Don’t Blink

Growing up, my parents didn’t miss my sports, they didn’t miss a summer without camping, and they made sure we knew we were their priority.  My In-laws did the same for my wife in a big way.  From Baseball games to Lacrosse matches, both pairs of parents made it a priority.  With that in mind, my summer goals were simple, make memories with my family on the field and in our home.

Mid-way through the summer, I am proud to say we have crushed a lot of house projects, watched the kids play baseball, softball, soccer and the oldest start his first real job.  Many times work, builds, and bills can be on our mind.  I am the first to admit these things far too often burden my plate.   As I draw up some new plans for the second half of the summer, they will continue to be kid centered and family approved.

Don’t blink, don’t sleep on the memories to be made.  Be in the moment, watch your kids sports, clear your mind.  Go for ice cream, plan a camping trip, un-plug.  Next month, we head off to our annual family camping trip and I can’t wait.  5 days, limited cell service, and lots of dirt!

As for projects, the first half of the summer saw my kids get some sweet trampoline stairs, our Kayaks get a new home, a landing spot for our shoes, and our cooler get some wheels.  The next half of the summer looks like some new back yard games, maybe some bedroom furniture, and who knows.  One thing I do know, is my kids and wife will be driving the ideas.

 

Stay Safe as always, and build from the heart.

No Tool Snobbery to see here……

Last summer, while my project list picked up, I quickly learned I was bringing a plastic spoon to a knife fight.  I know I am not the only one who started a project ill-prepared with quality tools. The tools I had gotten when I moved into my first house in 2007 were no longer relevant, and barely useful. Over the course of last summer I spent more time waiting for batteries to charge then I did building. Why am I sharing this with you?  Because over this past year I have been blessed to add many tools to my shop, including many Ridgid tools.  I personally love how tough the Ridgid tool brand is, the Lifetime Service Agreement, and of course…..the color. That said, one thing you wont find here at Ginger Woodworks is Tool Snobbery. We all started somewhere and there is a place for every tool. When I talk tools, I will find the positive. It may be the value, it could be the sale, and it could just be the quality. In every product you have ever used, there are good encounters and bad encounters. There will be more posts on specific tools that I like, ones that I recommend even, but you wont find me knocking brands here. Many of us are married to brands, sometimes its because we love them and sometimes because the battery cost is as much as a car payment. My advice – you do you. Buy the tools that you can afford and need, and work hard until you have what you want.

Hardwork…..How do your kids see it?

Ask yourself, what do my kids think hard work is?  This is a question I was pondering last summer.  When dad heads off to work, do they really know I work hard, or do they assume I do because I told them so.  As a social worker by trade, not many of the social ills I face on the daily can or do come home with me.  This inevitably leaves me at a loss when trying to educate my kids on what it is to work hard.   Then, one day last spring, I got this crazy idea to build the kids a playhouse for our backyard.  This playhouse had to be big and the kids had to help.  So, after searching online for some plans and pictures, and locating a gently used slide we were off!  After two weeks of cutting, drilling, screwing, and basically waiting for my NiCad batteries to charge we had a playhouse!  What happened next was the real treat; my kids wanted more.  Not more Playhouses, but more builds.  So, we set off on some new projects, and one by one their zest for what dad would come up with next was reaching a fiery pitch.  Each project brought lessons on hard work, precision, dedication and even money management.   Each project also turned this regular Ginger dad into a super hero.  I started hearing things like “dad can build that” or “dad can fix that”.  Its then when I realized, that not only did my kids get to make memories on a cool playhouse, but they were learning first hand with their own eyes what hard work was.  Hard work no longer meant that dad was away from them, rather it meant that we earned what we built with our sweat, smashed fingers, and splinters.