Sunday, October 15, 2006

Victory is mine!!

Whew, well, I finally got that old Singer 9420 to play nice! John was able to find a schematic of the parts (interestingly enough, this kind of detail was not provided in the owner's manual - thanks, hun!) Anyway, the little spring/hook thingie is back where it should have been, and the needle is picking up the thread from the bobbin case, and the darned thing works like a charm! I'm the stuff, oh yeah! Check out the pix along the way...

Look at this mess! No wonder she couldn't get it to sew... still, for $35.o0, this could be a good machine. You just never know what Salvation Army has! Come to think of it, I paid $75.00 for an old Singer at the local shop, and it was sold with a broken belt... let's see if I can get this thing to work!

The inside assembly looks good. Some "gunk" but everything looks like it's in order.

All cleaned up, re-assembled, and it looks good... sounds good, but can it sew?

Wow!! check out these stitches!! Helen and Pete showed me how to raise and lower the needle shaft, and this machine is sewing like a charm!

And my reward from mom? Her famous Pineapple Upside-Down Cake - YUMS!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Help! It's the hook / spring thing!!

Well, I've spent the day cleaning a sewing machine, an old Singer 9420, and when I began to replace the bobbin case, I noticed a lot of fuzzies in this old machine. Anyway, long story short, this thing popped out, which kinda looks like a deformed fish hook. Does anyone know where it goes? I was pretty sure that I found it near one of the two screws just near what looks like a black bar (that's the slider bar that holds the cover which protects the bobbin case.

If anyone knows, I'd sure be grateful for some advice. I'd love to get this machine going for my mother. Thanks!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Good night little Beanie-girl...

This evening, around 7:45 - 8:00, John was outside feeding the big dogs, and our little Chili Bean was being awfully quiet. John went over to check on her, and she was not acting quite right and was pretty still, which is so unlike her. I was inside, and I wondered why it was taking so long to feed the dogs, but I just figured that he was having another smoke or two (he loves the cold weather). Then, I heard him shout "OH, CRAP"! I thought, dammit, the dogs are out again. Dewey loves to run, and if he is out, he's gone for awhile... Fang is a good little man, and he comes when called. Anyway, I went out and asked him what was wrong, because Fang always comes to me when I call him, and that's when John told me little Beanie-girl was dead. I told him to bring her inside because maybe she was just chilled and had shallow breathing, but he said no, that he had tried CPR and compressions with her, but she was already gone. There was no heartbeat. I got her a fresh blankie, and I wrapped her all up snuggly and warm, and we placed her little self on a fluffy pillow inside her crate where she will be safe until tomorrow.

Chili was only about two years old. I got her when I brought home a glider rescue (my Reese, my little AnnaBear's momma). The first night we had her home, we noticed that she walked funny, but we had assumed it was because she was sliding on hardwood floors. We never noticed this at her owner's house, but then again, we were there to pick up a sugar glider, and Chili just happened to go home with us (she had needed a home too). We took Beanie to a doctor, and we were told that she had neurological damage and that nothing could be done, and that if that was a problem for us, that he could put her down. That was something that we just could not accept, so we found another doctor, and he agreed... all we could do was to make her as comfortable as possible, or make the decision. Sometime, I think was last summer during the London bombings, is when Chili had her first seizure. I was online with my good friend Leyna at the time, who told me there was a good chance that Chili was having an epileptic seizure. We got her back to our vet, Dr. Tharp, and he checked her out, and Chili was diagnosed with epilepsy. She got up to 2 cc of Phenyl-Barbitol, twice a day, until we could drop the dosage to find the just the right amount that would give her the least amount of medicine - yet still keep her seizures at bay. For a very long time, Chili got by with no seizures at all, then at other times, she'd have them pretty frequently. Loud noises would bring on a seizure. She hated the mowers, lightening, thunder, and vacuum cleaners. She began losing control of her bladder and poo, but we still kept her has comfortable as possible. She was well-loved by everyone who ever met her (and absolutely adored by Dr. Tharp and his staff), and she really was a big dog in a little body. I know that she is in a better place tonight where she is free of pain, but we miss her.

