Laundry Blues!

January 31, 2010

So I have a bit of a mystery. I think I may have figured it out, but am not completely sure. For a while now I’ve noticed little pin holes turning up in our cotton knits-mostly Jay’s t-shirts and occasionally my underwear. They’re kind of everywhere on the effected articles of clothing-not just in the same spot. It almost looks like its been shot with buckshot or something-a random scatter pattern -on the front, back, top and bottom. ONLY on cotton knits-not regular cotton clothing, wool etc.

Kind of looks like moth holes huh? I thought so too and freaked out! Ick! Bugs? Are you kidding me?!!! I haven’t seen moths flying out of our dresser drawers, but was nervous so I decided to look online for help. I searched under “holes in clothing”. Woah! There were lots of people having similar problems. There is one site, Garden Web, which has been having people writing in about this since 2006! These folks are quite distressed and from time to time tempers flare. Let me tell you, there are tons of theories out there about what is going on. However, not everyone’s situation matches ours. For example, lots of people only seem to get holes in their shirts around the belly button area, which lead to a the “belly -button bug” explanation (Heeheehee!) So some victims of this phenomenon believe that there is some sort of bug, fungus, etc. that lives in our belly buttons and comes out from time to time to eat holes in our cotton knits. Hmmm……..Anyway, a more credible theory is that it is some sort of bug-not the dreaded belly-button bug- but moths or carpet bettles-are doing the damage. Indeed, one might not even see any evidence of moths flying around, yet they could still be there. However, the moth larva would leave little web like casings on the clothing or you might find some sign or bug bits-wings, body bits etc- in the bottom of the dresser drawers. Web looking stuff on clothing? Well, first of all let me just say that I am NOT a big fan of spiders. I’ve tried to make many treaties with them in the past. You know, like I see one in the house and don’t squash it immediately, but go to the trouble of capturing it to release it outside. I make sure I announce to my little prisoner of war “I’m going to let you go this time but you guys need to stay outside. I won’t bother you there, but you can not come into the house…. OR ELSE!” I’m hoping he will promptly tell all his spider cronies about the deal…..However, spiders are notorious treaty breakers. It hasn’t really worked out how I might have hoped. Soooooo…..believe me- if I ever saw web type things on our clothes I would assume that my old enemies had invaded and were living in my dressers. In which case I would undoubtedly be writing this blog from a nice relaxing institution somewhere. Needless to say, there are no web type cocoons on our clothes. I did pull all of our clothing out of the dressers and peer at the bottom of the drawers with a flashlight-no bug evidence anywhere. I quickly unfolded t-shirts-trying to sneak up on the bugs unaware-Nope, nothing.

So I went back to Garden Web to read that the new type front loading washers sometimes can cause the damage. They have all those little pin holes in the drum for extracting water during the spin cycle. The theory is that during spin cycles the clothing is pulled into the holes. Sometimes the holes are sharp but often it is just that the force of the spin is too strong and cotton knit fibers are broken in the process. In a knit of course this would result in unraveling and hence the holes. Bummer-I thought front loaders were supposed to be much more gentle on our clothes. As I read on I found that people also seem to think the new fangled HE detergents are too strong and though they get our clothes squeaky clean, while brightening whites and colors alike, they weaken the fibers and make breakage more likely to occur. What?! Is this some sort of conspiracy?!! So, I’m not really sure it is the washer, though I’m leaning that way over the bug idea. We have a Maytag Neptune Washer-front loading-from about 2000. It was here when Jay bought the house. The majority of the clothing that is effected is clothing we wear a lot and thus wash frequently. However, some of the items are rather new, so its not just like the clothing “wore out”. I don’t know what to do to be honest….do we need a new washer or an exterminator? Hmmm……….

Christmas 2009

January 2, 2010

Christmas Crow

Christmas was great! There were a few glitches leading up to the day….like the one on December 23rd. I woke up to get ready for work at 6 a.m. and as I stumbled out to the kitchen to get my coffee, I heard John showering downstairs. “Wow” I thought, “he sure is up early today.” Then I realized that John was in Cleveland, not showering in our basement. I dashed downstairs to find a flood! The culprit was our humidifier. I guess all things considered it wasn’t a terrible flood. Jay got busy with the wet/dry vac right away and we were able to get everything out mostly unscathed. Water did not reach any of our recent renovations or thankfully the studio with all of Jay’s guitars and various electronics and stopped mere inches from all of the Christmas prezzies waiting to be wrapped. One of the boxes did get a bit wet-it held Gimlet’s big Christmas prezzie-a slumber ball. We went ahead and let him open it early so that we could check it for water damage. Luckily it was packaged in plastic and was fine. Without a doubt it was Gimlet’s favorite gift.

Unwrapping the slumber ball.

Unwrapping the slumber ball

Gimlet chillin in the slumber ball

Both sets of parents came for dinner on Christmas Day. We served Beef Wellington, mashed potatoes with a creamy dijon gravy, and green beans with a bacon shallot dressing. For dessert I made a pistachio pear tart. We also had some great pies that Jay’s Mom brought and my parents brought along a coconut Smith Island cake that my Aunt Deenie had made. It was the first Beef Wellington I had ever attempted and really wasn’t as hard as I imagined it might be. A lot of prep work went into it, but it only took about 40 minutes to cook. The meat was very tender. We had found a new butcher-the Organic Butcher of McLean- and think that may be a big reason the meat was so tasty. The gravy has to be flambĂ©ed….first time I’ve ever done that as well. Jay had the fire extinguisher at the ready! Luckily it was not needed.

Beef Wellington

Rustic Pear Tart

The next morning, St. Stephen’s Day!-we had the parents back for a brunch and then my brother Russ, his wife Jen and their kids Riley and Jason stopped by. That was fantastic! The kids were adorable and we had great fun watching them with their prezzies. The big hit was the Radio Flyer Retro Rocket. Technically we gave it to Jason, but Riley was quite taken with it as well.

Jason with his rocket

Singing Princess

That evening we held our St. Stephen’s Day party. Thanks to everyone who stopped by! We had a great time.

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