bits and bobs: A random assortment of things; small remaining pieces and things
Meet Eleanor. At first I thought she might be a deer, or a meerkat but now I am convinced Eleanor is an emu and she means me no harm. I feel like Eleanor is there to wish me sweet dreams as I walk past her each night before I climb into bed. If you stare at her long enough you’ll notice her long neck. Do you see it? Isn’t she beautiful?
This is Randy the large rat who lives in my garage. I only noticed him yesterday as I was hauling the hose into the garage. What do you think he’s trying to tell me?
I filled up the tank yesterday and paid $2.71 a gallon for unleaded gas. How much did YOU pay for a gallon of gas the last time you filled up?
People are SERIOUS about using the passing lane here. They actually use the lane to pass people on the left and then go back to their original lane. Totally a foreign concept to this west coast girl, but I like it.
Any librarians out there? When did checking books out via the computer system become the norm in our public libraries? Was it in 1991 or was the book I just checked out shelved for a few years?
My new favorite thing… Drying my hand dyed wool on the fence in the hot sun. I’ve wanted to have a proper clothesline for years and I think I might just take the plunge this summer and have the HH put one together for me. If you line dry your clothes and have any tried and true tips, I’d love to hear them. Also, there is a TON of pollen floating around these days… Is that going to cling to my sheets? Is there anytime of year you don’t put your laundry out on the line? Curious minds want to know.
Wishing you the best of weekends,
I have used a clothes line off and on for years. Because of hay fever issues I rarely put bed linens or shirts out on the line until July, but everything else was free game.
Lisa Millar says
Love your Emu and Rat! ‘Pareidolia’ making sense out of random patterns 🙂 (I used that as a photo subject once – now I see faces and animals in lots of weird places too! lol)
Looking forward to seeing your new clothes line! Even though its winter here I mostly get the clothes dried on the line before finishing them off in front of the fire.
Never had to worry about pollen before – but I suppose some people are a lot more sensitive to it than others.
I just love the smell of fresh line dried sheets!
I still like hanging all the ‘smalls’ on a Japanese peg contraption thingy (you know… probably best I send you a photo haha) I find it tedious hanging out each sock, bra and underpants individually.
And its officially winter here. Loving your sunny photos!
Mavis Butterfield says
Pareidolia!!!! I can’t shut it off I see “things” in EVERYTHING. Must investigate this. Thanks!!
Oh yeah to the pollen! If you are allergic DO NOT hand dry sheets and blankets. Pollen clings to everything and if wet even more so. Defeats purpose of line drying if you ask me.
I love your moving adventures! Would you believe we moved FROM the country TO the city!? We wanted to be closer to aging parents and ailing siblings. We “kind of’ have a country backyard so we feel like we’re not missing too much.
In the country house with small kids we dried everything on the clothesline. We didn’t worry too much about pollen back then but moving to this city house there was no clothesline (No, it’s not an HOA! Made sure it wasn’t when we bought it!). Hubby put up three lines just by pounding a PCV pipe into the ground and then just putting a pole into the PVC pipe. He tied clothesline up at the top and we easily have three poles AND they can be removed if they would ever get in the way. I still love all things line-dried including bath towels. I love the crisp, almost hard fee of a towel that was line-dried. It softens after toweling off. Yes, we use our towels more than once before washing them.
There must be more pollen in the city house because I have been more bothered by it and have had raging rashes all over my body for about 4 out of the 5 years we have been here. I am more careful about when I hang my clothes out to dry these days.
We also had a HUGE garden in the country house but now that the kids are all grown up and we’re aging, we don’t do much gardening anymore. Because we live close to my aging parents (87 and 85) I still get produce from my dad who still has a massive garden that he keeps up every year! I wish I could attach a photo!
Passing lanes are wonderful and routinely used. We also pass over the yellow centerline (when it is permitted with a dashed line) and get back in our lane quite regularly. But that’s Texas. Gas I believe was about $2.65 the last time I got some. Love your new animal friends!
