Saturday, November 1, 2014

Mother-In-Law, Daughter-In-Law Face Off Over Laundry

Dear Tazi:

I am having an argument with my mother-in-law, “Joan”, and we are hoping that you can settle it for us.  What is the correct way to do laundry?  I was always taught to separate the clothes into loads of darks, lights, and whites; running each load in the “permanent press” cycle.  Joan believes that you also need to separate the loads by fabric weight and utilize the “heavyweight” and “delicate” cycles, as well.

“Joan” is horrified over the way I wash her son’s clothes, believing that her way is the best.  I say Joan’s way just creates more work and wastes energy by making for smaller loads of laundry, and more of them.  Who is right?

Laundered Out Out West

Dear Laundered Out Out West:

I have to say that yours is one of the more interesting letters I have received on a practical household problem, and I thank you for sending it! To answer your question, you are both correct.

To wash your brights – especially reds – with your whites is to invite discoloration of your fabrics; not to mention that washing your darks in hot water can cause them to fade. On this the two of you agree so there is no argument to settle!

This is what my litter-mate looked like 
after a washing in hot water!

To separate by both color and fabric weight creates twice as many loads of laundry (if not more) with less laundry per load and while I realize that you can adjust the load size to save on water, you are still using electricity to power the washer for each load.  On this point, you are correct.  However, Joan also has a point. 

 I am not trying to be diplomatic in saying this, but practical; lingerie and other undergarments can be damaged on a cycle with a faster agitation speed.  I learned this the hard way when Mommie needed me to help her with the laundry (imagine, asking your cat to help you with the laundry!) and I was too lazy to sort.  The point goes to Joan here. 

The solution to your problem would be to ask your husband how he prefers his clothes to be washed – and if he prefers his Mama’s way of doing it to let her do his laundry!  Think of it as a load (or two) off of your busy schedule.


P.S.  Always remember to check the pockets before you launder!
And don't forget the fabric softener!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fun Halloween Facts From The Black Cat!

Greetings, Readers!

A Happy Halloween/All Hallow's Eve to all who celebrate!  Here in America, Halloween is a big deal - it is the second highest retail grossing holiday in the country, second only to Christmas!  In honor of this time of excess (and chocolate - lots and lots of chocolate!) I present to you today some fun facts about the history of Halloween and its traditions!

1. Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out food to appease spirits who roamed the streets during Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year. Ireland is generally accepted as the birthplace of Halloween!

2. Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Celtic Samhain holiday.
I is scary!  RAWR!
3. Trick-or-treating dates back to the Middle Ages! “Souling” is a medieval Christian precursor to modern-day trick-or-treating. On Hallowmas (November 1, now known as All Saints Day), the poor would go door-to-door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for soul cakes, a sweet and tasty treat!

4. Because Protestant England did not believe in Catholic saints, the rituals traditionally associated with Halloween were originally associated with Guy Fawkes Day on November 5th!

Remember, remember the 5th of November...
5.  A Rhode Island man holds the record for world's largest pumpkin, which weighed in at 2,009 pounds (911 kg).  It is the first pumpkin ever recorded to break the one ton mark!  (Sorry, not a Halloween History fact; being a Rhode Island native, I had to brag!).

6.  Halloween is not a universally celebrated holiday (France sees it as an American celebration).  In Mexico, the days following Halloween - All Saints Day and All Souls Day - are celebrated as Los Días de los Muertos, the Days of the Dead.  Teng Chieh or the Lantern Festival is how Halloween is celebrated in China. Animal shaped lanterns are hung around houses and in the streets to help spirits back to their earthly homes. 

7.   In 1950, Philadelphia-based trick-or-treaters traded in a sweet tooth for a sweet action. In lieu of candy, residents collected change for children overseas and sent it to UNICEF. Subsequently, the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program was born.

8.  Bobbing for apples actually started as part of the entertainments of the Roman tradition of harvest festivals that honored Pomona, Goddess of the Harvest.

9.  In most countries that celebrate Halloween, black cats are thought to be unlucky as they are thought to be witch's familiars.  In England, the same is thought about white cats, instead of black cats.
I subordinates to nobody!
10. Legend has it that the jack-o’-lantern began with an Irish man named Jack, who was too stingy to be allowed into Heaven and too much of a troublemaker to join the Devil in Hell. When Jack died, the Devil threw him a lighted coal, which Jack placed inside a turnip he was eating. To this day, Jack continues to use the coal to light his path as he searches for a final resting place.

Gracious thanks to and for their fun facts about Halloween!  

Snuggles and a Happy Halloween from the Black Cat!!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Candy Is Dandy; But A Child's Smile Is Still Sweeter

Dear Tazi-Kat:

Halloween is approaching, and when I think of what happened to me last year I get so angry that I could eat iron and poop nails! I would like some advice as to how to resolve the situation, should it occur again this year.

Every year for Halloween, I give out full-sized chocolate bars to the many children in my neighborhood. Last October, a black family moved into the neighborhood, and come Halloween the children imported several friends and family members, all of whom went trick-or-treating with them! I had enough candy to cover the large influx (I always buy extra, because I never know how many children will come to my door), but the point of the matter is that these children are not from my neighborhood! I believe that children should trick-or-treat in their own neighborhood, and not drive to the best neighborhoods in the city hoping for better candy.

My husband says I am overreacting, and to provide for all children who arrive at our door on Halloween night. Who do you say is right, Tazi-Kat? And if you agree with me, what should I do if I get a pack of outsiders on my doorstep this year?

Sugar Mama

Dear Sugar Mama:

Deciding who is correct - you or your husband - would require me to know that answer to this question: Do you give out full-sized chocolate bars on Halloween because

A) You want the neighbors to know that you are financially comfortable enough to spend that much money on Halloween candy

B) You want to bribe the neighborhood children into not trampling on your chrysanthemums while playing tag or hide and seek

C) You wish to bring joy to the hearts of young children

If the answer is A or B, then you are correct; be sure to post a sweetly decorated Halloween sign in your front yard informing the children that only kids from your zip code+4 should bother knocking. If the answer is C, then your husband is correct.

I realize that chocolate is expensive, and to give away full-sized bars even more so; but to deny children a Halloween treat simply because they are invited visitors to your neighborhood is rather harsh. It could be that the children "imported" their friends and family last year because they were new to the neighborhood, and did not know anyone in the area well enough to go trick-or-treating with them. It is also possible that they wanted to share the joy of the holiday with those closest to them. A third possibility is that their friends and family members were from economically disadvantaged areas, and that many of the people in their own neighborhoods do not give out Halloween candy.

This year, if you wish to cut the cost of providing full-sized chocolate bars for all, why not buy the fun-sized bars and give each child two or three pieces each? This way, the child gets the equivalent of a full-sized bar in a variety of types (Twix, Kit-Kat, Hershey, etc.). Fun-sized bags are usually priced lower than full-sized bars for similar amounts of chocolate. Another option would be to buy large bags of mixed hard candy, and give each child a handful of pieces. This would also avoid the all too common issue of nut allergies - many places that prepare chocolate also process nuts, even if the candy you are giving does not contain nuts.

Regardless of your answer to my question - A, B, or C - try to open your heart to all who cross your path this Halloween - even black cats like me!


P.S. I live in a house that has a reputation for giving out "the good candy", which brings my Mommie as much joy as it does the kids who get it!