Monday, September 25, 2017


Steven is on his way to UHAUL to fetch the truck. Tomorrow we load it up and then he and his son will head on out with all of our stuff.  I will stay here with the dogs. In a week, if all goes well, we will get some money and turn over the keys.

We have been trekking to the new place almost bi-monthly all summer. Over Labor Day we packed the antique treadles into the back of the Tacoma. I truly wanted to take them all: the Howe, the Wilcox and Gibbs, the Davis and the Mystery Singer. I was willing to leave behind the Mystery Singer. Ouch. Luckily, I didn't have to. 

That's it right there.

The Davis and the Howe and the Wilcox and Gibbs are all jammed in there. I packed up each machine and tucked them where ever we could. I jammed the containers full of fabric anywhere they would fit, too. We are packers. 

 This is the shop. It's completely empty now.  A lot of stuff went to the "Free Store" at the end of the drive way. That compressor is still with us. I am hoping I can take it along. I know it will tuck right under the Nolting frame.

 I'm absolutely not sad to be moving. I am not sad that I ditched a lot of stuff. I am suffering from the chaos of the move. This morning I could not find any underwear. I really needed clean panties. I eventually found them, buried in a suitcase. But not before panicking a little bit.

The new space is dark. It's a basement after all. There are two windows. Hanging the shop lights and painting the walls with white  dri-lock made all the difference.  All the stuff is piled in the middle of the floor to provide access to the walls.

 Once all the stuff is there and I can sort it out. Maybe ditch some more machines. We will be in the 802 area code. There seems to be a paucity of machines up there.

I have a Kenmore and a Singer 66 left. I have to deal with them over the next few days. Or maybe I should just pack them up.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Empty nest? Not yet.

I went back to work on the 20th.  Easing back in, I worked one day.  Steven and I then traveled to the new house for the weekend.  I had listed four machines on CL and agreed to meet the buyers on our return.  They live not far from where we pick up the interstate.  Four machines, bam, out the door.
Was I sad?  Maybe a bit.  Instead I rejoiced in finding them new homes outside the scrap metal dump.

 I think this one is a 127 really.  I know better.   I clearly made a mistake researching the serial number.  I added the hand crank. 

 I think that each one of these machines came to me.  I did not go to them.  I almost kept the knee controller 99.  Almost.  There are other machines I would rather keep.  My 319, for instance

The 306 left home just before these four did.  Another machine that was given to me.  I was happy to pass it along.

The belt on the 306 is in better shape than the 319 and I liked the beefy, rugged look of the 306.  But the typewriter like stitch selectors on the 319 had me from the git go.
 It is much easier to give away machines that were gifts.  I spent money on the 319.  More than I would these days.  But then, I had to have a 319 and I had money.

I have had no bites on the needs wiring 15-91 a friend literally dumped on me.  I guess I will have to re-wire it myself and see if it will go then.  I also have a very old back clamp Red Eye 66.  The decals are worn.  But for 15 bucks?

Off I go now.  More culling and sorting.  I'm getting to the point where I want to keep the ones I have left.  After looking at Steven's stash of camping equipment, piled high in the shop before we packed it into the trailer for this trip up to the new house, I think I might be allowed to keep what's left.  Maybe.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I don't think it's the same trip

I'm not really an old hippie.  I am a Socialist, Commie, Liberal, though (according to a comment sent to me via the blog).  I never dropped LSD but am of a certain age that one could imagine I did.  Last night, as Steven and I sat reflecting on the past nine months I said "What a long, strange trip it's been."

"Honey, I don't think its the same trip."

Well, no, it isn't.  But I did have an out of body experience when I became syncopal after chemo, twice. 

I finished the sixth of six cycles on June 15.  Monday I had a PET/CT scan.  Tuesday I saw the lymphoma specialist.