I'll share some of the happy times with our Beanie-girl (her real name was Chili Bean, and that was so appropriate because that was her name to start with, and the night we went to get Reese (and her), we had accidently left a pot of home-made chili simmering on the stove - wow, were we lucky!! That was a three hour long round-trip road-trip to Dayton and back. Beanie loved me from the get-go, and she road home on my lap in her little blankie, and she rode well! No messes, no problems. She was content!

Beanie came to live with us about two years ago, around November 4th, 2004, and one of her favorite past times was to "bark at the big dogs" who were always checking her out because she was so tiny (less than 10 pounds). Chili, as small as she was, was a stocky little thing, and all muscle. Chili "didn't take no crap" from anyone bigger than her. One time, Dewey, our Yellow Lab, who is as gentle as can be, decided he was going to sniff her, and boy, did she get mad at him! She turned, snarled, and bared her teeth, and "cussed him out but good"! Then, she lunged at him and bit him on his lower lip, haha. Beanie-girl scored one on the big dog. From that moment, Dewey gave her her space! Another time, he passed by her too closely, and she jumped up and nipped him on the butt. Now, before you think she was just a mean little thing, she wasn't... she was just letting her true self out. Beanie was 3/4 Jack Russell Terrier and 1/4 Chihuahua (someone should have never allowed her parents to breed. Structurally speaking, her little frame was awkward, and she never did walk quite right, and her little hips were "too fluid"). Though she didn't walk well, that girl sure could run! She could outrun any of our other dogs and was twice as cute!

Chili Bean had a bad seizure over this past weekend, and we thought we were losing her then. She was beside me, all day, on Saturday, as I mentioned below, while I was working on my glider pouches. I talked to her all that day, and I feared that we were going to have to make "the decision" for, surely, we did not want her to be in pain - or worse, to die alone while we were at work. That day, she never moved from her blankie... but the next day, she was stronger and more like her old self, and we were relieved! We could see her getting better each day since last Saturday. When I came home from work the other day, I let her out of her crate (we had to keep her contained to protect her and to limit her little messes), and she jumped out of there and took off like greased lightening! She was running up to the red barn (and I think she had half a mind to tell the big boys off for old time's sake). By the time I caught her, she had progressed from my back porch to the fire-ring... and I picked her up (since she had already lost her sight, and her hearing was going, too, I no longer allowed her the free-roam of the property that she used to have. I tied her out, and she frollicked and rolled in the leaves, and took a nice long nap in the sun. Beanie-girl doing what she loved best.

Tommy Lee, our Min-Pin, went out this evening to see what dad was doing out there, and he checked little Beanie out, and he paid his final respects. Funny, these two, they were so totally different, but they loved sleeping together and they were great buds.

Good night, Beanie-girl... rest well til we meet again.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Update! Chili is pigging out!!

Oct 9th, 2006, 7:59 p.m.
Our little Chili Bean is eating her dinner!

Gray Skies, Morning Coffee, and The Saturday Evening Post

       Wow, this has been some kind of three-day weekend out here in the woods... first off, our little dog, Chili-Bean had a horrible epileptic seizure (yes, she is on medicine and takes 2 cc of phenyl-barbitol twice a day) and bit her tongue so badly that she was not eating or drinking. She also was not moving very well yesterday: actually, she never even got off the little blankie that I had made for her, and truth be told, I was pretty sure that we were going to have to make the decision to help her cross the Rainbow Bridge because we didn't want our pretty little girl to suffer, or to live out her days in a crate... She did not pee nor poo, the whole day long, and we were afraid she'd dehydrate or that her little kidneys would shut down.

       We held her last night, and we held her close, and we managed to get her to take some water and eat some soft food with a syringe. She was a very thirsty little girl and had a cup of water that way! Since we didn't want her to risk choking, we slowly fed some of our sugar glider food. Now, I know this may sound crazy, but Chili Bean actually loves eating BML (Bourbon's Modified Leadbeaters); so, for her, this was a nourishing treat. We took our time, talked to her, and we even played some Mozart and gave her a massage (to stimulate blood flow throughout her little body). Chili ate a full cup of BML, too!

