Category Archives: Whitsett News

From Waterbed to Website

As readers of this blog will remember, someone stacked a pile of junk lumber in front of my shop.  In case you missed it, you can see it here.  All of it is destined for the fireplace or, in the case of the plywood, fiberboard, chipboard etc., the garbage.  That is, all of it except one board, which knew a former life as a frame for a waterbed.  It was pretty thick, crack-less and with only two knots.  So, I decided to do something with it.

I wanted a unique header for my refurbished gardening blog: “West Texas Gardener” and, since I am a woodcarver, I decided a hand-carved sign might be nice.  So, I set to work cutting the blank, sanding, routing, applying polyurethane, masking, applying the pattern, carving, staining the incised letters and, finally, outlining the letters to make them stand out.

As I carved, I remembered why I hate carving regular pine (as opposed to sugarpine which carves quite nicely).  It is an unpredictable wood, often brittle, and will sometimes “shred” under the sharpest of tools.  The knots are almost impossible to carve without them crumbling like a cookie.  But, I eventually finished the process, photographed it for my garden site, and I hope you like the result.

Another photo taken in the shop on the easel

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Blogs & Blogging, Carving, Home and Garden, Signs, Vegetable Gardening, Whitsett News, Woodcarving

Who Wood Do This?

The Scene of the Crime

This genuine, un-retouched, un-photo-shopped photo tells the sordid truth: someone dumped their junk wood in front of my shop.  And, it’s not even good wood.  Most of it would not even be good firewood (which just burns me up)!  You would think that whoever went to the trouble to gather up this stuff and dump it on me could have just dumped it in the alley for the city to pick up instead.  Now, I have to lug it out to the alley myself.

No one has come forward to take responsibility for this heinous crime.  At first, I thought it might have been someone with good intentions.  Since I am a woodcarver (you can see my work at http://whitcarv.wordpress.com), I thought someone was making an anonymous donation of raw materials. Upon closer examination, however, it became apparent this was not the case.  Some I can burn but most will end up in the alley of broken wood.  I may be barking up the wrong tree, but no use pining, it goes against my grain.

I have a usual suspect in mind but, of course, can’t prove it.  Anyway, several previous confrontations have not kept him off my property and I doubt another would be any more effective.  For years I have wanted to fence in the area around my shop and garden.  A nice, chain-link fence might not stop trespassers but it would certainly make it more difficult.  The area, however, is large and my finances are small.  Still, I can dream can’t I?

5 Comments

Filed under Carving, Good & Evil, Humor, Rubbish, Whitsett News, Woodcarving, wordplay

Thoughts on Turning Sixty-Eight

For the past few weeks I have been teaching a Bible class for older folks.  I don’t believe there is anyone in the class under 65 or so.  Since, in a few days I will be the ripe old age of 68, I feel right at home.  At the moment, we are working our way through Leviticus, one of those seldom-studied books.  It’s full of instructions for all kinds of offerings enabling a holy God to live among a very unholy people.  A lot could be said about that but, at the moment, I am thinking more about age than holiness.

Old age is, among other things, interesting.  For one thing, sitting still, I don’t feel old.  It is only when I get up and try to move around quickly that my body reminds me that it has seen better days.  I wake up in the morning with plans to accomplish the same things I did at, say, forty.  As the day progresses, reality sets in: I’m nowhere near the capabilities of forty.  It is disappointing.  Still, I keep at it as best I can.

One of my older-than-me friends tells me there are perks that come along with age.  People want to help you.  They open doors for you and ask if you need a hand.  Young women smile at you and don’t consider you a threat.  You get senior discounts.  That’s all I can think of right now.  I think, however, I would trade these “perks” for more “pep.”  Yes, I would trade it all for pain-free hips, knees, a well-behaved back, and being considered more dangerous in the eyes of young women.

The ranks of the “older folks” are bursting at the seams.  The solvency of Social Security and Medicare systems are threatened.  I notice more and more advertisements aimed our way.  Care facilities for older folks (skilled nursing, assisted living, etc.) are popping up everywhere.  Movies are being made about old codgers and biddies (good news for our aging actors).  I’m glad I don’t have to go through this “aging process” alone.

So how should you young folks respond to all this?  Well, Leviticus provides a good answer.  “You shall rise before the gray-headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:32).  OK, I know it’s the Old Testament and the Law of Moses and all that but I still think it’s a good idea.

7 Comments

Filed under Aging, honor, Humor, Meaning of Life, Men's Issues, Nursing Home, Respect, Thinking, Whitsett News

Thoughts on Turning Sixty-Seven

old-man1I entered my 68th year last month. My 91-year-old father might disagree but I guess I am now “old.” I find old age fascinating on several levels. It is, for example, in old age that you wish you had taken better care of your young self. The aches, pains and other afflictions are not pleasant. To realize that you have been categorized as “old” is not particularly good for the ego. Neither is the realization that you are no longer (if you really ever were) attractive to young women. These days, if they smile approvingly at you, it is because you remind them of a loved and respected father, grandfather or great-uncle (get that straight and it will help keep you out of a lot of trouble and embarrassment!).

