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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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Friday, March 27, 2020

Flypaper thoughts: still in quarantine edition

  • Well we still have a pandemic don't we?
  • I only hope it doesn't get too bad too fast
  • There will be many stories out of this
  • Hardships that are invisible
  • I am thinking of my friend whose marvellous husband 
  • Just went into a memory care facility
  • Because he has early onset
  • Now she can't go and see him
  • I wonder what he thinks
  • My mom said to me
  • We got through the war, we got through the flood (Winnipeg in the '50s)
  • We can do this
  • Of course we can
  • My first father-in-law was in forced labour in Russia in the war
  • He walked back to Hungary in the winter
  • How did he do that?
  • The secret he said
  • Was that he made sure, even if it was with snow
  • He washed every day
  • Now that was a something
  • We are at the end of week one of self-isolation
  • Daisy has a ruptured disc in her neck
  • So she is on bed rest for a month and a half at least
  • She's in the dog stroller in the day and not liking it
  • But that's the way it goes
  • Ever tried to keep a dog from moving their neck?
  • But we can do it
  • Main crisis at the moment is the shortage of flour
  • My husband is a stress baker
  • And I am a stress eater 
  • A very successful marriage
  • I made a decision to dress every day like I was still going to the office
  • I sorted my enormous button collection on Tuesday wearing my pearls
  • I knew I had them for some reason
  • I had a female boss early on who told me
  • If I was going to have a decent career I needed pearls
  • Never wore them
  • Thought I was too young
  • Too matronly for me
  • But turns out they are perfect quarantine wear
  • So this is what I was saving them for
  • Tomorrow I think I am going to put on stockings
  • Covid-19 what do you think of that?
  • You will be hearing from me again


Katrina Blanchalle said...

Yes, my main problem is the shortage of flour! I bake bread twice a week and now there has been no bread baking for 2 weeks! I mean yes the shelves are empty of everything else, but come on! Flour?

So sorry to hear about Daisy's neck - the poor thing! I was very worried about her after your last post, so I am somewhat glad that you at least know what's wrong with her. Hope she follows the bed rest orders and gets better soon!

Kathy Zachry said...

Barb, you help keep me sane right now. Reality with some levity and sass! Take that, CO19!

Love, Kathy

Sarah Wale said...

Thank you for your Quarantine Blogs, Barb. We're all in this together, wherever we are in the world and it's good to keep communicating. Who knows, the world might be a kinder, better place when this is all over. We can hope...
We in New Zealand are doing pretty well and, like you, flour seems to be the only thing we can't get. I wonder why? It will return, however, and we'll enjoy the baked goods even more when we are able to get them again.
It's important to get up, get dressed (and washed - your first father in law was right) and get on with the day. Moping doesn't help and nor does sloping around in pjs all day ... except for new Mums, they're allowed! My 11 year old grandson's school is closed and the teacher has set them online lessons; without any prompting, he got into his school uniform to sit at the dining table to do them. If it helps him get in the right zone, good for him!
It's helpful to set yourself a task each day to give it structure and although we all have heaps of jobs we have saved for when we have time, we dont have to do them all in Week 1, even though we have time!
I have been 'curating' my wardrobe and so far have turned two 10-year old dresses that I finally admitted I wouldn't wear again into a top for me and a skirt for my daughter. One was plain pale aquamarine cotton jersey and the other a floaty chiffon effort. What luck that the two dresses, fabric bought in different countries at different times, were both exactly the same shade of aqua, with the chiffon having a white and pale lilac floral patter over it. I made the top for me from the jersey with the sleeves taken from the chiffon bodice and the facings, which I turned to the outside, from some of what was left of the bodice. The skirt is the lower half of the floaty dress, which with the addition of some inserts from the remainder of the bodice (it was a crossover style so there was plenty!) as she's a wee bit wider than me. Both garments look great and we are both delighted. Now, what can I convert next?
Stay safe and stay well!

Bunny said...

At the first glimmer of this onslaught, some time back, I started my flour gathering each week at the market. I'm good on flour and would share if you were next door. Guess what? I forgot about the yeast! I went to back and all I had left was out of date and then chucked. I looked online and yeast was being price gouged everywhere so I gave up. Then I had one of my Eureka middle of the night moments and the next morning went on line to King Arthur Flour company and was able to order it at a normal price and it should be here in a couple days. I learned a lesson. Being prepared means having all the parts for the project, cooking or sewing, not just the obvious!

Kathie said...

Good morning, Barbara!
As always, your flypaper thoughts are wonderful. As previously mentioned, the combination of smiles and stark reality are a joy. Here's to Daisy getting with the program and a huge shipment of flour to Nova Scotia next week. Much love from UPstate New York.

Nethwen said...

In my store, it is onions. Not potatoes or fruit that people eat on their own. Onions! That are an ingredient in other dishes. I know people used to eat onions raw like apples, but I've never heard of it being a thing here.

