I find myself getting sucked into hours of TV when the Olympics are on. I generally like sports like gymnastics, speed skating, and figure skating, but I will actually sit and watch pretty much whatever is on…including curling or hockey. I pretty much just start rooting for the home team, though I did like the Dutch sweep in speed skating and the young Japanese figure skater, Yuzuru Hanyu. There are plenty of sports that are surprisingly interesting to watch. Who knew I’d like skeleton?
I was quite disappointed that Shani Davis didn’t do better. I sat there watching lots of other stuff last night, because I didn’t want to miss his race. I was hopeful he’d place in the 1500. I guess it wasn’t the suit. It was sad to Evgeni Plushenko drop out. He coulda been a contenda! And it was most disheartening to see Katie Uhlaender not make the podium…stop and think about how we let seconds go by and think nothing of it, but in her race, infinitesimal time is everything. Athletes work for years and years and these moments are over in a heartbeat.
What I find interesting is that so few people I know are even watching at all. Most people, when I ask, just shrug and say they’re not interested. I was thinking maybe I was in the wrong by wanting to watch. So much money is poured into the venues that may end up ghost towns, which is sad, but for a short while every few years, we get to experience a beautiful show and some mighty fascinating athleticism. It’s a time when most of the world comes together in peace to strut their stuff.
Oh, I bet this will raise some groans, as most of the people I know hate doing laundry. I actually like it. To me, it’s wonderful to have an empty laundry basket in the closet and everything ironed and put away. If this is a chore to you, don’t put it off. Make it a priority in the new year and get it done each week and put everything away. There’s nothing better than wearing clothes that have a clean, fresh scent and look like new!
I like doing laundry once a week. Some people, like my mom, do it daily. Pick what works best, unless it’s ‘do it when I have nothing clean to wear.’ That’s a no-no. Another no-no is pulling dirty clothes from the hamper, spraying them with cologne or Febreze and wearing them again. Laundry is not a bad task, providing you don’t let it get the best of you. Once you have a mountain of clothing to wash, it becomes a monumental task.
Since you know I’m a neat-freak, I prefer to sort the laundry into three piles; whites/lights, medium colors, and dark colors. Why is it important to sort? Well, once I turned all my whites pale blue by washing the little man’s royal blue fleece robe in that load. Big mistake. I didn’t think the color would bleed, but it did. I learned a valuable lesson that day. Don’t bother sorting your laundry into like piles? Your whites won’t stay white if you don’t.
Other than sweaters, I always wash new clothes before wearing them. This is especially important when it comes to dark colors. New jeans can turn your skin blue, if you don’t take the time to wash them. All children’s clothing should be washed before wearing. Who knows what chemicals are still on the fabric?
So, sort the laundry into appropriate piles. Use a good quality detergent, like Method. You can pretreat with a variety of products, like the Clorox pen, Fels-Naptha, or Resolve. I do use dryer sheets in the dark load, particularly if there are knit or fleece items in it. I tumble items for 15 minutes, remove the items I still like to line dry in my basement (my slacks, jeans, sweaters, and knit shirts) to keep from shrinking or fading, and finish drying the rest. Remove the items from the dryer as soon as possible to prevent wrinkling. Fold the clothing right away, so it’s not getting wrinkled from sitting in the basket. And this is your mother talking…put the clothes away! Chairs, beds, sofas, and floors are not appropriate storage places.
It really doesn’t take that much time, if you take care of the laundry on a weekly basis. You can fold it while you’re watching your favorite TV show or movie and put it away during the commercials. If you have children, get them into the habit of putting away their laundry. Don’t forget to teach high schoolers how to do this lifelong task. They also need to learn how to iron.
The holidays are almost here and they always take me back to my childhood. I remember the excitement of Christmas and though I don’t have that level of emotion for the holidays any longer, I still enjoy the season. As I drive around town and see all the bright lights, plastic figurines, and blow-up characters, I’m reminded how back in the olden days, decorations weren’t much more than a tree, a wreath (often crafted with dry cleaner bags), and candles. My mom could have the house decorated in nothing flat, compared to the days I spend making the house look festive.
