Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Laundry of Barf

This is not an easy or pleasant topic but one in which I have had a refresher (not the right word here) course this week. I totally take for granted “normal” weeks when we generate about 8 loads of laundry. I did six yesterday and five so far today, all related to the cleaning up of barf. I do not claim to be an expert and I know plenty of people who would have to punt and not be able to deal with it without adding to the barfdom... I know people who throw stuff out rather than try to clean it, but eventually you would run out of towels and sheets and blankets and who can really afford to do that? I don’t deny that I have opted to throw a few things out that were seemingly beyond help. This is a sad day in the life of a laundress and, of course, it’s worse for the poor baby whose generating all of it.

I know I would rather be sick for weeks with a cold than have one day of the “stomach bug.” I remember being so scared of it when I was little. In second grade I was on a field trip to hear the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Fair Park Music Hall. This was a huge deal. We rode the giant city buses to get there and we were all dressed up and feeling so weird that we were so far away from home, etc. without our parents... I was fine until about half way through the concert. My stomach started to knot like a boy scout’s rope. I was cooped-up in the the middle of an aisle and began to sweat like a marathon runner. I made it to the end of what seemed like the longest song in the history of the universe, and even survived the bus ride back to school (although I don’t know how I did...). I made it into the school building and then lost it all in the front entrance. It was colossal...and I was completely embarrassed. I was mildly relieved that it had not happened in the classroom. It is truly awful to be known as a barf queen at school.

When one of our daughters was four, she was so sick, she had to be in the hospital for four days to combat the dehydration. That was terrifying for everyone. It can be very serious. I am so relieved that we are seeing some improvement in the current situation.

Surviving. That’s what we are doing. And building our immune system. And laundry skills.

Thank goodness God gave me a strong stomach. Be well where you are, and may you not ever become the expert of the Laundry of Barf.

Tip: I highly recommend keeping some “Nature’s Miracle” around. It gets out all kinds of the worst stains, it’s enzyme-based and can be found in pet stores.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fashion, oui? non?

I just feel a need to rant a little bit. I have often wondered who dictates the fashion narratives that spread like wildfire in the fashion industry. I know for a fact that there is a world color society that decides what colors will be “hot” - Did you know that lime green is the new black?? or that Purple is the new Red?? Be prepared for some serious orange this summer...phooey. I think there is a secret society in France where people meet in a dark room, everyone is smoking. They are all wearing tight-fitting black clothes. And it goes like this:


“Euh.. vhaht vhill it be dzees year?”


“I aahm dsinking dzaaht we go vhitt feesh net hoze in rose colors and dzee teeeeniest mini-sskirtz. Dzee crazy Amehrican women vill bite any sthing vee place on dzee hook, oui?”

“Oui! (laughing and drawing a puff of smoke from his cigarette holder...Cruella deVille style..) and I sink dzaaat we make dzee schooze 25 centimeters!(10 inches) Dzee chiropractors and podiatrists should send us royalteezz. Oui?? (laughing more..)


“Oui! Vee have gotten dzem to wvear everysing from clown balloon pants in dzee 80’s (laughing hysterically now...) animal prints in dzee summer time, jumpsuits - that’s the best one ever -- you have to get sans des vetements/ nue/ naked to go to the lieu!! Vee half dzee best job in dzee whole world, like puppet masters.. We tell dzeehm and dzey do it!! Euh...... let’s do beaded underwear... (laughing more still) sooooooooo bumpy..... (hhhhahhahahahahhahh)

And then the beaded underwear are shown in magazines being worn by severe- looking 12 year olds who are freakishly 6 feet tall and malnourished. They sport the fishnet hosiery and mini-skirts and “the look,” all too soon, appears at PTA meetings and church bazaars and everyone says wow that’s sooo disgusting... how can they wear such trendy clothes.. My personal favorite was /is the thong panties that stick out above lowriding pants/jeans. I almost raced up to a young person (back in the late nineties when this stuff first appeared - she had the low jeans and no undies...) and said “hey, your cheeks are showing! You might want to pull down your shirt....” and my girlfriend stopped me and said it was a hot trend. I just can’t imagine deliberately doing the plumber! And then the trend creeps down to children’s clothing and the preschoolers I teach can’t play on the floor with dolls or blocks without flashing their sweet little moons to the world. And don’t get me started on the padded training bras for young girls.. really...

I haven’t really tried to keep up in a long time. I don’t mean to give up on looking good, but some things don’t really look good on anyone (jeggings). I guess I am getting old...but still, I refuse to shop at Chico’s, and you won’t find me in 8 inch heels. I pity the fools that have to keep up with trends. Women are so gullible. Look at the volume of the women’s department compared to the men’s in any store. Women’s stuff takes up 75% and men get about 25% of the floor space. If women learned to be satisfied in their own skin, demand clothes that fit in the neck, sleeve-length and pant length and stopped jumping to each latest thingama-jig that was shown to us... well, the world economy would collapse and what would we do with all that time we’d save?? So just keep making up the trends you weird Frenchies, and we’ll keep figuring out ways to make it and buy it as cheaply as possible. I can hear them laughing....

Au revoir.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day

Snow day

Snow makes the ugliest patch of dirt
look like the garden of Eden
laughing and squealing
all the day long as
the most perfect hill at the end of the lane
looks like the traffic on an interstate of toboggans and sleds.

In the night glow of the snow
the world looks like a blue desert
with deciduous trees draped in marshmallow fluff
cars do a slow dance, no twirls please
rooms lined with dripping clothes and tired bodies
fires and bellies stoked for the night.

Note: Where ever you are, I hope you are safe and warm. Coming soon.. The WHEEE of Wii.

Monday, January 3, 2011

And then there's January

I feel a little “January” today. My house is a wreck from the unfurling of all the Christmas stuff we brought back from our family trek across the country. My laundry is somewhere between dirty and clean. The cookies, what’s left of them, all taste like each other because they ended up in the same tin and they are destined for the trash, um, soon.
All the Christmas decor is still up and glaring at me to get back into the boxes, although I usually wait until Epiphany, so I am not in a huge hurry on that. But I don’t really want to leave the holidays. I want to wallow in them. Roll around in the paper and ribbon. Feel the excitement of my children, play with the new toys, revel in the love of family and good meals and good times.

I got something for Christmas that I have wished for every year for the last nine years--new family portraits. I mean everyone, my parents, who are in their late 80‘s, all my sisters and their families, AND on a different day, all of my husband’s family, siblings and kids. This isn’t easy considering that some of us travel from far away, some of us have to make adjustments to work schedules, some of us are on break from college life and might enjoy sleeping in... I am so grateful to everyone who lit the sparks in each family to get this monumental task done. The last time my family sat for a photo was 17 years ago, long before our two children were born. There was much grumbling from many directions, but we got together, laughed a ton, got it done and then celebrated with a nice dinner. I could do without all the gifting and hype of the holidays but I could never do without that feeling of warmth and comfort of our families. I know not everyone is blessed with this Norman Rockwellian aura and, believe me, we have our bumps and plenty of drama. As I sit in the quiet of my house, with the kids back in school already, a thousand miles from all that love, but I still feel it, and I want to hold on to it before I rush into the new year. So maybe I’ll go pour a glass of milk and down a few more of those cookies... Happy New Year to you!