Every day, my knee is getting better, and Will is feeling much better too. I’ve been planting tomato seeds like crazy and have a whole flock of flats, sitting inside plastic bags, waiting to germinate, behind our wood stove. Once up, they’re moved into the little plastic greenhouses next to our big patio door windows, facing south. All of them look great! It’s so exciting to me to finally feel good and being able to work instead of lying around feeling frustrated. Our snow is slowly melting, and the temperatures continue to inch upward as spring is creeping upon us. Yesterday, Will looked out into the back yard and saw a robin sitting in a tree! I grabbed the binoculars — sure he must be wrong. But, no, it was really a robin! We were so excited!

Our windows are now full of little pepper and tomato seedlings.

Yesterday, Will made a project of getting our new dryer into the house and into the laundry room. Of course, we never guessed what a job that would be! He had to disassemble the whole thing, both to install the natural gas to LP gas nozzle and to get the darned thing into the laundry room! The door is 29 inches wide, with the door off and the dryer is 28¾ inches wide, even with the front and back taken off! We wiggled and inched it in and finally, it popped through the opening. Now I’ve never owned a brand-new dryer before, so that was something of a real happening.

Here’s my new dryer sitting happily in the laundry room. I’m so happy to have it finally here after over a month’s wait due to shipping delays.

I was tired after all that and went to bed but Will continued working on it, hooking up the gas line, vent, and putting the laundry tub back into place. And he tried out the dryer, which worked! Hooray! Now I can avoid the coin laundry like the plague. How expensive drying clothes there was! — Jackie


  1. Glad to hear you’re feeling better
    Spring has so many projects.
    You can embrace the best of Both
    Worlds in homestead helpers. I
    Mean use an appliance for getting
    The job done. Yes I finally got the
    Clothesline installed on this old
    Farmstead. And I have a tub on
    Legs and a “breather” stick for
    Washing clothes. I also have an
    Older reliable Whirlpool washer
    And dryer, that I keep in good
    Repair. I believe in having the
    Older Tried and True, but will use
    My modern helpers as long as we
    Have that ability.
    Having natural herbs for healing,
    Coughing and aches and pains
    Goes along with using an antibiotic
    For infection. I use Elderberry
    And Ginger juice that I prepare
    Twice a month. Make up a batch
    And store in jars in fridge. Have
    Not had to use albuterol for my
    Asthma in 2 years. Drink a 6 oz
    Glass of tonic every morning. Not
    The nasty side effects of steroids

    Baking my last storage squash
    Big beautiful Lakota. Harvested
    In October of 2020. Sat in a small
    Laundry basket on the landing
    Going upstairs in this old farmhouse
    With the Hopi Blue. Cut it open
    And harvested 273 plump viable
    Seeds, that are on a cookie sheet
    On the dining room table to dry
    Naturally. Will stir and check often

    Want to say a big Thank You for
    All you hard work and providing
    Us with seeds for peace of mind
    And a future.

  2. I’m so glad you’re feeling better, especially since there’s so much to do this time of year! I was fortunate to be able to schedule my knee replacements during off-season times so recovery would be pretty much done by planting time.

    Congratulations on your dryer. It sure will pay for itself over time and not just in dollars. What a time and back saver!

    It looks like you’re having a skiff of snow today. None of that here but it is spring tornado season and fortunately all of yesterday’s were south of us or across the river in SC. More rain today. We can use it.

    The tomatoes here are out on the front porch hardening off for planting next week. All of the spring broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale, kohlrabi are in the ground and peas, carrots and turnip seed has been sown. Potatoes are up and looking good. Now that there’s room on the light shelves it’s time to start zinnias and other blooming stuff.

    Hoping you can see all of the donkey soon! :)

    • That donkey is showing more and more every day, especially with the rain we’re getting today. Better rain than snow, this time of the year! Wow, your garden sure inspires me. Thanks!!

  3. I will make the northern tier of states drool. The normal high where I am is usually in the mid to upper 70’s. Today, might have been a record breaker……. 90+ degrees….. Normal last frost here is March 15…… (last year May 1). I am WAY behind on my planting and gardening here.

    As to the drier….. Sold the last one I had been given. Just like microwaves…… I have no use for them! I love my wind/solar powered drier…… Year round (even when I was in SW Colorado).

