Winter Sewing Shop Upgrades

Over our winter break this year, we did a small construction project – building a storage loft over 1/2 the shop.

It turned out really great & I can now store all my jobs in progress & extra materials, someplace other than my work table top 🙂

Also we changed all the fluorescent lights over to ballast bypass LED’s. I really recommend this to anyone that uses standard 4 foot shop lights. Pretty easy to re-wire them, and the LED strips work in any T-8 or T-12 fixture. And for a $ 80 box of bulbs, it re-lit our entire shop.

Coastal Excursion

So we had to go down to Port St Joe to check things out , and onto St Vincent (actually a week later- but the photos are all here)  to check out the beach & salvage what we could.

The ride down was a little depressing – there was miles & miles & miles of broken forest back from the road as far as you could see.
Houses of course and agricultural buildings, mostly with roof damage or destroyed. There is a little town , (Wewa) with a nice little park where we’ve always stopped for the needed pee break on the way to the coast – it was heart breaking to see the park, with all it’s big beautiful trees, all broken and destroyed. The drive certainly humbled us, in that it showed how close the destruction came to our house.


This is a site of a quite large pavilion, at the end of the Port St Joe boat launch jetty. Fortunately the new boat launch looks fine.
The nice airy pavilion in the town park, where the launch parking lot is, was completely GONE.

St Vincent NWR:
  We were the first people out there since the storm – no ranger 4 wheeler tracks- nothing .
The storm completely changed the entire beach .

Tom & I like to collect shells- Well, there were so many shells that Mother Nature came up with the solution for transporting them.
This handy beach cart was a real labor saver, but kind of squeaky, and no WD40 handy.

But shells were only part of what we found, everything imaginable was washed up , and some things you couldn’t even imagine.
It felt like we were on a deserted island , and we were !

We had quite a load by the time we started back- everything including the kitchen sink , which will be installed out in Tom’s shop !

Good thing the wind had dropped by the time we had to paddle all this stuff back over to the mainland.
Sadly, we had to leave our faithful beach cart there, as there just wasn’t room, as the folding mechanism had seen better days.

Hurricane Survival Techniques

Hurricane Michael

Well, we’re back !

As most of you know by now, Hurricane Michael severely affected the area where we live & work. And if any of you have tried to contact Sew Tec , you’d know that we have been without power, water, phone, or internet for the last 11 days. Our house & shop were minimally affected , but the areas all around us were in some cases almost totally destroyed.

I’m posting a couple of photos on our blog to show a little of our experience dealing with the aftermath of this storm – I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, and hope to never have to experience this again.

It will likely be a couple of more days before we’re completely up and running , as we have to re-organize the shop, contact individual customers, etc, etc.

We appreciate everyone’s patience during our down time.

Cooking Breakfast on our "storm kitchen" - we rigged an awning over the deck , and cooked and ate outside, as the house was just too dark & HOT. Luckily, we're life long campers and have lots of "stuff" to deal with off grid living.
Our al fresco dining area, and Tom's morning study. Note the old battery radio that was our only window on the world .
What he was studying, and you'll see the reason for it, a couple of photos along.
Evening entertainment - Scrabble, by lantern light.
The real object of Tom's study - our old Coleman generator. Sadly, it was only big enough to run our refrigerator and freezer, along with a couple of aquarium pumps. The generator is old, and we had to do a running repair on it when the recoil starter broke. But, it got us through and we became greatly attached to it.
Water - this was really the biggest problem. Since our generator was too small to power our well pump, water became a real issue. We were able to drive 1 1/2 hours north of us, into Alabama, to get gas and bottled water to drink. But we still needed water to flush the toilet, and for washing. SO, once our rain water was gone, we loaded up our two pickle barrels on our trailer, and drove to a day use state park, in Ponce de Leon, Fl, where the ranger kindly let us fill up our barrels from the bath house tap. Tom rigged up an aquarium pump with a garden hose & sprinkler head, so after a hot day cleaning up the yard from the hurricane debris, we were able to take minimal showers by pumping water from our pickle barrels - as long as the generator was running. One has to be resourceful to survive these things 🙂

New website

Finally a new website with the included galleries. Simple, not a lot of fancy things included, BUT it looks clean & says what it needs to , IMO.

Something new to add to my resume :-}