Tuesday, April 3, 2012

lilly the (not so) brave

Every night I spend some time with Lilly, the shy Maine Coon that is slowly learning me and this house. George, her brother, made himself at home that same day and pretty much runs the show around here now. Lilly stayed hiding, making a realm of the crawl space under the farm's kitchen you get to from her magical wardrobe. (Okay, it's just the space behind the washing machine.) She is sweet, and gentle, and seems to enjoy human contact but is afraid to go out into the big bad house and seek it. So I make time for her, and hope she grows some stronger heartbeats.

In other (slightly related) news: my dryer died. Good riddance. I now have clotheslines outside. They work in all seasons and when they are loaded it feels like a stream of prayer flags, waving from a little electrical independence. As it turns out you can air dry, heat dry, wind dry, or freeze dry clothes.


Blogger Farmlady Wannabe said...

I LOVE clothes drying on the line. It's hilarious that some neighbors are apalled by this. Sadly in the Pacific Northwest, they simply do not work in rainy weather - which we are having in abundance this spring. Summer months when sun reigns, my electric bill is under twenty bucks

April 3, 2012 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger PattyW said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 3, 2012 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger PattyW said...

Nothing like the smell of sheets off the line.

April 3, 2012 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Mathilde said...

No "rain dry", alas - I too am in the Pacific Northwest. No complaints here, though - all this rain is why this place is so beautifully green in all seasons.

On the list of upcoming projects is a hanging drying rack on a pulley system above the wood stove...

April 3, 2012 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Depending on what you mean by died, dryers are really easy to fix - other than a circuit board issue. Try the web site repairclinic.com - I've had great success with them.

If it is dead, there are still some good stuff that can be scavenged off of it.

April 3, 2012 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

Hey Jenna! I hardly ever post, but I read your blog everyday. I was going to adopt a kitty, and happened across 'my cat from hell' I would recommend watching the episodes. the guy who goes to help the kitty's is a cat whisperer. He has all kinds of great tricks for helping cats acclimate to new surroundings. Some cats like to be on the ground and others are far more comfortable being up high. I know your kitty isn't aggressive, at all, but as some of the episodes deal with aggression, they also deal with cats that are unhappy/shy.

April 3, 2012 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Love clothes drying! Actually read that having clothes drying in the house (I use drying racks) during winter helps promote humidity in the home which makes us feel better/warmer. Love the savings on gas bills/electricity as well as feeling self-sufficient. You Go Jenna:)

April 3, 2012 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Good for you. I was thinking about your dryer when you said you were getting rid of your microwave and then your tv. I do have a dryer now, but went for years with just a clothesline and a couple of folding drying racks, while raising two kids in cloth diapers. Still use the clothesline whenever possible. I too am on the rainy west coast (Canada), but usually we get enough of a break to get a load of clothes out on the line and mostly dry. I bring them in and drape them over the stair railing and the backs of chairs to finish off if I need to.
As a kid, we had a drying rack that lowered from the ceiling, and even now have a bar fastened below the ceiling with two long screw eyes, next to the woodstove, where we hang some things to dry.

April 3, 2012 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger Jimmie said...

Love your last sentence. I have a dryer that still works, but I prefer to hang clothes on the line. Saves on electricity, of course. In the winter, I either "freeze dry" clothes outside or hang them on a line I can easily stretch out in my kitchen. As another poster said, the humidity is good.

I haven't used my dishwasher in over a year...it still works; I just don't mind washing dishes by hand. Washing by hand gets rid of the grim I seem to have a lot of after working in the garden.

Next on the list is going back to mashing potatoes by hand with an old-fashioned masher. I've been way too quick to get out the portable mixer for potatoes, cakes, etc. or anything else that could be done almost as easily with a manual tool. I like slowing down the electric bill whenever I can, no matter how tiny the usage might be. Good old fashioned hand labor, I say.

Diane in North Carolina

April 4, 2012 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

I love hanging my linens out to dry. There is something about that smell, its just restful. However, I live in a historic district and we aren't allowed to have clotheslines, so I cheat and put a little portable drying rack out in my garden.

