Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ten Years and Counting

Today, Isderf and I celebrate our tenth year of wedding bliss. Ten years... it's gone by so fast. In actuality, we've been together for 16, cause it took him awhile to finally pop the question!

Isderf and I went to high school together and shared a number of classes throughout our time there. However, it wasn't until our senior year that we really came into contact on a daily basis. Then he almost blew it by telling me I looked like Charlie Chaplin. Yah, that wasn't one of his brightest moments. But like warts, he began to grow on me.

At the end of our senior year, my friends decided we HAD to attend the last dance of the year - MORP. We were too cheap, and could have really cared less, to go to Prom and as MORP was girl ask guy, I had to find a date. Isderf was lucky, by this time he was just calling me Charlie as a nick name and I'd begun to take a little more notice.

And so it began, I asked him to MORP and he said yes. Then he just didn't go away. We had even applied to the same college.

Five years later, he proposed - sort of. I had to verify that it was an actual proposal and his friends were impressed with the simplicity of it, probably a little awed that I said yes too.

We've been through apartment floods, house's with water under them, more diy home projects than I'd like to admit, and job changes. We've been through pregnancies, labor, and surgeries (Isderf's sage advice, "Don't piss off the pregnant woman."). I've learned so many interesting, and some not-so-interesting, things while watching him go from one hobby to the next ("So...THAT's how you render fat....ewwww.").

It's been a great 10 years hon. Thanks for the memories, the children, and all the entertainment you've provided throughout the years. Here's to at least 10 more.

By the way, I looked really hard for our first date picture, but couldn't find it. Once I found a picture that would work in its stead, the scanner wouldn't work... sorry!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Unmentionable Toys in the Garage?

To start it off, everyone who reads my blogs knows that Isderf is a professional hobbiest. He's always trying something new or bringing home something to turn into something else. And now that our families and friends have joined in, he's always taking things apart and dreaming up new uses for them.

When Isderf first developed his interest in old tools (hand planes, hand saws and just about anything else that doesn't plug in) he wasn't happy just using these tools. First of all, we didn't have the money for him t

o get on Lee Valley dot com and outfit his garage, so he was pretty good about picking up cheap items at yard sales and estate sales. The problem with these is that most are in pretty bad shape, so he had to learn to fix them. And sharpen them... oh oh oh... and you know what would be really really cool - if he could make his own!

Thus his interest in building a furnace and a sand box to pour molds in and his treadle lathe so that he could lathe handles for these newly made tools.

For those of you who've done any metal melting and such, I'm sure you know all the cools things you could accumulate for such a hobby. I was unaware that he'd need things like a forge and a blower and a really big anvil. And that forges didn't need to be big brick structures with fiery coals - no a few bricks stacked together and a propane tank will do in a pinch.

Now picture this, you're sitting at home, taking care of the kids and your husband comes home from an estate sale almost giddy. He's just about hopping up and down like our six year old on soda pop and babbling about getting a blower for $50. Okay, I'm not up with a lot of things these days, but that sounded about right. What threw me was that he was actually TELLING me this. And THEN, he wanted to SHOW me.

Come on, I can't be the only one who thought what I did. I wasn't thinking about melting metals or forges or even cool hand tools. I just knew he was way too excited and happy to be telling me this information.

Turns out a blower is a hand cranked machine that blows air into a forge, who knew? So now Isderf has a nifty hand crank blower for his propane powered forge. You can imagine the remarks and miles we've gotten out of that one. Here's a pic of it when he purchased it, since then he's cleaned it up quite a bit and it's shiny now.

So other than a blower, what else could we possibly have in our garage that makes us all break into giggles... how about a vibrator. Okay, I know Isderf is going to have a fit over that name, technically its a brass tumbler for cleaning ammo.

Have you seen a brass tumbler? It looks innocent enough, but it does do a lot of shaking. Now, a store bought tumbler takes a couple of hours to get the brass nice and shiny.

Now close your eyes and imagine that a family member was nice enough to give you a pressure washer, unfortunately the seals have gone - but the motor is still good. Add some old tupperware, about $1 worth of nuts and screws, and you have your own handy dandy homemade brass tumbler that not only cleans your brass within 30 minutes, but tries making it's way out the door at the same time.

That thing MOVES. It vibrates its way all over the place and is so loud, it has to be done outside and with hearing protection.

So now we have a blower and a vibrator, neither has been used much though. In fact, I don't think the blower ever got a work out. I know that the vibrator has been used a few times to test it out and then it got moved into my dad's workshop to stave off any complaints from the neighbors.