Oh Give Me A Home, Where The Buffalo Roam

Am I the only one...
or do any of you feel like you might be living in the wrong century?

I am quite certain that in a past life you might have found me
on a homestead in the midwest prairie.

Perhaps that is why I surround myself with antiques and wish that most of them
were an integral part of daily life...
and not just interesting things to use in my decor.

Regardless, as my kids say...
"if the zombie apocalypse happens"...
or, as I consider... the electrical grid ever goes down, 
we will be just fine.
We have enough of the old-time stuff that my do-it-yourself mentality
will make good use of.
The second half of what the kids say is "we are heading to the farm."

Yesterday, being Monday, was laundry day.
And although I used my electric washing machine,
if I had to, I could certainly use this old mechanical machine.

I'd heat my water over the fire and fill the wooden barrel.
Then I'd sit beside the washer pumping the handle up and down
to agitate the clothes while I read a book with the other hand.
(Note to self: look for a washer with a foot pump....so you can knit at the same time!)

Whenever the weather is good, the sheets get hung on the line to dry.
To me there is nothing more delightful than crawling into a freshly made bed
with sheets that were dried out in the fresh air and sunshine.
And I am certain that on those nights I sleep all the better!

The second half of laundry is ironing.
I realize that ironing is a dying art... most of our kids don't use irons,
and many don't own them.
Because I wear mostly wool, cotton and linen, I still need to iron
if I don't want to look like an unmade bed.
Also with sewing... an iron is essential.

Recently, the door that covers the water intake hole fell off of my iron.
Now, this iron is maybe a year old.
It wasn't expensive... but really?  A year?  
There is nothing that gets under my skin more than appliances, large or small,
that don't last.

I know that this is a planned phenomenon... thank you, capitalism.
And I suppose that most of us resign ourselves to being victimized by
manufacturers and corporate greed.
Not this girl.
This girls gets busy and writes letters...
explaining that as a consumer we deserve better,
and the world deserves better.
As I wrote to Sunbeam - maker of the broken iron -
"this is a large part of our environmental problems...
and the ever-growing piles of discarded items that end up in our landfills."
(I know... I used to own a Rowenta, German made, and a great iron...
but I opted for a cheaper iron last time.)
Note to self: cheaper isn't cheaper in the end.

The letter worked.
A new iron arrived yesterday.

Does this solve the problem?
Did I have to have a new iron?
I could have used an iron that leaked.
If we don't send clear messages to companies that we are not going to tolerate
cheap items, then nothing will ever change.
And if enough of us made noise...
if enough items had to be replaced by those companies in order to quiet us,
perhaps those companies would strive to make better products that last longer.

Most of my adult life, I have taken on the role of being my own consumer advocate.
I have written honest letters when I have been unhappy with good or services.
And most times I have gotten results... good results.
(It helps to be kind when writing these letters.)

Not wanting to trash a still useful iron, I took the old iron to the thrift store.
Next time, I will merely switch to this iron:

Nothing to break with this one!
See why I would rather use the antiques?

Recently, my dishtowels have started to look more like rags.
Not wanting to buy more dishtowels, I opted for making some instead.

Dishtowel fabric is a thing... in case you wondered.
Simply cut to length, hem the ends, "et voila"...

We were treated to a beautiful day, yesterday.
The sun shone, the mercury rose to the mid-forties,
and the birds were singing!

It was heavenly, and I enjoyed it while I could.
this morning it's supposed to snow (not a lot, though.)

Yesterday's sunrise...

I could just tell it was going to be a great day!

I am often asked if I sleep... because I post my blog at 3:00 AM.
I am very sound asleep, usually by 10 PM each night
and generally sleep through until 5 AM in the morning.
I write my blog posts either in the late afternoon or the early evening of the preceding day.
Blogger gives me the option of scheduling when I wish to publish
each post.
And magically, while I am dead asleep... it all happens on the web.

