Tag Archives: Jeans

Rachael’s Resolutions

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay.

In 2012, I revolutionized the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions. Instead of lying through my teeth about diets, exercise and tiresome niceness, I included only promises I could keep.

Still, I didn’t accomplish all my goals. I kept a pair of gloves intact, forgetting to lose one of every pair. I remembered to charge my phone before it quit four times that year. Despite my efforts to destroy the previous Christmas’s poinsettias, one still lives. I didn’t kill it completely, though judging from its appearance, it probably wishes I had.

Given these failures, an attack of perfectionism prevented me from attempting resolutions again.

But I’ve recovered. Noble aspirations for 2024 are listed below:

I promise to harmonize with background music in stores. Singing is gluten-free, contains zero calories and harbors no toxic substances (if on key).

While I may not be the best snow shoveler, I find ways to have fun.

Shoveling snow, I’ll throw half our driveway’s gravel into the yard. Come spring, I’ll pick up 15 percent and let Hubby’s lawnmower retrieve the rest.

I’ll wear only mom jeans, sparing myself and the rest of the world any attempts at wearing skinnies. Instead, I’ll move up a pants size. Moving up is a promotion, right?

I will not label freezer items. Plus, if I’m careful to maintain its chaos, a ten-pound unknown will tumble out every time I open it.

Image by Maayan2007 from Pixabay.

I’ll continue to laugh too loud at our pastor’s jokes on Sunday morning. Sorry, fellow church members, but my laughter comes in one-size-fits-all.

I will growl at the gas gods, whether they zap my pocketbook or lower prices and mess with the world economy.

I’ll never open the front window at drive-throughs without opening a back one first.

I will introduce my grandchildren to a new form of sugar their folks have banned.

I’ll bore my grandkids with “when I was a girl” stories. (The last time I did this, one grandson asked if I knew Betsy Ross.)

I will hand out free smiles, no limits, and no coupon needed.

I won’t change a single light bulb, even if we’re cast into outer darkness. Hubby needs to feel needed.

Finally, I will leave at least one cell phone unmuted, one car horn braying for no reason, and one zipper unzipped at the worst possible moments of 2024.

Too lofty a list?

Sigh. Perfectionism strikes again. …

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What doable resolutions will you make for 2024?

A Clothesline Chat

Image by AlkeMade from Pixabay.

On a blue-sky morning with a delicious summer breeze, don’t you want to hit the beach?

Image by Willi Heidelbach from Pixabay.

Me, too. (Sigh.) Instead, I meet our clean-underwear quota.

I remember clotheslines with chorus lines of jigging jeans. Wind-chubby, upside-down shirts. Billowing sheets sailing in a heavenly sky-ocean. My siblings and I flitted in and out of a blue-and-white world.

As I stuff wet laundry into the dryer, yesterdays hover like butterflies.

We were crazed moths, drawn to clean laundry like a flame. Fresh from the playground, we plopped into laundry baskets. The clothes didn’t mind grassy, muddy hugs, but Mom did.

Image by Adriano Gadini from Pixabay.

We despised bedtime, but clean sheets’ sunny smell reminded us we could play outdoors tomorrow.

When I helped Mom, clothespins chomped my fingers like miniature monsters. A determined little laundress, I learned to pinch them instead.

Everyone possessed a clothesline, then. For big families like ours, every day was a potential wash-and-dry day — if the sun appeared. Sometimes, he’d shine while we filled lines with clothes, then played hooky. Worse, he conspired with rowdy, storm-cloud friends, who gleefully doused a morning’s hard work. When the sun left for Florida in December, clothes morphed into stiff, frozen aliens that refused to fit into a basket.

No wonder we — and much of America — greeted dryers with enthusiasm. Clotheslines became an endangered species.

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Recently, however, their number has increased, mostly for ecological reasons.

Despite her neighborhood association’s rules, Susan Taylor of Bend, Oregon, set up a clothesline. She became the star of a neighbor’s covert photographing sessions. Even after Susan screened her offensive laundry behind backyard trees, then a curtain in her open garage, the association filed a lawsuit against her.

