Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Laundress of the House


Though a Home Ec degree hangs in Augusta, GA with my name on it, Domestic Goddess I am not. I am just starting to get the hang of this coupon business and have had more successes than failures in the sewing of buttons. They aren’t pretty, but they aren’t going anywhere, either.
Our bed is so well-made bed that my mother would question the authenticity as to who actually made it. Her daughter never made her bed. The throw pillows seem to fall into place over the coverlet.
The table will always be set to die for with forks and spoons in the assigned spots, exactly measured of equal distance from the plate- with a tape measurer. (thank you, Mama) Walls can be painted, pictures hung, and linens ironed- all with this left hand dominance. I’m actually getting a handle of vacuuming. 
There are sewing lessons in my future. Sewing! Who knew? 
But- there is a lacking expertise- laundry. Don’t get me wrong, I get it- laundry in, water on, squirt the soap, close the lid. Evacuate wet laundry to dryer, empty lint bin, start again. Remove, fold, and eventually put away. 
The challenge is there as I have slowly and painfully discovered.
Why the different settings? What does permanent press mean? How can dirty laundry be pressed permanently in the washing machine- and not the dryer? Apparently when the delicate cycle is used, the tub is filled with water, drained and then refilled, before being drained and buzzed at for completion. Can’t I just do that in the sink? It would save both time and money.
Hot water? Cold water? warm water?  Honestly. Am I a Starbucks laundress where my indecisiveness can suddenly make ten choices for one cup of coffee- or in this case- a load of laundry? Google has revealed that whites should be washed in hot water-- which leads to another question, why the different temperatures? And why the separation? Other websites have said that colors should be washed in hot and whites should be washed in cold. Is warm for the indecisive... or the white stripe shirts? 
Is it all separate but equal?
Which leads me to something we have plenty of in this house, stains. Blood stains from the hospital, ketchup stains from the chicken fingers, blood stains from the chef and her newly sharpened knives, dirt stains from the playground, finger paint stains from school, grease stains from the butter spattering, epoxy stains from the boat building... well, those hit the trash because they are scratchy, but the drift has been made. How do they come out ? I squirt the SHOUT! and toss ‘em in... again and again to reveal little girl clothes withering away with a bright orange juice stain on the front, or worse, a gardening stain on the back. 
My grandmother could get any stain out of anything. would work and work and work with any stain until it came out. Very impressive. All of her laundry looked brand new. I resorted to calling my Dottie the other day to ask her about stains. She just laughed and did her best to domesticate me. It was, sadly, a lost cause. 
Back in college... when I worked at the laundromat... yeah, I did... Taji would spray brake cleaner on the really big stains to meet their demise. I did it and it just made the stain bigger. 
I am lucky if all my socks make it out of the dryer. Which leads me to the dryer. Sometimes, the load is perfect... and then that favorite shirt gets dried one time too many and white dots appear all over everything where the item has started pilling (thank you, Wikipedia).
Domesticity is not my strong suit. I’m trying, Lawdy knows I am trying- but sometimes, I get the idea that God gets bored and looks through our roof and says, “Hey, Pete- let’s see what happens when we make all the detergent disappear and LMC won’t stop throwing up...” a Samantha twitch of the nose and there it is... with a husband on call.
Just an FYI- when that happens, washing in just OxiClean does NOT do the trick. The blankets come out electrified and not clean. 
Just my little domestic tip for you for today. Coming from a Home Ec major- you should take heed. 

1 comment:

Andrea L. said...

My newest trick for getting stains whites (especially whites that say "no bleach" like my egyptian cotton sheets)... hydrogen peroxide. Pour it on the stain and a touch in the bleach dispenser. And at $0.79 a bottle at CVS, I think it's pretty much awesome.

way cheaper than oxiclean!