Here at Arcadia Knives hand crafted knives have a soul. They are created with care, sweat and fire. If you are looking for a knife that you can pass down to your children then look no further.

Friday, March 17, 2017

REALLY Long Time A Comin' Pt 2

Part 2 starts off with a funny incident around the homestead.  I gave the chickens a bunch of blackberries and blueberries.  A little while later when I went outside for something, there were two chickens lying at the base of the cedar tree they roost in at night.  They looked to be dead.  After running into the dog kennel, I picked one up and it was lifeless.  Yeah, not really lifeless…more like stoned.

These two chickens must have really liked what I gave to them because none of the other birds had any issues.  What I realized was I had given them the lees from a batch of Blackberry/Blueberry mead.  What’s particularly funny is they made it home but passed out on the front lawn!  They wouldn’t drink the coffee I gave them, but snapped out of it before I put them in the garbage bag thinking they were dead. 7/19/16

Jessie and Bob brought the kids down for a visit in mid July.  The boys got to feed the pigs and we got some grand kid time we so desperately needed.  I also got to teach Bobby how to shoot a bow and arrow. That is special stuff right there.  7/22/16 

Here’s what I got to do for my birthday.  Pull out a sludge pump from 25’ deep in a tank and put a new one in.  It took everything this boom had to reach the spot, actually to the right in the pic.  This was taken after the pump was pulled and had to break down the 70' boom.  Luckily, I didn’t get a bunch of gunk on me while the pump was hanging overhead. Oh...that’s right I did get a bunch of gunk on me – Happy Birthday! 8/12/16

Early September I finally got my birthday card from Sam and Mara.  I thought they forgot about me L.  It seemed odd to receive the card so late, until I opened it and saw the awesome picture they sent along.  Couldn’t have been more happy for them and best birthday present ever. 9/2/16

We needed to get our little piggies to market and soon!  When I called our nearest processor, they said they could put me down for end of January.  Negative.
Next thing was getting a trailer to haul them.  I borrowed a great outfit that goes right into a 5x8’ trailer.  Worked great.  The girls didn’t want anything to do with getting in that thing.  Also funny that they REALLY didn’t want to get out of it either!  Before and after photos provided. 9/27/16

I found a place in Corinth, MS called Rickman’s Meats.  They were 70 miles away but could get the not-so-little hogs in the next week.  Perfect!  These two pics are of Gertie.  Bella was sold to friends to cover the butchering. We got most of the meat back in less than a week - 10/1/16.  The Bacon and Ham took two months to cure.  Well worth the wait - 12/2/16.  I don't think we'll do this project again, although I may get a bigger hog just for a pig roast some time.  Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
Sam came down to shoot another match at K&M.  This time he brought a buddy with him.   Steve is a co-worker and happened to bring a bottle of Lagavulin 16 along with him.  He’s welcome any time!  They came down the day before Sam’s birthday.  Three days of shooting for them, and I was lucky to tag along on Sunday. 10/9/16
Les and I had the Ames Plantation Heritage Festival on Saturday Oct 8th.  That is always my favorite show.  Love them cannons going off at random times.  The weather was beautiful as were all the folks that stopped by our tent.
Leslie had major back surgery two days after Ames.  Her doctor did a GREAT job and she felt more solid the first time she stood up after surgery.  Her attitude was so good through everything, that they let her leave a day early.  I took care of her as best I could her first few days home. 10/19/16
Then her awesome cousin Michelle with her husband Chuck, came up for a week to help Leslie, and camp their last couple days at Davey Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg, TN.  It’s always nice to see those two.  We all get along so well and it didn’t seem like anyone was doing anything too hard.  Leslie’s recovery went so dang well. P.S. I think the chocolate helped her considerably.  10/21/16
I didn’t get out deer hunting at all in 2016.  It was bittersweet.  Two friends harvested deer and offered them to me.  Yoink!  That is such a nice thing.  Some good ol' friends here.  I also came across a small deer #3, in the road on the way in to work, and didn’t want a school bus to hit it, so I threw it in the truck and took it back home.  Only one bad spot on it.  Then the day after Christmas, one of the deer that runs around work was dead in the road.  It went home with me after my short holiday work day.  That made 4 deer (mostly) in the freezer.  I gave most of the last one away to a young family, and some to another couple.  I’d say that was one of the best deer seasons I have ever had. As you can see I DON'T waste any venison when I process it myself.
With one of the deer I made hot Italian/venison sausage and smoked some hot stix and andouille sausage.  It doesn’t get any better.  12/20/16
Leslie had surgery on her frozen shoulder in early December.  It relieved a lot of pain and therapy helped get her arm feeling better. 12/5/16
We had a very quiet Christmas and New Year.  In like a Lion and out like a Lamb.
It sure seemed like such a rough year to deal with, but all these wonderful things more than made up for it.  Guess you gotta take the bad with the good.
Thanks to everyone who have made our lives so Enjoyable! 
Life would be so dull without Y’all.
2017 Promises To Be A Much Better Year For Us All! 
More Posts To Come.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

