Saturday, July 12, 2014


Denoting or referring to the most desirable or advantageous part of a range of values or conditions (typically the center).

My tale begins 35 years ago, when I visited the Woolworth's in downtown Fairbanks with my sister-in-law to buy various items when TH and I were first setting up housekeeping.   Towels, sheets, blankets, pots and pans, and a pillow for me.  I must have bought the very last chopped chicken feather pillow in existence.  I loved that pillow, it wasn't the least bit fluffy, and stayed in any shape I punched and folded it into.   It traveled with me, weighing a ton, but it was home in a pillow "dress" as my grandma called pillow slips/cases.

As the years past, the covering began to wear thin, so I sewed up a new one complete with a zipper.  I bought cheap pillows to cannibalize their feathers to add to the ever diminishing pillow.  How much if any of the original feathers were left after 15 years?  Who knows, but I kept patching and sewing and adding to my pillow, bereft at the very idea of a new pillow.


Right before I left Arizona, I began to notice that which ever side of my face spent the most time on my pillow would be slightly swollen.   The idea that MY pillow was making me sick was slowly leaching into my thoughts.  I tossed it into its monthly trip in the dryer, and that night I woke up struggling to breathe, with my face swollen and beet red.  This is from a person who is allergic to both eggs and all forms of poultry.....I never claimed to be brilliant now did I? 

That was the day Pillow was tossed into the trash.  But whatever was I to sleep upon?  Allergic to feathers, so thats out.  Allergic to the synthetic pillows, scratch that.  Cotton?  Wool? Gah!!!!

Remembering my Japanese daughter-in-laws fruitless search for a non-fluffy pillow, I didnt hold out a great deal of hope.  And then! Light bulb!  I finally recollected what she ended up using, two large towels folded together, and put into a pillow case.  So thats what I tried.  It took a while to get it right, folding the towels first one way and another, folding them separately and then together, but finally got something I could sleep on.  It was about half the size of a "normal" pillow, but it worked.  Wasn't perfect by a long shot but at least it was something to sleep on.

And so began the big pillow hunt.  I finally found a wool one that had no flame retardants, no fake-y crud, just natural washed wool.   Made up of small tuffs of wool, it works like a down pillow, with out the down.

It didnt make me sick, a win for sure, but was way to fluffy and soft, ugh, and much to "tall" for my short neck.  I pulled out more and more of the guts, and it was a better height but wasnt right, still to soft.   One night after many fruitless tries to find the 'Goldilocks' spot pulling filling from the pillow, putting some back in, over and over and over........ and finally giving up and putting my towel "pillow" back on the bed it struck me like a bolt from the blue!  If either one isn't right, then maybe combining the two would be!?!  I pulled the dress off my pillow, carefully arranged the towels to be the same size as the pillow, and wrestled it into the pillow dress.  Which was not an easy task at all,  everything kept slipping around, grrrrrrrr. 

Ok, finally won the pillow content and dress battle! 
 I laid down, with nearly zero hope that it would be something I could sleep on. 

Oh my!  This is what I've been searching for!  I found my Goldilocks pillow.  Not to tall, not to soft, and not to hard.  It was jussst right!

  And I have enough stuffing to make a smaller travel sized pillow, complete with towel.  Life is sweet in the Goldilocks zone.


  1. It sounds so mundane but we have our favorite pillows and it becomes quite the quest if you ever replace them.
    Carlos has one pillow on the bed that he has had for DECADES and DECADES and refuses to give up.

    That pillow will outlast me!

    Glad you found your "Just Right"!

  2. I know the feeling. I went through several pillows before I found some firm ones from Target a few years back that I'll likely replace soon.

  3. Oh my, I know exactly how you feel. While the allergies aren't a concern of mine, finding the right combination of hard, soft, fluffy, tight, the right height, not too hot (cool preferable) is tough. I need to get some new pillows now, as the center of my current ones have more or less collapsed! I might have to try your idea to see if I can work up a proper mix!

    Peace <3

  4. Yes, A good pillow is crucial to feeling good in the morning. The rest of of probably have it easier when it comes to picking one out, so I'm glad you were able to get/make one!