2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

New Gourds, Jean’s Gourds

Jean has prepare well for the upcoming TWG show in New Braunsfels Texas in Oct 2013 with over 20 new gourds.  They can be seen in the pages section of this bolg.  Visit it at your leisure and enjoy some beautiful ART.

New Carvings

I have known for a long time that I needed to get busy and add to this blog, and many of you have told me so.  I just did not feel I had anything note worthy to say or show that was of interest.  I am not going to sit down and fill pages with nothing  just to add to the blog.  I don’t enjoy listening to myself that much.  That has changed, I have two new carvings that I would like to share with you in this article, and will also add them to the Gallery.

The first of these carvings is “Battle Royale”.  Battle is the depiction of an Elk and a Wolf in a to the death duel.  Inspiration for this carving came from a mount in the Cabelas Store in Allen, Texas.  They have a taxadermied mount of an Elk in a fight with a Wolf that is just beautiful, it is real life in the wild.  That is, of course, what I prefer to carve, wild life as it is.  This piece I have done in walnut wood, in a semi-stylized style of carving.  It is finished in Tung Oil.  The piece stands about 9 inches tall and is about 14 inches long.  It has already been shown in one show and won a First Place and a Merit Award.Carvings 057

The second carving that I want to talk about, and one I am most proud of, is “….Some Gave All!”  Any of you that have read other offerings in this Blog know that I have been deeply involved in carving canes for our Wound Warriors for the past almost 10 years.  This has been a labor of love for me as a Vet (Viet Nam) to be able to give something to our new round of warriors.  Over the years there has been this feeling that I needed to do something else to honor out warriors and I just could not get a hold on what it could be.  This nagged at me then one day as I was carving the “Soldiers Cross” on a cane for a warrior it hit me.  Carve a Soldiers Cross.  Many, many hours later the Cross is finished and is named “…Some Gave All!”  This piece stands 34 inches tall, is 25″ inches wide and is carved in multiple pieces and assembled.  It is painted with acrylics.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did carving it.

"...Some Gave All!"

“…Some Gave All!”

Thank you for visiting this Post, and please remember the wonderful Men and Women in our nations Military and thank them for their service.  Should you meet a Viet Nam Vet, not only thank him or her for their service but welcome them home for you see no one has done that yet.  They deserve to know that their service to this country was honorable despite what the country did to them on coming home.  I know how hard it was for them (us) because I was there.

Address

I had someone tell me that they couldn’t find a way to contact me through this blog.  There is a block at the end of each post that allows you to send a message to me through the blog as you read it.  Entries in the comment blocks trigger a notification on my email and I come to the blog to read your message.  My email address is also listed in the blog for your convenience.  W

Patriot Paws

Today I attended a presentation put on by three volunteers from the Patriot Paws organization.  If you are not familiar with this group, they procure, train, and provide service dogs for our Wounded Warriors.  This is an amazing group of people, mostly volunteers that spend up to two year in training a dog to help a vet.  I will not go into the details of the program, you can learn about that by going to their web site, www.PatriotPAWS.org.   What you can do is go to that site and learn how you can help by sending some money.  It is only through donations that they can provide this wonderful service for our Wounded Warriors.  They must purchase dogs (some get donated), train them, provide food and healthcare for the two years of training, all this cost money.  Please consider helping them and contact your friends to help also.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this little message on a blog site started an avalanche of donations to help them.

Thank you for considering helping.

Walt Wharton, Wood Carver.

Raising Cane(s)

Recently I decided to do a cane for my wife and myself as a break from doing canes for our Wounded Warriors.  My wifes cane is an “Iris” and mine I did for Memorial Day and call it the “Star Spangled Banner” as the words to the first verse are printed on the cane.  Included in this post are two previous cane I had done.   See them all below.  W

The “Iris”

“Star Spangled Banner”

My Canes

Misc Canes

THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS

I have been buried with positive comments about the “History of Operation Cane”.  Some of those comments have come right through on the blog but many more came to the blog as “Spam” and the crazy thing about them they come from all over the world.  I am very grateful for all the comments I have received and I thank you.  I hope you also read the companion article “Thoughts on Operation Cane and the Eagle Cane Project”.  These two articles tell it all.

I am personally very proud of our Military that has done such a great job over history and in particular, in the last 10 years.  Yes there have been incidents that none of us are proud of, but they have been very few in number and considering the type of enemy that they have been fighting I believe our troops have been quite restrained.  They have faced a brutal enemy with courage and valor.  We owe them a lot.  All you have to do is talk to a young soldier laying in a hospital bed missing limbs, badly scared by shrapnel and bullets, and with a bad case of TBI to understand what a sacrifice they have made and are making for this country.

Think of these things when you start to think or say things about our troops that make these mistakes.  The Sgt that killed 16 people, yes he was totally wrong and should face charges for what he has done, but be understanding of what he has been through, 4 deployments (3 Iraq, 1 Afgahanistan), wounded twice, has TBI.  Could you go to war 4 times in 10 years and survive it mentally?  A recent study showed that the line soldiers in Iraq and Afgahanistan saw more actual combat time in a year than their counterparts in WWII by an extreme margin.  These men and women are great and doing a great job under very stressful conditions.  Pray for them, support them, and be there for them when their job is done.

Walter Wharton (Ltc, USA Ret)

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