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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday is Laundry Day

~ first load ~
Remember the old adage, "Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Thursday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday?" Or, some know it as Monday - Wash, Tuesday - Iron, Wednesday - Sew, Thursday - Shop, Friday - Clean, Saturday - Bake, Sunday - Rest.

Here, at Thistle Cove Farm, we keep to such a schedule but with changes that suit our lifestyle. Especially as I'm now the main only farm hand, washer woman, baker, cleaner, ironer, churner, shopper but we all rest on Sunday. No, wait, that's not quite right; Dave is strong enough to help with cooking...thank you God! and Daniel helps with the garden and heavy chores like haying. Daniel has been down with his back this past week so it's been a heavy load; at least, what's been accomplished has been a heavy load, the rest of it just hasn't been done and you know what? I haven't noticed the world has stopped spinning on its axis, not a whit. 

Anyway, there was method to such madness as having a particular day to do house work. On Monday, the wife would be all rested from Sunday so the fire preparation, heavy lifting of wet clothes and so on would have been easier than had she waited until later in the week. Mildred Smith tells it in far better detail than I'm going into but beware, you'll probably want to take a nap when you've finished reading! Tuesday's ironing, naturally, followed Monday's wash and mending clean clothes just made sense. Read how the Ingalls' family did that was work!

Growing up, I remember Mom cleaning the house and grocery shopping on Saturday while, in the spring and summer at least, Daddy worked the garden every night after work and on Saturday. Sunday was reserved for church and rest and we always had a large Sunday dinner...which is what is known as lunch now. Daddy and Mom's kin who had farms always had their large meal in the middle of the day, which was dinner, and a smaller meal of whatever was left at supper time. Dave and I try to keep to that but, generally, we also fail. Like tonight, Daniel is coming to help us and we'll eat supper as our large meal while today, lunch will be the smaller meal. It's best not to be too wedded to things as change is the only constant in our lives; much easier to be fluid in life, wouldn't you agree?

Now, I work the garden in early hours before it gets so hot and I've fed my animals, inspected water troughs, etc. shortly thereafter. Monday is still laundry day around here and that's one chore I do enjoy. There's something about having a washing machine in lieu of a fire and kettle that really works for me. I enjoy hanging my laundry out just so because it cuts down on a lot of work later...such as ironing. I enjoy ironing, truly!, but try to keep it an a necessary minimum. Aunt Gin, long departed these many years, would iron everything...sheets, pillow cases, table cloths, trousers, shirts, dresses, bras, panties...those last items made me shake my head in wonder... Can you even imagine? I can't and I was there!
~ pants pegged upside down ~
This week won't find me finishing laundry today but I've got a good start. The pants are pegged upside down because it reduces wrinkles although it's difficult to tell from this photo. Every so often, I "finger iron" them, straightening and pulling them snugly to pull out the wrinkles. These are just pants I wear to work around the farm or run to town so they don't have to be totally wrinkle free. Besides, just as soon as I put them on, trust me...the wrinkles will smooth out a bit more (wry grin).
~ drying clothes on a hot, sunny day ~

Shirts are, usually, hung by the seams where the shoulder and sleeve meet. If a shirt is knitted material, they are turned upside down and hung from the bottoms so I don't get that annoying pucker on the top. 

Good tips - 

- Prior to washing, separate clothes into separate loads - whites, darks, delicates 

- Pretreat stains with anything from lemon juice, salt, Quick 'n Brite, Shout...whatever you like best. If your clothes are really dirty, you might consider an overnight soak. When I do an overnight soak, I use Biz (visit their site for a $2 coupon) and, sometimes, add 20 Mule Team Borax

- As an aside, if you've problems with ants in your house, sprinkle a line of borax around their entry; the ants won't cross Borax and your ant problem will cease. Additionally, Borax is a natural and safe product and has been in use for more than one hundred years.

- Unless my clothes are extremely dirty, I wash in cold water and use a detergent suitable for cold water. That used to be liquid Tide but no longer; they use a nasty blue dye that has ruined several blouses so I've changed detergents. I'm getting ready to make my own detergent but in the meantime, I'm using one made from coconut and it's working well.

- While the machine is filling with water and detergent, I sort my clothes; when the machine is about half way full, the clothes are arranged around the agitator so they don't all pile up on one side. 

- Do use a laundry dye magnet - there are several on the market but they are all, somewhat, expensive. You could use Shout Color Catcher (visit their site for a free sample) but white vinegar works and it softens clothes.