    • No drooling from this northern tier state. I’ll keep my four seasons, including snow in April. While we may have a dry season here and there, climate is on an even keel and no water shortage. For your sake hope you’re not in fatality alley.

    • Hi, Tami,
      I’m in far north California, zone 9. This week we will see 90 F. Our last frost is usually near the end of March, but our spring arrived in January, when I put cool crops in early. With spring in January and temperatures rising, we knew there’d be no chance of frost, so with soil temps up to 60F in March, I sowed my garden the earliest ever, March 8th. Amazing! Squash, beans, and melons and many other things are up! I think about weather manipulation and wonder if it’s real. Also about coronal mass ejections that are predicted by scientists; how they would affect our gardening food supply.

    • I also love my wind/solar dryer, i.e. the clothesline. But right now, it’s got 3′ of snow below it and I’m not shoveling that so I can use the line!!! We’re so busy that I’ve had to make some concessions. Where I prefer the clothesline, I just don’t have the time to do that now. I’m so glad you’re getting your garden in so nicely. Our last spring frost is usually around June 14th.

  4. So glad to hear you and Will are feeling better. What a blessing to have a dryer. Installing it sounds like the job we had installing ours at one time. We ended up putting it inside a small pantry in my kitchen. The dryer on one end and washer on the other facing each other with just enough room to open the dryer door, lol. It worked tho and with 3 small children I was thrilled! Continued prayers for healing.

    • Thank you so much! It will sure be a time/labor saver, for sure. I’m so grateful to have it up and working.

  5. Oh Miss Jackie, you are gonna love having that dryer. Wet laundry is heavy and you do not need to be carting it off somewhere to get it dried. So congrats on that. We too have some robins here in western Maine and it’s so good to see them again. There is only snow where it was piled up by the plows, the rest is all gone. However, it’s only the 5th of April and we both know we could get more. I am trialing some cold hardy plants out in the unheated hoop house and so far so good. It’s only my 2nd year with it so I have lots to learn. Take care and stay safe…Pyro

    • Thank you so much! We’re anxiously waiting for the swans to appear after our first robin. Spring is definitely under way!!!

  6. When my eldest was a baby and I could not afford coin laundry, I washed his diapers by hand. Not a fun thing to do, but it taught me a lot about being flexible and creative to accomplish what needed to be done. Several of my friends were doing the same. I used a wash tub on the kitchen floor so had to get on my knees. Friends were using their bathtubs so also on their knees. I didn’t have a bathtub so that wash tub was also son’s bathtub. My knees were young at the time! Drying racks in the living room on inclement days. I now own double washtubs on legs for “just in case” I have to laundry by hand again. Sure hope that doesn’t happen.

    I’ve noticed geese flying north so hopefully spring will arrive soon. We’d had a few warm days but more have been cool and windy.

    • Yep, I’ve done laundry in a wash tub with a washboard too. And am still using a wringer washer. I’ve got the wood drying rack also but am so busy, it’s a real chore to keep clothes moving on it. So I’m really happy to have a dryer again so I can spend my time planting seeds instead of hanging clothes or running to the laundry.

  7. We are off grid so a couple of years ago I invested in a gas dryer. Also, a first here on our homestead. My husband, Brian, had a dickens of a time to get it converted from LP to propane. Same with my new oven! Anyway, it works when it wants to but well enough to help out in the dead of winter. Otherwise, I hang out my laundry. But I do know what you mean about drying at the laundromat. Quite the pain!

    • I love hanging out my wash. The clothes smell so fresh, a scent manufacturers would kill to duplicate. But I’m so darned busy and my line is over 3′ of snow right now so I’m very happy to have the dryer.

  8. Didn’t mean to post my comment yet. We bought a new washing machine this fall. I’ve never owned a new one either, but it has been such a treat to actually wash and clean my clothes! A new dryer would be a dream, but with warmer weather coming, ours does the trick, and what it can’t handle, the lines will dry just fine. My husband is handy like Will, and my father taught me to be self sufficient as well, so it makes life for us a whole lot easier. Doing the work ourselves is a money saver for sure!

    Hopefully you keep on the mend, and the plants keep on coming!

    • Thanks Melissa. My last dryer was a very well used one that my oldest son, Bill, had given to me after using it for years in their apartment/garage, while they were building their log home. It was used when he got it too. So, it sure didn’t owe me anything! And Will is stockpiling it for future repair. Just in case.

