Saturday, June 19, 2021

Those Useful Things

 Y'all already know I'm nuts right?

I purposely try to give thanks when I meet 
a real, genuine, kind, and 
normal (by my standards whatever that might be) person.
This week, I met one of those people.
Some time back, I really worked on getting plastics out of our house.
There were some things that were easier than others.
One of the challenging things was to find a good laundry basket.
I did find one about a year ago, but it was expensive.
It was expensive enough that I went home and stewed on it
for a week or two before finally deciding to buy it.
I am hoping it lasts the rest of my life. 

I love my laundry basket!
Now how many people can really say that?  
As I said, I've used it for about a year.
It seems just as sturdy as the day I purchased it
and shows no signs of wear.
This was important to me if I was spending money on a basket.
We have a small area for laundry right inside our back entrance
so there's not a lot of extra room.
The basket sits on the washer 
and acts as our hamper during the week.
Laundry day, I set it on the floor to sort loads.
Then as each load is done, I take it out to the summer kitchen
where I have the clothes line set up.
We have so much wind here, 
it's almost impossible to hang clothes outside.
They get dirtier than before washing.
So I do the next best thing under the circumstances.
To haul the wet clothes out to the summer kitchen,
I use a slightly smaller basket that is. . . . 
plastic :-(
As far as plastic baskets go, it is a good shape and size
but it stands out in our home like you wouldn't believe.
I recently contacted the maker of my basket to inquire
if she would be willing to make me another one only slightly smaller so it will fit right inside the one I have.
She said she would and asked if I could bring my basket by
so that she could make sure it would fit as she was making it.
We made the necessary arrangements,
 and I dropped it off at her home.
I had never met her in person.
It took about a half an hour for me to simply drop off a basket.
She is a delightful person.
Isn't it funny how when we meet some people,
there is little to say and much silence.
Then with other people, it seems like there should be a pot of tea
so the conversation can keep going.
She was one of the later, and I was ever so grateful to meet her.
And aside from her genuine character,
she has a fabulous skill.
It will be a couple weeks before I get to use both of my baskets
to do the laundry.
Doesn't that sound silly~
to be anxious to use laundry baskets.
Well, that is my kind of excitement.
I truly appreciate quality items and even if a purchase is difficult
to bite off from a financial perspective,
not only not regretting a purchase but also being glad of it
is even better.  
And I'm learning more and more
quality people tend to make quality items.
Perhaps that's part of the draw.

That's all I really have for today.
I just wanted to share the appreciation of something good.
I hope each of you finds a bit of goodness today.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Other Ways

 So you might have figured out by now that I'm just not normal.

I'm getting more and more okay with that

the more I see what so called normal is.

                       I spoke a few posts back about a master list I keep

of things I'm continually on the lookout for.

Well this week, I got to mark another thing off the list.

This is about a 1940 model wringer washer that works!

Now I already had a wringer washer, but it didn't have a lid

and the head no longer swiveled.

Since I actually want to use it, not having a lid meant 

it wasn't okay to use in the house.

The water would splash all over.

Other than that, it works great, and I have used it a handful of times.

When we moved to the house we are in,

there was a new washer and dryer already in the house

so we intended on leaving our old washer and dryer up the river.

After using the new set a couple of times, we put it in the basement

and brought our old set from the mountain.

The new washer only put about 4" of water in the bottom

and the clothes came out in knots and dirtier looking than when they went in.

The dryer wasn't much better.

I use our old set and will until it dies at which time it will not be replaced.

I seldom use the dryer.

I do use it when crazy happens in life, and I just need to get laundry done,

but that isn't the norm and even in those circumstances, I could hang the clothes

and deal with the inconvenience.

The washer on the other hand, I use regularly (of course).

When the ol' trusty Kenmore dies, I don't want to be stuck

depending on a newer model.

                One thing I've strived for over the past however many years

is to replace newer inferior products with old dependable items.

Like I said, I had an old wringer that would work,

but if I had to use it regularly, it would be a little less than ideal.

That's why I was looking for an upgrade.


                        It's sure interesting how things work out sometimes.

Most of the old wringers I've seen that are in working order

have been selling for hundreds of dollars.

I had mentioned to a friend that I was looking for one.

This past week she let me know of one on FB marketplace.

I'm not on FB so it took a little coordinating,

but the end result is a couple days ago, this darling gem came home with me

for a very reasonable price.

It was funny when I went to look at it, the fella had it handy to look at.

It was in a little "town" of a couple hundred people out in the middle of nowhere.

There was an outlet right there, and I asked if I could plug it in.

He looked a little startled and asked, "Are you going to use it?"

I grinned ear to ear and replied, "Yep."

He looked amazed.

We plugged it in, and it worked fine so we loaded it up and I paid him.

