Posted by: littlehouseonthebigisland | March 7, 2014

50 Shades of Gray

The moon was nothing but a crooked, drunken smile last night when I took the dogs for their walk, peering in and out of veils of clouds.  I have been sick with an awful cold, so it was good to finally be able to walk them without feeling like I was going to pass out, or wake the neighborhood in a fit of coughing. What struck me though, was the contrasting milky yellow of the moon’s lopsided crescent, with the ghostly blue-white wisps of clouds and the stars, so consistantly hard and white against the black-blue sky.

My sister, my autistic nephew, and his aide are visiting.  With them I am not so worried about cobwebs, lizards, decapitated rats in the front yard, and dust bunnies.  But I will still be making excuses for the state of our dishrags and towels which are in various shades of gray, regardless of what they looked like when I bought them.  This, I do even when my dear farmer friend Meris comes over and I offer her tea.  I will hand her her cup at the table with silent apologies.  About the stains and crumbs and cat hair on the ‘off white,’ vintage table cloth.  Other times I can’t help it though.  I blurt out something about a dish towel or a pot holder like; “It’s clean. I just washed it.”

Except for brand new linens and clothes, everything white becomes a shade of gray, once it has been used on Magic Mountain Farm.  I have tried laundry boosters and bleach to no avail.  Our washing machine dumps water onto the ground because our micro climate is dryer than it used to be.  Therefore, we use less detergent or other additives.  Recent stories in the news support this, because they say that the companies that make these products recommend the very highest amounts possible, so that we will use up their products faster and get more. I’ve been desperate enough to buy into their west-end mainland promises, but even selling out doesn’t produce the results shown in ads.

Everything seems to come out pretty clean. If it smells fresh, it must be clean, right? But socks, t-shirts, linens, small rugs, etc. never fully recover their virgin, pristine whiteness after one or two wash cycles on Magic Mountain Farm.

Now, I find myself purchasing of everything in shades of gray, beige, and ivory, but most of all, gray, my new most favorite color.  There are pearl grey pillow cases on my bed and in the guest room.  An intentionally gray washrag is on the towel wrack along with a gray hand towel in our bathroom.  Lavender-gray pot holders hang at the ready next to the stove.

And so it goes, from white to black, in 50 shades of gray.


  1. I love gray. Most weddings in my younger days were attended in dove gray dresses and fun pretty jewelry .The hats and shawls shining out from the grays base. Gray gloves for showing the jewels for sale in the best shops. The way grays shift the dignity of a powerful presence. On the other hand decapitated rats means happy cats. I love the gifts that shows the inner workings of the feline logic. Every thing sounds beautiful. Hope you feel better and big mushy love to all.

  2. We speak fluent gray and we will being non-toxic, low water dyes to reboot everything. Mom had this with well water years ago and got really good at retinting the world. There are fun, easy dyes from fruits, roots, leaves, etc. We look forward to shifting the gray. But I think my favorite part will be getting to know the wonderful cats. ^w^

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