Monday, April 6, 2009

My New Addition

Guess what I got this weekend? Yet another step in our conservation-minded life goals: outdoor clotheslines! I'm very excited...see, I grew up hanging clothes outside with my mom and grandma who lived next door to us. Mom would get up in the summer and throw in a load or two first thing in the morning, then hang them out when it was still relatively cool. By lunchtime they'd be dry. Sometimes we'd be out or busy, and they'd still be hanging when a good old-fashioned summer afternoon thunderstorm started brewing up - and we'd have to dash to the clothesline to get them in before it started pouring. So, until now, I've been longing for a clothesline - and not just for nostalgia! Did you know that the dryer is one of the biggest energy hogs in your house? It's my eventual goal to get one of the high-efficiency washers to not only cut down on water use and overall "loads" because of their larger capacity, but also the increased spin velocity cuts down on dryer time since the clothes are more efficiently wrung out. But for now, my very old washer that came with the house is working just fine, and I hate to just toss a perfectly good appliance! So that'll have to wait a while.

Why haven't we had a clothesline yet? Hard to say - I guess in a way, it was difficult for me to get outside with two toddlers - our yard has some dangerously steep drop-offs and it's not like you can let a couple of little ones just wander while you're struggling to hang a load of sheets and blankets. My kids were and are never the type to sit there and wait...first chance they get, they're off and running in whatever direction is away from me! And of course, hanging clothes causes some of them to need to be ironed, something ELSE that takes up time I really don't have, but seem to have more of now than in the past few years.

But now I think I can swing it, at least I'll give it a try! I love the smell of laundry that's been dried outside in the sunshine and wind - glorious. Especially sheets and towels! The lines we installed are great - they're retractable, so when you're done, you just unhook the lines and they reel back up into their housing that is attached to a pole, or the side of your house, or, in our case, a few trees. In the winter, you just pull a pin and take them inside. So no unsightly lines hanging all year round, or at all when you're not using them.

My first project...washing the winter comforters and bedspreads and blankets at the laundromat (since my washer is not high-capacity, I have to take them out....hmmmmm....ANOTHER reason for a new washer!), but at least now, rather than paying to dry them at the laundromat, I can just bring them home wet and hang them up...saves money as well as time - who wants to sit in the laundry for several hours waiting for stuff to dry?

OH - and I almost forgot! We also did something new in the garden this weekend - Mark planted me a bunch of onions! We've never grown onions before, so we're not sure what to expect, but if they all come up, we'll have onions up to our eyeballs. We're talking about expanding our gardens for next's too late now to start digging up sod, and the time to really do it is in the fall, so the planning has begun for that.

Loving the positive changes and steps toward nature: air-drying clothes and growing more and more of our own foods! Is a chicken coop next in our future? Not sure the neighborhood ordinances would allow that one!

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