It’s a little chilly outdoors now, especially considering the unseasonable weather last week, so I’m attending to a few indoor tasks, in between raking manure out of the pasture and hauling it to the compost heaps  (The addition of the four mules has left us pretty much knee deep in shit, albeit in a good way). There’ll be three our four times as much area in raised beds in the vegetable garden this season.

I’ve been practicing my rudimentary sewing skills- hemming trousers, turning a few old cotton and linen dress shirts into work shirts in anticipation of a nasty summer (hope to hell I’m wrong), and making yet more stupid hats out of scrap fabric. I’m experimenting with the concept of the Havelock, which is that flap that keeps sun off the back of your neck worn by the French Foreign Legion, The Imperial Japanese Army in WWII, and both sides during the Civil War. I understand  it may help you avoid sunburn but wicks heat up the back of your neck and actually makes you feel more miserable in the sun;  at least that’s what the British Colonial troops in India had to say about it. I’m making it removable, just in case, and I’m not going to be wearing a wool uniform, either.

If we see temperatures anything like Australia,  I’m just going to dig a hole to crawl into.

Here’s my sewing machine. A Singer model 66. Still the most widely used sewing machine used in sweatshops and corner tailoring operations the world over, after more than a century.


I’m a freak for old machines. Once I start having to repair draft harness I hope I’ll be able to find a treadle driven saddlery stitcher.