Well, it's almost that time of year when @farm-mom and I take a break from the winter weather and head south.
For the past three years, we have gotten out of town on the @26th of January and return to the farm the first week in March. For those of you who know us, the beginning of March is Maple syrup time, and we wouldn't miss that.


This year we will be leaving a couple of days earlier so that we can stop and see all of our children before heading to warmer weather.
For the past three years, I have made a new walking stick to bring along. With the departure date rapidly approaching, it was time to get busy making this year's model.
So it's off to the shop I go.

With having just trimmed all of the trees, the hardest job of all was picking the right branch for the walking stick. I decided on a Black Cherry branch that had a nice curve to it.


Having been back in Jersey last week, I stopped by the shop to pick up our draw knife. Usually, I just whittle away with my pocket knife, but by using the drawknife I was able to save hours of time on this step.


What would have taken 15 - 20 minutes was done in one pass of the drawknife.


Using the drawknife can be a little tricky. Position the knife with too much of an angle and you'll take out big chunks of the wood. Position it with not enough angle and the blade will not remove the bark.


After taking the bark off of 200 half logs, for a customer who was repairing an old log cabin, I got this s--t down


While my son @ryan313 was visiting this past weekend, he decided to start making a walking stick for himself.
In this action shot, you can barely make out the knife as it glides over the stick.

There are a lot of nice features on the handle end of his stick.


With most of the bark removed, the area where a couple of branches were cut back will have to be carved with a pocket knife.


Touching up some rough spots on the stick was not a problem. Using a rotary sander, and starting with a 60 grit paper and finishing up with a 120 grit paper, the wood ended up as smooth as a baby's backside.


After applying a cherry stain, I wrapped the handle with a leather lace. The leather lacing will keep my hand from slipping while walking.


If you are ever in the need for any leather products at all, Tandy Leather is the place.


Here is an assortment of sticks that I collected, and I'll be making walking sticks for some other family members who said, " Dad, can you make me one?" That ain't a problem, they'll just have to wait until we get back from our road trip.


Walk on!

Comments 15

It's great having new walking sticks for our trip @thebigsweed. Remember when we were in New Orleans, trying to navigate the huge crowds of people, you with your shades on and the stick in hand, people were nice enough to let us pass. Us laughing all the way realizing they thought you were blind. hehe
Is my done yet? I really like the leather handle, but I think I would like some fringe on mine.😄💕

15.01.2020 21:40

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15.01.2020 22:02

Thanks @c-squared for the reply, up-vote and resteem.

16.01.2020 12:18

South for the winter huh? Like ducks. It all sounds legit and I hope you guys have a great time this year. January 26th is Australia Day here (sort of like the 4th of July for your guys) so make sure you celebrate that! :)

15.01.2020 22:55

Thanks @galenkp. January 26th Australia Day, that will be easy to remember. I hope by then the fires that have ravaged your country are under control.

Just the other day I was watching a special about the effect the wildfires were having on the wildlife in Australia. I know that many of your countrymen have suffered greatly and along with so many animals perishing in the fires its got to be rough for all life.
In the special I was watching they were talking about the lack of food for the animals because of the fire. You have to give your leaders a lot of credit for trying to provide for them by air dropping food, as much of the food they find in the wild has been destroyed by the fires. I was watching them drop tons of carrots in one area, and it did not take long before Kangaroos showed up and were munching away.
With all of the bad news that always dominates the headlines, this was a feel good story.

16.01.2020 12:16

Things are settling down a little, but there's still issues. It's good to see some good news stories come out though. I saw that carrot story and thought the same as you. It's a good thing and a credit to those who arranged it.

I don't actually expect you to celebrate Australia Day, just host a coldie for us. (Beer...A coldie is slang for a beer).

16.01.2020 12:22

I will gladly hoist a couple of coldies for the all the Aussies.
You had said that Australia Day, is like our 4th of July.

I hope it's a little different when it comes to FIRE WORKS. In the states, celebrating Independence Day and fire works are synonymous.
The last thing you guys need are any more fires.
They are comparing the mass of land that has been ravished by fire in Australia to be comparable in size to the state of Indiana. 36,400 sq. miles is a lot of area.

I read that the Australian Open has been suspended also.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those brave souls fighting this monst

I hope things are getting better @galenkp

17.01.2020 21:47

There would normally be fireworks however I'm not sure if that will happen this year. We'll see.

I read that 13 million acres are burned out...That's a lot of land. I'm not sure of the official figure though. It's been devastating and it will take months and years to turn around. We had fires here in South Australia a couple years ago and people are still waiting for their insurance money to rebuild. It's a crazy situation.

