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#6: Its Been A Pretty Good Year!

I realized today that it has been one full year that I have been completely retired and working some 23 1/2 hours a day..... Ok, maybe that is a stretch. I have often asked my neighbors - how did we ever get anything accomplished when we were working?!?! Besides the side gig of woodworking, I realize there are still 946,752 other things that still has to get done around the house all the time.

But it’s still been a GREAT year!!

Not sure if I know how to run a business any better yet, but I have become a much more efficient woodworker! I have learned new business skills. I have learned (the hard way) that the government expects you to pay taxes every quarter, regardless if you are making a profit. Who knew!? I have learned how to keep 'the books' digitally vs on a yellow legal pad and a big envelope for receipts (a BIG step in the right direction!!!!). I’m moving forward...slowly, but at least a constant movement…

I hired two young ladies that were recommended to me by their HS Technology Teacher. They had just graduated and were headed off to college to get certified in construction. Sage and Jocelyn were the best help in the shop that I could have ever asked for. They really gave my business startup a kick in the pants and got it moving forward too!!

I designed a new chair this year too - a lounge chair, designed for a seat and back cushion. It really turned out nice!

So a few stats' - in the last 12 months of doing this woodworking thing full time, I have build:

- 54 Adirondack Chairs

- 241 Cutting Boards

- 80 Serving Trays

- 16 Charcuterie Trays

- 1 full size Kitchen table (from a tree out of the yard the house was built on....VERY cool story about that!)

- a wood Kiln to dry my own lumber (Hmm..... still a lot to learn about drying wood....)

- slabbed out 5 trees into boards and have about 9 more logs to slab out as well.

So, the focus for this new year (2022) will be a little different:

1). I am going to start building new projects - ones that i want to try, not necessarily what some one has ordered (I want to enjoy the woodworking gig too!). I have a couple new chair designs that I want to try out as well.

2). I really want to build more Windsor chairs. That is my real passion that got me serious about woodworking. The skills required to build those chairs could become a lost art if they are not passed down to the next generation. Along with, how to can tomatoes and other food to be available in the winter - like my Mom taught us, but again that's another posting for later.

3). Another Army buddy and I will be hitting the Craft Fair circuit this year. We are planning to go to 4-6 Craft fairs this year and see if we can find people that just cant live another day without having our wares in their house.

4). My wife reminds me that I am retired too. The plan is to take some long weekend trips to the mountains, maybe try Turkey hunting again this spring, and enjoy the retired life some more. Actually, standing in front of the window on Monday mornings with a coffee in hand and watching everyone hurry off to work is satisfying enough for me though!

Thanks for sticking around to the end of this. After a half dozen edits, I realize I might have started to babble. But it’s been a BIG Year, and a good tone to boot! Go learn a new thing today and make something today! I'll be down in the shop.

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