how do you spell detasseling? L-A-U-N-D-R-Y @bhg and a $25 VISA Giveaway!

On August 2, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Our son is 15 this summer and has ventured into the workforce for the first time.  Detasseling is a common job for teenagers in the Midwest and so, like many of his peers, he signed on with an exceptional crew and has been working about two weeks, now.  Detasseling only lasts about 3-4 weeks.  The [...]

Our son is 15 this summer and has ventured into the workforce for the first time.  Detasseling is a common job for teenagers in the Midwest and so, like many of his peers, he signed on with an exceptional crew and has been working about two weeks, now.  Detasseling only lasts about 3-4 weeks.  The work is hot, very physical and exhausting.  The young men and women working in the fields are tasked with removing the tassels from every female corn plant and leaving the tassels on the male plants, so that the male plants pollinate the entire field and create a brand new hybrid variety of corn.  Hearing it defined, makes it seem not too tough.  The reality is, quite frankly, exactly the opposite.

Before the past week of high, high temperatures (heat indexes over 110 degrees), we had experienced unusually heavy amounts of rainfall.  With detasseling, like with all farming, you can’t really decide what your schedule will be.  The crops and the weather decide that for you.  Once the corn begins to tassel, there is a narrow window of time (3-4 weeks) that the tassels can be removed before pollination occurs.  So, even though the fields were completely saturated, detasselers still got into the field.  Fields aren’t always flat, so at the top of a hill, a row may be dry, yet, down at the bottom of the hill, there may be standing water.  One day, in particular, our son worked through an area where water was up to his chest.  Another day, the mud was so thick and deep it sucked the shoes right off his feet.  Even on days when it is dry and hot, the corn is still covered in dew when they first start working in the mornings.  (That explains the garbage bag over his shirt in the pictures.  He just peels it off when the dew has evaporated.

ready to detassel
This is how I send our son off each morning at 5:30 a.m. The white sticking out from under his sleeves is our makeshift tube-sock wrist guards. You can’t see the Wal-Mart bags on his feet because they’re inside his shoes.  The garbage bag is, of course, obvious. . :)

Dressing for detasseling is a sort of comical, and yet, necessary task that must be handled with great care.  Corn leaves are sharp and even as tall as my son is, the plants are often well over his and his coworker’s heads.  Dressing to protect themselves from cuts and corn rash is a critical part of their early morning routine (We’re up at 4:30 to get ready and drive to meet the bus.).  Every inch of skin has to be covered, even when he pulls off the waterproof gear once the dew is gone.  His first layer is a t-shirt and long shorts with tube socks as high up on his leg as they will go.  Then we cut the tops off tube socks to make “knee protectors”, since his socks just won’t reach that far.  We cut the tops off a second pair of tube socks that he wears around his wrists.  Then he puts on a pair of waterproof wind pants, a cotton, button-down shirt and a garbage bag with head and arm-holes cut out.  Finally he ties a wild-west “robber style” bandana around his neck to protect his neck from the sharp corn leaves.  The detasseling company provides him with gloves and a cap that has strong mosquito netting to protect his face.  He also wraps duct tape around his feet, over his socks, to help prevent blisters, and then ties Wal-Mart bags over his socks to help keep his feet dry.  Then he is ready to put on his shoes.  Phew!  What a process!   I’m not gonna lie.  He’s a sight!  :)  But, fortunately the entire crew looks just like him, so there is no issue with anyone “standing out” in the crowd.  :)

after a day detasseling

At lunchtime, our son peels off the wind pants and then continues to work in the long shorts and “tall” socks, underneath.  You can imagine what his shoes and socks look like at the end of the day of trekking through, mud, muck and mire, not to mention an occasional “wash-off” from a livestock feedlot.  As soon as he gets on the bus, he peels off the button-down shirt, muddy shoes and socks and stuffs them all in a bag. When I pick him up in the afternoon, he is a muddy, smelly, exhausted mess.  He slides on some sandals and rides to the pick-up spot, so I can pick him up and drive him home to bed. lol  If I would let him, he would collapse into his bed, mud and all.  But, while he is cleaning up, I’m left to empty the bag of mud-caked clothing and get it ready for the next morning.

Remember that wonderful, deep wash basin sink I shared with you in my previous post?  It is perfect for this task!  I empty the muddy mess into the bottom and start rinsing the clumps of mud away.  I snapped a few pictures of what that experience is like.  Yikes!

dirty shoe
That is mud caked on the sides and bottoms (and insides) of his tennis shoes after the first rinsing. See that black blob in the corner? That is his white tube socks and all the protective arm and knee guards we cut from white tube socks, wadded into one muddy mass. Yuck!
dirty wrist bands
Makeshift wristbands, cut from white tube socks, and rinsed as “clean” as I can get them before throwing them in the washing machine.
dirtysocks
Dirty socks and gloves, rinsed and ready for the machine.

