N-Scale Layout – Wind Turbine

Jayville 6-4-20

The village of Jayville had stalled on its progress. The residents were still trying to raise enough money to put stained glass in the church and various merchants still needed roofs on their buildings. It seems that most of the original money had literally been planted in the ground.

Stand of Trees

The Gardener’s Club had grown tired of trying to decide where to place the trees they had purchased. Finally they just put them all in one area claiming that it was to make a miniature forest area, when in truth it was just because they were tired and wanted to be done with it.

There were strange things happening, though, that nobody could explain.

The building near the North Bend was still a source of mystery. Nobody could figure out what was going on over there.

North Bend at Night

Rumors circulated that it had something to do with drugs or moonshine. Somebody thought they saw caskets being stored in the building. Another thought that it was a giant yarn warehouse. Secretly they all hoped that it would remain a mystery so that it would give them something juicy to discuss.

One morning as Mayor Johnson was out for a walk he was surprised to see a statue in the town triangle.

Jebediah Smith

It was a Civil War General, but nobody knew who it was. Nobody knew who had put it there and nobody knew how long it had actually been there. They decided to leave it for now because it wasn’t harming anything and really they hadn’t had a chance to do anything with the triangle. This was as good of a thing as any.

During the village board meeting that decided to leave the statue where it stood, Dan Anderson had a proposal. Mr. Anderson was the proprietor of the general store that did business under the name ‘DANG’ (Dan Anderson Notions and Goods). He owned one of the buildings that was still roofless. While researching ways of bringing in more revenue he hit upon an idea that could benefit the whole town. What they needed to do was buy a wind turbine and then sell power back to the power company. He estimated that this would bring in a lot of money for the village. The board talked it over and thought that this idea had merit. So they called up Wind Turbines, LLC and ordered up a kit.

Six to eight weeks later they received the first package.

Wind Turbine1

The men all stood around it, and even if they had no idea what they were looking at, grunted approvingly and nodded at the other men as if to say, “Why that is one of the best motors I’ve ever seen. There’s never been a finer motor any where to be found.”

A few days later another delivery arrived.

Wind Turbine 2

Again, nods and grunts of approval. This was definitely a great idea.

Three weeks later the blades showed up.

Wind Turbine 4

Yes, yes. Very fine blades indeed. Have you ever seen finer blades? Not even the Queen of England would have such fine blades.

Finally, this showed up:

Wind Turbine 6

The men had no clue what it was for, but this time the ladies were present so they stuck with the nodding and grunting. It had worked before so they stuck with it. After shooing the ladies away, who insisted that there had to be assembly instructions SOMEWHERE, they started fitting pieces together and were very happy when they had it at least looking like a wind turbine.

Wind Turbine 3

They didn’t realize they had purchased the unfinished version. They found Cliff Brown and paid him to put a coat of paint on the blades. Then they hooked up the wires, crossed their fingers and hit the ‘Start’ button.

Wind Turbine 5

It worked! That’s when Otis, the town drunk, asked, “How are we going to move it from here to where it needs to go?” The men looked around at each other sheepishly and then acted like this had been part of the plan all along. They would assemble it in one place and then transport it to the final spot.

Wind Turbine 7

As soon as the blades started spinning they could hear the dollars adding up. They were going to be one of the wealthiest villages in the State!

Wind Turbine 8

Things were looking up for Jayville!

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Late Spring Sewing Projects

You might remember that Jay had made a smaller corn hole board for a coworker.

Buffalo Bills Mini Corn Hole Board 5-26-20

You can’t play corn hole without the corn hole bags. I still had all of the materials on hand from the last time I made bags. Instead of regulation 6″ square I sized them down to 4″ square. Unfortunately I didn’t have the correct colors of duck cloth on hand to make Buffalo Bills themed bags. Oh well. They are just going to get thrown around.

Mini Corn Hole Bags 5-31-20

My sewing job to close the seam isn’t the best. To be fair, I was battling with hands and fingers that hurt from all of the gardening I had done the day before. (Yes, I’m whining and yes, I’m using it as an excuse for my poor sewing skills).

This set is technically for the guy to use with his kids so I knew I would have to make a bag to hold the bags in otherwise they are going to get lost.

Drawstring Bag 5-31-20

Again, I’m using what I have enough of in my stash. At least it shouldn’t get lost!

So, the full set:

Mini Corn Hole Bag Set 5-31-20

You may be wondering, like I was, if I made the bag too small to actually fit the corn hole bags. Luckily they fit in there snuggly.

