50d3db31It’s way too cold to warm-up the shop and carve! I actually need to finish-up those (12) American Avocet Stick-Decoys before we head ‘south in a few weeks. June needs to paint them so we will have the door-prize we have promised for the Carver’s Banquet at the Middletown Woodcarving Show, the first weekend of March. This is the fourth year for the Stick-Decoys; a different species each year. Our personal collection includes the Killdeer, Golden Plover, Sanderling and soon, the Avocet. for several decades, we’ve declined requests by Woodcarving Shows at every Show to “donate” a carving for their “Silent Auctions” or for a Carver’s Banquet Door-prize because they simply cost too much to give away. Then, several years ago at the Cincinnati Woodcarver’s Show, June bought raffle tickets, won a beautiful Rainbow Trout carving by World Class Carver, Bob Hawkins. Bob had the generosity to donate this wonderful carving to be raffled off. Although I’m not as generous as he, I’ve contemplated the issues and came up with the Stick Decoy idea. It doesn’t hurt as much to give away a $50.00 carving (yes, some of these have sold for that amount!) as a $200-300.00 carving. I actually told Bob that his fish was now for sale for $800.00. He chuckled a bit-confusedly. We restrict these donations to being door-prizes to be won by carvers at the banquets we attend. We get a little thrill when a Stick-Decoy is given to one of our carving friends at each banquet that we attend. I was kind of glad today when my friend Zane suggested on the phone that he’d bring “food” over at noon. We normally have lunch somewhere once a week. That practice was born many years ago when I was still a banker and he, a customer, friend and a CPA. The conflict is, that since retiring, my pact with Mother Nature is that I’m not very likely to venture out if the weather doesn’t cooperate to allow the top on my Miata Sportscar to remain “down”. That goes “double” in the winter! So, we did enjoy the Arby’s Market Fresh Sandwiches that Zane picked-up on the way over here today. This weather is definitely not cooperating. Snow everywhere and twice as much more is on the way. Can’t carve in this cold and won’t watch TV during the day-time! June’s still at work so, here I sit, blogging my heart out to you. Not complaining! Retirement is a true blessing.

Happy birding and carving, Bill