April 6, 2019:

Hola!

The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry

I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!

All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired

Jan

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Part 2: I Nearly Strangled Myself With A Duvet Cover

My Brilliant Idea.  Isn't that the name of a movie???  Should  have shot myself when I had the chance - 'cept I don't own a gun.  I don't think a squirt gun would quite do it.

Brilliant Idea:  USE A WHITE DUVET COVER UNDERNEATH THE WHITE-ISH IKEA DUVET COVER TO HIDE THE WHITE-ISH JACQUELYN SMITH COMFORTER!

I eagerly dived into my (am proud to say), organized but much smaller linen closet than I used to have at the former Maison Newton, so I donated a lot of things and guess what -- my full-sized plain white duvet cover was one of them.  BUT --

I still have a twin size plain white duvet cover.

No, you're saying, oh no Jan, you didn't. YOU DIDN'T!

Yes, I did.

What's that song -- you put the spell on me, baby, ooohhhh oooooooowwhhooo, you put the spell on me...



The Ikea duvet was calling my name, and I was powerless to resist.  I hauled out that twin-sized white duvet cover, and ironed the heck out of it:


And ironed, and ironed, and ironed...  Seems no matter what I did, more wrinkles appeared than disappeared.  Hmmm....

I finally gave up and hauled it into the mistress bedroom and proceeded to wrestle with -- are you ready for this -- a DIFFERENT COMFORTER -- that I pulled out of storage, cuz I knew my Jacquelyn Smith comforter would not fit into the twin size white duvet cover.  So, nope, I instead used a big fat puffy but somewhat smaller "full" size of comforter -- black and beige paisley print on one side, beige and black stripes on the other --


And then I huffed, and I stuffed, and I fluffed, and puffed and - actually, I huffed and puffed a lot.  Eventually, I got to this:


At this point, I asked myself "Why on earth would anyone want to sleep in a bed that looks like this???"

But, I am nothing, if not stiff-necked stubborn determined, and so I persevered.  By the time I got the duvet looking half-way smooth, I was exhausted.  Too tired to wrestle with the Ikea duvet cover, which was already filling me with deep forboding of what was to come, I fluffed and huffed and stuffed and puffed up the pillows and went to bed with things more or less looking like this:


It doesn't look too bad (from a distance), but it's wrinkled.  I don't like wrinkles.

I thought about nixing the entire idea of duvet covers, and hemmed and hawed for several days.  The covered comforter was unceremoniously tossed into the guest room the next morning and I returned my beloved Jacquelyn Smith comforter to its rightful bed in the boudouir.  If this was going to work at all, I needed to get a full size white cover for my Jacquelyn Smith comforter to try and hide the black toile pattern.

So, after girding my figurative loins, I went shopping online.

I ultimately purchased a full/queen size comforter set (came with two pillow covers) at Overstock for $29.99 -- microfibre.  It IS very soft and silky feeling, I'll say that for the product, and it arrived within about a week (standard shipping).

I laundered it THREE times -- and still could not remove the smut that was on it -- a supposedly brand new duvet cover arrived looking like it had spent some hard time in a bordello.  Oh come on, I thought, that will wash out!  Oxy-Clean gets out everything!

WRONG.

You say - why did you not return it?  I say - why would I pay more to ship it back than it's worth?

At least I know now it is clean.  The final time, I put it on extra-super-duper wash (tap water temperature) and I added a smidegon of bleach to the water despite I should not use it on microfiber.  Didn't make any difference. The smut was still there when it came out of the washer.  I'm thinking if I ever now wash it in hot water, it will dissolve...

But, I assured myself, since I would be wrapping this within the lovely Ikea duvet cover, some sanitized smut wouldn't make any difference...

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