Drawstring Bag with Corn Hole Bags 5-31-20

That was delivered yesterday and the coworker loved it.

The next project I’ve had on my list for a few months is a bag to hold the outside part of my electronic thermometer.

Thermometer Bag Supplies 5-31-20

You need something that will allow the device to breathe, but has to be weatherproof. I decided to use this extra mesh laundry bag that I had laying around.

Now, I warn you… this is a utilitarian project so I was not going for anything that looked like it could grace the cover of Home Sewing magazine.

Thermometer Bag 5-31-20

Very simple and very basic. It’s only going to be seen by me when I’m changing the batteries or trying to figure out why the inside part isn’t registering anything from the outside device (which seems to happen to me a lot). This hangs in a stupid bush at the corner of my deck.

Thermometer Bag in Place 5-31-20

I don’t care for this bush, but it gives me a place out-of-the-sun to hang my thermometer device. Also, I hate to just rip it out of the ground. I hasn’t done anything to me except be a bush that I don’t care to have in my yard.

Speaking of yard, I have to show you the rhubarb haul I brought in last night:

Rhubarb 6-1-20

We added the can of coke for scale. I know that you’re not suppose to let your rhubarb get this big, but my plants are very sassy and do not listen to me at all. It’s only the beginning of June. It shouldn’t be this big already. This is only half of what my two bushes have growing on them. With these giants gone the others should have a better chance to grow.

Here’s the dumb thing about my gardening skills. I baby my roses and other plants. I make sure to water them consistently, I try to spray my roses for aphids, black spot, and worms. I check my vegetable plants to make sure they are growing at a good pace and add fertilizer as needed. Last year my roses all got one thing after another and one bush had all of its leaves turn yellow and fall off after the first bloom. My cucumbers barely made an appearance and my tomatoes refused to do anything.

Yet the rhubarb plants are the most neglected plants in my yard. They are stashed over in a corner surrounded by a burning bush, a rose of sharon and lots of weeds. I have to usually weed just to access the rhubarb bushes because it’s behind the fire pit and I keep forgetting about them. And here these stupid things grow like I’ve been giving them my total and complete attention. I just don’t get it! Maybe next year I should toss my cucumber plants over there and walk away to see if they respond better to neglect. 😉

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Crocheted Sweater and Hats

A while ago I had started to make the Rose Cathedral Stained Glass Window afghan.

Cathedral Rose Window Afghan 2-18-20

I got this far before I decided that I didn’t like how it was turning out. It wasn’t laying flat and I knew if I kept going the waviness was just going to continue through the rest of it. So I stopped. I currently have this in my car as an emergency blanket. I was going to let Bob have it, since he seemed to like it so much, but Jay was horrified that I would give something like this to a cat to sleep on.

I had purchased a lot of yarn for it and still had quite a bit left in my stash

IceY Cathedral Window Yarn 7-3-19

I was using Ice Yarns’ Cakes Blues – Rainbow and Saver in Turquoise and Purple. Originally I planned to make a sweater for my sister, but then I realized that Mother’s Day was coming up and my mom would probably love a big comfy sweater for the winter. I knew it was going to be a bit “loud”, but my mom can pull it off.

I used the Tammy Sweater pattern from Christa at The Secret Yarnery with a slight modification to the sleeves. I tried the sweater on to see how long I needed to make the sleeves, but they felt too tight on my lower arms. I marked the point where I wanted to start fixing the problem and then tore it out and redid it. Instead of decreasing three every row I decreased one every other row for a bit and then eventually got it down to the size that I liked.

Due to the pandemic I was limited with my choice of models, but she was cheap and available. You know what they say, “Beggars can’t be choosers.” Here is the finished sweater:

Babe's Sweater 5-23-20 Cropped

I wasn’t sure that I would have enough of the Cakes Blues to do the arms and collar, so I opted to use the purple Saver yarn to add a little interest.

Babe's Sweater Back 5-23-20 Cropped

I also made this one a little longer than the last Tammy Sweater I made for my friend Chrissy. My mom seemed to like it so that’s all that matters.

I have also managed to make a few more hats.

Crocheted Hats 13-15

I used a pattern found in an older leaflet from Annie’s. It’s a crocheted Man’s Camo Hat by Glenda Winkelman. I found that you can purchase it as a pdf pattern here. After crocheting it I had Jay try it on and he said it was a bit tight. I really liked the brim, though, so I made a few changes.

