Being as it’s harvest time I didn’t get a lot of instrument work done, though a little. Yesterday was Joe’s birthday party, so today was it. Coffee and some hamburger, a stop at Rite Aid for some blank labels to cover Raven’s mail. As I was leaving, my friend Dave from work said hey, we talked a while. On the way out the willows were enticing for a basket but I have to much else to do.
Home, chicken soup to make from the carcass and leftovers. I cleaned out the cavity of any viscerals and threw it in the pot with the drumsticks and thighs, added water, left over garlic, bone soup to cook.
I have a lot of roma tomatoes from the landlords tomato patch, a pot of boiling water to blanch and skin them, cut and seeded in the big bowl. To the wide Emeril pan to cook down, it’s a good pan, thick on the bottom to spread the heat not to burn and wide to evaporate the water. I threw in a star of anise, just one seed ray for maybe ten minutes to sweeten it.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Tonto, cleverly disguised as a tea bag, is up to his neck in hot water.
Back to the chicken soup, I cut up some celery, carrots and onions, looked up mirepoix, that’s the word I was looking for yesterday, a ratio of two onion, one each of the other. In a separate pan with olive oil to cook. Chopped a half zucchini, a small crookneck and some cabbage. The cabbage is still growing from last week in the fridge with longer leaves in the middle, hardy stuff. A batch of farfalle bow tie noodles for soup in the finished blanch pan. Strained and cooled, I picked clean the bones and chopped the larger meat, back in the broth, cat food outside. To the garden for herbs, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, tarragon. Hey there’s a few small green beans picked to add, chopped and cleaned, into the batch. A bit more broth from TJ’s and a dash of wine, salt to taste, a glug of Worcestershire sauce, noodles done added. This is good soup.
Chili, another batch of mirepoix, just one carrot, celery, and a small onion from Steve at the farmers market, in the pan. Garlic, garden herbs again. The tomato sauce is thickening nicely. Three hamburger patties broken down and browned nicely, drained. Add the thick tomato sauce, a can of organic pinto beans, heavy with cumin, needs more cumin and a touch more salt. There is no heat spice in this chili but a ton of flavor, perfect, add it if you like. Just two buckets and a small bowl for now, really tasty. Dated, one frozen, one fridged soon. The freezer is full again.
OK, I put the ladder in the truck after brushing it down for spiders, bags in. The damson plum tree is ready. I pick what I can, there aren’t very many, a sparse year but a good batch. Pears are nearly done but I fill up with ripe and light greens as many as I can carry, into the truck. To the tomato patch, more than a few large ones in red and yellow, a quart of cherry size mixed. As I’m driving out, the ancient apple tree, I think golden delicious, has quite a few on it. I pick what I can. They’re perfect but small, Julie’s favorite at work, a good score as last year there was one. I sorted them all out on the plastic table, washed, three bags fruit, a zip lock of small tomatoes ready for work and a pile of pears to ripen.
Laundry folded, back to the instruments to build. Yesterday I cut down the neck for the tenor ukulele. It needs a wider head stock. I cut a piece of the leftover maple on the table saw to a little thick and wide and glue it up.
Next I worked on the bass frets. The sixth fret high has been a problem, refilled with carpenters glue and sawdust, I sanded it down with 400 grit, resawn,  then 600 grit. I re bent it on the jig I made of an aluminum 3 inch round sawn on the band saw at work. It worked, but will need additional super glue to keep it. Using the aluminum bend jig I got three more frets in, bent to really close and tapped in using the bone tool I made last time and an additional curved wood form to smack them down. It seems the depth of the kerf needs to be deeper, I re adjusted the kerf saw and went over each slot. It’s working better now, but frets are a challenge with nine done.
I’m getting the hang of this, but it would have been much easier to put the frets on before attaching the fingerboard to the neck. Filing each fret to length is a challenge. Being my first fretted instrument, I’m learning. That’s OK. It will be a good one yet.

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