Bits of Opinion, of Garden and Homekeeping

It’s near to the end of May, already. Every form of new green is unfurled and growing quickly. The garden I have agreed to keep rather than to have it lie fallow, is not planted.

I know it is late for garden planting, but I feel that if I must wear shoes and a coat for that, then it doesn’t matter a hair if I’m late. It won’t really grow till the sun shines warm anyway, here in Northern Wisconsin. Before it turned cool again, the soil was far to dry to entrust seeds to. The weeds hadn’t even found moisture enough with which to grow. So by waiting, I’m confident I haven’t lost the race… if there was one. In July, the early bird’s gardens will not be any prettier than will mine.

So I don’t know what everybody else already knows that I have been learning about homemaking in our different and evolving situations and houses this past year. Since, I have collected bits of what works well, through experience, I have to talk about it. Because that’s what we do… we talk about what we think about and what we are doing.

I am finding that it works to shop second-hand shops for supplying the kitchen gadgetry and dinnerware in a new, temporary place. Finding quality cookware, second-hand, can be quite easy, even for those of you who must have famous name brands and “high-end” things. I especially did not want to rob from the cabin kitchen for the Innsbruck kitchen. We have such small spaces and no need to be fancy or gourmet. It really isn’t the tools that makes those nice things happen, anyway. When we’re done here, we’ll either give the extras away or take it back to the used shop.

In 2005, we moved into a little cabin where Elv was logging at the time. The little cabin was bare bones. No furnishings or plumbing. The well that had a spigot above ground would give us a few gallons every few hours. We had to carry it in and back out, too, incidentally. I learned a lot about how many household furnishings, kitchen tools, dishes, beds, and all the things we take for granted, that we actually needed. We kept it very basic.

Honestly, we don’t need three kitchen knives sets or ten scrapers. I won’t go into detail. Only you can make this discovery for yourself. If you move often enough in a couple of year’s time, you get the hang of it. I did. When we got home again, I got rid of a lot of extra things. With nine people living in our little house; we realized that more people time and space could be had if there were fewer things. So a few years later when minimalism came into vogue; I was already “in”.

But what I really wanted to say is this. When we move into a real house again soon, I am going to enjoy a washer and dryer sitting side by side somewhere in the house, quietly doing all that hard work for me. I have been doing laundry as I can between rains to use the lines for drying. We have hauled it to the laundromat or to a daughter’s house. Laundry is heavy, wet or dry. And if you wait to do it once a week; it then takes a whole day to get completed: folded, hung, and put away. So I’m all for modern conveniences: off grid or not. Besides, I’m going to wash one load a day, and spend a total of ten minutes per day, doing it.

The fact is, I enjoy doing laundry, even this hard way. I like the sweet, clean smell of it, the neatly folded stacks of towels, rows of clean outfits in the closets, and empty clothes hampers. It just seems ridiculous to spend a whole day doing only that when there’s a whole other world of things to be done or to do, just because.

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