Never Stop Improving: Laundry

Recently, I took over the laundry duties in our house. Why? Perhaps I’m the victim of the “long con”, but really, it’s because my wife is the smart one and helps the kids with organization-makes-sensehomework, school projects, keeps the family calendar (mostly in her head, which I marvel at), and does the grocery shopping, cooks the meals, balances the books, and I’m sure a few other things I’m leaving off the list.

So two things …one …adding “laundry” to my household chores is the least I can do and …two …my mother was the best at laundry, folding laundry, and making beds. I was spoiled because my laundry was always wrinkle free, folded with military precision, and my bed was always ready for me with hospital bed corners and hotel-style turndown service.

I often lent my mother a hand, or watched her fold laundry and talked her ear off, and along the way she taught me all her tricks (as she also did with wrapping presents) and so, while some might think I’m a sucker for doing the laundry, part of me just wants to pass along my mom’s perfect technique to my kids.

51m05fnuyyl-_sy355_It’s the little things in life that always seem to be the big things. From my dad, I’ve inherited the gene that makes a man obsess about his lawn and landscaping. From my mom, I like a well-folded shirt and properly made bed.

Odd. I know.

Here’s what I know to be true.


  1. Separate lights and darks. Lights/whites are washed in hot. Light colors and dark colors in warm or cold.
  2. Most everything can go in the dryer, provided it was whipped and blocked before going in there. Low to medium heat.
  3. Everything should be folded immediately as it comes out of the dryer so it can be pressed by hand as it’s being folded.
  4. Dress shirts can be washed on the permanent press setting, and should be ironed when wet and right out of the washing machine and only then hung until dry. \
  5. Sheets should be washed each week. Blankets and mattress pads once a month. Comforters should be dry cleaned seasonally.

I don’t recall my mom using Borax, but I add it to whites and boy oh boy do they shine when they get outta the wash.

Why did I title this blog “never stop improving?” Oh. Because the redistribution of the laundry chore is going to drastically improve everyone’s life in my house.

So Many Good Things

Ever have one of those days where you’ve got so many things to brag about, you don’t even know where to start?

81ejepaabql-_sl1500_Like, I could tell you about my Eurolux Stainless steel, Cool Touch Electric Kettle and how it’s changed my life. Or you can read my glowing Amazon review. Life. Changing.

Or I could talk about the most incredible book I’m reading called The Brain Fog Fix and I think everyone should read this book. It’s all about our modern lifestyle and diet and technology are making us anxious, stressed out, sleep-deprived, and more prone to bad choices. It talks about how eliminating certain types of foods and adding more good foods could help ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s (which is my biggest fear). 418or9fkvflI am listening to the audio book, but I also just purchased the Kindle edition so I can read it a second time and make notes and an action plan. First the book educates the reader and then, lays out a 3-week action plan that addresses diet in week-1, exercise in week-2, and something else in week-3.

Then again, I could tell the tale of my vacation (some funny stories), or start to explain why I can’t resist my daughter and will be getting her a hamster this weekend (you have nooooooo idea how much research she’s done, all the notes she’s taken, and all the phone calls she’s made).

Or what about my daily commute tracking sheet? Look at how construction affected my commute today? Weep for me.


For now, it feels good enough to lay out a Blogging plan. I’m way behind on Survivor so I’ve again failed for spunkybean.

It’s almost salsa season and I’m re-opening the Donnie Jalapeno salsa factory and I might be expanding (and when I say “expanding”, I mostly mean renting space at a commercial kitchen to make many batches at once).

OK. Gotta work. Gotta dance!

Snapchat: donkowalewski

It’s Simple, Really.

Saturday. I slept in. I woke up and had a bowl of peanut butter Cheerios’s with whole milk. Sat around and was lazy. And the entire day was a lazy day.

Sunday. I sprang outta bed at 6:44 a.m. Took a hard charging 22-minute walk with the dog. Came home and swung my kettlebell around and then had my coffee and do I have to tell you which day is going to be better? Which day will I get more done?

It never fails. Never once have I regretted the mornings where I get up early and exercise and get my brain-melting and brain-stimulating time in to start the day.

It’s simple. Really! Make a plan. Stick to that plan. Avoid distractions. Repeat.

Below is a picture of my 22-minute timer on my watch which, if you do the math, is half of “44” and my #Project44 year-long self improvement project. And below that, a great video from one of the best – Mel Robbins.

Time. I’m Wasting It.

Every day I get older and some day I’ll be so old, all I’ll want it more time.


But what am I doing with the time I have, now? I like to spend my time with my family. I cherish the time I sit with my kids before their bedtime and read. I like reading. I love my Monday nights and splitting a bottle of wine with my wife while watching The Bachelor. I think the long weekends I spend Up North on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day are the best. I like the time I spend coaching my children’s soccer teams. I like hanging out for hours with friends and talking. I like the time I spend talking on the phone with my brother, my sister, and my Dad.

I wish I had just a few more moments with my mother and my Uncle Jerry.

What about the rest of my time? What am I doing with that time? Am I pursuing dreams? Am I maximizing the talents and blessings God gave me?

I need to take stock of the time I’m wasting. I also need to ask myself is watching TV with my wife and reading with my children the best use of my time.

Years ago I wrote a blog about turning 40 and rationalizing how I was still a young man and life was nowhere near half-over. I told everyone I wasn’t mid-life and wasn’t having a mid-life crisis. I argued that the first 23 years of a person’s life in our Westernized society is completely out of their control (it’s still while the brain’s frontal lobe is forming, or some shit like that …I really researched it at the time). So if you don’t really start living and planning and adventuring until you’re, say, 23-years-0ld, and if you expect to live and be alive and motivated until you’re 75, well 50 is “mid-life” because “life” starts at age 25 and ends at 75, so a person has 50 amazing years during which they must do their life’s work.

Here I am 44. I’ve done some great things and I really gotta get crackin’ to knock off some BIG THINGS before I’m 50.

I will never dunk a basketball. I will never play on a British Premier League team at a high level, but I think there are some amazing things I still need to accomplish.



Magic Number 44 in 2017

I have an idea. This year I will turn 44. I’m going to build my year around that number. I should weigh 144 pounds. I should exercise 44-minutes a day. I should dedicate 44-minutes a day to a hobby or passion project. I should be able to do 44 push-ups. No. Wait. I should do 44 push-ups per day. 

This is gonna be something.

Updates to my Christmas Wish List

vent-holderIsn’t it funny how we all feel so much pressure to have an amazing Christmas wish-list, so we hurry to write everything down and then we totally forget some totally obvious things.

Hilarious, right?

Added five things to my list (and took off the TV …I bought one on Black Friday)

Much more to follow.

Is it Too Early to Publish My Christmas Wish List?

sonosFirst. Happy Thanksgiving. Now we have that out of the way and we can get to my Christmas Wish List. What’s that you say . . . I’m being selfish? Oh, I suppose I should wait until mid-December and not give my friends, family, and co-workers enough time to shop? Now that would be selfish.

One problem. I’m having a helluva time coming up with a worthwhile list, but let’s get started with this. Feel free to leave good ideas in the Comments of this blog entry if you have inspired ideas for me.

See what I mean? That’s a sad list. But I knew the pressure was on to get this out before Black Friday. Phew. Happy shopping! Oh, and please, feel free to go off-list if it’s something really expensive.