I didn't know about the tennis being suspended but am not surprised. I'd heard the players were all complaining about the smoke.

Thanks for your thoughts.

17.01.2020 22:18

Nice job looks like fun! ESP since we grew those walking sticks from babies!

16.01.2020 07:22

Not sure how I missed this one, thanks, @tarazkp.

@thebigsweed, dude that action shot was the best! Not sure how many times I’ve told you this but each time I read your articles it makes me want to visit the farm a little more and it just happened again.

Thanks for the demonstration. I actually walk with a “stick,” as you know. It has a brass handle that weighs about 1 pound. What I’m saying is, I’d love to put my handle on a Sweed made stick <— 🤔 You know what I mean!!! You’ve probably seen them, it’s called a Bubba Stik. I’ll look one up right quick, hold please..

I’m back. Here it is. I don’t ‘need’ it really though it makes walking for a dude with a bad wheel a lot easier but I sure am comfortable with a cane full time weapon in my hand while doing this traveling. Not sure how much longer I got until I’m wheeling around in a chair, I’m sure it’s a few decades down the road but this brass handle in the meantime is convenient. Speaking of chair—I already got wheelie bars, cup holders, all kinda neat stuff Ima do to that thing! Chair? More like a shift-cart.

Man, great post! That’s all I’m trying to say is great post and here I go again, yap yap Bla bla bla about myself!

Talk to you soon, @thebigsweed, you syrup rubber inner to the guy’er that dont’er haver any’er!

17.01.2020 08:25

Thanks for the link to the Bubba Stick, very cool. I've never heard of them before. I see that they have 6 or more choices. I wonder if the sticks are made from different woods, or if they just stain them that way.

Maybe by the time, let's say 30 40 years from now, when you just can't get around any more, bionic extremities will be all the rage, f--k the wheel chair.

Well, there're two reasons we should make each other's acquaintance, Maple Syrup, and a new shaft for your brass ball. That don't sound right how about this, a new beam for your orb.

When I first saw the action shot of Ryan pulling the drawknife, I was wondering what I was looking at. You couldn't see it at all until I darkened up the picture a little bit.

Thanks, for the kind words my friend.
You're probably at the docs now, but when you get a chance let us know how everything went @dandays

17.01.2020 22:23

I’m back (it’s that thing I mentioned on the last one about difficult to leave the conversation).

I’ve heard various hopes as far as a bionic extremity and I can only pray for such a miracle. 30/40 years, though, as the speed of technology advances, I’d say the the option of such advancement is hopeful. God willing. Now about my stick—you know what I mean!!

You have no idea! Dude the syrup is a no brainer, but now I’m officially on a mission! I’ll explain. Since using this handle so long, the brass one, after a few hours or so, the palm of my hand gets a green tint. So, when we get somewhere with a sink, I need to wash my hand. No big deal. But I’ve since looked into the chrome one thinking ‘when I get back, I’ll get the chrome one.’ Dude now it’s a mission!

I would love that! L.O.V.E! The memory that would create.. oh man! You know as well as anyone, it’s not the finish line that’s important, it’s what it took to get there and making a stick like that with you would be such a fun experience. “Once in a lifetime.” I can already forget what we were doing. 😉 Oh, it’s on now sir! Don’t be surprised when roughly this time next year we’re pencilling in our calendars. Well, it’ll have to be worked around your Florida trip but fortunately for us, we have a year to straighten it out. The day.... not the stick. Funny, right around the time the maples are ready for nursing. I can already see the stars aligning.

Yes, Dr. Uhm, exciting and disappointing. But it’s ok. The bureaucracy was brought to my awareness. Doc wanted to order the typical blood work and ekg, same ish we’ve done in multiple countries. Pura was her typical nervous and passive self. I can’t imagine what it feels like to know you wake up sick every day.

I chimed in very mildly when necessary. Oh, this time the doctor is a woman so that’s a huge bonus. As soon as I mentioned the parasitic infection, she immediately responded with “that doesn’t exist in UK” and actually got a little irritated. I didn’t push the issue so much, I wasn’t attempting to offend, I read her a few things, showed her where i learned the information, kept it short and sweet—just asking a question and mentioning what we learned on our own.

