June is a Sprint
If May was a marathon, June feels like a 100-meter dash. The month is already half over and I have no idea where it went. Some of this is the usual, frantic pace that is the hallmark of summer in Montana, but this year it feels like things are moving faster than ever.
I think I’ve finally settled into a routine: The husband is out of here pretty early, especially on days they pour—so they can get done before it gets hot—and I am in the garden by 7 a.m. It’s all weeding at this point. I never did get the corn planted. I was too busy weeding to clear a spot to plant it and now it’s too late. We’ll save the seed for next year.
I weed until mid-morning, then come in and take a shower and clean up the house and figure out what project needs my attention next. I worked on the Singer 66 a bit today. It’s been going in fits and starts. I got the bulk of the finish off, but there are some really stubborn, defiant spots and I am getting tired of hacking at them. I mentioned to the husband that I might ask a friend of ours to clean off the rest of the machine in his blast cabinet. The husband pointed out that in order to do that, I’ll have to disassemble the machine completely, as in take out all the guts. Five years ago, that idea would have made me break out in hives. I’ve reached the point, though, where I figure it’s got to happen sometime, so why not now?
I moved into the garage (better lighting) and started taking the machine apart. I’m just unscrewing things as I get to them. I ran into a few linkages that would NOT come apart no matter how much brake cleaner and Kroil I sprayed on them. (This machine suffered some not-insignificant abuse.) The husband came home for about an hour mid-day and asked if I needed help. I hate to ask him for help, but on the other hand, he’s not afraid to get out the big hammers and use them. And of course, he pulled out some specialized tools that freed up the frozen bits just like that. Part of my frustration is not knowing that those tools even exist, let alone where in the garage he keeps them. I tell myself that he would be just as lost trying to cook dinner in my kitchen.
The machine is a gooey mess at the moment. I probably won’t take any more pictures until it’s cleaned up. I also discovered, in the process of taking it apart, that the takeup lever was busted off and will need to be replaced. I’ve got several other crummy 66s in the collection that I could use as parts machines if necessary.
This is an ongoing project. It may very well take all summer.
I sent a few sewn items out into the world this week just for fun. The recipients don’t know they are getting anything. Yesterday afternoon, I sat on the porch and listened to some podcasts while I took out the hems in three pairs of pants in preparation for shortening them. My mother discovered that Kohls carries Gloria Vanderbilt jeans in tall high-rise sizes. I took a pair to London with me (I wore them cuffed) and experienced a whole day of wearing pants that stayed where they were supposed to instead of falling off my butt 30 seconds after putting them on. I had forgotten how that feels. I bought two more pair and now I need to hem them—not much, but enough that I want to take the original hems out and do them properly. I’ll have DD#1 help me mark them when she is here over the Fourth of July.
The only thing that would make those jeans perfect would be if they didn’t have any spandex in them. However, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that spandex is not going to go away.
I’ve also got a couple of quilts and comforters to bind. I didn’t make it to sewing day at church last week (still trying to recover from my trip), but the ladies tied a top I had pieced from 5” squares of leftover prints alternating with some beige Kona. I brought it home with me Sunday to bind it:
I had some brown binding already made up, but wouldn’t you know it, I was just about 4” short:
I got out the brown Kona, cut another strip, and sewed it on to make the binding long enough. I’ll get the binding sewn down some afternoon. And I should probably make a few more of these tops. They are great for using up 5” squares. Mennonite Central Committee likes comforters to be 60” x 80” and the squares make them easy to tie at regular intervals.
I’m having great fun making whiskey sours as my evening cocktail. I like red wine, but I don’t like the way it makes me feel sometimes. The husband says whiskey sours taste like fancy lemonade but that’s okay. I’m going to branch out and try some other flavors, too. I’d like to make one with some blackcurrant syrup and see how that tastes. I wish I had tried this 30 years ago.