I really didn’t hold out any hope that the socks would ever be white, again, but I’ve been testing Arm and Hammer Power Gel with OxiClean for the Switch and Save Challenge, so I decided to invest a little extra effort and see how it handled detasseling dirt.  I rubbed the blue gel directly into the dirty cloth on our son’s gloves.    I could see it breaking down the dirt, already, and the dark discoloration was already lightening before I put them in my washer.

dirty socks and gloves
See the gloves are already somewhat lighter after massaging some Arm and Hammer Power Gel with Oxi Clean into the fabric.

I used the regular amount of detergent for my washer, but I also put a small amount of Arm and Hammer Power Gel with Oxi Clean into the prewash dispenser, too.  Then I set my washer to wash  in hot water and for heavy soil.

soap dispenser
I filled the detergent dispenser to the max fill line and added a little detergent to the prewash dispenser.
dials
This mess definitely needs hot water and heavy soil treatment.

I was so pleased with the results when the load was complete.  Arm and Hammer Power Gel with Oxi Clean certainly didn’t get those grubby things “out of the bag” white again, but they were so much cleaner than I had expected.  My only disappointment, initially, was in the gloves.  I was lamenting to my son that I didn’t expect to ever be able to get them anywhere close to white, again, and he started laughing at me.  “Mom, the gloves are gray.  They were gray when they gave them to me.”  lol

sockssocks and gloves

As I said, I had no illusions that these socks would ever be “white as new”, again, but I was pleasantly surprised at the results.  That is much, much whiter than I had ever expected to see them.  Arm and Hammer Power Gel with Oxi Clean definitely did its job!  What a great surprise!

I have one more.  Arm and Hammer is sponsoring another $25 VISA Gift Card Giveaway!  I can’t believe how incredibly generous they have been.  One of you will benefit from that amazing generosity.

Giveaway Rules:

You must be 18 or over and a US resident to enter.  Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org.  Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), Sunday, August 14, 2011.

 

Mandatory Entry:

What is the most challenging laundry mess your family has ever created?  Leave your answer in a comment below.

 

Optional Additional Entries:

  1. Like Arm and Hammer on Facebook and leave a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
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  4. Follow Busy-at-Home on Google Friends Connect by clicking  the Join Button in the right-hand side bar.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
  5. Subscribe to the Busy-at-Home Newsletter with this link or in the right-hand sidebar.  You will receive an email confirmation with a link that must be clicked to confirm your subscription.  Once you click the email link to confirm your subscription, leave me a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
  6. Tweet this giveaway (maximum of 1x per day, please).  The world’s yuckiest laundry – cleaned with Arm & Hammer Power Gel  PLUS win a $25 VISA Gift Card @busyathome @bhg http://ow.ly/5M9W2  Leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.
  7. Post this giveaway on your Facebook page.  The world’s yuckiest laundry – cleaned with Arm & Hammer Power Gel  PLUS win a $25 VISA Gift Card @busyathome @bhg http://ow.ly/5M9W2  Leave a comment below with a link to your post.

This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products. Save $1.00 on any 2 ARM & HAMMER Laundry Detergents. And be sure and head over to The Switch & Save Challenge for the chance to win $25,000.

Laundry, It’s an Ugly Business, But Someone’s Got to Do It: Arm & Hammer Power Gel with OxiClean Review @bhg

On July 26, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

I’m not gonna lie.  I am probably one of the most spoiled blessed women I know.  I have lived in homes where the laundry room was too tiny to do more than turn around in there with a basket, to ones where there was no laundry room, at all.  (Picture, a five-gallon diaper pail filled [...]

I’m not gonna lie.  I am probably one of the most spoiled blessed women I know.  I have lived in homes where the laundry room was too tiny to do more than turn around in there with a basket, to ones where there was no laundry room, at all.  (Picture, a five-gallon diaper pail filled with bleach water and dirty cloth diapers, on the way to the laundromat.  It was the best, most rational reason I know, for switching to disposables!  :)  )  So, I have certainly been at the other end of the spectrum and no one is more painfully aware of just how amazing my current laundry room is.  It’s HUGE!

laundry room 2

It's a lovely and extravagently large laundry room. I couldn't get the camera angles wide enough to do justice to how spacious it is, so....

laundry room sink

I took three pictures to try and round out your view of how great it really is. This is, of course, the bath area and the built-in cubby for the washer and dryer with 4 cupboards above.

There’s not only room for my washer and dryer, but a five-foot folding table and a shelf with hang bar, for hanging clothes above it.  There’s a beautiful, large and extraordinarily deep wash basin sink, as well as a shower and toilet.  It gets natural light and fresh air from the window and when it’s too hot for the window to be opened, this beautiful laundry room is air conditioned!  I also have tons of beautiful cabinetry and storage space in there.

more laundry room

I love that deep sink and when hubby installed the shelf and hang bar, the room was complete. My wheeled hampers tuck in perfectly under the folding table. Yup, I'm definitely a very lucky woman.

