Weekly Chat: March 5, 2021

I hadn’t planned a chat so quickly into March… but, since watching Kate on The Homely House all day… “spinning” has creeped back into my “want to do” list again. So, I’m thinking… if you really want to do something, why am I waiting to only end up never doing what I really want. Somewhere back in my DNA… there must seriously be “crafting” in my genes. Even back to my ancestors in the Blueridge mountains in Georgia, they was spinners and weavers, even one was a “hatter”… and not a mad hatter I hope, but he seemed to be pretty well-known for his hat skills, but I don’t have that on my horizon of wants yet… maybe hubby might fare better at that skill.

As I’m writing this afternoon, I’m listening to the hum of hubby’s sander in the basement… humming quietly up through the floor as he works on the three lap desks for the granddaughters in Florida. When we cleaned out his parents house, we found this small lap desk his father had made from scraps… I’m told the lap top desk was from their original kitchen cabinets. Hubby found it upstairs when we cleaned out… and remembered it being there as long as…. but he had no memory of ever using it… and now no one to ask why Dad made it, but I’m sure he had a plan. Hubby brought it home, thinking we might use it when working on projects in the living room… and he was so right, as we both use it often. As the granddaughters discovered it… they began to fight over who was using it first… and that led to me asking… “Can you make three more?” I included one in that request for me… so now I don’t have to share! No fighting now, as there is always two here… and we delivered two to their home that Pop built just for them.

Here are our two lap desks… at present my EPP (English Paper Piecing) project is sitting on one… and you can see already marks on the other one as I’m not easy with it, but that’s what it’s for… to be used. Dad would be happy seeing it in use… finally! And he would have been the one making all the extra ones if he was here… it would have been his pleasure to!

Hubby was unaware of me hovering overhead as I snuck the photo of him sanding a desktop! I had snuck down in the basement… where I seldom venture… and one day I”ll take you on a tour of hubby’s domain of tools, cuckoo clocks and cast iron pans… and lots of my stuff that I forgot I even have… until I ramble about down there. On this excursion, I ascended up with a Titanic book to gift granddaughter Ella and some fabric for me, that I brought home a few summers ago from mom’s… it might be perfect for a rag quilt I have planned… just need to get moving on… becoming the Doer… not the Dreamer!

On  my way down the stairs, I discovered his bowl of lap-desk legs. I think he secretly had planned these three desks without telling me… so sweet! The girls will be thrilled with a handmade gift from Pop… and I hope they always treasure their table and brings them memories forever of him! These pieces are from his stash of cut up ladders… LOL! He had an 18-foot Flint ladder that was rotting away… and naturally he couldn’t throw out the good parts. So pieces of those ladders became the small legs to the lap tables… see why you need a stash!

The three sanded desk tops… waiting for stain and a final polish for traveling!

These two granddaughters were the first recipients of Pop’s lap-desks… and after the Florida girls receive theirs, I’ll return to post a photo of them… so check back in after Easter… and do hope I remember!

Back to saving “stuff”… In days long gone, our grandparents and great-grandparents didn’t throw anything out… like many still do today. Hubby and I both do have a hard time throwing things out… hubby has a wood stash in the cellar like I have a craft stash. And that wood stash mostly came from his father’s stash… and where he harvested all the wood for those lap desks… giving it a new life rather than the land field. It reminds me of how our grandfather’s had a “to use pile” behind their barn or garage for when something was needed for a repair. There was no Home Depot or corner mom & pop hardware store to run to… and if you had to hitch up the horse and buggy to get there, well it was easier to walk to your own stash pile. My grandfather had such a pile, and I do remember seeing it as a small child, but in not knowing better, I looked at it as trash… little did I know it was his treasure pile!

I remember when I first learned about repurposing things… in seeing my grandfather place old ceramic white door knobs into the chicken laying nests. It always fascinated me… as they weren’t eggs, and I couldn’t understand why he laid them there. I did manage to scoff one away and still have it today… and it reminds me of that snapshot in my mind of granddaddy’s three chicken laying boxes nailed up on the front of his smokehouse… If only my mind could print that picture… or if I was handy talented enough to sketch that photo!

Here is a photo of granddaddy’s smoke house… and looks like one of those old chicken laying nests might still be there. This was a favorite place of mine to always ramble in as it also held treasures inside… discarded from the house, but still might be needed; Grandmama’s canning jars could always be found sitting on shelves inside. The only thing that kept it locked was a small piece of wood that turned on a nail, in keeping the door shut. As I stepped inside I always was just a little scared as I feared I might discover a snake or a mouse inside, but it never kept me from venturing in!

I’ve since learned why granddaddy did the doorknob thing… it was to fool the laying hens so they felt that there still was an egg in their nest, encouraging them to sit and lay… they must really be a dumb animal… but I hope not! I’d love to have laying hens, but I don’t think hubby is going to build, or allow me to have a chicken coop… as he knows he’d be stuck with the maintenance! I do remember feeding grandaddy’s chicken in the yard… throwing corn feed from a pail and watch them all come running. The one part I didn’t particular like was gathering eggs from within the chicken house… as feathers often floating around and who likes stepping in chicken poop! Granddaddy had a special chicken basket for egg gathering… and it often holds one of my knitting projects today. (And naturally I can’t find that white door knob for a photo… seems I just saw it recently, but isn’t that always the case… Oh Well)

If only I was younger, and had had the insight of how my life maybe could have been better on a farm… I might have kept my grandfather’s farm before mama had to sell it. Oh well… Dreamer’s Dream, and Doers Do… or so they say!

Here are those very kitchen cabinets that hubby made the lap desks from… saved by his father after the remodel of the kitchen in the 60’s. L.toR: Jimmy Donahue, Steve (hubby) with father Stef Insalaco.

I soon will be acquiring a new item to my craft world of things that keep me busy, and probably has my husband shaking his head, but he never denies me! This will be new to me as I’ve never crafted in this way, although I’m not new to yarn as I knit and crochet… but it is an art I’ve always wanted to learn. If you’ve ever spun wool… do let me hear from you as I’m still in the process of deciding on the brand of wheel, but I do pretty much have it narrowed down. I know my mother always told me that I have too many irons in the fire… but what’s one more… better late than never! I’ve always wanted to spin, and often drooled over all the antique spinning wheels in our travels, but I knew better than to buy one… as I knew nothing about them. At present the “Lendrum” seems to be in the top running for my first purchase. Any thoughts… suggestions… send them now before I buy… as spinning is what I will be adding to my list of hobbies… and hoping one of the granddaughters might be interested to learn!

I hope you’ve enjoyed your coffee along with the long read today… my secure mug has been sitting alongside me… and I’ve managed to keep the top locked down… hence no spilling! I’ve become better at “not spilling” upon acquiring this snap-top travel mug… and it travels daily to the living room with me!


If you’d like to read my other Weekly Chats… click over HERE.

© 2021, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Daily Writings and funnies..., WEEKLY CHAT and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Weekly Chat: March 5, 2021

  1. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    As aspec ed and assisting tech specialist,i made lap desks from almost everything yo fit wheel chair trays, table space and floor space. Essential equiptment.

    Liked by 1 person

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