Thursday, May 23, 2013

Doing Laundry with no machine

I have to admit the SHTF here at my house in my laundry room.  Our washer died (it is a pricey front loader, high efficiency with all the bells and whistles and only 3 years old!!!!) and with no way to immediately replace it I went into survival mode for this matter. It was a good learning experience for my kids and a way to test survival methods before everything comes crashing down!  It is my desire to have a manual wringer washer before that happens...But if I do not get it than I can manage this way!!!

For centuries before a washing machine laundry was done by hand.  Initially it was done by only using the hands and rocks and then the wash board came along.

Washboard image from Bing images
Then came wringer washers, which I wish I had one of!
Wringer washer image from Bing images
Then there is my way of doing it!  A plunger (Cost $5.40 at the local Ace Hardware) and three wash tubs which are re purposed barrels from the local Little Debbie factory (Cost $8 per barrel used 1 1/2 barrels)  Total cost for survival washing machine $17.40

The first tub is wash water with laundry detergent, the second is rinse water and the third is a final rinse with Downy.  I put them on the tailgate of my truck to make it easier on the back and also the black bed helps to warm the water on a sunny day!

3 tubs, you can barely see it because of the sun but I have a 5 strand clothes line right behind where the tubs are

First you put water into the wash tubs, add your soap (The cheap non-HE works best for this or you can grate home made lye soap to use) and fabric softener to the respective tubs.  Put your dirty clothes into the wash water and using the plunger with an up and down motion agitate the clothes well.  Any spots are rubbed out with extra soap and knuckles (wish I had a rub board for that!) Then wring out well and put into the rinse, repeat agitating and then wring and into the final rinse.  After the final rinse wring well and hang on the line.  I wring them out using a twisting motion but it is still very hard to get the water out by hand especially large towels and jeans.  So it would be unwise to put them in the dryer like that as the weight may damage it. Hang them on a line until they are dry.  If you have the convenience of a dryer then when the clothes are just damp you can bring them in and place into the dryer to finish drying and "fluff" them.

And there you have it a way to do laundry without a machine, or power.  I am just thankful that I have a well pump and a garden hose to fill the tubs!!!  It actually only took about 3 hours to do about seven loads of laundry and it would have taken the washer over 7 hours to do all of it, and the clothes are cleaner and smell better.  But the work was tiresome and my 12 year old and I both were exhausted after completing our task!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mama's and their babes

One of my ducks hatched out 5 babies all by herself.  They are about as cute as can be all following behind her.  I have had to rescue a couple.  One tried to go thru the wire of a cage and I had to save it.  It is too funny to watch her.  Our Great Pyrenees decided to check out the babies and that Momma duck told her just how it was.  A little tiny duck up against a huge dog.  Well the duck won and the dog left!

I wish more humans were as protective of their children.  If so we would not need child protective services!
The rooster and Guinea started fighting too close to her babes and she broke up the fight. 

Aren't critters great? 

Friday, May 17, 2013

A milestone 10,000 page views!!!

I started this little blog almost a year ago for a couple reasons.

1. I enjoy writing
2. I enjoy imparting knowledge in hopes of helping or enlightening others
3. The ads help pay the bills when you click them.
4. I enjoy hearing from others in the form of the comments

Well my little blog has reached a huge milestone.  10000 page views.  I took the screen shot above when it only needed one more click to get it.

So I just want to say Thank You for reading my blog.  Keep the comments and questions coming.  I will try my best to answer any you might have.  And a BIG Thank YOU for clicking our sponsors adds and checking them out.  That helps keep the lights on! for us and them!

Have a great day and Happy Spring...

TTFN---  TaTa For Now

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Garden to feed 9 for a year. Hallelujah it is planted!!!

The weather here in Arkansas has been absolutely CRAZY, I mean really??? Snow on May 3rd???  So my garden is later getting set out than usual.  Yesterday evening we got the last of the seeds planted.  I have left to buy some herb plants and get them set out but other than that it is done.  I still have room for about 4 more rows and my friend wants some mustard greens so that may get set out if she brings me the seeds. (we do not eat mustard greens).  I may also plant a couple more rows of dry beans. 

