Monday, February 19, 2018

Winter, Marshmallows, & Pillows

Photo: Dyan Titchnell

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!"
~"Let it Snow" lyrics by Sammy Cahn

Growing up on Long Island, New York, no adult I knew would dare tempt fate by singing, "Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!" for we had more than our fair share of frightful winter weather without encouraging more.

Sure, the term "Cyclone Bomb" hadn't been coined yet, but the mere mention of a "Blizzard," and one headed our way, was scary enough for it often brought extremely high winds, massive snow accumulations, and power outages that were deadly.


And when a fierce Nor'easter hit, all anyone could do was ride it out as my family did... hunkered down in our basement, huddled together in our hats, coats, and scarves with canned rations that were heated over a Sterno: a small tin of fuel with a flame the size of a candle... hardly a roaring fire and definitely not delightful.

Thankfully, not all our snowstorms were blizzards. The modest ones, that closed schools, businesses, and roads but left power intact, were my favorite for I'd spend hours outdoors, like most kids, building snowmen and having imaginary adventures with real friends.

And when my cheeks got beyond rosy and I could no longer feel my fingers inside my gloves, I'd head indoors and...

Toast marshmallows!... on our electric stove!

Source: Wikipedia

So messy I know, but I'd grab a fork anyway, jab one of those square puffs, and dab it to the red-hot coils on the burner, where I'd watch my marshmallow go from white to soft ochre, seconds before bursting into flames and turning black. Just the way I liked it... burnt on the outside and liquidy on the inside.

Marshmallows, Yum!

Besides being tasty when toasted, they were also fun to eat straight out of the bag... all squishy and cute, like little pillows perfect for small creatures.

But now, as an adult, those squishy marshmallows, like little pillows, remind me that I missed January's White Sales when bedding and linens were deeply discounted and that...

The pillow I'm sleeping on is now dead!

Source: Getty Images

I know this because I read that if you can fold a pillow in half, there's no life left in it and it's time to buy a new one instead.

But why do I need to buy a new pillow when the one I have is only months old? Pillows used to last years!... and came in just feather and foam.

Now the choices are vast: down and down alternatives, poly and memory foam, feather and fiber fill, microbeads, cooling gels, water pillows, shredded latex and lofts: light, fine and lux, all which come in soft, medium, firm and extra firm densities for back, side, or stomach sleepers, but few for people like me who sleep in all three positions... and none, if any, that last.


And although my pillow didn't have a very long life, it was a comfortable pillow until now. Only now, I can't find this exact pillow anywhere, in a store or online.

But I did locate the manufacturer and sent them an email with images of: the actual pillow with its diamond pattern printed on the fabric, the original plastic bag which held the pillow and included additional information on fiber content and size, the UPC from the store where I purchased the pillow... plus my request for a duplicate pillow and where I can find one.


Rebecca, from customer service responded immediately and said...

"Thank you for the information provided. I have included a link to a pillow that contains the same fiber fill as the one you are in search of... included is a link to a 'Classic Hydrogel Cooling' pillow."

But my pillow is a regular pillow, not one temperature controlled and I relay this to Rebecca who replies with...

"I apologize. I have included two pillows with the same fill you are in search of... one is medium to firm density, the other is firm to extra firm... included is a link to two 'Gusseted' pillows."

Immediately I email Rebecca and remind her again that I have a regular 'king size' pillow and not a gusseted one.

A few days later she replies...

"Hello. After much research, I have found a pillow that does not contain a gusset and has the same fill that you have been in search of... included is a link to a lux-loft, firm density, down alternative pillow sold in 'Standard' and 'Queen' sizes."

Standard? Queen? Hellooooo, are you not listening? I'm looking for King! I keep those last bits to myself and wonder if I'm communicating with an actual human or perhaps Siri or Alexa.

Instead, I thank Rebecca for her effort and let her know that I'll be following her last lead. A lead that is useless, for apparently the pillow I'm looking for is nowhere to be found.

So, it's back to the mall to test out each and every king size pillow. UGH!

But I did get some advice from a magazine: that when shopping in a store for a comfortable pillow, stand with the pillow between your head and a wall.

Like a bed gone vertical... like my brain right now.

Maybe I should make my own pillow... perhaps out of marshmallows, hundreds and hundreds of them hot-glued together... all squishy and cute like a big pillow perfect for large creatures, like me.

I don't know, it's winter... and I think I've lost my mind.

"Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!"

May your Winters be cozy
and your
Pillows be comfy.

XOX... Dyan

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Love, Hate, & Morning

Photo: Dyan Titchnell

If you asked me if it's possible to both love and hate something equally at the same time, I'd probably say no.

But it's how I've come to feel about 'Morning'.

When unresolved issues silenced during the night resurface at first light adding to the dread that another day will soon be over before it's begun, and that I'll never accomplish all that I hope in the time I've been given... for once the sun sets... I'm done.

Photo: Dyan Titchnell

Yet in this light, soft and soothing, which permeates the room, there's also the freshest of air falling gently upon me from a sliver of an opened window where I hear birds, near and distant, tweeting and chirping among all that lies silent.

Ahhh... s i l e n c e

Restorative and suffocating... 'Morning' has me both loving and hating these times.

May you love and be loved
today, Valentine's Day,
and all your days.

XOX... Dyan