My tip for using a clothes line is to have great clothes pins! A must for this Kansas girl who has to deal with wind, wind, and more wind. I got mine here:
It’s so funny to read posts from people living in your same state reading the same blog as you. The world is so small. I’m also a Kansas girl and built my house on a hill…..beautiful views, but the wind is something else! The heat this year is crazy. Hope you are coping well! 🙂 I’ve been looking for good clothes pins so thanks for the link.
I live in Kansas, too! Love line drying everything. I work where you have to know weather predictions, so I plan my laundry days in advance. In Kansas, lingering in the left lane can get you a ticket on the 4 lane.
My son moved to Kansas in January in the bitter cold. We went out over Memorial Day Weekend and it was wicked hot! The breeze kept it from being unbearable. I love the drivers in Kansas – so polite! It was a rough adjustment coming back to Maryland!
Pauline in Upstate NY says
Thanks for the clothespin link! These look terrific (and are less expensive than someone else I know of selling hand-made pins)! Gas was $2.95 here today in Central NY.
Mavis Butterfield says
My friend Gen uses pins from that company and they truly are really well made.
Way back when I was in high school I used to work in a library during the summers and in the summer of 2000 my one job was to mark up all books for the switch over from analog to digital. I remember tackling all of the kids books first and then working myself backwards in the alphabet on the adult side. Got to S before the summer ended – but this was when I lived back in Sweden, so it included three extra letters because after Z there’s also Å, Ä, Ö! It was a pretty odd, but weirdly satisfying, job. Anyway, while I have no idea when the transition happened in the states, 1991 does seem early to me.
As for drying laundry outside, LOVE IT! Cuts our bill with at least $50/month. The only time I don’t do it is during winter, but that’s not because it doesn’t work (my neighbours still dry their laundry outside) but because I have circulatory issues with my hands and the combination of cold air and wet clothes just don’t fly.
Cynthia Rossetto says
Our gas prices are out of control…$3.59 for regular unleaded! I’m in southern Oregon.
Mavis Butterfield says
$3.79 a gallon. mid-Willamette Valley, Oregon
Good grief! I thought CA had the most expensive gas in the country, but I think we’re tied. “Cheap” gas is $3.71 but the norm is $3.79 – 3.89. I’m in south Orange County, Ca.
Crazy, isn’t it? I seriously did a double take when I got the receipt. Keep in mind we don’t pump our own gas in Oregon and I’m willing to pay a bit extra for that…but wow. I’m seeing we are paying a buck more a gallon than some people?! I wonder why?
PJ Cartier says
I’m in Kelowna, southern BC, Canada. Regular gas is $1.469 [Canadian $] per Litre. With conversion to US $ and measures, that’s about
$4.50 a gallon US.
Love your blog Mavis.
Mari Hewson says
Oh my stars your gas/petrol is so cheap there Mavis.
I live in New Zealand and have just done a comparison based on your $2.71/gal unleaded gas..
WE pay between $2.30 and $2.40 PER LITRE here in the South Island of NZ.
Your US gallon is 3.785L which equals NZ$8.70 or US$6.08per gallon at the 2.30 rate. This is the unleaded price and leaded is about NZ10c/l dearer here.
Our fuel prices are atrocious and so out of proportion with the rest of a world.
Wow, unleaded gas in Metro Atlanta is just under $2.00 per gallon.
I have 2 Ikea drying racks that I use in our laundry room. They were inexpensive, fold up for easy storage and I can use them no matter the weather.
I live in south Jersey and just filled my car with gas on Wednesday. I paid $2.98 per gallon. The kicker is on my way home from work last night I noticed gas had dropped nearly 10 cents. Oh well timing is everything !
I graduated in 1990 and one of the things I looked at school hunting around 1992 was if the books in the library were card catalog or on computer. UW was computer and Western was cards.