       Finally, We tucked her in for the night, and, honestly, when I woke up this morning (she slept near me in her little crate), I didn't expect her to be so bright-eyed and bushy tailed, but she was! She was alive and she had "done her business." Any other time, I would have been upset with her for soiling her kennel, but not today! I was just thankful to God that she was still alive. I put her outside so that she could sun herself (one of her favorite past-times) and play in the leaves... so far, although she does have limited mobility, she IS doing much better and seems more like her old self again. Updates to come... but here is Chili doing what she loves best... lazing about - and dealing with our Tommy Lee (the little rascal).

       Yesterday, I sewed all day long, and Chili was beside me the whole time... just hanging out and keeping an eye on things. I managed to complete several additional pouches for Suggie Rescue Resources... without further delay, here they are.

       First, Morning Coffee (I just love this color!): Includes a set of cage pouches with blankies...

       Second: The Saturday Evening Post: I love the muted earth tones for autumn!

       Third: Gray Skies includes several cage pouches, a zippered travel/bonding bag, a cuddle cup, and a sleepy sock...

       All sets are double-layered with seamless interiors for glider safety made of high quality fleece. Of course, blankies, hanging hardware, and straps will be included.

Support Suggie Rescue Resources... either buy a ticket (or 10!) or make a donation...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Ohio Blues . . .

Here's my first donation to Suggie Rescue Resources in memory of my beloved glider angels: AnnaBear, Harley, Baby B, Holden, Kie, Kiely, and little Charlie... whom I lost, tragically, on September 16th, 2006.

First, I would like to personally thank Anita Tucker for all that she has done for me, and I promise you, Anita, that I will always do all that I can to help the rescues. This collection would not have been possible if not for you... and more will be forthcoming.

This donation is made of blue fleece and a flannel print. The two blue pouches on the bottom are zippered travel/bonding pouches. All pouches are double-layered with seamless interiors. Hanging hardware and straps will be included. I would like to thank my dear friend, Helen, for teaching me how to sew these basic glider accessories. Thank you, Helen, for all that you do! Sugeebaby, thank you for the cozy "Buckeye Blankie" - that gray reverse side sure makes a nice backdrop!

Since I have so many glider friends on several different boards, I will share my memorial to my little gliders, which was originally posted at GA on September 17th, 2006. After the loss of my dear little angels, I hurt so badly, and I was not about to go near any forums until I "healed" somewhat. However, I received two messages from GA members, which I felt required a reply. When I entered GA, I was floored by the outpouring of supportive and comforting messages . . . I hear there were other similar heartfelt comments to me on other boards, but, frankly, I did not have the heart to be online for much longer than to reply to the messages that I had received.

A letter to my gliders,

"Oh, God... I don't know what to say... I didn't mean to be here - not yet - and maybe I shouldn't be... I came in only to reply to a PM I had just received... and... this is so hard. Thank you, all, for your thoughts and prayers... I am lost, just lost... I wish that I could start that Saturday morning all over again, and do everything differently...


I had always been so careful. I was the crazy person who always, upon always, checked the cage doors, two, three, four times... always made sure the potty seat was down (kept Tom's (Havens) "glider ladder" inside until it fell apart), and I nagged people who forgot to shut the bathroom door, you see, putting the potty seat down WAS NOT good enough... I wanted to make sure that you would always be safe... always.

But, I failed you... just one time... and I lost you... and that Saturday morning, my heart broke, and bled.... until I passed out from crying....

To my sweetest little angels... my darling little hearts..... I will always love, cherish, and remember you... just as we all were, when we were last playing and happy together.... I think that you would want it that way... and, I from this moment forward, I will do all that I can to help other little gliders in need... to, in some way, bring something good out of this most horrific, tragic, final goodbye....

