That Natural Look   Leave a comment

The Richest Candidate?   Leave a comment

Although some may quibble with the details, here’s a very interesting perspective on the net worth of some of our Presidential candidates, and how they might fit into history.

Time will tell if money really can buy love on the political side of our equation.


Sources used by

The Hill
Open Secrets
ABC News
CNN Money
Time Business

More Net Worth? Richest US Presidents

Posted October 7, 2015 by henrymowry in POTUS

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Above The Rainbow   Leave a comment

Grand Canyon National Park. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 10/5/15.

Grand Canyon National Park. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 10/5/15.


Grand Canyon National Park

A Grand Sunset

Bright Angel Trail


The Board Chronicles: San Dimas Western Days   Leave a comment

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

San DimasYou may remember Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Bill and Ted were from San Dimas … and that’s where we headed last weekend.

It was not an excellent adventure for us, unfortunately.

This was the 48th Annual San Dimas Western Days. They have a Street Fair-styled event run by the Chamber of Commerce, and there’s a rodeo happening at the same time. There were about 80 vendors … perhaps 30 were handmade. The rest ranged from chiropractors to financial planners to the local water company.

This was actually our third choice event for this weekend. We weren’t accepted into our first choice (the horror!), and were then too late to apply to our second choice. We took the third option.


New Ideas

  • We added a second awning this week for shade in front of the booth. Given the weather, we were giving protection from the rain, too, in front of both booths.
  • We had rain overnight on Saturday, so we had to deal with waterproofing the booth for overnight, and rain protection needed throughout Sunday. We survived with no rain damage at all!


  • The Chamber of Commerce really angered our next door neighbor that thought they had the first booth in our line. In the new secret configuration, though, they had the third booth. Lots of anger in the 6am air.
  • Do the Western theme in your booth, we were told. Then why is the music from the stage all rock & roll?
  • Do not close your booth early, we were told. But on Saturday, the Chamber of Commerce closed their booth 30 minutes early. This was not a well run event from ANY perspective.
  • The neighbor across the way had a booth that looked like a homeless encampment, Velda thought. It was a sportscard/memorabilia dealer, and he had a pipe frame with tarps clipped to it for his booth. When the rain came Sunday, the booth just added more tarps/blankets/whatever for rain protection. Didn’t help the property values in our section of booths, and Mrs M was annoyed.
  • Lots of dog walkers at this event. The angry neighbor had his dog with him and prompted him to talk all day. “Rur-rur-rur,” the owner said. “Rur-rur-rur,” the malamute replied. All. Day. Long.
  • Many vendors did not return on Sunday; perhaps they were scared off by the rain forecast. This is Southern California, after all: rain scares us.
  • We spent all day Sunday waiting for the big rainstorm that never came, fortunately. We had sprinkles; it was definitely wet for an hour or so. But, in the end, Sunday’s rainy sales exceeded Saturday’s hot weather sales. Go figure.
  • Most Embarrassed Dog Award goes to the poor terrier that had to wear a yellow raincoat on Sunday. His mistress? No rain protection required.
  • I’ve said you can’t have a bad day if you sell the most expensive board on the table … but we did on Sunday. Nice sale, but the day really was long, wet and boring.
  • The Tandy leather retail booth next to us had total sales of $220 for the weekend. A jewelry retailer that had sales about like ours said this was their 4th year, and that sales had gone down every year. I’m not interested in seeing if there is a 5 year trend next year….

The Food

Saturday Breakfast: McDonald’s # 4 for me, # 1 for Mrs M. Sound familiar?

Saturday Lunch: Cheese & crackers. Sound familiar?

Saturday Snack: Too hot. Too bored. Not interested.

Saturday Dinner: Mediocre Chinese Food to share: Cashew Chicken for me & Shrimp & Snow Peas for Mrs M.

Sunday Breakfast: Holiday Inn Express biscuits & gravy. Mmmmmm.

