The Smell of Laundry on the Line

Either you  love clothes on the line or you don’t.   The most common reason I have heard  for not liking clothes on the line is they are not drier fluffy.  On the opposite side of the argument is that no one has managed to actually capture the smell of sunshine and outdoors that you can only get with clothes hung on the line in any of those bottled smells for laundry soap or drier sheets.   I fall into the camp that the smell of line-dried clothes trumps everything else.

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This week it was finally warm enough to put towels out on the line.   We always have a breeze and most the time have some serious wind so even though it wasn’t much above 40 my towels were soon dry. Though the first day of spring is till a couple weeks away and yes there is still snow on the frozen ground, I am not letting that stop me with celebrating a nice day with laundry on the line.

Travel Recommendations from a Road Warrior

This summer job has made me a road warrior.   I spend four days each week on the road.   Every Thursday night I appear at home with dirty laundry and Monday by 6, I am heading out for another week of work.   Organization is everything in this kind of lifestyle to make sure you take everything you need  when you leave home for work.  Many of the places I visit don’t have much more than a couple of restaurants/bars, a gas station and a grocery store.   No place to buy socks if you forget to pack them.

The surprising but indispensable travel item for me this summer has been my collection of eBags packing cubes.  As a sewer I seriously thought about trying to personally engineer a collection, but in the end I bought mine.    I love them.   My bag has a certain number and size of cubes.   On Sunday, I pull them out and pack each of them and when they are all back in my luggage it means I am ready to go.   Some of my cubes have a spare pair of socks or underwear in them to remind me of what goes in each.  For this job each cube holds one of the five pieces of clothing I put on each day, but I used to be a business suit traveler and think that each cube could just as easily carry your daily outfit.   There is nothing worse than the last day of a professional business trip and realizing you wore the wrong blouse with the wrong suit and the one left does not match the suit you intend to wear tomorrow.   Ranger Sir and I will sometimes travel with just one bag if we go for a night or two.   It is not usually a pleasant experience.   I am thinking a second set of cubes in his own color may solve that problem.   Shop around for your set because the amount the retailers are asking you to pay varies widely.

Everyone has their favorite bag for toiletries based on what they want and need.  Most of us take some supplies from home.   My favorite choice for this is the GoToob products.   First reason for recommending this product is that it is easy to fill.   It actually has an opening you can put shampoo in without it traveling all down the sides.   Second is they stand behind the product no questions.   I broke a top, emailed them and I got a new top.   It is a one time purchase.   Lastly if you travel via airlines it was designed with that in mind.   The only negative is it is designed with words like soap, shampoo, lotion, conditioner on the neck.   Without my glasses in the shower I can read that stuff, so I had to shop around to get assorted colors to work for me.    In spite of that I really do like these the best of all the travel containers I have ever owned.

The fabric I used in this pillowcase always makes me smile because it is so crazy unexpected.

The fabric I used in this pillowcase always makes me smile because it is so crazy unexpected.

My last recommendation is a pillow case from home.   I have made a collection of bright don’t forget me pillow cases, but anything will do.    Pillow cases from home can be used to cover and double up hotel pillows to simulate your personal pillow.   Pillowcases from home can also be used to keep your face and skin away from the harsh hotel laundry soaps.   It also puts another barrier between you and the pillow that hundreds of others have slept on.   Lastly this is what I put all my dirty clothes in to take them home.   It is like having a personal laundry bag to keep your dirty clothes from soiling your luggage and anything you may have clean left in your bag for your next stop in your travels.

Shift of Duties

In over 30 years a couple settles in to a division of duties they don’t think much about until something happens to rock the boat.   In our household,  we  are in a routine and take so much for granted.  Now that my husband is laid up with his injury we are seeing a shift of  the household duties.   Until at least December 2nd he will be in a cast with his toes pointed and no weight on the ankle.   What this means is that there are a whole host of household duties that I am going to have to suck up and provide cover him  on the household chore list.

RangerSir is sure that no one can do laundry as well as he can.    Since he thinks he does it best, for the most part I have gotten  out of the way and let him have at it for over 30 years.   Our laundry room is on the lower level, and most of our living happens on the main level.   He can get downstairs, but honestly he is not very stable doing stairs on crutches.    I am now the family laundress.   He has already raised his eyebrows when he sees what I have put in the same load.   He has questioned items that went through the drier that he would have put on hangers or the drying rack.    So far the most I get is the look of horror, but as long has he doesn’t end up with pink underwear or shrunk clothing I suspect that my skill-set will suffice.

