Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | May 7, 2009

The James and Me

Not very good grammar, huh?

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Today was a new beginning in my laundry journey.  I’ve decided it’s time to be more agressive in my off-grid pursuits!  Laundry has always been my biggest fear in this area, so I figured I’d tackle it first and the rest would be a piece of cake, right?  Of course right.  (Sorry, a little too much Fiddler on the Roof lately!)

So, I’ve switched to my James washer. It wasn’t bad.  It was actually rather lovely.  Everyone was pitching in or hanging out due to curiosity.  It is getting greener by the day outside and I was glad to have an excuse to be out.  Here’s the view from my porch:

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Beloved filled ‘er up for me and gave me a few pointers.  He’s actually been washing his own clothes this way for over a week and his enthusiasm was making me feel a bit motivated.  OK, so fill ‘er up, load ‘er up and start washin’ up.

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Surprisingly, I can get almost a normal sized load in this little darlin’.  It takes a little more arm strength than I thought it would, but thanks to my grain mill, I’ve got a little more muscle than I used to.  C’mon, check out those  scrawny bulging biceps.  (What do ya think, Hank?)

I had no shortage of helpers:

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The poor, overworked, unhappy dears.

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Rachel thoroughly convinced me that she could probably handle this entire process by herself.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to tell her things like, “I wonder how many other eight year olds in America could handle the laundry without electricity?”  Mommy manipulation works like a charm.

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And it was very rewarding to hang my actually very clean clothes on the line.  I didn’t get a picture of that, but you’ve seen plenty of those anyway, right?  It was even more rewarding to have them folded and put away, all clean and outside-smelling.  Somehow, the thought of doing it again tomorrow is a very good one, knowing that we’re going to get faster and better at our job.

A closing picture for my mother:  The apple tree in full bloom last week and Tip and Annie’s new home underneath.

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Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.  The Lord be with you all!  2 Thess. 3: 16



  1. Hello! I’m a complete stranger who finds your blog inspiring, if not completely practical for my life. The washing machine looks cool, but I have two questions for you. What are you going to do in the winter? And are you sure you’re pregnant? (You don’t look it in the picture!)
    Oh! Three questions! If you move completely “off the grid” how are you going to continue to update us on your blog? 🙂

    • Hi Tracy!

      Thanks for the interest!

      I’m still trying to hammer out exactly what I will do in the winter time. My husband is pretty handy in the idea department, so I’m sure we’ll work something out! I had thought of converting my old laundry room into a “new” non-electric laundry room, if we can find some way to hook up a hose that would drain the machine outside, or into our septic.

      Yep, very sure I’m pregnant. I think my shirt is draping over somewhat in the picture and kind of disguises the fact! I’m normally very thin after nursing my previous baby, so it takes awhile for me to “fluff” up. I will, though, but I’m only five months along right now.

      I’m also not sure how the whole blog thing will work out. I hope it would be easy for me to let go of, if necessary!

  2. HI,

    I love your site too and I have tried to contact you but somehow my posts are not sent. I will make this short in case I still have not gotten smart enough to leave you a comment.

    I am Mennonite and so we do a lot of washing like you are doing. I hardily agree with teaching youngins’ to work. Just be careful with the wringer. Many a youth have endured broken bones in their hands for looking away.The worse injures are from curious toddlers.

    Enjoy the precious memories.



  3. lol! Fiddler on the roof! You should read Golda Meirs autobiography if you like Fiddler.

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