the view from laundry day: personal progression, part 2

old school setups
then came the spring of 2009, and my residence at _______farms. for a week or two i got to stay with the kind folks at _____ farm, and benefited from their laundry setup - a wash basin on a metal stand with a metal agitator (a cone-shaped metal deal with a wooden handle) and a wringer.

i washed my clothes with water from their pond

and hung it on their line while watching a sweet father patiently hand wash his daughter's cloth diapers (a chore done several days a week).

birthing ingenuity
once nux and i moved to our own leasehold, we found an existing clothesline (+clothespins) for drying but had to come up with our own washing methods. also, we didn't have running water or normal plumbing. that meant a composting toilet, and toilet paper. we found ourselves often having to pee while out walking around the land (a far way from that composting toilet!), and since composting toilets don't like to have lots of liquid anyway, we developed a habit of squatting in the grass. there was never anyone around, so it always felt private enough. but it was awkward to carry toilet paper - we didn't want to leave it on the ground, but we also didn't want to carry Used toilet paper back to the campsite. gross! this was the beginning of my experience with cloth toilet wipes. i used old flannels to sew up wipes that we could carry around in our pockets and use if we had to pee. they didn't get very wet from one use, and could be rather comfortably slipped back into one's pocket until return to the campsite, where they could be set aside and washed with our other clothes.

the simplest way
so now we had cloth wipes and dirty clothes, and no washing machine, washbin, agitator, or wringer. but we had buckets! and we had rainwater! and sticks, and, well - hands. for several months we filled 5-gallon buckets with rainwater, dr. bronner's soap, and our dirty clothes. we'd let them soak a while, 'agitate' them with a sturdy stick for a while, then scrub them by hand until they seemed reasonably clean. then wring, empty bucket, re-fill with water, re-fill with clothes, swish around, and 'rinse' until satisfied. drain bucket, haul to clothesline (a one to two minute walk), wring with your hands, and hang to dry. this worked well enough, but caused blisters on my hands. hand wringing is tough during heavy-clothing weather, too. the best part of this process was the view.

back to civilization
after ______ we moved to kansas city, and then back to virginia for a while. my discontent with modern machines remained, and so i figured out new ways to keep the cloth-wipe habit alive and continued to (intermittently) wash my clothes by hand. i kept my dirty wipes in a plastic bag in the bathroom, and washed them by hand (no washboard yet, so i really mean 'by hand') with boiling water and dr. bronner's. i hung them from a metal rack in the bathroom to dry.

once we were back at acorn for the fall and winter, i finally pulled out that old glass washboard and put it to use. in this happy period, encouraged by a rekindling of community, i started washing my wipes more frequently, sewing more so that i had a constant supply, and washing my clothes by hand more often as well. it's much easier to line dry in the country than in an apartment. i was still using small buckets, though (which are fine for just wipes, which i wash separately) - not ideal for things like jeans and sweatshirts. at this point, i kept my dirty wipes sealed up in a plastic food container on a bathroom shelf. sometimes if i were feeling ambitious i'd carry a clean wipe out to the composting toilet.

the 'stuff to post about' list:
-herb harvesting/infusions/use of fresh herbs/tinctures
-making pants/making clothing
-growing herbs in the garden
-growing veggies, garden details
-my work vs. hogwarts
-burn salve
-the view from laundry day
-awesome natural builder blogs
-the search for land/money/building credit
-dental health/sustainable toothcare
-sustainable clothes washing
-sustainable home/dishes/cleaning
-embroidering project (jeans)
-recent crafts - stamps, giraffe puppet, clothespin bag