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JOEL Joel's Blog

Friends and Family


Friends and Family 4I don't live in a vacuum, and when I look around I see many of my friends and relations are writing interesting web stuff that doesn't have anything to do with woodworking. Who knew it was possible? Here are a few sites that you might find interesting:

My wife Sally has started, to great acclaim, writing The Produce Savant. Within our circle of friends Sally is known for picking the ripest, tastiest fruit, identifying the strangest vegetables and making delicious dishes out of the produce she buys. Her blog puts produce front and center and keeps it simple. Inspired by the "What the heck is that tool?" presentations she's seen, she identifies those obscure items you've started to see at the market and spreads the love by sharing the recipes for killer dishes like Roasted Potatoes With Garlic and Rosemary. When we've served this dish, guests have been known to disappear into the kitchen to fight over the last crusty bits in the baking pan, so I can tell you that this is one great dish.

Also, while I am mentioning her blog Sally would love you to send her pictures you have taken of interesting local fruits and vegetables and local markets where you live. click here to read her blog

Friends and Family 5The Jacaranda School for Orphans in Malawi was founded by my dear friend Marie Da Silva. The school is tuition free, and provides food, clothing, and arranges shelter for over 400 orphaned children in Malawi. In addition the school provides college scholarships to its graduates. One of their students, 12 year old John Samson, this year won the Royal Commonwealth Essay competition and got a trip to England to meet the Queen.

I have known Marie since she moved to New York about twenty years ago. Her story is compelling. Originally from Malawi in southeastern Africa, she had spent her teen years in London, but her parents and many of her siblings stayed in Malawi. The AIDS epidemic devastated her family. Marie began sending money from her salary as a nanny and basic necessities like clothing to support first her young relatives and then other orphans in the same town. Over the years Marie expanded the program, paying for everything out of own her salary as a nanny and small donations from other nannies she knew, with the occasional donation of clothing and other items from their employers. In time she moved back to Malawi to devote herself to the Jacaranda School.

In 2008 Marie's work was recognized by CNN, which selected her to be one of the CNN Heroes. Since then she has managed to expand the program to over 400 children, built many buildings, hired more and teachers - still on a shoestring budget. We support the school not only because they are doing great work but because even a small donation can go a very long way and they make every dollar count and you can really see the results.

Learn more about the school and maybe see your way clear to a donation - click here!

Friends and Family 6Finally, I've started following the comic strip "Commando Bear" which is a graphic novel or cartoon about the adventures of crusty WW2 Lt. Colonel Jack Churchill and his faithful brave bear Voytek. I found out about the strip from our good friend Ron Hock and one of the co-authors is none other than his son Sam Hock. The drawings are great, the writing fun, and just make sure you read it from the beginning.

I'll be back to woodworking stuff next week, but in the the meantime, Eat Well! Do Good! and Have Fun!

Join the conversation
01/29/2013 Jon
Love the produce blog. There is some subtle connection between all these blog recommendations...
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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.