Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I don't think it's the same trip

I'm not really an old hippie.  I am a Socialist, Commie, Liberal, though (according to a comment sent to me via the blog).  I never dropped LSD but am of a certain age that one could imagine I did.  Last night, as Steven and I sat reflecting on the past nine months I said "What a long, strange trip it's been."

"Honey, I don't think its the same trip."

Well, no, it isn't.  But I did have an out of body experience when I became syncopal after chemo, twice. 

I finished the sixth of six cycles on June 15.  Monday I had a PET/CT scan.  Tuesday I saw the lymphoma specialist.

I cried when he told me that there was no evidence of lymphoma on the PET/CT scan.  He was very gracious.  I composed myself but was barely able to concentrate as he explained what is next (basically observation).  I was not expecting a complete response.  I truly thought that I would have residual disease.  I am very, very lucky.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

SPARK OF JOY Cont'd

In March I ordered a new belt for the Necchi.  It was guaranteed to fit.  Well it didn't.  I knew it wouldn't but, nevertheless I persisted, and forced that belt onto the Necchi.  That, of course rendered the machine inoperable because the motor position interferred with the feed.  Sigh.  I had hoped that the new belt, which is the appropriate width, would fit so that I could use the Bobbin Winder.  The current 14 3/4 inch diameter 1/4 inch width lug belt works fine.  It's just too wide and kicks the bobbin winder off after only a few rotations of the wheel.  I doubt I wll be able to find a narrow 14 3/4 inch belt, though I will continue to look.  Meanwhile I can wind bobbins on my Nolting BW and when all of my sewing stuff is in one place, it will not be an issue.

 I had started this project in the house.  That was just plain stupid.  I figured that I would be better off in the shop. As soon as I set the machine on my makeshift working block, two lock washers fell off onto the work bench.  Why they didn't fall off between the house and the shop is a mystery to me.  But it was clear where they belonged, on the bolts holding the motor to the machine.
 Steven was of the mind that the lock washer should be positioned next to the bolt, not next to the motor.  This picture was taken before I took the bolts off, in the house.  I believe whoever changed the belt put the lock washers next to the machine.  When I put them back, I put them next to the bolts, in the interest of marital harmony, so to speak, and because it was much easier.

It felt good to be in the shop.  I opened the window, listened to our babbling brook and played with my tools. 

Yesterday I sorted through machines, looking for one I could donate to a new sewist, sewer, person who sews. I had in mind that the Montgomery Ward I have is the perfect machine.  Except....

When I got it out to look at it and test it, I felt that SOJ.  Spark Of Joy.  Nope  Gotta keep this one.





Thursday, June 15, 2017

NEIGHBORS

The new house is small.  Twelve hundred square feet and all on one floor.  There is an attached garage for a shop and a full basement for sewing.  True I won't have the full windows for daylight but all of my sewing and quilting work space will be in one area.  I won't have to trek outside to sew and upstairs to quilt.  Plus there will be a small area for tinkering.


 We have living neighbors as well who are very friendly and know our grandson.  There are other friends of the family who live on the other side of the cemetary. Ready made community.

Bonus, there is an apple tree on the property with different variety of apples grafted on to the same tree.  I will plant some berries, maybe take along some mock orange, and of course, the iris.

I was out in the shop the other day. I started crying. It's ok to grieve. I don't know when I will be back to sewing machine tinkering.  I know I will again.  Maybe as early as July.  Certainly not for the next two weeks.  Sigh. 

Today completed the 6th of 6 cycles of chemotherapy. The next few days will be hell and then I slowly come back to life.  In a month I go back for re-staging.  That's the scary part. 

One thing I do know, when I die my obituary will not read "She fought a courageous battle against lymphoma."  Not me.  I am a fucking coward.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

More Lilacs

Our house was built around one hundred years ago.  I am certain that no one has refinished the woodwork in all that time.  Until now.  This is the only window that opens in the house. The cord that was connected to the sash weights on the other four had rotted or been cut. I do know how to replace that cord (AMHIK) but we decided that we had enough ventilation with the screened front door, this window, and the three kitchen windows.  So we sealed the other four with caulk when we moved in nineteen years ago.   Oil wasn't cheap then and it isn't cheap now.  The large plate glass affords lots of light and lots of heat loss.  Even so, I will miss these windows.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Spark of Joy

We had a cool spring with lots of rain. The lilacs loved it.

