Our Story

Our brains never stop thinking about stuff. Random stuff, weird stuff, funny stuff, important stuff. This is the place where we share this stuff with you.

Laundry in 5 Easy Steps

Laundry is actually 5 seperate jobs. Hear me out. 

Sorting: This is the first step of laundry and by far the stinkiest (unless you are washing wool and then getting it out of the washer is the stinkiest.) This can also be either the easiest or the hardest. If you are like me, you do not sort your laundry because you do not buy anything light colored. Sorting problem solved!

If you aren’t an animal, then you buy a variety of colors and must sort them. Or you are washing heavy clothes and lightweight clothes. Or a dizzying combination of all this. And then there are baby clothes and gross work/sport clothes. Delicates (ha! Who has delicates? I want to meet her and then I want to be her because she has skills when it comes to living life and doing laundry.)

Sorting can be where the task of laundry gets derailed. One interruption can throw the entire process off, especially if you don’t want to do it in the first place.

I forgot linens! I know people who are scandalized at the idea of washing linens with regular clothes. I wash swim clothes and beach towels all together because they all get stinky pretty quickly and/or they are full of sand. Also, a couple of our ‘beach towels’ are actually cheap blankets I got at IKEA. 

Washing: I knew a woman who, when she ran short of money, washed her clothes in her bathtub and dried them on a drying rack in her kitchen. Washing machines are the dream millions of women over thousands of years have been waiting for. There are still millions of women on this planet who do not have access to one. Washing machines make me very, very, very happy. I use a coin-op one in the laundry room across the parking lot of the apartment building I live in. It is ancient, in the process of shredding our clothes and regularly unravels the hems on our towels and washcloths. I love it. 

It is top loading so I dump the contents of the laundry basket into it, sprinkle on some detergent, feed it 5 quarters and then go about my business. The water heater heats the water, the agitator tears my clothes and linens to pieces and then it whirs at a blinding speed to get so much of the water out my clothes often dry very quickly. I don’t boil water or stir stinky clothes or burn myself wringing out wet clothes. It’s fucking awesome, by far my favorite part of doing laundry.

Drying: Here’s where I tend to fall off the pace. I do minimal sorting and as I said, I love all the washer does for me but getting the clothes out of the washer and into the dryer and then out of the dryer is a challenge. One day, about a decade ago, my mom said, “You aren’t going to believe this, I left the clothes in the dryer overnight.” And I said, “Well there goes another pillar of Western Civilization.” As predictable as the patriarchy, my mother timed her wash. Nothing lingered above 5 minutes in either the washer or dryer. I have, more than once, left clothes in the washer so long they either dried out or got so stinky I had to rewash them. I appreciate the dryer because hanging out clothes gives me a crick in my neck and since I live in an urban area, clothes dried outside have a certain unpleasant scent of burned petroleum. Also, towels get super scratchy when line dried. So here is, for me, where the slowdown begins.

Folding: I wonder how many hours (days, weeks, months) of my life I have spent folding clothes. I folded clothes with my mom when I was a kid so I know the old school drill (one that I do not in any way follow). When I was a kid laundry was done on Saturday because Sunday was reserved for going to the mall. We got up, everyone sorter their own clothes and then my sister and I took turns doing the general leg work of schlepping clothes out to the washer (avocado green, as was the dryer, matched set, natch) and then transferring them to the dryer before bringing them into my mom’s sewing room. There was a recliner, a sewing cabinet (wherein an avocado green sewing machine from Sears resided), a giant bookshelf full of books and an ironing board that was up most of my childhood. Here we would fold the clothes while they were still warm or we would iron them if they needed it. My mom did most of the ironing but I did pillowcases and the top hem of the top sheets so they would lie flat when the beds were made. Despite all this cleanliness, no one in my family made their beds everyday. You made it once a week when you put on new sheets then wallowed around in a mass of linens until the next saturday. You got one organized night before six nights of chaos ensued. 

I do not fold my clothes this way. I stand around and mostly watch something on Netflix until it is time to do something time sensitive like give baths or make food or drive someone somewhere and the clothes get shoved back into the laundry basket. Then we paw like rabid animals through the baskets looking for whatever clean thing we need. My mom never once criticized this system, even though I was raised to do better. 

Full disclosure, this morning I was lazing in bed rather than getting up and making an actual breakfast for Six and I patted the bunched up edge of the pillowcase next to me and thought, “This really needs to be ironed.” If thoughts do indeed lead to action, I will be ironing my pillowcases soon. I will never admit it.

Put Away: This step is a bit of a unicorn for me. I have gotten better at getting the clothes away and the linens into the cupboard over the past year. I do have hope that this will become a regular occurrence. There is something soothing about getting everything into place where it’s easily accessible, rather than having people dumping out laundry baskets at 7:15AM, frantically looking for socks that somewhat match.

A person can dream.

A Discovery of Witches

I could have sworn I wrote up a post urging everyone to watch A Discovery of Witches on either AMC or Sundance Now but I can’t find it. So here is a short poke in the ribs to watch this show. It is very well done. Although I do have to say that I wish the blue coat was shorter. I just think it is too long but that is me being fussy. You’ll see what I mean when you watch the first episode.