- Never fill the washing machine full; you'll get better results, iow, cleaner laundry, if you don't overload the machine. 

- Never use the recommended amount of detergent...never! There's no need, all it does is leave an annoying residue in your clothes and waste detergent and money. I use about one-third to one-half the recommended amount and my clothes are always squeaky clean.

- Don't use softener as it never rinses completely out of your clothes and, eventually,  softener will make your towels not absorb that's very annoying!

- Don't use the dryer but hang your clothes on a line as it's less expensive and your clothes smell much, much nicer. When the weather isn't hot and sunny, I use a drying rack inside which releases moisture into the house...especially nice in the winter months! If I have to use the dryer, I toss in a couple of dryer balls and they both cut down on the time needed to dry my clothes and soften the laundry in the same manner as fabric softener. Don't overload the dryer either and, about once a month, take the vacuum and clean out the dryer vent both to the machine and to the outside. You'd be surprised at the lint buildup and that's a fire hazard.

When you dry clothes on a line, use a clean rag cloth to wipe down your clothesline. Run the cloth down the line and back again and be amazed at the dirt you won't get on your clothes. Your clothes are dry so fold them, nicely and neatly, straight from the line into the basket. Heavier clothes on the bottom, lighter clothes on the top. When you bring them inside, immediately hang up those that need to be hung up. Again, you're preventing wrinkles and unnecessary ironing. Around here, I'm also preventing one of the animals from taking a warm, cozy nap in my clean laundry (smile). 

Too much information so if you're still reading, have a iced coffee. I'm just home from visiting Aunt Esther, she's fragile as humming bird but, at 93, she's still living on her own and tending to her own business. I can only hope and pray to do as well should I live as long! Look for me to visit your blog sometime this week; probably after dark as chores are calling during the day light hours. You know those bloggers who say, "be blessed"? All fine and good but I admonish you to "be a blessing" instead; we're all already more blessed than about most of the world's population.

Blessings ~ clean laundry ~ loving family ~ iced coffee ~


  1. I can smell the crispness in the sheets dried on the clothesline..awwww so simple and brings so much pleasure.
    Life should be like that...simple. It is for those of us who embrace it.
    Loved the "be a blessing." Hope you don't mind if I use that!

  2. I do love the smell of clothes and especially sheets fresh off the line, nothing like it.

  3. Great tips! My family on the farm over in W. Fla. still say Dinner for lunch, and then supper which is usually cereal or a sandwich! :)

  4. Great tips! I love dryer balls - I have to dry my cloth diapers in the dryer even in the summer lest they smell like urine. Dryer balls really help shorten drying time. Everything else goes on the line.

  5. Hello Sandra and Dave:
    We really are concerned about the amount of work you have to cope with and, so it appears to us, with very little in the way of additional help. And yet you are so very cheerful and are clearly putting a very good face on what we suspect, from the little we know, are very difficult times. But, like you, we firmly believe that we are never given more to endure than, as an individual, we can actually cope with.

    That said, it does not make the household chores any less, nor, we feel, does it make you less tired.

    We are so far away and it is useless to pretend that we can assist you in any practical way. But, be assured, you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. Now, it is Monday night. Leave that washing on the line!!

  6. Great information on laundry! I hang my clothes out usually no matter the weather, unless it's pouring rain. It will dry eventually! :) Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog today. I truly appreciate it! :)

  7. I'm not a "young thang" but I've never hung clothes on
    a line to dry. True. Beautiful photos.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today!
    Very nice to meet you!

  8. Oh dear, I fear that I fail at laundry!!! I AM A CITY DWELLER, a full-time teacher and have long lost the art of ironing, mending and hanging the cloths out to dry in the fresh air....but your tips and views are refreshing as the summer wind, and I thank you for this escape into your world, and for coming to mine. LONG LIVE JACK LEWIS as well!!! Blessings, Anita

