Patriotic DuckThe All American RunnerDuck Review
February 7, 2009
 Welcome Back

Welcome Back: 

January came and went without much fanfare. January always seems to be sort of a wind down month after all the hoopla over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Of course we did have a new president sworn in and the Steelers won the Super Bowl but that was about it.
Here on the island we survived the heavy rains of early January mostly because we don't have any rivers or lakes to speak of. The flooding was pretty bad around Western Washington but here we were safe and sound.
Of course the most exciting thing was the announcement that Ken's daughter Jenni is pregnant with our third grandchild.
She's about seventeen weeks along and doing good so far. Having babies has not been the best experience for her so any and all prayers are welcome. 

Ken and Marilyn
Wood'n Wares

Wood'n Wares Gift Sets

Now that the hoopla of the holidays are over it might be a good time to indulge yourself in some new 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,

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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?
Not much, like we is said, it's January ;-)
We continue to do battle with nature on the island. The Great Blue Heron have been having a food fest at our fish pond. First the raccoons dined there so we put up an electric fence. Now we've put an aviary net over the top of it to keep the heron out. While there's not many fish left to protect it will be interesting to see who comes to dinner next.
Ken's brother Ron is up in Washington providing care for his 93 year old mother-in-law. We did get to visit him and her instead of watching the Super Bowl. They said that the Super Bowl this year had more viewers than any other sporting event in history they did manage to miss a few viewers.
While we were there Ron gave Ken his old Canon S3-IS digital camera because he had purchased a new S10-IS which has more bells and whistles, more pixels and is a tad larger. He's struggling a little bit with making it function like his old one while Ken is learning all about the new one. If you follow Ron's blog,, you will see how he's getting along with it. Meanwhile Ken hopes to have more great photos for our newsletter.
Site Of The Month
We've been talking about "blue" for a while in our "Environment" column regarding keeping plastic out of the oceans. Well "green" is a good color too and we could use more of it.
This month's site is all about green and a whole bunch of things you can do to help green up the planet. One nice thing about green is that while protecting the planet it quite often saves you money. They have tips for all sorts of energy and resource savings. You can "ask a pro" to get answers on how to reduce your environmental impact. Just go to and start saving today!
Marilyn's Corner
Lavender Wand
Here on Whidbey Island there area a number of lavender farms and when they are in bloom it's really spectacular.

Unfortunately they are not in bloom right now so you'll just have to tuck this little project away until then.
Ken's sister Diane,, made these lavender wands for us while sitting on an airplane. Can you imagine how great that plane must have smelled? We'd like to thank her for this months craft project.
Here's what you'll need:
A bunch of fresh lavender with long stems, about 18" to 20" total length
A few feet of 1/4" to 3/8" ribbon
As small piece of twine
Tie a bunch of about 12 - 20 lavenders with a piece of twine just below the flowers, this will become the top of the wand.
Bend the long stems back over the twine and over the flowers. Try to keep them evenly spaced.
Lay a piece of ribbon from the bottom of the flowers to the top with about 8" hanging below the bottom of the flowers.
Start weaving the ribbon in and out between each stem keeping the ribbon flat.
Continue all the way down to the bottom of the flowers and make a final wrap around the base.
Tie the ribbon to the previous hanging ribbon and cut.
That's all there is to it, a simple but very nice project. These are great for putting in drawers and closets to not only make things smell great but they are also a deterrent to moths.
Thank you Diane for sharing your project with us!

Remember we have all of our past projects archived on our web site at Just click on the Craft Egg.
Our Environment
While we've been telling you about how bad plastic water bottles are for the environment it's not the only thing that's bad. We as a collective group seem to be ever faster destroying this marble that we call planet earth.
One thing that is not good for the earth and the water that we drink is potassium perchlorate (KClO4) and ammonium perchlorate (NH4ClO4). These materials are used to make explosives, fireworks, rockets and road flares. Many road flares do not get used up and then rain water can was the perchlorate into our water systems. Most police and fire departments use lots of flares to warn people of accidents and road dangers.
PowerFlare,, has come up with a very cool alternative. At around $50 apiece these electronic flares can be a good environmental alternative to perchlorate flares.
If you know someone in your local police or fire department we would like to ask you to forward this story and the PowerFlare link on to them. It might just help keep some chemicals out of you drinking water.
Do you have any suggestions on how to help protect our environment? Write us 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 months joke came from Bob L. the first chair trombone of the Tempos. Thanks Bob, I'm afraid we're all closer to this than we'd like.
George, age 92 and Edith, age 89 are all excited about their decision to get married. They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding and on the way they pass a drugstore. George suggests they go in and he addresses the man behind the counter.

