Sunday, February 27, 2011

All Sewed Up

What is on your mind this morning?

A stitch in time saves nine.

That's not too interesting.

It means that if you do a little sewing on a tear early then...

I know what it means. 

I'm a seamster.
A seamster?

Actually, a tearster. I am sewing up tears in dog toys -- actually stuffed animals that the dogs have torn up so much that they are bleeding cotton. We have a garbage bag full of these poor torn torn toys.

So you've been absent from here, not commenting, not writing, because you prefer to sew toys instead?

Well, some other things have been happening too. Like Marilyn's mother dying. And working to get the HOA Architectural Committee to approve some property improvements we need to make. And were trying to get the house refinanced, and...

Wait? Marilyn's mother passed away?

Yes. She was almost 95 and as of late, losing her mental acumen and physically really going down hill. So we expected it. But there is a difference between expecting it and it happening.


She's okay. I mean it was the abruptness and the feeling that we should have prepared better. But in truth, everything had been said -- but it does take an emotional toll and sorting out of feelings and expectations and stuff. But she has done okay.

I guess you have had a lot on your plate -- maybe you will get a pass this time.

So I've been sewing. We buy cheap stuffed animals at Goodwill and the dogs really like them, although it would be nice if they viewed them as a beloved toy instead of as a prey.

Okay -- although it seems a little incongruous for you to be sewing.

Because of my manliness and my history in saving the world as a spy and I'm now working on that sunspot problem and...

Not exactly.

You know sewing is a metaphor for life.

I didn't know that.

Yeah. I haven't quite figured out that part yet, but when I do I'll write a blog about it. I do need to work on an innovative way to thread needles though. I know there are self-threading needles which is a joke because that don't really 'self-thread'. Marilyn says all that I have to do is put the thread in that little notch but I can't see the notch and she says that I need to get better glasses and tell her it is not the glasses but because the notch is too damn little. Sorry for cursing but I tend to do that a lot as a seamster.

Is 'damn' your favorite curse word?

What? Some kind of psychoanalysis? No -- my favorite curse word is "Pifflesnit". I have learned that I can thread the frigging needle better by stabbing at it with the thread. The trick is in the attitude. You have to understand that the world is going to blow up if you don't get the big, fat thread into that dinky little hole. The world is counting on you, holding it's collective breath, all watching to see if I can save humankind and worldkind. Of course I'm used to saving the world.

So this approach makes you successful?

The last time I only blew up the world only 39 times before I finally saved it.

Not too many guys write about sewing.

You have to plan ahead, you know. As I finally pull the thread through the needle it occurred to me that when I finished sewing the toy I would have to go through the whole maddening needle threading process again. So I wisely figured out if I pulled a whole bunch of thread through the needle I would have enough for further toy repair.

Not to change the subject, but what else have you been thinking about?

Like everything, metaphorically speaking about life, there is an upside and a downside to this approach. Yes, I am able to have enough thread in reserve for another toy or two. But, it is really cumbersome walking across the room when I am pulling the thread through one stitch.

It seems that...

...and I can do cross stitching too. I mean if you make little x's it's cross stitching, right? And I double up my thread to make the repair stronger. But I can't quite figure about the knot that you have to make at the end of the thread. I've seen people make these knots with one hand some way but I think I must have been imagining it. And then when I've completed the repair I never could quite figure out how to end the thing. So I just ended up sewing a bunch a little stitches and sort of crossed my fingers.

Stop. Why are you sewing in the first place? And more importantly why are you writing about it? Don't you remember the extraordinary artist and author jbchicoine  tagged you to answer questions? You could have written about that?

Stitching dog toys is the only thing Marilyn will let me sew. I'm pretty sure she is letting me build my expertise so I can advance to being a button seamster. Besides, when you get bogged down in life it is good to take on a completely new task, something with finite results that you can see. And the dogs appreciate it. They sit in front of me watching and I have to explain why I am sticking needles in their toy...I patiently explain it is for the toy's own good.

...and you write about it.

Well, I can't do the tagged thing right now. You know, "Tagged" breaks down into two syllables, Ta and Gged.

I don't think....

And etymologically speaking, the root of "Ta" traces back to the Piltdown woman. That was the first word she spoke -- actually the first word ever spoken. We can surmise that she was speaking to her mate and it meant, "Where the hell were you last night?"


We find that the second word ever spoken was "Gged" by her mate in reply. The literal translation is, "Why dear, I was hunting all night." But research shows that the true word was "Gge". The fact that he added the "d" indicates that he had a mental afterthought. And that was, "No way I'm going to tell her that I was playing poker with the Neanderthals the second cave over, especially since Lucy was there."

I've lost the....

Don't you see? There is a historical basis for lying when you have been tagged. This presents a conundrum because...


Besides, I got stumped on the first question asked. I'll do it sometime later.

