Book Review (plus) The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

13 Mar


Love this!  “One sewing machine, two families, three secrets, four generations and millions of stitches”.

This book was funded by readers through a new website:…a modern version of Samuel Johnson’s idea funding publishing of his dictionary in 1755 in today’s jargon…crowd sourcing.

  1. Elfcroft loves sewing and posts about charity projects about a dozen times a year.
  2. The owners of this very special sewing machine kept notebooks/journals/log of every task.  This created a marvelous record (including thread and fabric samples) of the needs and wants of life during the 20th century Scotland.
  3. I loved the inside story of Singer’s major manufacturing operation circa 1911.  Sewing machines empowered their owners to unleash talent and progress.
  4. Natalie brings the family legacy to the present with two paths…one using the machine as is, the second-recycling machine parts into art projects.
  5. The personal stories are as poignant as sewing is important.


Quiz: Name the Artifacts

7 Mar

From the personal property of Charles Frazee:


Top:  Calipers…Still come in handy for measuring inside and outside diameters as well as threads

Left:  Compasses…for drawing circles

Right:  0-1″ Micrometers…particularly helpful for mechanical repair work

Bottom:  Slide rule…what we used before digital calculators (right up to the late 1970s)

Both calipers and micrometers were redesigned 20 years ago to have digital read outs as shown above.



Thanks for the memories…

27 Feb

“Old Bones” recorded by George Burns

Motto in life:  “Give me liberty or give me death.” by Patrick Henry

Charles David Frazee, 93, of Bainbridge died February 15, 2018

He was born in Sullivan County on February 20, 1924.

Mr. Frazee is survived by his son David and wife Elizabeth, grandchildren: April Miles, Lee Frazee, Erin Frazee and Chad Ehresman; great grandchildren: Jordan Miles, Alandra Delarosa, Sergio Delarosa Jr., Tyson Phelps, Addison and Campbell Ehresman; great great granddaughter Peyton Miles. He is also survived by his sister Mary Schmidt, nephews Brian, Brad and Tony Frazee, Tommy Wilson, niece Leslie Grun. Charles was preceded in death by Sophie, his wife of 59 years and daughter Katherine Ehresman.

Charles served in the US Marine Corps 1943-1946 with Fifth Signal Battalion, Amphibious Corps with a rank of Corporal in the Pacific Theater. He shipped out from San Diego to Maui, Kwajalein, Tinian, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Japan.

He earned both a BS and MS from Indiana State. His chosen profession was school administration. He loved going to class reunions.

The family expresses deep appreciation to the Roudebush VA medical facility for their outstanding care. They also extend thanks to the community of Bainbridge for their prayers, assistance and support of independent senior living. Special appreciation goes to angels…Mandy, Joe and Bill.

Graveside services will be held Tuesday Feb 20 and IOOF cemetery in Carlisle @ 10 a.m.


40 Days

13 Feb

Shocking!  I am on track with a 2018 New Year’s Resolution (that I never considered until last year)…to read the entire Bible.  What brought that on?  Completing Cosmic Numbers and 17 Equations that Changed the World developed diligence with difficult material.  Reading Flash and A Year of Biblical Womanhood engaged my curiosity.  Then…

Late last year Doreen Virtue introduced on Instagram two One Year Bibles formatted Chronologically as well as one with Old and New Testament, plus Psalm and Proverb selection for each day of the year.  Doreen posts a 30 minute video on Instagram daily for the respective readings.  Video archives are loaded on VIMEO.

Believe it or not, I find reading both versions of the One Year Bible helps retention.  Also, pairing the New Testament with the Old Testament readings illuminates

St Augustine’s quote “The New Testament lies concealed in the Old, the Old lies revealed in the New.”

Priority: Days for Girls International

30 Jan

Eve helps me prepare Elfcroft’s eleventh shipment of

feminine hygiene pads and shields for Days for Girls International kits.

January begins year five of our support.

We ship to chapters based in DesMoines Iowa for assembly and distribution globally.

Eight different colors and patterns for reversible trifold pads that fill each kit.

80 shields with pockets, wings and PUL lining will support 40 kits.


“I have a dream” engraved in stone

15 Jan
"I have a dream" from the location the words were spoken.

“I have a dream” from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where the speech inspired our country and the world.

Seven Global Concepts

10 Jan

Seven Global Concepts…inspiration for the New Year?

By Starre Vartan Dec 30, 2014

Very thoughtful blog post, beautifully illustrated concepts

Friluftsliv              Norwegian being outside is good for mind and spirit

Shinrin-yoku       Japanese forest bathing

Hygge                      Denmark togetherness, coziness

Wabi-sabi              Japanese embracing imperfections

Kaizen                     Japanese continuous improvement

Gemutlichkeit     German means more than cozy (peak in winter)

Jugaad                   Hindi innovative fix (frugal)

I read about “forest bathing” in the American Way magazine (Dec 2016). claim 25 percent of the Japanese population walk in wooded areas. The author forecasts doctors writing a prescription to get outdoors…instead of blood pressure medication!

Being outdoors:  good for the mind and spirit…I think of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, understatement-walking the Appalachian Trail. This same article refers to wabi-sabi which finds beauty imperfections. (Growing up, we called it “character”.)

The Kaizen concept is familiar to me thru my career in manufacturing. I like the “jugaad” notion. Many times that comes up when you least expect it trying to extend the life of clothing, furnishings, appliances, etc.

Explore the links included.  Great information.  Happy New Year!


Book Review: 17 Equations that Changed the World

3 Jan

17 Equations that Changed the World by Ian Stewart 2012

My previous book review of Cosmic Numbers, The Numbers that Define Our Universe by James D Stein 2011… declared it “fantastic.”

I did not reread it immediately, because my young friend (recent Mechanical Engineering graduate) had also loaned me 17 Equations that Changed the World.  Going from numbers to equations is an order of magnitude (or more) level of difficulty.  Each chapter could be a book it self.  Ian Stewart does an amazing job putting the mathematical developments into historical context with an engaging narrative to pull the readers along.

The last three chapters were new territory for me with subjects of information theory, chaos theory and the Black-Scholes equation used by the financial services industry.  Wow!  I have questions…not for my readers…but as an inquiring mind.

Again, this book is a great recommendation for students young and old(er) interested in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math).  I added a new page to this website with a STEM reading list.

BTW I asked Glenda where she got this book…thinking it was required reading with course work…No….how fun is this?  She found it at Shakespeare and Company Kilometer Zero, a bookstore in PARIS!

Friday Photos: New Coat

29 Dec

Blue-eyed Buddy Boy has a thick winter coat!

And a blue knitted blanket just his size.

And new accommodation in the former dairy barn.

YES! Close to the wood burning stove!

The mower barn was drafty!  And the hay barn is not the same since it was rebuilt after the fire in July.


A Swedish holiday tradition

23 Dec

St. Lucia crown holiday tradition

Merry Christmas

Carol, is this the 20th year you have made the St. Lucia Crown bread?

Background information from the web: