July 9, 2014
There is a Zen saying, “Before Enlightenment – chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment – chop wood carry water.” What’s the difference? The tasks are the same. The need is the same. But the frame of mind is different.
I spent a wonderful weekend at the Ponderosa. What did we do? Chop wood and carry water basically.
Ken chopped wood.
And I carried water for laundry. I set up the two wringer washing machines from my Mom’s on the cabin deck.
It’s been a long time since I used a wringer washer but I always enjoyed doing the laundry with one. As a teenager, that was my Saturday morning job. In the basement, load after load, going up and down the stair taking baskets of wet laundry out to the line in the back yard to dry. With a family of seven, it was a full morning’s job, but I loved doing it. As a stay at home Mom, I had my own wringer washer and a clothes line in the back yard.
And now, although I have purchased a brand spanking new front load washer, I have decided to use the wringer during warm sunny summer days when power is plentiful. As it turns out, the wringer washers are a pig on electricity. But because I can do several loads with one tub of water, the water consumption is not too bad. I heated the water on the wood stove in the cabin. With both machines (one for washing and one for rinsing) doing 4 large loads took about 30 gallons of water.
The process is simple:
1) Heat water and fill machines with a mix of hot and cold water.
2) Add detergent to one machine (since you use the same water over again no need to add detergent for each load.) My favorite is Shaklee’s lquid laundry soap and booster. It’s the best biodegradable laundry soap I have found.
3) Wash the lightest color load first and progress to the darkest.
4) After the load is finished washing (about 10 to 15 minutes), put it through the wringer into the rinse machine. And add a new load to the wash machine.
5) Once the rinsing load is done (about 10 to 15 minutes) put it through the wringer into a tub
6) Put the next wash load through the wringer into the rinse machine and put a new load of washing in. Add more water to the wash machine as needed.
7) Hang the rinsed laundry on the line and start over.
8) Repeat steps 5 and 7 over and over until your laundry is done. If the water becomes too dirty, add detergent to the rinse machine and empty the wash machine and fill with clean water for rinsing. The number of loads you can do depends on how dirty they are. Our sheets were pretty clean but Hanna’s blankets were another story.
9) Empty and clean the machines.
10) Once clothes are dry, remove from line. Make sure to smell that wonderful ‘fresh air scent’. No fabric softener ever matched that wonderful smell.
With all the rain and now some sun, the garden and flowers are doing wonderfully. We are eating our fill of greens right now – lettuce, spinach, chard, sorrel, oregano, cilantro, dill, chives and green onion.
My favorite green smoothie is:
– 2 cups cilantro
– 2 cups pineapple, banana and orange sections
– Juice of ½ a lemon
– 2 cups water
“Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” Swami Sivananda