Goodbye, my babies:

1. AnnaBear, you were my little sweetheart... my hand-raised baby girl, who would NOT have survived at a little less than three weeks OOP without your Aunties Helen, Leyna, and Suz... each of these ladies stood by me, guided me, and told me what I needed to do to keep you alive, warm, and healthy.... and you grew to be "mommy's fat little thing" and I loved every little wiggly gram of your sweet little self... Remember? You went to school with me, every single day, and you WOW'd my students... they all loved you, too. Even our superintendent was impressed with your tiny little self. I loved watching you play on my guitar and hammered dulcimer... and you were actually harmonic. You could PLAY! I loved you for helping with your little brothers and sisters .... and how you taught Baby B how to glide... how to climb... and you were little buddies from the get-go.

2. Harley, my adorable little man, whom I fell in love with only last November at my 'TWEEN Party... you were the most beautiful little WFB that I had ever seen, and I could only dream that one day, I might have a glider like you... then, it happened, that I DID have you, and how I loved you, and your equally precious brother, Holden... I remember how you were the more outspoken of the two, and how you loved to "talk to the cage next door" and shake a fist at BooBoo when he sassed you back... and, then, how you taught little Baby B to do the same... you were such ornery little buggers, but it was all ok... You were quite a man, Harley, even when Holden, your twin brother, stole your girls... he was quite the little ladies' man, wasn't he? Still, you were cool about it all, afterall, you were MY HARLEY... I will never forget your flying facehugs... how you'd absolutely get to the highest point that you could find in this little house, and you'd DIVE.. man... you'd dive straight to me, and always, upon always, land on my face... that one day, you got me six times in a row... and I loved it. I told Mommy Helen about you that day, and how proud of you that I was. BooBoo once tried to show you up, but he cut my face all to you know where and back, but you never did...

3. Holden, you little tease, you little flirt... shame on you for stealing Harley's woman, AnnaBear like you did... You were always the quiet one, and my momma always said, it's the quiet ones you have to watch... but you were a little cutie, and I loved you just as much. Afterall, with all of that excitement in that cage, they NEEDED quiet leadership, and, my sweet little Holden, you were that. I think you were the philosopher of the lot... always so very quiet and thoughtful.

4. Baby B... my little teeny girl. I remember the night Mommy Tink had you out, and she dropped you from the top of the cage, and I feared for your life. I was beside myself, and I thought you were being rejected... that night, you had no name. I sat there, and I watched you, and I was worried sick, and I pleaded, "God, let someone be online to help me"... and God was listening, and there she was... Bourbon herself... it was about 2:00 a.m. and I didn't know what to do... Bourbon told me to watch you, to allow Mommy Tink time to come to you, and as hard as that was, I listened, and I did that. God, that was so hard, I was so fearful that I would lose you. I waited. I held my breath. I prayed... then, Daddy Sugi and Loki came over, and they huddled around you... they started crabbing at Mommy Tink, but they kept you warm. It was the darnedest thing that I had ever seen, and I wish now, that I had recorded that on video, somehow, but I needed to step in, if I needed to... no time for technology. Then, as if by magic (but it was God, I know it was) Mommy Tink came running to you, and she sat beside you, and propped herself up like a little tiny kangaroo on her hind legs, and she pulled out her pouch and stuffed you, deeply, in it, and then ran back to the big cage pouch and took care of you... I knew, then, that you were going to be ok... and that night... Auntie Bourbon helped save your life... and that, my little girl, is how you got your name.

You know, I remember, one night, when you had grown... and Bourbon and I were chatting on video... I introduced the two of you, and you, as if you knew... just looked right into that camera and crabbed your wee little head off right at her, you sassy little thing... My God, Baby B... Auntie Bourbon was SO PROUD of you at that moment! She smiled SO BIG at you, and we laughed... you were so adorable (always were) and then, as if you'd had enough of the whole matter, you hid up underneath of my hair, and you were done talking.

