Gaining Strength in the Valley of "March"

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Blog entry by Mark A. DeCou posted 03-29-2007 04:52 PM 1187 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey lumberjocks. I have received quite a few emails and blog comments that my mouthy presence on lumberjocks has been missed. Wow, what a nice compliment that is. I have been around the site every day, just not taking time to work on blogs, adding projects, or commenting. I have watched the race in the postings competition, and see that Debbie is topping us all, hurray! You go Girl.

I have my hands full right at the moment with trying to catch up on my current commission work schedule. For all of the new folks that missed my last month of drama and personal problems, March has been a rough month.

The church commission I am working on is going fine, only that I need to really work hard for a couple of weeks to catch up the time I missed working in March. I have learned a lot of new things on this latest project, from casting resin copies of carvings, to cutting decorative gothic panels, to gold leaf painting, to using 4-5 different stain colors to match an old finish, so there are a lot of things I am hoping to write up in the coming weeks.

I also outfitted my little router with a small LED light, which works great for seeing the details of free hand routering. I have photos, so I will get that posted here soon. Nothing too fancy, but it works great. This little Ryobi router was starting to fade on me, or it needs a new switch and brushes. Just when I was worrying about how to replace it, fellow lumberjock Duane Kohles offered to send me a new Bosch Colt Palm Router in exchange for one of my walking canes. What a deal. I only delayed sending the cane about two days while I inlayed a “Kansas Buffalo Quarter” in the handle for him. The Colt is a great tool, much nicer than my Porter Cable, or the Ryobi, so I want to do a full tool review on it for lumberjocks in the coming weeks. Thanks Duane!

My 6-year old daughter Rachel is such a sweet heart. We still aren’t sure what is causing her mobility problems. We have been supported by the lumberjocks so well with prayers, phone calls, and emails that it is hard to not feel the love. We met with the neurologist last week, and had some blood testing done. The Dr. felt that her symptoms didn’t match Muscular Dystrophy as much as the first specialist did, so the blood tests were to help with the diagnosis. The blood tests came back “normal”, so we go back to see the neurologist next week and see what the next steps are. Thanks for all of your prayers, we tell Rachel about each person that lets us know they are praying for her, and she just loves it. If you have ever seen a sweet 6-year old girl smile from ear to ear, you know the look. I’m hoping for a miracle, as we all are.

As I have struggled with my own health issues, and Rachel’s, this past month showed me without a doubt how much friendly support and prayer can help. I am gaining strength physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and so eventhough it has been tough, I am stronger for it all. The Valley’s in life show us what we are really worth. We all look good on the Mountain Top, but what we act like, say, and think about during the tough times really tells us about ourselves. Hearing so many encouraging things from the lumberjocks has really helped me deal with the Valley.

Most of my computer time the past few weeks has been answering personal emails from folks either about Rachel’s situation, or what steps I recommend someone take to do woodworking full time, and quit working for “The Man”. Martin and I have been discussing how to put this information in a format that would be helpful to more people. I don’t have all of the answers, but I have learned a lot of things the hard way, which I am more than willing to share if it will help others with the big leap. Stay Posted.

Thorsen Project:
What an awesome project challenge this is. Congrats to Obi, Karson, Martin, and Glen Huey for making it happen. I noticed that about 80 new jocks jumped in with us after Popular Woodworking sent out their email newsletter with the Thorsen Table Challenge prominently written about. I am very excited to see how many wild ideas people will come up with on this Table.

Thanks for all of your love,
Mark DeCou

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

11 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#1 posted 03-29-2007 04:57 PM

it’s so good to see you here again and to get the latest update.

I’m looking forward to reading all of your upcoming postings – when you find the time.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4188 days

#2 posted 03-29-2007 05:02 PM

It is great to hear from you again Mark, and nice to know things are going better. I hope it turns into good news in the coming weeks.

Do not worry about us, we will be here when you get back. Take care of what you need to now.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Drew1House's profile


425 posts in 4115 days

#3 posted 03-29-2007 06:03 PM

I have a 6 year old little girl as well and you are in our prayers…


-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4273 days

#4 posted 03-29-2007 06:31 PM

It’s good to know our prayers are working. Mark , you just keep doin what you got to do and leave her in his hands you know he’ll take care of her. God Bless your whole family we are right there with you. love you brother, mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4354 days

#5 posted 03-29-2007 08:57 PM

Good to hear from you.

love and prayers…

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

656 posts in 4160 days

#6 posted 03-29-2007 10:06 PM

I’m glad to hear that things are somewhat turning around for you. I’ll still be praying for you and your family.

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4427 days

#7 posted 03-29-2007 10:48 PM

Mark: You, Shelli, Rachel and Riley are in our prayers. May God bless you and comfort you during this time of need. My the richest blessing be bestowed upon your family. May health be ever present in each of your lives. Amen.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4341 days

#8 posted 03-30-2007 01:39 AM

Quick Hide the M&M’s…Marks Back!

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4427 days

#9 posted 03-30-2007 03:17 AM

No put out the M&M Hide the Trail Mix.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View DrSawdust's profile


323 posts in 4125 days

#10 posted 03-30-2007 05:47 AM

Mark, we are all pulling for you and your family. Thanks for keeping us posted.

I must admit I am addicted to M&M’s as well. Unfortunately the boys are finding all of my hidding places and keep cleaning me out.

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4326 days

#11 posted 03-30-2007 05:40 PM

Atta Boy Mark!! We’re pulling, & praying for you.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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