Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Election time

Well ..... it's that time again. Election time. Like most of you I have been watching the debates. I have to admit until this year I never considered the size of hands as an important election issue - but sadly aren't we  all now slyly looking at hands - yeah even the salesman who walks in your office???? And so if hands have a guy thing equivalent - what is the gal thing????

I don't know about you - but maybe we ought to have a lottery for President. Throw every one's name who meets the Constitutional requirements  for President in hat and then draw a name. So hey - your name gets drawn - tag you're it!!! Can that actually be any worse ???

But while the rest of the country was listening to all these debates - I was watching. Do you want a President with a wrinkled shirt??? Or badly pressed lapels??? Think not !!!! How about a stain on the tie??? And maybe it's just me - but I like the fact the Carley Fiorina wears skirts that skim nicely on her derriere and legs and doesn't wear a snug Kardashian skirt that one could not possibly sit down in or eat a bite of food.( we can fix that in our alterations department) Hillary wears a nice pant suit - did you notice the crease in the pants ???Well I did and it was nice and sharp. As was every crease in the guys pants. So do you think if you saw any of those guys up there with  a big old stain on their coat or tie that you would not notice ?? OF COURSE YOU WOULD!!!! Maybe it would be subtle - you might think to yourself "HMMM there's just something wrong with that guy or gal" but more than likely you would notice and say to yourself" Geez- if he or she can't even get their clothes to cleaners how can they run a country?" Who wants a President who looks like the last prune in the box??? NO ONE!!!!

So there ya have it - my election notes. And just a reminder to you - make sure you look presidential (maybe my lottery idea will come pass and you will need too.)While we say we judge people by their hearts and minds - let's be honest - we do judge on other less noble things. So make sure your pants are creased, your lapels are rolled, shirts not wrinkled, no clothes too tight and no stains waving a big hello to folks. And if you look presidential - then heck the only thing you will have to worry about is your hands ( or feet or as Donald Trump said  your whatever coming out your wherever ).Oh come on - no one really believes that stuff anyway - RIGHT??Just in case keep your hands in your pockets ( and if you need those repaired - yep I can do that too!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I'm Dreaming of a ........


Yes, it is Christmas time again. Living in South Texas "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" is serious dreaming. I've been doing it for ( a woman never tells her age) so let's just say quite some time. But it's time for all the Hallmark movies ( watching 'em every night much to my Hubie and sons dismay), songs, candy canes and pumpkin everything ( pies, cookies, coffee and whatever else someone thinks can handle a dash of pumpkin). So while you are humming along with Nat King Cole rushing through the store and totally freaking out what to give that dang near impossible person on your list - take one moment to remember it Christmas and really all you need is family and friends .The best memories you have ( really we all have them) are not of the perfect Hallmark Christmas or a Norman Rockwell Christmas. Or for my Jewish friends a perfect Hanukkah /Chanukah ( and why is that spelled differently for the same holiday - feel free to let me know ). The best memories are of the imperfect Christmas - yes you know what I mean the year all the pies turned into charcoal or your sister decided to dye her hair blond and it was Bozo orange or the dog knocked over the Christmas tree and after the initial screaming and tears - everyone ended up laughing - well those are the best memories. So all I'm saying is yep we all want the perfect Christmas but the best ones and the ones we really remember are the Christmas' that went awry.

So here's some things to keep in mind while shopping this year for gifts and for the perfect outfit for all those Christmas parties ( you know the ones where the ugly Rudolph sweater just won't work). First when buying clothes - READ THE CARE LABEL!!!!!!!( and yes I did mean to YELL. Don't but anything thing that says Do not wash Do not Dry Clean Spot Clean Only - what does that mean??? It means throw it away after wearing because you can't spot clean only. If you want to see Grandma ( after she got runned over by the reindeer) wearing your gift for more than one year - buy one that she can actually clean .So READ THE CARE LABEL !!!!!!

