I have learned a good bit lately and I am finally understand things I should have understood long ago.
The best thing that could have happened to me is for my washing machine to break down and not be able to be fixed for 6 weeks due to a back ordered part.
When you hand wash everything, sheets, towels, blankets, underwear, socks, pants, shirts, dresses, skirts, dog blankets, rugs, kitchen wash cloths, rags, dish towels and more for six weeks in the upper 90s to over 100 degrees you can do anything.
You almost have to get mad with it until you learn your lesson. I had a lot of talking to do with my family that has gone before me. I needed to figure out some things. Their obsessions with pecans and peaches for one. Their saving string, and getting on to us when we were children when we did not do as we were told.
When you start living like the past, eventually you start understanding.
My mother was almost obsessed with pecans when they started falling off the trees in the fall. She was the same with peaches. Charles and I started to understand that we need to eat more seasonal and to preserve what we can and when you are out in 98 degree high humidity heat washing clothes by hand you start thinking about all of these things.
Food safety seems to be a big issue these days, so many recalls and issues with food so we need to do our best to know about our food and handle it with care.
In the past our generations before us did not get peaches and pecans all year around. Those were very special because they ate "Locally" and "Seasonal". They didn't want to miss a single one so they could put up all that they could until next years harvest.
We are spoiled, and not just spoiled, we are very wasteful. We have become a society that does not give much thought to where our food comes from, how far it travels and at what cost to how an animal was raised or what pesticides or contaminates might be on our food.
I was outside scrubbing work pants and realized that my mother and her family were poor, I knew they were poor but I realized how hard it must have been. The food such as pecans and peaches were a treat. Her whole life she would sit in her chair and pick out every single piece of pecan out of the shell and she was as proud as if it were gold. I realized we are not thankful for our food as they were then. We think nothing with spending a fortune at the grocery store and wondering why the budget is tight. Desserts were not in abundance like today and meat was not eaten at every meal.
We think nothing about wasting water or electricity because we feel as though it is our right to use these things no matter what the cost to our utility bill or what happens to our earth or environment using so much. Even if we have plenty of money to spend on these things, it is not our right to not conserve. Most people do not even try. What have we taught our children?????
I can tell you that I can wash our laundry by hand cleaner than any machine. I couldn't at first. I have finally become an expert at something! I used to do this when I was a young wife with a baby and now I can do it as an older lady.
I have people that ask me why would you do this? We live in a modern world. Now my statement is why would I not do this if I can? The sun dries for free and sanitizes. I use less water washing by hand. I finally have a system.
I started getting up early and adding water to a bucket and soaking the laundry. I have shown that in past posts. Soaking is important. Some laundry needs only a light washing or scrubbing and some needs a heavy scrubbing.
I was tired of Charles pants coming out of the washer smelling dirty. I can scrub these pants clean with little water.
I rub that laundry bar over the wet pants that have been soaked and scrub with a brush front and back and pay special attention to the waist, the knees and the cuffs. This is not hard.
Pour a few cups of water over the pants to wash away the soap. Squish the pants with both hands while doing this and then rinse the pants in a bucket of water.
Some clothes I can wash inside on my inside scrub board when the weather is bad.
One tip about scrubbing clothes is take a cup and pour over the just scrubbed laundry item to wash away the suds. Squeeze, this will help to take less water to rinse.
I have been taking my buckets out to let water run where I need it to run on places where I wanted the lawn to fill in or carry the rinse water to water other things.
Rinsing is very important to get the laundry clean.
We all need to know how to do this because we never know what might happen.
This is a hand scrubbed kitchen towel that was line dried that I folded and unfolded to say, I wish you could smell how clean it is. I am as proud of this as my mother was with her hand shelled pecans.
It made me go back to my roots. I used to use cardboard a long time ago. We didn't have much plastic then, we had cardboard and tins and such.
So since we are downsizing and I am thinning out things and trying to organize as I go I decided to go back to my past and make cardboard drawer dividers.
I measured the depth and height of my drawer and cut strips longer than I needed.
I folded the edges back...
Made two the same....
I glued the inside, not the flaps...
Pressed the pieces together so the flaps go out like this...
And put it in the drawer.....
When you get it where you want it you can take some masking tape and roll up a small piece and stick it behind the flaps and it will not shift.
So I cut some more pieces of cardboard.... and taped them together like an accordion ..
put it in a basket, this could be a box...
I made two of these to hold two of the accordion places steady but not all of them so there is room to move a bit.,
And this holds the electronic chargers.... Not a vintage thing... but something most of us have these days if we have a computer or cell phones.
This is just a couple of inexpensive tips for organizing....
I am doing my best to keep my kitchen clean with all the mess in the rest of the house. I have also managed to clear the table top so we can eat.
This is hard work since we have a lifetime of things to sort. I am focusing on how much better this will be when we are finished.
I am also doing a 30 day challenge with some of my family members to declutter the home. I saw this on the internet and I will post the link below. We are starting tomorrow. We remove one item the first day, two items on day two, three items on day three, 4 items on day four and so on until we get to day 30. When we finish we will have removed 465 items from the house. This can include, old toiletries, kitchen items, clothing, books, old office supplies, things not used anymore, medicine cabinets, dishes etc. Charles is going to do his work shop while I do the inside. With the state of the house with downsizing I am going to start backwards because I already have things leaving the house.
Let me say this, I am not a minimalist, not even close and I don't want our house bare like is in the video this lady made. I enjoy textiles and vintage items but we do have too much clutter so this challenge will help. My intentions are not to become a minimalist but to become more less cluttered and organized.
If you want to join us please feel free to join the 30 day challenge. If you want to send me pictures just remember I read all my emails but I cannot answer right away because of this big making an apartment inside our house. See other post.
I enjoy emails just be patient with me answering and if you don't need me to answer please say so, just know I read it and I will try to answer back when I can. :)
I can see my emails on my phone now, it is just too hard to type on my phone.
So this is where we are at this time. The more we do the more we want to live more like the past and the more we want to conserve and save so we can be in the position to help others. Grandma Donna