Friday, July 23, 2010


The Boys and I had a blissful day here at The Shire.  My mom was visiting Mimi last week (please, don't ask, but I'll let you know the good news...she's hanging in there and she celebrated her 64th birthday last Wednesday...let's save the bad news for another day, shall we?)  and her neighbor's tree was shedding apples.  Nobody cared to harvest them, so my mom brought me a full paper sack!  Since it sounded like some of them came off the ground, and I could see that I would be cutting around soft spots, I first soaked them in water with some baking soda.
We made applesauce, which we ate tonight in the movie theater.  The whole famn damily went to see Dispicable Me.  Which turned out to be really super!  I had no idea what to expect, and I kind of didn't get the whole look of it (what are those yellow things?  I still don't know!) and yes, we ate applesauce.
I also did a thorough cleaning of the linens.  I took everything out of the closet and cleaned the closet.  Then I washed everything (four loads, it took!) and added some Tea Tree Oil to the rinse cycle.  Then everything dried in the sun, on the line. 

I learned how to hang clothing on the line from my Grandma Dot.  She lived in the Oakland Hills, and her house backed right up to Redwood Canyon.  It was so foggy there!  One time, Grandma Dot was driving my mom to school (Skyline High School) and although she assumed it was foggy, as usual, it turned out that it was, in fact, her car windows that were fogged over (it's called a defroster, Grandma).   On a perfectly sunny day, she couldn't quite see well enough to make a smooth drop off...instead, she accidentally drove up the steps in front of the school.  I think it's because my mom drove her to distraction; my mom says it's because "she was just like you, Mia, all brains, no smarts."  Nice.

Anyway, in case you didn't have a Grandma Dot, the trick to a quick-dry on the line is to know which way the wind blows!  Once you know the direction of the wind, just clip your items so they open up to the windy side (you can see in the picture, how only the back of the pillow cases are attached, and there is an opening in the front).  When the wind picks up, it fills the little pocket and that's why everything looks so beautiful and billowy on the line.  Grandma Dot swore by it, and I believe her.  With all that fog, and very little sun, it seems to me that the wind did more than its share of the work drying everything!  And today, which turned out to be pretty warm but definitely breezey, I was able to dry all four loads of linens across two lines in the yard.  Holla!
I folded everything neatly (stopping just short of ironing the pillow cases, you'll be happy to know) and decided that two of the sheet sets for our bed, and one set for the boys' beds, were ready for retirement.  I'll repurpose them for the fabric.  This turned out to be a good thing, because it left me with what I feel is just the right amount of "sheets on hand":  1 flannel set and 2 cotton sets, plus one guest-quality set, for our Cal King and 4 sets for the 2 twin mattresses in our kids' room.  That's a lot of sheets, actually!  Perhaps I could get away with fewer, but that would probably require me to launder more often then I'm strictly prepared to commit to.   I cut some lavender from the bush in the front yard (sorry, bees!  they LOVE this thing!) and tucked a few sprigs in with newly washed and folded sheets. 

You know what?  A thorough linen closet spring-clean (in the middle of summer) while apple-cinnamon fills the's exactly these kinds of "chores" that make me so happy with making a home.


  1. Mia, you are too much. Do you ever just relax??? Thanks for the lesson on hanging sheets and pillow cases (I didn't have a Grandma Dot).

  2. bliss. i hang our wash out to dry on a line too. we never use the dry cycle (we have a washer dryer in the same machine) - in the winter i hang the clothes over radiators and on a line in the pantry.

  3. @Betty ~ haha I guess this IS how I relax! I also did gardening, washed the car, and played with the kids. It was definitely a full, beautiful day. I find it so much easier to get these things done when Luz comes over...she cleans the house for me (all the stuff I DON'T like to do, like mopping and dusting and bathrooms and the stove ugh the stove) and I could never sit around while somebody does all that for me (even though I'm paying her) and so, it always turns productive...and relaxing, in its own way!

    @Michelle ~ I was just wondering today what I'll do when the weather changes (I know I have a few months before it's really a problem, but
    ...I'm a worry wart, so I like to get a head start on these things!) Typically, I use the dryer during the winter, but I think I'll try hanging things inside the garage and see how that goes! I've done it before, but it takes a kind of diligence I struggle with. Maybe this time it will stick! :)