Joy Zemrock said...

I am a list maker, and the way you present your flypaper thoughts really resonates with me!

I have my Min cat sequestered in the "infirmary"..also known as my laundry room. She has a badly infected paw, so antibiotics and pain meds twice a day. It takes two of us to restrain a barely 6 pound kitty. She's a feisty one! I hope your pup is doing ok. It's so hard when they are hurting.

One of my best friends once told me that you are not serious about doing anything until you are showered, dressed and have your shoes on! Best advice ever!

I am structuring my days in thirds; I try to have 3 projects each day. One is something easy/mindless, cleaning and organizing a cupboard. Not ALL the cupboards,just one. Second, I sew every day. Might not be a lot, or it might be the majority of my day, but it happens every day. Third is bigger stuff. Cleaning windows, one room at a time, or thoroughly washing floors. It is spring cleaning time! So far, this is working. And I squeeze in nap/reading time in 15 to 30 minute stretches. My workplace shut down on March 17. And it's going to be a while til we will go back. I'm afraid the worst is yet to come. Thanks to you and everyone who's sharing their experiences, it helps so much! Love & blessings to you all.

couture.ellen said...

Pearls like to be worn. The oils on your skin help shine them up. Just don't spray with with perfume; that's bad for them.
I go through weeks of wearing my pearls everyday and then not wearing for weeks. It's similar to my exercising- every day for a couple of weeks and then nothing for a couple of weeks.

garnet128 said...

Poor Daisy. It is so difficult and heartwrenching to keep a dog 'contained' for their own good.
Your decision to dress every day as if you were going somewhere is a good one. I have heard this before and try to adhere, but I will admit to sitting here in my robe at 10:50am at the moment. And you won't ever catch me in stockings again....for any reason.
I was surprised to find I could not get cooking oil my last couple of trips to the store. Oil???
My daughters boyfriend is very very sick from this and in hospital. She was exposed and in quarantine now. We are delivering groceries and meds to her doorstep. We can do this.
On top of this virus, we are in heavy pollen season in Atlanta now and are dealing with the even going outside for fresh air is a challenge.
We can do this.

JustGail said...

I'm happy you made it home with no issues. One thing I did notice on my last grocery run - the shelves with flours for keto baking seemed full - almond flour and such. The wheat flours and sugar shelves had a few small bags.

@ Bunny - I'd have tried to bloom that out of date yeast in some warm water with a *tiny* bit of sugar. It might be a bit slow, but with a head start and some feeding, should be OK. Unless it were years out of date and stored someplace too warm? ooooo I'd best check my sourdough starter and feed it....

Lisa - SF Bay Area said...

Jalie is offering their scrubs top pattern free today only--in case anyone didn't get their email

Moosiemoose said...

Thank you for continuing to post. Your blog is one of my favorites and so it is always a perk to see it in my inbox. My parents were both born and raised in Winnipeg. They can down just after they were married. So I have to smile when you mention Winnipeg.

I hope Daisy's recovery goes well. That can't be easy on either of you. Take care from WA state and stay well. Jean

Sherry said...

Your Flypaper Thoughts are such a welcome part of my day. Thank you for taking the time and energy to write them. Love the comments and hearing about what is not available at stores. We all miss different things. Kinda makes the "new normal" seem doable to read about how other people are coping.

DorothyG said...

Pearls are the perfect accessory for any outfit on any occasion. Blue jeans to wedding gowns! So great to hear you are wearing yours!
Stockings - Yes! Panty hose- give your head a shake! LOL
Enjoy your comments so much - Thanks!

sallygardens said...

I'm so glad to read some flypaper thoughts!

Carol Lee said...

I’m so thankful that we have flour! My husband loves to bake and we’ve had homemade cookies these two weeks he’s been home! Today I made banana chocolate chip bread and was relieved I’d gotten whole wheat flour from the co-op recently. They’re still open, but no bulk foods! I’ve been cooking even more lately, and planning a week or more ahead so less frequent shopping trips. DMIL has my Singer 301 on loan and has decided she can’t use it. Of course since I can’t get it from her, that’s the one I’m aching to sew on! Silly human.

Anonymous said...

Poor Daisy! And of course poor people suffering her displeasure. Thanks for keeping us up to date on your homecoming. It will be fun to see how the remote home schooling goes!


bbarna said...

Yes, please keep posting. So glad you made it back home alright. Many of us seem to know someone that is stuck somewhere or took forever to get back. I just taped together a new to me PDF for a tank top. Hopeful that summer will be here someday. Still snowing in Prince George.
Take care

Alison G said...

You're dead right about invisible hardships. It's good to have purpose just now, and looking out for those is the best. Pearls are a splendid idea. The hardest thing is to be so far away from our offspring for an indefinite but definitely long time. Thank goodness for spring! And the silver linings beginning to emerge. In a city of a quarter of a million we can open the windows and hear birdsong.