Posted in Projects

My good news

It seems like a perfect day for some good news. In the bigger picture around the world there isn’t a lot of that in supply these days. More on that later as right now I’ve reached a milestone well worth blogging about.

After a mere 22 months my concept become a reality. All three tables are complete! I am so excited about how well they turned out. They were a big challenge for my wood working skills for sure. Inspired by my vision and supported by the real finish carpenter I pushed myself hard and definitely increased my saw skills. I can definitely say I’m not a fan of the planer and have to I’ve kudos to my other half who did the last table for me. I learnt how to use the Kreg guide and it reminded me of orthopaedic specialized drill guide. I probably spent more time overall on the project scrapping, sanding, staining, painting (what was I thinking painting those let indents) and varnishing than anything else and that’s old hat but it has a huge impact on how it looks. They are “new” tables but all the components are salvage from various spots. The only items that had a cash value were the legs. They came via my favourite antique place outside of Davidson (incidentally the same rural area our house came from), she said they came from a store in Moose Jaw.

We had help building the last one. She distributed the lag bolts with washers, the screws and the nails. She fetched the wrench, the drill and the hammer. All good items for her to learn about. She also demonstrated patience when she had to wait for Nan to be free to give her glue. She worked on glueing felt and fabric pieces together while we glued, screwed and nailed the last one together.

Which I guess is a good seque into working together, having patience and being supportive. All traits that we’ve demonstrated on this project. These are all important items in the face of the world wide pandemic. Look for ways to support others while keeping to the social distancing necessary. There are apparently social media spots springing for such things as delivery of groceries to someone on self isolation. I think the biggest way we can help is by reaching out to others in support. A reminder that a virtual shoulder isn’t far away.

If you are reading this and need  something please let me know. I doubt I can buy you any toilet paper but we probably have a few spare rolls from our last purchase a few months ago that we can spare😏.

Stay together my friends while we stand apart in this Covid 19 crisis.


Posted in Projects

Using it!

Today I decided I had better “use it before I lose it” and so I spent 45 mins non stop on the

orbital sander. That will build up some muscles that I’ve lost! The sander and I have been spending quite a bit of time together as work continues on the three table tops.

I feel driven to complete them and with the assistance and knowledge of my other half I feel like we crested the hill today. We now have table top 1 ready to assemble (standing against the wall) and then one last sand and final coat of the top. Table top 2 (on the work mates) is at the ugly stage with filler in the crevices and will get it’s last big sand tomorrow. Then it’s on to the stain and finish. Table top 3 (on the floor under weights!)is now together and once the glue is dry it is ready to be planed, sanded and then on to the finishing aspect.

We’ve got a significant amount of controlled “mess” in the basement and company coming in 5 days so it’s definitely do it time. I do NOT want to pack it all away and pull it back out after. I am committed to carrying these pieces all up to the attic and creating 3 new/antique tables in the near future.

Today I learnt how to use the Kreg jig. I equate it to the variable angle guide in the locking plate set for any of my nursing friends. Now the face boards have the holes ready for the screws to attach them to the table top. I recognize that I’m just the technician here and the brains was actually the guy doing the measurements but hey it was fun and it was progress.

It’s one line item on my to do list and it’s consuming me. It’s a good thing I got the three tea party dress done early and the special birthday gift so I can focus on this. It’s been unusual that the weather has cooperated and warmed up so that the sanding and sanding can happen outside.

Next post about these tables – let’s hope I can show you the final product!


Posted in Travel

Lost in stride

It’s well known that my sense of direction is a

bit suspect at times. Today, apparently, it didn’t even exist. I’ve been turned around all day and thankful for my man and his great directional prowess. Fortunately we were walking around Edinburgh and not driving around Scotland!We had a lovely breakfast out with family at Queensferry. This is home to 3 bridges that fascinates engineers for sure. I remember clearly on our first trip to Scotland a couple of decades ago we had to find somewhere to pull over so we could get a picture of it. It’s chock full of history and quite an engineering feat. They worked 24/7 for 7 years and 59 lives were lost during the creation of it.

Then we hopped aboard a Scot Train bound for Edinburgh. No hastles of parking and it was a nice change for Ron from driving. Public transit is always interesting people watching.

People were the one commodity we never ran out of today. Sunday on the Golden Mile probably had more people than we’ve seen in the rest of Scotland!! Seriously.

We meandered around and were interested in a variety of things; history, architecture and Harry Potter/J. K. Rowling spots. We saw tons of all those items. Our afternoon beer was at the Tollbooth Tavern, historically home to the worst prison in Scottish history. Such a cool building.

