough day.  Dan has never been bitter about the loss of his leg.  He always has a smile and a good word.

Over a couple cups of coffee and a few cigarettes we talk about his family and then mine.

The night gets late and under a clear sky the full moon lights the road for Dan to drive home.

After I’m sure Dan is safely down the hill and onto the gravel road headed home, I sit with the last cup of coffee in the pot and make notes on paper and on the neat little voice recorder my wife, Sandy, gave me.

I know that it’s time for bed when the coyotes start yapping, calling to their young.

With the stove full of wood and coffee set up for the next day, I pull my wool military blankets over me.  I know peace.

Tomorrow, I’ll write.

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Jones All Rights Reserved

The Wolf’s Moon BEST THRILLER NOVEL by Patrick Jones

An animated book trailer promo

Soon, “The Wolf’s Moon” will be a year old.  Our first book signing (for some reason I don’t care for the term…”book launch”) was in February.  It was an overwhelming success; I almost ran out of books!  Most of the town of Bourbon, MO turned out.  My wife and I were to be there at Blazers Pub and Grill for two, two hour sessions.  We ended up being there from 11 am until 8 pm.

My wife, before the signing, started a webpage for the book.

The Sunday after, she certainly had enough to put on it…and then some.

I am a huge football fan and that Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday.  For me, it’s a day of watching pregame hype, snacks, drinks, more snacks, drinks and finally, the game.

My  wife, on the other hand, sat in front of the computer doing something and laughing every couple of minutes.

Just after the coin toss, she shoved her laptop in front of me to watch the video that she worked on all afternoon.

It was cute and I said so.  Sandy did not, after watching it over and over with the volume up as high as it could go, think it was as good as she could do.

She went back to work.

At that moment, I knew truly in my heart that God was male in gender and he too loved football as much as I do.

Other than for some giggling she was quiet until the first half was over.

Then, she shoved the laptop back in front of me asking me to watch it again.

I did, and the changes made it better.  She still wasn’t happy with it, luckily half-time was over and the game was back on TV.

I learned a long time ago than one can watch a football game without sound, but on Super Bowl Sunday you not only get the game but the commercials as well.  Most are amusing, some down right funny and others, well…

That Sunday, I couldn’t say which were which.  My wife was so excited by what she was doing that I had one eye on the game and the other on her laptop.

Finally, as the game ended and the Superbowl trophy was held high, Sandy did the same with her computer.

As hundreds of millions of TV viewers watched the trophy passed from hand to hand, I watched my wife do her own victory dance.

For the next hour, maybe two, I watched the cartoon video, at full volume.  Not once, or twice but close to three dozen times.  Because of my love of this woman, I sat there agreeing a possible Academy Award was not far off.

In truth, I did and do love it but every so often she gets on a jag to play it over and over.

On those days, I search my memory for anything I did wrong.

With all that said, go by The Linden Chronicles and take a look in the right sidebar.  It is cute – once or twice.

Once in a Blue Moon

Great information from Rob Mahan about the upcoming “Wolf Moon” cycle.

Rob Mahan Books

There was a full moon on August 1, 2012, and today, August 31, marks the second full moon of the month. Using the commonly accepted calendar definition of a Blue Moon, tonight’s moon will be the last Blue Moon for nearly three years, as the next one won’t happen until 2015. But if you side with the Farmers’ Almanac definition of a Blue Moon, the next one won’t happen until 2016.

No matter which definition you ascribe to, Blue Moons happen because the lunar month, which is always about 29-1/2 days, don’t exactly match up with our Gregorian calendar months, which vary from 29 to 31 days. (I still have to count knuckles.) Confused? Here’s a brief explanation.

In the English language, the earliest recorded uses of the term “blue moon” had religious connotations, but the 19th and early 20th century history of the term is a bit closer at…

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Bestselling Thriller/Suspense Author, PATRICK JONES, reveals stories never before told UNTIL NOW…YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Copyright (C) Patrick Jones All Rights Reserved

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LOWLIFE MAGAZINE

"Find what you love and let it kill you." – Charles Bukowski

1951 Club

A place to celebrate those born in 1951

Author Don Massenzio

Independent Authors Unite!

authortranslatorOlga

Books, writing, life and everything else

Windows into History

A journey through history via forgotten books, by Roger Pocock.

Maverick Mist

Intertwined passions ~

ENLIGHTENMENT ANGELS

SHARING LOVE/LIGHT, and Wisdom with the EARTH, HUMANITY and ALL CREATION via ANGELIC GUIDANCE/LIFE/LIGHT & LOVE

Nick Verron

"I'd rather LIVE a hard life, than have an easy and meaningless existence."

Michael Rios

Sherlock unlocking the past

brittneysahin

Romance Author

Write to Inspire

Lance Greenfield - Author with many interests

Legends of Windemere

Enjoy the Adventure

Thescaryguy's Blog

SCARY THE NEW FACE OF LOVE

J. M. Payer

Aspiring Indie Author

Hugh's Views & News

A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!

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