Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mugs & Muffins :: a Giveaway! :: A Pintrest of Mine (guest post by Tracy C.)

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 It's Morning!! 
(said in a sing-songy voice)
Time to wake up, you sleepy heads.  We've got a lot to do today.

And, how are you this fine and fabulous Monday morning?

Hopefully you're ready to hang out with your friends today, because that's what were talking about today Hanging out (the laundry)...with our friends.
Right here on Mugs & Muffins.

To start, lets put our coffee mugs aside and grab a tall glass of refreshing Garden Tea.
And if you don't mind... we've got a plate full of yummy Zucchini Oatmeal (Chocolate Chip) Muffins over there on the proverbial buffet.  Go grab yourself one and sit down to listen in on a plethora of Laundry Love and don't be afraid to share your own thoughts and stories later on, in the comments!

(The recipe for the muffins will be shared at the end of the post!)

So, if you're anything like me...you've had a mother who would wash more then several loads of laundry each week and hang it all out, on the line - all year round.  No matter the kind of weather.  I try to, too.

If read last Monday's post, you read my story of how a "new-ish" friend, Tracy, stopped by for a quick chat and brought with her, this gift, for me. 

A Clothes Pin Apron.

Well this friend is a kindred spirit for sure.  She does the same thing, as my mother does, and myself whenever possible!  Come rain or shine, snow and or bitter cold... it's a hanging, on the line!

I was thrilled beyond words that she took the time to lovingly hand sew this Clothes Pin Apron for me.  I know it wasn't her first nor will it be her last.  During our quick visit, the day she stopped by, we had so much to talk about in such a short time and with it, it hit home some common threads that knit our friendship even more.  The funny thing is she thought I lived far, far away and it's not true.  We're practically neighbors.  We have mutual friends.  Lots of them.  And she is just (I don't want to just say just... but, you know what I mean.) another stay-at-home mom who loves the Lord with all she is and it shows by how she lives out her day-to-day.  Even in her hanging out the laundry.

So I ask, is it just another chore for you?  Or is it a love of yours to hang laundry on the line... day in and day out?

I asked Tracy to share her heart with us today.  Here she is!  These are Tracy's words...                              

Hello, I'm Tracy.  I'm a momma and homemaker, fiercely in love with my husband, moderately agoraphobic, and a grateful believer in Jesus Christ
Bevy, thanks for giving me an opportunity to be "behind the scenes here, on your blog."

~ A Pinterest Of Mine ~

One of the many hats we wear as wives and mommas is that of 'Chief Laundress'. In our home, this duty sits at the top of the list, second only to that of meal preparation. It seems that at almost every turn, there is another basket filled with soiled clothing and cloth to be cleaned. Just two generations back, laundering required a full day's work. My mother-in-law recalls clearly the wash house her mother spent most Mondays in. It was a small building that sat behind their home, void of the luxuries found in modern laundry rooms, and in contrast, required significant physical labor to accomplish what we now do by simply dumping our Dirties in a hole and pressing a button.

Contemporary appliances are blessings that must not be passed over. I think of them as my personal servants, robots of sorts, doing my work while I move on to others things. Efficiency at its best! Last Fall my generous husband treated me to a shiny new washer/dryer set. They load in the front and are stacked neatly in the back of our home's mudroom. When the washing machine beeps the 'it's finished!' alarm, I can simply throw the wet things into the dryer sitting op top. Easy peasy. Though thoroughly grateful for the option of an electric dryer, with the exception of wild rain and the reality of illness, I rarely do this.

One step to the left of my laundry 'team' is a door leading to the start of my 'Amish washline'. For as long as I can remember, trips towards Lancaster county had me staring longingly at the beauty that is wash pinned neatly on lines stretched high over the land. I envied what seemed the ease of standing in one spot while pinning, sending the clean clothes up the line as the baskets emptied. Four Septembers back, after years of using a traditional wash line, I gained my own such drying system.

One wheel is attached directly to the house right outside the mudroom door, and the other is hooked to a telephone pole cemented into the ground 100 feet out the back. It is a glorious thing to stand in one spot while stringing up my clean laundry! Standing on patio pavers keeps my feet from the wet or muddy grass. And as a result, I've not been able to clearly define when laundry-line season starts and when it ends because of the 'protection from the elements' the new system has given me. As the temperatures drop in the Fall and Winter, I keep thinking, 'just one more day!', and before I know it, it's April once again. Wash swinging on the line over a snow-covered landscape is a treat for the eyes, for sure!

