That Ain’t No Singer

Every Wednesday is bulk pickup day in my neighborhood. In the past I’ve been known to profit from my neighbors’ garbage. People throw away some seriously good stuff.

Lately, though, I’ve not even been looking. We are trying to downsize and declutter as we get ready to sell the house. We’re already overstuffed because of the items I’ve brought home that were from my Dad’s old house, things that he couldn’t bear to see leave the family. And Husband tends to get a little crazed when His Domain (aka the garage) gets cluttered.

All my good intentions flew South as I walked out of my house two mornings ago. There by the curb my next door neighbor had placed several items too good to resist. Items that should not be taking up space in a landfill. Items that should be used, or sold on Craigslist.

There was a perfectly good girl’s bike. There was a perfectly good dog crate.

And there was this:

Do you know what that is? Yes, it’s a sewing machine. But it’s not an ordinary sewing machine. It’s a HUSQVARNA VIKING Sewing machine. Selling for $800 and up.

And she was tossing it. A lovely, lovely woman who is obviously slightly insane.

My current Singer sewing machine has…issues. This one needs a new needle plate, but according to my neighbor it is in otherwise good condition.

I’m thinking Mama has a new sewing machine. But the other part of me is screaming, “SELL IT!”

The bike and the crate will definitely be sold. It makes Husband feel funny. He wonders if perhaps I should give the money to the neighbors; I don’t think that’s necessary – they were tossing it. Besides, a “Surprise! Here’s $30. I sold your garbage for you,” might not be received so nicely…

On the other hand, someone very close to me was once selling brand new $50 wood blinds from Home Depot, in an unopened box, at a garage sale for $5. They didn’t sell, so I fibbed and told her I’d take them, that a friend might buy them. I then hightailed it over to HD and returned them. She seemed pretty happy when I handed her the gift card, and I was very happy to do it…

I know what I’m going to do.  What would you do?


Shame is a Powerful Incentive, Darn It

This month we’re getting our rebate from American Express. We have the Costco Amex, which gives us cash back in the form of a check made payable to Costco. Last year we used the rebate to buy Husband the flat screen computer monitor he’d wanted, so this year he told me to spend it on something for myself – which of course means something for the house.

I decided to get new sheets. We have some nice sheets, but there’s a tear in them, at the seam. As a result they keep popping off the mattress, which drives Husband crazy. As fun as that is to watch, it’s been going on for months, so it’s time to do something about it.  A perfect reason to get new sheets!

Husband had the gall to suggest that I sew it myself. After all, he reminded, he had gotten me the brand spanking new sewing machine I had wanted. For Christmas. Four years ago.


I had the best of intentions.  Really. I knew how to sew a little, as I had taken Home Ec in middle school, and the year previously I had used a friend’s machine to make some pillows and a really very cool puppet theater.

But I was pregnant at the time, and it wasn’t  an easy pregnancy. And I had planned on taking some lessons, but couldn’t find any in my area I could afford. And another friend had said she’d teach me. And then I had a newborn. And I couldn’t remember how to put the thread on a bobbin (which I didn’t have) or figure out how to thread the machine. And, and, and…

And that brings us to today. The sheet popped off the mattress AGAIN, and Husband went mini-ballistic on my butt. You know what he said, I don’t even have to type it…

So, this morning I went into the closet under the stairs, moved everything I’d piled in front of it out of the way and brought it out into the daylight for the first time in four years.  I believe I heard the angels singing. After dusting it off and looking at the directions, I realized that I still didn’t have a bobbin or any idea how to thread the darn thing.

So this morning I’m going to go to JoAnn Fabrics, armed with the gift card my sister gave me four years ago to buy notions (which, despite the warning on the back that $2 per month would be deducted for inactivity, still has the full $15 available) and the instruction manual for my machine.  And I’m going to get some help.

Hopefully tonight I’ll figure out enough to be able to repair that seam.  And if I can’t figure it out tonight I’ll actually pull out a needle and thread and (gasp!) darn it myself. And then I’ll start working on the duvet cover for my son. I’ve only been planning that for four years, too…

And I also have to figure out what to do with my Costco rebate. Perhaps I’ll do what I’ve done every year except last year – just buy groceries I would have bought anyway and put the amount of the rebate into savings.

Sounds like a plan.

My First Meme – Five Classes to Fix My Life

I was tagged for a meme (what the heck is a meme anyway?) by my friend over at Remodeling This Life, and I’ve been remiss in not responding until now. We’re supposed to list 5 classes we’d like to take that we think would fix our life, plus another one we’d like to take with tagger, Ms. RTL.

Ms. RTL has a very active list, and I’m…not. I’d love to take Marathon Training 101 with her, but I’d have to lose a bit of weight, and have 2 herniated disks in my neck and 1 bulging disk in my back miraculously heal. I used to run in another life, though, and enjoyed everything about it, except for the actual running. I would love to take that Photography class with Ms. RTL and PaidTwice, though…

Well, since those don’t apply I think I’ll have to choose Stucco, Fence, House Renovations, etc… 101. Not that my husband will ever let me near his tools, but hey, I could always buy some of my own. RTL & I could have some real fun in that class.

Okay, here’s some classes I’d take.

Understanding the Stock Market 101 – I know nothing. I have never wanted to know anything. I still don’t want to know anything. But I think I should know something.

How to Start Liking Foods That Are Good for You and How to Make You Think That Everything You Love to Eat (But Is Not Good For You) Tastes Like Brussel Sprouts 101 – I think this one would help me lose some weight, and keep it off.

How to Get Others To Clean Your House and Pay You For The Privilege 101 – I think that would be a really popular class. I hope there’s an opening.

How to Get Top Dollar For Your House in a Horrible Real Estate Market 101 – I’m hoping they have cocktail hours with those crazy cats over at How to Pay More For a Townhouse Than It’s Worth 101.

Sewing Refresher 101 – My husband got me the sewing machine I wanted two years ago – and I still haven’t opened it. I need a refresher course on sewing. And I need someone to show me how to set up the machine. But most of all I need a house with space to use it.

And now my five lucky tagees:

In The Hole at It’s About Time I Woke Up
Learningwoman at Learningwoman’s Weblog
Scienceesl at So Beyond Broke
Kate at One More Thing
meonlybetter at Me, Only Better

Sorry if you’ve already been tagged – let me know and I ‘ll remove you.

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