I Love My Solar Powered Clothesline!

Hanging LaundryIt’s a beautiful sunny morning in Seattle and my clothes are already washed and out hanging on the line. I’m taking advantage of the free natural solar dryer that we all have available. I, frankly, have become a bit obsessed over this whole line-drying thing!

It all started a while back when my dryer suddenly didn’t heat anymore – still worked, but no heat. This was in the dead of winter – rainy, damp, cold and wet out. I was trying to find places in the house to hang things; the shower curtain rod, backs of chairs and hanging things around the house. Things dried fairly quickly – a little stiff, but okay. I decided to invest in air-drying aids to continue on this ‘new’ line-drying adventure.

I got one of those folding clothes drying racks. They hold quite a bit of clothing and they are good to use in winter, or when it’s raining out. Another handy thing is a lingerie hanging dryer – this is a hanger with a rack of attached clips. It’s great to hang socks and underwear on. I also hung a cotton clothesline outside. This worked for awhile but the cotton line slowly started disintegrating over time…I needed a more durable clothesline.

I searched high and low for a decent clothesline but there were seemingly none to be found. Then one day I was in the auto supplies department at Target and happened to espy all kinds of rope (so that’s where they hide them!) I bought some heavy nylon rope used to tie up boats; I figured that would be durable. It works great!

I have gotten really used to my air-dried clothing. Everything is so clean…not with that filmy layer of dryer sheet residue. It’s been determined that you can save up to 20% on your energy bills just by line-drying, so that’s a big incentive too. Plus the lovely sunshiny smell of air-dried clothing is something that cannot be duplicated. It takes a bit of getting used to having clothes out and about drying…but there is something just so homey and comforting about it. Seeing clothes waving on a line is just so…cheerful!

Happy drying!
~Marilyn

Angora, I adorya!

I really have developed a love for angora sweaters! I must admit that I mostly sell angora, as I tend to wear cashmere and mohair sweaters myself. But I have fallen in love with the tactile fluffiness of a beautiful angora sweater…I can see why there is such a following of ardent angora lovers.

I like to look for at least 70 – 80% Angora rabbit hair content in the sweaters, with furry thick plushness and long hairs. Vibrant colors are a plus – pink and blue seem to be very desirable. Cowl necks and turtlenecks are a big hit too. Dresses and skirts are always such a delightful find. I especially love the 80s vintage angora sweaters as they usually are so slouchy and full; usually with bat wing sleeves and shoulder pads.

I have to laugh when I see a ‘Dry Clean Only’ tag in an angora sweater! What angora rabbit ever went through a chemical dry cleaning process?!? I like to hand-wash angora and let it air dry. This brings out the incredible softness and really fluffs up the angora. I tend to have several angora sweaters air-drying around the house at any given time!

In this day when clothing tends to be cheaply made and of poor quality, it is such a delight to revel in clothing that has a fabulous feel and evokes such a luxurious response as angora. The uniqueness of the fiber is unmatched – I’ve never seen a synthetic imitation of angora hold a candle to the real thing. There is just no messing with Mother Nature’s original!

Keep fluffy!
Marilyn

Warm Thoughts on a Snowy Winter Day

We got our first snowfall yesterday here in Seattle…and it’s darn cold too BRRRR!  Despite it’s northern latitude, Seattle typically doesn’t get too cold in the winter and snowfall is usually scant.  But we’re getting an Arctic front from Canada and their weather to boot!

I’m just north of Seattle and live on top of a 500′ hill.  Driving is not safe in the best of conditions here, and downright treacherous when the weather turns fierce.  So I just don’t drive!  There are always a rash of accidents when people try to maneuver the icy hills and ravines.

One day in the house and I’m feeling like I have a twinge of cabin fever!  Thank God for the Internet, books and electricity (I am so glad I have power).

I am digging out my Norwegian sweaters and cashmere turtlenecks – all the stuff I put away in spring,  the memories of their warmth long forgotten.  When I got them out I was grateful for their solid woolen construction.  Those Scandinavians knew what they were doing when they knit their toasty sweaters!

I tried out a new roasted potato recipe tonight too.  It was nice to heat up the oven to 475 and get a bit of extra warmth.  Comfort food tastes so good.

