Ange’s Renaissance Man


Her Renaissance Man, Jim
Her Renaissance Man, Jim

James Harlen McAlister was born March 11, 1959 in Baytown Texas to James and Mearlena McAlister. He died February 22, 2016 at St John’s Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma surrounded by his loving family.

He was the oldest child of eight born to Jim and Mearlena, later his father had another son. He grew up in Del City and multiple places in SE Oklahoma. Jim was an only child for 7 years before his siblings came along. He was always teasing them during their childhood. One such incident was at the swinging bridge over the Kiamichi River which they often had to cross to get home if the river was to swollen to cross. He would wait until they were in the middle of the bridge before he started making it swing, causing all the younger children to scream for fear of their falling into the river below. He also made the younger boys wash his car at the creek for him.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents James McAlister, Lillian and Earl Hill, Algy and Virginia Martin, his parents Jim and Mearlena and 4 siblings, Ronald, Todd, Chad and baby girl McAlister, and many aunts and uncles.
He is survived by his wife Angela and his two sons James Garrett 18 and Jared Ian 16 of the home, his siblings Richard & Alissa of Red Oak, Teresa & Brian Hitt of Denver, CO, Corey & Melinda of Hartshorne and Travis of Texas, his Aunt Joyce who lead him along his path of life and Aunt Ladonna, 19 nieces and nephews along with numerous cousins and friends.

Jim was a self-taught man. He started by learning bricklaying from his father. He liked the challenge of learning and he would immerse himself in whatever interested him, therefore, over the years he gained a lot of knowledge in many different fields.Some thought of him as a jack of all trades but Ange called him her Renaissance Man. In fact, the family had to really think to come up with just one occupation to list for him. Ange finally chose fabricator as he could create and build anything he put his mind to doing. His skills were never-ending as were his projects which his family will continue to attempt to complete.

He met and married his wife while living in the Oklahoma City area in 1980. They split their time between the Oklahoma City metro and SE Oklahoma, as they had family and friends in both areas. When they had been married for 17 years, they were blessed with the birth of their first son, Garrett. Two years later, they were again blessed with their second son, Ian, making their family complete.

Jim was very determined that his 2 sons should feel secure in his love for them so he spent much time with them, teaching them portions of his great knowledge. He never forgot that there needed to be family time. He spent time with his family enjoying the zoo, museums, travel and the desire of the simple life.He wanted his sons to comprehend his love of learning and always took the time to teach them the skills needed to eventually build their own home when the time comes.

Projects that he worked on with his sons included a trailer which the 3 of them built only from scrap that he had available and which they have used for years now. They helped him with remodels in Oklahoma City, Del City, Tuskahoma and Haileyville along with many other smaller projects He planned to teach his sons so much more if time had allowed.

Vacation Time

Hello, All!

Home Sweet Home Mantle Art
Home Sweet Home Mantle Art

We just love our Etsy customers as they give us the best ideas. We have this piece on Etsy in a larger 22 x 27 size as garden art but a customer requested a smaller piece for her mantle. We had formerly re-sized it to 17 x 21 for another customer who wanted to hang it on her door. I guess that the 17 x 21 piece is the better seller. If you have a door or mantle just crying out for an original Rusty Shingle art, you might want to consider Home Sweet Home.

Vacation Time

It is Vacation Time here at The Rusty Shingle. Just wanted to let you know that I am putting the Etsy shop on Vacation for the rest of August. I planned to do so on the 1st but when you have an order on the 31st, ya gotta fill it first. So now that the Home Sweet Home mantel piece is flying off to Colorado, I am putting the shop on hold.

Why are we putting the Etsy shop on hold for the month of August? Well, our nephew is getting married in Tulsa this weekend. Plus, our sons and I are going to Pioneer Service School on the 17th through the 22nd. Lots of studying going on around here! I am so beyond excited that I get to attend PSS with my boys!!!!! Yes! Many exclamation points there!