These are the routine parts of old manhood. But, what I am writing about is something rather unexpected. It is the insight I’ve gained because

I have lived long enough,

read enough books,

encountered enough problems,

misunderstood enough,

experienced enough reversals of fortune,

loved enough people,

lived through enough crises,

eaten enough crow,

had enough experiences – positive and negative…

…to realize the arrogance of my youth. Not necessarily an obvious, exterior, obnoxious, puffed-up know-it-all arrogance. But rather that which rises out of misplaced self-confidence, academic knowledge and an assurance that one has found authentic truth.

I was thinking today about an encounter I had back in the late seventies with a man who held an opinion (more of a belief) that I considered downright wrong…maybe even ungodly. I thought, how can he believe that when Scripture says this? I knew the experiences that influenced his opinion, but I also knew what the Scripture said. Now, at a comparable age with my own collection of experiences, I see what he was saying and why.

In my dotage I find myself considering, accommodating, tolerating and investigating ideas I would have rejected out-of-hand in my youth. I find myself believing things I never would have contemplated in my younger years. Now, older, sadder and wiser, I shudder at past positions taken, claims made, assurances given, defenses offered and explanations proffered. Today I am finally ready to reason more than react. Arrogance has been consumed by humiliation.

In our culture, older people tend to be marginalized and that’s a shameful waste. We are considered out-of-touch, hopelessly behind the learning curve and set in our ways. And, that sad assessment may be true for some of us. But I find myself more curious, more open-minded, more tolerant and receptive to new ideas than my youthful self.

Why did I have to get old to get reasonable? How much more productive and peaceful life would have been if wisdom did not depend on experience! Could I please try it again and this time with what I’ve learned? Oh the joyful thought of youthful living guided by age’s wisdom!

8 Comments

Filed under Health Care, Ignorance, Love, Meaning of Life, Men's Issues, Mind, Peace, Random Thoughts, Respect, Scripture, Whitsett News

Historic Day

Today is a kind of milestone for me. This is the day that my gardening blog: In the Charamon Garden surpassed this blog in readership. I never would have expected it! When I started, I would get two or three readers a day if I was fortunate. Now readership has soared to new heights. Of course I am pleased with this new success. Both blogs have always been more popular than my ministry blog because you really have to be interested in missions and evangelism to read Mission South Pacific.

Let me just say to the thousands of readers of this blog (OK, maybe scores) that I thank you for stopping by and occasionally commenting. I look forward to a lot more writing and reading what you have to say.

2 Comments

Filed under Missions/Evangelism, Whitsett News

I Believe in Bondo


bondo.jpg I really dig this stuff.

I’ve been using it or something like it for decades, starting in Australia with a similar product. In Adelaide (really, Para Hills) I lived in a double-brick house with the interior walls rendered in plaster over mortar (no straight walls!) and used it to fill holes to put screws in when attaching something to the wall. Just drill the hole, blow the dust out, fill with Bondo or something similar, wait for it to set-up a bit, then screw those suckers in.

Later on, in the sign business (hand-carved and sandblasted wooden signs) I used it to correct defects, mistakes (you can carve it with woodcarving tools) and for installations. You can sand it, prime it and paint it.

Today, I am using it to repair closet doors. We live in an old house and the Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Home and Garden, Random Thoughts, Whitsett News

Garlic and Stacy Peterson

amazed.jpg People are so interesting! Maybe “mystifying” is more accurate. Some weeks ago, I posted a blog regarding the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. It has received over 2,684 views! Other stuff that, it seems to me, is far more important is far less popular. I’m not sure of the psychology of this but it has been surprising to this blogger.

Then there is my seldom-read garden blog: charamongarden.wordpress.com. The most popular post on this blog by far has been a little article about what happens when you don’t weed your garlic patch. Can you believe it? 50 views of “The Garlic Lesson” out of a total of 238! No other post on my garden blog even comes close.

This is not disturbing since the goal of this blog (Whitticisms) was never about numbers. I am gratified when people choose to read my scratchings but my goal is to produce quality writing about a variety of subjects: science, apologetics, religion, politics, literature, current events, etc.

As we begin a new year, I want to thank all who read Whitticisms, Charamongarden and Missionsouthpacific. Very special thanks to all who have commented pro or con. May 2008 be a great year and may God bless us…every one!

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogs & Blogging, Garlic and Onions, Religion, South Pacific, Uncategorized, Vegetable Gardening, Whitsett News, Writing