5. Kiely..... my God... my little darling, how I have failed you... you came to me, with an injury... and I did my very very best to take care of you. The doctor said we might have to amputate your right leg... but I hoped and I prayed that we could do something, anything, if we could save it. He told me that you needed the equivalent of a total hip replacement surgery, and he told me that had never been done to his knowledge. I wondered. I actually sat up that night, and I wondered if we could do it. I imagined the craziest things, like those little white plastic tiny balls... the kind that look like little bearings or bee-bees... and I wondered if such a thing COULD be done. You were always such a good girl.. you were, and you took your medicine so well, even if I could see that you didn't like it. After several months of Neo-Calglucon and PediaPred, and a specially modified diet, created by Bourbon herself... my little sweetheart, Dr. Burton FINALLY proclaimed YOU a "healthy glider" and your weight was up, your mobility was increased, and your hair was gray again (yes dear, that was a good thing, even if mommy Cyndi doesn't like HER gray hair). WE DID IT, Kiely, girl... we saved your leg (even if you could have done well enough without it, we SAVED it), with the help of Dr. Burton, Bourbon, and Daddy John, who loved to, so tenderly - so patiently, give you your medications... I loved you, Kiely, so very much, and I am so so so so sorry that you are gone.... Your other mommy... My God, I need to call her... I do... but I am a coward... I meant to call her today, but, well... I don't know how to say this without breaking her heart... because mine, is. I am hoping God can give me strength to call her tomorrow...

Your daughter, Tink (who gave you a grand-daughter, Baby B ) is still with us.... you made such pretty babies... you and Kie.... You were the sweetest and gentlest gliders, perhaps, of all who lived here.... I miss you, terribly, and when I look into your cage... I still see you... just like I did, Saturday morning, before we left.... in your little pouch, looking out sweetly at me... as if to say "Mommy, where are we going today?" You used to love going places with me... my sweetheart.

6. Kie... Oh, how your first mommy loved you and your Kiely... You know, your mommy and I used to talk A LOT... and she always asked about you, and I did my very best to send her new pictures of you, your wife, and son... and one day, we had hoped, that you might, if it were God's will... make it back home to her, if at least for a visit, if nothing else.... I don't know why, Kie, that things happened as they did, and I wish I could undo them, with every ounce of my being (and yes, I know, that is a lot)... but I can not... and I sit here, now, crying, and missing you all so much... You were so gentle, so sweet, and I remember how you used to take goodies to Kiely when she wasn't feeling so well. I used to think what a great, loving, caring husband you were to her... how you took her peas... and corn... and snuggled with her.... You were the best, Kie... you were.

7. Charlie, my little party-boy... you were just the orneriest and most energetic little fellow that I had ever seen. Any time that you could, you had this little way about you, of jumping out of a pouch with a fwiiiiiiiiiiiiinnng and landing on all fours, looking left, right, all around, and then taking off in any random direction. You did that at Auntie Sugeebaby's house, and we like to never caught you, you funny little fellow you. Oh, and when you set your mind to it, you loved to hide from me... inside my Cerwin-Vega speakers, under my china cabinet, you little dickens, you. But it was all ok, because I always found you... one time, I remember you hiding yourself in my Emergency Glider Care Kit, and I wondered how in the world you got in there... gosh, how you crabbed that day....

I named you right, you little party-boy... right after that little hottie/bad-boy, Charlie Sheen... you loved to have fun, and it's a good thing Dr. Burton was out of the room that day we took mommy in for her final check-up, because you went ZOOOOOOOMING around his examination room and tried to climb up the door-frame.... I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to get you back, but you looked at me, and after careful consideration, like "Well, ok, mom... you are right, I don't want to get us into trouble... and you jumped right onto me, and let me take you back to daddy Kie, and you two snuggled right up til mommy Kiely came home...

I loved you, very much, my babies.... and I failed you... and I am so very sorry.... AnnaBear, you little angel... you never ever bit me before, until that morning.... Charlie, you had never REALLY deliberately evaded me, until that morning... were you both trying to tell me "No, mommy, we really do not want to go"? I only wish -- I only wish, that I had "listened" to you...

My sweet angels... my God.... you are still with me, beside me... near my miniature rosebushes... and mommy gave you, each, your last mealie, before Daddy John and I said our final goodbyes.... we will see you... still... in our roses.... every morning and every night, when we walk through the back door...

Mommy and Daddy"