Between my daughter and I we have 9 mouths to feed.  Which means we have to have a HUGE garden if we do not want to go to the store.  I also have many critters to feed  and some of it to is for them.

We still have to get the rest of the mulch down.  We go to a neighboring town and get mulch.  It is chipped up wood and here is the great thing.  It is only one dollar for a truck load!  Good Bye weeds!!!!

Between canning, root cellaring, freezing and dehydrating we should be able to preserve enough to last a year, God willing.  If there is no drought, floods or grasshopper plagues we should be good.  My ducks will be sent to the garden to eat bugs as soon as all my seeds and plants are well established.

Here is what we have (remember each row is about 70 feet long):

7 rows of potatoes
1 row of garlic
4 rows of green beans
1 row of peppers
1 row of tomatoes
1 row of sweet potatoes
1 row of dry beans
1 row of cucumbers
4 hills of zucchini
1 row of okra
1/2 row of honeydew melons
1/2 row of cantaloupes
1/2 row of Acorn squash
1/2 row of butternut squash
1 1/2 row watermelon
4 rows of corn
2 rows of radishes
2 rows of sweet peas
2 rows of turnips
1 1/2 rows of beets
1/2 row of rutabaga
2 rows of carrots
2 rows of lettuce
2 rows of spinach
2 rows of onions
1 row of broccoli
1 row of cabbage
1 row of pumpkins
5 hills of yellow squash
1 row of sunflowers

I think that is it!!!  Anybody want to come and learn how to can and preserve everything in a couple months???? LOL

All of these plants/seeds are heirloom non GMO.  This means that they are healthy and we can save the seeds for next year.  This way our garden will cost much less.  Right now to plant all of this we have about $75 invested plus we will have about $15 invested in mulch.  Last year 1 row of potatoes produced about 100 pounds of potatoes we have 7 times that and are expecting about 500-700 pounds of potatoes.  Enough for both families to have potatoes all year.  Since we do not have a root cellar we will be digging cairns to preserve them.  We will do the same with the winter squash.

Savings on potatoes alone: Yukon Golds are $4.96 for 5 pounds at Wal-Mart.  I spent $10 on 100 pounds of Yukon Gold seed potatoes.  If we get 500 pounds of Yukon golds that would be about $500 to buy them at Wal-Mart savings is $490 dollars.  More if we end up digging more than 500 pounds of them!!!  I think that is a BIG savings myself and that alone makes the garden worth it!!!

My oldest daughter has been an immense help.  I could not have done it without her.  But this garden feeds her family also.  This is how families are supposed to be.  Instead of bickering and fighting it is much more productive to get together, work together, pray together and love each other!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day

I want to wish all of the Mothers out there a very Happy and Blessed Mothers Day!!!!!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The need to control inanimate objects

My last post was a repost of a you tube link.  The video is absolutely hilarious.  Here's the thing.  My firearms are just as even tempered as that guys Glock.  I have an AR15 by my bed, a shotgun behind the front door along with a 22 and a 45acp in my purse.  None of those weapons have ever jumped up in the middle of the night, loaded themselves and hurt anyone.  They are not restrained in any fashion.  So why do people feel the need to control inanimate objects???

Each and every inanimate object is already "controlled" the person that owns said object controls it!  My weapons do not do any harm because I control them.  I do not force them to do harm.  I have 3 very peaceful pressure canners/cookers in my kitchen.  They have never blown up.  Nor will they ever as long as I do not do something to make them.   And they darn sure are not going to grow legs and trot down to some public function so they can blow up.  My car never drives drunk...  None of them do and I have 3.  2 are not of legal drinking age (97 and 2012) but one of them is middle aged at 44 years old and she never goes out drunk driving.  So see even the child aged cars do not get into trouble.  They do get stubborn occasionally my old Ford sometimes will not start for me but hey it is a mechanical object.  Once I figure out what is wrong and fix it then no more stubbornness.  Also my computer does not go out hacking on its own either.  And it is the smartest inanimate object I own. 

All of the gun control mumbo jumbo on the news is just that... Ridiculous gibberish from people that are uneducated and ignorant.  They feel that an inanimate object can jump up and do harm, or so it seems.  And it seems as though they won't quit.  The bills were struck down by congress and what so they say?  "We won't quit!" 

