Tag Archives: laundry

Revenge of the Dryer Balls!

Sensational Saturdays

run for your lives!

If you missed the first dyer ball exposé click HERE for “Why Everyone Needs an Extra Set of Balls” then come on back and find out today’s scary installment.

It’s happened, my husband is down to one ball.

Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday, and since I had finally successfully finished shopping on Friday, (you can read about that HERE) I concentrated on the cooking. Hubby focused on what he usually does on Saturdays, the laundry. Everything was going along just fine, until he asked me to flip the laundry. (That means I get to come upstairs with the dry clothes and fold them. A tricky way for him to get out of that part of the job)

I went downstairs and pulled the clothes out and lo and behold there was only one lonely blue ball in the dryer. WHAT! I’ve purchased at least three sets of the things. Where do they go?

So I did the unthinkable. I got down on my knees and looked under the dryer, dug through the cobwebs and there, at the back of the dark crevice one was hiding.

Now for those of you with washers and dryers that sit on the floor, you might be wondering how I could look under the dryer. Well, my husband doesn’t like to bend over, (NOT even going there) and we have a front loading washer. So now you ask, why isn’t it up on those cute little stands? Because when we purchased said washer I, the short person, did all the laundry. And I like to be able to reach the controls on the older dryer that are at the back of the machine.

Are you still with me?

Now Jeff has taken over the laundry and he (NOT going there) doesn’t like to bend over. So instead of going out and purchasing said, cute, washer dryer stands, one day (when I was not home) he built his own. To his height specifications.

To his credit, he did ask someone female to see if she could reach the dryer controls. Somehow it didn’t occur to anyone that she’s three inches taller and has much longer legs and arms and can reach them easily. Now I cannot reach the dryer controls without standing on my tip-toes and squshing my, umm, chest on the dryer and stretching my fingers to reach the dial. We are not even talking about the two shelves of cleaning supplies above the dryer. Jeff says his next project is to build me a step.

So, now, under my washer and dryer, where everyone else has clean white pained steel. I have two by fours and a large spider calling empty space. One where the dryer balls think they can hide.

But I’m smarter than the average dryer ball (NOT going there either) and I found the sucker, despite it’s best efforts to look small and innocent. Back into the dryer it went only to disappear again. Now Jeff is getting frustrated and I can’t find it. The sucker did a good job of hiding this time.

Now, for some reason, we washed the bed linens on Christmas Eve. Everything, including the mattress pad, and as we were late getting out the door to my parents house one of the last things we did was throw the bed back together in two minutes flat. Then out the door and off to dinner where we stayed till almost 11:30. By the time we got home and finished the last of the wrapping and got everyone into bed, and played Santa, we were pooped. It was nearly one AM when I in my kerchief and Jeff in his cap climbed into bed. And what to my wondering ears should I hear but “What the @#%&!”

There, under the sheet, under the mattress pad, lying in wait was one of those spiky blue balls. Lucky Jeff. So now he has two balls again!

Drop by tomorrow for the unveiling of my new contest to promote Little Red Riding Wolf’s release from Passion in Print Press on February 18th, 2012.

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My Husband Does the Laundry: A Modern Gothic Horror

Sensational Saturdays

a blog where I write whatever I feel like!

I started off Sensational Saturdays with the tale of the two dryer balls (cllick HERE for complete understanding of why Everyone Needs an Extra Pair of Balls), and in that story I told you I would tell the tale of my husband doing the laundry. That day is here.

We are not an extravagant family. In fact we are famous for being, as we like to call it, frugal. That’s why when I purchased the cashmere sweater, it was a big deal. I don’t own cashmere, I drool over it. I love the Mary Tyler Moore look. The idea that if I put it on and add a string of something that looks like pearls, I can elevate myself two levels in the pecking order at the PTA.

And cashmere is not inexpensive, despite foreign workers working their fingers to the bone for pennies, these sweaters still cost more than my usual cotton pullover. Still, I reminded myself, it is an investment. Cashmere is the power suit of the dressy casual woman. Wear it with denim and it says, “I have enough money to wear this and still fingerpaint”. Wear it with a tight A-line skirt and pumps and it says, “I’m sexy, but you’ll have to work for it”.

And it was on sale.

And I had an extra discount coupon.

The luscious shade of deep purple wool was mine.

And I was careful with it. I told you were are frugal, well, I never go to the dry  cleaner unless the item has sequins or is made of vintage silk. In other words, I haven’t been for at least ten years. So all my sweaters are hand wash. Now I’m a busy woman. I learned long ago that I could put my delicates into mesh bags and use the washing machine, then dry them flat and with a light bit of ironing almost everything looks fantastic. Even cashmere.

So the first few times I wore the sweater, washing was a breeze. I carefully zipped it into it’s little bag and lovingly reshaped it on my wooden drying rack back into the shape of a fifties movie star. And I power walked through the halls of the schools. Sexy, rich and unattainable in my on sale, hand washed, only one I own sweater.

And then I got a job.

And life got crazy.

Like all working women I had too much to balance. When I hadn’t been working I’d volunteered for too many things and now I didn’t feel like I could really let them all go. I had kids, dog, cat, volunteer stuff, writing, and oh yeah, my husband. He too demanded a piece of me. Something had to break.

Laundry was piling up in the basement and one day my wonderful husband said, “Why don’t I take over the laundry, you work on Saturdays and I’ll get it all done then.”