COWS DON"T COME IN PURPLE !!!! ( or blue, red , black, white or any color other than skin color - yucky but true). So as you look at leather - remember all leather is dyed and after cleaning will need to be re-dyed because ........cows don't come in purple. Also all leather is not cow . What???? yep, some leathers are pig skin ( yeah yeah just like the footballs). So how do you know cow or pig and should you care? You can tell pig skin because you can see the pores on the skin . Should you care ? Well yes and no . Pig skin is a tougher skin , doesn't dye as well and tends to have more imperfections. After cleaning , a pig skin tends to show those imperfections even more . Sometimes the manufacturer will fill in the scars and after cleaning you will see those scars.I know we all think well heck if a cow can stand in the rain and run through fences it must be tough and can take a licking and keep on ticking - NO !!! Skin dries out ( ask any lady why she puts cream all over her face) and needs to be re-oiled to avoid cracking. Skin is not the same thickness all over your body and guess what - yep neither is a cows . So if a garment is made from the same animal or maybe even from numerous animals the skin will be different thickness. Plus let's face it how many times did you scrape your knees when you were a kid??? Well you can darn bet ya - the cow did too! So the skin will have scars - just like yours. And if you are thinking you want fur - some things go for fur. Animals will have scars and you need to re-oil the skin to keep from splitting the skin. Great stuff leather - but must be properly cared for to keep for years. So even though the cow or rabbit was out in the rain - they were wearing live skin and not tanned skin. Now you are thinking - maybe I will just buy faux. Ok by me . But when buying faux  leather or fur - what should you do ? Did you say - READ THE CARE LABEL ? If you did - a candy cane for you !!! If the faux leather says do not wash do not dry clean wipe with a damp cloth - you are wearing a tire !!! Come on that is plastic junk - get something you can actually clean .( and I don't mean hanging it off your fence and spraying it down with your garden hose ).

So let's say this is the year - you decided to be ambitious and make your Christmas gifts . If you are making clothes or stockings or a tree skirt - ask about the materials . At the end of each bolt of fabric are.......wait for it ...THE CARE LABELS. So do not mix a dry clean only fabric with a washable or do not dry clean fabric. Make sure whatever you make will last for years. FELT is not your friend .... don't spend the time making a beautiful tree skirt or stocking and using felt - it pills and falls apart and cannot be cleaned. If you are going to put a lot of work and love ( and in my case blood from all times I stick my fingers with the needle) make sure it will last forever and can be cleaned.

SO GO..... hit the mall armed with knowledge, You can hum Nat King Cole and feel good that as a saavy care label reader -you will buy a gift that will last forever.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you are with family and friends - well the burnt pies, Bozo hair and dog trashed tree just do not really matter. As for me , I will be thankful for the people I love and will remember the ones who I have lost. It is hard not to be some what sad to know it is another Christmas without my Dad. I use to make oatmeal- raisin cookies for him each year and I still make them but it's not the same. My dad use to love to put candy canes on the Christmas tree - so as I hang them each year I think of him. ( someday maybe I'll tell ya the dad and candy cane story - this one is goes in the burnt pie and dog trashed tree category). But I wish you all a wonderful holiday - enjoy - eat ,drink and be merry. May God bless you and may God keep you and your family.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Little Things

Today I had a great lesson in the little things that really matter. And as you guessed at some point I will make this cleaning related - just not yet.

I received two emails that I need to share with you - but due to security for these folks ( gosh this sounds a lot like Hillary's emails) I won't share the names of the writers .But since many of you helped us make Operation Interdependence such a success - you should know this ( and give yourselves a huge pat on the back or grab the person next to you and tell them I said to hug you) If you don't know or don't remember this was when we collected small food items and toiletries for the troops. I know this is probably the one of my favorite things to do. Of course the biggest problem we have is finding great stuff that will fit in baggie. I always try to find things for the ladies in the military. The way I see it - the government always puts things out to bid and the lowest bidder wins. Can you imagine the shampoo or soap that won that bid???? Does bad hair day everyday come to mind? So I try and find some nice travel size shampoos and conditioners. Then I guess maybe since my daughter is studying Public Health and I have heard more disease horror stories - anti bacterial hand gel is always top on my list . Goodness knows where these folks are located and what icky bacteria or viruses are there. But this year I found mini ( cause you know how big they are - since they are always at the gas station register) Slim Jim's - does that say home or what??? But I know many of you -had just as much fun as I did picking things for the troops. I saw cookies, toothpaste, soap and Twinkies (which we all know will last for centuries LOL). And this year we included and asked you to include notes to the troops So here is what you need to know

"My team received your care packages, They are a real morale booster. My guys loved going through them and trading items. They were just like kids. We put the notes up on our wall ."

and then the second email came

"The 4ESC received a few boxes of goodie bags today and I have to say , it was quite a treat! Things like that are exactly what reminds us of home,our families and our supporters:) ....I would just like to to say thank you for the treats and most importantly, your support.