The other household chore I have been forced into is running of the vacuum.  My migraines are audio sensitive and even when I don’t have one, noise is very difficult for me.    The noise generated by the vacuum puts me over the edge, even when I am not suffering from migraine pain.     In the time RangerSir and I have been together the number of times I have run the vacuum I can like county with the fingers on one hand.   He runs it when I am in the shower or out of the house.   He is a real is peach  and so sensitive to my needs.   Though if he is a little put out with me, he has no qualms running it at any time he thinks is most effective to make his case.     Now I am going to be forced to run this nasty tool at least once a week.

Bottom line is I don’t mind.  I know if the roles were reversed he would have my back the same way. I  am reminded to appreciate all that he does.    I sometimes forget that it is him that makes many things happen, not some magic trick.

Clothes on the Line

Sheets flapping in the wind

Sheets flapping in the wind

I was going to write about drying clothes on the line as a lost domestic art.  I am not so sure that is true.   If your time is limited, do you want to spend the day tending clothes on the line?  Have you ever experienced clothes dried outside, If not maybe there is nothing for you to loose if you never had it.   Houses no longer have clotheslines in the backyard, so the opportunity to try it doesn’t exist.   So maybe it is a dying opportunity not necessary a lost domestic art.

Growing up my mother hung clothes out on the line.   They would stay there for hours until it was convenient for her to bring them in.    It was a way of being thrift, by not running the drier.   It was also freeing as once they were on the line my mother could do other things until she was ready to work the finished laundry.    I would argue that putting clothes on the line was a great time management technique for her.   Some days she would hang the laundry out early and take off and shop for groceries and run other errands and the clothes hung there until they worked into her schedule much later in the day.

I love the smell of clothes dried on the line.   I try to put out one load daily.   Lots of folks hesitate to put towels out for fear they will end up rough.   Lucky for me I have wind that howls most days and they end up as fluffy as if they had run a cycle in the clothes drier.  The sunshine also helps to eliminate any “sour” smell that might come from towels and washcloths hanging damp in  your bathroom.   As to shirts, the wind pulls out wrinkles in shirts.   No meeting the drier and pulling them out one at a time and putting them on hangers.

This summer it has been a bit of a challenge because I was constantly dodging the smell of smoke.  Fortunately for me, if I got my clothes out on the line early, and my wind was anywhere near normal, they took less than a hour to dry.   They were in and back in before the afternoon smoke rolled in. There were only a few days my system did not work.

I am starting to think about the changes of season and how the days of clothes on the line will come to a close, not anytime soon fortunately.

How Much Can You Squeeze Into a Day?

This weekend was supposed to be a gastronomical get away with friends.  We had planned an long leisure ethnic tapas style dinner, followed by walks to a highly recommended ice cream shop and a night cap or two before spending the night at a hotel.   The dog has reservations at his favorite dog sitter who has a doggie door, that he just can’t get enough of.   Work circumstances for Mr. Ranger Sir have gotten crazy.   He  has been gone all week and will not be home next week.    He squeezed a single day off  Saturday and came home for a little R&R.  There was no way our out-of-town rendezvous was going to happen.

He came with plans for doing  dirty laundry and wanted nothing more than to sleep in his own bed for hours.    Unfortunately for him the birds we had not  butchered because of nasty weather were getting wild.  They were starting to fight.   They were picking at everyone’s feathers and some of them were start to have naked areas.   Yep with the precious single day at home we spent three hours of it butchering 11 chickens.   We started at the crack of dawn and got started before the predicted record highs for Montana became a reality.    We got rid about half  our flock.   Gone are all our roosters and the broody girls.  We have 12 birds left, one from the 2011 flock, four from the 2012 flock and the other seven are what is left of this year’s chick order.   We will have to butcher one more time before the snow flies and get rid of about half of what is left, but that is for another day.

Next came laundry, laundry and more laundry.   I can’t say a bad word about this because Mr. Ranger Sir is sure he does laundry better than I can.   After 35 years with this man, I just get out of the way and let him do it.

Then we cleaned up the coop.   We laid in fresh straw, cleaned containers, topped off food and reminded ourselves about why we don’t do this many birds.   The remaining flock is so much more settled and our role to keep they healthy, clean and fed just got easier.

We cleaned up and headed to town.    Lucky for us going to town included a stop at the dump, because the butchering  We decided we deserved a two hour time out, and took in a movie.  It was cool, mindless and fun.    Next it was off the K-mart to pick up a few supplies and then the grocery to find food to stock my husbands pantry next week in while on assignment.

Together we cooked up a couple of pork chops with a most amazing mango pepper sauce, along with a salad.     It was nice to sit at the table and try and catch up with all that had gone on, and try to make plans for the up coming week and beyond.

The last thing of the night, Mr. Ranger Sir packed up his bags with clean clothes, groceries, renewed supplies.

It wasn’t the day either of us had planned but it was full of what need to be done.  It is amazing what you can accomplish if time is short.   You can squeeze so much in and even unexpectedly have a little fun too.