It is so beautiful here in the summer.  I simply love this place.  So, yes, I am somewhat sad to leave.  It is time.

A few weeks ago I read a NY Times article about Marie Kondo. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/magazine/marie-kondo-and-the-ruthless-war-on-stuff.html. I think I will read her book.  The question: should I buy an e-book or the real thing?  The real thing (paper book, hardcover or not) will add to my stuff.  I could, pass it along, spreading her wisdom. Dilemma.

I applied what I learned from that article as I sorted through my clothes.  Ms Kondo recommends handling each possession, evaluating for the "spark of joy" and if absent, thanking the object before disposal. I was all about disposal. I handled each object, found no spark and tossed the item.  No gratitude for its service from me. I ditched two thirds of my clothes. I even discarded those "Oh but it  might fit someday again!" jeans, skirts, shirts, pants. 

Let's see what happens when I go to the Sewing Machine Repair Shop where most of my machines now reside.  I think I will find too much joy out there.  Shoot.



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Our new backyard

We went for a walk Saturday in the 'hood.  Our new home is actually in a sweet village not far from the edge of town. Reportedly we will have bears, deer, and turkey in our yard this fall.  Wonder what the dogs will do? 




Oh and tucked away on Main Street, there is a Sewing Machine Repair Shop.  I haven't yet checked it out.  Someday, next time we go.

We have another ten months or so here.  I am still employed and we must sell our home here.  Then we will be on our way. 

In a week or so I will head out to the Shop and cull and sort the remaining stash.  I have a lovely 15-91 in need of a motor rewire.  I would love to dig into that.  Much needed therapy.  I think I will transport that one to our new place and sell it there.  There is a paucity of good Singers in the new neck of the woods. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Moving On...

We are moving.  Fortunately, our new home is smaller, closer to family and in a village.  That means that as soon as I finish my treatments we will list this house for sale.

The property comes with 10 acres and five outbuildings (not including the outhouse, we might take that with us): a single car garage, a large workshop with a studio apartment, a small two story barn (could work as another garage, with finished space above) a garden shed and a sauna.

I can't take all of my sewing machines so I will be rehoming some of them.  In the meantime, we are working furiously to get this place market ready.  I should say that Steven is working furiously.  I work as much as I can.  Chemo gets me and I still have a job so there isn't much left.

It's been a great place to live.  We have a wonderful community here.  It's time to move.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

THE FREE

 I sold this machine over the weekend.  I am sorry to see it go but I have never used it and I need the cash for medical bills. 



It had a very smooth treadle action; much smoother than my Singer treadle stands.  I am sure that it will be well loved in its new home.  I understand it will be a birthday present for someone.  Sweet.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wheeler and Wilson No. 8

I bought a recliner.  I know.  Please don't think less of me.  I wanted one.  I have cancer.  I deserve one.  It is a lovely, sea-foam green, leather recliner.  It is comfort defined.

We didn't have room for it.  Not that the chair is that large.  Rather, our rooms are small and filled with sewing machines.  The museum had to go.  We moved the antiques (Howe, W&G and W&W) out to the repair shop; for now.  On a lark, I listed the Wheeler and Wilson yesterday.  Today I sold it.
Just like that.  Hooray for me.


Here you go, Linda! (See comment below)


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Thank you Denmark

 Diversity
Click the link. (Sip the ad, though the one with the unicorn farting was kind of cute)

 You may have seen this on Facebook.



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

OFF TOPIC (but very relevant to our times)


 I can't go.  DC is a bus ride away and there is a bus going.  I won't be on it.  Too many crowds, too much risk for EXPOSURE to infection.  The March falls on day 4 of my first cycle of therapy.  SIGH

I will attend our local event.  Women's rights are human rights.  I want to stand up  and join in the resistance.  What  is happening in our country is morally reprehensible.  This is no longer political.  This is not about ideology.  This is about saving our Republic: One Nation, Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for ALL.  ( Plege of allegience history)

For those reading this who want to read about sewing machines, likely I will get back to them, sometime.  After all I am addicted.

I don't want to run on and on here about my resistance journey and the little "l"  so I am starting a different blog.  Living with Lymphoma in the Time of Trump

In the meantime:
KEEP CALM and SEW ON.