So will you ever look at a Twinkies quite the same?  I would like to thank all of you for helping us make this collection such a success, And next year we will partner once again with KTSA radio and collect items for the troops. But this time I think we all will look at those items we donate and realize that sometimes the little things we do really mean a lot.

Alright - this is the cleaners blogs after all so I am sure you are asking - what could she possibly find to relate to little things. Just this - many of you have items of clothing or household items that have special meaning. It might be a quilt your grandmother made by hand, a wedding dress , your child's first teddy bear. Many times we just put them away and don't give them much thought. But , make sure before you put them away they are clean - bugs love to eat old stains. Put them in a box to keep out the air. And I know they are disgusting ( but there is a reason they have been around so long) moth balls will keep out the pesky bugs. Also to avoid fading make sure it is fully covered so no light can fade it. ( and this means all light not just sunlight) There is nothing as awful as finding your grandmothers quilt is now full of holes and faded. And yes, I am aware that it is just stuff - but I am a sentimental slob and that "stuff" means more to me than fancy new store bought items. My daughter has all of my dad's sweaters and every winter when she pulls them out to wear - you can damn betcha she thinks of her Grandpa .I have the flag that was draped over his coffin ( He was Air Force - Strategic Command and very proud of it), I put that flag in an air tight frame with special glass to avoid fading. So remember these are the little things that really matter - take care of them and make sure that the next generation of your family can have them too. I promise you that your family will love them much more than a Picasso hidden in the attic ( not that I have one - so I may be off on that ) But they will appreciate the love those items have connected to them and treasure them, So just make sure those things are in the best condition and they will be there to pass on .


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thoughts for the end of 2014

Well, another year is coming to an end. Like most of you I wonder where the time has gone. Plus here we are wondering again what to give the guy or gal on our list that every year is challenge. ( a Cowboy Cleaners gift certificate is not a bad idea - I'm just saying) But we also look back at the year that was and what we can hope for or expect next year.

So ... some thoughts. This year we had no meat dresses or any other such nonsense. WHOO HOO!!! Does that mean we are all going to be thrilled with the 2015 "looks". Oh I think not. So for those of you wondering what does 2015 look like fashion wise well... here goes
1. Street wear - brightly colored, form fitting (UGH),sporty outfits featuring mix and match patterns, loud prints, big logos and provocative sayings.
2. Swinging 60's - miniskirts. thigh-high boots and shift dresses emphasizing op-art and retro-futuristic accents such as mohair and vinyl. Think Nancy Sinatra and "These Boots Are Made for Walking".
3.Knits - Head to toe Knits. Yep loose knit garments that drape all the way to the floor..
4. Fur - real and faux !! This year over sized and multi-colored patchworks of alpaca,shearling fox and astrkhan. Plus bright faux furs.

So when you go out looking for new clothes - that is what you expect to see a lot of this year. And the official 2015 Pantone color of the year is .........Marsala!!!! Leatrice Eisman, executive Director of Pantone Color Institute says" This earthy red has wine and a very warm brown underneath, which gives the feeling of groundedness,strength and confidence,It has a richness that lends sophistication. When you wear it it is a self-fulfilling prophecy - you'll find you get positive reactions from others and it builds up your confidence" All that from a color - heck Chicken Marsala is pretty good to eat so who knows maybe you can get that all from a color. But expect to see Marsala everywhere - clothes, shoes , lipstick and paint colors.I may go for the clothes,shoes and lipstick but I'm going to stop at repainting the living room

