Monthly Archives: June 2015

Restore, Repair and Reuse an Old Coffee Table

Like many people my family lives on a limited budget. This means that the remodel of our house with the Barn Wood Builders has made us stretch every penny that we have extra every month as far as it will go. So when I wanted a different coffee table for the “NEW” room I had to think out of the box on how to get some thing we could afford. At first we started looking at new coffee tables…. then sticker shock set in. We had to try to find some thing used as I just could not see paying 300 to 450 dollars for wood coffee table.

So after a couple of weekends  we ended up at a local antique/ new furniture store that sells just about everything. On the top floor of the store, in a back corner, under another table, hidden away because it was so ugly, Tom found a table. It turned out that the table was a very used late 1960 to 1970  sold wood coffee table, with a leather stamped top. It was ugly and burnt and dog chewed and he loved it. So for the very reasonable price Tom said this was the “one” and we packed the ugly thing into my little Chevy.

Damaged top of coffee table

Damaged top of coffee table

 

side view of damaged coffee table

side view of damaged coffee table

close up of the amount of dirt and damage at the corner of table

close up of the amount of dirt and damage at the corner of table

The finish had chips, the top had burns from cigarettes and one leg was dog chewed, leaving the finish a different color then the rest. I was not sure what we would do with the table but my first thought was to tile the top with some of our left over tile and just stain or paint the base and call it done. Well some times you get a surprise that you are happy with before you reach the end of a project.

I first applied a stripper to the table and waited the recommended ten minutes and began to remove all the old finish. It took two complete coast of stripper to get all the finish off and  I washed the table off with a garden hose. Then I removed the leather top. The top was real leather that had an embossed gold leaf printed into the edges. I found a loose corner and began to pull and pry the leather away from the wood top below as carefully as I could. I did not want to damage the tables wooden top just in case I needed it later. This is what was left when I finished removing all the finish

stripped table with out leather top.

stripped table with out leather top.

As you can see in the photo the glue still remained in some places and would not come off with stripper… I tried and it was not going come off that way. I also really got a good look at the wood and the color of the table. To my surprise the back had a light-colored strip of wood and one leg was almost white after stripping.

back view of stripped table

back view of stripped table

So I let the table dry for a couple of days and started to sand the remaining finish off the table and it was looking pretty good but I really had no idea what was under the glued covered top until the sanding started. I sanded the top with a 220 grit paper on my orbital sander and the beautiful grain slowly appeared. This was not just a fill in top made from some second-rate wood. I was so happy to see the table top was the same wood as the rest of the table. It was the same color and would take stain the same way. This changed all of my ideas for the top. I sanded the entire table again with 400 grit paper and made the choice to finish the whole table the same way.

After a couple of days I stained the table with two coats of stain… the first being a stain called Gun Stock that should have been a nice darker maple stain. but turned our table orange. It looked funny and I was very unhappy with the first coat. This is what the Gun Stock stain looked like.

red orange color of the first coat of stain.

red orange color of the first coat of stain.

So after a day of dry time I added a coat of Cherry stain to darken the wood and bring out more of the contrast of the gain of the wood.  This was a good combination and we both loved it. Not to dark but not orange.

second coat of stain in cherry with out top coat

second coat of stain in cherry with out top coat

close up of the grain on the hidden top of the table

close up of the grain on the hidden top of the table

 

I finished the table with a wax rubbed on finish and we are still debating if we want to add a glass top to protect all of my hard work. I may need to get my coasters out for now just so I don’t mess up the finish. As you can see the old table that we spent less the 100 dollars for with stripper and stain is a real bargain over the 400 dollar table I feel in love with at the furniture store.

I really enjoyed this part of my summer projects it reminded me that we can recycle, reuse most well made furniture. It makes me smile when I look at the difference I have made and that my home has a personal touch of my handy work. I laugh when I know that if this table was back in the store it would not be hidden way in the back with the discards, but would be up front with a price tag that would be double what I have in it. Some times thinking out side the box is so much more fun then just buying new!

Categories: furniture, Home Decor, recycling, refinished furniture | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

Foraged Mushroom Stir Fry

Spring in West Virginia has been overly hot and wet this year. It is causing my family frustration with the home remodel but is making perfect weather for mushroom hunting. So I have been able without much effort to find some wonderful large wild mushrooms this year. But finding wild mushrooms is the easy part. I then have to identify the fungus and find the best way to consume the treasures. Some times that is more work then just finding an old log with a mushroom growing out of it.

white spore,  Chiken Mushroom, Laetiporus- Cincinnatus

white spore, Chicken Mushroom, Laetiporus- Cincinnatus

This mushroom is very common in the Ohio Valley or the Eastern US and it is named after the city of Cincinnati Ohio where it was first found and Identified ( Laetiporus- Cincinnatus). The common name is Chicken mushroom and it is edible and delicious. it is a mushroom that will regrow if collected correctly and the “stem” is left on the log or stump when gathering. This is one of a small group that grows in a rosette style rather than a single stem with cap.This is also one of the few mushrooms that freezes well. In this case the mushroom weighs about 2 pounds before cleaning and trimming and about is the size of a 13 X 11 sheet of paper. So I have enough mushroom to make several meals… in this case I will make two and then freeze the rest for a cold day to make a baked steak slow cooker dinner later in the fall.

