Leaving Cuba NM

Told by the camp hosts, a sweet couple from Georgia, that we can stay as long as we like, reluctantly we have to say goodbye. The solar is acting up again and I need to keep the laptop charged.

After spending a night lower down the mountain in a boondocking site about a couple miles from Rio De Las Vacas we head on down the mountain and hit the library before heading back onto Hwy 550 and head toward Albuquerque.

At Rio Rancho I spy Whataburger.  My favorite burger of all time.  I cannot resist and we stop. DSC_0113Whataburger.Bernalillo NM

Driving through Albuquerque on I-40 is a bit unsettling; I haven’t driven on freeway going through a big city for quite a while and I white-knuckle it all the way through.

Our goal is El Malpais National Monument.  Driving through Grants I spot a laundromat and pull in.  Hefting the laundry bag up a little higher on my hip I trudge into the building grateful it is cooler inside and get the washing machines going.  While my clothes do the hokey pokey I go back out in the very warm sunshine and walk The Chiweenie Brothers until I think it’s time to to remove the clothes from the machine.

Turns out to be good timing. I remove the clean clothes and put them in the dryer.  Not going to air dry this time around as I plan on staying at the Joe Skeen Campground tonight.  It’s a free campground I am told, but if it’s privately owned wouldn’t feel comfortable hanging the wash outside.

As I close the door on the dryer I attempt to put my coins in. It won’t take them and I glance at the LED and it looks funny.  Staring at it a few seconds I realize it says free.  Really?  Can’t be.  But it is.  Free today! How nice! The load begins to tumble, and it’s back out to get The Chiweenie Brothers out of the van as we wait for the load to finish.

Once the clothes are dried we catch Hwy 53 toward El Malpais looking for the campground.  I don’t find it so we continue on.  Finding the road into Malpais I discover we must walk to see any of the caves.  It’s too hot for that, so back out on the highway we go and begin looking for a place to stay.  BLM land abounds here behind fences.  Gates allow entry with signs asking to keep them closed.

Driving down the volcanic rock road in search of a spot to park for the night the road begins to look a bit sketchy.  I turn around and find a spot behind a big  juniper tree.  This will do, we aren’t even going to set up camp it’s just a place to park for some shut eye. There’s a few cow pats around.  That explains keeping the gates closed!

Moring comes early. It’s get dressed, walk The Chiweenie Brothers a bit, then jump in the driver’s seat.  We head back to El Malpais National Monument and take a nice long walk.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawnai

Update to Laundry Soap II

Hi there!  Thanks for reading Two Dogs today.  This is a quick little post to update the laundry soap formula.   The original post has the ingredients listed as:

3 Tablespoons Borax
3 Tablespoons Washing Soda (washing soda, not baking soda)
2 Tablespoons Dawn Ultra Dish Detergent

I have increased the amount of Dawn Ultra Dish Detergent to 3 T instead of 2.  I thought it might give a tiny bit more oomph, but it’s mainly because 3,3,3 is easier to remember!

I also want to report that I have not had a sinus headache since I started using this formula (original or new proportions either one).  Still have chronic sinusitis, but the all-too-frequent headaches that were so dibilitating are gone.  I am sooooo thankful for that.  Ban those yucky chemicals added to the cleaning products we use to clean our homes, do our laundry, and freshen our bodies, and make your own!!!  I think you will be pleasantly surprised, not to mention you’ll have a quite a few more coins to rub together. 

My motto has become:  ‘Scrimp where you can, so you can spend where you want’.  Hmmmmmm, I think I will add that to my banner. 

OK , gotta run.  Have a wonderful week!

Hugs, Shawna

Fabric softener

Hi there!  So glad you could stop by Two Dogs today. Did you have a nice weekend?  It was absolutely gorgeous here but that’s about to change darn it.  Guess one can’t complain, really, since it truly is still winter. Oh well, there’s lots to do in the house and I have several paper crafting projects in the works, so I will be content to snuggle in and just go with it.  Like I could change it, right?  *grin*.
Today I want to tell you about yet another use for vinegar.  Vinegar as fabric softener.  You can’t get anything cheaper than vinegar, and it really does work. Adding 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine saves you from buying a separate laundry softener. The vinegar works naturally to soften your laundry and it also breaks down your laundry detergent for a cleaner rinse.  This means less detergent is left on your clothes for those with sensitive skin. And don’t worry about that vinegar smell sticking around; the odor disappears as your clothes dry. So do you use white or apple cider vinegar?  I don’t find any difference and actually use whatever I have on hand.  And I always have vinegar on hand! Have a wonderful week my friends. 