Maybe as we get older and start to contemplate our mortality we start to wonder where we are on the old life expectancy chart. I kinda avoid those charts mainly because I figure they don't include the random hit by a bus or rolling off a cliff - both of which I am trying to avoid.My theory is when it's my time then it's my time - I just don't want to be on a plane with someone else whose time it is and go with them like collateral damage. So let's get off our own mortality and discuss the mortality of your household stuff. Don't you love it when I transition back to clothes and such? But for those who are wondering what to get folks for Christmas - this might actually help. Did you know your bedspread and comforters have a life expectancy of 6 years? So maybe if someones bedspread is over 6 years old - get them a new Marsala bedspread !!! Blankets have about 5 years except wool that can last up to 10 years. Curtains and drapery sheers have 3 years. Draperies about 5 years - if you are lucky you can switch out the drapes and bedspread for Marsala this year and 2019 get new ones in the Pantone color for that year. Sheets and pillowcases only will last about 2 years.But towels will last about 3 years. So look around the house boys - this may be the year to get the your gal some lovely new bedding etc. OK not as good idea as a nice Marsala gemstone ( diamond ,ruby or garnet) but surely much more useful.

So those are some thoughts from 2014.Here is a few for 2015 - maybe this year will be less tumultuous.  Maybe , and not to sound all Pollyanna , we could stop calling each other names and actually listen to one another. I hope we all realize that being polite is just way easier for everyone. A simple please and thank you could change some one's day. Thank God ( or whatever deity or lack thereof you believe in) for your family and friends because without them life would be dull, boring and just plain sad. Take a moment each day just to be grateful for your life, the people around you and (even though at time you may wonder if it isn't going to hell in a handbag) this country. If we all could just for a moment realize how greatly we have been blessed - then maybe 2015 will be a great year. Here is wishing you a happy, healthy, prosperous and blessed 2015.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ebola ,germs and other things that scare the c~*p out of me

Well this may be a first .... I always want business. We work hard to keep our customers happy and try and reach out to get new customers. But ....if there is any chance you may have come in contact with some one who has ebola... DO NOT BRING ME YOUR CLOTHES. In fact , do not take those clothes to any cleaners. Granted drycleaning solvent will kill a whole host of viruses and germs but not ebola. With ebola the advice is BURN BABY BURN. Yep, burn those clothes - even if it is your favorite shirt or dress - light up the grill and torch 'em. Living in Texas ,I guess I may be a wee bit paranoid about ebola. But maybe you are too. I mean damn - does anyone understand what the CDC is doing? The guy next to you on the plane could have loaded up on Tylenol and flown over from Liberia. Does that make any sense? SO of course they won't have a fever. You know back in the old days - when someone came to this country from another country with a virulent disease they were placed in quaranteen. Your dang dog is placed in quaranteen when returning to this country. Your dog and cat get stuck for weeks waiting to get released into society - but hell an infected person just strolls on out of the airport into your neighborhood. Does that make any sense? So you are being told to wash your hands. RIGHT !!! Washing hands and hand sanitizer works great for a lot of germs and viruses BUT NOT EBOLA. Ebola needs bleach ....use 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. So if you are flying - get those bleach wipes and wipe away - the arm rest, the seat , the guy next to you and even your hands. Yep BLEACH BABY BLEACH. And spray your bleach solution on surfaces in your house etc. Now I must confess ... I am terrified of needles. So needless to say , I have never gone for a flu shot. But this year I think I will suck it up and hyperventilate my way to get a flu shot. I heard a doctor on the radio suggesting we get the flu shot this year, His reason was if we all get a flu shot then we will not have the flu which in the intitial stages resembles the symptoms of ebola. So if you have a flu shot and start having flu-like symtoms you have ebola. Or if everyone has a flu shot then the guy at the airport who is feverish etc - does not have the flu but has ebola. SO GET A FLU SHOT!!! I have also read that UV light disenfection will kill the ebola virus.Not sure how useful that advise is ...unless you want to put a few up in your house. But there are small portable UV light disenfection devices - so maybe get one and wave it over everything you come in contact with? Heck I'd be ok if you wave one on me. So yep, I'm a paranoid. And apparently I am a complete redneck who distrusts the government at least whenever the CDC get on tv and starts telling me how hard it is to get ebola. Especially after a nurse totally covered in protective gear got ebola. I'm not quite ready to hole-up with my survival gear but I am just paranoid to stay away from sneezing, wheezing and sweaty people. Dang - this is Texas and most of us are sweaty people - not good. But lastly, please PRAY FOR NINA PHAM. This young lady is the nurse from Dallas who now has ebola. She is 26 years old and recent graduate from TCU. Please pray for her -this young lady did what you and I could not - she worked with a person she knew had ebola and did it anyway. What a courageous young lady!!! So I ask that all of you keep her in your prayers.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Boudica and Drycleaning

