Patriotic DuckThe All American RunnerDuck Review
January 3, 2009
 Welcome Back

Welcome Back: 

Happy New Year!! My guess would be that we are all hoping for a better New Year after a rather bad 2008. The only real economic effect it had on us was when we sold our house early in the year. We took a bath but at least we sold it before the market got even worse. Other than that it was what we'd call a good year! Island life is grand and we are loving the small town atmosphere.
We had a very nice Christmas that was brightened with SNOW! In our last newsletter we mentioned that the town puts up plywood snowmen because we rarely ever get snow. Well this year was the exception. All totaled we had around 9" over a several day period.

We believe that this is only the third White Christmas we've seen in all the years we've lived in Washington. The only bad news is that it makes getting around really difficult. Due to the lack of annual snow there is not much snow removal and sanding equipment on the island.

Christmas eve we went to Ken's daughter Jenni's house for our annual gift exchange and white elephant party. The snow was so bad that we could not make it all the way to their house. Her husband Matt had to come get us at a gas station about a mile away in his big four wheel drive pick-up. The adventure just added to the overall fun time we all had.
Here's hoping that your New Year will be the best ever! 

Ken and Marilyn
Wood'n Wares

Wood'n Wares Gift Sets

How about starting off your New Year with some beautiful hand made, hard maple, kitchen utensils? Bob and Jean's wonderful wooden kitchen utensils are hand made in their little wood shop in Montana.
Order a gift set for yourself. By grouping several utensils together we're able to give you a good price. Also Wood'n Wares Spoon Oil will keep those wooden utensils looking great for years to come. It also works wonderfully on butcher blocks or other wooden kitchen products.

Just go to our web site for gift sets and Spoon Oil,

Join Our Mailing List!
In This Issue
What's New
Site of the Month
Marilyn's Corner
Our Environment
The Tempos Big Band
Joke of the Month
This Months Recipe
Cookbook of the Month
Woodworking Project
Free Rockler Catalog
Please Donate
Wood Plans
Woodworking Tools
Rockler Specials
Rockler always has great specials, here's the latest! 

What's New?
Ken got some really crazy news the other day. He found out that the band he played with in the late 60's, The Serfs,  is going to be inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame! Who knew that Kansas even had a music hall of fame?
There were seven members in the band that recorded Capitol records "Early Bird Cafe". Two of the members are dead we're not sure where two others are and three of us might attend. I know we'll be there for sure.
The induction will be March 7 at Liberty Hall (the old Red Dog Inn) in Lawrence, Kansas. Check it out at

Site Of The Month
The Internet Tourbus. This is an interesting, fun and informative site which also has a newsletter that they have been sending out since 1995. They discuss a lot of things that have to do with different technologies such as Blue Ray DVD's and nanny cams. They bring the topics down to a level that most people can understand.
They also have some fun stuff like their "Very Strange Things" section and for the kids a picture of a dog and the two "bus drivers" that you can warp by clicking on the dragging your mouse.
Enjoy and learn by going to
Marilyn's Corner
Yule Log Candle Holder
This craft project came in the form of a gift from my niece Tammy. She made this yule log candle holder and I decided to share it with you.

Start by cutting a small log, about 4 1/2" in diameter, to the length you want your candle holder. This one is 18" long and holds three candles.

Split the log down the center. Since logs don't split perfectly straight you will have to clean up the bottom to make it sit flat.

Evenly space the holes for the candles and use a 2" forstner drill bit or paddle bit to drill the holes.

Glue rope around the edge of each end.

Cut a piece of felt to fit the bottom and glue it in place.

Place the votive cups with candles in the holes and there you have a very nice yule log candle holder.

Thanks Tammy!
Remember we have all of our past projects archived on our web site at Just click on the Craft Egg.
Our Environment
We've discussed quite a bit about getting plastic bags out of the environment. We actually received some of our Christmas presents in reusable shopping bags, cool!
One of our readers, Shelly P., sent us a wonderful plan for making reusable shopping bags from old plastic shopping bags, what a great way to recycle.

