Saturday, November 28, 2015

Recent Days

There have been a number of images from the last couple to weeks that stand out from the hum-drum of our days.

One of the advantages of having friends here in the Phoenix area is the fresh oranges they give out. He told us they needed a little more time in the sun, so we haven't tasted them yet.

I had my annual mammogram at the Banner MD Anderson facility. We were interested to see this RV park, right next to the hospital. I imagine it provides a safe and inexpensive place for people who are having cancer treatments to park their RV. Really a thoughtful idea.

I doubt I need the hospital's services, other than for a mammogram. My doctor thinks they do the best job of any facility in the Valley.

A large saguaro has been planted here in our resort. The supports must help it get established. But John thought the supports made it look like it was on crutches.

We saw this truck, filled with batteries, parked in front of house in the resort. The company supplies golf cart owners with new batteries and takes away their old ones.

We did get out for some fun. We walked around the Gilbert Water Ranch. The ponds provide third-state treatment for waste water and bring in lots of water birds. Just look at all these ducks.

Today, we went to the Mesa Swap Meet. The place can get very crowded, but there was a real advantage to going early on this cold morning. (Our low temperature this morning was 39 degrees! Brrr. At least for snowbirds. It is really cold up north in Colorado.) Look at these nearly empty aisles.

One last picture--a dog being carried around the swap meet.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Fun Begins

While we were in Colorado during the summer, we gathered several pieces of dead Aspen so I could turn bowls out of it. Now that my lathe is set up, I needed to start working on the project. I have been waiting for the man who taught me turning last year to return for the winter. Finally, I resorted to the internet to find information on how to select what part of a lot works best and which way to have the grain going.

This morning, John cut a piece off one of the logs and I set it up to start turning a bowl. It was spinning on the lathe

and then it was spinning off the lathe! Not what I intended.

One piece ended up on the floor across the room.

Only a small piece was left on the lathe. Obviously, the wood was rotten and two weak to work on.

So we choose another log of Aspen. Here I am holding the log for John to cut with our hand saw.

This log was better wood. So I began making a real mess in the shop.

And a mess on me.

The good news is, the wood stayed on the lathe and I was able to shape it.

It's not done. I hope to use the part I cut off the top to make a lid and I will have a box. I will have a lot of sanding to do by hand because I didn't want to keep working down the inside until I cut through the bottom, something I did last year. I'll show you the completed project in the next week or two, if it works out. Right now, it's looking pretty good.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Can I Park Here?

We pulled into the Walmart parking lot Thursday and I wondered if I dared get out of the truck.

But on closer inspection, I realized it was just a baby polar bear. Notice the pacifier hanging around it's neck.

Either some adult has a good sense of humor or some child was delighted to have his or her bear guarding the family car.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Doesn't It Look Good?

The one thing we were missing in our workshop was cabinets. We had lots of stuff, much of it in tool boxes and tool bags, sitting on the lower shelf of the workbench. If we could put that away in cabinets, we would have room for supplies and, eventually, more power tools on that lower shelf. Saturday, we picked up the cabinets from Lowe's Home Improvement. Monday, Conrad came to install the cabinets. He works for Cabinet Masters, a company that contracts with Lowe's to install the cabinets they sell.

He does the work alone. Look at the cool supports he has to hold up the cabinets until he can screw them into the wall. You can see them in the photo above and in this one.

He had numerous tools ready on our work bench.

One at a time, the cabinets were hung on the walls.

He not only screwed them onto the wall, he screwed one cabinet to the next and adjusted the hinges so the doors hung correctly.

Don't they look great? Three hang above the workbench, one over the sink, next to the washer-dryer.

After we put everything away in the cabinets, our workbench went from looking like this

to this.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Shuffleboard, anyone?

Shuffleboard is a popular activity for snowbirds in Arizona, and probably in other locations in Texas and Florida. The first week of November each year the Western Shuffleboard Association National Open Tournament in Arizona. The competition alternates between Mesa and Apache Junction each year.  About 400 people participate in the play, making the tournament the largest in the country, according to what I read online. Since Superstition Views at Canyon Vistas, where we spend the winter, is in Apache Junction, part of this year's meet is held here.

Each day, different teams competed. They were here for several hours and lunch was served. We were able to walk around the competition from walkways up above where they were playing, as well as from ground level where they were playing. This is serious stuff.

Friday, November 06, 2015

We're Just About Done

Only one more addition to go and our workshop will be complete. After assembling the scroll saw and lathe stands, we waited for the work bench tops to arrive. They came by FedEx Freight in a very heavy, large box.

The legs for the bench were already here, so we started putting everything together. All it took were some 2 X 4s and bolts.

It wasn't long before it was all together.

I knew I needed a place for my turning tools. We found this diagram and instructions in one of my books.

We put it together and it hangs on the wall to the right of the lathe. It is right next to the utility sink, which we had installed today.

Here is everything in place.

From the last picture, you can see all the stuff that will go into the cabinets, which we have ordered and should be in place in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, John is doing intarsia, I have turned a couple pieces of birch wood and finished cutting out a scroll saw basket I started last year. We are beginning to have fun in our shop!

Monday, November 02, 2015

Birds Galore

Arizona is a hot spot of birds and we have found lots of places to go bird watching. However, the communities were we stay while here are not usually a good place to see them. We are surrounded by people and vehicles. Last week was an exception, however.

During my morning walk one day, I saw a whole flock of Gamble's quail scurrying across the road.

On another day, John and I saw a veritable convention of doves. They seen to prefer looking down on us.