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Friday, January 30, 2015

What I did today


I woke up to the six a.m.,  two hour delay phone call, then the eight a.m. deteriorating weather conditions, school is cancelled call.

At nine, with no breakfast, with the Siruba in the front seat, I set out on the twenty minute trip to the Geo. E. Johnson Company, the only industrial sewing machine company for six states around. Deteriorating weather conditions be damned.

Several days ago I effected a trade with my weaver friend Linda for the old Siruba serger. The industrial machine we used to sew thousands of garments from hand woven cotton fabric. We also serged off the ends of thousands of hand woven rugs, prior to sewing down the bound edge and putting them up for sale at a show. When we retired I sold the Siruba to Linda to bind off the edges of all the bags she made, and the occasional bound rug. She had an old Jukki at the time she could not get to working well. If your eyes are glazed over, these are just big sewing machines for a more professional job. Faster, too, but I could never get beyond first gear, which is fine for me.


They don't authorize this stuff with me, first!

I traded Linda our old, four thread Bernina  home serger for the Siruba. The operative word is old; more than twenty years old. Heavy. Sturdy. Another little work horse. Except, it was not making the bottom loop properly, so I took it to our industrial sewing machine fellows, Alex and Jerry, before I turned it over. Alex is eighty something, suffering more and more from dementia, but knows how sewing machines sew. He put the home serger on the bench, began testing the threads, then delivered me quite the lecture on not having the lower looper thread completely between the tension plates, which solved the problem. He doesn't remember who I am or that I have been a customer for more than twenty years, but sewing machines don’t fool him.


Appears to be leaving again!

When the Siruba, which weighs eighty or so pounds, compared to the fifteen pound home serger, was set up, one looper thread was jamming and breaking. We checked all the thread paths, cleaned the moving parts to within an inch of their being, changed the needles—nothing. The lower looper thread jammed and broke on every seam attempted. So, as mentioned a couple paragraphs ago, I set out with the Siruba on the front seat, for the Geo. E. Johnson Company.

The school report was absolutely correct; deteriorating weather conditions. The northbound trip took me more than an hour. But of course I got there. I was on a mission. Jerry put the machine on the bench, checked all the thread paths, then the threads. Once more the lecture, be sure all the threads are securely in their tension plates. The lower looper thread was not! Home again, home again, by eleven. Southbound traffic moved just fine.


Back and ready to rock and roll.

The mission was to use the Siruba for a marathon sewing weekend AND to be home in time for my appointment for the B/L MBB at 1 pm, arrive thirty minutes prior. That’s short for bilateral medial branch block.

Eventually I was face down on a table. The nurse put a drop of happy juice in the IV; I felt the doctor insert a total of eight needles that, I was told, were also full of happy juice. There is still more protocol, but we certainly are down the yellow brick road now. I must keep track of how long the block lasts, where it gives up, and so forth. There will be another procedure based on that for the purpose of squirting stuff that will just shut up those squealing vertebrae for perhaps a year. Take that. And that. And that! POW!


It's what she calls "weaving."

Then I tied the new threading on my loom to the apron, threw the waste yarn and the header thread, and wove a bobbin of a one pound cone of a color called hawthorn. Rather pretty. A sort of bricky red, not the red red I've always thought of as the color of hawthorns. About four yards in a pound of thread, another three or four shirts. Limited edition, as they say. But, the hawthorn is a little down the road, after red shirts and bluebell this weekend.


"Hawthorn." See how the natural web cuts the color about fifty percent.

But now I’m going to bed. Reveille tomorrow is seven, for the ski run trip.


28 comments:

  1. You constantly amaze me. You could not get me in a car when the weather is deteriorating and schools are cancelled.

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  2. The kitty is trying so hard to help. I would hate those phone calls. The decision to close the schools should be made by 11 p.m., based on the forecast and road conditions. Willy Dunne Wooters wrote the original program to make those calls. I don't remember which city commissioned it.

    Love,
    Janie

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  3. You are one dedicated determined woman. But I know how frustrating a balky sewing machine is.