Crocheted Hat 13

This hat is actually supposed to be crocheted in two pieces (the crown and the brim) and then sewn together. I’m lazy and didn’t want to sew a brim on so I decided to try crocheting it on the hat as I went. After I had finished the last round I chained the number of stitches that I wanted for my brim and single crocheted. On the return row I crocheted in the back loop until I reached the body of the hat then I slip-stitched to that row, and then the row above it. I think it makes an okay hat. The rusty orange hat was made using Loops & Threads Impeccable yarn that I purchased at Michaels. I have to say that I’m not a fan. I probably will not buy this yarn again. It’s very stiff and thick. I don’t like the feel of it at all.

I went digging into my yarn stash and came up with a skein of yarn that I had purchased from Hobby Lobby. I’m not sure what the color was because the label had been missing so they had just placed a regular piece of paper around it as a band and marked the price down. The colors are really pretty and I love crocheting with Hobby Lobby’s yarn.

Crocheted Hat 14

I made this one a little differently. I decided to crochet the body with the same kind of increasing pattern as I’ve used on other hats until I was up to 72 stitches per round (the camo hat that Jay said was too small was only up to 60 stitches per round). Then I maintained the 72 stitches per round until the body was as long as I wanted. I also made the same kind of brim as described above. Jay tried it on and said that it fit nicely.

I still had about a third of the skein of yarn left, so I started another hat. I knew I wouldn’t have enough to complete it so I decided to use black for the brim.

Crocheted Hat 15

I think it turned out really well. Fifteen down and only about twenty-five more to go…

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Lots of Woodworking Projects

Jay hasn’t been working on just the train layout. He’s also been doing some woodworking. The first project I’ll show you is one of my birthday presents.

While looking through the March 2020 issue of Wood magazine Jay saw a quilt display and asked if I would like one.

Wood Magazine - Swingin' Quilt Display

It’s called the Swingin’ Quilt Display because the arm swings out so you can more easily drape your quilt on it.

Wood Magazine Swingin' Quilt Display Detail

At first I didn’t know where I would put it, but then I found a spot and decided I was going to hang the double wedding ring quilt that my mom made me years ago.

B is for Bissell

It’s the only quilt she has ever hand quilted. It’s only a full size so it won’t fit on our King bed and I hate to hide it on the bed upstairs.

Quilt Shelf Pieces 5-26-20

We had some oak laying around so Jay used that to cut out the pieces. They are stained and in the process of being poly’d. I hope to have these done by this time next week.

The next project that is already hung on the wall is another rack for my spools of ribbon. Jay had made two for my old sewing room.

Ribbon Holders

But when we hung them up I quickly realized I was going to need at least one more.

Spooled Ribbon Shelves

The large one is on top with the two small ones below it.

I didn’t realize that I have so many spools of ribbon and lace!

Ribbon Shelves

Another project for my sewing room is a shelf that Jay had installed in the kitchen of my old house. It was bare wood, and really very cheap (I can’t recall where I bought it) so I decided to stain it and poly it. Then I’ll have Jay hang it in my sewing room.

Sewing Room Shelf 5-26-20

Nothing too exciting about that shelf.

The other thing that is sitting on my bench for me to poly is a sign for Jay’s work.

Shipping Sign 5-26-20

He cut this out last week, but I had to make room to finish it for him.

One other project that was made out of this wood is a set of mini corn hole boards for a coworker.

Buffalo Bills Mini Corn Hole Board 5-26-20

I think Jay’s router bit threw up a little in its mouth when cutting this logo. Jay is a Patriots fan and I’m a former Dolphins fan, so both of us are having a hard time with this in the house. It makes me feel ill…

The last wood working project that I have to share with you is technically one that has been done for a year.

Library - 4-15-19

My cedar bird bath. I put it out last year, but we never ran power out to it so that we could actually plug it in. That has finally happened!

Cedar Bird Bath Running 5-26-20

These aren’t the best pictures, but I’m so happy to have it running. After we plugged it in and went into the house I saw at least six different birds stop by for a drink.

Cedar Bird Bath 5-26-20

I’ll take better pictures once I have the front gardens cleaned up and flowers planted. I definitely don’t look forward to cleaning this because it’s going to be even more of a pain than what it was prior to electrifying it. First world problems, right?

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N-Scale Layout- Trees and Street Lights

The Flower and Garden Club was in an uproar. Not only had Mrs. Crosby been dealing in black market ornamental trees, but it turns out she was also dealing in illegal oak trees.

2020Layout-Oak Trees

The club had originally voted and raised money for maple trees. Their plan was to process the syrup and sell it as a fundraiser to continually support the club. The money for the maple trees was gone, along with Mrs. Crosby who had skipped town. There was a rumor going around that she went out west to try to make some deals on giant red oaks. As the club tried to figure things out the local Rotary club stepped up.