So you ask "what is a Boudica and what does it have to do with drycleaning?" Ok let's start with a confession from me - I do not watch the regular t.v. - yep no ABC,NBC, or CBS. I guess for the young folks it will come as a surprise but when I was a kid that was it for choice in t.v. So now with History, HGTV, and Food Network, I have all these choices so why watch a sitcom when I can learn to make a souffle, tile my kitchen or learn about history? Thus Bouddica.( pronouced Boo- Di -Kah) This is going to be a roundabout way to get to the drycleaning part but if you will indulge me ...first let's talk Bouddica, Boudica the Warrior Queen. If you watch the History Channel or the Military History Channel then you may know of Boudica- truth to tell that is how I learned of her. In 60 A.D. Boudica was the queen of the Celtic tribe the Icene ( eye-see-knee). Boudica's husband was a nominal ally of Romans after they invaded Britain. So all was well in Wales until Boudica's husband died.See as long was the king was alive and paid taxes to Rome - No problems. When her husband died he thought he was protecting his clan by leaving a will. In the will he left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman emperior. Sounded like a good idea but Rome decided to annex the kingdom ( leave a kingdom to women? not in Rome). So Boudica complained and the Romans came to Icene. They flogged Boudica 40 times while tying her to a post. Her daughters were raped. The Icene were were completely under Roman control and they were no longer able to feed their own clan because the Romans took their crops for themselves. But Boudica would not allow this injustice to stand. So she ( the Romans did not take her seriously after all she was just a woman) united all the Celtic clans. They then burned down to the ground the nearest Roman city killing all within its walls. She then led her army towards London destroying Roman legions on the way. Alas,an army with sticks and rocks was at a terrible disadvantage agaist one with shields and swords. But Boudica made the Emperor Nero ( of fiddle fame) consider completely pulling out of Britain. She did lose the final battle but did accomplish 2 things she united the Celtic tribes for the first time and she scared the beejeebers out of Rome. So while the Romans did not withdraw from Britain they knew from that time onward their position was always going to be precarious. Ok History lesson over, So what does Boudica have to do with drycleaning? I am going to go all Boudica at ABC. All drycleaners the same? Obviously, not. Why would one charge over $5.00 to clean a pair of pant and another only $!? Reason tells you that they cannot be doing the same thing to your clothes. So ABC found some guy named Jeeves who said some drycleaners use dirty solvent. Gross!!!! Does that happen ? I honestly do not know - not here. But it's easy enough to find out - take a look. I can show you my equipment and solvent. I would happy to do it. But bear in my - I have a thing for history - so it include a little history lesson too. But here is where I go completely Boudicca - this Jeeves fellow said some cleaners do not even clean difficult customers clothes - they just charge them. Who thinks like that? Who would do such a thing? I think perhaps Mr. Jeeves! How unbelievable that just because someone is picky or rude that would not do the job they are paying you to do. Picky people are great - they challenge you to do your absolute best. Rude people well ... sometime they are just a challenge... but what kind of person would consider doing anything less than their job . Hey life is tough, people have bad days , whatever but that doesn't mean I do not do my job. I have never ever heard of such a thing and frankly how in the great big universe does this Jeeves fellow know this stuff. I presume he is not invited guest to other cleaners stores - so where does this information come from .... perhaps personal experience? Look if you want to come here,look around , ask questions, I would love to talk to you!!! I cannot tell you what other drycleaners do ... why? I am too busy making sure we do things right! I try and buy the best products - the same way a chef buys the best ingredients. You cannot make a souffle with old eggs and you cannot clean clothes with old solvents, products etc. But like my dad use to say " people never accuse you Vicky of doing something attrocious if they haven't done it themselves - why else would they even think of it - did you ?" I guess that's why I will never be able to be congressman or senator , or president - I just cannot do that kind of thing. But here is the my final Boudica yell - A good cleaners . a respectable cleaners will gladly let you see whatever it is you are concerned about. We have had a group of homeschoolers come through and learn all about drycleaning and tour every inch of our store. But like Boudica I hate injustice - not all drycleaners are alike ... geez not all drycleaners even think like Mr. Jeeves. This warrior queen hates the idea that ABC gets some guy to impune all drycleaners. We are not all like that ... we are small businesses without some K street lobby who do the best we can every day. We are part of the community .. we live where we work. We care ... I do ... I have my reputation to uphold. My dad once said " all you really have is your good name - do not drag the Maisel name down". So as you watch the show ... drycleaners are not all the same and this Boudica warrior princess will fight to make sure you can trust us ... call me come by ... whatever . I hope I don't end up like poor Boudica - she either killed herself to avoid capture or was injured and feel ill and died. But Like Boudica I will fight to make sure that drycleaners are not lumped into this group of dishonest and smarmy slimes but decent people who do their best everyday to run a small business.Sure expose the bad apples - heck I'll help .... but do not act like it's the majority of us drycleaners.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Frights


