~ 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 laundry...now 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 water...now 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
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 ~