My Bald Head

Wow, it’s been more than two weeks since my last post. The reason why is that my job (teaching) has just begun again for the new year. So two weekends have gone by without being able to stop and write. But that’s not the only reason. Sometimes things just don’t go as planned.

Even though I finished my book over the summer as planned, I began the very next week writing another book. This wasn’t planned at all. I guess it’s a good problem to have, but it’s all I can focus on as far as writing goes.

So just to touch base, I do hope to get back to a few things in this blog. I’m not done with my ‘Peanuts’ personality typing. Charlie Brown’s little sister and his friend, Franklin, are in the line up. Their types have already been covered in this blog, but the characters are good illustrations of the stereotypes (a good and necessary thing in MBTI). Also, I want to write about a few unicorns in the MBTI community. For instance, while the INFJ is the rarest type overall, the female INTJ is even rarer. My type, ISTP isn’t particularly rare, but most of us are men. The female ISTP, however, is fairly uncommon. There is still a woodworking/decor project I’d like to write about too.

So all these things are brewing in my bald head, but the new story is taking precedence. It gives me the most joy and satisfaction. Part of it is that although I know what will happen in the story, I’m incredibly curious to find out HOW it will happen. That’s the surprising part to me.

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Annie Get Your Brush

I’ve wanted to try using Annie Sloan’s chalk paint for several years now. Finally, the chance has come. There are two small woodworking projects that require painting, recently discussed in this blog. Both of these are rustic and function over form in nature. I decided to try it on the smaller one first. This was a small stepping stool I built to replace the old plastic one in our bathroom. Not the most glamorous build, but my little princess needs something to put her feet on when she sit on her throne. This was a quick project made from scrap wood and old bed slats. The construction was crude, but solid.

Annie Sloan developed a craft paint that has a unique texture. She called her creation chalk paint. The benefits of using her product is that it will go on any surface, even finished wood. It has excellent coverage too. It also dries very quickly. The only drawback is that it’s pricey. But you get what you pay for.

So I bought a color called Lem Lem. It’s a beautiful shade of green, which is my favorite color. It was inspired by the woman farmers of Ethiopia and is linked to a charity benefiting them, which is interesting and kind of cool. The stuff is expensive to be sure. If I were to have bought the paint, the paste wax, and the chalk paint brush, I would have spent over one hundred dollars. I didn’t go that route. I bought one can of paint and one can of the paste wax, spending about seventy dollars. This is way more than I would usually spend on a paint, but these projects are something special. Other companies produce paint with a chalk finish, which would be cheaper, but I don’t think they would work as well. The paste wax can also be purchased for much cheaper too. That’s probably a safe bet.

The paint is incredibly thick. It really does look like chalk was crushed into powder and added to the base. You have to turn the can upside down and shake it by hand before opening it. Then you can stir it like normal paint. I painted the first coat onto the step stool with a foam brush. It applied beautifully. Soon after finishing the first coat, it was dry enough to begin the second. I waited about thirty minutes and applied the paste wax it’s a rag. Then I buffed it out. It looks fantastic.

Pay no attention to the gray bedroom slippers in the background. 😂

I don’t plan to use this all the time. It’s way too expensive for me. But it’s great for special projects that are important to you. The color is rich and it has a great texture. It’s hard to mess up with this. You don’t have to sand or prime. Just paint and have fun. It really brings ordinary furnishings to life.

Annie Sloan didn’t sponsor this post in any way. I just wanted to share my experience with anyone who likes to read about DIY and woodworking. Soon I plan to paint and finish the storage shelf I built with wood reclaimed from my daughters’ old bunk beds. And of course, I plan to post it.

Sandal Symbolism

Recently I had the opportunity to teach a lesson at children’s church. I decided to begin with the baptism of Jesus. It’s a simple story about John the Baptist’s ministry being the beginning of ministry of Christ. For those of you not in the know, when Jesus came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended from the heavens like a dove and the voice of God declared, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” The event is recorded in all four of the gospels. But something else is recorded there too. John the Baptist declares that he’s not worthy to untie his sandals. In some translations he says he’s not fit to carry his sandals. This statement always intrigued me.

The meaning of the sandals statement is obvious enough. It illustrates how great our Lord and Savior is. But I always suspected that there was a deeper cultural meaning behind it. There certainly is!

The sandal comment harkens back to a Levitical law concerning marriage. In ancient Israel a man was expected to marry his brother’s widow and have children to honor both her and him. Another family member could do this too, but the responsibility usually fell to the brother. If a brother refused to honor his late brothers wife, she had the right to take his sandal off in public and spit in his face! From then on, his house would be referred to as unshod. Marriage was certainly different back then.

But back to John the Baptist. He was a cousin of Jesus. The bride of Jesus is the church. It was the custom of a family member to loosen or untie and remove the sandal of the fallen kinsman and to take his bride for his own. He’s flatly stating, or perhaps proclaiming a prophecy, that only Jesus can be the bridegroom of the church.

We live in a wonderful time. We have research materials and information that scholars could only dream of for centuries. I was able to find this out in one afternoon while preparing a children’s church lesson. All this with the press of a few buttons. We are truly blessed.

