Sunday, May 31, 2009

What we have been doing

This first picture is just for fun, though behind the cold duck is a salvaged railing that goes around our deck. The railing came from a restaurant, and is sturdier than what is sold for residential use. I could not find mounting brackets that fit the tubing, so when I cut the lengths I Heated and bent a tab to be the brackets.

Dianne got a wood rocking plane. When we got it two of the wing stays were broken. It was also missing the propeller and the steering wheel. I made the repairs and Dianne painted it. The cowl in front of the propeller is an old drawer pull that I shaped. The horn button is the same type of drawer pull, but with less shaping.

Dianne also has bee sewing. She made Ellie and Ainsley each a reversible sun dress.

We have a few pieces of granite pieces from our kitchen remodel several years ago. I have been wanting to make an outdoor table out of one of them. Dianne and I went looking for something to use as table legs. We saw this lamp.

The glass tabletop had chips in it.

When we got the lamp home and disassembled, it was clear that one piece was flimsy, and that the tabletop would be too heavy. To solve both problems I took old tire balancing weights and encased them into the weak part.

Here is the final lamp. The shade is a plastic flower pot with a hole drilled in the center of the bottom (now top).

A long time ago we found this radio and record player at a Salvation Army store. It had an ugly applied plywood on it. When the plywood was removed I learned that it originally had been a larger console, and someone sawed a TV off of it.

Here is the side that was cut.

I decided to veneer new wood onto it, something I have never done before. The wood working shop suggested a new way of veneering that he had been reading about, and I tried it. Next time I will use a traditional veneering technique.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Random memories and thoughts

I call father "father". To me it is a loving term equal to "dad" or any other word, plus I like how the word father flows off the tongue.

When I called the house father answered most of the time. The call went like this.
Father in his deep voice: Hellooooo?
Me: Father, Stanford.
Father in a voice almost exactly one octave higher and with excitement: Stan

I keep hearing this lovely welcome in my head.

I would ride down the hill with mother to pick up father at the university. She would sit in the car and send me in. I always stopped to play with the exhibits as I walked to his office. When I got to the office he might be "ready to go", and it would take just a few minutes to come to a stopping point on whatever he was doing. Other times he was with a student. I would sit quietly as father gave his student whatever time was needed by the student.

I have very few memories of Brazil, though I remember smells and tastes. I have a memory of posing for a picture. I think father took it. We were stopped by the road and I posed in front of a leaf that was much bigger than me.

There were many times up at the cabins that we would be working on plumbing or something else and father would say "go back to the house and get ..." On time stuck in my mind.

We were walking back from the lower spring following the polyethylene pipe. We found something that needed fixing, but we couldn't loosen a joint. Father sent me back to the house to get a tool. I think father was using a pocket knife and he needed a screw driver. I went back to the house and got it. When I returned he thanked me, and then told me that he had gotten the connection loose.

He thanked me. It stuck in my memory because of the frustration of getting the tool and then not needing it. But, I remember he thanked me. Father often thanked us for our help.

The drive home last Saturday and Sunday was long and tiring. We switched drivers every 2 hours. One time while Dianne was driving we drove under some high power lines. I started to cry. Father would have tried to figure out where it came from and where it was going. He likely would have asked me a question I never could remember how to calculate. He would ask the voltage of the lines.

Here are some pictures from the trip out to Berkeley.

Deer in the back yard

Friday before we came home: Tilden Park

Sterling and Otto in the park

Some wild flowers were blooming in Tilden

Donner Pass on the way home

Almost exactly 180 degrees from the last picture

Most of the way home this was what we saw.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Most of you know that my father died.

My parents' love for each other is a model for living with a partner. Even in the last hours of life the love between them was visible to all who had the honor to witness it. I will not go into any details of their life or his death. I will, with my mother's permission, include one of her poems.

The Old Lovers
Asleep, their bodies rest as spoon to spoon
or else are pressed together spine to spine.
One of them dreams a night of summer moon
when firm young bodies meet and intertwine.

One dreams they climb a trail in blazing noon,
leap boulders, savor scent of fir or pine,
gaze down on unknown lands they’ll travel soon,
their years before them in an endless line.

They dream apart, but each dreams they’re together.
They drowse then turn and waken face to face,
illusion’s threads unravelling seam by seam.
They touch the dear soft flesh of one another
then almost desperately the two embrace
fearing that one might soon hold only dream.

Phyllis Smith

The world has lost a man who spent his life making the world a better place than he found it. I have lost a man who loved me unconditionally, and proved the love when I did not deserve it. I cry for my loss. I mourn everyone's loss; those who knew him, those who knew of him, and those who never had the honor of knowing what he did for them.

With love to all who read this regardless of if we have ever met
Papa of Honey and Papa

Friday, May 08, 2009

This is a strange time to post this. I have created a new blog that is not for Dianne and me, but rather just mine, and just for politics. This blog will be returned to being for both of us.