Thursday, May 26, 2011

Laundry Love

I made the homemade soap. I also needed a new laundry bag and sewed one. Aren't you impressed with me?
                     Isn't this the coolest laundry bag ever? You know I am kidding right?

This is from an email that I received from my friend. I did not take these pictures. I don't know who to give the credit too. 
But I think this sweet woman would like you to try making soap so I am passing her work on.

Here are the ingredients...

  • Borax ($2.89) 1 box = 10 batches (use 1/2 cup)
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Powder ($2.77) 1 box= 7 batches (use just 1 cup)
  • 1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap ($0.97) (you can use different brands of soap but this one is good on stains!)
  • a 5 gal bucket (if you don't have one, you can get one at Lowe's or Wal-mart for $3.50, but PLEASE ask around 1st!)
Amber got these items at Wal-mart. I had NEVER heard of these items before!

$1.78 for 10 gallons or 640 loads! That's enough for 1 load of laundry a day for almost 2 years!! WOW! And that is the price WITHOUT coupons!

Here's what you do!
1.     Grate the bar of soap into a pan
2.     Fill the pan with water and cook the soap until it melts
3.     Fill the bucket half way with hot tap water
4.     Mix in melted soap, 1/2 cup Borax, and 1 cup Arm & Hammer and stir until dissolved ( for me with asthma this was to much fumes, be very careful)
5.     Add water til the bucket is full. Let the bucket sit overnight so it can "gel."
This recipe makes enough liquid detergent for  640 loads in a front loading machine using 1/4 cup. Check the Duggar site for top loading recipes and powder recipes! They suggest saving your old detergent bottles for easier use. You fill your bottle half full, then fill the rest of the bottle with water. That is how you get 10 gals from your 5 gallon bucket!

We were really wanting to wash clothes immediately to see how well it worked! Amber used it first and said it cleaned well and her clothes smelled fine. Awesome.

I suggest you split the cost with friends! Everyone can buy their favorite soap and then up to 7 friends can split the borax and Arm &Hammer! OR you could make a practical gift for friends and family!
We also made fabric softener!

  • 1 bottle of your favorite liquid softener (we used snuggle) (4.89) *buy on sale or with coupon!
  • a sponge (.84)
  • water
Here's what you do!
1.     Pour the entire bottle of softener into a bucket
2.     Fill the bottle with water twice and pour into bucket (slowly bc it bubbles up)
3.     Cut the sponge in half and put in bucket
4.     Wring out 1 sponge and throw in the dryer with your clothes!
I used the softener because I actually had a load ready to go in the dryer! It smelled really good as clothes were drying and perfumed the house a little as well! It wasn't overpowering, just a nice fresh scent! AND....NO STATIC! Not sure on how long it will last because you wring out the sponge...seems like at least a year!

Back to me--this is KD talking.
I added lavender essential oils to my soap even though it smelled clean already. You know that my hubbins makes a mess out of his clothes working in the yard and doing construction. My first test run was on muddy jeans and it worked great. I think these products are old and true ones from our granny's era.
I"m not sure what the bar of soap is made out of. I wondered if it was like lye, but whatever it is it works very well.

If your budget is getting tighter all the time this is well worth the short amount of time it takes to make! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pondering The Simple Life

