Monday, April 30, 2007

On laundry detergent

May I introduce you to my very favorite laundry detergent? In all of my days of watching my mama do laundry and of now doing my own laundry I have never found one that I liked so well. I hope to always be able to get this brand.

This detergent is my friend and ally in keeping our clothes clean and smelling as fresh as possible. I have found most fragrances in laundry detergents these days to be too heavy for my liking; even a slightly sensitive person can find these to be the cause of headaches because of the fragrance (even the “scent free” varieties have their own masking scent) and hard on skin because of the additives. My laundry soap, however, only smells fresh—not leaving a fragrance, but a faint sense that that piece of clothing must have hung out in the fresh air to dry. It has been tested in many labs and has been proven to be non-toxic, biodegradable, environmentally safe, certified for food preparation areas, a great stain remover, flame retardant, and residue free!

I love the way that my clothes smell when they come out of the washing machine, ready to hang out on the clothesline. I don’t use a fabric softener to make them smell nice or to be soft. This detergent seems to do all that itself. The colors do not seem to become dull, as they do with some others. Tide has been my favorite until now, but I do not feel a loss at all now that I use this one. If you have some whites that need to be bleached you can use bleach in with a regular load at the same time as this soap.

It is not too expensive for someone like me to buy. Mama buys it in bulk and then I buy it from her a little at a time (enough to fill my little galvanized bucket that I keep it in!). You only need a little at a time for each load—it comes with a little scoop that can’t be much more than a tablespoon in size, one scoop for each load. I believe it comes out to be just under 10 cents a load.

What is this wonderful soap you might ask? It is called “Charlie’s Soap”. Mama found it a couple of years ago and has been using it ever since. Before I got married I bought a little galvanized bucket-full of it and put it with the things from my hope chest so it would be ready when I started housekeeping! You can find it at their website here. I commend it to the house!

Sunshine, babysitting, and catching up with housework~'::

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunshiny Sunday

My man's dear family came over after church for an impromptu picnic. We grilled hamburgers for the first time this season! It was sunny and 85 degrees outside...with enough fluffy cloud cover so it was still pleasant to sit at our picnic table to eat.
~Beverages, anyone? Sweet iced tea, lemonade, water...~ ~music for atmosphere~ ~our picnic~ ~centerpiece~


~Frisbee...and other games~ ~boat ride on the lake~~love the splashy, sparkly waves~

~more sparkles in the wake~ ~sister Ana and me sunning on the dock...listening to mp3 player (see Ana's blog and Leah's blog for more pictures of our fun times together!)~ ~the dock and sun diamonds~~root beer floats to finish off a lovely day~

I am looking forward to many such summer days to come!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

~first posy~

This my first little bouquet of flowers from my own yard this spring! I saw the shepherd's purse flowers in the rose bed in front of my house when I went outside to say goodbye to my man after dinner, and then I went through the yard in search for these little violets, and of course there were these tree blossoms out there too. I come to miss flowers so much during our winters, and it is wonderful to have a little posy of them brightening up my house again. (I also had a red tulip bloom this morning and one little dandelion. :))

Of Rugs and Requiem

My rag rug is done! The last few rows went quickly, enabling me to finish it this morning. I am pleased with how it turned out and excited to start another one. This place where the picture was taken might not be its final resting place, but it will do until I find just the spot for it. (Maybe the next rug will be in browns for the area in front of the wood stove when this one has to move?)

Today is another cloudy day. So I am listening to Mozart's "Requiem". Delicious.

Hhmm. I think my clothes should be dry enough now. I should bring them in from the line. Here I go...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Making a little progress...~'::

Sewing a rag rug together is kind of a slow process, but I enjoy watching it grow and seeing how the colors blend together in such a pretty way. (Oh, and, yes, this picture is of the bottom of the rug...I'm hoping to not have too many stitches showing on the top!) I just have a few more "rows" (if you can call them that when they're in a circle!) to go now. Hurrah! I think that I will enjoy it on my hearth during the summer when the wood pieces and ashes aren't making such a mess, but I'll have to find another suitable place for it once the cold weather comes.

It is interesting how a person braids a bit of themselves into something like this. I'm making it to warm and beautify my home, with the thoughts and plans and hopes that go through your mind while you work on it somehow becoming a part of the rug itself. You come to know the particular shade of pink corduroy well after working with it for a while and greet it like an old friend when you come back to it. I think of the women of past years who have invested their time in making many such rugs. Even women who first settled in the area that I am living in now, living in strange new places as they often were, without the people and comforts of the life that they knew before. What comfort it must have been to them to braid the fabric together, adding color and beauty to their home and providing warmth for their family. Hhmm. I kind of wish that I knew the person who went to the time to carefully prepare these fabrics for a rag rug so they could know how much I am enjoying them now!

Ah, well. Time to go make dinner for my man now. Yummy fried rice, I think. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"It is sometimes a small matter that hindereth and hideth grace from us; at least if anything can be called small, and not rather a weighty matter, which obstructeth so great a good.
And, if thou remove this, be it great or small, and perfectly overcome it, thou wilt have thy desire.
For immediately, as soon as thou givest thyself to God from thy whole heart, and seekest neither this nor that, according to thine own pleasure or will, but settlest thyself wholly in Him, thou shalt find thyself united and at peace; for nothing can afford so sweet a relish, nothing be so delightful, as the good pleasure of the Divine Will."

