Washing by Hand

We have a problem.

Our dishwasher is broken, likely plugged with hard water mineral buildup and perhaps some seals are broken. Its been doing its job for 10 years but now running vinegar through it no longer keeps water moving inside.

The only “kid” still living in the house frequently sneaks to the laundry room in the basement to wash just one outfit — sometimes even one article of clothing — at a time in the washer and dryer.

The heater on our 15-year-old clothes dryer no longer works so it runs again and again.

I lied. My family has at least three problems, as evidenced above.

My solutions are as follows.

  1. Wash your dishes by hand. Seriously. It can be done.
  2. Wash your clothes by hand or go to the laundromat with heavily soiled items.
  3. Hang clothes to dry or go to the laundromat with items that need a dryer in wintertime

We may or may not repair and/or replace the dishwasher and dryer. Running a machine for just a few items is an unacceptable waste of water, electricity and money, but my kid won’t take my advice. My kid does, however, like Youtube. After telling my kid what each person’s responsibilities are, I sent these links – via Facebook message, of course. Hopefully one of them will have an impact.

How to Wash your Clothes by Hand : easy way and Save water

I like that this young man’s solution is simple and environmentally focused. He’s cool.

Hand Wash Laundry With A Salad Spinner

This is a fun idea but the presenter introduces herself as a grandma. Does fun trump “not cool”?

Should I buy a laundry salad spinner or should I wait til I see my kid trying to use the one in the kitchen before I splurge on another purchase?

I really need to collect some “cool” videos on homemaking to share with my young adult children, especially the one still at home. I’m not sure where I failed, but they are dang lazy and entitled. When people say, “kids these days…” I fear they’ve met mine. *Sigh*


About Us

Its important to note that my marriage is struggling and has for a number of years. We’ve just barely survived what I have dubbed “two years from hell,” during which time we lost nine family members including my father, almost lost our teenaged daughter, Hubby lost his job, and we almost lost our home to the bank. Recently we have considered separating. Our children are all independent young adults now. Why does this matter? I believe that big decisions shouldn’t be made by a married person unless their spouse is enthusiastic, too.

The idea of backyard farming has been mine for a few years now; I began planning – and taking some action –about three and a half years ago, just before our “hell” began. Although initially opposed to some of my ideas, Hubby has fully embraced them over the last few months — while on the other hand agreeing that maybe we’d be better apart — and has even taken my plans to the next level by suggesting we go “off grid” as much as possible. Perhaps this is his last ditch effort to save our relationship.

My goals are:

* Healthier food

* Learning new skills

* Increased physical activity indoors and out

* Engaging in self-reliance activities I enjoy; buying products and services locally when I don’t do it for myself

My Husband has these additional goals which would mean selling our home in the city suburbs and buying at least one acre of land in commuting distance to our full-time jobs:

* More freedom from bylaws regarding livestock, solar panels, and wind turbines

*Less dependence on a municipality for utilities

* Become mortgage free (pay cash for land and build our own small house or live in a mobile home)

Hubby says our home has only sad memories for him, so he wants to be rid of it and the mortgage. That idea is a big extreme to me, but, honestly, if we separate permanently, the house would have to be sold anyway. What do we have to lose by moving forward, together, on a plan we’re both excited about? Maybe this is the focus we need to bring us back together with passion that we once had for our children.Why do I hesitate? Hubby and I cope with stress differently. Although we share life goals, our personalities – and, therefore, the ways we go about achieving our goals – are very different. Our “two years from hell” has taken a toll on each of us. I wonder if the trials and tribulations of moving to a homesteading lifestyle on an acreage would just mean even more stress for our marriage.

Land in this area starts at $25,000 per acre with no services. Our eyes are open for appropriate land advertised online, but we may get better leads from friends who live in the counties nearby. Alternately, we may each end up in a condo of our own, me with pots of tomatoes and quail cages on the balcony and he with a solar-powered gaming system. While we see where we’ll end up calling “home”, and if that home has one or both of us living under the roof, I’m focused on my current winter activity.

I’m searching for non-gmo seeds to be ordered in January. Container gardening is my best bet, allowing for portability. I’m watching for pots I may collect, too.

I’m not a contrary person. I’m just not certain how my garden, marriage, or life, will grow from this point on.


Why homestead?

Why would this fortysomething, almost empty nester, want to attempt homesteading? Maybe I’ve played too much Hay Day. Maybe I’m overwhelmed with my working suburban mom lifestyle. Maybe I really miss my departed dad, the one who gave me the bug for working on land of one’s own and being somewhat self-reliant. The answer is probably all of the above.

I’ve done a lot of reading, thinking, and planning about it over the last three years. Now its time to take some action.

Here I’ll write about what I learn as I go and share my favorite resources.

For reference, I’m in gardening zone 3B. My starting point is a suburban 1600 sq ft home on a 1/4 acre pie lot in a cul de sac, a 15 minute commute to my day job in a windowless office. Backyard livestock is illegal here. My husband is handy. I am not.