Goodbye Tappan Zee

The old bridge was demolished last week in a controlled explosion with very little fanfare. My daughter sent this Reddit link from an engineering site she follows.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, winter moves on. I managed to adjust the chain saw helmet so it fit like a glove. The chaps were warm as anything and now all of our wood has been cut. Tim even helped move wood with the last batch. More importantly, he had surgery to correct his wrist and it was a smashing (he he) success. All systems go for our February departure.

I’ve sailed through my projects: Birthday quilt and pillowcase, done; New baby gifts, done; 5/7 boat cushions recovered; Leg warmers, done. Several of these left the house so quickly, I never got a photo. Even squeezed in a deer hat.

Yesterday, I put work and projects aside and walked with the ladies’ hiking group. This is an intrepid group of women who hike year round in the Adirondacks. Yesterday’s group was large, probably due to the several weeks we’ve had cooped up indoors because of icy and frigid conditions.

Champlain Area Trails’ new Vail trail

One loop had several cattle skulls as fence posts. I tried to take a photo through the eye socket but my phone did not like the cold.

Now we brace ourselves for the next winter storm this weekend. It’s been called a major snowstorm with “plowable” amounts greater than six inches. Greater than 6 inches? 7? 50? Time will tell. Better fire up the snowblower.

All zipped up

Sailing season approaches and our sailboat’s original cushions from the 1980’s were shot. My Husqvarna Viking 1951 sewing machine was purchased for the task.


Sailrite showed me the way. It’s my new, favorite website. They have great, do it yourself, videos to recover cushions, pillows, upholstery, sail covers you name it. And they have lots of great tips. For instance, I cut my fabric with a hot knife to prevent the edges from fraying.


By following the steps in one of their videos, I can install a zipper in minutes and it’s a good thing because I have installed over 40 feet of zippers!


So I am 7 cushions into the project and have gotten the hang of it. The old fabric was so shot, I used the cushions to directly measure the fabric. Just like knitting, it’s all about ease. This varied as I went along, early ones may have a bit too much “negative ease” and are a bit squished. Several cushions are mounted on a board and I forgot wood doesn’t compress in my measurements; my first attempt has to be partially redone when I can bring myself to pull out another hundred staples!

I am eager to see how they look on the boat. I have three of the longest cushions left and two more on boards to finish. The captain has decided he wants buttons to pull in the cushions as the boat had before. Sailrite has forms to easily make coordinated buttons.

20140421-074020.jpg Sewing in three dimensions is different from quilting. It’s a wonder as these squared, boxed covers emerge from the sewing machine. Of course not one of my cushions were square boxes and not due to my sewing prowess. Every cushion was wonky. They are angled in the back to nestle against the boat’s curved sides. They are narrower towards the bow, wider at the stern. Now they are just a bit more interesting.

Even my knitting has zippers. I’m almost done with this baby sweater with a zipper up the back, I found on an archived web page. I never owned one when my kids were little but friends say they are the easiest way to dress a squirmy little one.


Which way did they go?

Apparently the deer like our cedar and juniper the best. They have a big take out party and invite all their friends while we sleep.


I started and completed the fastest project today. I’m getting ready to recover the boat cushions and spend a lot of time on the Sailrite website. They carry a wide selection of marine fabric and have great how to videos. I watched one and learned how to spiff up a lampshade. So I did.