Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

Sewing is a Reward

Sewing is a Reward

I was chatting with one of the cashiers at Joanns the other day and she commented that I must have a lot of time to sew. I replied that it was one of those “be careful what you wish for” situations, because I do miss my medical transcription work. Also, I have discovered that I cannot sew unless I do something on the big to-do list, first. Sewing has always been my “reward” for getting my other work done and it’s hard to let go of that.

I am not lacking for things to do. This morning, I weeded more of the strawberry patch and picked another couple of quarts of berries. We’re entering a period of warm, dry weather, so I put the sprinkler on one half of the garden and let it run for a few hours. I inspected the huckleberry patch; it’s not as bad as I thought initially, but I’m seriously considering putting up some signs or yellow tape or something to mark the boundaries of the patch so it doesn’t get damaged any further. I got a handful of berries:


There are more out there, but they aren’t ripe yet. My friend Anna said she and her husband were going to go pick hucks on state land tonight, so I may go with them after dinner.

I spent some time organizing the pantry in the basement in anticipation of the start of canning season. Periodically, I go through and rotate the stock so we use up the older stuff first. We’ve still got a couple of quarts of the 2017 vintage of tomato sauce that need to be eaten. (I keep a two-year supply of most things, so once those are gone, we’ll start in on the 2018 jars.) I organized all the empty canning jars into their boxes and made notes about lids and labels I need to buy. The freezer downstairs holds all the zucchini bread, frozen berries, and bags of frozen corn and peas. The remainder of last year’s produce got moved to the upper shelves to be eaten and to make room for this year’s harvest. I did the first picking of peas yesterday, with many more to follow.

Our neighbor Ali’s dad is here visiting from Minnesota. The warning brake light went on in his car about 50 miles out, so Ali asked if we had a recommendation for a mechanic nearby. I suggested our friend Tommy, who used to be on the fire department with the husband and has a car repair business. (He also does upholstery.) This afternoon, Ali’s dad, Jim, followed me over to Tommy’s house to drop off his car so I could give Jim a ride back. While we were there, Tommy suggested I take the Singer 78-1. He’s not using it at the moment and I need it for its needle-feed capabilities on a few projects. He loaded it into my car. It’s too heavy for me to lift out of there so I don’t have a picture, but this is what it looks like:


This is the machine I bought three or four years ago because it was mounted on a set of industrial treadles and I wanted the treadle base for my industrial Necchi. At the time, I couldn’t imagine why I would need another industrial machine (oh, the stupidity), so I sold the 78-1 head to Tommy for his upholstery business. He won’t sell it back to me, but he is very generous about lending it to me for a while.

I am pretty sure I can just have the husband take the industrial Necchi out of the table and drop the Singer in. The treadle irons are mounted on the table that came with the Necchi because the table that came with the 78-1 was in awful shape. I may have to cut a separate industrial treadle belt for the 78-1, but that’s not a big deal.

Fun fun fun.


We have reached that point in tourist season where I am only going to go to town once a week, and even then, only if I have to. It’s awful. I went yesterday because I had an eyebrow wax appointment and we needed chicken feed, and it took me nearly four hours to run just a few errands. I came out of Wal-Mart and saw Kalispell’s ladder truck, an ambulance, and a tow truck in the intersection in front of the store. That gave me an excuse to duck into the quilt store for a few moments, but the traffic was still snarled when I came out. Everyone was trying to get around the accident by cutting through the big box store parking lots. I had thought I might stop at Costco to get a few things, but I couldn’t get into the parking lot. For some reason, they had closed off one end of each lane, so if you went down a lane to look for a parking space and the spaces were all full, you had to back out (into all the extra traffic) instead of driving through.

I’ve about had it with people. Just before midnight on July 4, the pager went off for a head-on collision on the highway heading into Kalispell. It sounded bad and it was. Two people from our community—a mother and a daughter—were killed by a drunk driver. The daughter was a few years older than DD#1 and had gone to the same elementary school. I didn’t know them personally, but they were friends of several friends of ours. The same day the accident report appeared in the paper, there was another article about a drunk driver who had been picked up for his sixth DUI. Thankfully, he didn’t kill anyone, but I suppose it’s only a matter of time. I am out of patience with this kind of stupid behavior. I don’t worry nearly as much about the husband’s safety when he is running into a burning building as I do when he’s doing traffic control on the highway. We can all tell you stories about people who will try to drive through an accident scene at highway speed either because they are impaired or because they are impatient. When did personal responsibility fall out of favor?

The husband put an ad on Craigslist for additional employees. He got a call from a guy in Kalispell who sounded on the up-and-up, so the husband told him to show up at the job the next day. That morning, the guy called—well past the time when he was supposed to show up—and said he had slept through his alarm and would be there shortly. He never showed up. I don’t want to hear about how hard it is to make a living—not when my husband is out there working 16 hours on a Sunday so jobs don’t fall behind schedule. And don’t get my mother started. They are desperate for employees but they can’t find ones who can pass a drug test.

In the meantime, I’ll just be over here waiting for snow.

A Huckleberry Kind of Day

A Huckleberry Kind of Day

A Long Holiday Weekend

A Long Holiday Weekend