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  4. My serger drives me absolutely batty - it's a cheap Singer and I guess it does what it is supposed to do, but I have been wanting a Juki. Your S is absolutely gorgeous and glad it's working again!

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  5. You are an amazing, determined woman. Just smack me the next time I start whining!

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  6. Do they do happy juice in cocktail form? I don't need the pretty umbrella.
    Jane x

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  7. I like that the guy might have dementia, but he still knew sewing machines. Comforting that at least all was not lost in his abilities. I hope the procedure gives you some relief of pain so that another procedure might be possible down the line.

    betty

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  8. My! You have had quite the day. I'm glad you made it home safe and sound and glad that old guy still knows machines :-)

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  9. Toby certainly looks interested, perhaps he's waiting for you to weave him a rug of his own.
    Don't forget to put that lower thread properly in the tension plate! Funny to get lectured for theexact same thing years apart.

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  10. Wow. What a day. You epitomise determination. I really, really hope that the happy juice session gives the key to a year (or more) free of pain.
    Love the new work too.

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  11. How fortunate you are to have a repair service so close to you. I'd have to drive 200 miles!

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  12. Hari OM
    My late mother has been sitting on my shoulder reading this... you are talking her language!!! I am but the conduit... may the blockers find their target... YAM xx

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  13. I like the sound of that spinal happy juice....where can I get some???

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  14. Brave woman.... driving those icy roads! And... a friend of mine whose wife is a weaver posted a photo of their kitty... stretched out on the project in her loom. Jim said that Jane weaves with wool... with a little car hair woven in.

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  15. Hello Joanne,

    We cannot thread a needle between us so this reads rather like a thesis on splitting the atom!

    However, from what we can make out, you have braved storms, driven through snow drifts,heaved a ton of sewing machine single handed, woven yards of fabric, endured spinal surgery and written a blog post all before we have drawn breath. Well, we are exhausted and all we have done is make cups of tea......and read this, of course!

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  16. My head is spinning keeping up with you, Joanne! And in addition you find the time to write your wonderful blog telling us about your adventures -- past and present! I can appreciate what you say about staying in first gear, though. I have, and still use, a Singer sewing machine from the early 1970's -- before their machines got completely digitized. What I love about it, and the reason I can still cope with it is that it has a slow and a fast speed. Needless to say, my machine never moves out of 'slow'!

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  17. That sounds like quite a day to me Joanne - and I suspect that the snowfall where you are makes ours look like nothing at all. Hope all those injections work - and the machine too - sounds as though Alex still knows what he is doing in that department.

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  18. We get 5:30 am phone calls. We got one of those on Thursday, two hour delay, then school was cancelled, They could have gone at 10:00 am.

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  19. I have no idea what you're doing, but damn, you are driven. Glad to hear they've taken care of your back, hope it lasts a long, long time.

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  20. You know, with most grandparents I would ask "How do you keep up with the grandkids?" With you, I wonder, "How do those granddaughters keep up with Joanne?"

    Glad to hear you got your initial appointment for your chronic pain. Here's to good pain medication! May it last a good long while.

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  21. That was a hard, but fulfilling day, Joanne - you have a lot of stamina! (I didn't understand the medical thing at the end of the post - might have beeen a necessary examination?) I think that, even though you fall in bed really tired, your work and grandchildren keep you very young!

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  22. I haven't a clue about the weaving-techno-speak, but I'm fascinated by it all....I kinda feel an affinity with it, especially since I've discovered a number of predecessors (on my Father's side) worked in the weaving industry in Scotland!

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  23. That was quite a day of accomplishment. Some old sewing machines, with the right use and care, can probably outlive a couple of generations of humans--even when the humans get good care from the newest medical technology. So much disposable stuff now from buildings on the Vegas Strip to the phone in our pocket. Not to mention how some humans are treated.

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  24. Nothing so frustrating as a serger that won't serge! You can clean and diddle all day and accomplish nothing. Makes you want to scream, so I understand you driving in a storm to get it fixed!

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