Our Home Away from Home!

Our Home Away from Home!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

From Tomato Plant to Portable Washing Machine........

Wow! Was the weather gorgeous today.  Lows this morning were in the 50's that is just unbelievable for July. Art said he hopes we don't get snow in Sept the way it is cooling off so fast. I don't imagine we are done with the heat though, Aug and Sept can be very hot months.

When I looked at the calender last night I couldn't believe it. First of all, that we are almost to the end of July already, and second, that one year ago today we were waiting to hear if the Post Office was going to offer an early out to Postmasters, so Art could retire early.  I think I pestered Art to death everyday with the same question over and over, "did you hear yet?'  I was so excited about the prospects of getting to come to Hardin Ridge and begin our dream of camp hosting.  And we were ever so blessed that the Post Office did offer the early out and that Art had 28 yrs of service in so he could take it.  We only hosted from August 1st to October 17th last year and then spent the winter at home because of my accident with the drunk driver. Since it totally wrecked our pick up we didn't have a way to get to Florida. However, that was just fine with us as we were able to spend it with Hannah. At the time we didn't know she would be getting married this past June so it all worked out great.  I went back and looked at some of my first posts last year.....yikes, the pictures sure weren't very good.  I bought a new camera and that really improved the quality plus, doing some editing didn't hurt them either.  :)
I had so much fun learning this new hobby I didn't know I loved, photography. I sure am no professional and don't have any desires to be.  I just love getting out and seeing what I can find to take a picture of to share with all of you.  So speaking of pictures lets get to some.......

"One" of the things I knew I was going to miss being on the road was my garden.  So I convinced Art to let me have a five gallon bucket tomato plant.  Isn't it cute?! We have been eating little cherry tomatoes off of it for a few weeks now. I can't believe the birds are leaving them alone but they are. Maybe because I am feeding them seeds........

Isn't this little Chipping Sparrow darling.  He comes to our site everyday and I feed him and his/her friends. They are so friendly they just hope around right in front of us and eat.

   Caught him with his mouth full of corn. It amazes me that they are not scared of the dogs either.

I am excited to share with you my new "appliance".  Doing laundry once a week is sometimes not enough in the hot weather.  Since I only have one good work shirt I needed to wash it more often and doing it in the sink was not working so well.  Our SIL Tom was telling us that he had seen a little portable hand crank washer on TV and wondered if we could use something like that. So we did some investigating and found this one.  We love it. Here is how it works.......

It has 4 suction cups that hold it to the counter. You add 3-4 tablespoons of laundry soap. And then add your clothes. You can wash up to 5 lbs of clothes. We have done our sheets from the bed one time,  and 3 shirts and a pair of my Capri pants another.  I usually add 1-2 gallons of hot water then the rest luke warm.  It usually takes around 4 gallons of water; there is a water fill line on the inside.  Then you put the lid back on (and make sure it is locked). Then you turn the crank round and round. 

As you turn it, it builds up pressure inside and that is what helps to clean your clothes.  It says to crank anywhere from 2-4 minutes, I just go by how dirty the clothes are.  It reminds you of a propane cylinder doesn't it?  Then after you think they are washed enough you apply the drainage tube on the bottom. You can see the drain on above photo.

After the water stops draining I usually reach in and press down on the clothes to express more water. Then I add white vinegar (about 2 T) to the rinse water (cold) and rotate another 3-4 minutes and then attach drain tube again.  Is there a spin cycle? No, not really.  This is where good old elbow grease comes in. I squeeze out as much water as I can then I lay out a towel and roll up the clothes in the towel and push down or twist the towel.  It removes all the excess water and your clothes are amazingly dry. The towels are not dirty as they are only wet so we just hang them on the line to dry with the clothes.  When I washed the bed sheets we just hung them on the line and they drip dried for awhile then they dried pretty fast.  And boy did they smell good.  I would not want to do all of our laundry this way but it is very handy for under garments, shirts, and a few towels just whatever you might need to do to get by with until laundry day.  In the park we are each assigned a day to do our laundry as they provide 2 washers and 2 dryers. Our day is on Thursday, but sometimes I need a few things before then and this little "Wonder Washer" does a fabulous job.  And I didn't have to give up valuable storage space either. It fits nicely under our sink when we are done with it.  And the price was reasonable too....$37
They say they are handy for people who live apartments to use also. We ordered ours off of Amazon.

