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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1567

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 18 8:10 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I have been shuddering with cold for the last three days - snow on the mountains and very chilly overnight. Not a dull moment in our neck of the woods.

The night of the eclipse was so chilly I went to bed early on the principle that see one eclipse you have seen them all, and the cold, combined with the risk of cloud cover made it fairly discouraging. I have been occupying my time brewing up dyes in the shed, and repairing the new Singer.

Since the new belt arrived, I have managed to get it all moving, but the needle and bobbin thread were not cooperating. Turns out the flat bit of the needle goes to the left - not a configuration I have run into before. And putting the bits back together I made a mistake, so had to pull it all apart again. Once that was done the tension was not working so I had to pull that apart, re-calibrate it and put it back together again, and finally make a minor adjustment to the bobbin tension, add a new sharper needle and now it all works beautifully.

During the process I also discovered many more oiling points I was oblivious to until I read the manual, removed a mud wasp nest and did a bit more cleaning oiling and so forth. It is a joy to sew with, and i have been playing at making pin tucks in fabric to get the hang of it (so much easier to get a straight seam than with the electric machine).

So now all I need to do is work out what all the additional feet do, and see if I can swap the duplicates for feet I need. Hope so.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 5991
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 18 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

lucky you having a manual...I need to sort the lower tension on my 1929 Singer....

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1511
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 18 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am completely unable to understand your weather, Cassandra. I would always there be going out with a complete change to hot/cold clothes in a spare bag containing the clothes option to those I am wearing. We are the ones where it should be cold now and it is, not freezing, but cold and windy-you could be back here and wouldn't think you were away!

I expect you to set up a workshop for sewing machine repairs soon, Cassandra. As every problem occurs you have solved it. There must be lots of sewing machines waiting to be put right by your expertise. Now there is a way to make some money. Repair what you can, but if it is not able to be repaired then you get to keep it and use it for spares. A wonderful occupation in the cold of the winter. I could supply you with several old machines if I put an advert in a local paper. Today's girls want the electronics all over the place, and they go more expensively wrong just the same so you may as well have an old repairable one, rather than the expensive, "new improved" types now sold which are appear un-repairable!-bet I am wrong again!

I hope the belt arrives well in time for the logging machine, MR. We are able to get most things delivered in 24 hours if we ask for it and our worst case is 3 days, obviously the prices vary with speed of delivery, but not dramatically I am told. If the item is in stock in Leplessy, (not spelt that properly), in France at 4pm, we can have it in the UK by 6am. I am there at the stores by 6am and our orders are usually waiting for me.

My friends from Aus are coming over and have asked me to go for a week in May. You may recall I went to a funeral for my friend's mother in law who died last year or the year before. And they have asked me down for the week to the same cottage they rented last time, so a mini holiday in May and a week off work. Possibly the same gang as before, but not sure if the son is coming over. He lives in Tassy-not sure where abouts.

Today I will be visiting a friend and then chopping wood like a fool. I have very little stock left and need to saw and cut like mad to get some stock together, netting is easy, it is just getting wood to fill them. It is a case of selecting the best to do the job, my sticks have to help light fires!

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1795
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 18 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cold, cold weather is back. Thursday was not too bad but the temperature kept dropping all day yesterday. Windy too. So it went from 37 degrees F. Friday morning down to 13 degrees F. last night. Sunny, and up to 20 degrees F. by now (mid-morning.) And the driveway is still quite icy in patches. Cars are, thoughtful Mr Jam Lord, parked at the bottom.

I was going to go the the Howell Living History Farm today. They're tapping maple trees. But . . . it's cold, this is a rather dull event - sap dripping into buckets hanging on the trees. Think I'll wait a couple of weeks until they're doing the boiling down into maple syrup public program.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9211

PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 18 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Pity it was is cold with you Cassandra; and still supposed to be summer too. Yesterday here was drizzly rain, but our Volunteer group had a good time. A friend came to show them hedge laying, and they all enjoyed that and burning up a bit of the brash from that and some left over from last year's coppicing. In the end a very good morning. I had to go for a mammogram in the afternoon, and by that time, although it was still drizzy, the temperature was down to about 4 C.

You have done well getting your sewing machine restored. I hope you enjoy using it now. Perhaps Gregotyn has a good idea as you are so handy about that sort of thing.

Weather doesn't sound so good with you either Jam Lady. So far I have got away with the birch sap. The trees I have cut have been damp at the top but not wet, so I live in hopes they will coppice. I still have quite a lot to get down, but hope to get someone to cut them for me over the next week, even if I can't get the tops. The tops will be all right for a bit yet, but getting them cut before the sap rises gives the best chance of the tree coppicing.

