Thursday, February 14, 2013

Today is Valentines Day. On this day 45 years ago I proposed to my wife and asked her to be my wife. I asked her to marry me in her dorm lounge of Chadburn Hall at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. I borrowed $20 from a friend of mine to use as a down payment on a ring at Goodman's Jewelry Store in Madison. Back then you could buy a diamond ring for $150 or so. I didn't know what it was to be married or what I was suppose to do. I just knew I loved Mary and that she was the one. I didn't have a concept as to what "the rest of my life" was. I just knew for some reason this pretty girl was the "one". When I would see her on campus, we would pass on Bascom Hill frequently going to and from class, I would see this happy smile and it would light up my life. We would talk on the phone often and she would listen to me talk, I'm not one for few words, and she would listen to my singing as I would sing songs to her. She was the one. When you are 20 years old you don't really have a concept of what forever is. But, however long forever was or is I would be married to her till death do us part deep down inside ,where ever that is. It never entered my mind that we would never be together.

We have had many good times and difficult times. We have seen our children being born. We have seen our children triumph and fail. We have now seen them grow up and have families. WE have seen a business or business's start, grow and sometimes do not so good. Through all this my wife has stuck with me and I with her. From that romantic impetuous start on Valentines Day of February 14,1968 I had a inner drive to never quit. I can't take credit for it, it was just there. Maybe my Grandma Mary, or maybe farther back her pioneer parents who traveled by covered wagon,  settled and farmed. So, here we are 45 years later still in love and living in the present together supporting one another and helping one another in the daily tasks that we do. But, beginning to plan how we will live out our lives together in the coming years working,playing, traveling, and being still a parent,  grandparents, and still married.

This picture was us 5 years ago when I surprised her showed up at the high school where she teach's and delivered to her a potted flower arrangement in her class in front of her students on Valentines Day. I guess I won't change. One of the students took the picture. They thought it was really cool that I would do such a thing( many of these kids who have divorced parents were moved). Mary remembers with fond memories also. Oh, by the way, I got permission to do this from the principal( it wasn't totally impetuous).

If the LORD tarries, maybe forever on this earth will be 75 years. Mary's grandma Lilly was 107 when she left this earth , my grandma was 99, Mary's mom is 89 and my father is 88 and both still going strong. The Lord has blessed us and continues to bless us and we look forward to what he has in store for us in the future.
   The woodworking business has begun. It is starting in a small way with orders for my projects usually as I show my two main products to people that I come in contact with, family members, and friends so that they may tell others. Here is a picture of my workshop that I am using to produce these items. This is a place that I feel very relaxed and comfortable in. I've spent most of my working life outside in the sun, heat, cold, stormy, snowy weather. Here I can create things out of wood which I used primarily as a tool in constructing other things i.e. concrete forms, houses. Off and on over the years I  have made things out of wood, such as horse jumps, saddle racks, tack boxes, bridle racks, and some furniture with the intent of getting out of the construction business, but it never seemed to be the time or the right product. As a family we had greater needs than what those other ideas could provide for in the past. With four daughters who we wanted to provide for the opportunities that would possibly help them become what they were intended to be my wife and I ran a construction company for 30 years. We worked hard but we had lots of fun too. So now, here I am working in my shop after all those years enjoying every minute of it.
   The two things that I make are very simple. They serve a need to the people who I sell them to. Actually I hope they almost sell themselves. One lady told me that she has been looking for a table to set her laptop on for 3 or 4 years. That made me feel I was on the right track and fulfilling a need and a function. When I was in college I had a professor who would always say "form follows function". So I feel good when something no matter how big or small is practical, does what it is suppose to do, and cost efficient. That's how I feel about what I am doing now.


   These two pictures are what I call "little table/stools". They can be used like a table by your chair or they could be used as a stool as I used one of them on my deer stand to sit on. The ones on the left show them to be open ready for use or as folded only 3" wide. They are also painted in Milwaukee Brewer colors as they were made for Brewer fan for tailgating. I have painted others in "Harley" colors. The ones on the right I personalized with hand painted names. They were a gift. For unpainted ones I charge $20 plus shipping. For painted or stained with varnish finish and initialed I charge $35 plus shipping. People seem to really like these they are easy to store, easy to operate and use.
I will make a video soon to show how they work.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Maybe you are wondering how did the name for the blog got picked. As I mentioned construction was my line of work my whole life. There were times I came home from working on the job and I would have cuts and scrapes on my hands or they would be filthy dirty from working in concrete, dirt and form oil. My little girls usually come running up to me as I got out of my truck and would yell daddy, daddy your home. They would want to hug me and me to hug them even with my cut and dirty hands. Years later when my little girls were grown they gave me a present. That present was a CD with a song on it. The song was a country song " Daddy's Hands" song by Holly Dunn. I had never heard the song before. I played it and the sentimental slob that I am I cried. My whole life I have worked with my hands. I have very big hands and I guess quite strong. When each of our little girls were born it seemed I could hold them in one hand. People always comment about my grip when I shake their hands. I have to be careful when I shake ladies hands. Well, back to the subject. I still play that song and think of my little girls even though they aren't little any more. These were the same hands that I disciplined with, held to comfort, fixed their necklaces, fixed their cars, held their horses, loaded hay for their horses, shook their boy friends hands, made a living with, hugged their mommy with and wiped away their tears. That CD is my most favorite. Well, I still work with my hands. Whenever I visit them all over the USA I fix or build things for them.  I can't hold my little girls any more but I can hold their children in my hands. I do put my hands and arms around them. It was my youngest and littlest daughter that named the blog and helped me set up this blog to tell my, our story.

Two of my grandchildren napping HA HA with me


Friday, November 23, 2012

    This is new for me to be writing and publishing a blog. I guess I should first introduce myself.  My name is Phil Larsen, I have been married to the same beautiful woman for 44+ years, and we live on a small piece of property in the country in Wisconsin. We have lived here for 34 years, raised 4 beautiful daughters who are all grown and have families of their own--we have 5+ 1 to come any time grandchildren. I have been in the construction industry and owned a construction business most of my life. Out of all this, the idea of a blog, a new business, and a new future has come.
     Not desiring to be in construction for the rest of my life, I was looking as to what I could do to make a living, be a grampa ( my grandchildren call me grampa, easier to say), and reduce stress in my life. My daughters, who are quite wise, suggested that I start a wood working business since I already had a full wood shop with all the tools and equipment.

The sun sets on one chapter of life to rise on another...