Monday, June 29, 2009

Clean As A Whistle... or, Hung Out To Dry

Today is Monday, Monday's Wash Day...

There's something about doing laundry that gives me a sense of accomplishment. Oh, it's still a chore, but seeing that neatly-folded pile of clean clothes when it's all done certainly gives me a good feeling.

Here's a corner of my laundry area showing a vintage metal cupboard (where I keep my spot-removing supplies), a wash-day-themed towel that was my grandmother's, and an embroidered laundry bag that belonged to my husband's grandmother.

Several months ago, I started making my own laundry soap. It's easy to do and has definitely been a moneysaver. Here's the recipe I use:

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap, grated
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax Powder

*Also, a 2 gallon bucket or equivalent-sized container

Put grated soap into large saucepan. I use an enameled metal canning-type pot and store the finished laundry soap in it as well. Add 6 cups water and heat until soap melts. Add the washing soda and borax. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot into the 2 gallon container and add soap mixture. I pour the water right into my enameled pot already containing the soap mixture. Finally, add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours to "gel". The finished soap will be a watery gel resembling egg drop soup. Use 1/2 cup per load of laundry.

In addition to being just plain fun to peruse, vintage laundry manuals are often helpful with stain and spot removal. I have two that I consult on occasion for this purpose.

And here is my dryer... I need to invest in some new drying racks, as these have been in use for many years and are on their last legs. A clothesline outside may be in the works if it can be discreetly fit into our backyard plans for a barbecue fireplace and tiki picnic pavilion.

Last, but not least... A few years ago, my mom made me this adorable clothespin bag with cherry print fabric. I recently found some old non-spring style clothespins to put in it for future clothesline use.

Enjoy Monday Wash Day... for tomorrow we iron ;)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer is an open road to adventure...

As a child, summer meant many things to me... freedom from the “rigors” of school, eating supper at the picnic table every night, spending a week at each of my grandparents' homes, being allowed to swim in a neighbor's pool every day, and, of course, the annual Vacation Trip.

Camping usually wasn't involved in my childhood family vacations, but it's something I came to enjoy in adulthood. Nonetheless, the vacation trips of my youth were always an adventure. In fact, we once stayed at a motel made of train cabooses!

While most of my vacations in the recent past have involved visiting Vermont in autumn, I still feel the wanderlust when summer begins. My dearest and I have frequently talked about buying a vintage camper of some sort to take little sojourns in the summer. Although we've recently had our eye on a Spartan Royal Mansion for sale nearby, at 35 feet long, it's a bit too big for our travel needs. Still, the Spartan would make a great addition to the backyard - possibly as guest accommodations ;)

Now, if we could just find a Scotty....

In the meantime, I'll have to settle for watching this:

Kinda makes you want to head out on the open highway, doesn't it...