A Victorian Heritage LifeStyle Calls To Me, A Soupcon Of Truth (And An Update On The Use Of The Victorian Icebox)

In my Patreon episode, I restored my Victorian ice box, briefly sharing the aesthetic results and adding the components on the inside, which returned it to a functioning icebox. It is time to share more about how the adjustment of the actual usage of the ice box has been getting on. It will derive benefit to those also wanting to attempt a lifestyle without electricity (or minimum use of electricity). In addition, sharing the pitfalls and experienced notions that worked for me will aid others.

(Please keep in mind a few concepts before I proceed forward, for I am transparent and wouldn't want to mislead anyone into the notion that I am not authentic.)

(Firstly, as I've referred many times, I currently bathe and use the accommodations (privy) of my folk's main house whilst I work to create the functionalities, such as adding plumbing, a septic tank, etc. As one would understand, a build takes time. In addition, as I've been cast on the reality show, I've had to consider undertakings. Therefore timing must be regarded as I've been diving into particular assignments.) 

My little heart-healing undertaking (Scarlette Rose Cottage) began as an endeavour to mend my spirit by keeping me engaged whilst I was working through my son's death, and yet in the process; it has brought on a life of its own. Whereas at first, I was at the notion that my folk's place might become our forever home, things have changed significantly. At some juncture, Jeffrey Shawn and I will seek out our very own place. It will be ample with land and must be conducive to the future of The Carter Settlement. Nevertheless, whilst I am where I am currently, I will remain happy, follow my bliss and Take Joy! If there's one thing that I taught my children and a method that I performed all through the years whilst married to my ill-suited ex-mate, it was always to create an atmosphere of stability. I often knew we would be in a rental home for only six months, yet I pretended we would be there for years. That mental mindset encouraged security in my children. If they knew mummy and our home felt lived in and cosy, they would also feel at home and comfortable in their hearts. (I continually emptied boxes, hung photos and knick-knacks and curated our little tokens amongst the house to make it happy.) Today you can ask any of my children, and they will tell you the same.

The enjoyment I developed for the cottage project has become such a part of me that my imagination and joy has continued and so I plod on in experimentation. As time permits, I have slowly acclimated to a particular pioneer life; as I adjust to the endeavours, I've moved to the subsequent exercise. One that I've fine-tuned is the hand-washing of my clothing. (Remember, all the tasks I perform are merely for myself. As for my dear husband, I wash his clothing in a modern machine; he's not enthralled in such extremities as I am in old-timey living, yet he knows it makes me happy and is enormously supportive, which means all the world to me. (Yet make no bones about it, I do what I like when I like, always retaining a deep respect for others; however, I will not sacrifice my passions for the sake of another.) I constantly remind women never to give themselves away in the desires of their hearts and inner truth. (This pertains to men as well.) I gave myself away in my previous marital arrangement, which ended carelessly, for it took me several years to repair the lost parts of myself. I felt slow intervals, I was taken apart like a clock surrendering my life, which created enormous resentment, and I swam towards taking a passport (wanting to end my life). I shall spare you the salty details of living with a solipsistic sod until my autobiography. It will be accurate, yet I will write with a slant, for my emphasis will be to give the book fairness by writing from my scars and not my wounds. Although the nonsense was on stilts, I have grace and dignity, with a bit of run footing, my dear. 

I digress, my darling. Let me get on from the prattling. 

Ah, again, my working out the kinks with the icebox has taken time, trial and error. I am especially pleased to have the pleasure and allowance to practise these ideals with leisure as I have chosen. I am a woman who's prone to dive deep. The fascination began with curiosity and research yet quickly became a slight obsession for testing my tenacity to see if I could live a life of my own volition. I've chosen to live how I am determined to, and it's undoubtedly a navigational concept when I have modern ideals all around me. Is it not the actual test? As with anything in life, whether I am charmed to partake in having a (black box) television when it's quite clearly right in front of me (in my folk's cottage) and yet choosing not to turn it on or have one installed into Scarlette Rose Cottage. The same with the electric light in the room. I can quickly flip the light switch but choose not to by glimpsing if I learn to utilise the natural daylight and, by evening, use candles and kerosene lamps. Also, with the icebox, I am learning from the inside to outside the rotation of our seasons. 

Allow me to lean into what has transpired with our little icebox. I spent several months using my folk's freezer to make ice blocks using the gallon plastic containers. The plastic container was not a great idea. Here's why. I live in Florida, where it's scorching hot, and it feels as though, on some days, we're six degrees in hell. Every two days, I had to change out the plastic gallon containers. I couldn't freeze water fast enough to keep it in the icebox going back and forth, which marked the items from remaining sufficiently cold enough for me. One has to be careful to keep the temps low and sufficient for the threat of food poisoning and such. The next idea was to use dry ice. I immediately stopped this sentiment. Have you taken a gander at the price of dry ice as of late? That idea was entirely too expensive, beings we aren't solely living in the cottage currently. I then searched for three days to see if anyone sold solid blocks of ice, preferably deliverables. They offer this service but no longer for Florida residents; it's only in selected northern states now. The next thought was to load the ice down with loose ice from my folk's icemaker.

My mum collected the overflow of the icemaker into a large bag, and I filled the icebox. That method worked for roughly a week. However, it wasn't enough to keep it full to the top. I have now figured out the best solution, which is to add a small wire screen inside the top portion and fill it to the brim with ice. That way, the ice will not fall through the vented area on the side and remain capable of holding the items I want to stay cold inside the top of the ice. I do not know why I didn't think of this strategy first. One lives and learns, I suppose. I have more ideas to boot: to pack the ice with sawdust or hay to prevent the ice from melting quickly; however, that sounds like a mess waiting to happen. I wonder if sheets of cork would work better. 

This concept of living in the olden ways may sound like a bit too much work for me to venture into, primarily when I do not have to live this way; it's merely by choice. Yet the most significant advantage for me is genuinely assisting in my research for the writing of my novel (Deceit and Dissension). And to be quite frank, I feel more at one within myself, and it feels much more natural when I am dressing, and performing tasks such as one would have over one hundred years ago. 

Most affably, yours til my next swim, Lady Raquelxxx


  1. I've heard other such comments regarding the old ice boxes. My mom has our family's. I believe the ice man like the milk man made daily rounds - back in the day. The other possibility is to use it for occasions such as berry season until you can process all the berries or ahead of the holidays etc. but not for daily use as we do today. I'm completely rambling, but ideas nonetheless. Oh, I think Gdonna did 4(?) plastic water bottles and changed out 2 each day in order to regulate the temp. (big I think - can't remember)

    1. Now that is something I have yet to think of doing; change out only two at a time.


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