I cried when he told me that there was no evidence of lymphoma on the PET/CT scan.  He was very gracious.  I composed myself but was barely able to concentrate as he explained what is next (basically observation).  I was not expecting a complete response.  I truly thought that I would have residual disease.  I am very, very lucky.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


In March I ordered a new belt for the Necchi.  It was guaranteed to fit.  Well it didn't.  I knew it wouldn't but, nevertheless I persisted, and forced that belt onto the Necchi.  That, of course rendered the machine inoperable because the motor position interferred with the feed.  Sigh.  I had hoped that the new belt, which is the appropriate width, would fit so that I could use the Bobbin Winder.  The current 14 3/4 inch diameter 1/4 inch width lug belt works fine.  It's just too wide and kicks the bobbin winder off after only a few rotations of the wheel.  I doubt I wll be able to find a narrow 14 3/4 inch belt, though I will continue to look.  Meanwhile I can wind bobbins on my Nolting BW and when all of my sewing stuff is in one place, it will not be an issue.

 I had started this project in the house.  That was just plain stupid.  I figured that I would be better off in the shop. As soon as I set the machine on my makeshift working block, two lock washers fell off onto the work bench.  Why they didn't fall off between the house and the shop is a mystery to me.  But it was clear where they belonged, on the bolts holding the motor to the machine.
 Steven was of the mind that the lock washer should be positioned next to the bolt, not next to the motor.  This picture was taken before I took the bolts off, in the house.  I believe whoever changed the belt put the lock washers next to the machine.  When I put them back, I put them next to the bolts, in the interest of marital harmony, so to speak, and because it was much easier.

It felt good to be in the shop.  I opened the window, listened to our babbling brook and played with my tools. 

Yesterday I sorted through machines, looking for one I could donate to a new sewist, sewer, person who sews. I had in mind that the Montgomery Ward I have is the perfect machine.  Except....

When I got it out to look at it and test it, I felt that SOJ.  Spark Of Joy.  Nope  Gotta keep this one.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


The new house is small.  Twelve hundred square feet and all on one floor.  There is an attached garage for a shop and a full basement for sewing.  True I won't have the full windows for daylight but all of my sewing and quilting work space will be in one area.  I won't have to trek outside to sew and upstairs to quilt.  Plus there will be a small area for tinkering.

 We have living neighbors as well who are very friendly and know our grandson.  There are other friends of the family who live on the other side of the cemetary. Ready made community.

Bonus, there is an apple tree on the property with different variety of apples grafted on to the same tree.  I will plant some berries, maybe take along some mock orange, and of course, the iris.

I was out in the shop the other day. I started crying. It's ok to grieve. I don't know when I will be back to sewing machine tinkering.  I know I will again.  Maybe as early as July.  Certainly not for the next two weeks.  Sigh. 

Today completed the 6th of 6 cycles of chemotherapy. The next few days will be hell and then I slowly come back to life.  In a month I go back for re-staging.  That's the scary part. 

One thing I do know, when I die my obituary will not read "She fought a courageous battle against lymphoma."  Not me.  I am a fucking coward.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

More Lilacs

Our house was built around one hundred years ago.  I am certain that no one has refinished the woodwork in all that time.  Until now.  This is the only window that opens in the house. The cord that was connected to the sash weights on the other four had rotted or been cut. I do know how to replace that cord (AMHIK) but we decided that we had enough ventilation with the screened front door, this window, and the three kitchen windows.  So we sealed the other four with caulk when we moved in nineteen years ago.   Oil wasn't cheap then and it isn't cheap now.  The large plate glass affords lots of light and lots of heat loss.  Even so, I will miss these windows.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Spark of Joy

We had a cool spring with lots of rain. The lilacs loved it.

It is so beautiful here in the summer.  I simply love this place.  So, yes, I am somewhat sad to leave.  It is time.

A few weeks ago I read a NY Times article about Marie Kondo. I think I will read her book.  The question: should I buy an e-book or the real thing?  The real thing (paper book, hardcover or not) will add to my stuff.  I could, pass it along, spreading her wisdom. Dilemma.

I applied what I learned from that article as I sorted through my clothes.  Ms Kondo recommends handling each possession, evaluating for the "spark of joy" and if absent, thanking the object before disposal. I was all about disposal. I handled each object, found no spark and tossed the item.  No gratitude for its service from me. I ditched two thirds of my clothes. I even discarded those "Oh but it  might fit someday again!" jeans, skirts, shirts, pants. 

Let's see what happens when I go to the Sewing Machine Repair Shop where most of my machines now reside.  I think I will find too much joy out there.  Shoot.