Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

1893 Victorian: The Laundry Room

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Having rediscovered my library card recently, I've been having some fun reading some old books full of household hints from the turn of the century earlier.  Ladies, we have no idea how easy our lives are in this modern world!  Mondays were wash days and it was an all day affair.  No throwing the dirty clothes in the washer and heading out to drink tea on the front porch.  No, sirree, Bob!
Before we start the pictures of the 1893 Victorian's laundry room, I thought it might be fun to share an excerpt from one of these books with you.
If any fruit-stains are on napkins or table-cloths, lay the stained part over a bowl, and pour on boiling water till they disappear. Ink can be taken out if the spot is washed while fresh, in cold water, or milk and water; and a little salt will help in taking out wine-stains. Machine-oil must have a little lard or butter rubbed on the spot, which is then to be washed in warm suds. Never rub soap directly on any stain, as it sets it. For iron-rust, spread the garment in the sun, and cover the spot with salt; then squeeze on lemon-juice enough to wet it. This is much safer and quite as sure as the acids sold for this purpose. In bright sunshine the spot will disappear in a few hours.
–from The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking
by Helen Stuart Campbell, 1880
They obviously didn't have OxiClean or Shout back then.  I'm really curious as to whether the salt and lemon juice thing works.  I may just have to try this out on an old rag.
Anyway, on to the pics of the last room on the bottom floor.  Here's the view as we walked into the laundry room on the day we bought the house.  The owner was using this as a kitchen even though it had no appliances in it.  Bachelors, I swear....

That's the door to the back deck.

Turning 180 degrees.  Kitchen on the left and dining room to the right.
This room was in great shape except for the worn linoleum on the floor.  The walls were perfect and just needed a good coat of paint (along with the trim) and we added a new stick down vinyl floor that looks like tile.  How about a before and after?  Does that brighten up the place or what?

How about a new light fixture for even more brightness?  This one is so cool that I'm trying to figure out where I can put one in our house  It tilts, which means you can direct the light anywhere in the room.

And, finally, here's the original farmhouse sink after being cleaned up.  I attached the apron with some velcro to hide the plumbing and provide for some storage space. 

Well, that's it for the downstairs.  We have one more post to go where I'll cover the stairs and the upstairs and we'll be done with the 1893 Victorian and back on to gardening and chickens.
Until later,


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