"If at any time this life of ours grows feeble, or low, or lonely, I know no other remedy than to return to its Eternal Source, to God Himself; and through Him all the means of grace become again living and true; and through Him all His creatures become again near and dear and accessible." ~ELIZABETH RUNDLE CHARLES

Monday, April 23, 2007


This morning's sewing project...a curtain for my back door. ~also asparagus, tree blossoms, raspberry leaves, baby rhubarb, and leaves on my rose bush~

Spring is on its way...

"Christ is a "hiding place." Imagine someone caught on top of a hillside during a storm with lightening and squalling winds. He would want nothing more than to find a hiding place until the tempest was over. Consider a boat at sea, when fierce winds have driven it from all its anchors. With nothing to keep it from being split open on the next rock, a safe harbor-a hiding place-is the great desire and expectation of the poor ones in the boat. Is this the condition of the soul? Do strong temptations beat upon it, ready to hurry it down into sin and folly, so that it has no rest from them? With one blast immediately succeeding another-the soul begins to faint, to be weary, give over, and say, "I'm going to die, I can't hold out much longer!" Fly to His bosom, retreat into His arms. Expect relief by faith in Him, and you will be safe."


Sunday, April 22, 2007


Poor Sinner Dejected With Fear
Words by William Gadsby

Poor sinner, dejected with fear,
Unbosom thy mind to the Lamb;
No wrath on His brow He does wear,
Nor will He poor mourners condemn;
His arm of omnipotent grace
Is able and willing to save;
A sweet and a permanent peace
He'll freely and faithfully give.

Come just as thou art, with thy woe,
Fall down at the feet of the Lamb;
He will not, He cannot say, Go,
But surely will take out thy stain
A fountain is opened for sin,
And thousands its virtues have proved
He'll take thee, and plunge thee therein,
And wash thee from filth in His blood.

The soul that on Jesus relies,
He'll never, no never deceive;
He freely and faithfully gives
More blessings than we can conceive;
Yea, down to old age He will keep,
Nor will He forsake us at last;
He knows and is known by His sheep;
They're His and He will hold them fast.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Music for this hymn here

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I took a little walk down to the garden this afternoon and found... that my rhubarb plants are starting to put out tiny leaves! It will be their first spring here in my garden, so we'll see how well they actually do, but it's exciting to see them anyway. :)

The River Bank

"The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring- cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said `Bother!' and `O blow!' and also `Hang spring-cleaning!' and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat. Something up above was calling him imperiously, and he made for the steep little tunnel which answered in his case to the gravelled carriage-drive owned by animals whose residences are nearer to the sun and air. So he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrooged and then he scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws and muttering to himself, `Up we go! Up we go!' till at last, pop! his snout came out into the sunlight, and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow.

`This is fine!' he said to himself. `This is better than whitewashing!' The sunshine struck hot on his fur, soft breezes caressed his heated brow, and after the seclusion of the cellarage he had lived in so long the carol of happy birds fell on his dulled hearing almost like a shout. Jumping off all his four legs at once, in the joy of living and the delight of spring without its cleaning, he pursued his way across the meadow till he reached the hedge on the further side....

It all seemed too good to be true. Hither and thither through the meadows he rambled busily, along the hedgerows, across the copses, finding everywhere birds building, flowers budding, leaves thrusting--everything happy, and progressive, and occupied. And instead of having an uneasy conscience pricking him and whispering `whitewash!' he somehow could only feel how jolly it was to be the only idle dog among all these busy citizens. After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.

He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before--this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver--glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the river he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spell-bound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea."

~from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, chapter one "The River Bank"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


My dear Mama came to town a bit early today for my sister's piano lessons so that we could spend a few minutes browsing my little thrift shop beforehand. It was sunny out and pleasant to be doing anything about town, especially with Mama and O. (Women's clothes were half off (woohoo!) so $4 jeans became $2, and a $1.75 shirt was $.85!)

I found a real treasure during my quick browse...

A large zippered plastic blanket-bag full of rag balls! For $1! Someone went to the time of cutting, sewing together, and rolling the fabric from many corduroy, denim and some regular cotton pieces of clothing. A true treasure. I have always wanted to try making braided rag rugs, but have never had the amount of rag fabric or the time/patience to cut and sew and roll enough for a rug. I only took pictures of a couple of the color groups, but there were many. I am so excited to start my very first rag rug! (And until I start, I find the piles of real rags so aesthetically pleasing, sorted by color as they are and grouped together in a large basket!)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

~weekend pictures~

My younger sister and brother are staying with my man and me for a couple of days while my parents go on a quick day-trip. Such fun! (Other brother W is still at the farm to help with the farmwork. Miss you W!)

~my Man welding to make a grader~*~grading our driveway with the dixon yesterday~*~little sweetie in the nursery at church~*~sister's hair~

~doors outside to plane off rubbing edges~*~dearest Man painting our boat on this fine day~*~me~*~sweet sister reading Little Men~

~barefoot boy with cheek of tan~