 Several of my favorite bloggers are still suffering from the cold. We are about to gear up into the nineties. It's easy to break into a sweat during the midday.
 This has been one of the most wonderful springs ever. We have had so many perfect days that I have almost quit blogging (not on purpose). I just cannot seem to find the time to sit down inside and read or write! I am not working that much but I have put my lounge chair to serious use and actually have a tan. I'll leave that to your imagination, no bathing suit pictures. Nope not ever. All those dimples would make you think there had been a hail storm, scar you for life.
 These are old pics and the side yard is a now a blitz of color but out of respect for those suffering cold,
I won't show off just yet. At least that's my story for now. Maybe later in the week.
 You can see little pops of color and think about spring. God is no respecter of persons, He has no favorites and your spring WILL come.
 This man who predicted the end of the world is going to have some explaining to do. Especially when the Bible says, that no man knows the hour or the day, NOT EVEN THE SON. If Jesus says so then I think that settles it. You can always trust the red letters. The sad thing is how much money this guy made. It's shameful.
  We have had some crazy happening lately. All over the world, but no one can predict anything. Christians are called to watch and be observant and live as if this is our last day but never act like we know more than God.  It keeps your priorities in order. Cancer patients live that way. They focus on each day and have so much gratitude for a good day. That is newsworthy!
My family is so fortunate to be far from the flooding. So far we have not been hit by any tornado's.  We never have. They seem to travel in the same places each year. I feel very blessed to have my home and be spared from the suffering that these people are going through.
 See that concrete in the background? This Zenia is in a driveway crack. Could it be a little reminder to bloom where you are planted? Aren't seeds amazing? A little packet of seeds that can fit in your hand, makes a whole crop. Think about what three seeds in a cucumber hill will produce. Maybe as we have moved away from the land and sowing and reaping we have lost the ability to believe. If you just look at seeds they don't look like much....they don't look like anything. Once you plant some you become a believer.
 We are living a life of more faith. The old roof is getting replaced because God has provided a way. I am so grateful for that! Hopefully I will find a bargain on paint.  We are ...excuse me I stand corrected, my husband is going to paint the house this summer, it needs it.  I'm thinking about a change of colors since it has to be done anyway.  I'd like him the build some new shutters and stain them. I'm thinking about a dark rich green (like my laundry room) and some wood.  He won't change the trim color because it'd be too much work, but maybe he'll go for cream instead of bright white. The new roof is going to be brown.  Jennifer picked the color. I'm a bit nervous because no one has a brown roof here but she has good taste. It is also the lightest color choice and that is good for reflecting heat.
I have been working at sewing but not made anything yet. Isn't that a funny thing to say? I'm altering clothes. I reworked an expensive white cotton blouse to fit Jennifer perfectly. She loves it. I haven't ever done anything like that. I just kept pinning it while it was on her. I ended up taking it down a lot! It was a size 20 and now it's probably a 12. The sleeves came off completely and I cut them down. I'll take a picture because it turned out really well. The dresses I bought at the yard sale all need to be taken in and so do my pants. I have been hemming and mending, you know making do.  The Hunny's laundry bag fell apart so that is the next thing to make, it only lasted  20 years. My friend gave me the perfect fabric to remake it.
I have been going back to my roots. Making things from scratch, fixing clothes and living as inexpensively as possible.  A friend of mine told me about HOME MADE laundry soap! The Dugger's have a recipe on their blog and she made it. She told me it works fine. I am going to buy the ingredients tomorrow and fix my first 5 gallon bucket of it. I have some nice essential oils for fragrance.

I also read a tip on stretching fabric softener. Get a bottle of your favorite liquid softener and pour it into a bucket. Fill the fabric softener bottle with water and add it to the bucket two times.  Keep a designated sponge in the laundry room the you dip into this and ring out. Toss the sponge into the dryer. You can imagine how long the softener will last using a wrung out sponge! I read testimonials that it works and I'm willing to give it a try. I'd like to make that myself too if it's cheaper.

 The simple life. I want it enough to grab it with both hands and also let go.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Catching Up

 I have been busy doing nothing. I wore myself out! As in to pooped to pop or some other dumb expression.
 If I could only manage to ingrain two words into my thick skull. PACE MYSELF.
 Good thing most everything around here is on automatic pilot. No babies to tend.
 These two are at the age where they come up with their own plans, like making signs for mom.
 Very cute I might add.

This was my present to my daughter, our first Mother's Day together in over 10 years! 
I fixed a little dinner party. She had to work. BOO! But we had surprises ready when she came home. Flowers courtesy of my back yard.
 Miss Lindsey Boo made a 100% sugar free chocolate confection that would do a person in. Oreo cookie crust (yep sugar fee) and crushed up Butterfingers candy inside with drizzled melted chocolate and walnuts on top with dollops of whipped cream. She made the chocolate pie filling with whipped cream and pudding so it was like moose and I wanted to eat it all. I could have. I could have eaten the whole thing.
 Jennifer could eat the whole thing too, but since there was only one pie neither of us did. Don't you want some? For some reason this sugar free desert did not have explosive side effects.
Lindsey took several pictures of us and this was the best of the worst.
None of the pictures were good, and I am not proud. Which is saying they were positively ghastly.
We enjoyed our dinner and toasted happy mother's day to each other.
We also laughed our heads off.

 The day before we went garage sale shopping. Once a year one of our finer southern subdivisions hosts a huge neighborhood sale. This year 70 homes participated. I have not shopped till I dropped for over 10 years, but my daughter is here now. One or the other would say..."just one more house," for 6 hours.

Needless to say I will be recovering from that for another couple of weeks. Please excuse me while I fall behind on everything. This is my pile. Yes I totally scored. Gold king size sheets with 4 pillow cases never used $10. A rust colored suede type fabric sofa cover from Sure fit for $20. Beautiful clothes that is a turquoise dress for $2, fully lined linen. GORGEOUS. Queen size sheet set for $3. Pottery Barn kids quilt for $1.75 and HUGE collection of Thomas and Friends train stuff....huge. I have been messing around with trains for 3 days... I may never get up off the floor again. I may never be able to get up off the floor again...somebody help me please.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Someone for you

I burned myself out. All that energy in one poof of flame....and then it fizzled out.
Wanting to bring something to share, the written word that compels us.
No thoughts worth writing.
Not troubled just tired.
Soaking up the sun and contemplating life.
Giving thanks for small accomplishments.

But I do have something to share, better stated someone.
Some people get life early and live vigorously.
This girl is fifteen.
She is in Thailand and she is teaching English.

She is blogging her journey and I think it would be a great loss if you did not read every word of it.