We have had one of our outlets come out for more log sacks, so I am going to be busy again. They were also enquiring about charcoal this summer, so as they haven't stocked it seriously before, that is a plus too. I don't find the log sacks exactly easy, but I can get through them pretty quickly if I have the wood, so yes, definitely worth while Gregotyn. I have done about 600 this year so far, so the 1000 sacks I ordered this year will be gone early next season at this rate.

The weather looks good here at the moment, so hoping to get our for a little while today. Husband has to look at the dishwasher though, so may end up mopping water up from the kitchen floor most of the day.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1567

PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 18 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's OK - it's warm again now - I even got the washing done! Haha. The household has expanded as I have managed to trap the wee feral kitten I have been worried about. It (I have no idea what sex yet) did not respond well to me picking up the cage it was trapped in, but is now in the bathroom, still in the cage, but with a dish of water. It has already eaten. I have no idea what to do to deal with its toilet needs, but will cross that bridge when I come to it. Now it has a dark cave to retreat to it seems more cautiously watchful than terrified, so hopefully will settle down with a bit more food and calm treatment. Billy took one look and has returned to glue himself to my lap, and the dog is worried there is something going on, but not ravening, so hopefully it will sort itself out.




It has been hanging around for several weeks, and has shown considerably greater confidence than you would expect in a kitten this size (though it's size has not changed during that time so perhaps it is just stunted). Plays around the bales of mulch, and yesterday I watched it climb some wire reinforcing against the fence and waltz along the top of the fence, disappear into an overhanging bush and scuttle straight up that. With spunk like that, and its expressed joie de vivre I have hopes it will settle down fairly quickly as it has such great heart.

Gregotyn, I promised you a picture of the machine's innards but didn't get around to taking them for ages, but here are some of the bits that respond to the wheel going round and transfer that information to the bit where the needle goes up and down.



According to its serial number it was made in Scotland in 1947 so probably has the odd Spitfire in it.

Gz, you can search the serial number on line, work out what model you have and then google the manual. Mine is pretty basic but I found one for a later model that fills in the gaps a bit (mine being a 201). If you give me the serial number I can look it up for you if you like and see if I can track down a manual. The serial number is at the base of the upright and looks like this:


Apart from that, not much has happened here. Hope you manage to get here Gregotyn - have been looking forward to catching up with you in the flesh as it were. We might even manage a photo for the forum!

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1795
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 18 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cassandra, here's a suggestion if you haven't come up with a potty station for your sweet little tiger kitten - get a disposable foil cake baking pan and add some dirt. This is often used for feral kittens / cats by rescuers over here. Since the felines are used to going outdoors this is something familiar to them.

Weather above freezing but we're supposed to get a "wintery mix" at any moment. So when we came back from breakfast at the local cafe (where I go for knitting on Wednesdays) we once again parked at the bottom of the driveway.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1567

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 18 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks JL - I finally opted for the lid of a shoebox which has a plasticised coating. Add garden soil and it has been used several times (just emptied it out). It doubles as a bed as apparently the floor is not so warm.

He is eating and drinking well, and less inclined to panic aggression today. I have even managed to scratch his ears (using the long handle of a wooden spoon through the mesh) without prompting a negative response. I swear I heard a purr for a minute there!

I remembered I used to be on a cat rescue forum when I lived in the UK and some of the members are also facebook friends. This is a good thing as for some reason the forum is not letting me post. So last night i consulted with one who has vast experience dealing with ferals and she has been very helpful. More so than the local rescues which apparently don't bother with ferals - just have them put down if they are not socialised.

The water contained proved unstable so it is now a small heavy crystal salt server which will never tip over! And I have acquired more kitten-appropriate food now. I am not supposed to be feeding him too well as food is part of the training method, but it's kind of hard to be too harsh.

Billy will be going to the vet tomorrow to have his jabs refreshed, and I will pick up some wormer I can use in the food or water as well as a puppy pen so we can spread out a bit further than the trap permits. Since he is still rather young (I first spotted him over Christmas New Year and he has not grown that much since) I conclude he is between 10 and 17 weeks, so should be responsive to domestication.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9211

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 18 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Looks rather a nice cat. Thought a bit of soil in some sort of container would do the trick as cats are by nature clean animals. You might find soil over the bathroom floor though, as it tries to do a cover job. Is there a way you can get something in there for a bed for it too, as it sounds as if it isn't too keen on the ground. Seems to have all the right cat instincts for a comfortable life, so if you convince it that is what it will have with you, you may get a new house cat.

Husband tried to sort out the dishwasher yesterday, but it is more complicated than the ones shown on the videos, so no luck yet. The motor appears to go round, as does the pump, so it could be the electronics, which are more difficult without a wiring diagram. We may be forced to get someone in to look at it. We have had it for 17 years, so I suppose it hasn't done badly.

