Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Another busy couple of weeks have rapidly passed us by. I cannot believe it is already December. But, yesterday, we celebrated Gregory's 8th birthday.

He almost blew out all of the candles this year!

But the best part according to Gregory, was the presents.

This tank toy plays music, talks, moves and otherwise drives me insane.

I guess I can't be too hard on my mother who sent him a flashlight radio that makes a siren noise.

I think Gregory's favorite gift was the spy robot.

Today, Gregory discovered the spy robot could record and play back messages.

Naturally it didn't take too long for him to figure out that he could record the siren noise from the flashlight and have two obnoxiously noisy toys.

Though my own birthday is still a month off, several wonderful friends have sent me some little "stash-building gifts" just because. I love "just because." It is one of my favorite celebrations!

Stasia sent me this lovely silk and spindle. I had purchased a few bumps of silk from The Silk Worker before, but had never screwed up my courage enough to spin any of it. Then most of it was lost to Hurricane Ivan. This time, I decided not to take any chances.

Once I tried spinning silk, I fell in love with it! I am on a silk spinning mission now! After gathering some courage from spindle spinning, I grabbed some more silk and started spinning it on my spinning wheel.

I actually got this right before the hurricane and it only survived because I had not yet put it away. I had temporarily placed it on a shelf until I had some time to put it in the bin where I kept silk and other luxury fibers. Fortunately it stayed on the shelf!

A few other dear cyber friends have sent "just because" surprises too!

Here is alpaca from Diane in Alaska and more silk and some wool from Cary in Michigan. They certainly know how to make a girl's heart go "pitter-patter," lol.

I'm still trying to salvage what I can salvage from the house. I thought the drum carder might make it. There was very little rust and the unit was in one piece.

But after vacuuming the debris from the carding cloth, we found more damage than we thought there was. The base of the carding cloth is discolored and there is a powdery substance coating it. I suspect the carder is moldy.

From what we have been told, most mechanical things exposed to sea water will rust from the inside out eventually. Thus, the drum carder will need to be replaced when we can do it.

I started looking at the looms too. Here they are before any real salvage work. (Margrett from Running Moon Farm sent a box of hardware for the loom and included some lovely mohair, just because. Isn't it beautiful!)

You can see the laundry baskets full of other things still needing to be cleaned or repaired, if possible. We are slowly working through the piles we pulled out of the house. Very little has ended up being salvageable.

At first glance, the looms appeared to be in pretty good shape. I started with the triloom.

We started with the stand. Kurt cleaned everything up with white vinegar to stop any mold. Then I buffed it with Wood Beams. You can see an amazing difference in the portions of the stand treated with Wood Beams and that not yet done.

After working on the stand, I started removing broken and damaged pegs from the main part of the loom. I am so glad I bought my loom from Running Moon Farm! It is designed with replaceable parts and pegs. This feature has certainly come in handy!

As I started drilling out the peg holes, I did find a bit more wood damage than I originally expected. I may have to eventually replace the wood rails. However, I am hoping to be able to make my triloom work in the meantime.

I have not yet tackled the floor loom.

I definitely have my doubts about being able to fix this.

The heddles are rusted and full of debris. They will all need to be replaced. All metal parts are now rusted. The wood is splintering. However, my larger concern is the frame of the loom.

The top of it completely broke off and now nothing is square. It is all out of whack. Oh that I had some skill in fixing things! I figure I can try to take it apart, clean it and then put it back together. I'm hoping it won't lean so much then. I just hate what happened to this loom. I had JUST got it and had never even used it. And it WAS in PERFECT condition. As much as I hated losing my little floor loom, it just breaks my heart to see this one looking like this.

I have finally started knitting again more regularly. I wanted to knit a hat for charity. But I lost all of my patterns. So, I thought I'd try one without a pattern. . .

YUCK! I am obviously not ready to work patternless yet. I don't know what I will end up doing with this thing. I'll probably let the kids play with it. After this, I went straight online and ordered a book with some hat patterns.

I did manage to finish my sailing socks. I just love them! It got really cold here for a couple of days. When we evacuated, it was summer. I packed sandals. That is all I have now. I lost 52 pairs of shoes! And because the cottage has no heat, I got real motivated to finish knitting my wool socks. I simply wore them with my sandals and my feet stayed nice and warm! Now I either need to hurry up and knit a bunch more socks, or brave the crowds and go buy some shoes!

We've had an unusually warm winter so far this year. I really believe this is a gift from the Lord since there are so many people without adequate shelter. We've managed to get through enough piles to actually be able to sit out on the front porch of the cottage a little bit and enjoy the weather. I even brought the spinning wheel out a couple of days ago.

We still have quite a bit of stuff sitting on the porch waiting to be cleaned, repaired or declared unfixable. But I have always wanted to have a porch and love using it despite the junk filling it up!

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