It was another stormy day today ... Spent my afternoon doing what I do many afternoons: baking bread and patching clothes. I'm constantly amazed at how one slide down the hill can put huge rips in snowpants! I also decided that one pair of my husband's jeans will make the rag bag if I find them to be mended one more time! I asked Jim if he would promise never to wear that particular pair of jeans to town, but he said he couldn't make any promises!
Mending gives me plenty of time to think of other things. Our friend Steve (Mountain Fire Keeper) was itching to get out in the garden and plant seeds, but I am itching to get outside and hang clothes!
Last spring Jim and the boys created a makeshift clothesline that was strung between trees and held up in the middle by a support made out of young trees. I had to slop through the mud to get to the lines, but that was okay, as I enjoyed hanging clothes. There is an art to putting clothes on the line: all the socks together, shirts, jeans, etc., so they look organized. I never lacked for company, either, as for some reason the cats (3) and dogs (2) would follow me down there and keep me company with each load. Our dog Selah was very good at stealing a clothespin to chew on, so I had to keep an eye on her to make sure I didn't lose too many. One cat in particular would always attempt to climb into the laundry basket, and I don't remember how many times I would have to shoo him away.
The fall of 2004 was a real trial as far as washing clothes was concerned. We hadn't been able to hook up the dryer, so I had to hang everything on hangers on 2 poles suspended from the ceiling above the wood stove. Since we are living in just the basement with no main floor we had insulation at the ceiling, and with no windows all the moisture from wet clothes and just living in general collected in the house. I remember one night in particular when we actually had it raining in the basement -- with no humidity outside! What a mess. In the spring when it warmed up Jim pulled down the insulation and we attempted to dry out the floor joists and everything else. Of course there was mold, so we sprayed that with a bleach solution. I was so thankful when it warmed up enough for the clothesline to be constructed, and I wore knit gloves underneath rubber gloves to hang our clothes outside. Up here there is usually a wind -- and often a stiff one -- so I have to make sure they are pinned on good and tight.
During hunting season this past fall we had more company down by my clothes lines; a moose made that area her habitation for about 4 days. I was worried that she would be irritated by the dogs or the boys, but they all left her alone and she stayed where she was. One morning when we got up we noted that she was gone.
There is talk that eventually I will have permanent lines closer to the house, but for now, I am still dreaming of getting outside with a laundry basket full of wet clothes!
PS -- Instead of insulation in the ceiling this year, we have 260 square haybales sitting on top of our roof and then covered by a large blue tarp. We have stayed nice and toasty warm, and there have been no more unwelcome showers of humidity in the house!