April 4, 2012 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

We have a male cat who, two years ago, was extremely timid and would constantly hide. Even though he was the biggest of our three cats he remained extremely shy. Now, two years later, he has done a complete 360 and is now trying to dominate the "alpha cat" at my boyfriend's mom's house (not sure how I feel about it, but I'm glad he's out from under the bed!).

You just have to be patient with her and let her know that she is safe and loved. She'll eventually come around.

April 4, 2012 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Our kitty Sam hid under the bed for about 6 months when we got him, and then stayed upstairs for 2 years after we got our current dog. Both times he rejoined the family after awhile. He never came out when we had guests. I predict, (hope) your Lilly will someday be a lovely pest, walking on whatever you are working on, asking for attention.

I also love my clothes line. It is one of those retractable ones, so nothing to bother the neighbors when it is put away. When we were house hunting, I wouldn't buy a house in a neighborhood where I couldn't have a clothes line. Those neighborhoods frown on tomatoes and onions growing in the front yard. :)

April 4, 2012 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger becky3086 said...

My husband (ex) didn't let me get a dryer for years because he didn't want the electric bill to go up. When I finally got a dryer(after him) my electric bill didn't even go up any.
I can't line dry where I am now because people burn way too much (trash, leaves, etc) and because the ants just absolutely love the wet clothes and use the line as a highway.

April 4, 2012 at 12:42 PM  
OpenID Tami said...

When moveing into my house 18 years ago, I took down the existing clothesline poles.Young and into convienience, I saw no use for them. Wish they were still there now! Amazing how we change as we grow older and wiser.I now have a line outside made from an unused cable TV cable, it works great and has lasted for several years.I do have a dryer but have not used it in 2 or 3 years. I instead have two shower curtain rods (the type that twist to lengthen or shorten) that can spann the width of the hallway. I tightened them where they rest atop doorframes of doors across the hall from one another so they will not slide down. I hang all of my wet washed clothes on these rods using clip type hangers saved from store clothing purchases. Socks and other small items are clothes-pinned to hangers. My washing machine is the front load style that spins out much dryer than the top loaders so there is no dripping on the hardwood floors. I benefit from the added humidity inside the house, never have any of the inevitable bird poo, it's close to the rooms/closets where it will be put away and I can do so when it is convienient for me. Love it!

April 4, 2012 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jenna.
Here is a good reason to have your dryer in working order:

"Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Placing clothes into a dryer on high heat for at least an hour effectively kills ticks." http://www.cdc.gov/features/stopticks/

Lisa in Maine

April 4, 2012 at 4:20 PM  
OpenID chickadeeworkshop said...

I do love my clothesline, but not when the weather is freezing. If they freeze before they dry, they're not gonna dry till they thaw first. I did't care much for clothes drying all over the place when I was growing up (family of 6) in the 50's. I'll keep my gas dryer. My son says it's only costing about $.50 per load. I can deal with that when it's necessary.

April 4, 2012 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Do you have room to hang your clothes near one of your stoves? When I still had a wood stove I'd hang my clothes inside all winter long.

April 4, 2012 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Clotheslines and line-dried laundry are wonderful things! Nothing better than crawling into sheets that smell like fresh air and sunshine!

April 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

My parents have never owned a clothes dryer. There is a clothesline outside and also on the porch. For winter, they use wooden indoor drying racks. I dry my clothes outside whenever I can, and love the way they smell!

April 4, 2012 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Desert Willow said...

Hooray! I detest clothes dryers. I live in the "middle of nowhere" so there is no one to complain about the clothes line...really just rope tied tree to tree and ever changing. One tiny caution though. You may want to get a drying rack for those days when it is freezing. You can shorten the life of your fabrics when the water freezes your clothing, think about what happens when a lettuce leaf freezes then thaws. The cell walls break down that happens to a lesser extent with frozen wet fabric so over time the fibers start to fray. Been doing this since the 1970's just something to think about. Paula over on "Weeding for Godet" had posted about a fabulous drying rack probably the best one I had ever seen.

April 5, 2012 at 2:28 PM  

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