Now whenever our washer gives out, we will be okay.

You'll laugh, but I refer to that as insurance & investment.

This is the kind of insurance I believe in.

I also see it as investing since I should never have to buy another washer.

These are work-horses, they last, and are repairable if they do breakdown.

If only I could find clothes and shoes that would last as long.

  

I was by myself so couldn't really get a picture while putting the clothes

through the wringer.

We get our work clothes really dirty

 so I was curious to see if they would get cleaner with this washer.

They do appear to be cleaner which is great.

The wringer didn't seem to get as much of the water out

as the spin cycle of the Kenmore, but that could be partially

due to operator inefficiency.

It had been a long time since I used a wringer for laundry.

So they did take a little longer to dry, but that wasn't a big deal to me.

Like I said, I will continue to do laundry with our "regular" washer,

but I really like knowing that I have a back up

and that it really wasn't that big of a deal to use it.

I used it outside and don't have it set up in an optimal situation,

but it was only a test run.

If I was going to use it regularly,

I would have it set up so that filling it with water and draining it

were easier.

The other note is that I did a full load of laundry.

The basin looks so much smaller and is easier to reach 

because of the shape, but I fit just as many clothes in it

as in the large capacity Kenmore washer.

I guess other than letting you know I'm a little goofy,

I'd like to encourage you to think outside of the box a little

when it comes to things we do as part of our routine

without giving much thought to what goes into it.


Friday, April 30, 2021

The Sound of Quiet~

First, I have to tell you that I love that I get to share this with you.
In one of my last post, there were 3 short words that seem to have resonated
in our home recently.
"Quiet the Noise."
I should first admit that I am probably a bit hypersensitive.
I have good ears, a good sniffer, good eyes though do have 
wear readers now which I'm not thrilled about.
At our house up the mountain, 
I could tell when the well pump kicked on just by the "sound"
and could feel the pressure in the house.
Yea, I know it sounds odd.
Guess I'm just odd, what can I say.
(The Rosemary is blooming.)

Anyhoo. . . 
I seem to be on a continual mission to nix the noise,
visual, audio, all of it.
We recently had the son of some friends come and stay with us
for a couple nights.
He is 28 and claimed that he was a night-owl
preferring to go to bed late.
(We had warned him that we were early-risers).
After the first night,
I asked if he slept alright.
He said, "Yea, really good actually."
He had evidently gone up about 20 minutes after I had
when Hubby went to take a shower.
He slept about 10 hours each night!

It was really pretty funny.
He was shadowing Hubby at work to get a sense of what we do.
He's wanting to go into the field and had questions.
He got to smith a steak turner and was thrilled.
It's busy and loud at work (metal-fabrication).
Then when we go home,
it's quiet, no TV, not a lot of "stuff" clanking or beeping about.
It was fun to see him unwind
and probably odd for him to feel.
What it told me though, is I'm on the right track.
We don't realize how screens and background noise and even odors
effect and stress us.
We need the silence sometimes.
For us, it was more sound in our home than usual.
It was another body, another shower, drink of water and
the sounds one makes simply by being
and of course we chatted :-)

I've been telling Hubby for ages that if he wakes in the middle of the night
which he does often, not to read on his phone.
He finally said the other morning as we were drinking coffee,
"I think the screen does something in the brain to keep us awake."
He has the blue-light blocker, but could still tell the difference.
He said he read in the hunting synopsis
and then was able to go back to sleep.
(Can you see me slapping my forehead?)
Actually, I am grateful he figured it out.
I am very aware of how certain things affect me,
but trying to explain to others who can't relate
because they've never felt the peace that happens
when it's quiet can be perplexing.
We obviously have screens, but we try to keep it reasonable.
 It was wonderful to see that it's not just us "old-folks."
And it makes me think how much better off children
could be if certain things were put in check.
I will say, it feels as good to get rid of audial clutter
as it does to get rid of visual clutter.
I'm not finished with either of course~
that would be too good :-)
But I keep plugging away.
Every bit of clutter sent on its way or noise quieted
allows for a little deeper breath and peace of mind.
The other thing that becomes noticeable is what remains.
The sounds of a bird chattering or the wind chime hanging by the back stoop.
Gentle sounds remain and sing to ones soul.
For me, it was an accident.
I started by wanting to lower our power bill 
so went through each room and unplugged everything.
As an item was needed, I would plug it in.
I was surprised at how few things got plugged back in
and how much quieter the house felt.
The little charging lights or vibrations create a sort of "noise".
Again, it's an ongoing process.
We seem to go through phases,
but I know now to look for things to unplug. 
If you're feeling overly stressed,
maybe begin by unplugging and listening for the quiet.
The quiet we hear penetrates and brings quiet to us inside.
I wish for each of you that peace.