The last week of August, I need to want to spend some time re-vamping the Etsy shop as we have lots and lots of goodies to add to the site. Jim has been busy this summer with his makes but I have just been too busy with pioneering to get them all listed. We will also be exhibiting at the fair at the McAlester Expo in September and we are working on lots of makes for that.

We will be around, just busy, busy, busy!

Thanks for reading!

Jim & Ange

Rusty Rambles

Hi, ya’ll!

Wow! Where has the time gone? Do I catch ya’ll up on the past 3 months in this post or do we simply begin anew? How about a condensed version? I am calling it Rusty Rambles because we will be meandering along right through the past 3 months of The Rusty Shingle and our family’s life. The months have simply FLOWN past. Spring has sprung with all it’s rainfall and now Summer is already a week come and gone.

March Rusty Rambles

As you may have noticed, March 22 was my last post. Life got pretty hectic after that! Our Circuit Assembly was held the next Saturday. We were also busy in the month of March with our Memorial Invitation Campaign. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we take seriously the exhortation at 1 Corinthians 15:58 as to “always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in connection with the Lord.” 

April Rusty Rambles

Oh, yes, April was busy! Bullet points ahead.

  • April 3 was the Memorial of Jesus Christ’s death.
  • April 4 was an 80’s party in Ada, still not sure that I approve of them making fun of my youth but a good time was had by all.
  • April 7th through 12th, our Circuit Overseer and his wife visited our congregation. They are a lovely couple and we shall surely miss them when they change circuits in September.
  • April 10th, we completed a special order for a client to give to his fiancee. The hearts on the state of Oklahoma show where they live.
  • April 20th was a trip to Oklahoma City to deliver a bee frame wax/rosin tank to my cousin and a refurbished barbershop chair to Jim’s former employer.
  • April 28th, our youngest visited a new Dr, verdict – more surgery.
The Road is Never Too Long Between your Heart and Mine
The Road is Never Too Long Between your Heart and Mine
Setting up the bee frame wax/rosin tank
Setting up the bee frame wax/rosin tank

May Rusty Rambles

So what color would you choose for the month of May? Gray skies, gray days and lots and lots of rain. The rain made this the perfect month to work inside so much was done in the store though very few projects could be completed in the shop due to constant flooding therein.

On May 14th, our youngest had his surgery to plate his fibula. He was told by his doctor that he must be a slug until his next appointment, no basketball, no hiking, very little walking. (11 more days!) Yes, May was a gray month, indeed. 

Stop! Oklahoma has had enough rain.
Stop! Oklahoma has had enough rain.

June Rusty Rambles

Green, green, green is the month of June (especially considering all the rain we received in May). We have been very busy this month working on The Rusty Shingle store, projects and some special events so bring on the bullet points again.

  • We began the month with a new campaign, this time the invitations were for the Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • We delivered two barn tin art pieces for a family reunion and auction.
  • Jim completed several projects that he had in the pipeline including a chicken coop coffee table and a gas pump light.
  • We spent many hours working on the store.
  • Our convention in Fort Smith was on the 19th-21st. If you haven’t been yet, it is amazing! If you have never been, then may I suggest that you visit to find a convention near you. We spent those three days learning how and why to Imitate Jesus!
  • Jim and I attended a wedding of a dear cousin. We are so very happy for her and her new husband.
  • Jim also made a barn tin art piece for me with our last name on it. We took it to a family reunion of our own as a photo prop. A sweet cousin now has it at her place. I am hoping that he will make me another one! I will tell you more about the reunion in an upcoming post.
  • We interviewed for a new job which we begin on July 1st.
Auction piece for an Italian family reunion
Auction piece for an Italian family reunion
Sconce light made from a diesel pump handle
Sconce light made from a diesel pump handle
Chicken coop table in The Rusty Shingle store
Chicken coop table in The Rusty Shingle store
Still a work in progress, but getting closer to opening day.
Still a work in progress, but getting closer to opening day.
Just before the start of the first day of the Imitate Jesus! Convention
Just before the start of the first day of the Imitate Jesus! Convention

Well, Spring certainly flew by but in looking back, I can say that we accomplished much. Thanks for rambling along with me in this Rusty Ramble. Next post, on to Summer!

