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Blog entry by stefang posted 12-20-2017 12:56 PM 2072 reads 0 times favorited 54 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just wanted to let you all know that I am now back on-line and looking forward to renewing our dialog. I have missed sorely being a part of LJ over the last year. I have turned my LJ email notifications back on and to my surprise found quite a few messages from LJ friends that I have yet to reply to. My apologies and I will get back to you shortly.

My sad story (No crying please)
As you might recall, I was finishing up my wooden gear clock project just before last Christmas. I was hanging it on the wall in our den when something went very wrong with my back. I have been having serious back problems most of my life, but progressively worse into my old age. I was diagnosed with a degenerative condition which was not possible to operate. This left me sitting most of the days in my recliner. I also have arthritis and just sitting around put me into pretty bad shape, so bad that I now find it very difficult to move around and especially to walk even short short distances.

I haven’t improved physically a whole lot in the past year, but I have learned to cope with it better after a rough time, but only recently have I had any interest in woodworking or doing anything at all in my shop. Last month I decided that I would try to do some easy scroll saw projects so I could mainly sit while working. I got a basket pattern and made 6 woven baskets for the ladies in the family. That worked out real well so I looked around for some other simple projects and found a motorcycle with sidecar puzzel project from Make CNC and I made 6 of those for the men in the family. These projects kick-started my enthusiasm to return to woodworking. The motorcycle was just flat cut-outs using plywood, but I did have to prepare some solid maple stock for the baskets, so I learned to drag my shop stool with me to the bandsaw and the drum sander and of course to my workbench to prepare the patterns. Anyway, it seems that I can still make stuff, but I get tired out pretty quick, so I am hoping that this might improve and that I can become more active with time and exercise.

I hate to post just words, especially ones filled with self-pity, so I have included some photos of my not too interesting projects just completed in time for Christmas.

Motorcycle puzzle approx. 120 pieces
I painted the edges of the plywood with acrylic water based paint to hide the plywood layers. It is otherwise unfinished.

Woven Baskets cut from a single board except for the vertical strips.

In closing I want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!! and I hope that I am welcome back.

Thanks for reading.


-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

54 comments so far

View Schwieb's profile


1897 posts in 4067 days

#1 posted 12-20-2017 01:04 PM

Mike, So nice to hear from you again. I’ve missed you. Those projects are first class work as you have always done. Maybe your coming back will motivate me to do some posting again too. I always enjoyed being in touch with people that like to make stuff from around the world. Merry Christmas.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View hunter71's profile


3477 posts in 3792 days

#2 posted 12-20-2017 01:05 PM

Glad your on the mend, Merry Christmas

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Serradura's profile


176 posts in 2549 days

#3 posted 12-20-2017 01:17 PM

Good to see you back! Hope you find ways to spend more time in doing the things you like to do! Happy Christmas and best wishes! BTW. That motorcycle looks awesome!

-- Não só Serradura, Tomar, Portugal

View patron's profile


13694 posts in 3947 days

#4 posted 12-20-2017 01:19 PM

welcome back !

glad you are finding some time to get into some woodworking again

we may be slower
but the joy is still here

have a great christmas
and a enjoy the new year

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

813 posts in 4439 days

#5 posted 12-20-2017 01:22 PM

Wonderful to have you back. Have missed your posts. Praying for your recovery. Miss the Dragons too! Merry Christmas friend.

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2810 days

#6 posted 12-20-2017 01:26 PM

Well thats the best NEWS I have seen in a long while.

Santa has given me an early Christmas present yee ha

I too have missed your input I feel kinda silly now as I have been PMing other LJs I even tried telephoning you and all sorts of other attempts (which I guess you will find eventually) to restore contact.

No worries mate your most certainly welcome back!!

Love your latest creations And Merry Christmas take it easy on the Maypole dancing during the festive season

-- Regards Rob

View Brit's profile


7889 posts in 3449 days

#7 posted 12-20-2017 01:34 PM

Great to hear form you Mike. Sorry to hear about your back problems. You don’t seem to have lost any of your skill and flair though judging by the project photos you posted above. Very impressive work my friend.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16339 posts in 3224 days

#8 posted 12-20-2017 01:36 PM

A smile on my face, heard from Mike today! :-)

So good to read a post and comments from you. Awesome bike and basket, too! Sorry to hear about the pain, and welcome back!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7122 posts in 3959 days

#9 posted 12-20-2017 01:51 PM

It’s so nice to see you here on LJ’s again Mike. I’ve been wondering what happened to you. From time to time I looked for you when polking around LJ’s. And this morning to my surprise there you are once again!
I’m very sorry to hear about your health issues but I’m happy to hear you are keeping your chin up and you have a positive attitude. Prayers are coming your way in hopes for a quicker recovery.
The projects you posted are really nice. I think your side car motorcycle is super cool and is my favorite. I hope to see these projects you have posted here and many more on the projects page! I’m sure everyone would love to see them.

Now that you are back….you’ve made my Christmas an even better one!

Merry Christmas to you and yours Mike!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View shipwright's profile


8453 posts in 3404 days

#10 posted 12-20-2017 02:11 PM

Best post on LJ this year!

As you can see Mike lots of us were worried about you. It was a real treat to see the notification this morning that you had posted. Not such good news about your back but as we all know, getting old ain’t for sissies. :-)
I’m so glad you are coping well enough to enjoy life such as it is and are able to get into the shop and to get back online.
Of course I am impressed with the motorcycle and the baskets, good work under any conditions and an inspiration under yours.

Welcome back my friend!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View a1Jim's profile


117908 posts in 4183 days

#11 posted 12-20-2017 02:13 PM

So glad to see you’re still with us Mike I was very concerned when I didn’t get a PM back from you. I’m so sorry to hear about your back pain, poor Bob aka Grizzman suffered from terrible back pain for years before we lost him but had found a new device that seemed to give him relief the last few months.
I’m so glad you’re able to get back in the shop, your baskets and Motorcycle puzzle are way cool great job.

As woodshaver said
Now that you are back….you’ve made my Christmas an even better one!

Your in my prayers Have a wonderful Christmas my friend


View hairy's profile


3004 posts in 4138 days

#12 posted 12-20-2017 02:16 PM

It’s good to see you here again.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View knockknock's profile


473 posts in 2779 days

#13 posted 12-20-2017 02:20 PM

Welcome back, you were missed.

-- 👀 --

View Bobsboxes's profile


1399 posts in 3270 days

#14 posted 12-20-2017 02:42 PM

Welcome back Mike, glad to have you back. Merry Christmas.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View Dutchy's profile


3508 posts in 2774 days

#15 posted 12-20-2017 02:50 PM

Dear Mike,

So glad to see you back here on LJ. Many times I have thought of you and wondering what exactly was going on. Yes I new of your artrites but seeing nothing here on LJ for a long time made me anxious. I apreciated your encouragement and missed it, but who knows that this will hapen again in the future.

I wish you all the best old tough buddy!


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