 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

A Different Kind of Shopping

For the record, I don't like shopping.
Searching for ways to give my money to others
is not my idea of a good time.
There are however, a few things I am always shopping for.
I keep a short list of items I need or would like.
This isn't like the milk and eggs list, but it is similar.
There's just no store that carries the items I'd like to purchase.
Before I get to the items on my list, 
I have to take you down a different path for just a moment.
As far as the milk and eggs above, I've sourced them locally
along with most other items one would usually purchase from the grocer.
I'm not saying I never need a grocer, 
but my dependency is lessening all the time.
I still like coffee, olives, Worcestershire sauce and a few other items 
which are not local or if we want a produce item that is not in season.
If something happened to the supply chain,
we would live (okay, maybe not so happily without coffee, but...).
Honestly, of all the things, raw organic/non-gmo milk was one of the most difficult to source simply due to state laws rather than supply.
It's unfortunate that wholesome foods can be so difficult to find.
I know others who think I'm a bit silly for this, but so be it.
We are healthy, and I accredit it in a large part to this effort.
Now on to the fun list.
There are a few things which probably seem odd to some folks,
but one of the things that I've been on the hunt for for at least a few years now
is a cobbler machine (pictured above).
This machine can stitch leather and has a narrow foot base
so it can reach in shoes.
My regular sewing Singers are all "ladies," but this one is a fellow.
I named him Sidney Singer.
My sewing machines have names because I can't just say "the Singer."
I'm pretty specific in my wants, but I have my reasons.
I wanted an old machine and a Singer.
Old machines have all metal parts.
Even in the best newer machines, there are plastic parts.
Sidney was born in 1906.
The other thing particular to Singer is that there are parts schematics available.
They were made to work and be repairable.
The schematics identify each part down to the size of spring.
And, because Singer is still in business, some of the parts are still available.
All of his mechanical parts are in working order though there are a few issues.
As is, he has neither the knob to be hand-crank, a motor to be electric, 
or the original treadle to be foot powered.
There was a single bobbin that came with him.
His bobbin winder is missing.
He was absolutely filthy!
This was in addition to a bucket of soapy water!
The first thing I did was take the soap and water to him on the outside.
I also had a scraper to get some of the crud off.
Then I worked on "his joints."
Someone had gobbed a bunch of 5 in 1 grease in it.
On the positive side, I guess it helped prevent rust,
but there was so much dirt and grit in there, I didn't want to turn the wheel.
I got him all cleaned up.
I ordered a set of bobbins which have already arrived.
I found the proper bobbin winder and am waiting for that.
I have a knob to add to his wheel so he can have hand-crank.
And now that I have him cleaned up,
I will call the local sewing machine repair shop that has taken care
of my other machines and ask about a motor for him.
I don't mind that he doesn't have the treadle at the moment.
He is on a smaller stand that came with him.
It does have the cast iron legs that are part of a regular treadle.
I've been working on a slipper pattern and am excited to work on that.
Once I have him in a solid functional state, I will order leather.
I want to be sure of what leather I am getting
and get the correct weight for what I will be doing.
Leather's not the cheapest of materials so it has to be right.
I am pretty excited (an understatement)
but have been patient in my search 
so need to be patient in readying him for work as well.
As I said above, I looked for a few years before finding him.
There have been other things that have taken a while,
and those things are among my most cherished items.
(That sounds weird.  I don't worship them, but am content with them.)
I think part of it is that if you're willing to wait,
you don't end up settling for something lesser than what you want.
A few examples:
I know these things aren't exactly on par with diamonds,
but they make me far happier than jewels.
So with this oddball list, what could possibly be left on my list?
Well, a few more oddities of course.
Yet to find:
A cider press (like this one)
An old (not new repro) cast iron single sink with double drain board.
And yep, there's a reason for the old part - the shape of the basin is different.
A stove-top, corning, avocado green, percolator coffee pot.
McCall apron pattern 1105
and a few other smaller things.

We live in an age of instant gratification.
That avocado green coffee pot has been on my list for almost a decade.
You can bet whenever I do find one, I will relish every cup of coffee
I drink from that pot.
It's the same with Sidney.
Hubby has laughed at me (kindly) when my bobbins arrived, and
when I got him cleaned up & tension adjusted, 
then stitched a little scrap of leather.
I'm sure he will get to laugh again when my bobbin winder arrives.
He laughs but is coming up with projects for me to make for him - Ha!
I told him my slippers are first.

I'd be curious if anyone else keeps a list like this.
I guess it's my form of shopping.
I don't mind waiting - none of these items are life threatening.
They are just items that make life either easier or more enjoyable.
As long as I don't find them, I just figure I'm saving money by not buying them.

It's okay if you think I'm a bit silly~ so be it.