Oh, and PS  I sewed on Sunday afternoon.  I sat at my beloved 201-1 and stitched away.  The butt is better and I could sit comfortably for the first time in 6 weeks.  Maybe tomorrow before therapy I can sew again.  I have missed it. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Almost Free Quilt




 I long for a chance to just quilt edge to edge. That was my plan for this quilt; a simple edge to edge with a large motif that I could finish quickly. Instead, I designed a pattern with one thread color change but lots of stops and starts. I used the same color bobbin thread throughout. I also buried the threads before advancing the quilt (most of them anyway) tying off each time I would stop and start.  Yes, it was tedious and I am happy that it is finished.  I have no other quilt tops waiting in the wings.  As soon as I can sit comfortably (don't ask) at the sewing machine I will finish this one
I might be able to keep myself from playing in all that blue space.  I might.....

Wrigley tried to sleep at my feet during much of the project.
 Finished, it is larger than a Queen.  I am keeping this quilt. Every time I would tie a knot, I would think of my brief time helping in the OR.  I never became proficient at suturing and tying. Luckily my stint as a First Assist in Surgery was short lived.  Though I still chastised myself when I would drop the needle on the quilt, horrified that it might get lost.  Better on the quilt than in some woman's belly.(Which never happened BTW)

 The quilting doesn't show on much of the back. Likely after it is washed, some of the texture will appear. 
Here is the center, finished.
 This corner was a mess and I see now the difference in how I quilted the feathers.  
I ripped it out and tried again.  Maybe better, maybe not
This worked best for me.  The purple sketch lines helped a little.
The corner on the border was a bit easier.  I made a minor correction. 
This quilt is one hundred percent scraps.  The batting and thread were new, of course.  I quilted most of it in the stitch regulated mode which is a challenge for me.  I have a hard time with one fluid motion especially meeting the spine of the feather and keeping the plumes plume-like. Since I am quilting for myself the amateurish quality worries me not.  I can produce a lovely meander that is consistent and very professional, if not boring, looking.  Next quilt.  Just because. (With apologies to Linda)


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

RELIEF

I like the texture in this photo.  You can see the "relief" in the fabric.  I know, not true relief, but that was the word that came to mind so I am using it. 

Besides, it fits with my visit to a very warm and kind oncologist today.  Not that my diagnosis is any better than it was.  Marginal zone lymphoma is an indolent, slow growing lymphoma that tends to creep along.  Hence, chemotherapy may only keep it from transforming to the more aggressive kind.  Interestingly enough, the more aggressive kind, if that is what one gets "de novo," responds well to chemo because it is faster growing and chemo attacks fast growing cells. Not so if the indolent transforms to the aggressive. So why am I relieved?  Because I feel confidant in my care team.  I have also decided that I will respond to this treatment and be back on my bicycle by July, 2017.  Treatment starts in two weeks.  Six cycles at 4 week intervals.  No alopecia (hair loss) but maybe some fatigue and nausea and other GI symptoms that we will not discuss.    Sigh.   The usual neutropenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia,  which will place me at risk for infection and bruising.  No contact sports so I guess my roller derby career is finished. Life is a balance.

Monday, January 2, 2017

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

When all those vintage sewing machine parts and manuals became available, I vowed that I would do what I could to preserve them.  I believe that I have accomplished that goal. 

While I am not the steward of these items any longer, I have passed them along to Sew Green Of Ithaca, NY.  Wendy and her husband, Don, came over on Friday and loaded up the UHAUL with the parts and many machines.

I don't think Steven was grieving when he said. "Oh we no longer have over 200 sewing machines."
Indeed, we could have close to 100.  I just haven't counted, yet. I know that there are at least 15 in the museum and four others around the corner in the dining room.  I'll bet there are 8 or 10 in the sewing loft and who knows how many left in the shop?  If I cared, I would count.

BEFORE

AFTER DON EMPTIED IT

 Efficiency ruled.  In less than three hours the truck was loaded and they were on their way.

I was not, nor am I now, sad at all.  I would say I am rejoicing, which is appropriate, maybe for the season.

WRT the political water marks; this is my blog and  I am exercising my First Amendment Rights. No like?  Tough Shit.