Monday, March 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Work Center

Ready for installation
Hello again. Sorry, it has been a while.  My post master general became very busy. Maybe I really should learn how to do this.

Anyway, today I was looking through my notes and discovered that exactly one year ago I was building the upper half of this work center as one of the last large cabinets to go into the library.  The concept for this idea started out very different with many alterations and this is the final result.  This was the request. Computer screen in the bottom center, space for files to lay in, drawers to hold CD's and misc. desk stuff, shelving for books, built in lighting, moldings inspired by custom woodworking in the Kirtland Temple in Ohio, a treasured national historic landmark and sacred space.  What a pleasure it was to make. 
To be installed above desk area on right

Week 1
Week 2
Week 4
I wish for you all to have a great and wonderfull Christmas season.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Greene and Greene

Gamble house - Pasadena, California (1908)

The elegant houses designed by Charles and Henry Greene have come to define the arts and crafts movement in the United States.  A seamless fusion of simplicity and sophisticated detail with meticulous attention to building materials and natural surroundings, each Greene and Greene house is a model of timeless home design.

Other architects have enjoyed more famous careers.  Many others have produced more buildings.  But no other architects have left us with a more glowing legacy of beauty, craft, livability, and spirit than Charles and Henry Greene. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The World's Most Comfortable House

What makes the world's most comfortable house?  Unless I missed something, the people who are in that home are the most important ingredient.  But I still find all the descriptions about how the people lived, fascinating.  The most humble cottage could be a palace but I love reading about the mansions too. 

I decided to devote the next few posts to some amazing places and amazing people.  Starting with the largest privately owned home in the United States.  The Biltmore.  The Vanderbilt mansion.   Situated on 125,00 acres, the mansion is 135,000 square feet. Yes, One hundred and thirty five thousand square feet. 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 45 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces.  It took 6 years and the result of this human endeavor is spectacular. 

Contrast this with Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace.

 A common list of the failures of Abraham Lincoln (along with a few successes) is:

•1831 - Lost his job

•1832 - Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature

•1833 - Failed in business

•1834 - Elected to Illinois State Legislature (success)

•1835 - Sweetheart died

•1836 - Had nervous breakdown

•1838 - Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker

•1843 - Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress

•1846 - Elected to Congress (success)

•1848 - Lost re-nomination

•1849 - Rejected for land officer position

•1854 - Defeated in run for U.S. Senate

•1856 - Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President

•1858 - Again defeated in run for U.S. Senate

•1860 - Elected President (success)

The rest is history on these guys.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

New York City Skyline-Walnut

This idea came in sort-of an unusual way.  When we were first married I looked around our living room in our apartment.  We had a couch, a love seat, a lamp, and a stereo.  I was working for Dad building houses.  So I built some furniture out of two by fours.  Shelves to hold the stereo.  Some end tables for the lamp.  And a coffee table to finish the room off nicely.  We were then able to sit high style in our living room listening to music, reading magazines, and looking at the bare walls.  In the magazines I saw abstract paintings.  I thought, I could do that.  So I bought some canvas and paint and began.  It didn't go so well.  But it didn't matter, it was an abstract painting.  Then I painted a skyline.  I poked holes in some of the windows and held it in front of the lamp.  COOL!  A skyline at night.  Then I made one out of wood.  Then I made one out of exotic hardwoods and asked a computer friend of mine to build some L.E.D. lights to put in two of the buildings to appear similar to elevators going up and down each floor.  Now that I am writing this, why did I not pursue this idea further? The possibilities are endless.  Anyway I saw a popular photograph of NYC at night.  I scaled it up, cut out pieces of walnut to give some depth.  I ordered fiber optic cable from a place in California.  I bought a small fiber optic flower arrangement, took it apart and mounted the motor, light, and rotating color wheel in the back of the shadow box.  I drilled holes in certain spots for the windows and inserted the fiber through each hole.  I clustered the other end and mounted it close to the light source and PRESTO.  NYC comes to life in your living room.

9/11, 2001- It was such a sad day.  I thought of this skyline out of wood.  I had gone to NYC a couple of times.  We visited many sites.  I still have the ticket stub from the world trade center observation deck.  That was in 1977.  I was 18.  That was an amazing place for a small town boy.  I know that they are building something new there and maybe it will look spectacular.  But it is not the same.  I don't know what it is about those twin towers that made that skyline extra-special.  But mostly it is a sacred place now and I'm so sorry for all the people whose lives were devastated that day.  Sometimes life really can be the best of times or really can be the worst of times.  I guess there is always hope for a better day.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rose Fish Tank

Last Summer, I built this cherry wood wall unit for Dr. Rose.  Now it sits in his office and made that room much more comfortable.  He wanted a space for books, storage, flat screen, fireplace.  And the coolest part was a huge custom made salt water fish tank.  As time goes on the beautiful fish and their surrounding environment should evolve into a stunning ecosystem paradise.  I hope to come back in the future to take some better photos.

I thought I would throw in some progress pictures for fun.  I think the full tank weighed something like 3000 lbs.  A rigid frame work had to be built inside the base cabinet to support the weight.  The most satisfying part of this project was making a new friend along with his wife, Melissa. 

I need a bigger space however.  Cari put up with the cabinets sitting in our living room half the summer.  Not one complaint.  That is one more reason I wash the dishes and vacuum alot.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Classic Rock.....

Let me explain...One day Cari asked me why I don't do much with our sons.  I said, I do plenty with Doug and Todd, ask them. Cari and I were both turning 50 that January.  It was right before Thanksgiving and I was trying desperately to think of something that would be really classy for her and also to prove to her that my sons and I have a tight relationship.  We secretly got together and in 4 hours recorded this Classic Rock masterpiece.