REALLY Long Time A Comin' Pt 1

Well, seems like it’s been a year since the last time I posted anything. 2016 was a rough year, or so I thought.  After getting a new phone, I went back over all the pictures that I’d saved, most were deleted.  Looks like a lot of good things happened at the Arcadia homestead.  Here’s what went down throughout the year.

Blooming Arts Festival 2016 in Linden, TN went alright.  So many great people coming out for the first big show of the year.  It’s our signal that spring is here. 3/18/16

My mother and brother came down to visit the last week of April.  Mom hadn’t been down here in a while because dad’s health was failing.  This was Tom’s first visit here.  I had him weld up some of my press for me and should have had more of it ready to finish.  4/30/16

The same day Mom & Tom left, Leslie’s mother and Bob came down to visit.  They were on their way to Georgia to visit with his family.  We got to take them over to Natural Bridge at the Tennessee Fitness Spa.  It was nice to have our folks come to the homestead…it doesn’t happen very often. 5/1/16

Someone finally fixed the soffit/facia boards on the back of the house.  They had been eaten away by carpenter bees.  Then I needed to cut down the brush behind the house to keep those pesky squirrels from jumping on the house. 5/7/16

Our next adventure started with me building a pigpen, house, feeder and waterer for our two little piggies.  We named them Gertie and Bella.  They sure know how to tear up the earth. 

My Tennessee cousin Tommy Burns stopped by one afternoon with his whole family.  They are a really nice bunch. 5/8/16

For Leslie’s birthday I built her an enclosed raised garden bed.  Julian helped me put it together and fill it up with many layers of dirt, hay, leaves and moisture holding materials.  Our Super Dry summer did it in.  Guess what won?  Oh yeah those dang weeds.  They don’t care what the conditions are.  5/20/16

Sandy and Len stopped by on their trip down the Natchez Trace.  They wanted to drive the whole Trace.  It is such a beautiful drive with more wildlife than you can imagine. 5/21/16

Sam came to stay with us at the end of May.  He signed up for a precision rifle match at K&M rifle range in Finger, TN.  The range is only 55 miles from here.  It was a blast (get it?) watching him shoot out to 1200 freakin’ yards.  He did great in the competition and I had a great time watching him shoot. 5/27/16
This was the start of our year.  Seems to me that it was a good start and we never had so many folks come by in such a short period of time, except for the Party.  See y'all soon!
Part 2 will come in tomorrow or the next day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016 - In Like A LION!

2016 slipped in and started out just fine.

Not long after I got a call from my mother.  My father fell and hurt himself.  That did him in.  He kept falling and within a week he was taken to a hospice facility.  Two days later, on Jan 22nd my dad passed away from complications of that fall.  We drove the 800 miles up to the funeral.  I was lucky to see many distant family members that I haven’t seen for 20some odd years.  I know that nowadays people don’t often take pictures of the dead, but I still remember in the old days they would usually take one at the funeral home with all the flowers and such.  I can be old school and will do it for the simple fact of how much has happened in the world in the last 91 years since my dad was born.  The first pic is how I always thought of him (not PC) bayonetting the Rising Sun on the beach in Tarawa. 

