Hanging the garment out to dry on the line

The garment is one of the most peculiar pieces of our Latter-Day Saint religion. We are urged to wear them in thought of our temple covenants, treat them respectfully, be mindful of their sacred nature. We also may get a lot of flack and confusion from others outside the faith.

In recent years, while the garment’s sacredness still remains, it seems to be less secretive. The shock value of sneaks tossing photos of garments on the internet has been lessoned by the Church doing pretty much the same thing. We all know those Mormons wear them, let’s move on.

And yet, for good or for bad, some funniness remains. By all means, I am in favor of respecting my garments and treating them well, but I also raise an eyebrow at excessive weirdness. I once met a faithful man who said that if he were told to remove his garments at gun-point, absolutely he would in a heartbeat.

This isn’t about threats of life, but of something more daily: laundering the garments and, in focus, drying them. Today on Facebook (which I’m trying to avoid) the question as asked in a Latter-Day Saint group if it were okay to dry them outside on a clothesline. While it wasn’t the nastiest debate I’ve seen (quite tame, really) I was still shocked at the divisiveness on the subject. Absolutely it was okay. Absolutely it was not.

To give my own view, I have few qualms about drying garments on the line. We have a fairly private backyard and I doubt our neighbors spy so much anyway. Line drying freshens and in my imagination even whitens them. I get to pretend I save energy. It all seems to wholesome and natural.

Then I saw comments trying to play the middle. Paraphrased, it’s okay if it’s what you got to do. To me, this was implying that line drying was the lesser choice and other such comments supported that: Only line dry if you absolutely must.

Some of this perspective came from some alleged advice and instruction given in yesteryear. Folks had anecdotes of being told by someone or another they shouldn’t line dry the garment.

Yet the only proper source given was from the handbook:

Handbook 2

“The garment is sacred and should be treated with respect at all times. Garments should be kept off the floor. They should also be kept clean and mended. After garments are washed, they should not be hung in public areas to dry. Nor should they be displayed or exposed to the view of people who do not understand their significance”

So… the case seems to be that we shouldn’t be hanging them to dry out in public. Agreed.

But my backyard is hardly public. Once again, fairly private, my clothesline pretty much blocked by trees. Surely this is okay?

Yet there still remained those who said there was an issue that had nothing to do with the privacy/publicity: Hanging garments outside was disrespectful.

To what? The modern invention of the dryer that seems more particular to the United States?

Now I get convenience: I may love the ritual of hanging clothes out to dry, but the dryer is an awesome invention. I use it when it’s more convenient. Those who love the dryer are more than welcome to dry clothes and their garments in the dryer.

But let’s not pretend the dryer imparts the blessings of heaven to its contents. Let’s not pretend lying them over furniture is more holy, or even an indoor rack or line. The clothesline has experience a comeback in popularity. It does not mean poverty nor trashiness. It is not regulated to those poor Saints in third-world countries who must do the best they can until they receive the spiritual blessings of a clothes dryer.

I must confessed I chuckled at some of these insistences, these little rituals over what is appropriate with the garments, the lengths some will go to in protecting the garment. I respect and admire that dedication. I know I’m particular about keeping them off the floor, respectfully folded, and such.

But I also love drying them on the line. No one’s looking, they’re not out on the main road. They’re getting dry, deodorized. My method isn’t lesser, and I just can’t see it as disrespectful.


Camping with CF

Husband and I, early on in our relationship, wanted to be more outdoorsy. We were more outdoorsy than many people. I worked five summers at Scout Camp and he grew up on a ranch. We enjoyed camping and hiking and the like, though were far from the extremes some people were at. Still, we thought getting out and about would be good for our family.

And, yeah, we did stuff, though work and kids mostly got in the way. But we have renewed our goals and went camping earlier this week. Nothing fancy, just two nights at a campground up the way.

Jade and I came the second night, Ruby and Layne having gone up the first night for a daddy-daughter date. Ruby has been quite enamored of the concept of camping.

The trick was, how were we to do Jade’s cystic fibrosis treatments? Jade uses the InCourage airway clearance system, which needs power. At one clinic in anticipation, we asked about and were trained on how to use those cup things. And… never used them.

Our choice was to buy a generator (something we still meant to do in the future for good sense and emergency preparation and all that) or use a power inverter, the latter of which we already had. 750 watts, which did prove enough to be able to run the vest system and the nebulizer with nary a problem. I was somewhat worried as someone in a group recommended at least 1000 watts, but this seemed to do the trick.

Backpacking is out of the question for the time being, but we were pleased with the results. Layne opened the hood, we hooked up everything, and the girls sat in the passenger’s seat, the InCourage system in the driver’s seat, somehow navigating ABC Mouse on the old phone that no longer recognizes its SIM card in a place with no data signal (we suspect the ranger had WiFi).

It wasn’t bad at all, in my opinion. True, Jade’s treatment stuff overshadowed the rest of the stuff, it seemed, but I feel up for going camping again.

Yard Sale Site Selling: What to do when someone asks “What’s the lowest price you’ll take for this?”

I have a few friends who practically have a second job or even a full-time job selling stuff via Craig’s List or Facebook yard sale groups. They are shrewd and clever, speedily turning random objects into extra crash. I am nowhere near so crafty, but when I’m working on the old decluttering tasks I sometimes try to see if I can’t get a few bucks out of certain items.

And sometimes, more than I’d like, this leads to a text with the dreaded question “What’s the lowest price you’d take for this?”

Now, I have never posted anything for a firm price. I’m not in the yard sale business, I’m trying to see if I can get money out of something I’m going to get rid of regardless. Of course I am willing to negotiate. Haggling ought to be part of the territory of such a market. But that question “What’s the lowest you’ll take?” put me at a standstill.