Hanging laundry out to dry on any type of wash line yields a satisfaction that I have yet to properly define in words. Maybe it's standing out on this beautiful green Earth under the morning skies? Maybe it's knowing you're saving your family an hour's worth of electricity passing by the drying machine? Maybe it's the divine smell of the sun and the breeze that gets infused in your clothing? Or is it the connection to a simpler way of life that pinning gives? Whatever would be your reason, give it a try.

It's good for the soul!

Ahh! Thank YOU Tracy!  Can't you smell it now?  Clean laundry...hanging out in the sun-drying breezes.  It is good for the soul, is it not?  This is not meant to compare one Laundress over another.  We as women- all of us - have our own niche in this.  Nor is it meant to make anyone feel bad if they can't enjoy this sort of opportunity. I know there are some places in this good ole U.S. of A. that you honestly can not hang out your laundry due to zoning issues or say, if you live in certain parts of town or in the city.  Can anyone attest?  I personally cannot imagine that that fact is even fathomable, but it is.  So - I count it as a true blessing that I can hang out our laundry.  Although some days (as much as I do enjoy it!) I find it to be a true challenge.

Maybe if I had me a wheel. from just off my porch to the highest pitch of the barn roof...?  One of these days.  Ha! Ha!
As part of today's comments/conversation... I would love to hear your stories.  Be as long-winded as you'd like.  Seriously.  We all love hanging out with our friends...and I think it would fun to hear any particular laundry tips you might have to share.  If you have a preference as to what kinds of detergents/softeners you like... and why?...maybe you make your own.  If you make your own laundry soap - I would love to see your recipe shared in the comments!  DEAL?
Maybe it is the way you hang it out... which load you always find yourself doing first. What are your quirks?
I recently read for every toy, coin or rock found her in sons pants pockets the mother kept for herself.  She collected those over the years and put them into a clear lamp base/ jar type thingy.  She presented that lamp to her son on his wedding day, as a gift of collected childhood memorabilia.

 I don't know...

Let's use this as an opportunity to encourage each other in our home keeping.  Wherever there is a source of encouragement we love hanging out.  At least I do.  If it's not with each other... it's knowing I'm among women who at least love to hang out their laundry.

Giveaway Time ::

Clothes Pin Apron  - made especially for you, our one winner, by the hands of Tracy herself.  Sporting four deep pockets across the front... perfect for all your pins.  A long tie belt and the apron is adjustable to fit any size.  It couldn't be more perfect.

This giveaway will end this Wednesday evening, at 10:00 pm EST.  Your comment will count as an single entry - share as many thoughts or comments as you would like. I'm trying to encourage chatter. ;)  If you have something you would like to say, but you don't want to be listed in the drawing... just indicate that in your comment.

Tracy does NOT have her own blog or etsy shop... this is something totally new for her.  If you are interested in purchasing one from her (should you not be the chosen winner) or if you have any particular questions, I can get those to her via email.  Just email me and I'll connect you with her.

It will come to you folded up like this.

If you notice, there are even extra clothes pins in there for you to add to your own collection.

Recipe ::

With everyone having a vast amount of Zucchini growing in their gardens... this recipe is sure to please your families.  They're absolutely delicious.  Trust me!  Especially warm, with a spread of butter melting all warm and deep into the muffin.   Total and complete YUMMNESS!!

Zucchini Oatmeal (Chocolate Chip) Muffins

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 - 1 cup finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
1 medium zucchini, finely shredded (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup. vegetable oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips (purely optional)

Grease 12 large muffin pan cups.  Or use cupcake papers.  Preheat oven to 400*.  Mix first 7 ingredients.  In another bowl beat eggs slightly with fork.  Stir in zucchini and oil.  Stir second mixture into first until flour is moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips. (Batter will be lumpy.)  Spoon batter into muffin cups.  Bake 20 minutes or until they test done and are golden.  Yields 12 large or 18 regular size muffins.

Thanks for reading today.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas - here in the comments.  If you pay attention you might even hear a few more of my own thoughts sprinkled throughout the comments.  Like I said - I want the proverbial chit-chatter over the picket fences as we're out hanging up our laundry together...neighbor to neighbor.  Friend to friend.

JUST one thing.

Please don't air your dirty laundry.  Keep it clean. :)

The winner for the Lilla Rose Giveaway is :  Deb S.

(Deb, please email me your correct mailing address.  Thank you.)

And, a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in the lilla rose giveaway.