Emily B. says
Gas in Minneapolis ‘burb – $2.89
I first saw an alien, but I like emu better. And Randy, to me, looks like a witch laying on her back. Brains are so weird sometimes.
Library books…ah! I am in my early 40’s now but remember when the “bookmobile” would park at the school across from my house and we would troop over with our cards. It was a retrofitted bus that had all kinds of kids books to check out. We made our selection, walked up to the front of the bus where the librarian would pull the card out of each book , run it through the date and time stamp, (with the rubber finger firmly affixed mind you), and send you on your way.
I recall walking up and down those stairs with such fondness. Makes me yearn for simpler times.
Friday is your TV night, have you checked out Home Fires? PBS show, very good.
Mavis Butterfield says
Yes! It’s a good one.
This year everything keeps turning yellow, my car, the outside table on my deck, etc! With three of us dealing with allergies, I decided to dry my clothes inside for a while, later this summer, I will dry them on my clothesline.
Eleanor is an alpaca, she looks just like our alpaca Gabby❤️
Julie P says
Loving Eleanor and Mr Rat! Got a full line out today it looks glorious and it will smell and feel wonderful when it comes in. Can totally recommend you get a line as soon as possible.
First off, I was taught in driver’s ed that the left lane is the passing lane or fast lane, meaning if you are going slow get to the right. I grew up and still live in NC. Is this not a nation-wide unspoken rule of the road? It irritates me when people are cruising in the left lane and people are passing on the right, they must be from other states. Glad you are embracing the east coast ways!
I exclusively line dry my clothes year round. I still use my dryer for sheets and towels. My yard is too tiny (.18 acre) to have a clothesline up all the time so I have three wooden/plastic drying racks from Target. Spring to Fall most everything is dry in 2-4 hours. I haven’t noticed any pollen on our clothes. They are outside for such a short period that it must not matter for us. In the winter I put the racks up over a heat vent or near the wood stove.
I filled up at Costco last week for $2.69. A little high if you ask me.
Lisa Rostocki says
I know I just moved from Massachusetts to Florida and everyone here in Florida drives in the left lane the same speed as all the others. It makes me crazy! You can’t pass anyone! I miss my old Massachusetts passing lane 🙁
On the freeway, you should only be in the left lane if you’re passing somebody. Otherwise, you shouldn’t be there. On surface streets, not so much.
Angela D. says
Agreed!!!! This is mostly what I see/experience in Wisconsin.
Kathie S. says
Gas this morning at BJ’s for unleaded was $2.99 a gallon. I saved $0.10 a gallon off of that. Earlier this week I was in a neighboring town and saw prices over $3 a gallon. We are in CT.
CLOTHESLINE TIP: To help prevent jeans and towels from becoming like cardboard, throw the load in the dryer first for just 5-10 minutes and then hang out on the line. It’s an extra step but so worth it as it will soften them up a bit and you will have less wrinkles.
Interesting…I throw the load in the dryer AFTER they come off the line for the same reason and result. I also use liquid fabric softener which helps. I wonder if putting them in the dryer after will knock off some of the pollen?
Just as you I also put them in for 5-10 min after the line, in my case it’s not so much because of the structure but because it really helps to get rid of some of the cat hair.
I love line drying my clothes, but every once in a while, I inadvertently bring in a wasp. (I’m thinking they possibly hide in pockets or sleeves.) I wonder if ticks in your neck of the woods might do the same…? There is nothing better though than climbing into a bed made with sheets that have been line dried in the sunshine! 🙂
Debra Beeuwsaert says
The left lane on expressways and highways is for passing. Here in Michigan (the Upper Peninsula in particular), they’ve been announcing this on the road and that the police can issue you a ticket if you don’t follow this.
