I’m draggin’ my feet. I’m supposed to be driving through a tunnel right about now, on my way to work. This weblog might get kinda tricky, especially if I just start writing about all the things I want to do…instead of what I’m actually doing. I want to get the rust off that pegging hammer Lee gave me. I want to start calling around for a sewing machine. I want to update my webpage….I don’t want to go to work today. ugh.

I’m home. I went back to work today…my regular job…the one that makes me wear dry-clean-only clothes. It was a little weird, so many people…so many cars. I have no idea where the nearest Dairy Queen is…might be hours away…not like Texas, not like Coleman. I wore my black boots today. I’m dreaming about bootmaking at night…cutting leather with a knife, hammering tacks. Tonight I’m gonna drag out my bootmaking tools and take inventory. Tex let me take home my lip knife and a measuring tape. Bill Niemczyk traded me a really good Crispin hammer for a lousy pair of lasting pliers I took to Brownwood last year (he was being generous). Lee Miller gave me a whole pile of stuff, like a rand file, skiving knives, awls…a bunch of stuff. At the time I recognized some of the tools, but didn’t know what they were all for…I tucked them away. Now I’m gonna drag ’em all out, take inventory…and figure out my wish list for Brownwood this year. I’ve got high hopes for that swapmeet.

I checked out of the Harbord Motel this morning…returned my key and ate breakfast at Mrs. Bourland’s kitchen table. At the shop, Tex and I went over all my notes. Some of them didn’t make any sense at all…we untangled those. I’m glad I stayed the four weeks. It let me get a little settled in here. The first two weeks, everything was new…and I was terrible at all of it. I was stitchin’ wobbly lines, breakin’ pegs, hackin’ tiny bits of sole leather away with the lip knife. I couldn’t even pull a tack out the right way. (Somehow I thought having a web page about cowboy boots for 3 years was gonna help me out a bit…as if!) But after 4 weeks I can see some improvement. I’m glad I kept those first practice pieces of leather, the ones where Tex just had me sew around the edges…and around…and around. I’m better now. I’m better at the lip knife and the pegs and the tacks. I’m starting to believe that Tex is right when he tells me I just need to be serious about it and practice. I’m going to go home now and practice.

Today I’m finishing up and packing up. I’ll spend tomorrow night in Millsap, and fly home Saturday. This morning, Tex and I made a belt to match my brown boots. I found a belt buckle at this barn-sized antique mall in Brownwood. The buckle is in the shape of a butterfly, it’s silver with a little “gold” around the edges…and it’s huge. I like it. It cost me 5 dollars….and for the price per pound that’s quite a deal. Anyway, Tex made me a diploma to take home with me. I’m gonna practice stitchin’ some more, maybe work on sharpening that lip knife. Tex, Margaret and I are going out to dinner tonight at the steakhouse I think. I’ve learned a lot…I’ll have to put some of it up on my web page. It’s a good to follow your dreams.