  1. Okay, so it happens to be laundry day at our house today and hanging the clothes on the line is an absolute "must" for me. I can't seem to explain this, but when I hang the laundry out I get my laundry done so much faster. Crazy.
    I couldn't agree with Tracey more. There is something about the whole experience of hanging out. The smell, the grass beneath the feet, the sunshine. Whatever it is I do enjoy it.
    I however, am not a die hard. I have a single pole four-sided laundry thingy, and once it turns cold, out of the ground it comes. We store it in the basement for the winter. I want to preserve it I guess. Strange I know. Or could it be that it stands right outside our dining room window and I don't want to stare at it all winter long as a "cold" reminder that I won't be using it. :)
    I don't have many if any secrets to share. I start with the darks because they tend to be the biggest loads and have the most clothes to hang and I want to make sure they get the most time in the sun. I end with the whites and I don't hang them on the line. I know tsk tsk. Could it be that I don't want to "bare" my undies to the neighbors? No, well yes, but really I just like them fresh from the dryer and the thought of hanging each individual sock on the line does not appeal to me. I also don't hang towels on the line. I realize that they make the dryer work a little harder, but I haven't found a way to make the towels feel soft. They always feel crispy and hard to me and that is not fun when you step out of the shower, so into the dryer they go. I am okay with that. I average about 5 to 6 loads a week and in our house that is actually pretty good. Out of those loads only 2 go in the dryer. I think that's pretty good. Love me the fabric softner. I find it really helps. And if I'm using a cheap detergent I add a little borax to the load. Don't know if it does anything, but I do it anyway.
    Well, that's all for me. Who knew I had so much to say about laundry?!
    I'm off to do some now. Oh, definitely add me to the giveaway. How adorable is that apron?!
    Have a great day.

  2. ahh, a true breath of fresh country air over here today.

    Good to meet you Tracy! What a lovely post you've written today. The clothesline, something near and dear to me too.

    And yet, why is it so hard to put into words how we feel when we drive by clothes handing on a line...

    A comfortable reminder of days long ago. when the lady of the house valued making her home instead of looking for a way out into the working world.

    My clothesline is small and as our family grows, I'm finding that I'm adding little clotheslines all over our little acre. Strung from my front porch...and some trees. Truly I could go on.

    Your apron is one of the sweetest things I've ever seen and a perfect compliment to the lady as she hangs her clothes.

    Bevy, I would welcome a chance to win this!!!

    I think too that I'll have that herbal tea today over coffee as we beat the heat. Paired with a fresh muffin...it will be a nice treat.

  3. I've been hanging my laundry out for several years and have always wanted a clothespin apron! When people learn that I hang out clothes to dry they always say tha they can't because of allergies. I share that both my son and I are asthmatic and that we have never had problem. I will say that in the spring when the pollen covers everything I do refrain from hanging out the laundry.

    I do make my own detergent and love how easy it is to make, economical it is to use and how effective it is for cleaning.

    Powdered Laundry Soap
    1 Box of Borax
    1 Box of Washing Soda
    Zote Bar, grated
    3 Cups of Baking Soda

    Combine all the ingredients and store in airtight container. For my top load HE washer I use 1 Tablespoon. If clothes are super dirty I will use 2. For regular top load I would use 2 T. My girlfriend now makes this also and she uses 1 T for her HE front loader.

    Now I am off to wash and hang laundry!

  4. A lovely post and though I hate doing laundry, I do like the way it smells when I bring it in from outside. There is something about it that brings back happy childhood memories. Maybe I would like it better if I had a wheel attached to my house rather than having to put them up with clothes props.

    My grandmother had a clothespin apron and I have not seen one like it in many years. I would love to win Tracy's apron.

    Thank you Tracy for your comments today. It was wonderful reading your thoughts.

    My house is extremely small and the doorway to my basement is so narrow that I can't get a full sized washer down there. My husband and I have an apartment sized washer which means I have to wash every day for us since I can get around 15 pieces of laundry in a load. Our dryer broke over a year ago and we haven't had the money to buy a new one. So my clothes are hung either outside or in the basement, just as they were when I was growing up.

    I have made zucchini bread, but never zucchini muffins. They sound good and I will give them a try. I know they'll be good because every time I try one of your recipes, Bevy, it turns out so great. Thanks for all the treats you've given me over the past couple of years.

  5. A Huge Thank You to all you ladies who have chosen to hang out here today. I love it.

    You know what? It was laundry day here too... and I got to thinking about all you all. Wondering who was going to "write" in and stuff.