The Other Book

I just finished writing my second book, “The Other Curse of Mr. M’s Castle.” It’s recommended for kids, third grade and up. While writing, I posted my progress regularly on Facebook and Instagram. This kept anyone who might be interested in the loop. But more importantly, it kept me accountable. This book had considerably more pages and chapters, but was written in less time. I thought I’d share the posts I made in chronological order here on my blog page. To me it paints an interesting picture of the writing journey. Enjoy…

Reclamation

It’s been a while since my last blogpost because I’ve been working on my next book. I hope to finish the first manuscript within the next ten days or so. But I’ve also been doing a little woodworking. My current project is a shelf in our bathroom. We are in desperate need of reorganization. So I’ve been working on the shelf case a little at a time over the summer.

I got the material for this project from my daughters’ old bunk beds. After deconstructing the pieces, it seemed a shame to throw the material out. So I’ve kept it for almost a year. The bed rails are wooden and are about the size of a one by six. These pieces make up the outer casing (just a huge rectangle almost four feet tall) and the inner shelves. There was a small one inch square piece attached to the rails for the bed slats to rest on. After removing this, I decided to make shelf supports out of it. It works well, but the look needs to be refined. This will happen later.

The only new materials in this build are two thin plywood project panels that were purchased from the orange looking home improvement store. They were just a few bucks apiece. They look really good, but I’m not sure if I’m going to paint them or finish them with water based polyurethane. It’s a tough call right now.

Speaking of painting, I’ve decided to experiment with this project a little. I’ve wanted to try Annie Sloan’s chalk paint for a while now. This is a craft paint with a unique finish. It’s expensive, but I think it might be perfect for this build. When you consider the total cost of the materials, it might be okay to splurge a little on the paint.

I will probably write another post about finishing this project. It will more than likely have a few pictures to go with it too. None for now, though. This is just a bit of an update and a way to encourage anyone to try new things, like building shelves for your bathroom using old bunk beds.

The primary reason the beds became shelves.

Soap Box

As I began to dive deeper into my writing process, it occurred to me that I skipped an important part. At least, I skipped an important message. This is for anyone that may follow my blog, my Facebook author page, my Instagram page, or even my Amazon Author page.

I want anyone of any age or creed to be comfortable going to my public pages. This is why these pages will always be decidedly apolitical. Yes, it’s true that I am a political person, any of my friends on my personal FB page would know that. But I think that politics has invaded enough of our daily lives, mine included.

Now, I have my own personal biases. My writing comes from my heart. I can’t help but be pro God, pro kid (I’m a school teacher), and pro America. However, I want any conservative or liberal, young or old, domestic or international person to feel welcomed on my public social media sites.

That is all. Rant is over. Back to your business. Nothing to see here.

Go Ahead and Jump!

No, I’m not reviewing a Van Halen or Pointer Sisters song. I’m finally writing about jumpers. Again, this is probably not what you’re thinking. It’s not about incredibly useful fashion wear or suicidal bridge dwellers. It’s a phenomenon in the MBTI system of personality typing. This post may be ‘in the weeds’ for most, but I think understanding people is important. And as Granny Weatherwax said, “Magic is easy, but people are hard.” (I seriously hope you google her. She’s a great character.) So without further adieu (ado?), let’s dive into my jumper story.

Go Ahead 🤘

I typed a friend and coworker recently as an ESFJ. She was very sure about her preferences, and not on the fence about any of them. When she looked at videos describing her type, they seemed to be a good fit. But when she found out who some other people people were that shared her type, she had doubts. Now, she wasn’t being judgmental or mean. She really saw a discrepancy, and I happened to agree with her when I thought about it. At first I went with Occam’s Razor and presumed I was wrong. But later on, intuition kicked in. I had typed my first jumper.

Ode to Occam

So what is a jumper? I first came across this term while watching the YouTube channel, DaveSuperPowers. These people work to back up MBTI with more scientific rigor by Objective Typing. One thing they discovered was that some people, almost 50% with some types preferred to switch their second and third functions within their cognitive stacks (told you it was in the weeds). The first and last functions were always nonnegotiable. They called these people jumpers.

In the weeds

Back to my friend. She is an ESFJ, but she’s a jumper. I like to use the car model to explain the cognitive stack. The typical ESFJ has the following ‘brain on a road trip.’ Extroverted Feeling (Fe) is the driver. Introverted Sensing (Si) is the navigator. Extraverted iNtuition (Ne) is the passenger, and Introverted Thinking (Ti) is the tag-along. In a jumper the Ne, which is usually the cognitive function that is like the 10 year old passenger staring out the back car window, becomes the navigator sitting up front with the driver. The Si gets to sit in the back seat and play with the tag-along toddler.

My jumper friend is a little different than other ESFJ’s. She’s still a Provider, which is the nickname of this type, and still has the Guardian temperament. But she is able to focus more on possibilities (Ne) and use her gut instinct instead of being navigated by memories (Si) and the way things ought to be. The people at the aforementioned YouTube channel don’t go into why some people are jumpers, but I believe it a compliment to these people. I think the Jungian MBTI cognition description is the default setting and that these people have developed their lower function more due to life circumstances or positive attitudes. In other words, their 10 year passengers have grown up to be trustworthy young adults who are able to help the drivers navigate on the road trip of life (Wow, that was incredibly esoteric). But that’s just my intuition talking.