Sunday Lunch: We shared a dry BBQ chicken sandwich & Mac & Cheese. Not exactly high living.

Sunday Snack: Peanut M&Ms. Thank goodness there was a grocery store nearby.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 255
  • Booth cost: $325 for a premium 10×20 crafters booth, open on 3 sides
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Total sales: $991
  • # containers of product taken: 23
  • # boards available: 110
  • Saturday alarm: 4:30a
  • Sunday alarm: 6:30a
  • Home on Sunday: 7:10p
  • # transactions: 26
  • # soap & lotion vendors: just Mrs M!
  • # woodworking vendors: one turner, one carver and me
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 7:1

Boards sold: 8

Lazy Susans: 2

Cheese boards: 2

Cutting boards: 2

Large cutting board: 1

Small surfboard: 1

Left Brain vs. Right Brain   2 comments

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeThe boards that I create are almost always symmetrical … because in my mind, they must be. I’m driven that way.

Velda, on the other hand, can see boards in an unbalanced, but pleasing way. That’s why she designs chaos boards.

Here’s some of both. Which do you prefer?


From The Shop: Just Like New   Leave a comment

Velda’s cutting board is nearly 2 years old … and it still looks just like new when it’s treated well. This is the 2nd resurfacing I have done on this board that gets daily, heavy use.

I spent 5 minutes sanding (only 5 minutes!) and then re-applied a few coats of mineral oil over 24 hours. As with all of my boards, Velda’s cutting board was then finished with a topcoat of Velda’s own Mrs M’s Board Butter, which is locally-harvested beeswax mixed with mineral oil.

Velda's Cutting Board. Goncalo Alves (Tigerwood), Black Walnut, Honey Locust, Jatoba & Cherry. Edge grain, and 2 years old as shown. 16" x 21" x 1-1/4".

Velda’s Cutting Board. Goncalo Alves (Tigerwood), Black Walnut, Honey Locust, Jatoba & Cherry. Edge grain, and 2 years old as shown. 16″ x 21″ x 1-1/4″.


The Cutting Board (12/26/2013)

KNX’s Melinda Lee On Beeswax & Cutting Boards

Ten Things That Will Disappear In My Lifetime   3 comments

1. Love notes. Students are no longer taught “connected writing,” or cursive writing … so how do you write a love note? On twitter? Do you then soak your smartphone in perfume, or what?

Wile E Coyote2. Saturday morning cartoons.  Now you can see them 24/7 … you don’t even need a TV station to stream them on your mobile screen … and kids often have their own. Back in the day, I had to rush to do my Saturday morning chores so I could watch cartoons on the only day of the week they were available. Ah, memories.

3. Buying entertainment media at a store. Record stores: gone. Book stores: gone. Video stores: gone. Who needs them when you download everything?

4. The paper check. I bought a Paypal reader today that will allow you to simply tap it with your enabled smartphone to pay for your purchase from Mrs. M’s Handmade. That’s all: you just tap your smartphone on my reader, and the tap authorizes a secure, encrypted payment. Who would want to deal with a check?

Must See TV5. Prime time. Gone are the days when the family needs to sit down together to watch their favorite program. “8 o’clock Eastern, 7 Central” no longer means anything. Remember “Must See TV?” Remember only having one television in the house? Remember a family watching network television together? Faint memories, at best. Network television has been irrevocably changed, and we will soon be in a 100% on demand world. The cord cutters already are.

6. The Game Of The Week. As network television has changed from “the big 3” networks having a monopoly on the small screen, sports television has exploded as a vehicle that demands live viewership and premium advertising rates. Back in the day, there was ONE college football game televised each week. Now, they broadcast on multiple networks on multiple days each week. It’s truly an amazing transformation … that pays for a multi-million dollar sports infrastructure on hundreds of college campuses. However, student athletes get no direct compensation. Coaches do pretty well, though.


Maryville, MO, 1958.

