Dr. Jiggybones and the Pink Dress

I have probably never told you about my friend, Dr. Jiggybones. He is not an actual medical doctor although his title implies as much. Truly his career is in the design of bridal dresses and formal wear, but because he is such a genius in the creation of these lovely dresses, we all just refer to him as a doctor. As a matter of fact, he designed and even skillfully crafted the lovely pale pink dress that Little Wife wore in her most recent wedding. I was there at her wedding, and I can honestly report that everybody joyfully gasped as she walked into the chapel and strolled down the aisle towards Big Man.

Most people don’t even realize that her dress was sewn together on an old fashioned sewing machine “like Grandma used to use.” It was powered by a treadle which Dr. Jiggybones operated with his feet. You just don’t see them like this anymore. Dr. Jiggybones prefers the treadle to any modern mode of sewing because he has better control of the speed and the direction of the needle on his old Singer sewing machine. And he is an expert so he would know about these things.

But what Dr. Jiggybones didn’t know about is this: the dress that he was designing for Little Wife would require a special arrangements of crossbeams above the sewing machine to allow for better balance of the soft silky material. The fabric was to be draped above the treadled machine and carefully fed into the presser foot feed dog and the extension table. It was a very unusual arrangement indeed, but he knew this would work beautifully for his client’s special needs.

Little Wife might be a diminuitive person, but she has the biggest dreams! And her biggest dream of all was to have her final wedding dress made of the rarest silken threads on earth. In fact, the fabric was barely woven together when Dr. Jiggybones began work on this small but elegant dress for Little Wife. The fresh silken threads were even still a little damp from the caterpillar! Believe it or not!

Well, in his rush to install the crossbeams for this very special gown, Dr. Jiggybones took some shortcuts. Thinking that this was only a temporary arrangement for this special dress only, he didn’t quite tighten the bolts on the ends of the beams above the sewing machine. He really should have been more diligent about this, and if Little Wife had known of his carelessness before hand, she would have been quite upset with Dr. Jiggybones.

He was sewing rather quickly, attaching the back of the dress to the sides of the dress and the cascading front of the dress to the shoulders of the dress. Suddenly the antique sewing machine gave a roar like a machine gun firing into a sniper nest! The fabric was sucked into the extension table and the sewing machine began racing through the delicate fabric — the treadle was completely out of control and Dr. Jiggybones shouted in surprise, “Holy mackerel, what the heck is going on here?” His wife came running into the room because of all the noise and the shouting. She looked up towards the ceiling and saw that the crossbeams draped with soft pink silk were completely askew!

“Quick! Stop the treadle! The dress will be ruined! HELP ME please help me, Millie!” Dr. Jiggybones leaped up and threw his arms around the fabric which was falling in sheets around the sewing machine. “The dress! The dress! We must save the dress!” His wife gathered up the pieces of sewn dress which had fallen down onto the treadle in all the chaotic excitement. She held up the nearly finished dress and examined it for damage. “Oh no. Oh dear. What shall we do? What will become of us if this dress is damaged?” Dr. Jiggybones was simply beside himself in anxiety and panic as he also examined the lovely dress for rips or mangled threads.

But the Lord was with Dr. Jiggybones that day. The final wedding dress for Little Wife turned out beautifully without a stitch out of place. And having learned his lesson, it was the last time Dr. Jiggybones would let the crossbeams get out of skew on the treadle.

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Little Wife and Her Eyebrows

My friend, Little Wife, was over for a spot of tea the other morning. Knowing that she has very profound insight on so many topics, I asked her this question: “Should everything be done in moderation?” And of course, she told me a story from her life as an answer to my question. I will pass it on to you right here, right now.

When she was in college, Little Wife was not yet a wife. Still she often felt that life was out of her control. She attended classes, studied hard, got really good grades, worked at the newspaper office and dated frequently. However, she did these things because it was the right thing to do. Little Wife has always been a “crowd pleaser” — not wanting to rock the boat or conflict anyone anywhere anytime. Most of the decisions in her life were expected ones; her parents, professors and friends all expected her to be a certain way. This was smothering Little Wife so she acted on something that she alone could control — her eyebrows.

One morning before class she looked into her lighted mirror. Her makeup looked nice — not too much, just a little smudge of blue eye shadow and just one brush of brown mascara. Slightly pinked cheeks and lips to match (because she used lipstick for both). “Lookin’ good, honey!” she whispered to herself. She flipped the mirror around to high magnification for a second glance. And then it happened! Her eyebrows exploded off the mirror into a shocking 3D image making Little Wife gasp in horror — she had a small chipmunk tail growing across her forehead! How had she not noticed it before? When had it grown there? And why had no one told her that her eyebrows were as bushy as a chipmunk’s tail?

The tears welled up in Little Wife’s eyes as she realized that her face was suddenly such a mess that she couldn’t go to class or to work. Poor Little Wife, you know how sensitive she is. But also, she is a smart gal with a lot of spunk, and nothing gets her down for long. She has a solution to every dilemma.

