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  • Welcome to the RunnerDuck Blog

    We use to publish a monthly newsletter but decided to step up and do a blog instead. Just like our newsletter we will update this "newsletter" about once a month.
    Each month we bring you news from our little town of Coupeville, WA and happenings around the island we live on.
    We hope you enjoy our blog and we'd encourage you to sign up for email notification since it doesn't update all that frequently.
    Ken and Marilyn

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October 2, 2010


We received a number of positive responses to our blog method of getting our newsletter out. We’re glad you like it and this is number 2! If all went right there should also be a couple of buttons near the bottom that will allow you to share this with your friends on FaceBook. Give it a try to tell you friends about RunnerDuck.

After a rather disappointing summer, weather wise, we have been enjoying a beautiful fall. We’ve had a number of sunny days with temperatures reaching almost 70 degrees F. We know it won’t last but it sure is fun for now.

Enjoying Ken’s first month of retirement has been great. As you may recall I retired in late August and has been busy ever since. It’s hard to recall all that we’ve done but it included a camping trip in our new 5th Wheel, a soccer game with our grandson Camden and his family, working in the woodshop, taking numerous short trips around the island and basically enjoying life! If you’re the kind of person that really enjoys doing a lot of different things I highly recommend retirement, are you listening sister?

Speaking of soccer and our grandson, his team won their game and he scored five goals which included a hat trick in the first half. We were very impressed with his effort and how well the team played.

To make sure the good life continues for many years to come Ken’s been walking an hour a day which is about four miles. Coupeville is a good walking town with lots to see and interesting people to meet. Last week he met a retired minister who in his 70’s swims in Penn Cove every day. It’s salt water and is typically  54 degrees F in the summer and 44 in the winter, burr. I think I’ll stick with walking 😉

The scarecrows are starting to show up for the annual Coupeville Scarecrow Contest. Every year businesses, organizations and the public put out fun and interesting scarecrows in hopes of winning the contest.

I saw these two during my walk yesterday. The theme this year is “Your Favorite Children’s Story”. I’m not sure what the Whidbey Island Rollers story is in the first picture but the second one certainly is “Jack and Jill”.

What’s New?

As you know I [Ken] am woodworker and have a fairly well equipped woodshop. I had a nice bench that was actually Marilyn’s before we got married but it was getting tired and the particle board top was starting to sag. I bit the bullet and bought a new one and boy is it nice.

It’s a Sojberg cabinet maker’s bench made in Sweden. The two vises, one on one end and one on the side, are really great, all I had before was little metal working vise. The storage cabinet under the bench is great with six drawers and an open center area. The best thing about it is it weighs 341 pounds which makes it very stable when planing or doing anything else on it. It came as a kit and everything fit perfectly. It only took a few hours to put together and I’m sure it will give a lifetime of pleasure.

Site of the Month

There are a number of good home improvement and woodworking sites on the internet but one that we really enjoy is Tim Carters, Ask the Builder. His home improvement tips are spot on and he has many great and honest tool reviews. He’s a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, contractor, builder and all around interesting guy. He also publishes an interesting newsletter that you can subscribe to.

To find out more and learn many tricks of the trade go to www.askthebuilder.com and look around.

Marilyn’s Corner

This month I’ve got a really pretty shell necklace to make. Living on an island it seems we always have lots of shells around so it’s fun to make things out of them. This necklace is simple and fun to make but also looks nice. This is a fun project for the kids to help with so be sure to get them involved.

I drilled a hole in the top of the shell just big enough to put the ribbon through. Some shells actually have a hole already there.

Cut a ribbon to a length that will fit over your head and hang down where you want.

Thread beads onto each side of the ribbon and put the ends through the hole in the shell. Put one bead on the inside of the shell and tie the ribbon ends together.

That’s it, very simple but elegant!

Joke of the Month

A long time ago “Little Johnny” jokes were all the rage. It looks like Larry is taking over 🙂

A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying, “Everyone who thinks they’re stupid, stand up!” After a few seconds, Little Larry stood up. The teacher said, “Do you think you’re stupid, Larry?” “No, ma’am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!”

Larry watched, fascinated, as his mother smoothed cold cream on her face. “Why do you do that, mommy?” he asked. “To make myself beautiful,” said his mother, who then began removing the cream with a tissue. “What’s the matter,” asked Larry “Giving up?”

The math teacher saw that Larry wasn’t paying attention in class. She called on him and said, “Larry! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?’ Larry quickly replied, ‘NBC, FOX, ESPN and the Cartoon Network!”

Larry’s kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures tacked to a bulletin board of the 10 most wanted criminals. One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person. “Yes,” said the policeman. “The detectives want very badly to capture him.” Larry asked, “Why didn’t you keep him when you took his picture?”

Little Larry attended a horse auction with his father. He watched as his father moved from horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horse’s legs and rump, and chest. After a few minutes, Larry asked, ‘Dad, why are you doing that?’ His father replied, “Because when I’m buying horses, I have to make sure that they are healthy and in good shape before I buy.” Larry, looking worried, said, “Dad, I think the UPS guy wants to buy Mom ….”

Recipe of the Month

Green Tomato Mincemeat

We along with many other people had a pretty poor tomato growing season this year. We still have a number of plants with many green tomatoes that we know are not going to ripen. It would be a terrible thing to throw them away when there is such a wonderful recipe for them. We call this mincemeat even though there is no suet in it.

  • 8 Pounds Green Tomatoes
  • 4 Pounds of Raisins
  • 4 Pounds Brown Sugar
  • 16 Chopped Apples (large)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 Cup Butter

Grind the Tomatoes and Raisins.

Add all other ingredients.

Let stand overnight.

Next morning cook for 1 hour on medium heat. Stir frequently.

Fill jars while hot and seal (no need to process).

Makes 7 1/2 to 8 quarts.

You can cut the recipe in half for 2 pies. Use 2 crusts and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes and then 350 – 375 degrees F for 1/2 hour.

You can also use this as a condiment with meat.

Woodworking Project

This month I decided to make a Veggie Bin for you.

Our garden has been harvested and now we need a place to put the fruits of our labor. Potatoes and onions needed a nice place to stay fresh until we eat them. I came up this this three compartment vegetable bin and it works great. I’m giving more of a photo and description of this project as opposed to detailed plans. I think you’ll be able to make one by looking through what I have.

A couple of comments about this project:

The dimensions are approximate. Due to all the angles I sort of made this project as I went so the pieces were made to fit.<BR>
All the angles are 45 degrees or 90 degrees.

The build sequence allows for the best fit so different parts were made after others to confirm the measurements.

I made it from 1/2″ plywood that I got at a big box store. It wasn’t the highest grade of plywood but for the purpose of this project it worked just fine.

To see the complete project go to www.runnerduck.com/veggie_bin/veggie_bin.htm.

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4 Responses

  1. Enjoy the new bench… what was your source to purchase?

  2. I really like your new blog. That new work table is beautiful. I downloaded the veggie bin and hope to make one in the next day or so. I hope you are enjoying your retirement as much as I am.

  3. Looking great. Keep it up!

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