Monday, November 28, 2016

Discovering I am not alone

Discovering I am not alone
By Murray Lincoln

When my mom Marion moved to Peterborough in March 2007, we had a perfect plan. And better than that I was fulfilling a promise I had made to my father that I would look after mom after he left us.  That promise was way back in 1986.

In December 2006 my mom’s Doctor in Regina, Saskatchewan had called me to give the news that she needed to be in an “assisted living” arrangement of some kind.  Without us knowing the Doctor had seen something that we knew nothing about, but he would not say more on the telephone other than he was adamant she needed a new living arrangement.

The move took place.  Mom loved it and hated it at the same time. Now she was 1700 miles from her nearest relative in their very close family.  Her reactions to what I did and said were odd.  Mom had never talked to me that way before. I seemed to become the focus of her vile anger.  Shocking to say the least, Mom had never been that kind of person.  Other times my mom was happy and so thrilled to be living with us. She loved it!  I was confused.

We had her room all fixed up and ready for her when she arrived.  All her needs were taken care of as far as I could see.  To top it off my wife as a former RN stepped in to help wherever she was needed.

The story is too long to tell here… but as time passed mom grew more and more dependent on us for her care.  Eventually she couldn’t bath herself or do the normal personal care as to the toilet etc. 

She had passed the 90 year mark – and we had passed into the “severe stage” of living where we were now “Mom-Centric”.

Every waking moment and in fact every sleeping moment was filled with Mom.  It was not uncommon to have a loud banging on our door at 3 am… or have loud thud from her bedroom as she fell time and again.

I had promised my dad that I would look after mom – but this was crazy and even crazier the next day.  We had never felt more alone at any time in our lives. Surrounded by friends and yet alone in our nutsy world of care giving for a person that had something wrong that could never be fixed!

My wife and I were at a small meeting that was advertised as “someone doing a LHIN survey for care of the elderly”.  We sat with some others around a table and each described what we were facing.  One lady mentioned that she had been to the “GAIN Clinic” to have an assessment done for her husband.

GAIN Clinic – what was that!???

We had no idea that community help was available for us… or what kind of community help there might be.  We were so involved with just maintaining a semblance of sanity in a very bumpy and unbalanced life that there was no time to look into anything.

We did get an appointment at the GAIN Clinic.  While there they did an assessment on my mom. They also interviewed my wife and me to see how we were doing.  I am sure now that what they saw, we couldn’t see or have any idea how bad things were.

One of the GAIN Clinic team members that day asked if we would be willing to attend a group for people that were care givers.  That group idea was something to do with the Alzheimer Society.

We had no idea that such a Group existed and that the one they suggested was only a short distance from where we lived!!!

In about a week’s time we met the most amazing young lady by the name of Denise – the facilitator of the Alzheimer Society Support Group.

Our entrance was slow and careful in that I had no idea who these folk were. I had to be real careful with my “public image”.  The anger and frustration in me that had grown while trying to help my mom had grown as my mom’s hidden disease had grown.  If I said anything I would blow my top like a volcano that was trembling from deep inside.

But after a few meetings and listening to others, I couldn’t hold back anymore… I exploded verbally, truthfully, irrationally, impossibly, angrily and in just about every adjective that might describe a man out of control… and hating every moment of the promise that he had made to his father years ago.  This happened many times – but no one ever condemned me or was shocked by what was said.

We have been regular members of our Alzheimer Support Group for over three years now.  I have found peace.

With Alzheimer Society we discovered help for us personally and information to understand.

With our community help we had discovered an Adult Day Program through the VON that also offered their respite weekend care for mom. 

Finally, we had also discovered a wonderful long term care home for mom at Riverview Manor, where the staff could not have been more kind and understanding.

My mom passed away last November 2015.

We were not alone. There was wonderful help for us… as there is for you if you are a care giver.

If you would like to help the 
Alzheimer Society of Peterborough Kawartha Lakes Northumberland and Haliburton.... Click here

Murray Lincoln

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Office Owls - by Misty Hollow Carving - Murray Lincoln

Office Owls

Listening to a close friend of mine as they described the turmoil that they face in their office each day prompted the creation of my "Office Owl".

It seems that on any given day people walk in and present "Stupid" to her often.  "Stupid" comes in things that they say without thinking. In ways that they act.  In ways that they answer questions that are asked of them.

"Stupid" can make her day really bad. It can give her headaches and back aches.

I should state here that if you react to "Stupid" in the wrong way - your position could be in jeopardy.

Everyone one is surrounded by "Stupid" things all the time. And when I realized that, I designed the "Office Owl" to help with Stupid things and sometime people.

When "Stupid" begins to appear you need only to pick up the Office Owl that sits on your desk and hold(or squeeze) him tightly... thus giving the Wise Office Owl the "Stupidity" in front of you.

The Office Owl will help you in every way.  As you squeeze him Wisdom will likely show up in a few moments to help you deal with Stupid.  It is A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN BITING YOUR TONGUE!

