Lauren’s 35th birthday present has been completed! Yes, Lauren turned 35 in February 2019. Better late than never! She has long wanted me to build a replacement dining table. The one I built in 2013, though it received high acclaim, had issues with lots of wide cracks and uneven surfaces on the top. So, out it went onto the backyard patio. I worked on and off for several weeks and produced yet another Ana White plan. This table lacks the character of the old one, but is sturdier and much flatter, smoother, and without gaps for food crumbs to get stuck in.

Out with the old: The 2013 handcrafted table has wound up outside. A very nice picnic table.


In with the new: The new table needs some new seating, but that will wait for another day. I think this one was better built, sturdier, and better finished.

The other project was a quick one. The tool shed doesn’t have much life left in it, I’m afraid. It is literally falling apart in several places. We don’t need anything fancy out there, just a place to stash some lawn tools and stuff, so I’m not terribly concerned with re-siding it or something. In the mean time, I boarded up some rotting sections of the shed and then covered them up with some new planters! It took ten big landscaping timbers and some very large nails to build these, but it took just 3-4 hours total. We filled them up with soil and threw some plants in there that are almost sure to die in quick order with 100s now in the forecast.

Before, you can see how ugly the bottom is looking.


After! Who ever knew there was a problem?

A third woodworking project is in full swing as well, as Lauren has requested a new king size bed frame to go along with the new mattress we ordered over Memorial Weekend. We have long been in a queen bed because that’s all that would fit in the old apartment, which was 8 years ago. Time to upgrade. I’ve once again been handed plans from Ana White’s website and will begin building the bed in pieces, transport them upstairs, and assemble them in the bedroom.

Travel Planned

In other news, we are all booked for a week-long trip to South Dakota to visit the Glanzers. While John and I stopped in Watertown for a couple nights last summer, we haven’t been all the way back to the farm since Christmas 2018. And I don’t think I’ve been anywhere outside Texas over the 4th of July holiday since 2010.

We will fly from Austin to Dallas to Sioux Falls on the 2nd and return the 9th. I am excited to get out of a city for the first time in 2020. Since the clock turned to midnight, I have either been in Austin, Tulsa, Las Vegas, or Greenville, SC (or the air between those cities) every single second of the year. Isn’t that weird? Well, maybe I got as far north as Round Rock or Cedar Park, the Austin suburbs. I am excited to perhaps just go stand in an empty pasture or field. John is very excited to drive some farm vehicles. Edie I’m sure will be thrilled to see some cows up-close. Lauren will probably just work remotely from the farm.

I am not worried about flying during the pandemic, personally. As long as we continue to take safety precautions as we have been, we’ll be fine. We have been model pandemic citizens, rarely leaving home, wearing masks when shopping, keeping distance from neighbors, washing hands thoroughly, etc. I have heard parts of rural SD are getting hammered by coronavirus, so we’ll have to play it safe once we get there!