Best Laid Plans

I completed Gretchen’s box at the end of January. Given that it needed time for the oil to cure, it was not until well into February that I shipped it to Seattle. In the meantime, I was already planning my next project. During a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend with my Bride in the north Georgia mountains, antiquing and enjoying the change in the weather, I found some nicely spalted maple boards. Having decided to build another joined chest, I thought the spalted maple would compliment the cherry and oak I had previously set aside.

So, Gretchen’s box was on its way to Seattle, and as I was rough-cutting pieces of oak, cherry, and spalted maple for a joined chest, out of nowhere, I got a pain in my chest like nothing I had ever experienced. Next stop, the Emergency Room! Long story short, after a boatload of tests, the doctors determined I had had a massive gallbladder attack. Next stop, the Operating Room!

Okay, remove the sick gallbladder, and return to normal. Right? Well, not so fast. I had an adverse reaction to the anesthesia. The prostate gland and general anesthesia do not get along, especially in old-timers like me. Long story short, I was down for three weeks recovering from gallbladder surgery and another four weeks to recover from the TURPS procedure to correct the urinary retention. I spent the last week of February, all of March, and the first couple of weeks of April in a recliner.

Thanks to my Bride, Connie, for taking such good care of me and seeing I lifted nothing heavier than a gallon of milk! I needed to follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter. I had already promised to demonstrate mannerist carving and box-making at the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) annual conference at the end of April.

With a couple of weeks to prepare for the 2023 SAPFM conference, I rough-cut some cherry boards and sketched a cockerel motif for my carving/box-making demonstration.

Then it was off to New Bern, North Carolina, for the four-day conference. Although I demonstrated my carving on Saturday and Sunday, I attended presentations by Matt and Calvin Hobbs (Measuring Antiques for Reproduction), Jerome Bias (African American Influence on North Carolina Furniture), Chad Bond (Period Finishes), and Mary May (Carving Linenfold and Drapery). I also received Mary May’s book, Carving the Acanthus Leaf, as a door prize. Am I living right, or what?

I finally got around to finishing this little box last week. I just had to separate the sides from the front…

Nail it together, install the snipe hinges…

And slather on some boiled linseed oil and turpentine.

Now, as soon as I “recover” from my visit with my almost-three-year-old granddaughter, I’ll get back to that joined chest. LOL!

9 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans

  1. Sorry to hear about your gallbladder attack. I had mine removed 23 years ago and don’t miss it. For what it’s worth, if I eat too much greasy food, I can still feel gallbladder pains despite there not being one. Talked to a physician assistant once about this. He had had his gallbladder removed and had the same issue. Just pointing it out in case it happens to you. The internet was relatively young back then and I didn’t have a fast speed. As such, I had never heard of this being a potential issue.

    Liked by 1 person

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