I had just finished hanging these diapers out a few days ago, when I heard Ezra explaining to Harper about the racks "these are very special to Mama. They were her great, great, great, great grandmothers and they are very old." And that's sort of accurate. They were my great-grandmother's and yes, they are very special to me. I think they sat in waiting for two generations, until I stumbled upon them many years ago. Each and every time I hang laundry upon them, I am instantly connected to her, and I am so grateful for that.
A few months ago, I lost my outside clothesline in a storm. And these have been temporarily doing the job until I figure out a more permanent solution. I hadn't really thought about the bonus of them being so moveable, meaning that I can 'chase' the sun around with them through the day. Very helpful for the 'late' loads of laundry that get done around here.
Speaking of laundry lines, I'm on my second full month of homemade laundry powder, and so very happy with the results. I've long been using a lovely, local powder but with the amount that we go through, finally decided to give it a go myself. I really need to do the math to figure out how much money I'm saving by making our own - I have no doubt I would be thrilled. It couldn't be easier to make, really, and it washes quite nicely. (If you're used to a more conventional detergent, this will be a bit different in terms of stain removal. But there's nothing that a bit of vinegar or a soak in the sun doesn't take care of, I've found!) This is what I've been making:
(Makes approximately 5 cups)
2 cups (finely) grated castile soap*
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1 cup soda ash (washing soda)
*(I love, love, love Dr. Bronners. One and a half .5 oz bars makes about two cups. So far, peppermint is everyone's favorite for laundry. So fresh.)
Mix everything together, and store in an airtight jar. Depending on your water, you might need to adjust the sodas a bit, and the amount used per load. I use 1/8 cup per load. You may need to give the jar a shake once in a while to prevent the soap flakes from settling to the bottom.