Monday, April 29, 2013

As of late

I've been fairly busy over the past couple of weeks. The house has needed a long string of spring repairs and odd jobs, from clearing brush, vines and weeds, building a stone firepit and setting paving stones out back, planting flowers and apple trees to mowing and seeding the yard, etc. Also, I've been trying to get back in the habit of cooking more meals at home and trying to be a stress relief to my family instead of a stress maker, at least until my wife's work eases up a bit.

i learned to make bread over the weekend.

In between stuff I've had to do and entertaining the family, I've been trying to squeeze in a hobby or two or a dozen. Between Friday and Sunday, I taught myself to bake bread. I'm tired of buying the store bought stuff with it's mile long ingredients list. What I made over the weekend, all six loaves, had unbleached all-purpose flour or wheat flour, sugar, salt, yeast and water, and they were so good that I only have a single loaf left this morning. Pretty cool, really. 20 minutes to prep the dough, wait two hours for it to rise, 10 minutes to shape and pop in the oven, 25-30 minutes later, eat fresh bread.

a laminated canoe paddle in progress

I've also been working on a canoe paddle laminated from kayak and outrigger project scraps. Pretty cool to take offcuts and make something pretty and useful out of them. It's roughly shaped, but needs some finer shaving and sanding done before possibly painting or glassing the blade and oiling the handle.

a laminated canoe paddle in progress

I also drug the Wa'apa outrigger sailing canoe out of the garage to fix everything I broke on it last fall. The two struts that angle towards the main hull had to be completely reset and epoxied back into the ama (side float). They are set in place, now and I plan to add several layers of reinforcing glass to them before getting it back out on the water. I also plan to lash them in cordage like I had previously. The lashings were the only thing holding them in place when I unwrapped them to work on them.

fixing everything i broke on the outrigger last fall. making it sailworthy again

And lastly, spring has really sprung at our house. The abundance of rain we've been getting has really greened the yard. Birds have nested all over the property - house wrens out back, cardinals in the bush next to the front door and robins above the garage. It took them three tries to build a nest there. Hopefully this one sticks, since it's quite occupied.

robin's eggs above my garage door

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