How could I turn that down?

I would go to work and while I was away all my piles of dirty laundry would disappear. I came home to paired socks and fresh undies. What sane woman would say no?

There were a few mishaps. I instructed my husband on how to wash bras, and other sundry items. How to read labels for the all important clues as to what went into the mesh bags, what needed hot and what needed cold. And he, being a man, listened with one ear and proceeded to do it his way.

He tried. He did. But there were so many things that needed special attention, and he shrank a few shirts that he really loved on me, so he tried harder. But then winter came. And out came the sweaters.

Now, to understand how the disaster happened you have to understand how a man’s brain works. And I don’t. But I can see the thought process ticking away.

Sweaters. Sweaters are big and bulky and have lots of cable knit. Jessica says sweaters need cold water and a bag and need to be laid flat. Okay. This is a sweater. But this small, delicate, fuzzy thing that is hiding under the other stuff is not.

I actually was home for the discovery.

My husband came upstairs, from the depths of the basement where our machines lurk, and he was holding something.It  was purple. And fuzzy.

“Why is there a football in the dryer?”

If you are a knitter you may understand what happens when you put a piece of wool and soap into the washing machine. It is a process called “felting” and fabric artists do it for a reason. It forms a near impenetrable surface. Water proof and warm. It turned my Mary Tyler Moore sweater into a Nerf Football.

No more slinking around the school corridors feeling superior.

In one day my husband had pulled the ladder of success out from under me and I was dumped out of the realm of the rich into the realm of reality.

After many losses and lessons we now have a system for delicates. Anything that doesn’t go in the dryer goes into the special laundry basket and then it goes directly into a mesh bag. It never touches the regular laundry pile. Ever. Anything in a mesh bag gets either hung up or dried flat.

And my husband still does the bulk of the laundry. I’m not crazy. You think I’d give up on a sweet deal like that just to wear a sweater like Mary Tyler Moore?

Tell me your laundry fiascos, I know you’ve got ’em!

 

 

 

 

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Why Everyone Needs an Extra Pair of Balls

Hi and welcome to Sensational Saturday’s!

I’ve found that there are all kinds of weird topics I want to blog about that aren’t writer/craft oriented, and they sure aren’t paranormal. Nope, they’re regular everyday stuff. Like dryer balls.

What? You heard me: dryer balls.

Every time I do the laundry I think “Who came up with these things and why are they blue?”

Yep, I have a pair of blue balls in my dryer. With spikes.

I gave up fabric softener a few months ago. I hate the cost and I want to put less chemicals into the environment. So I started adding vinegar and baking soda to the wash. (WARNING: Unless you want a Mentos explosion in your washing machine: Don’t put them in at the same time! I have a front loader with several small compartments for additives. I put the baking soda in with the laundry soap and the vinegar in the bleach compartment so they never mix.)

Supposedly baking soda softens your clothes and the vinegar takes care of the static cling. Well it doesn’t. I soon had crackling loads of laundry that knocked me on my butt every time I pulled apart a pair of socks. And don’t even get me started on the hair! I have very fine, long hair that actually stands twelve inches in the air when properly charged. Not very Mary Tyler Moore when folding clothes.

So I went looking for another solution, and found the balls. Several years ago they were on those infomercials. You could buy a pair for $19.99 (I’m guessing) and get a second pair free or maybe a third. Everyone needs three pairs of balls (you’ll find out why in a minute).

I hadn’t seen a commercial for them in a long time, so I headed out to the store. And there they were. In the laundry section. Pairs of sky blue balls that looked like soft plastic hedgehogs in clear wrappers. I blanched.

Do you mean I have to put these in the cart, next to my coffee filters and feminine hygiene products? Actually place my plastic wrapped balls on the counter where someone (usually a teenage male) will pick them up and make me pay for them? No way!

So I stood in the laundry section. Looking at two rows of packaged poky balls trying to decide if saving money on my fabric softener was worth it. In the end, I placed them in the cart and bought my very first pair of blue balls. Then I took them home and presented them to my husband.

You see in my house, ninety percent of the time, my husband does the laundry. (We’ll cover that another day.) So I needed to instruct him in the proper use of the balls. He picked them up and rolled them around.

“What are these for again?”

“To cut out the static cling, we’re still adding baking soda for softening.”

“Why do they have the spikes?”

“I have no idea.”

“And why are they blue?” Okay, we had a long discussion, that you can have with your own laundry partner, about why the manufacturing company chose blue. Suffice to say that now we use the balls.

Now my husband endevours to do the laundry utilizing the latest craziness introduced by his wife. Have I mentioned how tolerant he is of my idiosyncrasies? And one day he comes to me and says “I’ve lost one of my balls.”

Say what?

It seems the dryer balls like to hide. Inside the pockets of fitted sheets. Inside coat pockets. Inside of the net thingie that lines men’s swimming trunks. You get the picture. We still haven’t found that first ball. I think its lurking in a drawer somewhere waiting to jump out and scare the living &*@! out of us. So again I went to the store, and faced the clerk. This time I purchased two pairs and I’m grateful every time I do the laundry because inevitably I have my head stuck in the dryer looking for that third ball.

We’re down to three.

I don’t know what happened to the rest. I suspect it’s like socks.

Thanks for joining me on my meanderings. If you use dryer balls, leave a comment. Even if you don’t, leave a comment anyway!

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