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A Cabin in the Woods

There is a place that I love, nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont. It's the sort of place that quietly shines with simplicity and makes you feel the possibility of things. It isn't much by most standards, but at the same time, it is everything... read more at Unplugged Sunday.

Where I Belong

















We went to Vermont, and now we are home. But tomorrow we are heading back.

Goodness, there is nothing like Vermont. I've been in love with these mountains, rivers and sapphire blue skies for twenty years. Vermont and I understand each other - my heart and soul are at home here in a way they've never been anywhere else.  

Have you ever felt this? Have you ever been truly in love with 'a place?'

Line Drying Laundry Indoors

A timeless topic, originally posted in 2009 at Simple Green Frugal Co-op.

Today I'm taking you into my basement to share how we line dry our laundry. We live on the top of a hill, and our basement is nice and dry. I actually find it remarkably bright and not so scary for an older house. By now most of you know my family lives on a pretty small piece of property; we don't have the best outdoor options for putting up a clothesline, so we brought it indoors! (2011 UPDATE: We have since found the space to have a clothesline outdoors, thankfully. It's great to have both options.)

come on down to the basement!

We've lived in this house for about five years, this has been our main method of drying clothes for about half that time. Before that, we used those wooden collapsible drying racks. They definitely do not last long term, they can be flimsy (unless you spend a huge amount of money on the fancy ones), and they take up so much space... spread out from room to room. It is also nearly impossible to dry a quilt or sheets on them.

Before we move on, here's a little old house trivia... behind that door is a toilet. No sink, no tile floor, no walls to the ceiling. Just a very old style toilet on the cement floor. Many of the old homes in my neighborhood have them, nobody knows exactly why. The most common theories are: they are the original bathrooms to the houses, or they were put in during the Great Depression when it was common for folks in mill towns to take in boarders. If you have any thoughts on this, please share! It's a bit of a local mystery...

I asked my husband to build us something that could take the place of our portable wooden drying racks. We had a few discussions about the details... we decided the only new material we would purchase for the project was the length of clothesline, we simply didn't have that amount of rope on hand. The rest of the project was to be made entirely of supplies found already at the house. And there is quite a mix of supplies in here as a result. I think one of the stabilizers on the floor (in the front, top picture) is actually an old wooden curtain rod left by the previous owner. 

A few more details... I wanted the rows of clothesline to stagger, similar to the design of those portable racks. Adam took this into consideration when he located and drilled the holes for the rope to be fed through. Staggered holes, staggered line. I also wanted it be wide enough to hang a quilt on, and it is! That is a pretty dreamy detail for an indoor laundry drying arrangement. And finally, I didn't want it to be too deep. I would need to reach back there! Well, all was achieved and we've been using this for almost three years now. 

Looking at the photo above you'll notice a section of rope that is vertical, right in the front of the picture. When the frame was first in place, I thought Adam would just string each level individually and tie it off, then move down to the next. He explained that by running the rope continuously through the entire structure we would be able to untie it in one place should we ever need to "re-tighten" the whole thing as time passed. In the almost three years of use we've needed to re-tighten only once.

You can also see there are a few small hooks he put on the front. These are very useful for hanging ladies strappy things. :)

One more detail to note. Looking back at the top photo you can see he secured the framework to the ceiling rafters, and those braces on the floor are attached to the frame sides only, not the floor. 

The measurements are: 78" wide (6 1/2 ft) x 19.5" deep. Approximately 117 linear feet of drying space!

I can easily hang three large loads of laundry on this drying rack. 

The whole system works beautifully for us. Oh, in case you were wondering, my washing machine is just to the left of the screen in these photos. Everything about this is convenient as well as efficient. There is no correct way to do this, I bet if you look at the photos for a few minutes the wheels will start turning for how something like this could work in your home.


Well that was a Very Handsome Tag Sale























We are still so tired from it all this morning. 

For some reason I feel the need to mention those two upholstered chairs. They are Ethan Allen - very comfortable, so well made, and have a nice small footprint (oh, I love that). They don't quite look it in the photo, but they're pretty dirty. I've always wanted to recover them but it hasn't happened in the six years of owning them, so into the tag sale they went! It seems I've got a second chance at that project though because nobody even lifted the cushion to see who the maker was. Not a bit of interest.

As expected, the tag sale was a bust. We had great signage, good crowds and the final tally was about $200. Really not worth getting up a 4am and going until 7pm. Tag sales used to be fantastic, not so much anymore. Fortunately, we have a great organization here that provides free clothing and household items to anyone that is in need. It is set up like Goodwill but folks don't pay anything. They have a truck that comes to your house to pick up things so it is very easy to donate large items. So in the end, I guess it worked out fine. 

Okay, off to make sense of a new week around here. One that does not involve cleaning out the attic, making signs, pricing things, and getting up at 4am.

There will be a little Harry Potter somewhere in there too...

He Probably Won't Notice



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Who am I kidding?  He'll notice. But how many pairs of jeans does a man/person really need anyway? Shhh... don't tell. It's our secret, okay?

I'll just say I'm behind on laundry...permanently.

Originally posted in August 2007. Perhaps you are looking for crafty inspiration today?

a feast for the eyes, a new apron, and the most beautiful ceiling ever








On the way to a late afternoon paddle yesterday, we stopped at Woodstock Antiques in Northeastern Connecticut. I've been meaning to pay a visit for ages, not that I need to bring anything home right now; but it's all so easy on the eyes... and who can resist a little stroll through a great vintage shop? 

I knew local gal and friend Linden had space there (she also has a wonderful Etsy shop), so we were on the look out for her little corner.


This detail, a message celebrating the beautiful things, told me I had found her booth. Such care Linden puts into her vintage shop. 


How lovely to have this light filled spot right next to the door. (I really wanted that enamel pitcher!)

Of course, a little something had to come home with us, we are thrifters after all. Emily (shown here standing in Linden's booth) found herself a new apron. Surely our collection can use one more, yes?

We had fun poking around, looking at the pretty things. Then, Adam told me to look up...






Oh my. Crazy as it seems, I thought of you. I began taking these pictures... for you! It's not everyday in my life that people understand the beauty of a bunch of old doors making up the world's most beautiful ceiling, but I knew you would see it.

My goodness that is a pretty ceiling.


Eventually we made our way to the lake, just in time for the golden late day sun.

It was glorious.

But how about that ceiling...?

packing for a day hike

Have you ever seen the guy on the trail with his pack loaded about two feet higher than the top of his head and his aluminum mess kits and canteens are swinging and clanging with every step? The quintessential outdoor neophyte... read more at Unplugged Sunday.

Well, that was a Late Night...


Hey! That pail is clearly labeled "Berry Bucket" mister! Hmm...

So tired this morning. Up until almost 2am with a skunked pup, sprayed right in the eyes, poor girl. Thanks to my stand-up guy for doing all the dirty work while I snapped (terrible) pictures through the glass door and checked with friends on Facebook about how to deal with this. I have to admit, it was kind of cool to put a question out there and within seconds have a large handful of helpful solutions from people I 'know' - all sharing their own experiences. You just don't get that feeling from google...

Anyway, it was really bad. Being that it is summer, all the windows are of course open. Did you know we have 45 windows in our house? Yeah, not a good situation with a spraying skunk right outside the window. 

We've certainly got our work cut out for us today... and the next several days to come.

For now we are working with a peroxide/baking soda/dish soap combination. It's going to take many baths (and perhaps a trip to the professional groomer, as was needed 15 years ago with our former dog). But is there anything else to know of that has worked for you? 

Okay, back to the de-skunking. (I love you Universe... I love you Universe...)