Overwashed: Rethinking the Daily Shower

Americans are overwashed.  Really.  We take more frequent showers than any other people anywhere on earth, and across all of human time.  Recently, I decided to think twice about the impulse to jump out of bed and into the shower practically every day.  I mean–why?  It’s not like I’m actually …

The Stockings Were Hung…On Winter Clotheslines

About a month ago, I called my friend T who, like me, is something of a clothesline evangelist.  With the rains coming and school starting, I had fallen way behind on my laundry, and finally did about four loads in one day.  I popped them all in the dryer.  “Oh …

Simple Winter Sewing Project: Hot Rice Bags

Warm face, warm ‘ands, warm feet Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly? –Eliza Doolittle Cloth bags of heated grain are great for warming the bed or soothing sore muscles–much cozier than hot water bottles, and a nicer quality of heat.  I kept seeing them in boutique shops with shocking price tags, …

Hats Indoors, Nightcaps, and a Simple Gift Project–My Favorite Easy Knitted Hat

My dad always said, “Leaper, if your toes are cold, put your hat on.”  And all of us have heard that we lose 50% of our body heat through our heads.  This last was recently debunked, sort of, by the scientific community.  Evidently the heat loss “myth” is based on …

Simple (and Beautiful) Outdoor Clotheslines (part two of a short series)

Tom and I have differing clothesline philosophies:  I want a permanent line in the backyard, he doesn’t.  My ideal line would involve the classic t-shaped wooden beams at each end, strung up as trellises to grow beans.  Tom doesn’t like how they look, and thinks a permanent structure would take …

Clothesline Bans and Laundry Outlaws (part one of a short series)

My mother-in-law told me that clotheslines are against the law in Salem, Oregon, where she lives.  I checked it out, and it’s true!  Clothesline bans persist in many US cities, and parts of Canada and Europe.  Thousands of homeowner associations prohibit line drying, including the 55+ community where my own …

A Subterranean Clothesline–Thinking Outside of the Dryer

Last summer the three of us traveled in Kenya and Tanzania for two months.  Our first stop was a volunteer stint at Colobus Trust on the coast of Kenya, where we worked on Colobus monkey conservation, and lodged in the organization’s simple rooms.  Our packs were light, with few extra …