Contact me at or to make arrangements to have an Office Owl shipped to your office.

Murray Lincoln

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Box for Jordan with Pyrography Designs

Box for Jordan
Jordan, a 20 year old, passed away earlier this summer of 2016. He had played on a local football team that my Grandson also had been part of. 

Some of the Moms of fellow football players decided to present something special to Jordan's Mom. They asked me to decorate the Blanket Box that you see in the photos. 

The surface is very rough and it has a Oil Finish on the Pine (Spruce - Like wood) - making it stubborn to apply the Pyrography images.... but here it is completed and about to be delivered. I designed two feathers for handles to lift the box as you can see.

Murray Lincoln


Friday, July 29, 2016

Carving a Celtic Love Spoon – How to

Carving a Celtic Love Spoon – How to
“Where do you start to carve something like a Celtic Love Spoon?” was the young man’s question.  He had picked up the carved spoon and turned it over in his hands.

I asked him, “Have you ever done any carving?”

His answer was, “No, but I don’t know where to start.  Do you have a video to show how to carve something like this?”

In this very “YouTube World” where you can learn almost anything by clicking on to topic in the YouTube site, this young man was a product of the new world.

Then just before Christmas, I had the same question asked of me again, “Do you have a video on how to carve a Love Spoon?”
Nope… so giving it some thought I finally came up with an answer and then made a Video of this very idea.

Now carving something as intricate as the Love Spoon does take time – lots of it.  To try and shoot all the time needed to carve it… would be impossible.  Way too much time involved in doing that!

So still shots woven together in kind of a Slide Show is the best answer for something that takes time to do.

Today I unveil my new Video for my Blog Readers.  Just click here and take a look at the final product. “Carving Celtic Love Spoons January 2014”

But where do you start to do a spoon?  Here is the “How To” just for you.
First there is the pattern… which at times is pieced together.  The Celtic designs are many… and the people that are interested in “Celtic Things” all have different things that they like.

Each spoon has a basic structure so that it will hold up and stay together. As well each one can be very delicate in its actual make up but if the wood is too thin at any one point it will very likely break.  Just one little one asking, “Grandma can I hold it…?” will be sure to see a spoon break.
At times my customers are involved in the process of the design as well.
Just before Christmas I received an email from California asking if I did commissioned work and explaining that this fellow would like a special Celtic Knot in a Love Spoon.

He sent patterns and photos of knots that he liked. Together with an exchange back and forth by email we came up with almost the right design… at least it was a good and complete design. It was the start.
I drew the pattern for the Spoon on paper and then when the cut out was made it was transferred to a plastic sheet making the pattern long wearing and worth a lifetime of carving. For plastic I use the flat sheets of plastic cut from boxes and containers that store bought products come in.  These items are scheduled to be re-cycled.  Each flat sheet makes a great pattern possibility.

Next I transfer the pattern to the actual wood that I will be using.
In the case of this Celtic Love Spoon I use recycled wood… and particularly old Mahogany from old houses that are being torn down or renovated.  A local recycling store, “Re-Store” (connected to Habitat for Humanity) is a great place to pick up the old lumber. And the quality of the Mahogany is excellent compared to what is harvested and sold today. It usually has a rich colour and is very firm to carve. The finish is amazing as well.

After the spoon is roughed out by cutting around the outline I then cut the center sections out with a scroll saw. This part is tedious but very helpful in speeding up the process.  You could carve the holes but it takes time – too much time.

Step by step each section of the spoon is carved carefully. Once the pattern is cut out there are no more changes that can be made.  And also no more mistakes can be covered up either… so you simply don’t make mistakes!

Finally I begin the slower task of sanding and smoothing out the carved piece so that the knife cuts can no longer be seen.

An application of finishes and Tada… you have a Celtic Love Spoon.  And in this case there are two spoons completed this time around.

A photo will offer you more than 1000 words.  You can see all of these below.  And finally having published these photos to my Blog today – they are now going to show up in “Pinterest”

You can also see these on Facebook at “Misty Hollow Carving by Murray Lincoln”.  Please drop by and offer a “Like” – it will help me get the word out to others about the carvings at Misty Hollow.
~ Murray Lincoln ~

Murray Lincoln
Twitter  Misty Hollow (@misty_hollow)
My Tatting Blog

Comfort Birds from Misty Hollow

Comfort Birds from Misty Hollow

In a recent conversation with a friend of mine I heard of a need for
Comfort Birds and the Hospice Peterborough program.

After listening to the explanation I did some research and found that a man by the name of Frank Foust has been making these small creatures since 1982- As of 2011 he had carved over 1,100 of them.

I began my new adventure of carving these birds this summer.

Yes, Frank Foust has sold them as fund raising items to help places and people after like the earthquake in Haiti.

"Comfort Birds are given to those in need as a token of kindness" ~ Frank Foust

Another carver, Stanley Cook, wrote - "To date the birds which I have carved are made of basswood and finished with either a golden pecan or cherry finish and take a few hours to complete. Because of the natural variations in wood and the finish used, no two birds are alike. In future, I hope to try different types of wood for unique results."