Susan and others nationwide won their point, though, because Oregon and 18 other states now ban bans on clotheslines.

Image by Jay Mantri from Pixabay.

I don’t own one, mostly because Hubby’s too busy to install it. But I’d like to fulfill our clean-underwear quota with a clothesline, hanging them behind sheets, as Mom taught me. I could return to that heavenly, blue-and-white world, then snuggle at night into sun-kissed sheets smelling of a fresh tomorrow.

Unlike Susan, I live where people care more about each other than the way they dry clothes.

Her neighborhood’s dirty laundry has been aired all over the Internet. I wonder … have they learned to be neighbors yet?

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever used a clothesline?

Trends: Losers and Winners

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.
Image by Olya Lolé from Pixabay.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “trend” as “a general movement” or “a current style or preference.”

Sounds simple. Yet, anyone who’s studied human behavior for five minutes knows better.

Take, for example, the current fad of torn jeans, some composed of more air than cloth. Designer rip-offs boast price tags approaching a thousand dollars.

Others on my what-are-we-thinking list:

  • Bacon ice cream. Like pleasant people from different planets who should never marry, these two yummy foods should never share a carton.
Image by David Karich from Pixabay.
  • Cyclists wearing earbuds. Don’t these people want to live long enough to know how the song ends?
  • Man buns. Somebody, hide the bobby pins and hairspray. Please.
  • Sleep trackers. Rumpelstiltskin never wore a Fitbit, and he slept so well nobody could wake him for 20 years.
  • Shoes minus socks. During a Midwest winter? Though we could start a new, exciting trend of blue feet as chic accessories. …
  • Gambling TV ads. At least, the IRS is forthright about taking our money.
Image by Milesl from Pixabay.
  • Finally, antler chandeliers. Neither Bambi nor I like this trend. Especially when they cost up to $3,000.

By now, you assume this GOL (Grumpy Old Lady) disses current culture as a favorite hobby.

It’s fun. Below, however, I do list trends that hopefully will endure:

  • Mom jeans haven’t yet topped the torn-jeans fad. Still, I’ve informed my daughters their mother is a fashionista.
  • Excellence in women’s sports. No girls’ team was formed at my huge high school until I was a senior. Now, I watch young women compete with joy (and secret gladness I never worked that hard).
  • The coffee craze. May Mr. Coffee, Mr. Keurig and Mr. Starbucks continue forever.
  • Plentiful public restrooms. During shopping trips when my children were small, we raced madly to the library restroom, our only refuge. Thank God, some businesses got wise. Decades later, my races have resumed, and I can’t always make it to the library.
Image by Natalija Tschelej-Krebich from Pixabay.
  • A “my pleasure” response to a customer’s thank-you instead of “no problem.”
  • Delivery service and free shipping.
  • Church services streamed for those who can’t attend.
  • Tunic tops and ponchos. They cover a multitude of sins.
  • Excellent male fashion insight. Most men reject rompers as possible summer wear. Thanks, guys!

Now, don’t you feel better already?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What trends should go away? Which should stay?

Gripes vs. Gratitude

Do you enjoy a good gripe?

Me, too. The recent election itches like a mosquito bite. I scratch and complain as if that will make it all better.

Maybe, as Mom often said, I should leave it alone so it will heal?

Better yet, applying something soothing — like gratitude — speeds the process. Even …

Gratitude for Weird Things

For example, I’m thankful pumpkins don’t grow on trees. Falling pumpkins every autumn would prove traumatic. Messier to rake, too.

I’m thankful for Indianapolis International Airport shuttle buses. Even when passengers can’t remember in which state they landed — let alone, parking row numbers — drivers remain courteous and coherent. Which is more than I am at midnight.

As we’re discussing air travel, I give thanks for screaming babies. They make me grateful to be old.

Not too old, though, to appreciate new bell bottoms for which I paid $4.80. Retro fashion, retro price! The only down side: the last time I wore bell bottoms, I didn’t, um, possess one.

Still thinking retro, I’m grateful I no longer endure home permanents or soup-can curlers.

