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Dear Diary – It seems I wasted a whole week fighting with a broken sewing machine. It started being goofy a week ago but I didn’t notice until I had completed at least 5 new masks. I had to rip them all apart. Somehow I managed to complete Big Guy’s birthday present right before it quit completely. I investigated with a screwdriver. Everything seemed to function as it should except a small tug would pull the whole seam apart. And now one tiny screw, smaller than a pepper corn, would just spin and spin inside its hole. I messaged my Dad and headed to the post office. The deadline to get this gift to Big Guy on time was tight. Adding insult to injury, as I stepped out the front door, I nearly tripped on the packages of my new Spring fabric. I had orders to fill and no way of filling them.

I am naive. I thought that seeing as we’re all struggling with something during this season of Covid, that we might be gracious and helpful with one another. Not so!

I went to the post office in a drug store and while I was there, I decided to snag some sale stuff, namely food! With groceries being delivered every other week, I find it a struggle to plan out two weeks worth of meals for 3 people (4 if you count Hubby’s second stomach). It’s not just quantity, it’s the hankerings and cravings, and evening grazings.

I didn’t want to use a basket; I didn’t have gloves with me. Instead, I loaded up my arms. But I had one item too many. Every other step, something else fell off the pile. It meant I had to kneel down and set something on the floor to get a finger free to retrieve the dropped item. Only, inevitably, something else would slide off the pile. Or slide off when I was halfway up, knees screaming, face grimacing, sweat pouring. Countless people stopped to watch this ridiculousness before steering around me in a wide berth. I cussed quietly under my breath: “Son of a motherless goat…Come on you stupid box!”. Sarcastically, I softly asked aloud: “really?” I whined: “why?” I sighed, deeply from the back of my throat like an exasperated old geezer. Still, amused onlookers smirked. Finally, before I either a) burst into tears, or b) burst into a string of expletives that would rival a seasoned sailor, I kicked the last treasonous box the remaining stretch to the self-checkout kiosk, drawing still more stares. I didn’t care.

Obviously, we are not all in this together!

I called Dad when I got home because my Dad can fix anything. Except broken hearts caused by stupid boys, but if he could fix that, he would have. If we were allowed to leave our homes, I could have met my parents halfway and traded sewing machines.

Before I ran my errand, Hubby had surveyed the scene of the crime and noted that whatever the screw screwed into appeared to be MIA. So Dad talked me through disassembling the machine. I felt like I was defusing a bomb. Though calm on the exterior, I was shaking inside. Sweat started to bead on my forehead and I slowly removed a screw so small I could hardly pinch it’s head between my thumb and forefinger. I pulled the pin and lifted out the metal ring. Sure enough, I discovered a tiny arm and a tiny nut loose inside. Then I dropped the tiny arm. “Don’t move”, Hubby commanded. I had to set the phone aside while we searched. Then Hubby helped me put it all together, and reinsert the ring. The situation was defused and we were celebrating.

Though I wasn’t quite back in business. Problems continued to dog me. Thread snarled in a bird nest fashion. Stitches wavered or laddered again. Days later after endless ripping, I repeated the operation. I hadn’t quite put the tiny arm in right after all. NOW I’m back in business!

Dear Diary – It required determination, concentration, and perseverance, but for the first time in almost a year, I put my hair in a regular ponytail! It’s been over a year since my last haircut, excluding trimming my own bangs so I don’t fall down the stairs, and it’s getting rather long. My frozen shoulder has meant it’s also a disaster. It drags in my food, gets caught in my coat zipper, and bunches into a rat’s nest every night. I know everyone is struggling with “hair care” these days.

It’s a Snow Lumberjack! You don’t want to know what he’s hiding under the helmet!

Dear Diary – Isn’t it great when our kids teach us something we didn’t know before?

This week I learned that Chef Boiardi (marketed as Chef Boyardee) was not just an iconic mascot. While known now for his overly salty, squishy pasta in-a-can, he was in fact a renowned Italian chef. He opened his restaurant, Il Giardino d’Italia in 1924. He never forgot what it was like to struggle in a new country. During the depression, pasta could be made and dried at low cost. Chef Boiardi would jar his homemade sauce in milk bottles and provide it, along with dried pasta, to hungry families in his Little Italy neighbourhood in Cleveland, Ohio. during the depression. During the war, his canning factory was commissioned to produce army rations. After the war, Chef Boiardi sold his factory, rather than lay off workers. He remained a consultant and spokesperson until 1978. His likeness continues to smiles from every can.

Every person you meet has a lesson to teach, a story to tell and a dream to share.

Robin S. Sharma
Big Guy is resourceful in the field! Or just very hungry….

Dear Diary – Tuesday it snowed. It wasn’t the volume of snow that was the problem but the way the wind billowed it over banks and swirled it over rooftops, like a swatch of white satin. It clumped on the screen in my sanctuary, obstructing my small view. It was chilly outside (and inside) but my heart was warm. My precious Big Guy was celebrating a birthday and I was happy to tuck in and let the memories billow and swirl. I re-read the post I had written in 2014, My Child, written from the perspective of my heavenly father over that part of my story, and my heart swelled with joy and thankfulness. It has been a strange journey, certainly not the life I had planned so many moons ago, but a good one nonetheless. God is good, even when my small view is obstructed.

Dear Diary – Yesterday I delivered 18 masks to my friend who knows everyone! It’s great to have someone else deal with people. I get to just tuck in at home and create! With my inventory restocked, I turned my attention to pillow covers for my sanctuary. How hard can it be to sew a square cover for a square pillow?

Yes, the bag of chips did make me feel better. I’ve lost an hour and a half of my life, have sprouted 14 new gray hairs, and still have a swatch of fabric and a headache, but my “tearing out” skills are amazing. Practice makes perfect!

Today is a new day. I think I’ll scrapbook.

Bad news don’t ruin my appetite
Don’t let the papers tell me if it’s wrong or right
I just do what I do and I do it, day by day, by day, by day.
I live life, might take it slow
Make mistakes but Oh! that’s the way it goes
I just know what I know and I know it, day by day, by day, by day

Doug and the Slugs, Day by Day