Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Muuuuvin’ On.

Posted on | June 12, 2019 | 4 Comments

So where was I?

I have no idea so let’s just start where we’re at, shall we? I haven’t posted in so long that the formatting on WordPress has changed. Which should make this post very interesting. If you consider lots of random spacing and a variety of photo placements to be interesting. Turns out I was 11 versions of WordPress behind. I failed to update to the latest version of WordPress for many years because I had no idea how to make a backup of my previous posts. Even my IT guy didn’t know how to do it since I had so many posts and was so many versions behind. But WordPress advises you very strongly against updating versions without a backup. So I just didn’t update.

Until today. Today I sat down to write a post, saw how much time had elapsed since my last post and thought, “Whatever.” And I hit the update button. Everything I’ve ever written could have disappeared into the ethernet. I think the word “ethernet” actually refers to some odd computer cable that your crappy rural internet service provider always blames for outages when the problem is really their crappy internet service. But if the word “ethernet” was used properly, obviously it would refer to the black hole of the Internet where all your work disappears when you didn’t bother to save an updated copy. In this case I fully expected all my posts to disappear into the the ethernet. But all that happened was that a new version of WordPress appeared with annoying new formatting.

Huh. Very anti-climatic. I probably didn’t need the shot of whiskey ahead of time. But better to be prepared, people, be prepared. Unless being prepared means backing up your work on a regular basis. Who the hell does that?

There’s probably a bunch of reasons that I was willing to risk all that writing being swept away. Seems pretty dicey for a 46 year old woman whose normal idea of of dicey is limited to things like driving the kids to the school drop off line in the morning without putting on a bra. Or having that second cup of coffee before starting a 2 hour hike. Some of those reasons probably include getting older and learning to let go. Living in an RV teaches you a lot about letting go. Divorce teaches you a lot about letting go. Watching four kids grow up teaches you a lot about letting go. Having an employer who believes constant inexplicable change is the best way to reinvigorate employees teaches you a lot about letting go. But the biggest reason is probably the muumuus.

I find it shocking that some people have never heard of muumuus. If you’ve never heard of one, try asking your Grandma. She knows what a muumuu is, for sure. Now some people consider a house dress to be a muumuu, but I strongly disagree. A house dress is for the first cup of coffee before the day starts or for sitting down on the sofa when the day is done. A muumuu has work to do and places to go. It’s the older generation’s version of the messy hair bun. My grandmother wore her muumuu for everything from cleaning the chicken coop to getting groceries, hitting tag sales or visiting the neighbors.

I usually settle for a pair of athletic shorts and a T-shirt as my day-off attire. That way I can move easily from a morning hike to the daily errands, from working in the garden to picking up and dropping off kids. But this year, when we had a full week of 90+ degrees in May, I decided it was time to go old school. Time for the muumuu. I headed to Goodwill to check out the options. You can find muumuus in lots of places but the best ones are from thrift stores. Thrift store muumuus are just dresses of cotton or linen or any other soft fabric that have the dressy already washed out. They are like retired racehorses or rescued greyhounds—a tad faded, a bit stretched out, but still functioning with just a hint of grandeur. Stains, tears, or loose threads are a no-no but a loose neckline, no waistband, and lots of flow are essential. Bright colors are the norm but feel free to choose a dignified navy or soothing pastel. If you’ve chosen a nice neutral shade of cat for your home (as I wisely did) her cat hair will be sure to go with all of your muumuus.

Of course, the original muumuu didn’t come from Goodwill. Muumuus came from the South Pacific when the Protestant missionaries arrived and tried to cover up Polynesian women with a two layered outfit consisting of a loose, high necked, floor length dress called the “holoku” and an outer chemise that lacked a yoke and was shorter. That outer chemise was called a “mu’umu’u” which meant “cut off” since it was shorter and didn’t have the high neck. While the holoku is still a part of formal traditional wear, the mu’umu’u was quickly accepted as everyday wear on its own. And it’s just as suitable for heat and humidity here as it is for the heat and humidity of the South Pacific.

So for $24 I picked up a six pack of muumuus to get me through the summer. Before May was over I was cruisin’ around in cool, casual, comfort. As soon as I got off work at 6am I was out of my uniform and into my muumuu to water the garden, drop Little at school, and take the recycling at the dump. After the gym I was showered and into my muumuu to pick up groceries, hit the library, meet a friend for brunch, and then fire up the grill for dinner. The other day as Pretty got into the car for me to take her to a doctor’s appointment she looked at my blue flowery muumuu and asked, “Are you going somewhere?” The lime green muumuu with hot pink palm tree gets compliments everywhere (People think it’s from Lilly Pulitzer. Hah!) Muumuus are magical—it seems like you made an effort when you’re actually just enjoying good air flow and a day without pants.

And not all muumuus are shapeless sacks. I mean, the best ones are, but you can kick it up a notch if you want to. I have a few that stop their graceful flow just above my knees and a couple with the bodice just fitted enough to show that yes, I did wear a bra today. This muumuu has been updated for an evening out and given lots of extra air flow. It kind of reminds me of a muumuu that’s started drinking a little too early in the afternoon but what better time for day drinking than the summer time?

The only place I don’t wear my muumuus is the hiking trail. That’s a little too much activity down there without any barriers. In other words, thigh chafing, which my friends and I used to call “chub rub.” I can’t do that anymore because I said “chub rub” once in front of my boys and their heads almost exploded. Apparently “chub rub” does not mean the same thing to a teenage boy as it does to 45+ year old women. I would explain it to you but just suffice to say that we should not be using the term “chub rub.” So I’ll call it thigh chafing which is self-explanatory and more accurate because, despite popular belief, it is not about body size. Every running magazine or blog has lists of the best performing chafing creams and I don’t think runners even have thighs. Not real thighs, anyway. There are special lubricants to avoid thigh chafing during physical activity like hiking and running but I don’t like to combine my muumuus and lube. Talcum powder is fine but lube is really overdoing it. It’s a muumuu, not a party tent.

Other than strenuous exercise, muumuus are the go to outfit for the summer season. Just the other day I was lounging in my muumuu watching Wine Country on Netflix when the character played by Rachel Dratch exclaims “Put me in my finest muumuu!” so she can tackle the list of activities planned for the day despite her back injury. ‘Cause there’s no stopping a woman in her muumuu. Who cares if there’s no back up? Who cares if it’s been 8 months since I posted anything? It’s muumuu time. Let go and let’s go!


4 Responses to “Muuuuvin’ On.”

  1. Tanya
    June 13th, 2019 @ 4:23 am

    I figured out the glory of the muumuu years ago and I also have an entire closet filled with them. I wear them everyday in the summer and everybody tells me how dressed up I look. I just like having air flow and no pants on.

  2. Andy
    June 13th, 2019 @ 4:25 am

    Having lived in Hawaii for nearly 15 years, I find this blog post particularly nostalgic. If you haven’t been, muumuus have a huge range from informal to very formal and alluring. They can be very practical, but just don’t wear them whilst operating heavy machinery with moving, spinning parts.

    Welcome back. You were missed.

  3. Roanne von Hagen
    June 13th, 2019 @ 7:24 am

    Congratulations on gaining wisdom, and letting go. Gma R is proud of you!

  4. Jane From Hawaii
    June 13th, 2019 @ 3:51 pm

    Welcome back!

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