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.
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 - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com