He taught me all the things a good dad is supposed to.  How to fish, throw a ball, ride a bike, smoke&drink, hunt and drive.  That a belt had more than one thing it was good for, and wasn’t afraid to give me a lesson when I really needed it.  I can’t remember Dad cussing or swearing, he led by example…Oh yeah that one didn’t work.  He also taught me how to use a ruler when I was very young, to help him build things.  He taught me to build things to last.  He said “An elephant should be able to stand on it”.  I guess he thought of us kids as elephants or at least as rough as one.                                  

 RIP James Patrick Burns   Dec 16, 1924 – Jan 22, 2016    I will surely miss you!


February has been a rough month for me at work.  An automatic gate (aka Poop Chute) at the sewer plant stopped automation partly.  I have had to manually close this gate every 4-6 hours, day and night.  It crapped out Feb 3rd and is still not working.  That means that I have not slept a whole night for 4 weeks.  Talk about being out of whack.  Not sleeping properly really messes up your whole body.  Driving into town at all hours has lost its luster.  Hopefully it will be fixed soon and I can return to….wait for it----------Normal.  HA!  Don't think it's bloody likely.

This ol’ boy has gotta get going on more knives, glue up a bunch of antler products and try to have everything ready for The Blooming Arts Festival in Linden, TN.  The dates for the show are Good Friday March 25th from 12:00 -7:00pm and Saturday March 26th from 9:00am – 7:00pm.

Hope y’all come to Linden to check out the show.  It’s the first of the season and there are so many good vendors set up, as well as music going on throughout the show.


 The Ames Plantation Heritage Festival was only three weeks away and I hadn’t worked on show stuff for months.  This is our favorite show and I was somewhat prepared before working on the party.  I needed to work on a few knives and some other goods to be totally ready.  It turned out to be a nice day with lots of great folks stopping by to see our stuff.

Our next show was in November with the Elk Valley Crafters Assoc. It was a two day show 80 miles away.  With a slow show, gas and all the time involved plus driving back and forth, we decided not to do it in 2016.  We were doing the one day spring show to keep our good spot, but things just didn’t work out.  

The last show of 2015 was The Farm School Holiday Bazaar in Summertown, TN.  It usually runs the first weekend in December.  The show is so fun.  It is close quarters and people are packed in tight.  There is a lot of talent and everyone is so nice.

We moved our travel trailer to its permanent location under the large carport.  I had to cut one of the upright 4x4’s to be able to pull it in.

Hunting season was successful for us.  Always glad to venison in the freezer.  Leslie got me a nice new larger grinder to grind our burger and other sausage.
Christmas was very quiet on the homestead.  It came and went as did New Year’s day.  There surely was a lot more to write about if I had just kept up with the blog.  I for one was glad to see 2015 pass.

It's About Time I Posted

So much has happened since my last post, on July 8th, at our li’l slice of heaven. I finished my enclosed workshop area and got my machines set where I wanted them.

Leslie and I were working on party prep since the beginning of June.  Most of the work involved cleaning up the grounds, making some pallet furniture to use and setting up a large Barbeque setup.

Friends of ours decided to give up the homestead life and got rid of most of their belongings before leaving Tennessee. 

I bought this Nissan Frontier pickup truck along with a bunch of cast iron stuff from them.  We need the truck bed covered to carry our show stuff so I found one, painted it to match the truck and made it fit.  It looks pretty cool and runs great.  Leslie got a Dodge Caravan towards the end of the year to replace the LeSabre we had.

Our 10th Anniversary Party was a huge success on Sept 19th.  80-90 wonderful folks showed up to celebrate with us on that beautiful fall day.  Quite a few people came a day or two early from all over the country.  It was the best party we’ve been to since our Shotgun Wedding at the Cudahy Gun Club overlooking Lake Michigan.  For many, it was their first time to our homestead, and hopefully not the last.  Cooking kept me busy all day and Leslie was busy taking care of everything else party related.  There were games to play and LOTS of food & drink.

