Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Magnolia Beach is one of my favorite places to boondock! No electricity, no running water, but can you beat free beachfront property? Seriously, I counted my steps from the tent to the water's edge - less than 12.

No worries on getting stuck in the sand. I've seen everything from large RV'S to small cars parked on the water's edge. The beach is packed solid with coarse sand and lots of shells, so bring sandals. Otherwise, tiptoe to the water's edge and have fun sorting for treasures and seashells. 

There appears to be no restrictions on the beach except no glass containers. With no assigned spots, it is easy to find a location to camp, and if the beach is busy with swimmers, just wait till the crowds are gone. You can find an ideal location near the water's edge in the evening and have a bonfire. Bring your own firewood. 

Pets are welcome. 

 How I stay hydrated in this Texas heat is to first set up shade with a nice breeze, plenty of water, and cold refreshments! 

For primitive cooking, I used my CAMPING STOVE 
and after dark, I ran solar lights. 

Bonus is the visiting ice cream truck! 

Best of all, watching the sun dip at the end of the day. 

Stay up all night stargazing, watching the barge lights off in the distance, or night fishing.  

Magnolia Beach also has bathrooms with free showers! I caught this crab using the facility. 

And of course, waking up early to watch the sky change colors... 

For a better glimpse, I drove through the beach passing the bathroom/showers. You'll also notice there are free pavilions available as well. 

To get there, I just drive to port Lavaca, and take 238 to 316 and follow the signs. 
Here's the GPS address28.555339, -96.525888

Friday, February 16, 2018


Photocopies of the owners manual for the hand crank Jones Family C.S. sewing machine.
Serial #357221


More pictures of my hand crank HERE 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

HAND CRANK SEWING MACHINE - no electricity needed!

 Jones Family C.S. Hand Crank serial #357221
Do you like to sew and not be plugged to the grid?

I'm impressed with this workhorse! She was born in 1924 and built like a tank! Cast Iron, well-designed and sews like a champion.

It didn't take long to pick up speed running the hand crank with one hand, and guiding the stitches with the other. A nice soft clickety-click-click rhythm that is strangely comforting and rewarding.

Even though this machine comes with a wooden box top for storage, she's too pretty to stash away, so I don't.

Fortunately she came with a lot of supplies - spare bobbins, needles, and some accessories.  When I originally begain shopping for one of these machines, I was looking at models on Ebay and Etsy. There were plenty to choose from, but I didn't want to risk damage through shipping.  Thankfully, I found a local woman selling hers, and she patted the machine fondly to say goodbye while I gladly handed her the money.

 Handy built-in slide box for storage. 

Room for storage underneath and the owners manual! The book is almost 100 years old, so you can imagine how it is barely holding together.  I'll post copies of this for preservation. 

I am very impressed on how smooth this machine sews leather! Once the wheel is spinning, it is like clickety-click, click, clicking over butter.  Now don't get me wrong, I love my electric machines, I own 6 of them, and I can honestly say if I had to get rid of them all but two... the hand crank would be one of the keepers. 

This particular model has the ability to go into reverse, which is perfect for reinforcing stitches. The only thing she can't do is sew in zigzag. 

If you're thinking about buying an antique hand crank sewing machine, especially a Jones, here's a wonderful website that goes over the history. I'll try to get a video out soon on how well she runs, or I should say, how easy it is for us to run, as we're the manpower ;)

                       More info/history on the Jones machine  HERE

Photocopies of the owners manual HERE