Thursday, February 4, 2016


Last evening somewhere around 10:00 J and his girlfriend arrived home.  J went downstairs to his "bedroom" to pull out clothing for work today.  He and his dear girlfriend are sleeping in the guest room since the flood one week ago.  They are sleeping at OUR house because her bedroom at her mom's house is being repaired after mold was discovered behind the walls. 

Suddenly there is a knock at our bedroom door, waking both me and Dear Hubby. I hear his girlfriend, "Momma, wake up!  J said there is water all over the basement!"  I tore off my CPAP, shoved my feet into Crocs and ran (well not quite running) down two flights of stairs to the basement.  Yup.  Water EVERYWHERE.  J was already gathering his expensive computer equipment off of the floor (too heavy for the glass desktop) and putting it up on anything that will hold it...sofa, bed, pool table, etc.  We go running to the storage room where the sump pump is located and what do we see???


Soooo...we went from a 14' x 27' water problem to a 37' x 27' disaster of 2-3 inches of standing water and carpet that raises up in waves from the floor six inches ahead of your footsteps.  In some areas you can see water seeping above the baseboards.  There is SO MUCH LOSS.  Most heartbreaking is K's (my future grandson) crib/toddler bed.  We have been busting our behinds moving my sewing stuff downstairs, hoping to have his crib/toddler bed moved into my old sewing room to surprise him when they come for a "sleepover at Grandma's" this weekend.  G's (our son's girlfriend) father stood outside of the store, waiting for it to open, so he could buy it for her the day her son was born.  Because he was a month early and born on the day that was "supposed" to be her baby shower...there was nothing ready for his arrival.  We had had a discussion only a few days earlier of how she was going to buy the pieces to expand it into a single bed for K.  J suggested they buy a new bed and pack the crib/toddler bed away for their next child, but G said it had such sentimental memories attached to it that she wanted K to sleep on it and they could just buy a new crib for the next child if and when they were blessed with a child.  She was showing me the teeth marks where K gnawed at the rail.  And it is destroyed.  I was heartbroken...and I know even though she was trying hard not to show it, so was G.  Her dad suggested that he and J use whatever parts they can salvage (especially the teeth marks) to make something that her son can keep.  I guess that will have to do. 

After my initial shock and total emotional breakdown, J has refused to allow me back down into the basement.  Dear Hubby says...consider it a total loss, then you can be surprised by anything they are able to save.  This morning I am just devoid of all emotion.  It is ALL. TOO. MUCH.  I spent most of yesterday afternoon at my folks' house because mom and dad are still in bad shape and I am expecting one or the other to go back into the hospital at any time.  Mom was in the ER on Monday, but they sent her home.  My Aunt and I are spinning our wheels trying to help them as best we can.  And now this.  Dear Hubby and I are expecting a major problem as one subcontractor tries to blame the other.  We have had the water remediation people fixing the sump pump and cleaning up the first flood, and the plumber putting in a new hot water heater.  I can't think of any reason why the plumber working on the hot water heater would have unplugged the sump pump; and considering how incompetent the water remediation guy was in FIXING the sump pump...I know where I am placing my bet.  AND my insurance agency informed me that this is a totally separate claim.  "YOU MEAN I HAVE TO PAY ANOTHER $750 DEDUCTIBLE?"  "You will have to talk to the adjuster about that." I don't have any gold fillings or I would suggest they take those.

So if you don't see me around much, after my stating that 2016 was going to find me blogging more...I'm trying to slowly piece my life back together.  I have to remember, though, that things are just "things" and the people I hold most dear are here to support me as best they can.  In the grand scheme of things...I want nothing more.  

Sunday, January 31, 2016


If you have been reading along for a number of years you may remember my first sewing room.  After shutting down my business in 2010, we converted my former office into a wonderful sewing room.  I was in heaven!  However, it wasn't long before I began to outgrow this room, the smallest bedroom in our home.

When our Dear Son moved out of the house, I took over his old bedroom...had it repainted and appropriated his wonderful Ikea PAX unit for storage.

For several years now my Dear Hubby and Dear Son have suggested that I empty out our formal living room (which was NEVER really used in the 26 years we have lived in this house) and make it a larger sewing room.  I hemmed, I hawed and just couldn't bring myself to get rid of my pretty furniture...but more importantly, my organ.  I haven't been able to play it in at least 5 years, but it was such a big part of my life that removing it from our home seemed impossible.  Until recently.  I guess I have become wiser in my 55th year.  Life is meant to be lived and ENJOYED...and the formal living room was not offering me the opportunity for either!  And keeping my organ only brought home the fact that I would never again be able to play the way I once played!