The extreme cold is expected to last the whole week.  It throws a wrench in most every one’s routine – and a lot of inconvenience and hassles ensue.  But sometimes a turn in situations is good for the soul and pause for reflection.  Then when things get back to ‘normal’, you appreciate it so much!

Keep warm!

Marilyn

Sweater Girl

I love sweaters! Just call me your sweater girl. 😉

There is just something about sweaters that stands the test of time and popularity – sweaters are always in style.  Fall is here and I look forward to wearing all my sweaters – I have a vast collection!

Around the world, cultures are noted for their individualistic sweaters.  Intricate Norwegian designs, complex Irish knits and Icelandic wools to name a few.  There is international appeal to be sure.   Fluffy angora, fuzzy mohair, plush cashmere and soft alpaca sweaters have devoted followers too.

I personally wear cashmere the most as it is lightweight, warm and non-irritating to my skin.  I do love to wear angora as it is so soft and the fluffy texture is amazing!  I save my Norwegian/Icelandic/Irish wool sweaters for the coldest of weather…when I don’t mind layering and looking bulky to stay warm.

Fall is here, winter is soon to follow…time to get out those gorgeous knits you lovely sweater girls and guys!

Marilyn

Middle-Age Charm School

OK, I confess; I am middle-aged.

The birthdays just keep coming every year, and my mind sometimes has a hard time wrapping around the age thing!

I keep going back to Coco Chanel’s quotes.  She has some pretty good ones regarding age that we should all consider.  I love the fact that she was active, interested and “alive” until her death at age 88.  She seemed to have an active love-life as well.

“Anyone past the age of twenty who looks into the mirror to be pleased is a fool.  You see the flaws, not the beauty.  Beauty is charm.”

Charm is such an old-fashioned concept these days.  Anyone remember Charm School?  It is the art of being interested in others, attracting, delighting.  Who doesn’t want to be around a charming person?  It’s something we all can work on…and it’s cheaper than Botox!

“A woman’s unhappiness is to rely on her youth.  Youth must be replaced by mystery.”

Yes, and what happened to a bit of mystery?  Does everyone need to know everything?  What is wrong with having a few secrets?  I say bring back the mysteriousness of life.

“After fifty you have to deserve your face.  Fashion changes – style remains.”

I for one,  love to see an expression-filled face, lines and all.  It shows you have a genuine life, happy and comfortable with yourself.   I am all for preventative care and living healthily.  Your body and spirit will reflect the attention you pay to it.

“I would never weigh heavier than a bird on the man I loved”

All right Coco – you got me!  I will admit that I am heavier than a bird! 8)

Marilyn

Laundry Day, The Old-Fashioned Way

I’ve always been a pretty frugal person, so I’m slightly amused that a lot of people are jumping on the “Frugal Bandwagon” now that costs of pretty much everything are skyrocketing!  My 22 year old Toyota is looking good to some people now because of its 30 MPG/City!

I haven’t had to change much to decrease costs, but I recently tried a “new” way to do laundry.  I now wash all my clothes in cold water and hang them to dry.  Now that summer is here, I’ve been hanging them out on the line…winter/rainy weather has me hanging them on dryer racks inside the house.

I hang my shirts and tops on hangers and clip them to the line.  It’s amazing that they dry almost wrinkle free!  I hang my jeans and pants on a clip pants hanger, and they too, dry crisp and wrinkle free.  There is nothing like the smell of fresh air-dried clothes.  No laundry detergent or dryer sheet can come close to replicating its smell, despite their claims of “Fresh Scent”.

I’m saving a lot in electricity too!  My clothes will also last longer being air-dried….do you notice the amount of lint that is generated after each dryer use?  The lint is fiber coming off your clothes, wearing them out much faster.

Now my dream is to own one of those old-fashioned clotheslines.  The kind with the metal pole and a square of lines around it.   When I was a kid, I remember almost every house having one in the yard.  Clothes flapping on the line was such a cheery sight!  I don’t know when dryers took over as “the” way to dry clothes exclusively…probably the 60s.

Off to dream of a new clothesline! 😀

Marilyn