Thy Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Clothes Line (and how to make fabric softener sheets)

“Ooh, look at that one!” I exclaimed and pointed, my mouth slightly ajar. “I love that one.”

‘Tis true that our walks together over the past eighteen years have included gaping at properties we want, but we just bought our first bit of land this year so my husband replied, “That place is a mess! We just bought our own land!”

“No,” I pointed, “look at that clothes line!” I waved at it. My sign that I love it.

“In the spring,” Doug said.

I can’t wait! Oh, I know the wind has been gusting over 40 miles an hour the past few days and it is a balmy 26 degrees right now (minus windchill), and it is a strange time to be dreaming of clothes lines, but farmers and homesteaders live perpetually in the spring. I know just where I will put it.

This all began a very long time ago when our new (mind you- new) dryer crapped out on us again and smelled like it was going to catch fire. I rigged a makeshift rope across the yard to our very-nearby neighbor’s house in the suburbs. The next house didn’t have a dryer. The next house had the longest, oldest, sturdiest, most beautiful clothes line on the property. I even hand washed clothes on that property. The next one had a beautiful line as well. As did the friend we lived with complete with a buck who stayed near me while I hung clothes. (Rather enchanted place. I will be writing about that on my other blog OwlandWolf.home.blog.) We rigged a clothes line at the last house, but the new puppy pulled the clothes off and ate them. And here I am, in a lovely house- the nicest we’ve had- with a new dryer and longing for pins in my apron pocket. The smell of spring and soil and summer and sun upon the clothes as I hang them quietly in the fresh air, my eyes on the mountain ranges, listening to birds sing, and taking a moment to restore.

Work pre-electricity was a place of meditation, a time of prayer. Beading, sewing, washing, painting, farming, animal care, cooking, and hanging clothes were all ways of being in the moment. Mental health is associated with domestic chores.

In the meantime, I learned a rather good trick. In lieu of commercial fabric softener sheets, dampen a washcloth and sprinkle ten or so drops of lavender essential oil on it. Throw in with your clothes. It works great!

What are your laundry tricks?

Summer List and Sunshine

Summer is quickly becoming one of my favorite seasons.  Sometimes in Colorado it seems like we have seven and a half months of winter a few weeks of spring, a few months of summer, a few weeks of autumn, then right back to winter.  Yesterday felt so good at seventy four degrees.

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Summer does have a wicked tendency to come and go before you can get your tan lines straightened out.  Along with our shop we do farmer’s markets and now Doug has a 9-5 job too.  We watch the baby, I am writing a novel, and we have three garden plots, and…well, we need to make a list of what we really want to do.

I am a notorious list maker.  If I don’t make a list of the things we want to do this summer then we shall miss it.

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So far we have seen a bluegrass concert at Red Rocks.  I have read a good book, The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton.  I have a beautiful garden started.

  1. Go to pool one morning a week.
  2. Take Maryjane to the carnival next week.
  3. Take Maryjane to rodeo next week.
  4. Go hiking on a trail we have never been on.
  5. Ride bike as far down the trail as I can go.
  6. Read three great books.
  7. Dance under the full moon of the summer solstice.
  8. Order lemonade at the county fair.
  9. Drink coffee on the balcony every morning.
  10. Go to the mountains and picnic by a stream at least once this summer.

I would like to add road trips and vacations and time in hammocks and bonfires but time, especially summertime, is elusive.  But we will do all we can to soak up each beautiful warm moment.

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Tell me,   what do you want to do this summer?

You Know You are a Farmgirl When…

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You know you are a farmgirl when:

Wearing pajamas and galoshes seem to be a very good fashion statement. (Particularly early in the morning when letting the chickens out.)

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You  have to get a babysitter for not only the cats and dogs, but the chickens as well when you want to go out of town. (Thanks Kat and Faleena!)

That bright light coming through the window in the morning is your alarm clock. (Not Doug’s…but he isn’t a farmgirl.)

Your normal activity is far harder than any gym. (As I lay gasping for air on the couch after hand grinding a mere 2 cups of flour!)

You are somehow thankful for and cursing the snow all at the same time. (Is it too much to ask for 70 degree rain?!)

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You would rather be outdoors in the dirt or with the farm animals then cooped up inside. (Perhaps I need a tent?)

You visit friend’s houses and check the soil by scooping it up in your palm. (ooh, too much clay…)

The colors of your interior are not taupe or cream but mud. (When will this greyhound learn to wipe his feet?)

Always watch your step. (Chickens that want lovin’s stop quickly beneath one’s feet, and there are always surprises in the form of poo in the grass.)

The crabgrass is growing beautifully. (Hey, grass is grass!)

When visitors from the city exclaim about the deer and you say, “I see more than that on the way to my chicken coop in the morning!” (True story.  Doug said that.)

You look skeptically at food in the grocery store and wonder how many landfills this place could fill.  (And have a mad desire to provide your own food!)

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Long skirts and aprons are always in style!