My “Big Cuz”

Those who know me know family is very important to me. My love of genealogy has been a big part of bringing me all the wonderful cousins I have from all around the world. Thanks to Facebook we are able to get to know each other in ways we never would have even just a few short years ago.

I did have 6 first cousins. Four of them stayed in England, so even though in touch, growing up I only spent time with them up until I was 8 or 9. Two moved to the U.S. then, but one was 20 years older than me. I adore her, but she wasn’t really a peer. Which leaves one, “Big Cuz”, and the reason for this post.

My big cousin was still 10 years older than me, but she was the big sister to me. She was the one I could go to for advice, be it hair, make-up (she later worked for Max Factor) or boys.

When I was 7 years old my grandfather died, and we left the U.S. and went back to England to my Nana’s for a year. We were visiting with my cousin at her parents Tea Shop and in the storeroom they had jars of Robertson’s jams with “Golly” on the label. If you collected enough labels you could mail them in and get a free Golly. So we peeled off all the labels to then realize they had expired. I read this article today which made me sad.

Those who know me know I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I have a golliwog and his wife (she looks just like “Aunt Jemima” from the syrup) that my Nana knitted for me. They are stashed away in a box with many other childhood toys. But there is a part of me that keeps them hidden because of this. Yes, it is sad that a simple children’s storybook character can be turned into something awful.

BUT, I can say that the memories I have sitting on the floor of the storeroom with my big cousin, surrounded by those jars & labels, will never be tainted by what others say. Golly has a special place in my memory for me with my first cousin who has known me my whole life.

Happy Birthday Big Cuz!

sna_redwoods_smP.S. Not the greatest, but this picture was taken in about 1973. My Dad was offered the opportunity to be the acting minister at a cabin/camp area in the Redwoods National Park, Calif. Big Cuz came with us and we had some wonderful adventures. Unfortunately back then there weren’t many cameras around, so there are very few pictures of us. In fact, this was the only one I could find of us together.


Getting ready . . .

Well “tomorrow” took a little longer than expected. Somewhere the initial sewing machine that was sent was ‘lost’, so another machine was shipped and it arrived Friday. In the meantime I have been busy though. Over the years I have collected a vast assortment of sewing notions, gadgets, patterns and materials for things to make. So I thought while I was waiting for the machine it would be the perfect time to sort through it all and see exactly what I have. Boy is it a lot! I have a ton of things to make before I even think about going out to get something new to make.

old_serger_2677_medIn digging through the closet in the basement I found a treasure I had almost forgotten about. You see when I first went back to work my mother was a bit lonely without me to haunt the antique and secondhand shops with her. But she would still make trips out and one day came home with a Huskylock 430 Serger.

To be honest I have no idea how old this machine is. I even tried to Google it, and can’t find out. I was able to find a manual online, but there is no date on it. But the photo on the cover will give you an idea of how dated it is.Huskylock_cover

Kind of reminds me of the early days of the “Dallas” or “Dynasty” TV shows, yes the original series. Well, because I was working, and there was no manual with it, and there was no “Google” then, I never was able to figure it out. So it went into the closet, and waited for now. Believe it or not, it works! It was very dusty, and boy did it need some patience in adjusting and tweaking the knobs. But it works beautifully!

So, I took the youngest out to the local fabric store to find a pattern and material for a shirt to make with it. Yes, with all the ‘stuff’ I have collected over the years I didn’t have anything to make with a serger. I am taking this very slowly as I am working with fabrics a bit out of my comfort zone. Both a very stretchy one, and lace, together! So, my first “serged” seam, not bad if I say so myself 🙂first_serge_2686_medfirst_serge_2895_smUPDATE: Well here is the final piece. Unfortunately the size was a bit big for the youngest, so the wild child got a new shirt instead. But now I am working on another one for first_serge_2897_smthe youngest 😛