Another Foray into the Wonderful World of Woodturning (not to be confused with the World of Warcraft)

Chip decided yesterday to bravely tackle what’s called green wood turning.  We have all of these wonderful trees in our yard, and when we had them trimmed the guys were kind enough to leave stacks of beautiful birch logs in the back yard (along with some ash and maybe oak, I’m not sure).

When you turn dried wood, it chips off and you (and your workspace) end up covered in chunky sawdust.  Also, your gouge tends to catch on every little thing and leave stuttered gouges in the wood, which means your piece has to get smaller to correct them (the bowl in my earlier post would have been half an inch or so larger if it hadn’t been for some deep gouges).  When you turn green, or wet wood, it shaves off in ribbons and literally cuts like butter, resulting in a workspace that looks like this:



It’s tons of fun to work with.
So Chip slaved away and made me a rolling pin and himself a goblet.  Now we have to figure out how to dry the things without changing their shape, which rarely happens, but it’s a fun experiment.  I think the all-knowing Internet says you dry wood a year for every inch of thickness, so I guess I won’t be rolling out pie crust any time soon.  But how cool will it be when we can have kitchen utensils made from the wood in our own back yard?

In other news, I have been sucked in to the crack addiction that is the World of Warcraft, as has Kory.  Chip wisely abstained, since he already has video games that eat away at his free time, but that hasn’t stopped me from teaming up with Eric to tear through Elwynn Forest on a killing spree.  It’s tons of fun, and more stress relieving than a day at the spa.  Almost.

Super Powers

Before I head to Louisville for a weekend of running around and trying to visit my neicii, I thought I’d let you all know that it has been discovered that Kory has super powers.  That’s right, my son can fly.  See?


Or maybe he just got a trampoline.



Turns out the only real super power he has is being cheesy.




L’il goober.

I Made a Bowl

I made a bowl.  I’m so proud of it, I have to share.  I’m so proud of it, I had to ask Chip for his camera at dinner tonight because I knew he had a photo of it, and I missed my bowl.  It’s a really pretty bowl.

I took a bowl turning class at Woodcraft today, so that I could better use the lathe that Chip got me for my birthday.  The guys at Woodcraft are really nice and helpful and generally happy people to spend time with, so I recommend them for all your woodworking needs.

They helped me make this:


You will see more pictures of this, and of other bowls I will make using the techniques I learned today.  It was a fun course, and I loved it, but not as much as I love my bowl.  Now I realize why Chip is so attached to the bats he makes.

Note:  Chip has since made himself another bat and is no longer considering stealing my brother’s birthday gift back from him.

Animal Magnetism

Sometimes, you just have to take pictures of your dog. Sometimes, you just have to take pictures of your neurotic bird. And sometimes, you just have to pull over to the side of the road and take pictures of the sheep and their lambs that live on the corner. Well, maybe you don’t, but I do. I had planned to knock on the door of this little farm and ask permission to photograph the sheep, and I still may, but today I had my long lens, the sheep were out, and I took that as a sign. So today I present a study in animals.

My good friend Heather’s cat recently and unexpectedly passed away, which reminded me of how torn up I was when Reese died. I still miss that dog, and I’ve always regretted not having more good photos of her when she was healthy. It just so happened that while I was pondering this, Lilly took up her perch on my overstuffed chair and pretty much posed for me in perfect lighting, so I couldn’t pass it up.

Special thanks to Ree, a.k.a The Pioneer Woman. I was able to use her ultra cool and *free* actions to play with PhotoShop and create some really nice effects – if you are a PhotoShop user, she created a whole set of free actions that make photo editing insanely easy and they are available for download on her website.


I love my dog.


I also love this nutty bird, as much as I complain about her. I took this entire series in one sitting while doing my French homework. A little background: Romeo is a little picky when it comes to her toys. Some things she loves, and others she’ll pretty much ignore unless she gets really, really bored. So last time I was at the Crazy Bird Lady’s place (also known as Wings over America, or Wings over the Rainbow, depending on who you ask) I got a huge assortment of new toys. The first one I decided to try out was a little donkey-shaped pinata. I have not had any luck getting Romeo to say “pinata.”

At first, every time I picked up the camera Romeo would drop the toy and pretend like she hadn’t been chewing on it. But she finally got over her stage fright. Note the appropriate expression of fear on the burro’s face:


Then she started to really go to town on him (and look at the authenticity! This burro is, in fact, from Mexico!)


And the carnage continues (note the open beak):


By the end of the 30 minute period, this was all that was left of our poor little burro:


She eventually destroyed the entire thing and moved on to another toy. But the best part, which I was unable to get on camera, was a point where she was so into demolishing this poor little creature that she actually fell off her perch in her excitement. I realize I don’t get out much, but this was quality entertainment.

Which brings us to our sheep. I’ll spare you the narrative, but I drive past this little farm at least 4 times a day and I was delighted when I saw the little babies. It took me too long to get over there with a camera, so now they’re like little teenagers, but they’re really adorable.





The rest are over in the gallery if you want to peruse them. Hopefully I’ll get better shots one day soon.

Now go hug your pets.


Reese: 1999-2005

Eggs Benedict a la Dallas

So, Laura and Melanie finally made it up to visit Chez LynchKochNjuguna (no wonder our neighbors only use our first names) and I wanted to make something special for brunch. I decided on a vegetarian eggs Benedict, because I love eggs Benedict but I’m not so nuts about Canadian bacon. Mostly because I think it’s too much like ham to be called “bacon.” And of course, because Laura’s a vegetarian. So, I had a sort of recipe that involved a mix for the hollandaise, since I am not so ambitious as to try to make a decent hollandaise on my first try. However, I was a little apprehensive about the part where you “poach” an egg. I have never poached an egg before, and besides knowing that it was an egg boiled in water without the shell, I wasn’t terribly clear on how to go about it.

You know what’s really handy in a case like this? A houseguest with a chef for a boyfriend, that’s what. Laura called Dallas, and instead of the “Duh! Poaching an egg is the easiest thing in the world!” response I expected, I got these written instructions.


Seriously, because if they hadn’t been written I never would’ve remembered it all. Who knew poaching an egg was such an involved process? SO, I went to the store to get the stuff I didn’t know I needed and proceeded to poach some eggs. Kory has the whole thing on video, which I may post if I decide I don’t look too hellish on camera.

And here is the finished product, which I have to say was darned tasty. The eggs were perfect – so thanks for the culinary lesson, Dallas! I’ll be auditioning for Top Chef any day now.

And here’s a bonus picture of Kory on the day he decided to wear a suit to school – it’s probably the last time that suit will fit him, so I figured I should immortalize it.


In other news, I’m hoping to have a new look for the site before too long. I’m tired of the current layout and I want the pictures to be larger, blah, blah, blah. Wish me luck on actually doing something about it.