"Are you the owner?" The pharmacist answers, "Yes".
We're about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?"

"Of course we do."

"How about support hose for circulation?"


"What about medicine for rheumatism, osteoporosis and arthritis?"

"All kinds."

"How about waterproof furniture pads and Depends?"

"Yes, sir."

"Hearing aide, denture supplies, sleeping pills, Geritol and Ensure?" "Absolutely"

"You sell wheelchairs, walkers and canes?"

"All kinds and sizes."

"Why all the questions?"

George smiles and replies to the pharmacist, "we'd like to use your store for our Bridal Registry."

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

This Month's Free Recipe
Plantation Pork Chops 
Here's a great pork chop recipe from Nicky B. right here in beautiful Coupeville.

  • 6 Seasoned Pork Chops
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sage
  • 4 Tart Apples, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
Brown the Pork Chops in a little oil.
Place in a baking dish.
Top with Apple slices.
Sprinkle with Brown Sugar.
Add Flour to the fat in the pan and brown.
Add Water and Vinegar, simmer till thick.
Stir in Raisins.
Pour the sauce over the Pork Chops.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.

Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy!

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
"Pork Chops and Applesauce: A Collection of Recipes and Reflections"
By Cynthis Briggs

It's not often that you find a cookbook that not only has great recipes but is also a great read. We think you'll find this cookbook very entertaining.

Mindy Bonnet from Rio Rancho, New Mexico reviewed this book and wrote: Pork Chops and Applesauce takes you on a wonderful journey. The stories behind the recipes make it that much more heart-felt.

With this book I laughed, cried and reminisced about my own childhood. When I reached the last page of the final chapter, I was not ready for the journey to end.

It is not to often you enjoy reading a cookbook cover to cover.I could not wait to get into the kitchen and try some of her recipes.
This book is a must read!
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 a parking garage for our two grandsons. It was really a hit when they opened it up.

It was a lot of fun to make and even more fun to watch their faces as they opened up the package.
I won't go into a lot of dimensional details because if you make one you'll need to size it for your kids and grandkids. The most fun is figuring out all the different things that go on in a parking garage that will be fun for the kids.

Here are some of the features and how we made them;

The gas pumps are just pieces of 3/4" wood 1" X 3".

The filler hose is a piece of twine, a couple of beads and a piece of wood for the nozzle. I drilled a small hole for the hose and glued the twine in. I made a small wire loop, drilled a hole in the side of the pump and glued it in for the nozzle to park.

The service racks were just 3/4" pieces of plywood cut with a ramp on one end.

We made them just a little bit wider than the cars that will be "serviced" on them. To personalize the service area we painted offices on the second floor with the grandkids name in each office.

The elevator was the trickiest part. I built a four sided box and smoothed all the edges.

I cut out the elevator shaft holes in each level including the bottom level. That was so that the elevator would sit flush when at the bottom.

I cut notches on each side to install the guides for the elevator. I drilled a hole in the center of the elevator top and put a piece of twine through it for the lift.

I made a crank from a 1/2" dowel and some scarp wood.

The carwash was the most fun.

Marilyn made the brushes from some packing foam and wires. She cut the foam into narrow strips and then wrapped them in the wire. It made them look like the big washing brushes in a real carwash. I built the box for the carwash and drilled small holes for the wires to go into.

We painted everything in really bright colors.

I edged all the way around the second and third floors with some small 1/4" X 1" wood.

To make it really fun for them Marilyn painted a race course on the top floor.

Here are some overview shots of the whole garage.

This was really a hit gift that they should enjoy for many years.

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!

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