One good thing about all this time at home is that I can finally get ahead on my laundry. When I was running helter-skelter for accompaniment gigs, the piles grew and grew, becoming a veritable "Mount Washmore," if you will. I was just eking by with one load of darks each week.
Even though we grumble about it, there was a time when doing the wash was considerably harder. As things are now, I can finish a load of laundry in 1 hour, 15 minutes (if I use the quick cycle on the washer) and work on other things at the same time. The poor women of the Victorian era didn't have this luxury of multi-tasking. There was no such thing as "throwing in a load real quick before I..."
In Ruth Goodman's How to Be a Victorian, she describes laundry as "the job most loathed by Victorian womanhood... [It] involved hard physical toil and enormous disruption to the usual routine... Doing the laundry was a vast operation, one that consumed much of the energy from the fire, required a large amount of working space and an even greater amount of time." To give you an idea, clothing was often put to soak on Saturday. Monday was washday, when the clothes underwent scrubbing, boiling, dollying (agitating like the washing machine does for us), wringing, and finally hung out to dry. I'm sure by the end of that, any woman would feel utterly beaten.. not unlike the clothes she had spent hours laundering! We've come a long way. :)
Aside from reflecting on the relative ease of modern laundry, I'd also like to share a recipe for homemade detergent. We've made our own detergent for years, using Ivory bar soap. One reason is because we have a couple people with sensitive noses in our family, and scented detergents from the store can be almost headache-inducing. Another great reason is that it saves money, and that's always a good thing. So here's the recipe for you. (Final important note: don't confuse washing soda with baking soda. They're not quite the same. Be sure to read the box!)
Stay calm and stay healthy!
Thank you for stopping by,