right now

right now

Dec 8, 2009

Odds & Ends

So that's what winter is for! The past 2 days I have been catching up on all neglected things around the house and miscellaneous suburban homesteading busywork. I finally did all my windows, and more importantly, my white shutters on all the windows that have been collecting dust and just bugging me in general (one of those things that nobody notices except me, lol)! I posted last spring about my "freezer inventory" list - well, that hasn't been updated in a good long while, like all summer, and as a result I have a freezer full of God-knows-what plus all the frozen veggies from the past summer, so that's done too! Now I can stop wasting money buying things that I already had in the depths of my little deep freezer. I highly recommend this if you store alot of garden veggies and like us, meat that we buy by the share. It's difficult to keep track of all the cuts otherwise!

This morning so far I have been tending to my laundry room - HA! Laundry CLOSET, that is. Since it is hidden by a curtain and the only unseen landing pad in the house, it was stacked sky-high with Christmas stuff, laundry supplies, tools, you name it - it goes here. It needed to be cleaned out since this is also my seed-starting/grow lights area, and that time is coming up swiftly! After organizing that somewhat, it was time to make laundry detergent. I did a post about making liquid laundry detergent, and it works great and is fun for the kids to help make, but this time decided to try homemade powder detergent. This stuff whips up in about 2 minutes so that is a definite time saver. I just finished washing a load and it appears to work just as well as the liquid.  The recipe I used today is as follows:

Powdered Detergent:
- 2 cups grated bar soap (I use Zote, Fels Naptha, or whatever laundry/plain soap I can find cheap) - just use a cheese grater on the fine grate size
- 1 cup Borax Powder
- 1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda! This can be hard to find in some areas, but I now go straight to an Asian or Mexican grocery store where I can always find it! Some people report WalMart always has it, but this is not true in my area)
- Optional: 1/4 cup of OxiClean (I don't use it)
- Mix all together and place in a sealed container. Use 1 tbsp per load, 2 if extra dirty - That's It!!!

Fabric Softener:
I just use plain vinegar with a few drops of essential oil added for scent. You do not need to use essential oil, believe me, your clothes will NOT smell like vinegar! I just use it 'cause it makes me feel pretty while doing my laundry LOL

I also want to add that I have reached my 1-year anniversary!!  That's 1 whole year since I have purchased store bought laundry detergent or household cleansers!!  

I have many other things planned around here this week that I won't bore you with because they all involve closets and cupboards and other unseen messes, but I am hoping to actually get out into the garden and tidy up a bit more this week also. I see out the window I have gorgeous salad fixin's just waiting to be harvested and now that incessant rainy yucky weather has slowed, maybe I can get motivated to get some mittens on and get out there!

Interesting Tidbit:  I balanced my checkbook the other day - let me add that I have been spot on to the penny since I first started doing this in high school - and .... I was $184.82 off ...IN MY FAVOR!  I have waited a few days and did it again.... still the same.  WooHoo!  Of course I won't spend it since I fear that some alien transaction will reappear at an inconvenient time, but hey, it's like an early Christmas. This good fortune will never happen again, lol!  I am also having trouble with the new post editor on the blog so if the fonts and spacing are off, I apologize.


  1. Interesting about the laundry soap-I had wondered how it would work in the high-efficiency washers....

    I love winter days for catching up on the inside after a summer of being outside.
    And on a side note, hubby and I just returned from the southeast and he is TOTALLY in love with Virginia. Why didn't you tell me it was sooooooo beautiful!!

  2. So most of us are tearing our hair trying to get ready for Christmas and you're so organized you're into deep housecleaning! Arrrgggh. I'll never be so on top of things like you are.

    Thanks a gazillion for the tried and true laundry detergent recipe. I am definitely going to try it. After the holidays.

  3. Wanna come and organize my house!? Our laundry in this house is a closet as well, but it's upstairs! I'm so worried about the washer springing a leak and ruinging everything upstairs and down, but I'll tell you, it's so nice to be able to take things right from the washer and dump them on the bed to fold right then and there.

  4. This is my organization time too. After spending all summer gardening and canning every nook and cranny needs attention. Congrats on the soap thing. The only thing I still use is dishwasher powder and I know it is awful. Do you have any suggestions I have been looking everywhere. Peace

  5. Hey Erin, I have a question for you. I had a lot of my nice red tomatoes split from all the rain we've had this week. There are so many that I hate to see them go to waste. If I remove the skins can I chop them up and freeze them for later use?

  6. Dani, I have done that before, just blanch and peel and maybe cut away the split area if needed. You can just freeze them whole to use for chopped or stewed tomatoes in a sauce, they will still taste great just not have the same texture as fresh. I even freeze whole cherry tomatoes to toss into pasta later. Any application where they are served hot the texture won't matter. The rain is unrelenting this year, isn't it??

  7. Thanks Erin! I knew you'd know what to do.

  8. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary, that is a great thing! (Oh, and on the check book too!)