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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

After You Said Yes to the Dress

I have to admit that I am addicted to "Say Yes to the Dress." It is this show on TLC that has gals looking  for their wedding dress. Occasionally, I am shocked at the dress the bride to be finally chooses. I really cannot tell you why I love this show. I have been married to Mike for 26 years - and we sure are not doing a vow renewal.( not willing to spend the money and I figure I got it right the first time). But when Mike wanders past as I am watching it , because no man would be caught dead much less admit to watching it, I say I'm doing research. Flimsy excuse - yes but I do get to see the latest trend and thus I am a better cleaner. I see the different fabrics that are popular and the "bling". So what does this have to do with cleaning? OK - it is June. What happens in June? WEDDINGS!!!!So here's my point - wether she wants to look sexy,tradtional or like a princess - this will be the most important and usually expensive dress any girl will ever own. ( and do not give the - "You only wear it for one day why waste the money ?" ) ( ok I can't let that pass - one day hello? the most important, till death do you part, day - yeah get the damn dress you really want)

So- by now you believe, and rightly so, that this month is aimed for the ladies. Yes, but just a little nugget for the guys. Grooms, groomsman and fathers of the bride it is still important that you look good. First, you will be in pictures forever. Second, you do not want to be the guy who looks like he slept in his tux  every night the week before ( it wil be in that picture that lasts forever). And lastly, groom - your bride will be looking so beautiful that tears will come to your eyes - do the gal a favor and look the same way for her.

So you have the dress, you had the wedding and now you have a dress that cost thousands ( at least on Say Yes to the Dress they do) - now what? Well , now is the time to preserve your dress. For what you say? For perhaps your daughter someday. Ok so sometimes that does not work out - my mom was apparently super skinny - thus I could not wear hers. My daughter is super tall and if she wore mine it would look like a mini skirt. But occasionally, like Goldilocks - sometimes the fit is just right - and it would be nice if the dress was wearable.

First, if you had a fun wedding - the dress will be stained maybe lost some of the beads etc. Not a problem. A cleaners should be able to help you -we can replace lost beads. sequins and rhinestones. The hem of your dress will be stained - all that dancing- so particular attention will be paid to hem. But here is the tricky part - some stains dry clear. Meaning those stains will be invisible - some foods, drinks and body oils. So if it is invisible - how do we know they are there. Honestly, we don't. But what I recommend is DO NOT BOX YOUR DRESS UNTIL 3 MONTHS AFTER THE WEDDING. Why? Because those invisble stains do not remain that way. They will begin to show up - at first as a ring or slightly darker area, then they turn yellow and finally brown. You do not want your dress put away until you have had the oppurtunity to double check to make sure to make sure all those stains are gone. That is why I suggest you clean the dress and then watch and wait before you box. If you do not want to do this yourself, I will do it for you. I believe that once you entrust your dress to me - then I am responsible to clean it as many times as takes to make sure if your daughter wants to wear it - she can.

So how do you store the dress - mine is in a box . Not just any box. Mine is in a box specifically designed for wedding dresses. Theses boxes make sure light and air do not get into your dress. Both of those can cause color changes.My box is in a closet next to my attic. The attic is not the best place to store as it gets pretty darn hot and sometime critters get in attics and no need for your beautiful dress to become squirrel chow. Some folks say not to put veils, shoes etc in the box. But I did. I wrapped them carefully in white acid free tissue and put them under my dress. Just do not put the bouquet in the box - that's what shadow boxes are for. Can you hang your dress for storage - yes you can . But you need a muslin bag that covers the dress.Why muslin - well it a natural fabric that breathes, it is not opaque and it will be a nuetral color ( beige or white) and will not fade unto your dress.

So your wedding was oh so many years ago and the dress has been hanging ( or folded) and was never cleaned and yes, you did everything wrong - so far. Is it toast? Not necessarily. Some of the stains may not be able to come out - but gowns can be restored. Lace can be replaced. Beads can be replaced. Tears can be mended.So all is not lost - it is never too late to try and save that dress.

So Friday night, when you are watching "Say Yes to the Dress" - you can do what I do - claim it is for research - you will have to find your own angle for that one. But now you will know how to keep that dress for future generations. And if your really lucky some kid or grandkid will be just your size and poof you will have the perfect dress.One day - yes, but one perfect day -one day that you will always remember.So buy the dress you want, look beautiful and have your special day. ( I'll take care of the dress after)

Monday, March 18, 2013

"Warshing Clothes Recipe" or Aren't You Glad You Have Me?

Every now and then I find something that just makes me glad that I live in this day and age. I know we all worried about Obama care (how much is it going to cost, what happens to my insurance and dang I'm not a spring chicken so.... death panels?), taxes ( they keep going higher and I keep going lower), the debt ( how can a country keep spending trillions it doesn't have - it's not like I can ), and why does everything cost so much more? So yep, these are the times that try men's souls. But here is something that will bring a smile and a "Oh my - glad I live now"( unless of course we have total economic collapse and then I guess this will useful).

This is a recipe given to a new bride by her grandmother.It was found in a scrapbook. The recipe is as exactly as written, spelling errors and all.

Warshing Clothes

build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water.
Set tubs so smoke won't blow in eyes if wind is pert.
Shave on hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.

Sort things,make 3 piles - 1 pile white, 1 pile colored, 1 pile work britches and rags.

To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then down with boiling water.

Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just wrench and starch.

Take thing out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.

Hang old rags on fence.

Spread tea towels on grass.

Pour wrench water in flower bed.
Scrub porch with hot soapy water.

