“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, March 08, 2010

This Week At Home

It's a drizzly day in the North Woods.  Mr. Mac and I have a day without the responsibility of children at home ... a day to go to town ... to purchase a sink to set up outside near the garden with a little weatherproof counter space to handle the dirty work of cleaning garden produce.

I have a gift card from last Mother's Day (my kids know me well) that I hope to use on a new clothesline to put up behind the garage.  It should be a more presentable way to hang laundry ... last year we had a rag-tag line poorly strung up ... not too neat or tidy ... a bit reminiscent of tent camping.  Without a fenced yard .. it was a bit hillbillyish;)

One more comment about laundry:  About a year ago we stopped using liquid fabric softener and dryer fabric sheets ... and bleach for whites.  Half of the year we used two tablespoons of concentrated powder laundry soap (from Costco) ... the other half we used a homemade liquid or powder soap.  Both Costco and the homemade soaps performed about the same.  The laundry seemed a bit dingy until we recently began adding 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the washing machine's fabric softener dispenser.  I must admit ... the whites are now as white as when we used bleach ... and after nearly a year without the addition of commercial softeners, our clothes have no residue making them come out of the wash much cleaner than imagined.  Another bonus is how clean the washing machine appears inside ... not all greasy-gray from the Downey softener.  More money in the bank! (For soap recipes ... check the sidebar)
Mr. Mac asked recently what I wanted for my birthday.  I think the requested gift cost a whole $5 ... but the effort he made blessed my heart.  Having a keen fondness for saving zip lock plastic bags for reuse, my counter often has bags drying upside down over various objects.  I present to you my new-fangled heart shaped bag drying rack.  Ta-dah! 

11 comments:

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

I also reuse zip lock bags and the drying rack is a great idea!

I like your grocery budget sidebar. I'm thinking of tracking mine in a ledger like they used to do. We found an old ledger at my mother in law's house that one of the grandparents used to keep track of household expenses. It was fun to read and inspired me to do something similar just for fun.

Morgan said...

That's a great idea for drying bags. Will have to get the FH making me something like that soon!

DarcyLee said...

I reuse my baggies, too, and the idea of making a dryer for them is ingenious! I, too, have been making my own laundry soap for about the last year. I doubt I will ever go back to buying it again. I love using vinegar too. It makes everything softer.

The Younger Rachael said...

I love the ziplock drying rack! I'm gonna see about making my own....

We use 1 tsp of HE laundry detergent to a load of laundry, and I will bleach towels and washclothes and sheets. I'll check out the soap recipes, for sure.

Kristina said...

I turn my ziploc baggies inside out to wash, and then leave them standing up on their own that way to dry.

Wendy said...

I'm wondering about the laundry soap and lack of fabric softener. I'm not sure I could handle it if the clothes came out smelling like vinegar? Does it also take care of static cling?

Mrs. Mac said...

Wendy ... the clothes don't smell like vinegar out of the dryer .. it helps soften and reduce static electricity. They are scent free.

Wendy said...

Ok thanks that's good to know! I might try this. Maybe it will be better for my foster baby with eczema

Wendy said...

I was a bit worried. Didn't want to smell like a pickle all day long hehe

Mrs. Mac said...

Wendy ... it will take a while for all of the fabric softener residue to wash out of your clothes .. but it will be worth the effort.

Bovey Belle said...

I re-use freezer bags to (ones that have had meat in get recycled though). I peg mine on the line if it's dry, and if it's wet (which it often is - this IS Wales after all) they get shaken off and draped over the handles of my big copper pans on the Hergom stove.