They made a deal that if they could plant some pine trees on Dead Man’s Curve (they wanted to use them in a Christmas scene in the winter) then they would help raise money for more maples. The ladies happily accepted their offer.

Dead Man's Curve Trees 16

It was agreed that the pines actually looked quite stately, so the Rotary club was given permission to sprinkle a few more throughout the town.

Behind Main St 19

When the new trees arrived the ladies got busy showing the landscapers where to plant them. The town was really starting to look good!

Dead Man's Curve 18

They even planted a few shrubberies near the tracks to pretty up the edges.

Dead Man's Curve Bushes 4

As trees were being installed around the town it was noticed that there was also activity at the north bend of the line.

North Bend Inc 3

A vacant building was now occupied with a little bit of activity happening down there in the evenings. Nobody in town seemed to know who had bought it or for what purpose. Some of the husbands of the flower and garden club insisted that they would help out by planting some shrubs down at that end of the line, just to make things pretty.

North Bend Hump 6

They spent as much time as they could on that little mound, but they couldn’t determine what was happening in the building.

North Bend Inc 1

Then cars started appearing in the parking lot. Train cars would be pulled up alongside of the building one day, and the next day they would be gone. What was going on down there?

North Bend Inc 2

Nobody has any idea, so the mystery continues…

As the town started to establish themselves they had to wait for power to be run to them. The coal-powered electric plant that supplied power for their part of the state just hadn’t had time to run new lines that way. As the town started to grumble, the president of the railroad stepped in and made a deal with the power company. In exchange for getting Jayville high on their priority list, they would do some extra maintenance work for the line that helped deliver the 80 car loads of coal to their plant each day. The power company agreed and started setting poles and running temporary lines.

Power Lines 8

Finally, the village felt like they were coming into the 20th century!

Power Lines 7

Then the progress stopped. Why? The power company could set the poles, but the electricians who would end up running the lines were part of the Union and it was a holiday weekend, so nothing was going to happen for a while.

The town had requested LED lighting so that it would be more energy efficient. These particular electricians had never installed these types of LED lamps, so it was an interesting process.

First they laid out a special electro-static discharging blanket so that the LED would not be accidentally damaged. Then they laid out their wire in the configuration that would be needed to hook up this LED to the power grid.


Once that group was done they called in the second group. The guys in this second group were specially certified to solder the wires to the LED.

Wired LED 10

Once they had soldered the wires and twisted them around each other, the last group was called in to actually install the LED on the street lamp. They could only do this with the supervision of the second group, however, just in case the solder joint broke and had to be redone.

Installing LED 11

Light Poles 12

When all lamps were wired they called the power company back in to re-install the posts that had been removed. Again, all three Union groups had to be available and supervise the re-installation just in case something happened and the process would have to start all over again. It was very tedious work.

But after five months, the nine poles were installed and working!

Lit Poles 13

Lights 15

The only thing that the village lacked, now, was their church. A committee was assembled and soon had built a beautiful structure.

Methodist Church 20

There had been some debate about where to set the church. After all, with a church comes the church cemetery and you would need a little bit of space. Luckily the town isn’t very large so they didn’t feel a huge lot would be necessary.

Church Property 21

Progress has stalled on the church, however. It seems the price of wood and paint was more than anticipated so they have to wait for more money before they can purchase and install the stained glass windows.

Yes, Jayville is really coming together! Work still continues on the town buildings, but just a little walk down Main Street shows the potential of this beautiful little village.

Main Street 23

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Gary and Penny Return

I know, it’s been a while. I’ve been receiving a bunch of questions regarding Gary and Penny. Where are they? Are they still around? Did Gary send Penny to the orphanage? Did Penny get sent to military school? And so on…

I thought I would fill you in on their adventures.

Gary and Penny 2018

Shortly after their first Christmas together Gary thought it would be a good idea to take some time and get to know his daughter, Penny. He took a leave-of-absence from work and they went on a road trip. To be fair, Gary has told me what he does for a living but I can never really remember what it entails. It has something to do with security and maybe the government. I’m thinking that he might be part of the border patrol? But I can’t be certain. Anyway, he decided that the best way to get to know his daughter was to be stuck in a vehicle with her for hours as they traveled about the country.

Looking back, Gary realizes this was a huge mistake. After all, Penny has boundless energy and can be hard to contain. I believe that the comparison was used of taking one of those super balls (the small rubber balls you can get out of vending machines) and throwing it as hard as you can in a closed car. That was what it was like to travel with Penny. Apparently they had fun. Gary let Penny use the camera. I’ll show you the wonderful pictures she took.

