I Have a Love/Hate Relationship with My Sewing Machine (And Other Surprises)

With August 8th looming, we’ve been crazy busy. On the 8th, Nautical Dreamer will be prepped for its move from a land-locked lake to the Arkansas River. Once there, we will head toward the Mississippi and down to the Gulf. But first, we have a lot to accomplish while we have the ability to access stores and solid land.

I may have written about clogging the master head. All I did was pee. Honest. I used very little TP, but someone (not me–and there’s only two of us on board) selected the wrong TP. After asking around how to clear it (you can’t plunge), we heard enough people say they hire a guy. We started a list of things for the marina guys to do and that was at the top of it. As we learned in our first home, a ranch built in the 50’s, nothing is as easy as you think it will be when dealing with something that is older. The prognosis was a need to replace the pipes.

We are also waiting for the guys to clean out the air conditioning system and take a look at the washer/dryer combo.

Even though most of our things are in storage, we purchased new furniture for the aft deck and some chairs for the main salon. The floors aren’t finished so we haven’t moved the furniture onto the boat. Until that happens, we have a choice in the evening of sitting in a folding camping chair or the bed. It’s getting old. Rick’s been working on the floors, but as with everything on this boat, it’s one step forward and two steps back. Once the carpet was out he decided he needed to scrub down the sub-floor with a bleach solution and then use paint with a mold inhibitor (given our plans for tropical locales). Today was the start of laying the floor on the aft deck.

Laying new flooring in the aft deck. We will use this flooring in every room but the heads.
Laying new flooring in the aft deck. We will use this flooring in every room but the heads.

He started in the aft deck since it has the least number of hatches, so it will go in quickly. Each hatch needs to be framed out with the flooring inside the frame so that we still have access to the hatches. With the engine room under the floors, the hatches, though not a necessity (the carpet was over all of them), makes access so much easier that it will be worth the effort to frame out. (I say this with full knowledge that I don’t have to do the work—he, he.) He also tore the built in, hideous, dining settee out in preparation of installation/building storage and a breakfast bar.

Pulling up the built in seats/drawers.
Pulling up the built in seats/drawers.
Removing the back of the built-in seats.
Removing the back of the built-in seats.

I tore apart the day bed in the office and made a new baseboard covering, headboard covering and cushion. It looks fairly good, but what a pain in the butt! There was one point where my machine just decided to rebel. It was pulling material into the area where the bobbin is located and then jamming the machine. Over and over again. I tried re-threading the bobbin, re-threading the top thread, switching out a new bobbin, and shutting the machine off. Finally, close to tears, I tried different thread (not as heavy) and it started working. I texted my sister, Cheryl, master of the sewing machine. She is amazing! She has created men’s suits. Who does that? Anyway, now I know about careful selection of the needle to go along with the material and thread weight. Now we need pillows to finish off the look.

Old covering. It smelled BAD!
Old covering. It smelled BAD!
Recovered with a new print and new foam. The base hasn't yet been screwed in and we need pillows. Above it is a murphy bed type second bed for this room.
Recovered with a new print and new foam. The base hasn’t yet been screwed in and we need pillows. Above it is a murphy bed type second bed for this room.

As I said, all the furniture we bought, along with a new bathroom vanity, are all on the dock area behind our boat. We need to move it all on board before Monday, but several pieces are too big to fit through the door by the gangplank or the door leading to the swim platform. So we will have to take out a window and then lift the stuff up and through the back window. Then the window will have to be resealed into place. How all that will work, I don’t know. Rick says, “No problem.”

We also need to practice using the anchor and exiting/entering the slip. We did successfully dock to pump out the wastewater on Sunday, maneuvering around a small fishing boat to get to the dock. (I say “we” when it really is all Rick. My job is to throw the line to the dock dude.) Coming back was a little iffy getting into the covered shelter. After cracking two of the 2 x 4’s fixed to the pier metalwork (it’s OK, that’s what they are there for), our neighbor saw us and offered to go out with us to give us some pointers. We pulled in and out of the slip three or four times to get the hang of it while he walked us through. So very helpful!

So this all needs to be done in T minus five days. Then we will worry about the kitchen, breakfast bar, head remodels, changing the lettering to reflect the new name, and exterior waxing at some point. *Sigh.* On the bright side, I don’t think we will get bored in retirement.

1 thought on “I Have a Love/Hate Relationship with My Sewing Machine (And Other Surprises)”

  1. It seems impossible to get all that done by Monday, but I’m sure you’ll get it done somehow. You’re right – you won’t be bored.

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