Well we finally managed to get the family together, at least part of us. This past weekend we managed to visit one another here at our house.
My brother and sister -in -law and Niece and Great niece will be coming the end of this month. :) I will be so happy to see them.
The cucumbers are coming along well and we have been eating cucumbers for about a week now. There are three pots here, two that are cucumber plants and one that is a cantaloupe.
Here is one of the baby cantaloupes. I will put it in a ladies stocking when it starts getting heavy and tie it to the wire. I grew some like this a few years ago in a vertical garden.
This is one of our bug catchers, I have named this one Cukie because he eats bugs off the cucumber plants. He needs to leave the bees along though.
We are growing pickling cucumbers but they don't have to be just for pickles, they taste the same as regular cucumbers, it is just the size and they don't get as soft as some cucumbers for pickling.
I am still canning, I canned chicken broth yesterday.
Windsor is finally full and no room for the chicken broth or the beans that I will can Thursday. So those will have to go somewhere else.
Charles took a split limb and attached it to a post and he puts bird seed in it and the birds love going there to eat. These are Cardinals a male and female.
There is a dove eating from the limb feeder...
We bought another trough to make a second raised bed. We will buy at least one each month for a few months.
We are setting things up for our older age and buying these things while Charles is still working. We know now we need raised beds and these will not rot like wood. So we will buy them as we can afford.
We are also thinking ahead in many ways of saving money.
Where the cucumbers are we had to extend the top so they had a taller trellis to climb. This is looking out our back door porch area.
I am trying to do my best going paperless and plastic free. It is not easy but I am trying to break bad habits. I do love not having to buy these things. I want to get to where we don't buy anymore paper towels or plastic wrap. So I was eating a sandwich on a roll and wanted to save half so I just put a bowl over the top. It works....
I just keep a container on the counter and keep old cloths there handy to grab and use instead of a paper towels. I also use them for peeling things instead of using a bag or paper towel if I am peeling at the counter. I don't hem them, they only fray for awhile and then stop. I make sure it is 100 percent cotton so it will absorb.
Our two and half year old HE washing machine stopped working last week. We have not gotten anyone to come to fix it so far.
So I am hand washing once again. I also have the small panda washer to use if my back is bothering me. So I hand washed and used the panda for two days to get caught up with the laundry because I had sheets and a good bit of laundry to do.
We are going to do some adjustments to the laundry area soon as I may do more hand washing laundry again because i don't like the HE machines anyway.
Here I am soaking some laundry. This is after I got everything caught up including a blanket that Charles was kind enough to help with.
Since the washer is out of order I am daily washing what we use each day and doing this with little water. I do like doing it this way because the clothes get very clean.
Soak them for an hour or so...
Lay them on something flat and rub bar laundry soap all over it. then brush or just rub it and squeese it for the soap and water to go through. Add a little water while doing this.
This is how we have it now. We have a deep 15 gallon barrel for sheets and blankets but what we are going to change is we are going to put in a larger scrub top. We may build a cement one or a cedar one, not sure yet. I am going to link a video of what I will be doing since I don't have a way to do one of me doing this.
Here I have washed Charles work pants and dress shirt and a few other things by rubbing soap and water. It is not hard if you have it set up the right height.
Remember a while ago I posted about going paperless? Well I mentioned we also stopped buying toilet paper. We only keep toilet paper for company. But we use wiping cloths. We bought a bidet for the toilet which washes your bum then you pat dry. It is not gross like some may think. The wipes do not get all messy because the water washes off the poop. Just keeping it real.
Well anyway some people are just strange, I got an email one time from someone that would not hang laundry on a clothesline because they are gross. Dirty clothes line or rusty clothesline. Well we don't hang laundry on dirty lines, the rain washes them and we replace worn out cotton lines or rusty wire lines, they are not gross.
So we clean ourselves before wiping our bottoms. There are portable bidets on Amazon and the kind we have which is plumbed into the toilet.
If someone thinks it is gross to wash them, my question is have you never soiled your panties? Never washed a soiled diaper? Never been a caregiver for someone elderly or sick? Never cleaned up after sick children? What is the difference?
We wash them and I like to sun dry them. I also am enjoying not buying these expensive paper products at the store.
One more thing I have found. Toilet paper is the cause of irritation "Down There". Toilet paper is chemically made, little pieces stick to your "Down There". It can cause redness and irritation when it sticks to your "Down There". Using water and patting with a cloth really helps this. Here in the USA, we have a tendency to follow the leader which sometimes is not the best idea. Many people would rather keep buying ointment for treating "Down There" issues instead of washing with water and patting dry. Enough said.....
Anyway I have two types of wringers. This hand cranked wringer.....
And this panda spinner which I love!
It will spin more water out than any regular washing machine. The laundry is almost dry when it comes out of this spinner. It saves a lot of drying time. Yes it is electric and cannot be used when the power is out but I use it often because we live in a high humidity climate and it takes laundry a long time to dry sometimes. It is called a panda spinner. A clothesline is free drying and a clothes dryer costs money to use every time.
It feels good that we have reduced our electric use quite a bit and that we are saving money in many ways. I also get good exercise. Anyone can do this and i keep telling myself, whenever I sit in a chair my legs quit working.
When everyone is watching television I am doing all of these things. I don't even know how we every had time to watch television when we used to do that.
We are taking the extra money and buying things that will help us to save money in the future if that makes sense. If I set up the wash area so it is easier to wash laundry by hand then that will keep the power and water bill down. It all adds up.
We bought the spinner a few years ago with money saved from not buying other things.
Just a picture of Bell hanging out in her cage early this morning.
Here is a link to a video very similar to what I do. My top is not as large as hers but we are working on that. I wash the small to medium size items like this video and the large items such as sheets, blankets in our barrel. I have shown that before on my blog. I use a plunger. If the weather is bad outside, too cold etc I will bring the large containers inside and put them in the tub and plunge the clothes in there.
I know for a fact that I can hand wash the clothes and get them cleaner than the machine will clean them.
Here are two video links, I hope you find it interesting.
Here is another link of how she washes rugs and how I will wash rugs now.