Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Answer, My Friend, Is Blowing in the Wind


Dave and I lived in a cottage behind our landlady's house before we moved to Texas. We weren't able to have a washer and dryer in the cottage so we had a standing laundry mat "date" every other week to get it all done at once. I very much liked the fact that you could get all of your laundry washed and dried in a matter of two hours once every other week!

For many reasons, our ultimate goal here in Texas is for me to be able to hand wash and line dry all of our laundry. Setting up a homestead has been more demanding than we could have imagined and hand washing/drying the laundry has been pushed down on the list of priorities many times. It has been too easy to bring the bag of quarters into the laundry mat and take care of everything the automatic way. My mother-in-law had given me a wonderful outdoor clothes line before we moved, and it has been patiently waiting to be utilized. We were waiting to move onto our own land to set it up; but now that I didn't have that excuse anymore (by about 10 months), we figured I could at least be drying most of our laundry. So Dave set up the line several weeks ago, and I am sorry I didn't start it sooner! Thank you, Mom Sifford, for your gracious gift and foresight in knowing how critical this would be to our homestead life!!

We are now very familiar with the variable and strong winds here in Texas, so we knew the base of the clothes line had to be extremely secure. Thusly, Dave made two round metal forms and poured concrete into them to create a two-level anchor base and dug a hole to place it in the ground so as to make it portable if we need to relocate it.




The clothes line opens up very nicely when I'm ready to use it:





and then closes back up when I'm finished with it!




Surprisingly, I have really enjoyed the experience of being outside hanging the laundry surrounded by the peace on the land and fresh air, etc., rather than being in a hot, muggy laundry mat. I realize come winter that it may not be as enjoyable, but we didn't choose this lifestyle for the sake of comfort and convenience: it was out of obedience to God and His Word, so there is joy and peace in any homesteading chore with that being the case.

I am currently researching wash tubs and wringers to start washing much of our laundry here on the land. Thanks again, Mom Sifford!




Susan

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love the smell of laundered clothes that have been hanging outside? Its funny I remember the winter months back east when my mom would bring in the laundry and it would stand all by itself beside the woodstove in order to thaw and dry.lol. I hang mine out now but the only thing I don't like is the roughness of the laundry, what do you do to keep it soft?
Debbie/Debylin

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

I have been using a closeline since March (oooo cold!) and I love it! I love that I am not paying to dry my clothes (I have my own dryer, but electricity costs$$$) I love being outside in the quiet hanging laundry, I love the smell...I could just go on and on! I will always use a clothesline, I love them that much.

Anonymous said...

I wash yet with a washer, but have been line drying clothes, sheets, blankets alot this spring/summer. I use a liquid fabric softener in the washer, which seems to soften clothes sufficiently for line drying, but I still dry my towels in clothes dryer to soften them more.

If on my land I'd be doing all by hand and line drying I'm sure.

I remember stiff clothes off clothesline too; and mom spraying and freezing clothes to hold them for ironing when she didn't have time to iron all that day.

Beth

Anonymous said...

I can tell I'm tired! I was responding to Debbie and Aimee and forgot to include you first Susan!!

Thanks for this nice post about your clothesline pole and your use of it Susan! Will keep you in prayer as you move toward more independent washing of clothes at your homestead!

Thanks for all you are sharing about your off grid living and adjusting to it!

Beth

David and Susan Sifford said...

Thank you Debbie, Aimee and Beth for your great comments! Welcome, Aimee, and thank you for reading my blog. I know you read Kris Ante's blog and have many great comments over there as well. At this point I don't really do anything special to keep the laundry soft. I use the homemade detergent recipe that Kris Ante posted a while back: 1 cup Fels Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (grated), 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Mule Team Borax all mixed together (use 2 Tbsp. for light loads and 3 Tbsp. for heavy loads). The detergent seems to leave washed clothes plenty soft and nice smelling enough for my use. I appreciate all of your comments on your experiences. Thanks again!

Susan

Mountain Morning said...

My husband installed one of those folding contraptions for our neighbor when we lived in Utah. What a handy device it is! This is so great for someone who doesn't have a lot of yard or someone who wants the option of being able to take it down or move it around. We have a regular line, but if we had to move to a smaller place, I would definitely put in one of these so that I could still hang out my laundry! I know it sounds weird, but it's one of my favorite pasttimes...I can't wait to have a load to hang! :0)

I always look forward to reading your blog!

Brandi

David and Susan Sifford said...

Thanks for your post, Brandi! We appreciate you taking the time to read and are glad you enjoy our blog. I was surprised at how relaxing, peaceful and enjoyable hanging laundry is also. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Susan

Edna said...

I have been looking for a good quality umbrella style clothes line. Yours looks exactly like what I want. Do you know what brand it is?

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hello Edna!

My parents-in-law gave us that clothes line and I don't remember off the top of my head what the brand was. I will see if my mother-in-law remembers and will plan to post a comment here.

In the meanwhile if you haven't already seen this website it provides several types of clothes lines including the umbrella style:

http://www.clotheslineshop.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=C&Category_Code=OCI

And amazon.com has a less expensive version which might be of interest as well:

http://www.amazon.com/Household-Essentials-H-150-30-Line-Parallel-Style/dp/B0002YUAY0/ref=sr_1_6?s=storageorganization&ie=UTF8&qid=1320680853&sr=1-6

I hope we can help you find exactly what you're looking for and will try to post an update very soon.

Thank you for your comment.

Susan

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hello again Edna,

My mother-in-law says she bought the clothes line locally in California and cannot remember where because it has been several years. She recommended www.csnstores.com as an additional source. I hope this helps and you are able to locate your desired clothes line.

Susan

CLL said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CLL said...

I know this an old post but I just found your blog and am so blessed! I love hanging my laundry and am investigating the best way to wash by hand (as well as moving toward this life in general.). I also greatly appreciated your husband's perspective regarding the death of your animals. I remember our first butchering day (and each one since) having a sobriety and an appreciation for the grace of God in providing for us in this way. I just finished carrying water to the cows, sheep and chickens in the bitter cold...hard on this southerner. :) We do care for our animals but in a healthy way, I think, because it is indeed God's provision and is a great responsibility. Looking forward to learning more as I reward through your blog.

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hello CLL! I am so thankful God is using our blog to encourage you! That is our prayer. We are from California so the Texas winter cold fronts are difficult for us, too. I agree with you about being a good steward of your animals and having a healthy perspective on their provision. It's still hard for us to "kill" anything but knowing God has placed it there for our nourishment and benefit makes it "good". We ask for God's help in all things out here every day. May God bless you and thank you for saying "Hi"!

Susan