As for line drying clothes, I love to line dry my clothes as well. I try to shake out the clothes before folding and putting back in the basket to bring in. So far, I’ve avoided bringing in bees, hornets or wasps, which I’m highly allergic to. I’ve been fortunate and have not had ticks get on my clothing.
debbie in alaska says
$3.42 in Alaska. Growing up in New England you’d get a ticket for traveling in the passing lane. So it’s just habit for me to pass then return to travel lane. Also, you’ll get a ticket for driving with snow on the roof of your car — so make sure you clear the snow off when you drive this winter. I love seeing animate subjects in inanimate things.
Angela D. says
As far as line drying goes, I think the smell of line dried items is abhorrent! In my entire life, I’ve only ever met one other person that feels this way. I do have allergies, and that’s a good reason not to use a clothes line…..but it’s really the smell that prevents me from line drying. I hang everything on lines in my basement and I really enjoy making everything look precise and proper.
We had a foster daughter who hated the smell of line dried clothes. I would tumble her clothes in the dryer on cool air with lots of dryer sheets after line drying them to make them smell “right.” Lol
What do line dried clothes smell like for you?
I personally don’t like my laundry to smell like anything, so I wash with unscented detergent and line dry.
Why do you name inanimate objects?
Mavis Butterfield says
LOL Mavis, Great Reply!
I not only see faces in things, but I also think I see different words in billboards and as my mind processes what my eyes think they saw, I sometimes find myself shaking my head and laughing.
My Mom and I seem to do the same thing in relation to the billboards.
I’m with you Mavis. I have great memories of laying in the grass in Olympia, WA on those typical cloudy, but pretty dry days and looking at the clouds and identifying what they looked like. Pre cell phone days were spent looking at the patterns in the the removable ceiling tiles in doctor’s offices too! Lol Mavis, you are not alone.
Good times, good times
Mary Ann says
I first saw an alien, too, but agree with Sheila that Eleanor is an alpaca. I don’t see a rat in the other one at all, but I had pet rats for 36 of my 56 years and see them as cute (have had pet squirrels for the past 14 years).
I grew up with my mom using a clothes line with wooden clothespins. The clothes always smelled great, but I’m WAY too lazy to do it myself. Mom wouldn’t OWN a dryer — I would cry without one.
I’ve been paying $3.699 for gas here in Southern California lately.
I know it’s technically the “passing” lane, but we call it the FAST lane here. I hate driving in any other lane and admit I have a lead foot. Four speeding tickets over my almost 40 years of driving.
North of Seattle, gas was $3.32 yesterday. It’s been around the same for the last month. I’m just always happy when it get below $3.
Nancy from mass says
2.85 here in southeast mass
During pollen and inch worm season (full swing right now), I only use my dryer. Inch worms are a pain to get out of your clothes. Towels are the worst (AMHIK). Yuk!!
Sarah Hamilton says
I think that Eleanor looks like the sloth from the movie Ice Age!
I thought the same thing!
Where does Eleanor live?
Patty P says
I line dry my clothes for most of the year. I have a dryer, but only use it in emergencies. Even in the winter I hang my clothes on a wooden folding clothes dryer. This is the set up I have: https://shop.woodwardcrossingscountrybasics.com/Ease-Roll-Wash-Line-Wheels-Amish-Built-Clothesline-Pulley-System-250.htm I live in Amish country in NY and bought mine at the local Amish shop. I have had it for ten years and have only had to replace the line which is a plastic coated wire. I can hang three loads out on the line that I have.
I love your emu. She is beautiful. When I was a kid there was a design in the wallpaper that reminded me of a deer…and I saw it every single time I went in there. Not sure if I named it though!
Gas was $2.99 last week when I bought it (Western-Central NY).
I honestly thought Eleanor was a racoon. But now I see the long neck.
I thought the same thing. She makes a lovely Emu though!
I line dry spring, summer, and fall and dry on a drying rack indoors in the winter.
If you don’t use too much detergent (and your water isn’t too hard) you shouldn’t have trouble with stiff towels and jeans.