I don’t know what would be the lowest I’d take. I looked at similar listed items and tried to price mine to sell while still getting me a decent deal. Make me an offer.

I once participated in a heated Facebook Mom group argument about this, people irritated by the question and people irritated by those irritated at the question. Whilst delving into the interweb for this question, I found a number of online forums with similar views. In the end, everyone, buyers and sellers, are just trying to get a good deal.

So how does one respond to the question?

Image result for money

I’ve narrowed the people who ask this question into three general groups:

Group A: These are good people who probably want to haggle to some extent, but honestly don’t know how. They are unaware or clunky with the time-honored tradition of making an offer and playing the game from there. They figure their honest question of “What’s the lowest you’d take?” is an acceptable start.

Group B: These are people who just don’t like haggling, negotiating, or wheeling and dealing. The dance of the sale is one they’d rather not participate in. The best of them don’t exactly want to cheat you, they just don’t want to waste time with e-mails or texts back and forth or even that face-to-face conversation. They’re interested in buying the product and want this to be like a traditional store front. “I’d like to buy your product, what will you sell it to me for so we can both be on our way?”

Group C: The time-wasters, the tire-kickers. They might not even be looking seriously to buy, they just want to score a great deal. They’re hoping to find someone desperate for money and/or to get rid of an item.

Keep in mind, I’m just a gal who sells stuff occasionally on a yard sale group. I am not an earnest salesman. But here is what I picked up on how to respond from scouring over the thoughts and experiences of those wiser than me.

You’re still the seller. You can still dance the dance of the sale. That delicate art of haggling is not necessarily lost just because some guy seemingly smashed your action by asking your lowest price. Of course, due to this type of market being more art than science, responses depend on the situation. Some people, especially if they spell Group C, simply don’t respond. Others sign to themselves and respond with “Make an offer.”

But my all-time favorite response I’ve found?

“So you’re interested in buying Item if it were the right price?”

There! You just did the old sneak of answering a question with a question. It’s polite, diplomatic, and starts a dialogue. You’ve possibly frustrated Group C, maybe convinced Group B to work with you just a little bit, and likely have Group A more comfortably into the negotiations.

Even if they were trying to sidestep the haggling process by trumping your stated asking price, this line can be used to put the ball back in your court with a dialogue.

From there, the conversation can go many ways. If they want the item, they will say yes. Perhaps they’ll still be stubborn and again want to know your lowest price.

At that point, those wiser than me give several options, usually including a break-down of the item and why you were thinking your asking price.

From there, here are some tried-and-true methods:

  • Ask them what they’d like to offer or can pay. Kindly worded, this gets the deal back on.
  • Decide on what, yes, you’d accept if this guy would just take the item now and give you money–and, unless you really just want money/the item gone, give it a nice padding.
  • Decide on that low price… and name a figure half-way between there and your original asking price.
  • Knock off a bit of a percentage from your asking price. If this is your preferred strategy, it’s a good idea to post your asking price higher.

The lesson was, there is little use in getting upset over what from many people is an honest question they don’t find rude. Perhaps the art of haggling is getting lost, perhaps people just want to find that good deal. Getting upset rather than figuring you’re still the seller in possession of the item could lose you a sale.

Again, the Group C tire-kickers will be a pain, but it might be worth it to relax and give Groups A and B a break.


Decluttering: When space is taken up by space

One of my goals this summer break is to get some serious decluttering done in my house. I’m not the neatest person by any stretch of the imagination, but oh, how I admire those who are. Might it be said decluttering is ultimately important to me.

As I worked, I found some nuggets of tidiness horror, things only seen on those television shows–you know the kind. For background, I have a small house and to a certain degree space is premium, particularly with my desire to cut away the clutter. I thought things were bad some years ago when I was bemoaning the lack of drawer space, only to find out my husband’s Army uniforms, which he was only using once a month, took up three damn drawers.

But then I discovered the girls’ room. They possess a dresser, the type that usually functions as a diaper changing table but I don’t believe was ever used for such.  Three big drawers, a little cupboard to the side. We had purchased it, all pretty and painted, from the local classifieds. After a couple of years, I wondered if it a bit of toy and clothes culling would allow us to get rid of it. Spoiler: We still have it, it continues to have too much use. But we still had so much stuff in the girls’ room! So in a spurt of organization… I discovered the little cupboard held… boxes. Empty boxes.

Maybe not the volume of three drawers, but at least the Army stuff could be worn. This was a cupboard being taken up by boxes to various toys.

The other was the laundry room. I use plastic totes to store betwixt-girls clothes, and somehow I had them piled high to the ceiling, covered with other paraphernalia. A disaster and an embarrassment. When I went through them, I found one of them was mostly empty. Another two held… Army uniforms, which my husband said I could send to the thrift store. Other surprises were cloth diapers, random maternity outfits, and baby stuff I could have sworn I gave away.

So, I pared it down. The off-size girl clothes? One tote. The cloth diapers? Sadly, one tote. (I need to get rid of those). Which meant I had, again, wasted space, and two broken totes just screaming to be turned into tomato planters.

Little things like this occurred all over the house and I’m still finding them. I admire those people who don’t, who aren’t bemoaning a lack of space when available space is being wasted by empty boxes and meaningless totes.

It saddened me. What was I storing this for? Especially the stupid boxes? Perhaps I am the last person who should be saying this, but it would behoove us all to really look for that wasted space.

Imagine it. Boxes, boxes filled with the forgotten odds and ends of your life, just piled about your house. Would this not be an eyesore, an obvious testament to your need to cut the fat? Yet those things hide, and it’s only when we’re dragging them forth for examination do we toss them in a box and watch those boxes fill and multiply.