Penny's Selfie

I’m told this was a selfie at Niagara Falls.

They traveled up to the Thousand Islands in NY and Penny was very disappointed when she discovered that they weren’t actually going to sleep in a castle.

Boldt Castle (from my balcony)

They headed south and stopped in our nation’s capital. I’m told that this next picture was taken on the Mall:

Gary's Foot

Gary was excited to see Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. To commemorate their trip, Penny took a beautiful picture from inside the track:

Southern Vacation 2009 168

I believe it was at this point that Gary decided they needed some time in one place. So they stopped by and visited my sister.

Gary Relaxing

Penny was kept busy with my sister’s five cats so Gary happily took many naps in the pool. After a while, though, they had to move on. They made it as far as the Mississippi River before Gary had enough and turned the car back towards home.


The biggest thing that Gary learned about his daughter was this: No more road trips until she’s old enough to share the driving. I was told that this picture was taken near Lake Erie:

Gary's Face

Apparently Penny has to learn that the camera has a zoom feature and you don’t actually have to walk right up to the person when taking their picture.

Penny is a good kid. She is just very curious and always wants to learn everything she can. In fact, she’s been helping me in my sewing room. Last week you saw the pictures of her modeling the baby dress for me.

Well, she helped me organize my lace collection.

Penny in Lace

And she was very intent on learning how to use my rotary cutter.

Penny on the Cutting Board

She did help me cut some material for the burp cloths, which had her so excited that I had to remind her not to flail around with the cutter in her hand.

Penny Cutting Fabric

I’m sure there will be more adventures with Gary and Penny, but I wanted to give you an update. Oh, and Penny asked me to please share a picture of their May 4th outfits with you:

Yoda Gary and Ewok Penny

These are not the Storm Troopers you are looking for.

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More Baby Stuff…

I know, I know… we’ve already had two girly posts in a row. Where’s the good stuff? Well, the good stuff is in process… patience is a virtue. Until then, let me show you what I’ve been doing with my “spare” time.

This past winter I received my Spring 2020 issue of Crochet! Magazine and a dress in there caught my eye. At the time my best friend was expecting a little girl so I just HAD to make it for her!

Frilly Baby Dress 5-1-20

It’s the frilliest girly dress that I’ve seen! I used the Nicole brand of Storybook yarn (which is now discontinued) and made this in the 9-12 month size in the hopes that it would fit the baby sometime this summer. I mean, I realize that this is a very impractical dress, but look how frilly!!

Frilly Baby Dress Skirt 5-1-20

That is the skirt. Is it awesome or what?! Okay, so perhaps I’m projecting my love of frilly dresses with big skirts onto this poor child. She had better get used to it because there will probably be a lot more of these kinds of impractical garments in her future.

When I was taking pictures of this dress Penny saw and was begging me to let her wear it. She claimed it was so that I could get a better picture of the dress, but let’s be honest… Penny is also a girly-girl so I let her try it on.

Penny Modeling Baby Dress 5-1-20

It was much too big and Penny couldn’t walk in it, but just look at that smile!

Penny in Baby Dress 5-1-20

I might have to make her a ball gown.

Can I just tell you how much I love my new sewing room? Even on the brightest days my previous sewing room was like a cave. Now I have all kinds of light and sparkles on my wall. It’s wonderful! I’ve been working on a backlog of projects, most of which have been baby gifts.

Baby Stuff 5-10-20

This is the batch from this last weekend.

I have two fleece blankets:

Fleece Blankets 5-10-20

A couple receiving blankets:

Receiving Blankets 5-10-20

And a bunch of burp cloths:

Burp Cloths 5-10-20

I still have more projects in mind, but Bob only allows me so many sewing room hours at a time. Then he needs Mama Lap Time.

I did manage to squeeze one more project in this week. A year ago we had some windows replaced in the back of our house, including one over my sink.

New Kitchen Window 6-3-19

It is so bright and beautiful that I felt bad leaving it naked. I had some lace yardage so I decided I would make a lace valance. Somehow I never managed to get to that until yesterday.

Kitchen Curtain 2 5-14-20

It’s not much, but it goes with the lace curtain theme that I have throughout the house.

Also, I was very happy that I managed to actually get it straight!

Kitchen Curtain 5-14-20

That’s all from my sewing room for now. Stay tuned for more baby things (I have another friend due in August) and possibly a purse or two. Who knows what the future will hold!

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