To Louise... your chicken problem was addressed a couple times in yesterday's


Louise Stopford said…
Thanks very much Bev for your reply. Her pads seem fine but Joanne in MA posted a good suggestion to and I was wondering that myself. I will just keep an eye on her and see how we go. Thanks again for your comments.
Michle said…
Where do you purchase your dishcloth material?
colleen said…
I love and agree with everything from this post. I too would like to know where you get the material for the dishtowels. I knit my dishcloths and now to make the towels. tfs xxxxx
You have a lovely collection of antiques!
Susan said…
Me too! Would love to know where you purchase the dish cloth material. Also, I really really need to make more cloth napkins. We love these and ours are at least - oh, I hate to say - but I would guess at least 15. Definately saves paper towels and napkins!
daisy g said…
I can't help but think of my grandmother and mom who had a laundry in Paris. Believe me, there were a lot of those irons around our house growing up as mementos of those days.

That tea towel project sounds like something even I could do. Is the fabric 100% cotton? I'd be willing to give it a go.

You have snow, we have more rain. Could we trade? ;0D
jaz@octoberfarm said…
i think i ws your neighbor on that prairie...or maybe in appalachia?
Unknown said…
New appliances are the worst! I have my grandmother's iron from the 1950s, works great and weighs a ton which for me is key to a good iron. Our refrigerator is 35 years old, we still use ice trays and we have a wood stove in our living room that I could cook on if I had to. Sitting on the hearth by the wood stove are a couple of super old irons that were my great great grandmother's. I certainly don't have your skill set, but I could tackle a few things! Lisa G in TN
Dee J. Hartman said…
Your energy and strong, positive beliefs will always have me captivated, Bev!
This N That said…
I think you have enough manure to clean up...you don't need Buffalo too...;) It probably costs companies a lot less to replace their junk than to improve the quality of it...Then they would have less replacement sales..I have a Rowenta..worth the price.lasts for years..I iron just about everything..even my tee shirts and sweats.Everything seems to come pre-wrinkled these days..Another gloomy day..dry so far!!
Enjoy it whatever you do..xxoo
Beachgram said…
Love the smiling picture of you in the kitchen!
Anonymous said…
What about a rubber stopper in the hole of the old iron? We used to have some in chemistry lab that were kinda slanted.. Or would that just melt and be awful?
Bee Haven Bev said…
A rubber stopper would work. And although there are fixes, I hate that things are made so cheaply as to break with normal use.
Lynne said…
Like the tea towels . . .

I agree, we need to speak up, write letters, when things break down, stop performing in such a short time.
Dishwasher just quit, six years old, ridiculous. I washed our dishes by hand for a few months and then I “caved!”

Love the picture of you in the beginning . . .
Happy and glowing . . .

Sheets dried outdoors . . . the best!
My sheets had never seen a dryer until recent months, (because of shoulder surgery.)
Fresh aired dried sheets will be happening here soon!
Lisa said…
😂😂 And now I know your secret. I'm glad to know you actually do sleep. I too was born in the wrong century. The only thing that I would miss would be the indoor toilet. But other than that I could do without most modern appliances.
deodar said…
I make my own towels. I have a four shaft floor loom but I believe you have a rigid heddle loom? That would work very well for towels! Use a nice 8/2 or 10/2 unmercerized cotton - more absorbent than mercerized - available wherever weaving supplies are sold. The towels are wonderful, the more often they are washed, the softer they get.
Anonymous said…
I love these pictures. What is the chain looking thing that is hanging on the wall by the old washer? And what is the wooden thing hanging below the sign for the laundry service?

Thanks as always for such interesting posts

K. Ames said…
Hello from a first time reader! Your way of thinking really resonates with me! I like that you send letters to companies, as they're causing so much waste by making inferior products and causing a throw-away culture.

I'm a diy kind of person in crafting and gardening, so you'll be on my list to follow!
K. Ames said…
Hello from a first time reader! Your way of thinking really resonates with me! I like that you send letters to companies, as they're causing so much waste by making inferior products and causing a throw-away culture.

I'm a diy kind of person in crafting and gardening, so you'll be on my list to follow!