I recommend the clothesline kit from Lehman’s. It comes with plastic coated line that is the best I have found, and cool little ratchets that make it easy to tighten the line when it starts to sag. (And it will sag eventually.)
When we moved into this house I had my husband put up the clothesline the second day we were here! I love hanging out clothes. Oh, and I second the recommendation of good, wooden clothespins.
I have also read that hanging laundry outside attracts pollen, dust, and even bourbon to the wet laundry. But my mother did it when we were little kids and we all survived.
Not bourbons. Bird poop. Spell check strikes again!
Mavis Butterfield says
We have like 10,000,003 birds in our backyard.
The HBs Are coming over after we go to little HB’s game. Your broccoli bacon and cheddar quiche is on the menu. Made with little HB’s chicken eggs!
I think your friend looks like an ostrich! I see shapes and images EVERYWHERE! I’m so happy that others do too!!
I am in the suburbs of Baltimore. Last week’s fill-up was $2.95 a gallon and cost me $50!!
D.G. Reid says
Filled up at Costco in CT today and paid $3.09 a gallon.
I use my clothesline until it hits 20*. I have horrible allergies but it really doesn’t seem to make a difference as I have the windows open for fresh air until it’s hot and humid and the a/c goes on. I shake everything out when I’m taking it down to avoid hitchhikers. My yard is tiny (city lot) so the lines retract into a handy little unit hung on the house. The other end goes on a hook on the garage. Love the lines, the fresh dried scent and all the $ I’ve saved over the years.
In my experience, pollen season in New Hampshire tends to run late May through mid June. It should be better after that. Nothing beats having a laundry line. I air out pillows and comforters all year long.
Betsy in MN says
Dryer died 7 years ago during a brown out. Started using clothes rack in the house because it happened in February. Have steel posts set in concrete with five wires for a clothes line. I actually prefer the racks because I can put them in the sun or on the side of the house to catch a breeze. Bought two a antique stores, one a Menards and a gentleman a church made me one. 🙂
Purchase a second hand Speed Queen washer and dryer set in January 2017 and have yet to hook up the gas dryer!
We use an “Outdoor Umbrella Clothes Dryer”, it’s fantastic! It slides into a metal tube that you pound into the ground so you can remove it and store it for the winter or to mow your lawn. Since it takes up such little space I don’t have to worry about any of us clotheslining ourselves with it. I highly recommend them instead of the traditional long line. Also, the actual amount of drying line is so much more than a traditional long laundry line and you don’t have to worry about a sagging line that you need to tighten up.
E in Upstate NY says
My mother loved to line dry. Even remember the wooden shear frames to stretch and dry those lace shear drapes. Moved to new house and had the umbrella style clothes line. She used it but disliked it. Sheets had to be hung diagonally across it or along the line and fold back the sheet ends. Neither system she liked very much.
I’m jealous for your cheap gas. Here in San Diego, Costco has the cheapest gas at $3.49 a gallon. There’s a station on the way to work that’s selling gas for $3.76. It’s brutal.
Linda Sand says
Two line drying tips:
1. Always wipe the line down with a damp cloth before you hang anything.
2. In winter clothes get softer when the ice is out of them. Stiff clothes are still wet.
Speaking of stiff, I recall my mother bringing in my three brothers’ blue jeans in the winter – and standing them up around the kitchen. 🙂
Line dried clothes can come out kind of crisp/ hard. I like to put my clothes in the dryer for a couple of minutes to get the wrinkles out then immediately go to the line and hang them up. I find they come out softer and less wrinkly if left in the dryer for a few minutes.
I’m a librarian – back when I was in college in the 1980’s, one of my jobs at the library was to mark our books for computer check out. (We used VTLS) . Our public libraries went to computer check outs in the 90’s. The Circulation staff at many public libraries handles check outs, so people might not have realized the switch had been made – they were still stamping cards for a long time after the switch was made. I’m more surprised that a book from the 90’s is still on the shelves! It must be a really good one!
