Enjoying my time

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Texas Taco

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Nov 14, 2005
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397
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Southeast Texas
On 05MAR2020 I began burning all my vacation & other PTO hours in preparation for retiring on 23APRIL2020. I'll go back in to the plant on the 23rd to work my last day. Well the last day will actually be only a couple hours to sign my termination papers, say good-bye to my crew, turn in my keys and ID badges. These past two weeks have been great. . . I could actually feel the pressure and stress leaving my body the first couple days I was off, it was an awesome feeling. :) 41 years of shift work and my sleep pattern is not used to one steady schedule, still trying to get accustom to being home with my wife and dog every night schedule.

Every Pen Gathering I've seen advertised in the past has fallen on a weekend I had to work or it was a weekend I had to spend doing things that were put off or delayed due to my work schedule. I attended the M.A.D. Pen Gathering in West Monroe, Louisiana over the weekend and despite the limited number of vendors and folks that attended due to the virus scare/over reaction, I had a good time. Now I'm looking forward to Waco.

While I was in West Monroe I delivered three pens to a cousin that had provided me with some wood from a pecan tree on my grandparents farm. We have a lot of memories of our grandparents and events that are tied to that tree and it was like a loss of a family member when it have to be removed.

Pecan 3-14 . 1.jpg


While I was out at the farm I noticed a slab of an old Pin Oak sitting by the driveway and asked my aunt that lives in the old farmhouse about it ans was told she was waiting on one of her sons to come get it and take it to the burn pile so I grabbed an ax out of the tool to see about quartering the slab so hopefully I could get it small enough I could lift it. My aunt's daughter-in-law showed up and said my cousin had a chainsaw and she would go get it. Well as I was finishing the pin oak she found out about the pecan pens and said my cousin had a bunch of the tree on the burn pile and I could have all I wanted so . . .

Pin Oak and Pecan 1.jpg


I couldn't get to a lot of the pecan because of all the large pine logs on top of it. I've let my cousin know that if he can push the pine off of the pecan with his tractor, I will return for the rest of it.

After I returned to the Houston area a friend saw my comment on Facebook about the wood and called me to see if I wanted some Persimmon. He had cut down a Persimmon and still had some of it that hadn't been burnt and i was welcome to it. So I ran over and grabbed it. While I was there he showed me the next tree, also persimmon that he will be cutting down this fall and said he would let me know so I can get the whole tree. This next one is the largest Persimmon I've ever laid eyes on.
Persimmon 3-17.jpg
 
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eharri446

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Mar 17, 2016
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Marietta, GA
Now you just have to buy enough kits to make pens from all of that wood. First things first get some AnchorSeal and coat the ends of the logs. It will help prevent splits from starting.
 

studioseven

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May 6, 2014
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508
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Wisconsin
I can relate to your shift work. I just started year 39 of it. I get one weekend off per month. We work all holidays except Christmas eve and Christmas. I don't know how many birthdays, concerts, graduations, sporting events and family reunions I have missed over the years. It takes its toll on the family also. I would like to make it to 40 years but am at the point where I say I am only 10 bad days away from retiring. Congrats on surviving and good luck in your retirement.

Seven
 

Texas Taco

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Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
397
Location
Southeast Texas
Now you just have to buy enough kits to make pens from all of that wood. First things first get some AnchorSeal and coat the ends of the logs. It will help prevent splits from starting.
I'm going to seal some of it and others I'm setting up for spalting. The pecan is beyond sealing, it's been on the ground too long to hope for protecting. When I slice off a couple rounds I'll see if it's worth sealing.

I think I will use some of it for bowls, just have to teach myself to turn a bowl.
 

mark james

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Sep 6, 2012
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Medina, Ohio
This is a great thread - I'm very happy for you. For 42 years I was up at 4:15 AM (High School, College, Work). After being retired for 4 years I am still waking up at 4:15 AM, but now I can roll over and sleep longer if I wish/can.

Very nice haul on the wood! Enjoy.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
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Wolf Creek Montana
Enjoy retirement. I've found that shop time takes care of the wife issues plus it's fun and you can listen to any kind of music or do anything, within reason, you want. I retired 6 years ago and have loved every minute of it. My day started at 1:00am, usually catching a plane or beating commute traffic in the Bay Area, and ended between 9:00-10:00pm. My body learned to function with just 4 hours sleep. My Dr. told me if I didn't knock it off I wouldn't see retirement. Enjoy your new life and keep active and busy. I've found now that I'm busier than when I was working, and it's all fun stuff. Enjoy your new life :).
 

Texas Taco

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
397
Location
Southeast Texas
This is a great thread - I'm very happy for you. For 42 years I was up at 4:15 AM (High School, College, Work). After being retired for 4 years I am still waking up at 4:15 AM, but now I can roll over and sleep longer if I wish/can.

Very nice haul on the wood! Enjoy.

I sure plan to do what I can about enjoying the wood.

Our shifts were 0430 to1630 and 1630 to 0430 but we were usually there @ 0415 or 1615 depending on which shift we were working that week. I've been waking up at 0330 every morning but have been able to roll over most mornings for another 3 to 4 hours.

Enjoy retirement. I've found that shop time takes care of the wife issues plus it's fun and you can listen to any kind of music or do anything, within reason, you want. I retired 6 years ago and have loved every minute of it. My day started at 1:00am, usually catching a plane or beating commute traffic in the Bay Area, and ended between 9:00-10:00pm. My body learned to function with just 4 hours sleep. My Dr. told me if I didn't knock it off I wouldn't see retirement. Enjoy your new life and keep active and busy. I've found now that I'm busier than when I was working, and it's all fun stuff. Enjoy your new life :).

I know the feeling, been running on between 4 and 5 hours sleep. I had a bad spell, body was wore out and I ended up in the hospital. I came to one night with 4 nurses and two aides working on me. My first awareness that night was my nurse saying, maybe shouting in my ear to "come back here, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO RUIN MY NIGHT!!!" It was after that night that set my retirement date for the end of April 2020. I did the last 28 months to reach this and I won't return willingly to my old position. These first two weeks of being off have been busy, told my wife today that if Woodcraft had still had their Help Wanted sign up I would have applied so I could go somewhere to rest.
 
Joined
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Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
I think I will use some of it for bowls, just have to teach myself to turn a bowl.

I think bowls are actually easier to turn than pens... turned pens for the 5 years I was in Houston after I got my lathe, then switch to bowls and pepper mills after I retired to Tennessee.... if the Pecan is spalted at all, you're in for some beautiful wood... and likely some very hard wood.... the persimmon is usually close grain and will be pretty hard as well. the Woods in a golf set are usually made from persimmon. I have two persimmons in the lot across the road from me that I'm waiting to die... :D ... I don't know the person who owns the property, but I believe my next door neighbor is a cousin to them....
 
Joined
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Messages
7,573
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Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
I feel for you in the shift work... I only worked shift work for about 11 or 12 years when I was with the airlines... usually a 3 to 11 or an 11 to 7 shift... never had the seniority to get on days.... after the 11 or 12 years there I quit and took a job where I could work from 8 am to about 10 pm.... usually first in the office and last to leave.... I've been retired 15 years now and love every minute of it... no schedule, no pressure.
 
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