Ya know what?  I still HATE laundry.  –  lol  –  Don’t get me wrong, I understand how blessed I am to have people in my life who happen to get lots and lots of clothes dirty and how blessed we are to have the clothes we need.  I get it, and appreciate that, but on a scale of 1 to 10, laundry is still probably at about a negative 11 on my list of favorite household chores.  They can’t all be #1, right?  I think part of the reason I dislike it so much is I am someone who likes to do a job or project all the way through without stopping.  If I start it, I want to get it done and see the results.  Laundry has stages — the sorting, the washing, the drying, the folding and hanging, and then finally the putting away.  And frankly, by the time the final stage is reached, my many “blessings” can produce a whole new pile of laundry I need to get started on. As you can imagine, then, I’m no shrinking violet when it comes to asserting which products and procedures work for me, in this job.  I’m picky and I tell it like it is.  I’m not going to use anything that takes longer, costs more or is inefficient, causing me to have to re-do any part of the process.  So, I’m excited that my Switch and Save Challenge for the next four weeks is Arm and Hammer Power Gel with OxiClean.

power gel with oxiclean

Arm and Hammer Power Gel with OxiClean is more than just a detergent, it can also be used as a pre-treater.  A product that can do more than one job is always a plus and a money saver!  It has the added power of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda for freshening laundry and the most amazing gel texture.  I’ve never seen any other laundry detergent made in such a thick, gel formula.  It’s a glossy, brilliant blue liquid/gel that is designed to work even in my high efficiency machine.  The gel clings to and saturates fabrics, working hard to remove tough stains with its OxiClean boost and then rinses away cleanly.

The timing for this Switch and Save Challenge couldn’t be better, as I have a brand new laundry challenge in my home, this summer.

detasseling

Stay tuned as I put Arm and Hammer Power Gel with OxiClean through its paces, decrusting and removing stains from the horrifying laundry our resident detasseler brings home, every afternoon, now.  :)  It’s going to be a valiant battle and from what I can tell, so far, Arm and Hammer Power Gel should be an excellent weapon tool!

This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products. Save $1.00 on any 2 ARM & HAMMER Laundry Detergents. And be sure and head over to The Switch & Save Challenge for the chance to win $25,000.

Toothpaste: A Girl’s Best Friend’s Best Friend and a $25 VISA Gift Card Giveaway @bhg

On July 5, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

I’ve never been one of those women who gets all syrupy and goofy over diamonds — jewelry of any kind, really.  So, that song about diamonds being a girl’s best friend has always seemed pretty silly to me.  My wedding ring is the only diamond I have ever owned and I am completely content with [...]

I’ve never been one of those women who gets all syrupy and goofy over diamonds — jewelry of any kind, really.  So, that song about diamonds being a girl’s best friend has always seemed pretty silly to me.  My wedding ring is the only diamond I have ever owned and I am completely content with that.  I WILL say that losing it in the garden two summers ago was probably one of the most significantly sad days of my life, not because of the loss of the diamond, but the symbolism and the sentiment I had for the ring.  Unfortunately, replacing it was not in the budget for us and for the time being, still is not.  A piece of costume jewelry is my stand-in, for the time being.  There is no comparison between the two in quality or beauty, but the one commonality between the diamond and my temporary stand-in, is the way I have kept both clean and sparkling.

cleaning ring

Shining up my ring with a little toothpaste.

Making the most of what we have can sometimes mean finding a frugal alternative to typically accepted methods of doing things.  Jewelry cleaning products can take many forms from liquids or gels to ultrasonic machines.  All of them can be pricey, most smell AWFUL and some are toxic.  Another alternative is professional cleaning, but again, it can be expensive and seriously is not a great value for your money.  Early in my marriage, I learned that an inexpensive product we always have in the house, is the BEST diamond polisher.  My wedding ring sparkled and shined whether I had been working in the garden, kneading bread or doing the dishes, because no matter what job I had tackled, in less than 60 seconds I could use toothpaste straight out of the cabinet and have a ring that looked like new.  I have happily discovered it is an effective method for bringing a little luster to costume jewelry, as well.  So, this morning I grabbed my Arm and Hammer Advanced White Brilliant Sparkle Toothpaste to snap a couple pictures and show you how simple and inexpensive it is to clean your rings at home.

ring

Polished and sparkly for a fraction of the cost of professional cleaning or at-home chemical cleaners.

There’s nothing extra for you to buy.  This is probably one of the most frugal projects you will accomplish, at home.  If you have an old toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste, you’re set.  Head over to the sink, apply some toothpaste to the brush and gently scrub your ring, gems and all.  Rinse with cool water and pat dry with a soft cloth.  You will be stunned at the sparkle and shine!  Yes, indeed, toothpaste is most definitely a girl’s best friend’s best friend.  :)

Giveaway Rules:

You must be 18 or over and a US resident to enter.  Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org.  Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), Sunday, July 17, 2011.

Mandatory Entry:

Arm and Hammer is again, generously sponsoring a giveaway of a $25 VISA Gift Card.  There are many other great frugal uses for toothpaste around the house and ways to handle everyday jobs by re-purposing products we already have.  I’d love to hear some of your frugal tips and tricks for making the most of what you already have on hand, when tackling your household chores, whether it’s with toothpaste or another product.   So, in a comment below, share a tip for using toothpaste or another common household product, to do a job that we wouldn’t expect.

 

This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products. Sign up for a free sample of Advance White Brilliant Sparkle Toothpaste. And then head over to The Switch & Save Challenge to keep up with all of the bloggers and enter to win $25,000.


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