Stanley Cook

There is a reference to Jesus' words in the New Testament....

“Consider the sparrows; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

- Matthew 6:26

Like Stanley Cook (I am borrowing his words) I intend to ..."Carve these little birds as an act of kindness, to those battling depression, cancer, blindness or other life altering illnesses."

These BLOGS are sponsored by my businesses. 
Misty Hollow Carving was launched in October 2008

Misty Hollow Digital Images were launched on September 26, 2012

Fairy Stone House
The following article arrived to my email In-Box this morning.  After reading this I just had to pass it on.
With World Cup Soccer championship game just completed yesterday the events the Referee faced are very vivid in my mind.
I am a Referee in a number of areas of my life.  This week I have to make “call” in plays that have unfolded in front of me. The plays have left some folk calling for me to “blow the whistle”.  Others are saying they did nothing wrong, “It wasn’t my fault!” declares the other party in the skirmish that is taking place.
And I am the Referee.  Please read this article with these thoughts in mind – you may well be facing a similar problem(s).  Enjoy.

Making the Tough Call when everyone’s eyes are on you
By The John Maxwell Company
Entire countries come to a standstill during the World Cup soccer tournament, as people pause from their daily routine to tune into the action. Part of the excitement comes from the fact that games are often decided by a single goal. One well-timed kick can make all the difference.
With such a small margin separating victory and defeat, the decisions made by referees play a significant role in determining the outcome of a match. This is particularly true when two players collide within the penalty box, and officials must determine whether or not a foul has been committed. If so, a penalty shot is awarded and one team gains a golden opportunity to score a goal.
With tens of thousands of spectators in the stadium, and millions of fans watching on television, referees are under immense pressure to make the right call. Whatever decision they make will be subject to endless scrutiny and fierce criticism.
Like soccer refs, leaders eventually face situations that require making a tough call. Each tough call has the following in common:
- It demands a risk. If it’s easy or comfortable, then it’s not a tough call.
- It will be second-guessed and criticized. You will never make a tough call and have unanimous support for your decision.
- It is costly. You will lose sleep over it, sacrifice finances because of it, and perhaps even sever relationships as a consequence of it.
- If made correctly, a tough call will lead to a breakthrough that lifts your leadership to a higher level.
How do make good decisions in circumstances where the right choice is not perfectly clear and where so much is at stake? Let’s return to the analogy of the soccer referee for guidance. A good referee…
1) Makes a timely decision
A referee does not wait several minutes after blowing his whistle to issue his decision. As soon as he stops play, the official confidently steps forward to signal whether or not an infraction taken place.
If you tend to dread the finality of taking a stand or calling the shots, you may be tempted to put off the decision. It’s easy to rationalize your unwillingness to decide.

For example:
• “That can wait. There’s no reason to rush. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
• “It’s such a tough call. It could go either way. I’m just not sure, so I’ll reflect on it for a while.”
• “It’s a lose-lose decision, where someone’s going to get hurt regardless. So why not put if off and postpone the damage as long as possible?”

If any of these comments sound familiar, your challenge is to condense the timeframe in which you make your decision. Although you may trick yourself into believing that “it can wait,” a cloud of worry will hover over your head until you take initiative to make the call.
2) Refuses to surrender the decision to others
A good referee refuses to be swayed by the crowd, and makes his judgment according to personal observation rather than the emotions of spectators.
Likewise, competent leaders make decisions after weighing the evidence in light of their vision and values. Rather than seeking to please their people or to pacify their critics, leaders ground their choice on what’s best for the long-run health of the organization.
3) Does not say “yes” to everything
Soccer players notoriously try to influence the officials, diving to the turf in exaggerated pain in the hopes of persuading a referee to call a foul. Thus, a good ref frequently denies players’ requests for a foul to be called, refusing to blow the whistle every time a player falls to the ground in apparent agony.
You’re not making smart decisions if you’re always giving the go-ahead or thumbs-up. By saying “yes” to everyone; you’re not being helpful and empowering. Instead, you’re irresponsibly robbing resources from what matters most.
Question to Consider
How has making a tough call led to a breakthrough in your leadership?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Owl Neclace - Pyrography on old Pine

The Necklace is carved from an old piece of Pine taken from a Old Steamer Trunk that crossed the Atlantic Ocean a number of times between Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Britain.  Its owners lived in Truax, Saskatchewan, Canada. They had immigrated from Britain in about 1900 - their travels took them home often.

The Trunk came into my possession following an Estate Sale.  My mother had bought the old house in Truax for a mere $500 with all its contents.  The $500 represented 10 years of unpaid taxes.

When my mother finished with the Trunk I dismantled it in hopes that some of the wood was carveable.... It was and here is the first result.

After this weekend I was able to complete two more Owl Necklaces as well.  Here they are and then from here they are whisked away to my Pinterest Pyrography Board.

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Pinterest - Murray Lincoln