May 7, 2010

Spring Chores

Hello everyone,

The winds have changed and while they are gusting as hard as ever they are of the milder variety rather than the deep arctic chill we get during early fall through late spring. Now that the weather is steadily warming we can expect maybe another snow squall, or a few more hard frosts but over all we should see daytime highs stay above 40 at least until next August.

Getting spring fever and keeping the warming temperatures in mind we started a new, albeit small project, making a new clothes line so that I can start to hang the laundry outside and save some of our hard earned money from the rising cost of electricity. (Thank You Pres. Obama and your Climate Change Bill... but I digress)

Now most of you out there are probably laughing saying to yourself that you make a clothes line by stringing a rope between two trees and call it a day, that's not a project right? Well in most areas of the country you would be right, but up here in northern Maine most of the trees are pine trees and they are not exactly conducive to clothes hanging on a line, that is of course unless you like your clothes to stand up on their own.

So here we have to construct free standing clothes lines. You can buy a metal free standing clothes line at just about any discount department store out there for around $75. But doing so would not be very homesteading survivalist friendly now would it? So being people who practice what we preach we headed back to our back 80 and searched out some acceptable tamarack to use for out building material. Tamarack is a wonderful tree that is a cousin to the cedar and therefore will probably outlast me in longevity. We're cutting some more tamarack down for fencing the front 10 acres in near our road, but that's a whole other story.

If I were really ambitious I suppose I could have went down to the creek and took some reeds and braided a rope to hang the clothes from and my husband could have took the time to shape wooden spikes to hold the whole thing together but instead we took the easy road and bought the rope from Walmart and we found some old screws hanging around the house to use. So we'll say the clothes line cost less than $10 total to make it, and it holds about four loads of laundry at a time.

So we started by getting the tamarack poles.

And then digging the holes where we want the poles to go, and placing them in.

We cut out notches so the poles would go together and have enough strength to hold even the heaviest wettest blankets. It also helped us to make the structure level.

We screwed in the cross braces and drilled holes for the line to go through.

Simple, rustic, and not all together to terrible to look at as far as clothes lines go. We're proud of it and we applied our homesteading principles to doing it, so all in all a win win for the weekend.

Hopefully my next post will be showing us put in the new garden step by step from breaking ground to planting seed. Until then,

Thank You, and God Bless.