walters family blog

Well, its just Walters' family stuff. That's about it, for that's its sole purpose.

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

Husband, dad, grandfather, brother, entrepreneur, artist, writer, publisher, ad guy, teacher, musician, and dreaming of being a farmer.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jack came to Go Away for a visit

Molly had to run up to the farm on Thursday and she brought Jack along. He had a grand time playing in the yard. The funny thing about this photo is that his hat fits his head, but the strap is about 2 inches shy of reaching the other side to fasten. He has a "Tater-head" and we all know what that means:-)

Brody & Caroline at the Farm this week!

The first cold front of the year came through this week and we had Brody and Caroline there. Mik had to go to town and get them some sweatshirts. I guess we thought it would never cool down:-)

MikMik roasted marshmallows at the firepit with Brody, Caroline and me. They were great and the kids loved them. We had a good week keeping the kids. However, they were both sick with upper respiratory problems. Both had fever and were real achy. Poor MikMik got to sleep over there with them several nights. She didn't get much rest. Bitty was there to help and it was a good thing she was. We had the conference center busy on Thursday and then a client there on Friday all day. 

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The kids...

Mikki and Jack outside the restaurant today.

A self portrait of me, Caroline and Brody. They are precious.

Amber took Caroline and Brody to Old MacDonald's Farm in Humble and got these photos. 

Caroline at Old MacDonald's Farm on the slide.

Jack and me today after we had lunch.

Mikki and I had lunch today after church with Amber, Caroline, Brody, Molly and Jack. The twins are getting old enough (almost 23 months) to where they are getting pretty funny. Last week, I made a mouth noise with my fingers circled around my lips. Brody hasn't stopped until he has mastered a similar sounding trick, but holding his nose and arrfing from his throat. It is hillarious. Jack is 7 months old and is cutting teeth and making some serious noise, but is a wonderful baby. We are blessed grand parents!

I built the Rocking Chair!

It took me six days and a lot of hours (we worked three of the days at least 13 hours) to get to the finish line, but we made it. The photo above is of me and my class mates and teachers. From left to right, Dan (geologist), me, Mark (teacher), Doug (who drove from Ft. Bragg N.C. to build a side table), Frank (lead instructor), Bob (investigator in Oklahoma City) and "Pete from Blue" (home builder). Interestingly, Dan lives on Painted Cup in The Woodlands (about three blocks from my home) and has a woodshop in his garage. I plan to visit soon. But the funny guy of the class was Pete. He was a hilarious addition to the class. Every time he made a mistake he squealed, and I'd come unglued. He also was one of the funniest people I've been around in a while. A real character. Reminded me a lot of John Candy, the actor. 

The top photo is the finished rocker (sans oil finish and corbels under the arms that I'll add later in the week). It is a Craftsman Style with a couple personal embellishments. The primary embellishment is the contour of the arms. The proper thing to do is to make the arm flat, but the comfortable thing to do was to cut a recess into the arm's inner sides so when you set in the chair, it was a more pleasant experience. The second photo from the top is yours truly not wanting to get up and drive to Go Away Farm. We didn't finish Saturday until 9:15 pm. We were all very tired, but extremely satisfied with our accomplishments. 

The instructors are top-notch! Frank Strazza is a compassionate, yet compelling artisan who pushes us to do it right. Mark, his assistant is very good as well, and is always available to laugh with you and help you fix a problem. I highly recommend any of the classes at Homestead. Mikki and I have been blessed to get to take classes there. 

Friday, October 12, 2007

Advanced Furniture Class at Homestead Woodworkers

I have been at Homestead Heritage Woodworking School in Elm Mott Texas since Monday morning taking their advanced furniture class. It has been very challenging, yet fulfilling. Hopefully we can wrap up tomorrow, by sundown. I'm getting ready to head to Go Away with my prized Craftsman Rocking Chair.  Can't wait for Mikki to see it. Hope it rocks:-)

I've learned a lot this week, including being a guest at Shahar and Kim Yarden's home (he is originally from Israel) for dinner Wednesday evening, October 11 (Mikki and my 32nd anniversary). They and their three daughters joined together to sing "Happy Anniversary" to me and Mikki (who we called on the phone). Kim prepared Israeli food. It was very good. I'd spell it out here but most of it would be misspelled, so I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that I really did enjoy getting acquainted with Shahar, Kim and their daughters and eating food I've never experienced. Shahar operates the Gristmill, Deli and the auto repair shop in the community. He is obviously a very good operator. It was neat to learn of their culture. 

I also had the pleasure during the week to see Paul Sellers, the founder of the woodworking school. He was back at Homestead for a week long visit from Wales where he and his family are taking a one year sabbatical to care for his ailing parents. I got to stay late Tuesday night and hear Paul do a demonstration of woodworking to the theology class at Baylor University. He is very compelling when he is talking about how woodworking and living off the land is a godly pursuit while cutting dovetails simultaneously. 
I've had a wonderful time but I wish Mikki had gotten to come with me. I'm hopeful that my rocker will come out well. 

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Fine Furniture Making at Homestead

I'm at the Fine Furniture class this week at Homestead Heritage. If you've ever wanted to take a class in woodworking, I'd highly recommend Frank Strazza, Paul Sellers and their fine team here at Homestead. The classes are accommodating for those of us who aren't professional woodworkers (and most professional woodworkers have trouble with the old world tools we are using just as we non-pro's do). And, it is one of the most challenging, yet relaxing things I've ever experienced. At one moment you are challenged to lay out a piece of intricate work, to make a mortise and tenon fit perfectly using a chisel and a back saw, and the next moment you are eating some of their vanilla ice cream from their deli. Its a pretty attractive combination indeed:-) I just wish they had places to stay on the grounds there at Homestead. I am in our camper at a KOA park in West, Texas. A very exciting place. Okay, I'm lying. I had Dairy Queen tacos for dinner from the Exxon/DQ combo. That tell you anything? I'm actually enjoying it a lot. My only wish is that Mikki could have gotten into a class at the same time so she could be here too. She loves the people and the place of Homestead. Hard not to like it. 

If you ever would like to take a class, try a one day class and get the feel of things, and then you could take a week long class once you can schedule a vacation. They do a lot of one day classes. I just heard today that they are considering doing a "saw / tool sharpening class". I'm going to sign up and don't even know when it is. They will allow us to bring our old saws, etc, and teach us to sharpen them at the class. I like it.