    In between hanging the several loads of laundry...and having company here for the morning and for lunch, I didn't get a chance to check in until now.

    Amanda - your comment is such a breath of fresh air... as well. I loved the the thought you shared here, ...
    "A comfortable reminder of days long ago. when the lady of the house valued making her home instead of looking for a way out into the working world."

    Nice to meet you Kim (thanks for commenting) and I thank you, especially for the recipe you shared to make your own laundry soap. I've been meaning to do this... and have some of the ingredients on hand. But, not all.

  6. Kelli- you're comment reminded me of this.

    I often find myself thinking to myself... if I hang the "biggest" pieces of clothing first --out of my basket-- I'll get done so much sooner. They take up more room out of the basket. So it's true. My line is pretty high up at the start of the porch and it goes lower out as it stretches to the nearest tree. I always hang the heavy jeans or towels first - as they are naturally higher off the ground. Next is always the shirts and skirts... I find that I always end up with the smaller bits of clothing at the end of the line. The same sort of clothing all gets hung together, in succession - all jeans, all towels, all shirts, all skirts, all whites (yes underclothes! and that is another comment in and of itself), all kitchen towels togther, all socks... in order. It really bugs me if a top and bottom set of PJ's gets seperated by another article of clothing. Funny quirk of mine, I guess.

    Do I fix it? Sometimes. Other times I just get over it and move on.

    I want to know...
    Does anyone else have trouble getting their laundry put away on the same day?

  7. Okay, you want chatty, here's a few of my ramblings...

    My favorite part about line drying is the wonderful smell of slipping into clean sheets after they've been on the line that day! And tucking my kids into sun-dried sheets! hmmmm.

    But, I'll admit, I'm not a diehard, so I tend to hang the easy stuff - beach towels, sheets, pillowcases, tablecloths, dishcloths, swimsuits after they've been "swum" in...

    A friend once told me that she uses the clothesline solely to save money... $.40 a load actually, so sometimes I think, if I just hang one load a week of my regular pile instead of using the dryer... that's $20.80 per year, imagine how much I could save us, considering we have 4 kids and a work-hard-outside husband!

    My grandmother once told me the best bleach for stained laundry is the sun. I remember exactly the moment, looking up into the sun (I was small), watching her busy, worn hands as she pinned the undies she was referring to!! (hehe) She just passed away this past Christmas... she sure used her washline to its fullest potential. Her line was never without a load. The house looks funny now when I drive by and the line is gone...

    And, where to find those old props with the notch cut into one end??

    Can anyone recommend the best wire/rope/line material out there? I have broken mine quite a few times. One time it happened while I was pinning, and I stood there in tangled up line and jeans... Unpinning isn't quite as fun when the wash is laying wet on the ground.

    I also like to fold my wash as I get it off the line, feels like killing 2 birds with one stone. My kids don't quite get the efficiency of that though...

    And to answer the question above, no, I hardly ever get the wash put away on the same day.

    Well, that's about it. I love Tracey's clothespin apron though! Thanks for entering me, Bevy!

    Now, off the make those muffins with the zukes on the counter!
    Becky *SeasonedwithSalt*

  8. Oh Becky... this reminds me...

    When you shared about the sun being the most natural form of bleach out there. And your grandma talking about the undies she was hanging. Here is the thing. I hang out everything, too. But here is the funny thing about this. ALMOST. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I go to reach for a pair of underware to hang up... here comes the FED EX guy, or our Landlord, or the other neighbors - all saying "hello" and wanting to talk to me about something. It's starting to make me self-conscience.
    Should I take that as a sign? Wave the "white" flag of surrender?

    1. Do NOT wave the white flag of surrender! In fact, I may start hanging my undies if it means getting a package everytime!! hehe
      And I LOVE what Teresa said below about how your washline tells your story! That sounds like a good kids book, anyone a writer?? (Bev, that's a hint)

    2. And, I giggled when I stopped in on Friday and found undies on the line!!! You had just said you always get a visitor or a deliver-er on undie-on-the-line day!! This time it was me. But, was I a visitor or a picker upper of packages (3 to be exact).

  9. Kathy... You'll have to try these muffins. They are so good.

    Uhmmm. I would'nt know what I would do if I only had a "small" washer and no dryer for a backup (at all). You are "hanging in there" - aren't you? Amazing. And yes, I wish I had a wheel too.

