Friday, May 2, 2014

Loss and Family

I had a busy, busy weekend this past week.

It started with a wonderful goodbye to my cousin who, after years and years of struggle and a life well lived, lost his battle with cancer.  The three beautiful daughters that he raised on his own, planned a fantastic send off - he was a proud papa, I'm sure.  For this memorial,  held on the bank of the American River, I traveled 7 hours to Placerville .

After a day spent meeting friends and family not seen for some time, I traveled another 31/2 hours north to Redding.   The happy part of the weekend was about to start.  I had an opportunity to watch Logger granddaughter play in the final game of a basketball tournament.  They won, and she scored the final basket of the game.

The next day, traveled an additional 2 hours north of Redding to Logger daughter's home!  While visiting with them I was able to see Logger grandson#1 pitch in a baseball game.  They won, too!

When I'm with Logger daughter I always try to do a couple of projects for them.  This time I manged a few smaller things, and had an opportunity to work with an interest building material - deer antlers!

Logger grandson#1 needed some shelving and a hat rack (the boys live in hats!).  The pictures are horrible, but the end product turned out all right.  I scrounged Logger SIL's stash of lumber and came up with some beautiful 1" thick cedar.  I had to finagle around cracks and splits but managed to salvage enough to make two 3' shelves, each with 6 pegs for hats.  I made the pegs, too.  The shelves are unfinished, and add to the rustic, hunting themed room.

See those square pegs??  I made those! (sure hope they hold up!)

There are two of these, one on either side of a gun rack
that belonged to Logger SIL when he was younger.

 They fill up the wall nicely!

Then, I painted an old, reproduction of an antique hutch.  It has been sitting in their garage holding junk ever since they remodeled their home.  Logger daughter wanted to toss it, but she was also looking for something for Logger granddaughter's room - something to hold a television, but didn't take up a lot of space.  This piece seemed to fill the need!  But, the finish wasn't great and it didn't match anything in the bedroom.  So, a couple of coats of paint later it looks suitably shabby - not so sure about chic, but we can pretend!

I had to cut a piece of the top shelf out so that the TV would fit and a CD can be inserted in the slot that is at the top of the TV.  I used something by Black and Decker, a Zip saw or something - oh my gosh, what a chore!  It's sort of like a jig saw but much slower and harder to use!  I finally found a jig saw in the garage and the job went much quicker.

And, then, there are these things - yep that's an antler!  

There were several that were broken and I had permission to use these - not any of the racks (I'm not sure if that's what they're called - but it sounds right) that were whole, though!  So, I ended up with 4 of these, 2 larger and 2 small.  Logger daughter wanted them in the corner of Logger grandson#2's bedroom.  She wanted them out of the way in the hope that no one will lose an eye or get a puncture wound!

So, I flattened the end pieces of all of them - smelled like a dental office when the dentist is drilling like crazy into a tooth!  Then I drilled a hole or two into the flattened ends.  I put a dollop of - no, not Daisy, silly - a dollop of glue on the cedar board.  Then with the help of Logger grandson#1 I drilled through the back of the board into the hole in the antler.  And, voila, an antler hat rack for Logger grandson#2.  (Thankfully, those antlers are pretty much covered up with hats!)


 And, just so Logger daughter wouldn't feel left out, I fixed her cutlery drawer so that things actually fit.
Now she has a large slot for small spoons, small forks, large spoons, large forks, knives, and serving pieces.


A pretty interesting side note to my trip (at least to me):
it usually takes between 11 1/2 and 13 hours for me to make the drive - all depends on how many bathroom stops I need to make!  This trip I made just one stop and made it home in 10 1/2 hours.  
Legal Doc actually believes that I have an incompetent bladder; when I told him about my quick trip he told me I should probably see a doctor as soon as possible just to make sure my kidneys haven't shut down!

What exciting things did everyone else do - anything with antlers??? 
It was a quick, but good trip!  

Much love to Tom's girls and my cousins as they begin their new normal and the journey through grief.