I’m thankful, too, that unlike my first year of driving (two wrecks), I have driven accident-free for years.

I remind myself to give thanks at stoplights for drivers with honking disease. They strip away any religious façade: Will I swear or pray?

So far, prayers way outnumber swear words — though a few prayers have consisted of, “Lord, strike that guy’s battery dead.”

Oops. My “gratitude” is beginning to itch.

Changing the subject … I am grateful for Britisher Thomas Hancock (1786-1865), who invented elastic. At Thanksgiving, real waistlines might prove fatal.

I am incredibly thankful for my favorite Thanksgiving foods: pie, pie and pie! I’m also blessed with my sweet mother-in-law, a wonderful pie baker. And my kind father-in-law.

Also, my funny, ornery, 91-year-old dad. When I phone, he always answers, “Rachael who?” As long as he doesn’t turn polite, I don’t worry.

Speaking of near and dear, I should express gratitude that my love is not a vampire. Or zombie. Just a camper. Though some friends would rather deal with the other alternatives, I’m happy with my guy. Among other considerations, he pumps gas, even if I’m driving. Always.

I’m also thankful that as empty nesters, we no longer must be good examples. Feet on the furniture, supper in front of TV, yelling at referees — life together is good.

Fortunately, our children and their spouses are good examples. They have given us seven awesome grandkids who have taught us peace and quiet are highly overrated.

We are so thankful. When I think of those blessings and a gazillion more …

What gripes?

 

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What reasons for gratitude help dissolve your gripes?

In Praise of Blue Jeans

Packing for a weekend trip, I panicked. No sign of my favorite jeans!

I dumped the clothes hamper. Searched my closet. Rummaged dresser drawers where my multi-size jean collection resides, waiting for me to lose anywhere from five to 75 pounds.

I later discovered my truant jeans sulking in the dryer. Having taken them for granted, I promised to mend my ways. Hence, this blog post.

During college, I was a blue jeans girl.

I wore my first pair at age five in Mexico, loving their multicolored embroidery. When my missionary family returned to the States, we noticed little girls rarely wore jeans. So, upon outgrowing my Mexican pants, I donned starchy dresses. Not a problem; boring U.S. jeans couldn’t compare to my dear, departed, south-of-the-border favorites.

After years of white Levis, I bought blue jeans during high school. However, they were considered inappropriate for school events, even ball games. When our local school board finally got radical, they permitted pantsuits — not jeans.

Upon entering college, though, I discovered pantsuits were outlawed. Jeans comprised the official campus uniform. When someone robbed my dormitory washer, my near-zero bank balance left me with only one pair of jeans till Christmas. I became an early advocate of grunge.

After finals, I chased my jeans to wash them. Strengthened by long-accustomed grubby splendor, they escaped me for a few blocks. But they and a few other rarely-washed pairs remained true friends throughout college.

However, I didn’t fully appreciate jeans until married with three little kids. Wearing darling denim overalls, my children qualified for Cute Baby of the Year, regardless. What other clothing in my own wardrobe cheerfully endured the perils of finger paint, squishy banana, baby drool and toddler unmentionables? Our magic jeans looked almost as good washed as unwashed — though that might have been due to their stained state, plus frequent, long-term residence in the washer or dryer.

Another virtue of blue jeans: they go with everything. They’re easily coupled with a purple T-shirt, orange lace bustier, tiger-striped socks, peacock feather boa — or all of the above.

However, the fashion world is achieving new lows: Torn jeans appear on the world’s most stylish runways.

Me? I personally don’t give a rip.

Nor can I advocate the other extreme. According to Guinness World Records, Escada’s Couture Jeans — studded with Swarovski crystals — are the most expensive pair commercially available at $10,000.

Not even these developments outrage me, though, like “skinnies,” designed for people who haven’t eaten since 1999.

Whatever happened to “relaxed fit”? Let’s mount a protest. In good, old, 1960s fashion, let’s conduct a sit-in.

First, though, I have to unbutton my jeans. …

 

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do you own a favorite pair of jeans?