Beautiful views

Prosecco country in Italy

On our recent trip to Italy, Antonella and her husband took us on a quick tour of the Prosecco country in the Veneto region. What beautiful country. Here are a few photos of our Sunday drive through this region.

Of course, there needs to be some sampling, too. Here we found a winery we just dropped by and knocked on the door, even though they were closed. Luckily, the mother of the wine maker was there and insisted that we come in, sample some wine, and await her son to get out of the shower!  What a nice visit and what wonderful wine!

Work in progress

John the Carver Man

When we were in Maua, and next door to our hotel, we met a wonderful person named “John the Carver Man.” He has a little booth set up on the street where he works all day carving and selling his wares to the public, especially those tourists or missionaries who are at the hotel next to him.

John has such a pleasing personality and was fun to visit with each day. We saw some of his work at Jim and Sue’s house at the Maua Methodist Hospital compound, and just fell in love with it.

On about Tuesday of our week in Maua, we saw a very short ebony log and asked John if he would carve something for us. The log was not very big, but John had a vision of carving three elephants in it, one large and two small, because the log was larger on one end and then tapered off. That sounded fine to us and we then negotiated a price for this work. Once we did this, I asked John if we could photograph him working on the project throughout the week and he said yes. The log came from Mount Kenya, and John picked it up himself.

Each night, Jackie and I would go by and see how the elephants were coming along. Some of our fellow missionaries would go by and check on John’s progress and tease us that they were going to outbid us for the elephants. Luckily, they did not and we were able to pick the finished piece on Thursday night of that week.

The elephants are headed home with us, and we look forward to displaying them at our house. We told John we would send a photo of them in their new home when they arrive.

Wainscoting and crown moulding

Dining room renovations

For some time, Jackie has asked me to renovate our dining room to include crown moulding and wainscoting. After finally agreeing to a long-requested new flooring (that is a sore point itself), Jackie got her wish and selected some wonderful wood flooring. With new flooring coming, Jeff had to get after designing and creating the new dining room.

I began by looking at Houzz to see all of the wonderful photos of homes, both inside and outside, they post. I found a particular type of wainscoting that I liked where it had two panels stacked together. I am not sure that I did the same wonderful quality that was shown in the Houzz photo, but I did my best.

I did a three-component crown moulding where I had a base board on the wall and ceiling and put the traditional crown moulding on it. I had put up crown moulding before, but never a multiple component one. For the wainscoting, I used rough poplar for the most part and milled the wood myself. For the late stages of the work, I did get some milled poplar from Lowe’s to finish the work. I used the Kreg system of joinery to put together the stiles and rails for the wainscoting. That helped me be more consistent than in the past.

Thanks to Thomas for helping me with so much of the work and for Jennifer and Jackie for providing assistance at various times in the project. Thank goodness for Carlos Martinez, the painter, for plenty of caulk and putty and doing such a good job of painting the room.

Below are photos of the completed room. I am glad to be through!

Lauren Larriviere

Lauren’s dance shoes

When Jennifer was growing up, she took dance lessons all the way through school. In fact, even after high school, she continued to work for Ella Trumpfeller at Dance Centre in College Station so dancing is something that she loved to do. Jennifer wondered if she ever had a daughter whether dance would be a part of her future. Well, Lauren came along three years ago, and dance is a part of the very present.

Lauren has talked about dance for some time, and Jennifer decided to sign her up this fall. She knew that there was only one place to get her first dance shoes and that would be from Ella. Jennifer and Lauren came to College Station over the Labor Day weekend to get her outfitted. Of course, Mama J and Papa J had to tag along, Papa J to provide photographic documentation and Mama J to pay for everything as a gift to Lauren from us.

I should have recorded some of this in video because once Lauren put on her new tap shoes, she just could not stop dancing!  She was lovely in her new outfits and with her ballet and tap shoes. Mama J and Papa J look forward to going to her recitals and remembering fondly the times we watched her mother dance so many numbers at Rudder Theatre and in competition around the state.

Lauren's sweater

Jackie’s projects

Jackie has been producing some great-looking projects now that she has been taking classes at Homestead Heritage in Waco.  Here is a quick sample of her projects, which include a baby blanket, sweater for Lauren, cup towels, pillow, and a table runner.  Watch for more great things as she spins and weaves her way through new projects.

Starting again!

Well, I have tried to blog in the past, usually around international travel, but I did not stay with it.  This is my next attempt to capture some of my thoughts in a variety of interest areas.  Wish me luck!

By Jeff Savell Posted in General