So, after swallowing hard and breathing deeply I made the decision to take the plunge.  I would move my sewing room into the living room area.  Before Christmas I began organizing items to list on eBay.  By January 4th I had sold my organ and the large majority of furniture.  Yesterday, all but a sofa table and end table were picked up by the new owners.  I had every intention of putting down new flooring prior to moving into this room...but the expense of our flooded basement, a temperamental 14+ year old refrigerator, a broken freezer and three more appliances also purchased in 2001 gave me pause.  I have the distinct feeling that I am going to be hemorrhaging money this year.  New flooring is an expense I can do without! 

So today my incredible son and his wonderful girlfriend began moving furniture.  For HOURS they disassembled my sewing room and hefted the main pieces of furniture down the stairs.  My desk and printer sit in the place once occupied by my organ. 

My sewing table and cutting table sit across from my desk.  I still have a few smaller "furniture" items that need to be moved down next weekend...along with my son's Ikea PAX unit.  I think I will hide in my bedroom and chew my nails while they are moving that monster, LOL. 

And my old sewing room right now??? 

ACK!!!!!  Everything on, or in, my desk and sewing table was removed to lighten the load for carrying.  What is left is a mish-mash of stuff piled anywhere it could fit without causing an avalanche!  Oh, excuse the tremor is in its glory! 

Starting tomorrow I will move things downstairs, one handful at a time.  It may take me a full week to carry the bits and pieces downstairs, but I will do so happily knowing that I am working toward a beautiful new sewing studio. 

More to come!


Saturday, January 30, 2016



This morning we woke up to NO HOT WATER at all.  I TOLD the insurance company that the hot water heater was making horrible noises and that just because it was working didn't mean it wasn't damaged!  I had already scheduled with the plumber to come out on Monday (on my dime) to check the hot water heater.  So we will live without hot water until then.  The tech coming out on Monday has been thoroughly apprised of the situation...I'm afraid an "emergency" tech may not know all of the details.  So we will take as few showers as possible, skip doing laundry and skip running the dishwasher.  I am hoping since there is now PROOF of damage they will pay for the tech to come out.  I don't want anything "repaired".  The water has voided my manufacturer's warranty and goodness knows what else could pop up as a result of the water.  Praying the insurance company agrees and replaces it...

Oh, and after I posted yesterday our phone line went all static-y.  Verizon came out quickly, thank goodness, and I was right...the jack was saturated and already starting to corrode from the water! 

I am sitting here in my sewing room with a diffuser pumping out calming essential oils.  My best friend bought it for me for Christmas.  What perfect timing!  Breathe Deep, Lin!!!   Breathe Deep...

Friday, January 29, 2016



Thanks to wonderful winter weather, this is the SECOND time that our basement has had water damage!!!  I can't remember now if it was last winter or the winter before, but low, low temperatures caused a pipe in the ceiling of our basement to burst...effectively ruining my husband's home office and destroying five bookcases of my hard bound books (sob). 

This time it was the sump pump that caused the damage.  My husband and I were VERY proactive when we finished our basement.  We put in a second sump pump that runs on water pressure instead of electricity.  It worked BEAUTIFULLY during hurricane Sandy and we were the only house in our immediate vicinity that didn't have four feet of water in their basement.  However, being proactive doesn't guarantee you won't have problems! 

Yesterday I was heading out to a doctor appointment (two actually) when I heard a horrendous metallic groaning noise coming from my basement.  I went flying down the stairs to find the sump pump pipes shooting water all over the place.  The moaning was coming from my hot water heater that was being bombarded by high pressure water.  I knew I had to unplug the sump pump, but I was standing and sloshing around in water.  So I reached for the cord well down from the outlet and pulled.   That stopped the water spraying all over the place, but the damage was say nothing of the fact that I was now DRENCHED. 

As I was sloshing around I saw this black critter swimming across my pantry floor.  At first I thought he was a snake, and just about died!  Then I spotted his four little legs paddling away.  He finally found his way to a higher dry spot where I was able to catch a quick photo before he disappeared under my pantry shelving.  Eeeeeewwwwwww.....NOW where is he, and how did he get into my basement???

My insurance company sent out a team to clean up the mess. 

They moved stuff all OVER the place and put all of our "wet" belongings out in our garage to be gone through.  I really need to do that today, but it is so COLD in the garage!

They brought down a bunch of heavy duty drying equipment and pulled up my carpet and pad to try to salvage them. 

The last thing they did was "fix" my sump pump pipe before they walked out the door.  Thirty minutes later it was leaking again, not shooting all over but definitely leaking.  My son wrapped a towel around the pipe and and held it in place with bungee cords.  This morning the water remediation guy came back to check the humidity of the room.  I showed him the saturated towel.  He left to buy new parts for the pipes.  Hope it gets fixed right this time.  Oh, and the water heater next to the sump is less than a year old and was drenched with water.  I'm going to have to PAY to have a plumber verify if it is a loss or not.  It is working, but I'm afraid the insides will corrode away because of the water dripping all through it.  I just spent $1800 to have it installed...I don't want it dying  before its expected lifespan!