As with any wild mushroom I will remind you that you need a good mushroom identification book or two and or person who has experience hunting wild mushrooms  before eating. Many wild mushrooms are poisonous and some are deadly within hours. I use a book titled Wild Edible Mushroom by Hope H Miller for almost all mushrooms we hunt and eat.The link above it to its listing on Amazon.com. It has wonderful color photos of the most easy to identify edible mushrooms. We are also lucky to have friends that hunt the mushrooms that are in this book and we share information and at times hunt for them together.

After bringing this boy home I needed to clean it. Because it is a large stalk style mushroom that is not tender to the touch, soaking in a sink full of cool water encourages any bugs, sticks, slugs and dirt to slowly drop to the bottom of the sink. I let mine sit in the water at least two hours. In this case it soaked over night. Then I trim the “petals” off the base root that is white, leaving only bright yellow backs on the mushroom. I even trimmed it again when I was getting ready to cook it just to make sure we got the most tender portion of the “petals” in my stir fry.

strips of chicken mushrooms on top of stir fry

strips of chicken mushrooms on top of stir fry

A stir fry is the most common way we use fresh wild mushrooms. In this case I just added the chicken mushrooms into a vegetable mix we already had in the freezer added some beef and topped it with our favorite sauce and dinner on a hot humid West Virginia night in about 15 minutes.

 

I stir fried the thin sliced steak in two table spoons oil at a high heat and then removed them from my skillet or wok. I added  2 pounds of frozen stir fry vegetables. In the mixture I used it already had the noodles in the bag. I added them to the hot skillet and stirred in the wild mushrooms. It took about 13 minutes to steam the vegetables and make sure the mushrooms cooked tender. I added the steak back in to the skillet and added  half bottle of Teriyaki sauce. Pretty simple but a Delicious way to add wild mushrooms to any stir fry.

We also love this mushroom breaded and fried in butter with a little Old Bay Seasoning as great appetizer before dinner. It is another way to introduce friends and family to the joy of mushroom hunting when you can share a large plate of crunchy, juicy ,wild food that tastes so good!

Happy eating and keep you eyes open for wonderful mushrooms that grow just about anywhere. This mushroom was about 100 feet from a barn under a thin canopy of trees on piece of log maybe 10 years old.

Categories: Foraging, mushroom hunting, Mushrooms, wild food | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

A Gun Owning Woman and my Freedom of Speech.

I am a gun owner and if that is a problem then you do not need to read the rest of this.

I am a sports woman who loves to head to the range with my family, loves to hunt wild game and is a supporter of my local college riffle team. I married a man who reloads his own ammunition and has a back ground in both law enforcement and the military. Guns are a part of who we are and what we do for fun. The point is that soon I and thousands of other Bloggers, Writers, Website designers, may lose the right of ” Freedom of Speech”. If what I read today  is true,( the Washington Examiner shared this article) my blog post about my husbands reloading bench,our hunting trip, the information I could share on how being a better marksman or any conversation about guns I have with you my readers could be censured.

Cody Powers at the range having family time

Cody Powers at the range having family time

I am also worried as a sports person,that I could not write about the specifics about the gun related things we do. In the future I could be fined or sent to jail….. (send me please) for just doing what I love. The penalty for sharing gun and ammunition information over the internet is a fine up to 1 million dollars and 20 years in jail. I worry that when I have a moving post on a topic that is legal and informative, I will be unable to share it, unless the government has a look at it first. Hummm, are any of you  feeling  like we have moved to a police state here, the results for the general population will be terrible.

I am fully aware that our country is divided on the gun subject. It is a hard  subject to debate for those who do not own a weapon of any kind. At first this regulation might appear that the government is only taking the larger public’s safety into account ( I have my reservations about that). But I argue that a lack of information is more dangerous than anything a Gunsmith or Ammunition company can share on the internet. If we as a population can not share ideas, we allow a few to control our future, a future that will always be controlled by people who know weapons.

Jolynn Powers turkey hunting spring 2015

Jolynn Powers turkey hunting spring 2015

I want you and I to have the right to send out information about hunting, gunsmithing, reloading, crime and safety. I want these topics debated openly. I have the right to share what we are doing as much as you have the right to NOT READ IT. I want to share what my WVU riffle team is doing and what their Olympic competitor coach is teaching. I want to share the pages from an antique survival  manual that shows how to safely use a .22 riffle. I want to tell you about my friend, whose husband got killed, during Turkey Season shooting accident and how it avoid it. If what the above artificial states is true, then my friends you and I will not have the freedom to talk about school shootings or about how to safely clean a pistol.