Do we really need all the ‘stuff’ we have today? No, but it can make this time of year prettier. I still like to drive around, just to look at decorations. As my son would say, some people’s stuff looks tacky, but even houses that are festooned in lights and yard décor I would never put out, it still adds to the merriment of the season. There is someone near my house that puts up tons of lights, full-size houses like Santa’s workshop, and even has a polar bear mountain. I have tried to photograph it, but it’s such a huge display and the bright lights make it difficult.
I appreciate the time he must spend putting it up every year and I do make a point to go by to see if he has anything new. He’s not alone. So many people make the effort to add interest to their home during the holidays. Our house is generally a wreath with white lights and I do put up four trees (don’t tell my other half, but I will be looking for a few more after Christmas). One of the trees is always fresh, because I want that evergreen scent. Even though I may complain about the time it takes, the end result always makes me happy. There’s just something magical about the lights, ornaments, and even the bayberry candles that add to this rather dreary weather time of year.
Oh, and though most people like snow at Christmas, I’m just fine without it. Okay, okay, when the lights are shining on outside trees and they have a dusting of snow, it does look beautiful. But, as soon as Christmas Day is over? Bye, bye cold weather.
When I got married…many moons ago, I got a nice set of wooden handled knives as a wedding gift. They worked pretty well for a long time, but eventually got dull. I haven’t sharpened them, because I was afraid to make them even duller or jagged. So, I remedied the issue by buying a few Ginsu knives from those demo guys at the state fair. They still work, but again, over time, even they have dulled and when I try to slice something like a butternut squash, I’m taking my life in my hands, literally. I’m always afraid I will snap the blade or slip and take off a finger.
What do I use now? Wusthof Classic. My son, who enjoys cooking, wanted some decent knives, so I have been buying him knives as birthday or Christmas gifts. A while back, I was using a reasonably priced Santoku knife I got at Homegoods, and unlike the Ginsus I didn’t trust, it snapped off, just after the handle. I could have gone back to Homegoods and spent more money on a knife that wasn’t overly sharp and at some point would no doubt break, but instead, I bought a Wusthof Classic knife on Amazon. It’s a Santoku style, which should release more easily when cutting meat, cheese, etc. I never knew a knife could be so sharp! I cut my fingers three times in a matter of months. I just wasn’t accustomed to a knife that could cut through something as tough as a squash like it was butta’. I have since learned to respect and appreciate the quality of an implement that does its job with ease.
There are many quality choices when choosing a Wusthof product. You can often find the knives at stores like T. J. Maxx or Homegoods, but also at the following retailers:
Crate and Barrel
Cutlery and More
There is a lifetime warranty as long as it’s not just from normal wear and tear or your abuse.
I am not normally an outlet shopper, because I find that I usually get better deals in the regular store, but I have found some decent prices on children’s clothing at the Carter’s Outlet near me. Yes, Kohl’s Department Store runs good sales and you can find deals at stores like T. J. Maxx, but a whole store that’s filled with Carter’s merchandise? It’s hard to find more variety than you’ll find here.
Now that I finally have little grandchildren, who are too young to notice that clothing isn’t a “fun gift,” I’m happy to find well-made clothing at reasonable prices. I love buying baby clothes and it was nice to find door-buster deals like $6 cotton sleepers 40-60% off almost everything else in the store. I was even able to find clothing that didn’t have ‘cutesy’ designs sewn on them, of which my daughter is not a fan. They sell plenty of stripes and solids.
I’ve been buying Carter’s for babies as gifts and for my own children since 1968. I have always found the quality to be consistent and I like that they still offer lots of cotton items. You can find cute clothes, bibs, socks, shoes, toys and more. It’s a great store for products at an affordable price.
Need to find a store? Don’t want to leave the house? You can find a store near you or shop online – Count on Carter’s.
The sleeper pictured is for the new baby to be born shortly, who won’t mind that he has monsters on his toes, but I think his big brother will get a kick out of them.