Little Wife ran to the bathroom of her basement apartment, desperately seeking the communal tweezers, hoping that none of her roommates had lost it. “Aha! There you are,” and she tore through the apartment back to her magnifying mirror.
She clutched the tweezers tightly. With a hand as steady as a surgeon’s, she proceeded with the hair removal operation. One by one, hair by hair, first the left, then the right, then the left and then the right. Plucking and wincing, plucking and wincing. The minutes ticked by, and then the hours rolled by. The sun journeyed across the sky, slowly setting uneasily into the western horizon. And still she plucked her eyebrows.

And finally when the moon was peeking through her basement apartment window, Little Wife looked up from her delicate procedure and said, “It is finished.” She smiled. Where the furry tail of a chipmunk had flourished on her pretty face, now there was simply a single line of tiny hairs arranged in a sweet arch over each of her sky blue eyes. Little Wife had controlled and conquered. She had left exactly twelve hairs on each eyebrow, and the look was stunning. They looked perfect, as though she had drawn them with a fine point pen.

Satisfied with her artful result, she applied ice packs to her smooth hairless forehead and crawled into her cozy bed for a good night’s sleep. Little Wife had at last found something in her life that was within her control. She closed her eyes happily, contented with her newly found power.

“Little Wife,” I asked her over our teacups, “What does that say about moderation, dear? I’m not sure I’m following you.”

She lifted her tiny teacup and took a small sip of her sweetened tea. “Well,” she said. “It’s like this. Life can be confusing at times. We don’t always feel we have the power to make the choices we’d like to make. We let other people dictate to us. And we often let our circumstances control us. But what I discovered in my time at college is that living by other people’s standards and expectations was stunting me. Like a lovely flower that is constantly in the driving wind, I felt myself shriveling and shrinking inside until there just wasn’t much left of me. At least I could pluck my own eyebrows! And nobody could do a thing about that, could they?”

“But Little Wife, my dear friend, what about moderation? I’m just not seeing the connection here.” Exasperation and confusion must have shown all over my face as I tried my best to understand what my friend was talking about.

“Moderation!” Little Wife exclaimed. “Why would anyone choose moderation ever? Life is to be lived with passion! Every single morning we should jump out of our beds shouting, ‘Yes! A new day!’ Live, laugh, love! Eat, drink and be merry! Throw yourself into life whatever your life is about! Be full of life no matter your occupation! Natalie, you are a mother by trade, and you must live your life full out, gung ho. Throw the oars and paddles out of the canoe and head straight for the waterfall, go laughing and cheering all the way. Don’t listen to all this business about ‘everything in moderation’ for goodness sake! What if I lived my life like that? I’d still have thick bushy squirrel eyebrows. I would never have been a three-time bride if I was living by moderation, would I? ”

And so I got my answer from my dear friend. Go out today now, gentle readers. Go out and dance like crazy WITHOUT moderation. Go and fly a kite! Eat a large piece of that chocolate cake. Hug your babies and your friends and your lovers like it really matters, because maybe it really does.

Be blessed today. Love, Natalie

Little Wife’s Basket

My dear friend, Little Wife, came over the other day for a cuppa tea, and some good visiting. I was so happy to spend some rare time with her — she’s been awfully busy these days with some new projects. Little Wife likes to keep her home and her life decluttered as much as possible. She’s very organized! When she opens her mail, she opens it and deals with each and every letter and bill immediately. She is quick to discard junk mail — she doesn’t need time to ponder the latest credit card deal or magazine subscription offer — just tosses it in the can. Her bills are so quickly noted on her calendar and filed in the “To Be Paid” folder. And she receives so much personal mail — much more than I do! Little Wife keeps all of her stationery and pens and postage stamps in one place so she can conveniently answer each and every letter from every important person who writes to her. She really does take the time to organize her mail and spread joy to all of her personal correspondents, and I truly admire her for that!

An important part of Little Wife’s organization projects is to put her stuff into baskets. Here’s a picture of me holding one of the baskets
that Little Wife accidentally left at my house recently.

I will eventually return it to her, of course. But first, I’m going to use it to put some of my own stuff in. Starting today I will put in all of my regrets. I will leave them in there, and not take them out to ponder them for hours on end. They are safely in Little Wife’s basket. I am also tossing in my fears, my doubts and my unmet expectations. Might as well just put them away where I won’t be tempted to fuss over them. And here goes all my sorrow and loneliness and disappointments…

The basket is getting awfully heavy — I should have a lid to put on it so nothing falls out. Wouldn’t want to drop any of this stuff out of the basket…

The nice thing is that I’m not actually throwing anything away — just stuffing it in a basket where it’ll be nice and safe and secure. I can take a little bit out at a time and decide about it. Do I want to deal with the fear of getting some employment right now, or should I leave that in the basket a little longer? What about all the crabbiness I feel?

I think I’ll leave it all in the basket today, and live life to the fullest JUST FOR TODAY. Like Scarlett, I’ll think about all of that tomorrow.

Blessings on your good day, from Little Wife and me.

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