Make your own laundry detergent

I almost didn’t insert this tip after seeing the trailers for Wife Swap (no I do NOT watch that show, but they do advertise) and the words “makes her own laundry detergent” (insert a big shudder), but I digress………
Good morning! Wow, I think winter has finally hit the road and boy am I glad to see its backside.  I feared it was never going to be warm again. ……..   Again I digress.   Today I wanted to tell you about homemade laundry detergent.  Yes, you can make it yourself and the best part is — it works; and eventually the tune to “Home, Home on the Range” will disappear from your brain.  Usually.

The comparison that came with this particular recipe was made with a jumbo container of Tide at Amazon.com costing $28.99 for 96 loads. Now I usually buy my laundry soap at Costco and while I don’t remember the cost, it was not nearly that, more around $15 or so for 105 loads. It is worth the effort to make your own. First things firstly — be warned.  This stuff is slimy. And don’t worry it is supposed to be that way.  You haven’t discovered some new creature that will crawl out of your bucket and try to take over the world. 

Go to the store and buy the following items:

– 1 bar of soap (whatever kind you like; Choose something that you like the smell of or go for the cheapest bar you can find. You can use ANY kind from Ivory to Fels Naptha.  It matters not.

– 1 box of washing soda (look for it in the laundry detergent aisle – it comes in an Arm & Hammer box and contains enough for six batches)

– 1 box of borax (Remember the 20 Mule Team?????  Oh, you’re not that old.  OK.) One box of borax will contain more than enough for tons of batches of this homemade detergent)

– A five gallon bucket with a lid (or a bucket that will hold more than 15 liters)  And no, I will not give you one of my kitty liter buckets.  Sorry.  You will have to find your own)  Even if you have to buy one (HORRORS!!) you will still be way ahead with all the money you will be saving using your slimy homemade laundry detergent.

– Three gallons of tap water

– A big spoon to stir the mixture with

– A measuring cup

– A knife or cheese grater (use the large holes if grating)

1. Put about four cups of water into a pan on your stove and turn the heat up on high until it’s almost boiling. In the meantime, while you’re waiting, use your knife or cheese grater and start shaving strips off of the bar of soap into the water. Use the whole bar of soap and be sure to keep the heat below a boil. Once all the soap has been deposited into your hot water, stir, stir, stir until the soap is dissolved. Hey, whatcha doin’ with all that soapy water? 

2. Put 3 gallons of hot water (previously warmed up somehow.  I did mine in batches before I started the soap-in-hot water grating process) into the 5 gallon bucket and mix in the hot soapy water from step one. Stir for a bit , say one run-through of “Home Home on the Range” and then add 1 cup of the washing soda. Keep stirring it for another minute or two, then add a half cup of borax. Stir for another couple of minutes, then just let your home brew, uh I mean laundry detergent, sit overnight to cool.

3. You are done.  It’s all over but the storing of your laundry slime.  Find a funnel and start storing this stuff in clean milk jugs or just leave it in the bucket (with a lid!!!).  I don’t like putting this stuff in jugs, but that big ol’ bucket takes up too much room in my laundry closet and besides it’s HEAVY, so into clean milk jugs it goes.  My mama never promised me things would always be easy.  Or that I would like them………  but do what works for you. One measuring cup full of this slime will be what you need to do a load of laundry – and the ingredients are basically the same as laundry detergent, just without all the refining and additives that make it look purty. So, out of three gallons, you’ll get about 48 loads of laundry. If you do this six times, you’ll have used six bars of soap ($0.99 each), one box of washing soda ($2.49 – this varies by where you shop), and about half a box of borax ($2.49 or so making it $1.25) and will do 288 loads of laundry. This comes up to a cost of right around three cents a load.  THREE CENTS. 

After you have washed a load of laundry with your homemade soap, hang your clothes outside to dry (or on hangers slung around your wood stove in the winter 🙂 or on a clothes rack, and we are talking more savings.  You can use your clothes dryer to fluff everything up once they are already dry if ya want. You’ve got yourself huge savings AND a pioneering spirit. You go girl!