I don't know...I've lost the thread here -- no pun intended.

That's very good. It's simple. When you sew you have the luxury of thinking of these things. It is very therapeutic. 

Oh. So this is your blog entry.


No pictures?

Nope. That takes time. I have more sewing to do.



  1. Okay, Jerry, this was sooooo much better than answering 19 random questions, though I am really sorry to hear about Marilyn's mother :(

    I don't know what it is about hearing (reading) someone else's digressions/rambling/soliloquy that I find amusing/soothing/informative, but thanks for taking the time to share this morning!

    Self-threading needles are a farce!

  2. Sorry about your wife's mother. Even when you expect it, it's never easy.
    When you are done with the dog toys, could take care of a few buttons and maybe take up a hem on a pair of jeans for me?

  3. You do rambling, profound, digressions better than anyone else I know. Sorry about Marilyn's mother. And I have some curtains that you could take up for me.

  4. I LOVED this post! Except for the part about Marilyn's mother - I'm so very sorry for her (and your) loss.

    But I find it very funny that while you were writing about sewing today I was sewing. Not very well, but I was doing it.

  5. I used to sew dog toys too, but started to become resentful of the mutts for joyfully destroying my hard work so soon after it was complete. Now when they tear a hole in the dog toy I let them pull out all the cotton fluff until it looks as though a terrible snowstorm has swept through the house (which is tremendous fun). Then I gather up all the fluff and throw it away. The dogs don't seem to care if their toys have been de-fluffed. They enjoy wrestling over the empty carcasses just as much. You know what else they like very, very much? Socks.


    I'm really sorry about your wife's mother. As you said, there's a difference between expecting it, and it happening. Sending good thoughts for inner peace with that.


  6. Okay.... I totally get it. Accomplishing something useful and time consuming which requires attention and a modicum of skill while reeling from disaster - it works for me (I post, I write thank you notes on real stationary) and I am glad it works for you. You're never prepared for the big ones, no matter how much you think you are. There are those tugs at the heart when you face "forever".... they don't go away.

    As to the needle threading dilemma: buy yourself a threader,a small tinny thing with a big ole hole through which to push the thread. If you can't see the hole, hold the device over a piece of paper and it will become clearer (white paper for black thread and vice versa). Once the thread is through the threader, you push the end of the threader through the hole in the needle (using the paper trick above to help). Be sure you have a bright light shining on the whole operation. This worked for my 93 y/o grandmother and it works for me now.

    I'm liking the image of the pooches watching you :)

  7. I returned to writing to get past some difficulties. I loom knit (in part) for the same purpose. Oh, and whittling. That one is kind of messy, though. I do so love a sharp knife.

    95 is a really good score. Such events are never easy. I pray for you and your wife.

    Stitch on.

  8. I keep sewing up my cat's kiwi bird, snatching up the innards and re-stuffing. I can't help thinking of old Prometheus. Was that who it was? Who had to get tied to a stake while a bird pecked out his liver but it always healed up overnight so the bird could do it again. Prometheus had some kick-ass stem cells.

  9. Serious first.. i am very sorry about your Wife's Mother.....

    I guess this is serious in another light. I must ALSO be a 'seamster"- I have often heard someone whisper as I pass by,,"There goes that sorry assed sew n' sew". I think that is what they said,,,

  10. Real men sew! Historically, the best seamsters belonged to the British Royal Navy. Those guys not only stitched up the very sails that defined their lives, but they sewed their own clothes and could stitch up a bridal dress from scarlet silk on a day's notice (there were the occasional female passengers in need of finery).

    My SIL, of Mr. Obama's Navy, prides himself on being the seamster at his house. It's traditional. Like all good Navy men, he is accustomed to it and he's made happy by the customary. And the costumery.

    Sew on, you manly man.

  11. So sorry to hear about Marilyn's mother, I hope you both find comfort during this time...

    As for the rest, your sense of humor has not been stifled again, I so appreciate your not being confined to the rule of tagging. :) And men do sew! How do you think all those freshly minted single military men fix their fatigues? They either sew the patches on themselves or find a seamstress! ;) Much love my friend, you rock as usual!!

  12. It's tough to lose the link to your childhood, even if you know it's coming.
    Hugs to Marilyn.

    LOL about the sewing the dog toys. I sewed the same toy three times while the granddog was here visiting. The grandsons bring their mending to me--Pooh with a torn ear, torn jeans, etc.-- and they include the dog's toys in the stack.

    Have to mend dog beds, too. Why don't they make them so they don't start losing their stuffing in the washer?!

  13. My condolences to Marilyn. I must fail at life...sewed a patch on the shoulder of my flight suit. Worst sewing job I've ever done. Thread broke twice and I had to stop and sew that down before I could re-knot and continue.

    I can easily see the metaphor here...

    Excellent post.