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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Flypaper thoughts this nigh's edition

  • We are regrouping
  • That's what you do
  • Everyday life is where all of us live anyway
  • I have been meaning to tell you
  • My new best way to cook any kind of greens is in the slow cooker
  • Force them down under the lid, add garlic and olive oil and turn it on to high
  • Check it when you remember that you left something cooking
  • Really terrific
  • I have decided to minimize the cooking
  • But maximize the sewing
  • Seems like the right balance to me
  • My 85 year old neighbour has just adopted a Golden Retriever puppy
  • The whole street is now raising it
  • Turns out she knew what she was doing
  • After all
  • Currently working on a reversible skirt
  • I have family everywhere and some travel this fall
  • When you travel with five pairs of shoes
  • Four coats because you never know
  • Knitting projects that have seen more travel than production
  • There isn't much room for clothes
  • So I had this brainwave about reversible clothes
  • Stay tuned on that one
  • Speaking of travel
  • Airplanes are last on my list
  • Remember when you could smell the food in the galley
  • And you sat there wondering should you say chicken or beef
  • Always there was mushrooms
  • And silverware
  • Now the attendants drag garbage bags down the aisles 
  • And collect plastic cups of ice cubes
  • Every flight I take there are two inched deducted from my leg room
  • And I get bonked on the head by folks trying to put steamer trunks in the overhead
  • It is a great injustice that trains don't make sense
  • I actually tried to cost a train trip from here to my son in San Francisco
  • $11,000 and that's one way
  • I could book a flight to Mars for that
  • Or go around the world on a ship
  • Actually can confirm that
  • When I was 8 my dad and I took a train home from the Rockies
  • There were little beds and you were rocked to sleep across the country
  • Which reminds me
  • I had a friend whose dad was the chef for the CNR's president
  • One day from university we went down to Central Station in Montreal
  • Down down five layers of tracks down underground
  • And he sat us in the president's car and cooked us dinner
  • Now why don't they give us back the trains
  • So I could go a little way from my house and get off a little way from my kid's house
  • With the only interruption being
  • Fields and rivers and the windows of houses sliding by
  • Windows where families eat dinner and dogs run around yards
  • And crops zooming by that you can't name
  • Except the ones that you can
  • And that makes you proud that after all these years you can remember someone teaching you
  • That's sugar beets
  • And walking between the cars which feels dangerous but isn't
  • And playing cards being something to pass the time
  • On a train there is time to pass
  • So unusual
  • Can you imagine
  • Having extra time
  • And every one wouldn't say the first thing you talk to them
  • "Busy I'm so busy right now"
  • Like we all know only one line to say to each other
  • And you could take so many suitcases that they wouldn't be called bags
  • And you wouldn't need to make your clothes reversible
  • And five pairs of shoes seemed about right
  • If they gave us back the trains


Anonymous said...

What a lovely post/poem. Thank you for taking the time to create and share this!

Anonymous said...

There is a wonderful train from Chicago to somewhere west of Glacier Park; perhaps you could fly to Chicago and then take that train to where ever it ends up and fly to SF from there? And mail your shoes and wardrobe to your son in SF? Of course that means at least 4 airports and no doubt tons of money, so not a problem solving suggestion.


Julie Culshaw said...

Our daughter took the train from Nova Scotia to Ontario this past summer and I was stunned that there are absolutely no security measures for the train. No Xraying of baggage, no screening of individuals for metal objects, etc. It was stunning. Kind of nice, but at the same time, worrisome. What an open target for violence. Perhaps terrorists dismiss train travelers in their worldview.

Kansas Sky said...

Always a joy to look out your window and see what you see!
Hope all is going more smoothly with your whole family and hope is high on the horizon.

tmd said...

I miss trains as well. I used to live at one end of a train line and go to school at the other (more or less), so I was on the train every holiday...bit boring, but better than driving, and I really like train stations (they all contain a morsel of the Grand-Central-Station-old-movie excitement, even the ugly ones.) Now I live 600 miles south of all of that, in a blackout zone without passenger service of any kind, which is insane. (Okay, technically I could drive 4 hours west and pick up a train, change in Chicago on an east/west line and get places by making a big Z across the country...but as I’m already in the car...) It’s not that I don’t like the world today, I just think it could be better organized. Interested to see your reversible skirt, although probably not my bag in the long run; I’m very much a jeans person on travel.

Vancouver Barbara said...

Trains. Yes. Exciting.e Sexy. Calming. Thrilling. And now downright expensive. So sad. I remember my train trips – all of them from the age of 4 to 24 in detail and feeling. That lovely rocking, lulling feeling. The landscape whizzing by.
So glad to hear about your daughter and your wonderful family grouping and regrouping around her.
I'm also very interested in reversible clothing and have made some successful pieces in the past and look forward to some this season. I have a nice piece of reversible wool which I want to make into a jacket and pants. I look forward to seeing what you create.

Angela said...

Barbara, I loved this post, too:) You and I like to look at the same things outside our window. I have been meaning to leave a comment for awhile, but needed to be on my computer instead of the phone. So, thinking about your sweet family. Our family has been rocked with some medical diagnoses these past few years, some are mine, some are my daughter's. Not easy, but a good reminder to make good use of our time by loving each other and enjoying everything about life we can. Praying for many happy days and years for you and yours:)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh! Regrouping! It happens throughout our lives for many reasons doesn't it? Glad that you and your family are able to do that now, Barb. You have an incredibly strong daughter and your entire family rallies together beautifully!

Train travel? Does the train at Knott's Berry Farm count? Or Disneyland? Other than subways on the east coast and London, I do not recall traveling by train. And I am a senior citizen!

My mother assured me at one time that family train travel was common until we moved to California when I was three. Hmmm... Seriously need to consider one of the private railway trips to the Grand Canyon in the next couple of years!

Sending good thoughts, prayers and pixie dust,


Jenn said...

I love train travel, once you are on you can relax. The noises of the wheels on the tracks, more seat room, more leg room, the scenery to watch when you aren't sleeping or reading or puzzling. I'm with you with the cost, I would love to do the Indian-Pacific here in Australia, in a sleeper compartment, but the price is sky high. I don't mind flying short distance (6 hours or less), but long-haul is soul-destroying :(