The idea of protecting the innocent from information that could be used in terrorism is a failed argument. If we are only going to control the information on the internet what is the point… Books have long taught the skills to kill, hunt, reload and build weapons of many kinds. Long before the internet my nephew blew his hand off with a pipe bomb at 14. Where did he learn about the idea ….. movies. If he had been lucky enough to have better supervision  in his life he would have never attempted to build what he looked up for free in a book from the library. At 14 he could have used that weapon to kill many and never once looked on the internet for the information.

Tom Powers teaching Christopher Powers about gun safty

Tom Powers teaching Christopher Powers about gun safety

If this is  what the government thinks may stop terrorism, I am very worried about our leaders. Is the public so ignorant to believe that terrorists from middle eastern countries find all of their information on legal American fire arm company websites or blog posts from people like me or even ammunition manufacture Face Book pages. I bet not… but maybe this is the way the government plans to stop the bloggers from writing about the facts about gun ownership, repair and uses, punish the whole because of the few radical writers.

Again it is a sad state that I am even worried about this topic. I love my way of life, I love sharing it, but when my husband decides that he wants to update an antique riffle for my son to use for hunting, I want the right to tell you about it. If the government is so worried about the information that we openly share and are planing to stop the education of its citizens, we are on a very slippery slope, my friends. If I have to ask my government permission to give you information that one day may save your life or a life of your neighbors, I think we are going to wish some one had stopped the government from stepping on the “Freedom of Speech” and if we are lucky our “Freedom to Bear Arms” too.

Thomas Bennton Powers my sons Great Grand father with monster buck

Thomas Benton Powers my sons Great Grand father with monster buck

Categories: blogging, deer hunting, Freedom of speech, hobbies, reloading, rifle and shoot guns, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Flowers, Forest and Fauna: Spring time in West Virginia

As many of you already know I love to take photos,I almost always have a camera with me. So I seem to find all kinds of wonderful things to take photos of. This spring has been so busy, I am surprised, that I have even found time for short bursts of creativity where I take photos. So today I just wanted to share with all of you some of the things I have been seeing in my little corner of the world here in West Virginia this spring.

close up of a fresh Rhododendron bloom

close up of a fresh Rhododendron bloom

This is one of the views I wake up to every morning for the month of May.

Tom blending into the tree line as we turkey hunt

Tom blending into the tree line as we turkey hunt

We did some Turkey hunting early in the month of May but we struck out. No fresh turkey for dinner this year. Tom and I heard a few gobbles but nothing close enough to think about. The weather was unusually warm and dry and this may have effected the turkeys.

Pheasant tail mushrooms AKA Dryad saddle mushrooms

Pheasant tail mushrooms AKA Dryad saddle mushrooms

This meant that the weather was great for mushrooms. We found a bounty of these Pheasant Tail mushrooms while out turkey hunting. They are an easy to find, spring edible mushroom, we found many in the woods that day.

Pheasant tail mushroom on tree stump

Pheasant tail mushroom on tree stump

The first bloom of spring at the new house

The first bloom of spring at the new house

I tired of  all the snow, cold and wet of winter this year and was over joyed to see this. When this sign of spring finally opened, I felt as if I took a long deep breath, knowing winter was really over.

Spring Stream in Pendelton County WV

We did get a day to hike and fish before the spring weather got to hot( by May 23 the temps had already hit 94 degrees F) this stream was a great place to rest and fish on our day long adventure.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Boundary marker for public land

 

Moss covered stones along the river at Ten Mile WV

Moss covered stones along the river at Ten Mile WV

We have also had a very popular back yard this year, with lots of wild baby animals roaming around. This spring Tom and I have found Toads, baby rabbits, baby squirrels, baby Doves and Robbins and a Box Turtle so far. It makes for a very educational trip out side. Now if we can just get Christopher over his fear of frogs and toads.

meet Chipper and Splinter the Barnwood builder Babies

meet Chipper and Splinter the Barn Wood Builder Babies

Red Eyed Box turtle walking across the back yard

Red Eyed Box turtle walking across the back yard

Then of course we have a photo of Christopher’s favorite wild animal… Jinn the photo bomber.

Jinn the photo bombing cat

Jinn the photo bombing cat

So thing here are busy, the house remodel is just about finished. Summer is taking hold and the heat is on. The last four days have been in the upper 80’s and 90’s. School will be over in about a week and Christopher will be starting summer swimming lessons. Most of the spring flowers are already gone for the year (I already miss them). The garden got planted but we are so late that it will be a month before I see any real growth . So Summer will be a time to hunt mushrooms in the cool shade of the dark hard woods and maybe even a weekend trip of camping. I will be ready for it sooner than it will happen but until them I keep my eyes open for more beauty that I see every day.

Categories: Appalachian Mountains, Baby Animals, Easter, flowers, Hardwood forest, Mushrooms, photo review, Photos, Turkey season, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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