I managed to do a bit in the garden. Pruned the vine and sorted out the compost heap a bit, then started to make inroads into the blackberry that has got rather out of hand behind and at the end of the greenhouse. There is a lot of dead stuff in there, so it needs to be cut out and a few long rods trained in such a way that we can get to all of it.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1795
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 18 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cassandra, one thing I've seen suggested "over here" is to gently pet the cat with a toothbrush. Supposedly it feels like mother cat licking him. If you think that gets your hand too close to fangs and claws you could tape it to the spoon handle. Then stroke kitten's head, neck, back, sides.

Name kitten Sidney / Sydney and adjust spelling when it's sex is known (grin)

Box on it's side with a towel inside as a cave / nest / sleeping place?

I think you are doing something very nice.

Over here - the driveway is even icier that it was yesterday. But it is a sunny day. Hoping ice will melt. Of course then it will freeze up again overnight.

Found a "make your own" brine solution to spray on driveway before it snows, to keep it from adhering tightly, so easier to plow. Uses wood ashes, soaked and strained, with equal parts white vinegar. Mr Jam Lord at first poo-pooed it. Then started looking for sprayers to mount on the bask of his ATV. I suggested we make some and try it out first, perhaps on the uphill curve at the top of the driveway that is always problematical.

Stay tuned for future developments.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1567

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 18 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Spitfire may be more appropriate JL - but I will wait and see what character and gender emerges - it is the first chance I have had to name a pet for rather a long time.

Billy and I went to the vet today so he could have his boosters and be wormed, and we picked up some wormer for the kitten. They looked after Billy while I went to the 'pound store' equivalent and bought things such s bedding, litter tray and so forth, though I was unable to find the small one I was hoping to find. Once home I had to dump Billy unceremoniously and go visit a friend in search of newspaper (the down side of getting your news on-line). Luckily she was not at home as she is very chatty and it is hard to extract oneself without paying at least three hours of conversation. But her husband was, and he happily let me loose on their newspaper pile.

Home once more this was spread over the base of the puppy pen a friend has loaned for a couple of months, and the various accoutrements added. It reached the point where there was no room for the kitten so I have subsequently removed one of the beds.

I decanted the kitten from the trap by tilting it slightly to give the kitten the idea, then holding it steady as the kitten did a stealth-kitten approach to the new space. It put itself straight into the carry box cum cave and it was dead easy to remove the trap, close the gate and have a fuss-free transfer.

After some settling in time I added food with wormer, and the kitten charged the mesh as the food arrived. So a leather glove was deployed as the food was added and the hand rapidly withdrawn as the head plunged into the food bowl. It clearly has a 'this might be my last meal ever' approach to life, as it was actually possible to gently stroke it with a fingertip as it ate.


The hissing and spitting is clearly bluff and not fear or aggression as it is happy to let me put the toe of my shoe against the wall of the pen without causing alarm, and this afternoon I was poking my (leatherclad) finger through the bars and despite some noticeable trembling, the kitten gave it a sniff.

That toothbrush idea is a good one JL - I will give it a try - I have heaps of spare toothbrushes as a friend who travels first class a lot sent me a survival package that included many toiletry bags. I will make sure it is not pre-tooth-pasted though as I imagine the smell would be disconcerting.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9211

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 18 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sounds as if you are making progress with Kitty. As you say, Spitfire might be a good name, although Sidney/Sydney is a good one too. Looks as if it is settling in fairly well, although you might have a bit of a long haul before it becomes really tame. Pity Billy isn't really being helpful as he might be able to help if he would.

Hope your weather is behaving better now. It has turned cold here, which is good in that it keeps spring from coming too early, but a bit nippy. Good thing is that anything that falls on us is snow not rain. Had a bit of a snow shower yesterday, just as I was going outside to the bin. Had to stay home for a delivery yesterday, so I did some accounts and made some biscuits.

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 7380
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 18 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This is not the recommended way of domesticating feral kittens but it has worked very well for us: we let the kittens out the cage completely. Obviously doors and windows closed to stop kittens escaping outside and we let the 2 feral kittens float about the house. We strategically placed beds (boxes with blankets in) through the house and a few litter trays and water bowls and then we ignored the kittens. Feeding times were set and in one place and this gradually built trust. After about 3 weeks we gave them access to the outdoors and ended up with 2 kittens that slept on our bed and paid us attention and affection on their own terms.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1567

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 18 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Shan if my house was a little less chaotic and the dog a little less 'goey' I would give it a go. But the potential for dramatic chases and crashing heaps of building materials, kitchen contents and other alarming events would be too great here. Besides, one of the windows may close, but the gap above it doesn't haha!

When I come and go in the bathroom I ignore the kitten at times and just go about things as if it were not there, so it gets accustomed to normal activity, and since it seems pretty fearless I have hopes I can be handling it to some extent within a week. Certainly touching it does not seem to cause undue reactions.

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 7380
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 18 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chaotic I understand! You should see my house at the moment. Boxes everywhere and I'm not sure when I last caught sight of our dining table!!

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