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Wednesday, September 26, 2012


A couple of months ago, Matt surprised me with a unique date night at a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre. I was super excited about a night out with adults only and especially excited that he made a special effort to come up with something different. I wasn’t, however, excited when I read the confirmation e-mail. They suggested we come dressed in 80’s attire. I cringed.

It was a date night, and I wasn’t going to head out feeling hokie so I wore a lovely knee length black and white dress with a pair of black wedge heels. I wasn’t the only one that opted out. But there were a number of couples – might I add much younger couples – that went all out in 80’s garb. Again, I cringed.

Now I graduated from high school in 1986. I found myself wondering - Is that what we looked like back then? Then I thought back to my high school years and felt bad. When we had fun events at school, we dressed up in 60’s attire. And at that moment, I knew how my parents felt. Sorry mom and dad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good As New

Stuffed animals are an important part of a child’s life.  My son Gray has two favorites – Bruce and Arrow, and both came from Build-A-Bear.
Bruce has been with our family for about two years and has seen lots of love. Arrow is a relatively new addition to our family having only been with us since May.
Bruce and Arrow move around the house during the day but at night they are a must have for bedtime. Not too long ago we had a near tragedy before bedtime when we noticed that Arrow was coming un-sewn. I went to get my trusty sewing kit, but Gray quickly stopped me. Apparently he was worried that I might not do a good job. He wanted (in his words) ‘a professional’ to fix Arrow. We took him back to Build-A-Bear where they stitched him up to be good as new.

I admit that I get attached to things too – but mostly my clothes.  Over the years A Cleaner World has stitched a number of things up for me so that they too were good as new.  A good thing to know in case a garment you are attached to is need of a professional.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Keeping Whites White

To me there is just something about the plain white t-shirt. I have lots of them – crew neck, scoop neck, split neck, v-neck….you get the idea. They just go with everything and when they are nice and bright and white they provide such a crisp clean look.

Unfortunately, all white cotton and cotton blend shirts eventually start yellowing around the neck and under the arms. While there isn’t anything you can do to completely stop this, you can do a few things to slow the process. Below is a list of suggestions from Mike Feudale, District Manager for A Cleaner World.

• Wash white garments (for that matter all garments) as soon as possible after wearing.
• Never use chlorine bleach on whites as a general brightener. Chlorine bleach should really only be used to eliminate germs and bacteria. It can, however, be used on white cotton and cotton blends to remove a localized stain that remains after washing. Chlorine bleach does not make things whiter. In the long run it actually breaks down the optical brightener in white dye and turns things yellow or brown.
• If you can, use deodorant instead of antiperspirant. Antiperspirant contains aluminum chlorohydrate which tends to clump in cotton and damage the fibers. It never completely washes out and will build up over time.
• One way to brighten your whites is in an overnight soak. Start the wash load with a normal amount of soap and hot water. Allow it to agitate for a minute or two. Then add up to double the recommended amount of non-chlorine bleach. Agitate for several minutes and let the load stand overnight. Complete the cycle the next morning and tumble dry on medium.
• Avoid high drying temperatures. Medium works just as well and reduces wrinkling. Or if you’re inclined, hang your whites on a line outside until dry. Your great grandmother was right; sunshine can function as a brightener.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No Scouts This Year

My son is a very inquisitive little boy. He is also a huge fan of Phineas and Ferb. Apparently one of the characters on the show is a “Fireside Girl”. One afternoon he started asking questions about the “Fireside Girls”. In particular he wanted to know if there was a male version of this group. I explained that the “Fireside Girls” were a pretend group based on the Girl Scouts. So I shared my experiences as a Girl Scout and what I knew about Boy Scouts.

Another thing I should mention about my son is that when he gets fixated on a subject, he worries me to death about it. He decided that afternoon that he wanted to be a Cub Scout. When Matt got home from work, Gray was so excited to share with his daddy his latest quest. Matt was thrilled as he wanted to introduce scouts to Gray, so we got started. And then we quickly got stopped.

I assumed that you could begin participating in scouts in Kindergarten. You actually have to be 7 years old or in first grade. Devastation set in and then he began to worry me to death about not forgetting to let him join when he starts first grade. I won’t forget. I’m looking forward to Gray participating in scouts. It’s such a great program that helps teach responsible citizenship and character development. Plus you get to earn all those awesome patches and wear a cool uniform!

A Cleaner World is proud of its association with the Boy Scouts. For more information about scouts, go to BeAScout.org

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