7. Photographs. 20% of all photographs taken today are posted on Facebook. In 1930, 1 billion photos were taken each year. Today, 380 billion photos are taken annually. And with that … printed photographs are disappearing at an alarming rate. All of those electronic selfies that are being taken today – will be where in 50 years? In a 100? Will we have printed photographs of our families in 50 years? I think not. Those will disappear.

8. Retail Mom & Pop shops. How will small stores survive the onslaught of online retailing? They won’t. Big chains of stores may find a way to survive (just not if they’re named Montgomery Ward). Little stores? They will largely disappear. Oh, some Mom & Pop stores will survive, especially in small towns. Perhaps “long tail of retail” specialty shops – extreme specialty shops – will survive as well. But, by and large, small retail operations with brick and mortar stores will become increasingly rare.

"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost." - Thomas Jefferson

“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” – Thomas Jefferson

9. Journalism. The fourth estate was supposed to keep the politicians honest. Journalists were to be the beacon of truth in a confusing world. Today? They’re merely another advocacy group with an agenda that is all too frequently hidden, and all too frequently fiercely defended as “actual” truth. The result is that people don’t believe anything … except Donald Trump, apparently. It will be fascinating to see if his candidacy continues to thrive. I wonder how many people understand that there is a substantial percentage of the common man that is desperate to be told the truth … and doesn’t believe anyone from the political establishment on the right or the left is doing so?

10. Privacy. I needed to reserve a camping space in a National Park a couple of years ago, so I took an off-the-grid, no cellphone, no way to contact me vacation for 2 days. I hiked into the backcountry, miles from anyone, with no one knowing where I had gone, by myself. That’s privacy. How often does that happen to you? Velda’s begun making beard oil as a new product for Mrs M’s Handmade … and now, when she’s online, she sees ads for beard oil EVERYWHERE. Thankfully, she’s not a good prospect to make a purchase … but the beard oil retailers have found her. Privacy? It no longer exists.



Posted October 2, 2015 by henrymowry in Living Life

Tagged with ,

Colors   1 comment

Rocks & Water   Leave a comment

The Board Chronicles: Goleta Lemon Festival   2 comments

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

Goleta Lemon FestivalWe’ve done the Strawberry Festival. The Poppy Festival. The Almond Blossom Festival.

Time for some lemons.

Goleta is 77 miles due west of us. It’s part of the central California coast, north of Santa Barbara. We found local motel prices were, uh, pricey in Santa Barbara County, so we ended up driving another 33 miles to the motel in Buellton.

This was the 24th annual Goleta Lemon Festival, celebrating the area’s lemon orchards.

Didn’t see any.

Velda wanted lemons for her lotion display, so we went to the local grocery store to buy some.

The lemons for sale were products of Chile. Those warning bells just turned into sirens….

New Ideas

  • Best attempt to energize social media by the promoter, complete with sending out custom graphic with a timely admonition to invite all of your “clients, friends and followers” to the event. Predictably, the person running the event for the Chamber of Commerce was under 30. Here are the perfect graphics they sent out a few days before the event:
  • Mrs M premiered 2 products here: Goat Milk Lotion & Beard Oil. Both were successful introductions. Because she needed more products.
  • We were an island, really … our double booth was open on 3 sides. The back of the booth was open, but there was a kids activity business there on Saturday and a kids music activity business there on Sunday. They were open air, so we had great, great visibility on the corner of the vendor area, right next to the kids in plastic bubbles playing in the water. Everybody had to check that out, and we were right there. Perfect location.


