Cast your vote!

I’m starting a band. Let me rephrase that. I’m building some band instruments. So far,

I’ve got most of a guitar and banjo. But, I’m not sure whether I want a jazz band or a bluegrass band. This is where You come in. So just scroll down and click on “Leave a comment”. Then cast your vote for either bluegrass or jazz. After compiling the results, I’ll finish the band. Thank you for your help.


While we were waiting for Hurricane Isaac to possibly make a move in our direction, I decided to build a forge from a brake drum. I’ve had the brake drum for about a year and have used it as a mould to bend metal around. But, today was the day to turn it into a forge.

We went to town and purchased a flange and various lengths of threaded pipe.

I welded the flange to the bottom of the brake drum.

I welded the 2″pipe to the flange, since the flange was not threaded.

Then I was able to assemble the other pieces. I needed something to mount it in,

so I cut a hole the size of the flange in a small metal table that I had. This enabled the brake drum to sit on the table with the flange and fittings below it.

So this is my forge. I named it Isaac. And as soon as the storm passes, I’m gonna fire it up.

Oh the things you can do

As an art major, I was required to take several art history courses. We studied the different periods and styles of art beginning with those cave paintings in Lascaux, France and ending with what was going on in the twentieth century. As a part of the twentieth century stuff we learned about a style called Cubism. I’m going to define Cubism, but don’t bother to read the definition twice because it won’t make any better sense the second time around. Cubism is an early twentieth century art movement which amalgamated viewpoints of natural forms into a multifaceted surface of geometrical planes. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque started the stuff, and it has never been a style that I have been a fan of. However, steel kind of lends itself to a cubistic style. So I decided to give it a whirl. Georges Braque used images of musical instruments in his work, and my family is musically inclined, so I decided to try sort of a Braque knock- off in steel. Well, sort of.

I went to the scrap iron yard, did a little dumpster diving,

and came home with this little pile of stuff. Then I went to work. I cut, I bent, I welded.



Oh, the things you can do with a pile of junk. Finally I came up with what I call

“Not Braque”. I’m still tweaking it a little. But you get the idea.



We ALL went

The baby has been ‘out’ for just over a week, and I understand that last night was not one of her finer moments. So, we watched the twins this morning so that Nikki could get a little rest. Of course I needed to go to Lowes to pick up some stuff for my welding project,

so (oh joy, oh bliss) we ALL went.

Most of what I needed came from the section of the store called ‘Tool World’,

which also happens to be

Hudson and Denton’s favorite section. They checked out and thought that they needed just about everything.

And they asked a lot of questions like: “What is this and why does it cost ninety-nine bucks and

you don’t have that kind of money either, do you Mammy?” (By the way that was all one sentence.)

Joel told them that they could get something, so they finally settled on blue and green tape measures. Then while he was checking out,

Denton and I walked outside where he called Hudson

to come push him. And Hudson did. Then, Hudson discovered

the coke machine. He thought that he REALLY needed a dollar to buy Papa a diet coke. He was very determined to make that thought a reality. So, I let Joel take care of that. As Denton and I turned to leave I heard, “Hudson, I don’t want that! I don’t want that! I’m not getting one here!

I’m getting one from the doughnut shop!” Hudson was finally o.k. with that, because he realized where we were going next.

I cut and I pasted

After the ‘baby came out’, as the boys would say, I was able to get back to a project that I had started. I had been asked  to make a garden ornament for a Methodist bishop that had just retired and moved back to New Mexico. It was to be something that would remind him and his wife of the Wesley Center.

The Wesley Center is only a little over four miles from my house and has a wonderful walking trail that follows a lake.

The trail, which is very well marked, is open to the public.

At the end of the trail, or the beginning depending on where you start, is the cross.

The cross towers above the lake and is one of the center’s most distinguishing landmarks.

Another distinguishing feature is the prayer labyrinth. Located not far from the cross,

the prayer labyrinth is a wonderful place to go for some quiet time.

So, with the cross and the labyrinth in mind,

I began to cut

and paste until I came up with

something that I thought said “Wesley Center”.

Hanging out with the guys

Yesterday was our day to keep the boys. Joel needed to go to Home Depot so, we all went. We figured that would take up at least an hour, and would be a much cooler place to chase those little guys.

We told them that they could pick out some tools, and they had fun making their selections.

Of course there was no reason for the fun to stop after they had done their shopping.

They even made sure the tools worked before checking out.

When we got back to the house, we moved their workbench into the shop where

they drilled holes in wood,

they drilled holes in steel,

and they worked on their hammering skills.

Later, they put on their Brother 1 and Brother 2 shirts and we took them to the hospital

to spend a little time

with their new sister… who we are pretty sure

will be able to play the piano with her toes.






Thing 1 and Thing 2

After Josie was bathed and her hair spiked up down the middle, she was ready to meet her public. So, Thing 1 and Thing 2,

in their new brother shirts,

stopped by to welcome

the new little squirt. But…

were quickly distracted by Nikki’s new bling. However, they both wanted to hold little Josie.

Thing 1 was a little nervous. Thing 2 said, “Look, she stuck out her tongue

just like this.” And so ended the first day.

Mammy’s little baby

When Hudson and Denton were born,

they had a total of six grandmothers… two regular grandmothers and four great- grandmothers.  I don’t know too many children who are born with a blessing like that. Since these were my first grandchildren, I was the only one out of the six that didn’t already have a “grandmother name”.  In that little group there were four Maw Maws, a Meme and a Memaw.

The day after the twins were born, when I was at the hospital, Nikki asked me what I wanted to be called.  I told her that since the other five grandmothers had names that started with ‘M’, I wouldn’t add to the confusion.  I said, “I’ll be Grammy”.

And I was Grammy; that is until those boys started to talk.  At that point, I became… Mammy.  And that was o.k. – as a matter of fact, I like that name.

My third grandchild was born today. I’m glad that what she will call me has long been settled by her older brothers.  So, ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages,
focus your attention on the center ring of the Jaques Circus as I introduce Josie Lynn Jaques

Mammy’s little baby.

The Wind Came

The wind came,

or maybe it was the breath of God.

I could feel it touching me,

urging me to breathe it in, and I did…

deep breaths, cleansing breaths, healing breaths.

I could feel and hear

the pulse, that gives a distinct beat to my life, growing stronger;

a rhythm that defines who I am.

There was laughter and singing and tears.

The Wind came…

and I have been different ever since.




Phase 2B … Move-in ready

It did not seem to be quite as hot today, praise the Lord, which added to my excitement about bringing my little project to a close.

So, this morning I cut pieces out of some angle iron

in order to be able to bend it into a couple of braces.

Then I put the braces between the floor of the stall and the outside wall so that I could fill in the gap with a piece of decking.

As usual, I had plenty of help.

Then I framed around the top and sides of the opening with 2×4’s. Later I will put trim around the outside.

After putting three bags of bedding on the floor of the stall, it is FINALLY

move-in ready.