Turn tubs upside down.

Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs.

Brew a cup of tea, sit, rock a spell, and count yore blessings.

So aren't you glad you have me ? As the gal who does your dry cleaning and warshing - all you have to is put on the clean dress ( or shirt or britches) , smooth your hair and count yore blessings. So despite all the problems - and Lord knows we have quite a few - at least you can rest assured that I am here. So you will have no need for those kettles and fires. Just drop off the dirty clothes ( get a cup of tea  or whatever) and come back later and all is done. No warshing or ironing!!!! Yep, the 21st century ain't bad!!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

No more Iron - Is that a CATastrophe or just IRONic?

"No one likes irons or ironing. We were overjoyed to learn there would soon be one less iron in millions of homes around the world, even if it a miniature replica game piece," said Mary Scalco ,CEO of the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute.

"Replacing the iron is exactly what dry cleaning and laundry professionals do" said Scalco. "Way to go, Hasbro."

So what the heck am I talking about? The demise of the Monopoly Iron. Yes, last year the fine folks at Hasbro decided to update those tokens we use while playing Monopoly. So they had a "Save your Token" contest. The fate of the car, thimble,boot,Scottie dog,battleship,wheelbarrow and iron were in the hands (literally) of thousands of online voters. One click at a time saved the other tokens. Only 8% of voters liked the iron.

"Fans from over 120 countries,including Djibouti,Kyrgyzstan, Guam and Liechtenstein, voted in the contest" said Jonathon Berkowitz, Vice President for marketing for Hasbro Gaming. Once businesses got word of the tokens wars, they took up the cause for in support of their favorite tokens. Companies like Zappos created campaigns for the shoe. Ames True Temper made videos supporting the wheelbarrow.But nary a dry cleaners or laundry supported the iron.

So goodbye irons!!!! Hello cat. Yep, the iron, the cause of many a clothing CATastrophe has been replaced by a kitty cat. Ok I will say I have seen the occasional kitty cat clothing disaster - pulling the threads of sweaters and the odd using a garment as a litter box. But the iron - oh my!!!! I cannot tell you how many times someone has brought in a garment with that ubiquitous triangle mark permanently stamped on their pants and shirts. The iron that decided to spit out rusty water on the silk dress or favorite shirt.  The shine that your iron makes on your clothes that puts your teeth and hair to shame ( in the right light you could be used as reflector)The worst ever- the triangular shape of totally missing fabric - usually in a spot that would make you look like an Exotic or Chippendale dancer if you wore those clothes. SO GOODBYE IRON!!!!!

While the sad and pathetic iron got less than 8% of the vote to save it- the kitty cat got 31% of the vote to win. The cat beat out a robot,guitar, helicopter and diamond ring. ( a cat beat a diamond ring - I guess Marilyn Monroe was wrong - diamonds are not a girls best friend)

The cat will join the wheelbarrow,shoe,race car, top hat,thimble,Scottie dog, and battleship in the Monopoly game beginning in late summer when the the latest edition hits the shelves. ( so if you want an iron - and why would you?) get it now. A limited -edition "Golden Token Monopoly will hit Target stores this month with gold ( just the color not the metal) tokens of all the current lineup ( yes it will be the last appearance of the iron) and the 5 proposed tokens - including the winner - the cat.

So no more irons!!!!! Yippee!!!!!!No iron - no CATasrophe - no CATaclysm - no CATerwauling..I can CATagorically state the loss of the iron will not be the CATalyst for the world's demise. The voters were apparently CATatonic when voting for the iron. So no requiesCAT for the iron. AH the IRONy!!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Well.... the Mayans were ?

So it is now 2013. For those of us with triskaidekaphobia ( fear of the number 13) this will just be a banner year. But we should take note we will deal with one less Friday the 13th this year. We only have two - so we only have to worry about September and December.
And we are not alone - our poor grandparents had to make it through 1913. Not all was bad that year. The first crossword puzzle appeared in the "New York World" in 1913. Of course, for those with triskaidekaphobia - that was also the year of the 16th admendment to the U.S. Constitution. No need to run to your pocket Constitution or your search engine - the 16th amendment was the income tax. So I guess my point is.... what your wallets !!!
The Mayans were .....? Neither right nor wrong ... they just ran out of calendar space. Since there was apparently no Mayan equivelant to a Hallmark store - they just had to wait to make a new calendar. Bad luck - they did not make it 2012 to start all over. So the Mayans were just not here to make a new calendar.
So what should we expect in 2013? Well , I guess more taxes is obvious. ( guess they could  come up with another amendment sticking it to us all but I cannot imagine 2/3 of the states would agree to that). Things will cost more - nothing new there.
But fashion wise... apparently man made fibers will be out. ( only because the manufacturers of man made fibers are closing down).So expect to see more 100% cotton ,wool, rayon, and silk on those care labels. More clothes will be made overseas - China, Indonesnia, and Vietnam. That folks is damn shame for lots of reasons. First it takes American jobs overseas. Second, the stuff made there is just not the same quality.Dyes are not as good. The sewing is not as precise. All in all we the consumer are just not getting the quality we should. I do not know who to blame for this for wanting cheaper prices, the unions for demanding expensive benefits, the government for making taxes and regulations onerous, or the clothing companies for the outrageous mark up on the clothes.  Probably all are to blame. But that just leaves us with expensive clothes that aren't made well at all.
So I guess 2013 will look a like 2012. Maybe the Mayans were right ... there just wasn't a lot of point in making a new calendar when the old one would pretty much suffice. Same old Same old!!!