My 3 Guys

Lovin’ My 3 Guys!

Love my 3 guys!

What do you do with an old turkey barn which is collapsing in upon itself? You and your teen sons spend some quality together time tearing it down. Working together gives you opportunities to talk with each other, watch a sunset or two together, share a bit of your knowledge with them and spend some time learning about your sons as you watch them on their path to manhood. You sweat together, work together and play together as you accomplish this goal.

This project wasn’t one that I helped my 3 guys with but they have all  told me stories of those days spent together and I know that this project has given my guys many memories to look back upon. And isn’t that what life is about, building memories on top of memories of times spent with loved ones?

There have been many such projects that we have all 4 worked together doing. (Those of you who know us, will no doubt recognize the names of these places.)

  1. 2600
  2. 2700
  3. 16th St
  4. Padgett’s Place
  5. Holden Avenue
  6. Estate sale 1
  7. Estate sale 2
  8. Turkey Barn
  9. Holden Avenue again
  10. The Rusty Shingle

Numbers 9 and 10 are currently ongoing. There have been many other projects, large and small, that my 3 guys and I have worked at together. The above are just the ones that made such an impact on our lives together that we named them.

Turkey Barn Metal

So what do you do with the metal that you bought from the owner of the turkey barn? Well, if you look at that picture of my favorite coffee mug, you can see part of the wall that separates my office from the kitchen and then, you get creative and put Renaissance Man to work with his plasma torch. Below are local custom requests completed this week.

Oklahoma is home
Oklahoma is Home
Rusty KC Arrow
Man Cave Arrow

If you would like your own custom art work from The Rusty Shingle crew, you can order through our Etsy Shop or contact us for a custom piece.

Spring ~ Forward, March!

Spring Forward! March 8, 2015

How many of you woke up at 2:00 am to move your clocks forward? Not me, I was lazy and let Android handle it for me. It surely made morning come much too quick. Oh, how I missed that hour of sleep today! Here is a question for you. Are we in or just moved out of daylight savings time? Answer = we just began DST and it will end on November 1st when we Fall Back. I think that I have had that backwards all of my life. Thanks, Google, for straightening me out. I always thought we fell back and thus entered DST because of school kids and buses and it being light when they left home. Nope, I had it backwards.

Now that our clocks have been moved forward that one hour, it does feel as if Spring might be right around the corner. I noticed buds on Bradford Pear trees today and our daffodils are looking ready to pop open, too. To get you ready for spring, you might want to check out my Spring Love board on Pinterest.

How to bring Spring forward into your day:

  • Begin that lovely thing called Spring cleaning
  • Take a nature walk and look for signs of Spring
  • Clip Forsythia or Pussy Willow branches to force
  • Tomorrow brings a chance for March showers 
  • Daffodils, crocus and hyacinth in garden or
  • Potted for in your home

Hello Spring
Poppy Seed Projects has this lovely printable along with a tutorial over on her website. Head over there to get your copy.

Thanks for reading!


Spring Clean Safely this Year

Is anyone else getting cabin fever yet? Personally, I am hoping that we have had our last blast of frigid winter and that it is time to turn our attention towards SPRING! Along with spring comes the inevitable airing out and cleaning of our dwellings. Are we choosing green cleaning supplies or are we inadvertently adding to the toxins in our homes with the chemicals that we use. The list of known cancer causing toxins gets longer every year and many of these toxins are in the cleaning supplies that we have used and depended on for years. Over the past few months, I have been changing my family’s cleaning supplies over to a greener cleaning company and I am really enjoying the ease and better odors of these products. If you are like me, there are products that you have used to clean your shower and while spraying the cleaner, find it is necessary to hold your breath and then go running out of the bathroom to breathe but you continue to use them because the products clean so well. Not anymore! No, sirree! Now I can clean and breath at the same time. Lovely thought! A big plus for our family is that these products are totally budget friendly.