Our camp hosts here are very creative. In case you ever are in need of flower pots I thought I would share with you what Glen and Casey did at their site. These are logs that Glen found that were hollow and he cut them different lengths and then Casey planted flowers in them.  Isn't this a cute idea?  And there are no shortage of hollowed out logs here to use.  

Camp hosting here is lots of fun.  The gang goofs off all the time and just when you think you have seen it all one of them will do the unthinkable.  Jonathon had dared Harold to sit on his lap and yep Harold did it.  I just love the look on Jonathon's face.  This was at our Friday morning safety meeting.

                      As we were on our way to the safety meeting we came upon this glorious site.

Which got me to thinking we hardly ever look up to take pictures, or at least I don't.  Seems like I am always looking down on the ground or just straight ahead trying to spot an animal.  You know where this is going don't you......

And let's look higher.......

And higher and higher......

Effie is tired and says we need to go to bed.  So I will say so long from Hardin Ridge and take care everyone!


  1. That seems like a good solution to needing something clean. Rae of Travel with Miranda does all her wash with one. I think ?i would just buy more clothes.

  2. We use the hollowed out logs in the fire pit. Get a fire going and when it is going well, put the log on the fire like a chimney. The fire shoots up and then finds a hole or whatever. It's fun to watch.

  3. I was given 3 uniform shirts at Lassen but only did laundry about every two weeks. I just washed them in the sink and hung them on a rail of the back door overhang - in the CA dry air they didn't take long to drip dry and not a wrinkle in them! I was always glad to give them a good machine wash now and then however. Some of my favorite pictures are ones where I'm looking up at the canopy of trees.

  4. I love to stand under an old Arizona sycamore tree and take my pictires looking up. Don't know why but I started doing that a few years ago. Quess we really don't always need a reason. Becki

  5. Too bad you only can do laundry on certain days for us just whenever we want. But that is a neat washing machine.

  6. Love the first photo of the road with the sun filtering through...very pretty!

    Sharon from The odd Essay was my first experience with looking up...once you get in the habit, there are lots of photo opps in the trees and skies as well as...especially in places with old buildings and neat architecture.

    Have a wonderful week!

  7. White vinegar and laundry...lv it for a rinse. Love the foggy road...

  8. So nice reading your post this morning and seeing that cute little washing machine. I had no idea such a thing existed. I'm glad you bought one.
    Love the flower pots. Pretty flowers does wonder to brighten up a corner and make it homey.

    Your photos are great. I sometimes look way up to see the eagles soar. They are amazing birds but I never have my camera with me when I go out to the barn.

    Have a great week and hug those pooches for me and here's a hug for you.

  9. The Wonder Wash looks like a modern version of the old fashioned way of getting clothes clean:)

  10. I know of a girl that travels in an A that uses that machine to wash her clothes in. She sits it in her tub to use. She does a lot of off grid stuff, so it works for her. My dogs mats get washed weekly when I travel, so that requires a real washing machine. I love the flower stumps, makes the park all that much more inviting! I'm afraid I look up more than down for photos, but I love clouds & skies. Love the photo of the mist on the road. And enjoy those tomatoes!

  11. The washing machine is very interesting, but I am NOT a patient girl..That's why we go to the laundromats when we are on the road. Not to mention that you fun into some real characters in those places...some are pretty scarey, too! It is amazing how we seek out something to take a picture of, and sometimes it's right in front of us!

  12. That washer is a nifty little gadget, I can see how it would take up the slack in between laundry day.

    You have the cutest dogs! I love that photo of Effie. Such a doll. :)

  13. I love the decor at the campground host site.

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