On the Line

Most of what I write about my family life is focused on the places we go — the hikes we take, the trips on which we embark, and the events we seek out. Truth be told, so much of my life happens in our teeny, tiny house and in our rather unspectacular yard. Being on the go as much as we are in the summer, we discovered early on in our home ownership that the big garden we’d dreamed of was pretty impractical for our lifestyle. We’ve converted most of our tiny lot to perennial berry bushes, an epic raspberry patch, and a few wildflowers or native cuttings that friends or neighbors needed to unload.

This year the kids and I attempted to start seeds and grow a few things to have a tiny container garden. Things were going rather well until the local chipmunk population decided to dig up every single vegetable plant we planted and replace them with sunflower seeds save for 3 kale plants. I was frustrated, but accepting of the situation until the chipmunks decided to start climbing in our siding. This is where I draw the line and knew we could no longer be neighbors.

They did, however, leave our nasturtiums alone…

IMG_9800Which just started blooming yesterday. With the chipmunk threat no longer an issue I’m tempted to get a few little herb plants for fresh and for drying for winter use. A dear friend often gifts us little jars of her dried herbs in the fall andย  I learned to really appreciate that dash of dried parsley in our winter meals. We shall see what I can find.

It is also the time of year when I hang clothes out on our line.

FullSizeRenderWe joke that our house looks like some sort of tenement situation when I hang clothes out, but to me it’s tradition — something my mom always did in the spring & summer & fall. And aside from the outward appearance, it’s warm & breezy and hanging clothes out to dry is kind to the environment not to mention saves us some money in electricity as well as keeps the house cooler. It’s a win all around in my opinion.

The kids and I also spend a lot of time at home and — like I said — the yard is far from tidy and perfect, but it is a happy place.

IMG_9789This weekend I broke out a new slip n’slide for the kids and while they played, I spun.

IMG_9791And spun and spun the endless bag of pink merino/silk that my daughter requested I spin so she can knit it.

I also knit a bit, finishing up a shawl that is blocking and then using up the remainder of my SilverSpun Summer Sock Club yarn…

IMG_9780-0I had exactly 200yards remaining, so I thought in addition to the shorties I’ve already finished (and will share soon!), a pair of Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Turkish Bed Socks would be a great way to use up the rest.

I finished up the first sock last night…

IMG_9795And as planned I should have just enough to finish the second sock without it being too much of a nail-biter.

It was such a treat to spend some quiet, relaxing time at home over the weekend after our over-exciting vacation and then all the hospital/doctor/me-as-nurse happenings of last week. It’s such a relief that the only thing on the line here right now is laundry. I’m oh so thankful to have everyone on the road to recovery, to have had some time to play and relax in our unspectacular yard, and for all the million little things that are our everyday life and home.

13 responses to “On the Line

  1. Love a full clothesline! I have, unfortunately, not been able to hang/install one due to all the endless road dust in Iowa. The minute some one pulls up into the yard (or across the field next door), a dust cloud coats everything. Unless I hang the clothes in the deep woods, I think I’m out of luck. Blech. So good to hear life is slowing down in your household–hope hubby’s back is healing. I was going to give you a tip on taking care of your chipmunk population, but it seems you’ve figured it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • And I’m assuming the deep woods would present other challenges (like bugs!). I stop when the Japanese beetles hatch out because it literally takes me hours to pick them off my laundry. The day this happens is the day I really start looking forward to fall.

      I would be more than thankful for your chipmunk control advice. Our method was effective, but not what I’d call ideal.

  2. I live in Australia so hanging out the laundry is just the done thing. Then in winter it gets hung up inside next to the fire. I don’t even own a drier. I never thought of hanging washing as a novelty. Its just another chore.

    • This was how I grew up, too. We had a line out back and a line in the basement by the woodstove. We don’t have a woodstove or fireplace in our house so now I have no choice but the drier in winter, but it always kind of shocks me that it IS a novelty here for most families.

  3. That looks so peaceful! I dry my laundry on a clothes rack indoors year round: I am not very good at remembering to put the laundry in early so there will be sun to dry it with!

    • I do usually have wash going by 5am, but the last few days I’ve hung out an extra load around 6pm and it still dries before nightfall. We do get a fair bit of wind here, though, which helps, too!

  4. I like your backyard. It looks like a real family lives and plays there! Your spinning is lovely too, as usual; that kind of evenness is what I strive for.

    • Thank you! Everything about our house, cars, and yard screams “real family” — lol! For better or for worse, I will never be someone who can show you these really calm, still, beautiful photos of my space because there are none of those spots here! We USE every inch!

  5. You inspire me to rig up a new clothesline – the old one hold the birdfeeders, to keep the squirrels and chipmunks out of them! Which leads me to – HOW DID YOU GET RID OF THE CHIPMUNKS? We hear them (or perhaps red squirrels) in the soffit out on the porch, but can’t access it to catch them. I have some have a heart traps set, and have relocated 3 mice, one chipmunk and one gray squirrel but can’t seem to catch the fellows who live in the house.

    • I LOVE having the clothesline and I always hope the day the Japanese beetles take over will come late (or not at all) as they end my clothesline usage. Picking those buggers off takes a million years! As for the chipmunks. Well. I’ll shoot you a Ravelry message with my story there. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • I’m lucky not to have a problem with Japanese beetles! My problem is finding unobstructed space where I won’t mind a line crossing. I’ll check Raveley in a bit…

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