    Thanks for your thoughts here today. I always appreciate it when you comment.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I to love the closepin apron. I have never seen one before. If I do not win, I am hoping you are taking orders, because I love it and want one immediately!!!! I also fold my wash as I take it off the line. My thinking is that it will be easier to put away. Wrong, I still don't get it put away the same day. When it rains, I have a way of taking the wash of the line and putting it over my shoulder neatly, one by one. Then the whole pile goes on the back of my couch until some day when I get the chance to fold it and put it away! I REALLY LOVE HANGING THE WASH OUT ON THE LINE! LOVE THE FRESH SMELL! Happy hanging to all you busy moms!

  12. Loving that clothes pin apron! Never saw a thing like it! I've been using a pouch that my fitted bed sheet came in to hold my clothes pins and it's just not cutting it! It has a snap and I've been snapping it to a baby clothes hanger and hanging it on the line so I can just reach in but it constantly comes unsnapped and then my pins scatter! ugh! This is super cool and very necessary for me! Not only is the wash going out several times a week but I do a load of diapers every other day! I couldn't live without my clothesline! Hope I win!

  13. To answer your question, sometimes it's a struggle getting the clothes put away the same day. For me it's a problem in the winter when I'm not hanging the clothes out. I'm like the other girls, I fold as I take off the line and because my house is too small I bring them in and put them straight away. Otherwise, there is no where for them to go.
    So, I guess in a way, the clothesline is like my boss. Pushing me to get the laundry done. Oh I miss the boss in the winter. :)

  14. This is my first time ever submitting a comment on someones post. I just had to say AMEN to Tracy's post. I read her post and just kept smiling and agreeing with all she said. I also have an amish washline and could not live with out it. With having 7 members in our family I feel like my wash piles never disappear. I must admit though, I find such satisfaction in tackling that chore on an almost daily basis. As my laundry is pretty well on display for most passing by, I often think the story of our life is blowing in the breeze for all to see. When we have a precious newborn, those baby things are strung from one end to the other. When we come back from the shore, beach towels and suits share our latest vacation. The evidence of hard working men as the row of stained jeans that don't come clean anymore, dry stiffly on the line. I wish I could say, everyone would know that is was thursday as all my sheets would be out blowing in the wind on that day of the week. I've not gotten that good to have a consistent daily routine with sheets. But, I'm working on it!

    A friend of mine recently had to live over a month with a broken washing machine. She came to realize how doing laundry was actually wonderful therapy and oh how she missed it :) there is something to it and I can't quite put my finger on it.

    There are so many benefits with my amish washline. The most recent has been watching my 3 year old take down the laundry. We pull a little stool over to the side of the deck and we unlock the wheel and Noah starts on his way. He loves this job. Lets hope it lasts.

    I love this post. I often get some pretty strange reactions from people when I go on and on about my washline. So glad I'm not alone!
    Teresa D.

  15. Teresa and Brenda - both of you. Thank you for your beautiful comments and wonderful thoughts on hanging in there and doing this "task" that we as homemakers "get to do". Well, we kinda have to, too... but really "we get to".

    I like what you said Teresa about how our laundry lines tell stories. ;) That is true.


    Jen. You sound like you need one of these aprons - quite seriously. How is that big little guy of yours? Walking yet? I had no idea you used cloth diapers. What kind do you like and recommend? I'm not asking for me... but, I've heard that there are quite the various kinds to choose from. What is your secret to washing them well?

  16. I too, absolutely love hanging up my wash! Since moving to our new house I don't have the same system I had at our old house, but I still hang up as much wash as I can! I agree with what some others said ... it is incredibly theraputic and relaxing! I absolutely love fresh sheets off of the line too. Funny that so many mentioned folding as they take the wash off of the line, that is exactly what I do!

    As for laundry soap, here is my recipe:
    ~2 cups borax
    ~2 cups washing soda (I buy mine at Ace Hardware)
    ~2 cups baking soda
    ~1 bar of soap, grated (I use Dr. Bronners peppermint or orange)

    Combine all ingredients (I usually double) and store in a large jar or other container. Use about 2 T. for a top loader and 1 T. for a front loader. I also add vinegar to every load of wash in the spot for fabric softener.

    The apron looks beautiful!

  17. Oh, my! I've been limiting my time online these past few weeks to tend to my house (and mountains of laundry, LOL!) and I wish I hadn't missed this post!

    Such sweet aprons - LOVE those pockets...I can think of many items items they'd be useful for throughout the day, when the clothespins are out on the lines. ;)

    I recently started line-drying my laundry for the first time - and I agree, the smell is unbelievable! How long into the fall/cold weather do you continue line-drying?

    Have a lovely weekend!


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