  9. BTW, I signed on to FOLLOW. Your blog is beautiful!!
    I'll be baaa-ck!

  10. Yikes! Too much to remember what to do on what day! I usually do several loads of wash starting on Monday and right on through Friday and an occasional Saturday if need be. I wash as we need them and there are enough of that(color) to make a load. I use my own detergent ~ has been working great!
    I remember my grandma (who raised me) telling me about the days when they all wore long skirts (only). She said people didn't wash things as much as we do today. On wet rainy, snow-y,muddy days, skirts were pretty sodden and dirty at least six inches up the hem! And they didn't wash them until next week! Again, Yikes!
    I'm so sorry Daniel has been having trouble with his back. I can sympothize ~ mine has been acting up (herniated disc) and not getting as much done here as I'd like.
    You simply cannot be doing the haying by yourself,Sandra!?! Oh, I wish I was there to help you! I used to help my grandpa hay every year since I was 7 years old. We would bring the hay in loose. What a hot, itchy, back breaking job it was! Oh, my! I will surely be praying extra hard for Daniel to get well soon to help!
    Lunch, Supper, Dinner! It has always confused me! What meal am I eating at what time?
    Your little Auntie Esther sounds like such a dear! My gradma lived to be 94 and I hope to do the same, Lord willing. And I look forward to hearing from you after your chores are finished, if you still have energy to come read!
    And I suppose I am one you are admonishing 'cuz I am always signing off with Be Blessed. I do hope that each day, to someone I can ...
    Be a Blessing!

  11. Oh, dear! I just wrote a book!

  12. A very enjoyable read Sandra. I remember mama hanging clothes out on the line and I would hand her the clothespins. I had a little girlfriend whose mom always ironed their sheets, pillowcases etc. - NUTS!!!
    Sending my love to you and Dave.

  13. Sandra, what a nice post. I remember hanging clothes out with my grandmother - loved the smell of them with fresh air and sunshine. I'd love to put a line in the backyard but with the three large dogs running amuck out there every time we let them out, I'm sure the clothes would be covered in red Georgia clay quickly LOL I used to make my own laundry soap too - so easy and cleans really well. I need to get back into that again now that my work project has wound down and I have a little more time than I had the past six months. Hugs to you and remember to let things go - if you can't get it done than it isn't critical. Big hugs!

  14. Oh, Sandra,
    LOTS on your plate right now, for sure. Hang on....Sunday's comin'!
    Meanwhile, I will be praying for you and yours...strength for the journey.

    In Christ alone,

  15. Thank you for the reminder to 'be a blessing'... a much needed nudge to remember how that we are indeed very blessed.

  16. Sandra, you are too funny with all this information, but I want you to know I truly believe in hanging laundry to dry. Dryers absolutely ruin fibers. I mean, we all must use dryers for our towels, but anything else is best outside if one has room and time. I live in a townhome now and I use a collapsible rack, so there is a way if one tries. Is borax as good as oxyclean?

  17. I love clothes hanging on a line.


  18. I have to wash two or three times a week... but I don't iron everything...:o)

  19. I well remember that saying...'Wash day on Monday, etc.' And I remember in the early 1950s playing next to the washing machine and under the clothes line while mom did that weekly chore. I can 'hear' the snap of sheets and towels in the breeze. To this day, there are two 'smells' that are so incredibly comforting and peaceful to me (1) fresh baked bread and (2) sleeping on sheets that smell like sunshine! Also, I liked your take better on the 'Be Blessed,' tweaked to 'Be a Blessing,' that is what the Lord asks of us, is it not? ~Madge <

  20. I don't know how you do it all. Thanks for all the great tips!

    Off to be a blessing to whomever I can today!


  21. Clothes smell so good when they dry outside! I really miss that. Living primarily in an urban area with almost no yard, I hang my clothes in the basement.

  22. Great post! Thanks for the Borax/ant tip. We've had ants here for the past several weeks and I know where they're getting in so I'm going to do that!

    Also, I think it was you who had commented on my blog a while back about getting locally-harvested honey to help reduce environmental allergies. I had previously heard that so we've been buying local for the last couple of years. It probably does help, but we still both require allergy medication - me year round and my husband just in spring and fall.

    Thanks for sharing all your great advice and tips, and I'd love an iced coffee right now!

  23. I need a clothesline! I'm in the suburbs and the whole area is suffering from years of ridiculous clothesline restrictions. If common sense won't do it, at least the energy crunch should bring all those stupid rules to an end!!
    I used to use Borax to soak all my babies clothes... it was the best thing for getting out stains.

  24. wow! you talked about me on your blog today!!!! i'm "one of those bloggers"-- i always end my posts with "be blessed - i am!" or something to the effect. i think i shall write about you on my blog tonight & change my sign off to "be a blessing"!! i pray you'll be blessed, because you are such a blessing to me!!!

  25. I LOVE the wash lline photos. My mother has an old feed bin with three compartments that dirty laundry goes in . . white, lilghts and darks. The birds build nest in her clothes pin bag every spring!


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