Loretta Chase

Loretta Chase is considered one of the best romance fiction writers of all time. I have loved her books for years and have recently taken on the enjoyable task of rereading all her novels. Read more

Corn and Chicken Sausage Chowder

I made more soup! And this one is very good. Corn and Chicken Sausage Chowder is another frankenrecipe. I really need to start following recipes again because it is a lot of work to write out your own recipes with ingredients and directions. Here are my directions: peel, cut, boil, stir, try not to burn yourself. Just kidding, I’ll write better ones below. Read more

Emotional financial planning

The Index Card

The Index Card by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack gives solid advice to people who worry about their financial life but have very little time and money to spend on it. That’s pretty much everyone I know.

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Ban Christmas Cards

It is a tradition in my family to move a fully decorated Christmas tree. Most every woman in my family has done it once (I think my aunt Wanda did it twice but that is because she has moved over 50 times.)

I’m sure if you spend a few minutes thinking about it, you too will come up with some similarly deranged holiday tradition your family engages in.

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Persistiny swag

SWAG!

Swag! It used to be the only swag I liked was a free pen. Everything else irritated me. I received two shopping totes in one day last week and donated both of them. I look dumb in baseball hats because (through no fault of my own) I have a big head and I look like that kid in the Hey Arnold! cartoons when I wear them.  Tshirts? Not unless they are low necked and dark colored. And there should be a law banning me from wearing polo shirts. Polypropylene tote bags, flash drives, stress balls? Nope. Nope. Nope.

So when we talked about things to put our logo on, I was stumped. Read more

Aileen and Felicia in matching shirts

Our First Conference: Part 2

This may seem weird, but one of the things I’ve been looking forward to most about starting a business with Aileen, is attending conferences.  I love conferences, at least small, relatively obscure ones. Not massive gatherings. I don’t like crowds, or lines. It’s an opportunity for a diverse group of people, with a common interest to come together and learn from one another.  When Aileen was writing romance a few years back, I would go to conferences with her. I don’t write and I don’t particularly like or read romance novels, but I LOVED going to those conferences. I would sit in on sessions that I knew nothing about and just listen. Read more

Persistiny ConnectHer Conference 2018

Conference!

We went to a conference! In Las Vegas! And we were in bed by 7:30PM but that is because fun places are generally wasted on us. That being said, we got a lot out of the conference. And when I say we got a lot out of it, I mean it because aside from a few goofy mom jokes and links to the post where I complained about my bras never fitting (I may have talked someone into starting a company that makes 3D printed bras) no one learned a thing from us. We are so new to this. But that is the great thing about conferences, people show up to share their knowledge and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Felicia and I split up so we could go to twice as many workshops. This was difficult for us since when we are with a mile of each other we want to be right next to each other but we adulted and went our separate ways.

I learned the basics of how to make videos using smartphones from the knowledgeable and very patient Cielo de la Paz. Cielo taught half a dozen adults with half a dozen different requirements how to feel confident enough to begin using their smartphones to make videos. And she did it in about 45 minutes. If you are interested in making videos with your smartphone, head on over to her webpage The Storyographist and get to learning.

I then sat down with AK and Diamond. What absolute dumb luck that I decided to attend their session. I learned more about blogging in that hour than I have learned in the past 6 months or so of floundering around on my own. After years of fashion blogging, AK and Diamond decided they had more to say. They wanted to continue talking about fashion but they were done being limited by that niche. Most blogging advice begins with “find your niche.” AK and Diamond knew enough and had enough faith in their abilities to ignore that and go their own way. They are the first to begin nicheless blogging. They talk about what they want, when they want. It is their page, they pay for it, they do all the work to keep it alive and thriving and they decide what they will talk about. Being over 40, there was something about their idea that rang a familiar bell. Nicheless blogging seemed to be a new take on a tired idea. AK and Diamond seem to have developed an online newspaper. No need to skip from blog to blog to get a variety of topics. Just  Bloggers: No Explanations is one page with many topics to choose from. And if that isn’t enough, they have an outstanding ecourse about nicheless blogging as well as many genuinely useful posts about getting starting and keeping going as a blogger. There’s a lot of useless crap out there about blogging. These women are not going to waste your time. If you have been thinking about blogging, this post is an excellent place to start.

Next week Felicia will talk about the people she met and then it will be like you were there! Except you didn’t drink as much as we did or go to bed at such an embarrassingly early hour.

Custom made bra

Custom-made Bra

I have big boobs. This is not bragging. One boob is bigger than the other boob and therefore neither boob is ever happy in the bras I buy for them.

I get fitted at fancy places and buy a bra for over a hundred dollars. One of the boobs is unhappy. I order four bras, none of them costing more than 25 dollars, both of the boobs are unhappy. I get fitted at a more reasonably priced place, buy a bra for 40 dollars and end up with this weird full coverage bra that doesn’t work because the front rises up when I sit down and my bra shows above the V neck shirt or dress I am wearing. AND one boob is unhappy. Read more