But she did say she would look into it and do her research but said she wouldn’t prescribe the akkermansia we need—it’s the last one, the other supplements are fighting the infection but that one is by prescription only and it repairs the damage in the stomach and intestine. She wouldn’t prescribe before blood results. I understand that, ok, “whatever.” But her next appointment isn’t until a month out and that’s what bothered me—bureaucracy. I don’t want to wait a’fa king month!! I kept my cool and didn’t want to upset Pura anymore than she already was and respected the doctor, however, at the same time I’m like “ish!”

Well, dude, I did some more research last night and look what I found:

10%! 10% of UK residents suffer from the exact.same.infection, @thebigsweed. That’fa king doctor said “not in the U.K.” without batting an eye when the fact is 1 out of 10 people in the U.K. is suffering with the exact same’fa king thing! Oh man, infuriated me. I try to keep my cool around Pura, she’ll say “I don’t need anymore stress right now” but I can’t help it. It’s one of those, ‘we balance each other perfectly’ things.

So I’m smashing the gas pedal, Bob. Shortly after learning that, I found a private lab down near London (bout a 3 hour train ride) that will test her.. well.. ‘poop,’ sweed! That’s how they have to test her stomach biome, call it a stool sample, whatever, you and I know what it is. Anyhow, it’s a private lab and it’s affordable, they do a full panel and don’t just test for the suspected parasite, they test for over 30. I’m not out to prove the doctor wrong, that’s not it, my objective is to rule the infection OUT!

So, disappointed? Sure. But now that I’ve written this response, I guess I’m not, my hand was forced to look a little deeper I guess and I’m happy with the findings. So that’s Monday’s mission. Pay out of pocket privately to rule this thing out and, should the results come back positive, we’ll be back at that doctor like “here, wipe your azz with it doesn’t exist in the U.K.” and force her hand to address it.

I sure do appreciate your concern dude. Believe it or not, just having someone to ‘talk to’ about it like I just did is a nice release.

Hmm.. it smells like syrup cook off and wood shavings. 🤔

18.01.2020 08:18

That stuff that the doctor said about that doesn’t exist in the UK, I guess the air overhead of the UK stays put also. That has to be the dumbest thing I think I have ever heard a doctor say. Hell, HIV crossed from chimps to humans in the 1920s in the Congo. It's a good thing they have a bubble around the whole freaking place.
Way to once again be proactive in caring for your bride. It sounds like you may be headed in the right direction and have found a place that will do what you request.
I'm still flabbergasted, 1 out of 10 Brits suffer from what you think is Pura's problem and the doc said what. The gal must live with her head in the sand.

Good job keeping your cool, I may have lost it just a little, but adding any more stress to the situation wouldn't have played out well for anyone.

I hope the technology is up to provide me with a new set of bionic wheels in the future, by the time you need them the whole concept will be antiquated, and you'll be levitating from place to place.

Syrup, walking sticks, hooking up, all sounds like a possibility in the future. As fast as time passes we'll be blogging about our pow-wow before you can say Highfiddlediddlethedoginthemiddle.

Stay safe, watch each other's back, and bending a knee now and then can't hurt.
God Bless.

18.01.2020 21:35

6,780,000 UK residents as of 2016. Yeah, that’s only 678,000 people who currently live with the exact.same.infection. There’s private labs here that test for the things that are so advanced, they do at-home tests and not only test for 1 parasitic infection but 30 of them, but it “doesn’t exist in the UK.”

I bit my tongue with the pre-met student taking notes and was able to react in from saying much during their meet and greet. But when Pura was visibly timid and the doctor was type type typing away at her keyboard, the point just wasn’t being made, I couldn’t help myself. And I give two shytes if I offended anyone. ‘If’ the result comes back positive, they have seen ish yet! Pura is grateful and she appreciates my way of handling things but I’ll stand back as soon as the correct issue is being addressed. I’ll let them do their thing, I’ll even wait in the waiting room—not yet, though.

I’m fully aware nobody, not you, not me, nobody likes to be told how to do their job especially when it’s coming from someone completely out of their league. However, there’s been times even I will admit it was for the best even though that person who told me, when they told, didn’t know wtf they were talking about only to find out I’m glad they said something.

Happy Sunday, sir! Per usual, i sure do appreciate some @thebigsweed in the morning. I hope this message finds you and yours well.

19.01.2020 09:03

I couldn't agree with your approach anymore.
It is so important to be proactive in matters like this.
Obviously doctors don't know everything.

Until Pura is diagnosed properly, you guys should be at the helm.
As you stated, once things are figured out, then its time to take a back seat and give the plan of action time to resolve the issue.

Hopefully, the answers to all fo your questions are right around the corner.

It's great to be loved and to be in love, as you know that backs are always covered! 💕

19.01.2020 17:09