Fun Fact: If you sit down to write a post about green cleaning, you will have to stop to clean up cat vomit with those green cleaning products. GAAAGGGG, Watson! But the disinfectant that I just used on the carpet ALMOST made it worth it because it smells so much fresher in here now.


Wall to Wall or Off the Wall

Here at The Rusty Shingle residence, rustic prevails. Have any of you ever heard of Paul Detlefsen? Most people probably don’t recognize his name but they might remember some of his pictures from their childhood, perhaps on Grandma and Grandpa’s walls. I’m not saying that we are old folk, just that we have an appreciation for the idea of the simplicity of by-gone days.

We have seven Detlefsen’s on our walls at this time. There are many available on Ebay and Etsy if you would like to join us in collecting this artist’s vintage prints.
Image from

We have a Pinterest board of Detlefsen, for your perusal.

Thanks for Reading!

~ Ange

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Wall to Wall.”


Glitch-ability~v. ~ The ability to cause a glitch or maybe the ability to fix a glitch. Otherwise known as, “Oops! Look what I did. I must fix this.”

As one Dear Reader pointed out regarding my post Blah, Blah, Blog, I mentioned all the lovely conversations that we would have regarding this, that and the other… BUT comments were closed. Yikes! Comments are now open as of the post Home Comfort and going forward they will remain such. If anyone has a comment regarding my first 3 posts, please feel free to comment on this post. Also, if any geeks out there know how to open comments in WordPress on posts already published, please… Help!


Blah Blah Blog

Everyone has a voice but do all voices deserve to be heard? I guess that would best be answered by the listeners themselves. Each of us ask ourselves (whether we realize it or not) if we want to listen to the voices we hear. We have many options to not listen and we exercise our options by tuning someone out, changing the channel, closing the book or door, leaving the room or choosing to not follow a blog.

That being said, why am I throwing my voice into the ring? Why start a blog? After all, there are already tons of blogs out there on every conceivable subject. Does the world really need one more? No, the world doesn’t really need more noise or another blog. (Careful here, Ange, you may talk yourself right out the door.) No, I am doing this! I am blogging because I have a voice, something to say, something to share. Hopefully, this isn’t an exercise in futility but I am working on letting go of my inner introvert, the one that says SSHHH!!!! inside my head when I start to speak in a group, stops me from sharing a suggestion or idea with a friend, or keeps me silent at the door.

Now that that is out there, what will you find when you visit The Rusty Shingle? Hopefully, there will be some good conversation, a tutorial here and there, a recipe or three. We will probably talk about the weather, nature, school, our ministry, just life in general. I might mention what I am listening to, such as the really lovely music that I am listening to on OETA.TV as I write this. It is time for March Fest and the show is Transatlantic Sessions. If you have opportunity, please check it out. We might talk about birds and bees. No, seriously, birds and bees, as in chickens and beehives. I am also searching for the really perfect shade of robin’s egg blue. Suggestions are welcome. We shall discuss things like coffee or tea, herbs and essential oils, green cleaning supplies, budgets and schedules, thrifting and yard sales, Pinterest, Instagram, Etsy and Ebay. There will more than likely be posts about vintage goodies and rustic patina. There might be a weekly or monthly post on favorites found on Pinterest and Etsy. We may talk about the books on my nightstand and phone. Oh, and I love tweaking CSS on my blog so it may have a different look when you stop by to visit. Really, I will probably enjoy the behind the scenes more than the posts. There speaks that Introvert again. SSHHH! Not!

I am working on ideas for a weekly post about our store. We have an online shop on Etsy and Instagram but are also in process of opening up a brick and mortar here in our little neck of the woods. Details to follow.

So many hours in the day, so many thoughts in my head. Thanks for listening.

Night, all!