We've posted the plans on our website at Shelly's husband Terry writes: "The directions are based on her more than 40 years of experience knitting and crocheting and have been used by her coworkers successfully."
Thanks Shelly, we hope that many more people will take up this great recycling project.
We also heard from Mike S. regarding the use of plastic water bottles. Mike writes: "I have been using the same bottle for 3 months. My wife has used hers for a bit longer. Hope we can keep it up. If not we will use them for watering house plants, and the dog. We also use them in the summer. Put in water, freeze and take them outside while working in the yard.

Thanks Mike we hope this inspires others to do the right thing. Remember, plastic bottles don't decompose, the just deteriorate into ever smaller pieces that eventually may end up in your food chain.

Please drop us a line with your stories and experiences, be them good or bad, at

The Tempos Big Swing Band
If you are in the Seattle area and interested in hiring a great band The Tempos are ready to perform for you. Just drop a line to

The Tempos
News and CD of the Week

The Tempos CD, "Big Swing", features fourteen great swing songs from the 40's and 50's. If you love the old big band swing music we think you'll enjoy this CD. It's the kind of music that makes you just want to get up and dance, you do remember how to swing don't you?

The only place you can get this CD is from our web site. Go to and click on the "Click Here" at the top of the web page or click the album cover.


If you'd like to get a taste of this CD just go to The Tempos web site. When you are at the Tempos web site click on the horn valve button that says "Hear our CD". Then click on the song titles to hear a little bit of each song.

The Tempos big swing band is available for hire. If you have a special event that could use the wonderful music of a classic sixteen piece big band be sure to contact We perform all over the Seattle area for all sorts of events.

Joke of the Month
This story was sent to us by Dee B. We don't actually know KC Williams but it's still a funny story.
Natural Born Citizen
The following is a funny and true story shared with me by KC Williams who teaches AP Government at Santa Fe High School. In one of KC's classes, they were discussing the qualifications to be president of the United
States. It was pretty simple.

The candidate must be a natural born citizen of at least 35 years of age.

However, one girl in the class immediately started in on how unfair was the requirement to be a natural born citizen. In short, her opinion was this
requirement prevented many capable individuals from becoming president.

KC and the class were just taking it in and letting her rant, but everyone's jaw hit the floor when she wrapped up her argument by stating ....

"What makes a natural born citizen any more qualified to lead this country than one born by c-section".

And someday she'll vote!

Scary isn't it?

If you've got a funny family friendly joke send it to

This Month's Free Recipe
Icing for German Chocolate Cake 
Here's a wonderful frosting for German chocolate cake. It's a very old recipe from Ken's mom and we have no idea where she got it but it sure is good! Don't worry about your New Years resolution, just go for it :-)

Bake a German chocolate cake from a mix or your favorite recipe.
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Evaporated Milk or 1/2 and 1/2
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 pound Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Can or 1 2/3 Cups Coconut
  • 1 Cup Pecans, chopped
In a saucepan combine Milk, Sugar, Egg Yolks and Butter.
Cook over medium heat 12 minutes stirring constantly until thickened.
Remove from heat, add Vanilla, coconut and Pecans.
Beat until cool and spreading consistency.
Frost the top of the cake and between layers.
Every month we post a new recipe on our web page. Be sure and check out the New recipe at the RunnerDuck Kitchen Store.
Cookbook of the Month
 "Williams-Sonoma Mastering: Cakes, Frostings & Fillings"
By Elinor Klivans

If you thought our German chocolate cake icing recipe was good you're going to love this cookbook. It has many wonderful recipes for not only icings and frosting but cakes and fillings too.