After the party and cleanup I went into “Show Mode”.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Grand Ol’ Time!

On June 1st we were blessed with a beautiful Grandson named Mathis!  Mother, father and new big brother made it through with flying colors.  Mathis is a wonderful little lad with a good disposition.  We are so glad to welcome him to the family.

I purchased a couple baby bunnies from a friend.  They are so adorable. They are prolific poopers and have grown quite a bit since.  I'm sure y'all will love them. 5/29/15

Here are the final results of a project started at least three years ago.  I wanted railings for the front porch and had an idea to use hog panels in between.  It really turned out better than I had imagined, and has kept those dang chickens off the porch. 6/13/15

Iworked on a pair of knives that require a double sheath.  Many designs were drawn up and tossed out before I got it somewhat figured out. The process of putting it together was kinda rough.  A lot more work was involved than my regular sheaths.  This is one sheath template that I am never throwing out. 6/14/15

Oh Yeah!  Finally got me a Hot Tub/Spa.  A guy in Etheridge, TN was selling it cheap on the Lawrence County Yard Sale site.  I had to get it.  It needs a minor plumbing repair and a place to set.  Think it’s going to be set up under the overhang of the shop.  There is power just inside and that will save me a lot of work.  I can not wait to get this little beauty going.  Next project is a robotic arm to serve me beers while in the hot tub, which will surely take a few years to get to. Or maybe I can just set a keg up next to it.  That sounds like a plan.  6/24/15

Double Knife Sheath

Finished the Skinner/Caper combo knives for Mike and took a few pics before I sent it out to him.  The knives are made from Aldo’s 1095 steel, the skinner is 1/8” thick and the caper is 3/32” thick blades.  The handles were cut from the same block of stabilized Black Ash burl with copper pins and thong tubes.  The sheath turned out to be way more of a challenge than I anticipated but it looks good and fits well.  I am trying to label this picture “Double Knife Sheath” to get it to come up when Googled.  6/25/15

Leslie and I stopped at the Crump Flea Market in Crump, TN on the 4th of July.  I happened upon 2 pieces of cast iron that followed me home.  One is a medium sized muffin pan and the other is a small griddle.  They have since been seasoned over an open fire and are waiting to be used.  My idea for the muffin pan is line it with bacon and fill with burger and onions.  Making my mouth water already.

Well it’s about time I finish this last post.

That’s about it.  We’ve been working on our party most weekends and hope to have everything ready by then.  It should be a hootenanny to say the least.  Hope to write more about finishing off my new work area in the shop.  There should also be some new knives being completed in between work for the party.  Let's all have a Great Summer!!!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Shop-Till You Drop!

I have planned to enclose my main work area of the shop for the last few years.  Yeah years.  After buying supplies here and there I was finally ready to get this thing rolling. My plan was to put up walls and a ceiling so that I could cool or heat the area easily and have a much more comfortable work environment while making knives.  

This journey started with cleaning a spot for the mill/drill.  From there it sorta snowballed. 5/19/15

Took a while to move things out and open things up, but walls are being built. 5/23/15

Here you can see things coming around.  Walls are mostly done and ceiling has been started.  This stuff is heavy! 6/9/15

Trying to gussy the place up a bit so I painted the big shop doors. You can see the difference a little bit of paint makes.  They really look good. 6/16/15

Walls and ceiling are complete.  Lights are up.   Got a used door at a local place and put it in.  Sure makes a difference. 6/21/15

Painted the inside white where I could and painted the floor gray.  It is such a different work area now.  Slowly moving my stuff back in there, but I have to figure out dust removal.  This will come in the near future.  Can’t do everything at once, especially since it took years to start.

I gotta say that doing this wore me out!!!  It’s taking some time to actually want to go in and get work started.  Trying to organize as much as I can right away, before I get all the knives going.  Soon enough I won’t even remember what it was like before. 

Next post is some of the stuff that happened recently.

Thanks for watching.