      • I understand totally! We have two other washers inthe garage we’ve been piecing together for years, and an extra dryer too. The one I use now has about a million miles on it, and had been used very heavily by a younger man when we bought it, so it sure doesn’t owe me a days worth of drying either, but it’s stayed going.

  9. So so glad to hear you’re feeling better! I’ve got my tomatoes in the dirt too, only a measly 90 pots compared to what you plant I’m sure. I started flowers last week and they came up like gold with your insight about plastic bags! Everyday I check the tomatoes to see the tiny little shoots come through! I do not have those little green houses for in the house, do you think we should get some? It stays fairly warm, and I have a fan on the flowers to strengthen their little stems. But not sure if I should try and get some little green houses? We did finish redoing the south wall on my greenhouse this past weekend and put in my new floor, which was very exciting. We are working on installing wire racks above the wooden ones I already have, as to give more plant space, but not diminish the amount of light coming in if the upper shelves aren’t used. It feels good to have started seeds, and see them grow! I can’t wait to be able to move the plants to the greenhouse, which is right on our deck (thank the Lord because my healing knee couldn’t make the trip up and down the stairs that much), and then move into the gardens!

    • We use the little indoor greenhouses so we can get so many seedlings off to a good start. With just the shelves of the houses, without the top, it works well, too. But our kitten, Buffy, would sure destroy the seedlings! I’m so glad your growing is going so well!

      • I had my car Jo get in the green house two year ago and eat half my seedlings! We don’t keep cats in the house, but they would kill and eat everything if we did! Thank you! My tomatoes finally made an appearance today! I am so excited

  10. Will has great skills that saves a lot of money. The whole process would have cost a lot if hired to be done. Doing things yourself is a big benefit. I’m harvesting spinach from mini-hoops that I planted last September. It wintered over well. It’s a Treat for April. I’m sure it’s hard for you not to be busy and take time to recover. I hope you both heal quickly.

    • You’re sure right about that! Being poor during part of your life sure has its benefits. You learn to do yourself or do without. Isn’t that spring spinach so good???

  11. Coin laundries are NOT inexpensive. That is why I gnash my teeth at the holier-than-thou’s who get on their soap box about low income mothers using disposable diapers. To start YOU find a coin laundry – not as many as their used to be. YOU calculate the cost to buy cloth diapers/rubber pants, gas money/public transportation to the coin laundry (few have one close by), time spent at coin laundry, and gas money/public transportation home. The physical aspect would likely put a hurt on the holier-than-thou’s. Frankly I think it should be mandatory for any elected official and/or judge (appointed or elected) to spend a few days in the shoes of those not as fortunate.
    Glad to hear you managed to squeeze the dryer thru the door and it is fully operational. Yes, one can use the clothesline in the summer but these days, rainy days are most welcome in a lot of areas.
    Getting close to Good Friday, aka tater planting time. Looks like we’ll dry up/warm up enough to till. AND the temps (so far) look promising for morels. We won’t be planting anything else for another 5 or 6 weeks. Have a neighbor who shares cabbage (we reciprocate). Really need to make her understand she needs to cover her garden with leaves in the fall then till in the spring. Leaves and compost are how we amended our soil at this property – prior property had to-die-for rich black soil which we did add to our asparagus bed. We should have added to the annual garden area too before we sold it. But perseverance has paid off.
    When you tell Will about your plans for a new garden area, let me know. Then I’ll spring my plans for a new garden area on my spouse lol.. Area gets good sun and gets plenty of nutrients from leaves so I suspect it won’t take much for the area to become productive.

    • Yep, Will now knows I need another garden plot. It’ll go next to the new barn where the new hoop house is sitting that we built during our seminar. It’s close to water, has sandy soil, easily amended and far enough from like species to not cause crossing. We’re always looking for ways to grow more, work less hard and enjoy life more.

      • Since my plan for the new plot is for a fall planting, I think I’ll wait a few months to spring on the better half. He tilled the garden today and did some work in the perennial garden area too. Plus we have an iron in the fire which will settled soon and he’ll be busy with that for a while. Can’t wait to plant taters next week. And will begin watching for morels since moisture and temps are looking good.
        Tell Buffy and Mittens the catnip is starting to come up here so won’t be long for theirs to make an appearance.

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