I'm still working out the bugs on this idea.  A record album coffee table.  It's harder to build than it looks.  But in this one I put all the old records that I grew up with.  It's fun to look at it and go back in time playing almost every song over in your mind.  Those were the days.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Until We Meet Again....

Leah Tanner Cardon
June 28, 1919-July 16, 2011
Leah Tanner Cardon, 92, of Farmington, a lifetime resident of San Juan County, passed away of natural causes on Saturday, July 16, 2011. She died peacefully in her home, with characteristic dignity and grace, surrounded by members of her loving family. Leah was born June 28, 1919, in Kirtland, the third child of Donald and Mamie Taylor Tanner.

In spite of losing her mother in a tragic accident when Leah was 9 years old, she flourished in the small town atmosphere of Kirtland, supported by many relatives and friends.

When her father married Ruth McGee, the family moved to Allison, Colo., where he operated a flour mill. Leah continued her education in Allison until she reached the 9th grade. In order to finish high school, she moved back to Kirtland, where she lived with her beloved Aunt Peg and Uncle Hugh Foutz and their family.

In 1937, she graduated with honors from Central High School. As was the case with most Central High students, the educator who made the greatest impact on her life was Mrs. Grace B. Wilson. From Mrs. Wilson, Leah gained a life-long love of literature and the cultural arts, which she passed on to her children.

In 1940, Leah served as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Eastern Canadian Mission. She later attended the business college in Albuquerque.

Shortly after the end of World War II, on April 3, 1946, she and Robert M. ""Bob"" Cardon were married in the Idaho Falls Temple. Leah and Bob were married for 54 years. Together, they raised a family of eight children. This proved to be her greatest mission in life. She was an extraordinary mother and grandmother. Her posterity love and honor her name and her example.

Leah was a good citizen, avidly involved and interested in the welfare of the country. She served as an outstanding and well-loved teacher in the LDS church. Leah particularly enjoyed teaching teenagers within the Seminary Education system.

Leah was a blend of humor, intellect, modesty, courage, and deep personal spiritual strength. A friend to all, especially to the elderly, she served wherever she saw a need. Her quiet ""behind the scenes"" acts of service have left a legacy that will never be forgotten.

Leah was preceded in death, on July 25, 2000, by her husband, Robert M. Cardon; and, on Jan. 13, 1991, by her son, Robert D. (Butch) Cardon; her parents, Donald and Mamie Taylor Tanner, brothers, Wayne, Harold, Halworth and Tommy Tanner; sisters, Marie Tanner, Helen Tanner Stradling and Ramona Tanner; maternal grandparents, Elmer Franklin Taylor and Mary Steele Taylor; paternal grandparents, Joseph Baldwin and Nora Foutz Tanner; and one great-grandchild, Luke Cardon.

Leah is survived by her sons, Doug Cardon and wife, Jan, Sam Cardon and wife, Tammy, Jim Cardon and wife, Cari; daughters, Pam Jones and husband Wes, Diane Smith, Kathie Kempton and husband, Greg, and Peggy Avery and husband, Ron; brothers, Colin Tanner, Dave Tanner, Jim Tanner and Steve Tanner; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Richardson; sisters, Ann Tanner and Donna Tanner; 39 grandchildren, 68 great-grandchildren and five on the way; and many dear friends.

Friends and family may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 22, at Brewer, Lee & Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington.

Funeral services for Leah will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 23, at The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, 400 W. Apache St., Apache Building, with Chris Herman conducting.

Leah will then be interred next to her husband at the Kirtland-Fruitland Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Leah's grandsons, Garrett Jones, Adam Cardon, Matt Smith, Cardon Kempton, Paul McPherson, Tyler Cardon, Doug Cardon and Nathan Kempton.

Honorary pallbearers are Leah's other grandsons Mike Jones, Ben McPherson, Jess Smith, Dallas Smith, Jacob Smith, Michael Smith, Matt Cardon, Luke Jones, Todd Cardon, Taylor Kempton and Ethan Richardson.

The Cardon family wishes to thank Northwest New Mexico Hospice and Home Care for the kindness shown to their mother.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made in Leah's memory to Northwest New Mexico Hospice, 608 Reilly Ave., Farmington, NM 87401.

Those who wish to send condolences to the family may do so at

Leah's services are entrusted to Brewer, Lee & Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington, (505) 325-8688.

Monday, July 11, 2011


My Mom is 92.  She is hanging in there but fading.  Your parents have to move on eventually, everyone does.  So why is this so difficult?  I think I know.  Because she is such a beautiful person.  One of a kind.  She is my anchor.  My master teacher.  No-nonsense.  Devoted.  She seemed to sense who needed her attention and compassion, the most at the time.  She would move slowly from one person to the next "He who is in the service of their fellow man."  She has great wisdom.  She knows how to do everything in the right way.  My four sisters said that their efforts combined doesn't come close to what Mom could do alone.  A blend of humor, intellect, modesty, courage, and deep, personal, spiritual strength.  She is great and noble.

My Grandad Cardon died on Christmas day 1961.  I was two.   Dad told me all about him.  He said he wished I could have known him in his prime of life.  I feel like I know him pretty well from Dad's stories.  Now I have the same wish for my Grandsons.  I wish they could have known my Mom in her prime.

You come to the realization that her crowning legacy left for you is that she showed you how to live.  It reminds me of this quote, "Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words."-St. Francis of Assisi.

And you wonder how you can ever come close.  You think over and over in your deepest personal thoughts.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Mom... and when the time comes, you wish her a safe journey to the other side. My greatest desire for her is to be accompanied by the finest angels God has to offer.

Front  L-R-Jim, Mom, Kathie
Back L-R-Peggy, Doug, Pam, Sam, Dianne