We’ve had a couple of days of much needed rainy weather, during which the girls and I have been catching up on some severely neglected housecleaning. In the spring and summer, when there’s so much to be done outside, our house can get a little…funky. Add some heat and humidity and it feels positively disgusting! So yesterday we scrubbed and vacuumed and did load after load of laundry.

A few weeks ago I made a batch of laundry soap from a compilation of recipes I had been collecting from all over the internet, notably here. It’s cheap, works really well, and smells great. I bought all ingredients except the essential oils at my local grocery store.

Laundry Soap (Makes three gallons)

1 Bar soap (I used Ivory, which was readily available in my little town)

1 Cup Borax

1/2 Cup Washing Soda

Grate the soap and boil it in a couple of quarts of water until dissolved. Add Borax and washing soda, stir until dissolved. Add enough water to make 3 gallons. I scented mine with some lavender and rose essential oils, and it smells lovely. Use 1/2 cup per load.

That’s it—ridiculously simple! I think in the future I’m going to either order Fels Naptha soap or maybe use Dr. Bronner’s bar soap.

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Our laundry situation has been a source of stress and frustration for years. At the old house, we had a washing machine on the back porch, and a clothesline. The clothesline was nice enough, but the machine on the back porch meant no washing in the winter, and eventually it froze and busted something important inside, and it seemed somewhat pointless to get another machine, just to repeat the same cycle. Besides which, although (for a while) I could wash clothes in the summer, they weren’t terribly easy to dy in this humid climate, and many loads got funky before they got dry, and I have to say I detest re-washing clothes!

So little by little we’ve been getting it together here at our new place (new place for almost a year, now—how is that possible?). There’s a cute, little teeny laundry room off the bathroom, and a couple of months ago we got a washing machine for it. That was great, and I’ve rigged up a discreet clothesline all the way around the porch (discreet because you can only tell it’s there if it has clothes hanging on it).

So that was great, but then the afternoon thunderstorm pattern kicked in, and suddenly the dreaded funky load thing was happening. So I begged DH to put up a clothesline, (so I could at least dry clothes more quickly in the sun, therefore giving myself a fighting chance), but, tricky me, I didn’t want a long clothesline to be my view from the house, so I wanted him to put me up an old lady umbrella type thingy. He found one at Lowes, brought it home and put it up in the back yard, and I loved it! I covered it with clothes, a big storm blew up, the clothes got soaked, the wind blew hard, and broke the clothesline off at the base, and bent its little aluminum arms. So DH returned it to Lowes, where they let him exchange it for a new one. That one got stolen out of the back of his truck in the Lowes parking lot a few minutes later when his back was turned. Pissed off, but undaunted, he went and bought a third one, which made it home safely and is in the back yard now.

However. Yesterday I got home from town to see the current old lady umbrella-type clothes-drying thingy standing at an odd angle, and looking a little the worse for wear. Turns out the girls were messing with the horse in the back yard, and Ginger got loose and got herself tangled in it, and pretty much busted it all to h….eck.

What does this mean? Am I just too young to have an old lady umbrella type clothesline thingy?

The latest chapter in the laundry saga is the fantastic, hard working Kenmore dryer we bought at the Habitat for Humanity for $45. I have no backlog of laundry. I have no dirty laundry at all. I get up at five in the morning to do laundry just because it is so much fun! I love laundry ! I love my dryer!