So it's that time of the year again....October 31st .....Halloween. Ghosts, Goblins, and FREE CANDY!!!What a holiday.You can dress up like anything you want and no one says a word other than "good costume." Is it just me ... or have you noticed all the sexy nurse, sexy witch, sexy nun, sexy pumpkin costumes? I realize this is the one time of the year you can dress up and everyone else is too but ....Do we really need to show all our ass(ets)? What happened to just being spooky? Frankly, creepy has taken on a new meaning with all these sexy costumes. I mean who the heck think dressing a pre-teen like a woman of ill -repute ( yes there a few unsavory words you can insert here - but this is a blog after all and I should maintain some decorum) is a ok? Why not drop the sexy nurse or witch costume and just call yourself a pornstar - it's way more honest. Ok that's my rant for the month.

Next frightening item... retailers skimping to boost profits.CNBC reports that there is lower quality in today's clothes. Did you just say "DUH"!! According to associate professor Vincent Quan from the Fashion Institute of Technology, retailers are not relying on consumers to spend more money, but are squeezing whatever costs they can on the production side. Quan said "he is seeing shirts with lower thread counts, less expensive synthetic fibers and no extra buttons."  by sacrificing the fabric, retailers can keep price points stable and continue to offer up the deep discounts consumers have become accustomer to getting. So no more extra buttons ( do you remember those) and cheaper material and dyes. OH JOY!!! But here's the real fright ....According to Brian Sozzi, Belus Capital Advisors CEO and chief equity strategist " The large majority of consumers are not going to reward the retailer for quality investment via a full price purchase.Value continues to reign supreme; So from a risk-reward standpoint, it make no sense. Retailers have trained consumers like dogs to pay prices of yesteryear for merchandise that is of lower quality." So fellow pooches out there - the clothes they are making and selling is CRAP and just get use to it. How delightfully frightening to know the dress that fits like a glove will last for a few wearings and then toss it in the rag bag.

Here's a spooky and creepy thought.... My daughter is allergic to corn. Yeah corn ... so no corn cobs, no candy corn ( its made from corn syrup), no sodas ( unless diet or made from sugar) no mmmm good soup ( it has corn starch) ... well you get how being allergic corn is a pain in the tush ( or thigh if she has to use her epi-pen). So guess what happens? Well let's just say washing clothes has become a new adventure in allergies. Apparently Tide Pods have corn. Yeah, she discovered that after a day of benedryll and itching. She could not figure out why she had welts and was itching all over. So she finally figured out it was happening when she was wearing her newly cleaned clothes ( she doesn't live here - so mom can't bring it to work for her). Then she goes online to look for a list of ingredientes and low and behold ,,,, CORN . Not just in the outside of the pod but the new super cleaning chemical is corn based. So back into the washer,all her stuff has to go with a heaping helping of baking soda.  So if you have allergies or kids with allergies ... you may want to check out your detergent. Oh and your face wash, body wash, and shampoo. Been there Done that with allergy girl.

So that about does it for the Halloween frights from me. Go have a good time, dress like you would want your mom to see you and eat lots of candy ( for my daughter that is mostly limited to Seet Tarts). Scare lots of folk and carve lots of pumpkins. But mostly, have fun.