  • Could not find the drive in entrance to the event area. I could see the set-up, in the city park, but I couldn’t find the road to get there. Silly me. I was supposed to jump the curb with the not-wide-enough wheel chair ramp, and drive in on the sidewalk. Well, OK, then. Here we go.
  • Set up had barely begun when a neighboring canopy blew over and began to tumble towards a bunch of clueless ladies setting up their booth next to their car. I caught the canopy, helped right it and collapse it so it would not harm any people or possessions. The canopy wasn’t weighted at all, of course. When I returned to our booth, Velda and I muttered it together: “Amateurs.”
  • Surprisingly small number of vendors. This was not a huge event, and certainly didn’t have 35,000 in attendance, as the information provided by the event on a vendor website promised. There were perhaps a dozen retail vendors (3 of them were jewelry) and perhaps 2 dozen commercial vendors or local companies there promoting their business. There were several food vendors, some of which were local fundraisers selling lemony goodness.
  • This Festival is promoted as a family friendly event, and there were LOTS of young families there for the wide range of kids activities. Pony rides to Johnny Jump Ups for tweens. There was a track to drive battery operated John Deere tractors for the 3 year olds. A climbing wall. 4 or 5 bounce houses. Happy kids were everywhere.
  • Lots of UCSB students were there as well. No idea why, really … but we had college students, many of which had ridden their bikes to get there. It’s the central coast, after all.
  • I got 3 requests for backgammon boards … which is now my most requested item. Hmmmmm. Also a request for salad tongs, which I’ll file under “no.”
  • Never expected Velda to say this to me: “Here’s a pretty picture of soap.”
  • Best line of the weekend came from a young father there with his wife and 2 carrot-topped children. He was wearing a Cardinals t-shirt, and I commented that I grew up a Cardinals fan, but then converted to the Dodgers when I moved to LA. I congratulated the parents on having 2 red-headed children. Part of the 1%. I observed that I used to have red hair … to which the Dad replied, “Did you lose the red hair when you stopped being a Cardinals fan?”
  • You know the event didn’t go well for some when one vendor neighbor told us she’d never do another pop-up event like this.
  • Velda was overwhelmed by the business on Saturday: it was Mrs M’s best single day ever. The event was the biggest event ever for Mrs M. Those central coast people must need their handmade lotion. Or, perhaps it was what several people suggested to Velda: we had the best products there. Apparently.
  • While Mrs M prospered, Mr M was bored. Last Saturday, I outsold Mrs M, 10:1. This Saturday, Mrs M outsold me, 2:1 … the first time that’s happened in more than a year. And it’s about time!

The Food

Friday Dinner: Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Buellton. To paraphrase MrsMowry, we were drinking better beer than you were.

Saturday Breakfast: McDonald’s # 4 for me & # 1 for Velda. We ate while driving to the event.

Saturday Lunch: Velda’s cheese & cracker presentation. It got kudos from the customers. Of course.

Saturday Snack: Too hot. Who’s hungry?

Saturday Dinner: We couldn’t get a reservation to the Hitching Post, so we were stuck seeking comfort food at Pea Soup Andersen’s. It’s a traditional tourist-driven restaurant on the California 101 highway. And … ’nuff said.

Sunday Breakfast: See Saturday. Still the best option.

Sunday Lunch: Cheese & crackers, part II. Still a good idea.

Sunday Snack: Velda had a lemon beer.

Sunday Dinner: Leftovers at home. 9:15pm.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 385 (we drive 2 cars to have enough cargo capacity at most events)
  • Booth cost: $450 for a handcrafter 10×20
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 2
  • Total sales: $1,784
  • # containers of product taken: 23
  • # boards available: 104
  • Saturday alarm: 5:30a
  • Sunday alarm: 5:30a (oops. Should have been 6:30a)
  • # transactions: No clue. Velda gave up & stopped counting. For Mrs. M, this was the Best. Event. Ever.
  • # soap & lotion vendors: one other, selling soap & lotion bars
  • # woodworking vendors: one other, selling kid’s wooden toys
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 12:1

Boards sold: 13

Small Board: 4

Small Sous Chef: 2

Lazy Susan: 2

Small Surfboard: 2

Chess Board: 1

Large Surfboard: 1

Cheese Board: 1


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