I work at a library, and even though the checkout process is now computerized, we still stamp the due date in the back. The patrons need to know the due date (our system doesn’t print receipts yet), plus it also makes it really easy to pick up a book and immediately know how often it has circulated.
Also, I don’t own a dryer. I have a drying rack I use year round. It’s very arid here so things dry super fast.
Christy Rose says
I have line dried my laundry for the past 50 odd years and hate using the dryer because it wears out the clothes faster and shrinks them. My best hanging tips are to turn dark clothing, especially black items, inside out so the sun won’t fade them. On the other hand the sun is amazing at brightening white things and will even magically remove stains (especially tomato) that didn’t’ completely come out in the wash. Can’t beat the wonderful smell of line dried clothing, too. When hanging T shirts, the best way to avoid clothes pin marks is to have the shirt inside out, face it away from you and drape it over the line putting a pin at each armpit. No fading that way and no “ruffling” at the hem from the pins pulling on it. I hang clothes year round, and what wont totally dry outside in the winter ends up on wooden racks in the house to finish drying. Best of both worlds as my laundry smells wonderful and I keep my utility bill down by not using the dryer unless it is an emergency.
Ive always line dried my laundry. We live in the city but bought the two vacant lots behind our house so we have a nice sized backyard. I don’t see any other clothes lines in my neighborhood. I do have a dryer and several indoor clothes lines and racks. I watch the weekly weather and plan my wash days around the rain. If you have allergies you can tumble your line dried wash on the air setting to knock off the pollen. I LOVE how my sheets smell after being dried outside in the sunshine.
I also LOVE the Waltons!
L. bryant says
I live in the land of pollen and bugs (Georgia). I use both outdoor and indoor lines year round. I use a pole style laundry system (it goes up and down just like a patio umbrella). I purchased from a big box store. Get the heaviest umbrella stand (not plastic) you can find To avoid tipping. I keep it on my back deck and so it is never over dirt, grass etc. When not in use I slip an old patio umbrella cover over it.
To remove the stiffness, POLLEN and Little CRITTERS (from the outdoor line) that WILL find your laundry I put each load into my dryer for 10-15 minutes on high on the freshen cycle after I remove the clothes from the line.
(My dryer has this feature ). It releases a small amount of water into the load and removes the stiffness and pollen. the high heat kills the critters. Everything gets removed from the lint trap.
My former dryer did not have this feature so I used to dampen a rag the size of a washcloth and added it to the dryer load. This works the same way.
I use an indoor over the door rack and a portable/folding hanging rack for gentle or sun sensitive items.
With this system I can dry 4-5 loads of laundry using the same amount of time and electricity as I would get with just one regular dryer load. (I often wait to dry my loads back to back to take advantage of the dryer already being heated to get all the clothes dried , folded and put up in a shorter amount of time.
Central Wisconsin $2.89 for regular.
I have hung clothes outside for most of my life. Back about 30 years we had a smaller yard so my handy husband built a “double-decker” that the top line was on a pulley. Pulled it down, hung clothes and pulled it up. For pollen, since my HH is allergic., I dry sheets in the house. I also dry dress clothes ,that may have to be ironed, in the dryer for 3-5 minutes then hang up on a hanger over a rack or shower curtain rod. I hang out in the winter on the deck. Things get stiff but bring them into the house and they dry in minutes. One appliance I could live without is the dryer. Drying in the house in the winter also adds humidity.
Love the Waltons. In the summer I like to cut beans or strawberries and watch.
Melanie C. says
Gas is $3.39 a gallon in southern california.
Good to know about hanging clothes out in the pollen, I had not thought of that. Allergies are a year round battle here on the west coast!
I love reading about your adventures in the northeast! I hope to visit new england in the fall.
Sid the Sloth from the movie Ice Age!
Gas here in NNY is around 3.39.