Joseph Boone of Irvine, California reviewed this book and wrote: "Williams-Sonoma Mastering: Cakes, Frosting's & Fillings takes readers through the steps require to bake a cake successfully beginning with the most simple steps through to completing fairly complex recipes. The author, begins with a general description of the most common ingredients and what to look for when you buy them. She then explains how the various types of ingredients in a cake affect its structure, texture, moistness, etc. While somewhat technical in nature, the language is very simple and easy to understand.

The book includes picture-by-picture steps to help you learn basic baking techniques if you are unfamiliar with them (examples include separating eggs, zesting citrus, whipping egg whites, folding, and many more). For a beginner without an experienced person to show them the ropes, this is ideal."
Woodworking Project


Download WOOD Store® woodworking plans directly to your computer and start building in just minutes! OR, we'll mail them to you, your choice!


This Months Woodworking Project


For Christmas this year we made some presents for our grandkids and we'd like to share them with you. This month we'll show you the stilts we made and next month the parking garage.
Stilts are very easy to make but make for many years of fun.

Here's what you'll need:

  • (2) 2" X 2" X 60" hemlock
  • (2) 2" X 4" X 5" hemlock
  • (4) 1/4" - 20 X 3" carriage bolts
  • (4) 1/4" - 20 X 4 1/2" carriage bolts
  • (4) Large 1/4" flat washers
  • (4) 1/4" - 20 wing nuts
  • (2) 1 1/2" rubber tips, like those used on canes
Cut the 5" X 2" X 4"s at 45 degrees from the tip to make the pads.
Using a forstner bit the size of the carriage bolt head, drill down about 1/2", 1" from the top of the pad and another 3 1/4" from the top.

16-Pc. Forstner Bit Set
16-Pc. Forstner Bit Set

It's best to use a drill press if you have one so the holes are straight. It's difficult to get the hole started on the slope but if you hold tight and drill slow it will work.
Drill a 1/4" hole through in the center of each hole.
Clamp the pads to the 2" X 2", with the top of the pad 8 1/2" from the bottom of the stilt.

Use the previously drilled holes as a guide and drill through the 2" X 2"s. Repeat on the other stilt. You may have to remove the pads to drill all the way through the 2" X 2"s.
Move the pad up so the top is 13 1/2" from the bottom and repeat the drilling.
Move the pad up so the top is 18 1/4" from the bottom and repeat the drilling.
Mark all four sides of the 2" X 2", 20" from the bottom.
Use a 1/2" roundover router bit and round over all four sides of the handles from the top down to the 20" mark.

Rockler 3-Pc. Roundover/Beading Bit Set
Rockler 3-Pc. Roundover/Beading Bit Set

Mark all four sides of the 2" X 2", 3" from the bottom.

Use a 1/2" roundover router bit and round over all four sides of the handles from the bottom up to the 3" mark.
Sand and finish with polyurethane.

Press on the rubber tips.

Mount the pads at the lowest level using the 4 1/2" carriage blot on top and the 3" carriage bolt on the bottom.

It's best to have the kids start out at the lowest level and then over time work their way up. Since a child can fall off of these and hurt themselves I guess we need to include a disclaimer. Be sure to help your kids learn how to use these stilts and always supervise their use. We cannot be responsible for any accidents occurring from the use of these stilts. Use common sense and everyone should have fun.

That's about it. We hope you liked this project. If you build it and your friends ask where you got such a clever idea, please tell them that you got it at

If any of you have wood projects to share I would be happy to put it into a format for our newsletter. Just send me an email at and lets see what we can come up with. Thank you!
Free Rockler Catalog
Get a Free Rockler Woodworking Catalog by clicking on the link below

     If you want to talk about something just drop us a line to any time, we like to talk about most anything. We are always looking for content for our newsletter so if you have something to add we'd love to publish it, assuming it meets our strict family oriented requirements!

All rights reserved, RunnerDuck Productions,
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
RunnerDuck and its logos are property of
RunnerDuck Productions.
All other logos are property of the individual companies.
We can be contacted at

Past RunnerDuck Review Newsletters