We already have laws in place that deny ownership of weapons to the criminals and the mentally deficient.  Our government does not enforce the laws already on the books.  So why on earth do they need to just spend more money when we already owe trillions in debt to make more laws that too will not be enforced.

I say enforce the laws already on the books. 

Here's a new one they can write:
Any person with a concealed Carry Permit should be exempt from further background checks. 
When I got my license I did fingerprints and they ran my background thru the wringer only to find out that I have never even had so much as a parking ticket.  So I got my cute little card that says my 1911 can reside in my purse.  And if I ever do get into trouble I (which I do not plan on) I will have to surrender that cute little card until a court could determine my innocence.  So as long as I have that card in my possession that means that I am a good girl and have not broken any laws.

There are many citizens out there that are just like me.  Why should we be punished and lose our weapons?  Why should we have to defend our rights when we have done nothing wrong.  Punish the ones that break those laws.  Not us.  Please I wish they would grow a brain cell and figure out that people kill people! It is a horrible tragedy that those children were killed, but a person did that.  The gun did NOT on its own run down there and kill those children.

Is car control next because of all the people killed with cars?  Pressure cooker control??? what about knife control???  Pretty stupid to think of it huh???

How about we enforce the existing laws, teach our children that firearms are tools and not toys.  And punish the criminals that break laws.  Even my 4 year old grandson knows that if he messes with a gun there will be serious consequences! 

Okay that is my 2 cents worth on this topic.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Evil Handgun Myth... Busted!!!

I love this video the original post I got off
Watch this video it is awsome...

Sure makes those people that think guns are the problem look pretty stupid!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

It's a Horse... Of Course

I just wanted to share a really funny pic of my horse:
She does this anytime she gets a treat as if to say Thank You.  If you are not handing out the treats fast enough she will nudge you and smile to get a treat also.  It reminds me of Mr. Ed.  For those of you who know what I am talking about I just dated myself.  For those of that don't look up Vintage TV shows from the 60's.

Family Ties

I do not usually blog about hings of a personal nature but I am very happy this week.  My family is... Well.... Quite dysfunctional......My grandparents divorced when my mother was 6.  Then they both remarried and had more children.  For some reason they subscribed to the "if I am mad at you I will dis-own you" philosophy.  Which my mother happily carried on that family tradition.  So my family is scattered and hard to reach out to. 

Twenty years ago I set about trying to find one of my Aunts.  She is only a few years older than me and we played together when I was very little.  I have very fond memories of playing with her.  Barbies and EZ Bake oven.  I was 4 the last time I saw her.  But suffice it to say she was dis-owned and so was my mother.  Then my mother Dis-owned me (I HATE that word).  So I hit major dead ends and road blocks.

Well that very aunt found me!!!  Just this last week!!! We have had a wonderful time catching up on 40 years lost.  The amazing thing is that we are very much alike.  We look very much alike.  We went into the same profession (she is also a RN), we have many of the same values and quirks. We even like/dislike many of the same foods.  She is so close to my age it is more like sisters than Aunt and Niece.  How amazing is that?!?!  We did not have contact after I was 4.  But what we did have was the same influence in the way of my Great-Grandmother her Grandmother.  I am convinced that is why we are so very much alike.

I just wanted to share my good fortune about reconnecting with her.  She has 2 children and they have children... Wow!!! Cousins and second cousins!!!

Now back to the regularly scheduled programming...........

Snow!!! In May??? History has been made in Arkansas

Before in my blog I had complained about Jack Frost not looking at the calendar... Well I guess Father Winter is confused also!!!  Here in Northwest Arkansas we set a record last night.  It has NEVER snowed this late in the year!

We got over an inch of snow!!!  This pic was taken at 3:45am

My poor garden.  Hopefully it wont bother the few greens, radishes and turnips I have up.  But the tomatoes and peppers are done for.  I will have to go buy plants to replace them.  I would imagine the volunteer celery is done for also!  I also pray that my green beans had not sprouted yet.  I had not been to that end of the garden in 2 days.
By late afternoon it had all melted off.  There was a 50% chance it would do it again tonight but so far it has not.    I hope mother nature is done now!!!