So, Murphy and his damn laws have moved back into our house.  Since the beginning of January my mom has been in the hospital twice and my dad once.  As an only child the responsibility falls squarely on my shoulders.  This new "disaster" is more than I can handle.  I can't even cry over it...I'm just numb.  I feel like my whole life is upside down at the moment.  I keep repeating to myself, "This too shall pass".  I know it will, but it can't happen soon enough!

Friday, January 8, 2016


Today I made a trip to my favorite thrift store looking for a 1" binder (sorry no picture) and a pair of pantyhose to try a frugal idea I had seen on online.  I found the binder for $.50 and the pantyhose for $.99.  Today all blue tags were 50% off!  

For several years now I have heard about wool dryer balls and how they work much better and are much less expensive than dryer sheets...even the cheap dollar store brand.  I searched my yarn stash and found a few small skeins of tapestry wool.  Since I don't know if tapestry wool will felt, I simply wound one skein into a ball.  I sliced off one leg of the pantyhose and inserted the wool ball, tying off the pantyhose above and below the ball.  Right now they are in the washer on hot.  I will dry them on the hottest setting and see if they begin to felt.  The online source that I used for instructions said that she had washed and dried her wool balls three times to get them properly felted.  If it works, I have several more skeins of tapestry wool to use up.  Oh, and the tapestry wool?  I got it for free several years ago from someone who was cleaning out all of her yarn!  If these dryer balls work as well as I anticipate, I will be saving money from now on...with very little investment! 

While roaming around the thrift store I found a cute little ceramic bag for holding pens in my sewing room.  For several years now I have used a wall vase to hold my pens.  However, it never really worked as well as I would have liked, so I will eventually list the wall vase on eBay to sell.  This little ceramic bag was also a blue tag and cost me only $.49 after discount. 

Last but not least, all wallets and handbags were 50% off.  I purchased these two small wallets for a total of $3.00.  I hope to be able to use one of them to corral all of my gift and loyalty cards.  Right now I have them in a vinyl zippered pouch, which is much bigger and takes up way too much room in my handbag.  Whichever one I do not end up using will be listed for sale on eBay! 

All in all it was a wonderful "thrifting" day.  I only spent $5 and fulfilled several needs and even scored an item to sell on eBay!  Frugality RULES!!!


Friday, January 1, 2016

Progress On The Little Guy's Quilt...

Today I spent some time working in my sewing room.  I managed to complete the first "round" of the little guy's quilt.  It isn't really as crooked as it looks, hanging it with the curtain clips doesn't work as well as pinning it flat to my flannel design "curtain". I hope to have a real design "board", a rigid surface, when I move into my new sewing room.  I'm thrilled with how this quilt is turning out and I can't wait to get back to it tomorrow!  Oh, and please ignore my pinwheel points that don't quite touch, lol.  This was my first try!


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Prepping For The Move...

Now that Christmas is over I can begin preparing to move my sewing room down to the living room!  I can not WAIT to have a room this big to create in and, most importantly, with it located on the main floor of the house I can seriously reduce running up and down the stairs. 

So, yesterday I listed my sofa, 2 wing chairs, 3 tables, 3 lamps, mirror, a decorative hourglass and my Lowrey organ on eBay.   Within 30 minutes I had bids on the chairs, 2 tables, 2 lamps, the mirror and the hourglass.  Even with the bid, I still see people saving the items to their "watch list".  Maybe that means I will get more than my starting bid amount as it gets closer to the end of the auction.  But, since my goal is to empty out the room as quickly as possible...I priced these things to sell! 

I have had 32 people view my Lowrey listing and one person has placed it on their watch list.  Back in 1974 when my parents bought me the organ, it cost $ astronomical price!  But I had a gift and they were determined to do everything they could to help me reach my potential.  For the past 10 years or so it is impossible to buy replacement parts, so even if someone just purchased it to cannibalize it for parts...$25.00 is a steal! I think I may be quite emotional when "my baby" leaves this house, but I haven't been able to play it in making room for a hobby that I still CAN do makes a whole lot more sense. 

Tomorrow J and his girlfriend will begin moving things around so that at least a few items can be brought down from my sewing room.  We know it is going to take several days of lifting and moving furniture...but it will be a start! 

This morning I have purged through my sewing catalog drawer and have purged through one bin of fabric.  There is a LOT more to do, but slow and steady will have to be my pace.