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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Our family is a little enamored with the Amish.  We are lucky to live in an area where there are still a few Amish communities relatively close and we take advantage of their proximity by visiting many of the communities and purchasing goods from them.  Walker's loft bed was made by a friendly Amishman, Christ Miller.

We got our play house at an Amish fundraising auction.  These types of auctions can be found almost every Saturday of the summer.  Most often, the auctions are used to raise money for Amish communities to use toward community needs - to raise a barn that had been destroyed by fire, to build a new schoolhouse, and most often, to raise funds to pay for medical bills for a family.  My mother in law first introduced me to these auctions and she was the one put in charge of finding the playhouse.  I frequently give her a list of items I'm looking for and most Saturdays I keep my cell phone handy waiting for a text asking how high I'm willing to go on a certain item.  The play house was an amazing steal - we got it for thousands less than we would have paid to buy one in a kit at a box store or to even buy the materials and build it ourselves.  Thankfully, Erik had the tools to get it home (a truck and large flatbed trailer) and we moved it right in pretty easily.  It's been a dominant feature in the children's play just about every day and it serves as a great dog house for our pack of farm dogs!

From applebutter to rag rugs, we turn to the Amish for a lot of things at our house.  One thing that I've become envious of as we drive around Amish country and visit the businesses in search of some goodies is their clotheslines.  Many of the women have extraordinary clothes lines that start at the back door and are strung up to a tall tree a hundred feet or so away.  The lines are on a pulley system so all the launderer has to do is step outside the door with the dirty clothes, pin them on the line and pull the opposite line to get the clothes to climb up the pulley and hang in the breeze.  

Erik actually bought me the tools we would need to create such a line for Christmas.  The bag of stuff has sat on a shelf in the decorative Christmas bag for months until this past week when we had to take the old clothesline down in order for Erik to dig a large hole in our back yard to prepare for the installation of a fun summertime toy.  

Erik had borrowed an extension ladder from our neighbor, a general contractor, in order to plug a hole in our house pecked out by a woodpecker.  As he was filling the hole with expandable foam insulation, I said, "Hey!  While we have this ladder, why don't we put up the new clothes line?"  So he did!  He attached one pulley to a sturdy cherry tree out in the woods (after clearing some poison ivy off the left side of the tree - you can see in the picture that the trunk V's about  feet up).  

 He then attached a second pulley to the side of the house about six feet above the deck.

Thankfully, we had some beautiful days last week and I was able to hang some clothes outside.  The first day I hung clothes out, I didn't have enough clothespins, so I had to make do with what I had, but I have to admit I was very disappointed that I didn't have enough clothespins.  

I got more clothespins now and I think I'll have enough space to hang almost all of our bedsheets at once!  

I can't wait for the sunshine to finally arrive so I can test my new Schwalmish clothesline to the fullest!

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