On Unrelated Tidbits

Tidbit 1: Eye Update
EyeballCloseUpAlthough initial tests were negative, my eye issue remains … so I contacted my eye doctor Monday morning … and I got a that-afternoon appointment! Docs spotted some blood vessel issues, so it’s off to the retina specialist on Tuesday. I’ll report more on the next post (Satire Bits) … but I’m planning on returning to my golf league tomorrow … and yes, my eyes are blue.

Tidbit 2: Dinner Music
Yesterday I mentioned hosting our dinner group last Saturday. (For those who missed the menu, click here.) With Fruit as the theme, I put together a song list (surprise, surprise) for the evening of songs with a fruit in the title. Here are my selections. Hey … this list would be handy for Fruit: The Musical!

Watermelon Man, Pineapple Getaway, Apple Pie Moonshine, Day-O (Banana Boat), Orange Blossoms, Grow a Pear, 3 Pears, Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit, Blueberry Hill, Strawberry Wine, Strawberry Swing, Strawberry Bubblegum, Strawberry Letter 2 3, Raspberry Beret, Casaba, I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Peel Me a Grape, Kiwi & the Apricot, Apricots, Chocolate Apricot, Captain Cookie’s Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie, Last Mango in Paris, Mango Tree, Mango, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, Cherry Bomb, Cherry Cherry, Black Horse & the Cherry Tree, Elderberry Wine, Elderberry Trees, Georgia Peaches, Lemon, Lemon Tree, Key Lime Pie, Strawberry Fields Forever, Adam’s Apple, Little Green Apples, Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom, Blackberry Wine, Rotten Peaches, Watermelon Crawl, River Runs New Grown Plums, Pineapple Express … and of course, this one …

Tidbit 3: Refurbishing
For the past 30 years following my grandmother’s death, her treadle sewing machine has spent its time in an outdoor storage shed, a garage, and a basement. Before my sister moved last year, she asked us if we wanted the sewing machine, to which we agreed.

Given where it’s been, the top is not in good shape. Because it’s wood veneer, we didn’t have much hope for its revival. (This surface is very bubbled.)

Old Veneer

Lousy old top that wasn’t worth the time to repair

We got an idea, so I disassembled the cabinet (actually only a few pieces). Using a fine steel wool, I lightly rubbed my 50-50 concoction of lacquer thinner and linseed oil on the wood, followed by wiping with a dry rag.

The legs, pedal, and the flywheel where iron, so I used a steel brush and fine sandpaper to remove any rust and loose paint …. and then, after wiping clean, one coat of low-luster black spray paint.

But what about that ugly lid? We went to a granite fabricator looking for scraps, and unbelievably, we found this gorgeous piece that the fabricator cut to size and finish the edges … all for a mere $60.


This piece of granite caught our eye

Here’s the final product, which is we proudly display in a prominent area.


A wonderful corner table displaying a few wine bottles

47 thoughts on “On Unrelated Tidbits

  1. Hope your appointment goes well with your eye Frank. Really like the refinished look of the treadle sewing machine, the wood grain is gorgeous – you guys did a nice job on that piece.


  2. Great tidbits! Good luck with figuring out the eye issue. Love “Tutti Frutti”–you are always so creative and willing to share. I love the refurbished sewing machine. I lucky enough to have custody of a similar machine that was my Grandmother’s. It holds knick-knacks right now, but when I got it it was still in working order. Great machine, great memories!


  3. You’ve reminded me of my mother’s old sewing machine, the first machine I learned to sew on. You have done a fabulous job and I love the granite. Is the machine still under there and if so does it work? I do love the wine on the pedals!


    • Catherine,
      We still have the machine, but it’s not in the cabinet. I imagine it still works, but the belt is in bad shape. Regarding the wine, bottles & corks are throughout the house. 🙂


    • LouAnn,
      Well said about the furniture. Amazing how easy it is to make old wood pieces look good (thus the reason I gave the formula) … which we’ve used on several pieces in our home. Thanks for the best wishes regarding the eye.


    • Val,
      The playlist only took about an hour to compile. After I told our guest, some would listen for the words in order to identify the pear in the song. It was fun. Thanks for the best wishes, and glad you like our new table.


  4. Thanks for Little Richard and also for sharing the photo of your grandmother’s sewing machine. I have no doubt that beautiful piece of granite would have been envied by your Roman ancestors back in the old country.


  5. Tutti-fruiti and your post. No better way to start a day!
    Your table top is gorgeous – just the right proportions. Impressive you can put the wine bottles there…every so often we hear a squeak and it’s Molly nosing/pawing around. Really glad you save the sewing machine – she’d probably raise a glass to celebrate.


    • Mouse,
      The pedal has enough resistance, so it’s an easy place to display the bottles. As for the granite, we had it cut to those dimensions, so it was a financial deal! We’ll look at the sewing machine later, and who knows … it may be displayed somewhere in time.


  6. Beautiful table, Frank. Nicely done. When we built our house 14 years ago, granite counter tops were very expensive, so we opted for less. I understand the technology has brought the prices down considerably since then.

    Best of luck with the eye, such a complex organ and so intimately tied to the brain. I too have had a close encounter of the ocular kind. Several years ago I began seeing, every month or so, a brightly-sparkling crescent across my field of vision. It would appear suddenly and then move slowly to the right and downward until, after about 15 or 20 minutes, it would diminish and disappear.

    I concluded it was not related to the eye itself because I could still see it when covering either eye, ergo, it was the brain. Researching on the internet I discovered it to be a not uncommon phenomenon called “aurae” usually associated with migraine headaches, but also possible without the headache, as in my case, thank goodness. Now it seems to have gone away. I haven’t had one in over a year. Odd.


    • Jim,
      Granite still isn’t cheap … about $50 a sq ft plus cutting … which makes that piece (about 2.2 sq ft) a steal at $60.

      Thanks for sharing your encounter with eye issues. No flashing lights for me, but it’s still weird. An additional report is on my next post (Satire Bits). Thanks for the best wishes.


    • Sylvia,
      Glad you enjoyed the song list … and interestingly, I put it together in about an hour. As for the table, we got to seal the granite because it will be a place for glasses.


  7. Sorry to hear about the eyes, Frank. I have my own troubles in that direction. Tomorrow I’m going to have a CT of my eyes. But that is one of the dangers of maturity. The longer we live, the more opportunities for something to go wrong. Fortunately, we live in a time when medicine has a lot of answers to our difficulties… though not all the answers. Wishing you the best of health.


    • Shimon,
      Thank you and all the best of luck to you for your tests. I haven’t had the CT scan, but did have a Fluorescein angiography & another method for photographing the retina. Actually amazing. Cheers to what modern medicine offers us today.


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