We saw an unusual number of unicorns – bet you didn’t see that coming! Although now the picture of the 3rd and funniest one is gone.

A mystery but I must move on to catch up. Unicorns are a royal symbol so while they seem like a new hot ticket kid item they’ve always had a special place in the symbols of royal families.

We visited the entrance to two royal castles set in the Golden Mile; Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Castle. The later was closed to the public and the former had an excessive number of tourists so neither of them got more than a few photos.

We didn’t manage the Harry Potter walking tour but did it more the Sherlock Holmes way; a bit of sleuthing here and there. Tom Riddle’s grave was easy as the grass is indeed trampled. Victoria Street was a dead ringer for Diagon Alley. A few others were more vague and others not worth tracking down. The cafe where she wrote the first one and the hotel room where she finished the seventh weren’t on our agenda.

It’s important to recognize the line between fact and fiction and I didn’t want our entire time to be eaten up by that.

So we wandered over and around; checking out old buildings and new ones. They have a significant amount of construction within the downtown core. There are all these little tiny lanes off the Golden Mile and they lead into more buildings.

It’s much easier to see from up top. Using his engineering brain Ron was able to figure out that one entire block in behind.

Totally hidden behind a slightly new looking bigger entrance through two buildings. It’s such a hilly city and has so many crossing weirdly angled streets I was quite happy by this point to let him navigate.

We managed the correct platform (and no the ticket lady didn’t look amused when I said I was sure we didn’t want 9 3/4) and the train rattled us back to where we started. I tried to walk the wrong way to get out, giving those boots one last work out!

Thankfully once back on the road my navigatioal skills did return to get us back to my young English cousin’s house.

We then spent a couple more hours discussing ancestors and English history. Hence the no blog post as I was only a quarter done on the train using the free wifi. It’s always a scramble to catch back up but I’m hopeful.


Posted in Travel

Medieval Steps

Today we ventured into the medieval past and stepped back to 1460 at Gainsborough Hall. This is a wonderfully preserved specimen of a rich baron’s home.

As two people who love architectural and historical details it was a win win for sure. Add to that how well it was presented and the fact that we got in for the “concession” rate available for seniors it was a double bonus.

The great hall is so wonderfully preserved. The ceiling alone is worth the admission price. The stone tower, the buttery (where the butler stored the beer,wine and meed) and the pantry added to the ambience.

The half timbered building was started by the Burgh family who have the most interesting history and connections to royalty. It was built between 1460 & 1470 by Sir Thomas Burgh; a wealthy, powerful and flamboyant man.
His grandson died in 1528, leaving his eldest son, sir Thomas as head of the family. In 1529, his son and heir, Sir Edward, married Catherine Parr, The couple would stay at Gainsborough Old Hall until 1530, when they were granted their own manor in Village of Kirton-in-Lindsay.(see side note in an upcoming post about that town and my connection to it).

In this hall both Richard the 3rd and Henry 8th dined. The latter visited Gainsborough twice; once in 1509 and again in 1541 with the doomed Queen Catherine Howard. The Queen was accused of indiscretions both at Gainsborough & Lincoln and she was executed. Catherine Parr, by this time a widow became the final wife of Henry 8th.

But what really fascinated both of us was the kitchen rooms. They hadn’t been modernized anywhere along the way and the interpretive displays were so well done. Even the ceiling was fascinating with a cupola for letting out smoke still intact. The size of the fireplaces was so massif and the 2 bread ovens were amazing. The kitchen servants lived above the kitchen in assorted little rooms.

The family had the east wing complete with the tour room while the guests stayed in the West wing. Outside on south was a garden which replaces the original market that stood there. It’s a great example of what a medieval garden would have looked like.

The windows alone show the amount of money that was poured into this establishment. That doesn’t even touch upon all the other items that highlight what am amazingly well preserved manor home this is.

We climbed the 49 steps up to the top of the tower. We saw the amazing views but also the Tudor Rose carved into a ceiling that Henry 8th was never going to see even though it was put there to prove their loyalty. Instead; tourists hundreds of years later stare at it and are amazed at the workmanship.

There are more pictures, says the person with hundreds of photos on her phone, but alas I have not figured out how to do a slide show of them here from my phone. I also can’t remember what program my friend uses for putting hers into a gallery of nine. So that means that’s it for this post.


I just learnt tonight that my cousin and her husband went to a Hunt Ball in the late 70’s in the great hall before it became a museum. How cool is that?