Jennie Little

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since Nov 06, 2013
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cat monies home care books cooking writing wood heat ungarbage
old fart. Married. Former retailer, technical writer, electronic assemblist. Perpetual student.
New England
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Recent posts by Jennie Little

My local Salvation Army sells Tshirts for rags, to the local car dealerships, who buy them by the pound. When I thought that the rug making was going to become a business, I talked to them about it. They said they could get me some, almost once a month. So, ask what the thrift shops do with the extras that don't sell? Same idea as Pearl's but no dumpster diving involved. And, yeah, you may have to pay a little.
1 day ago
I hear you. But I have a question for you too. Would you be willing to spend $3-$5 more per volume to pay the artist? Not that I don't think it's justified, I do.

That's a guesstimate, not a real number. But artists do have to be paid.

Also, with fewer and fewer people buying dead tree books, would you buy 5 copies of a title you were interested in?

I really do understand. But unless we all buy 3-10 copies of every book we buy, the answer may be to go into publishing yourself...

1 week ago
I do something I've never seen/heard about others doing: I "recycle" flowers I'm given or bring into the house, not just in compost. It becomes "house pot pourri". It lives in a blue vase. When I'm given flowers, as the petals drop off, they're added to the vase. Eventually, the empty stems go to the compost. I also add the end of last years' old thyme, mint tea (mixed lemon balm and spearmint), rosemary and summer savory, as I love their smell. The pot pourri gets  put into small cloth bags and is used with bedding and out-of-season clothing...

I do something similar with cloth/rags. I have 3 classes of rags unmarked, /'d, and X'd. When a rag is still good enough to deal with food, it is unmarked. When it gets permanently stained and I'm not sure how safe it might be, or it's holey, it gets slashed. When it degrades to the point where if it's tossed after the next use, I won't be upset, it gets X'd.

I cook with many of the same ideas in mind. Last night we had a split chicken for dinner. We ate bird. Today, I"ll pick/bone 1 of the 2 pieces, make soup stock and freeze it. The other half will be frozen so we can have "bird" again. i know others do this with food, it's the best way to not be wasteful....

But that flow is what I'm after here -- the planned re-use through something's lifecycle as it degrades. What do you do this for? What are the less than obvious uses you plan for from the beginning? A bed spread into a caftan, a blanket into a pillow or ... I'm not talking about the wonderful Aha! moment when you look at a piece of wood and figure it would fix the hole in the fence, because I'm trying to make up systems to go into place beforehand.


1 week ago
One of the most most practical it seemed to me solar installations I’ve seen was an array like this, but the firewood for the house was stacked under the solar panels. I’ve always meant to ask folks who do solar, is this as good an idea as it appeared?
2 weeks ago
My biggest expensive thing that saved us a ton is my convertible fridge/freezer. I don’t can. In spring and summer my fridge was awash with produce and green slime from rotting produce. The food I wanted to freeze always was more than our tiny freezer could handle.

Answer? A convertible. Fridge in spring and early summer. Freezer the rest of the time. Fall to early spring we mostly eat out of the freezer....
2 weeks ago
I forget all the things we reuse, it’s just normal here!

Old Apple ladder held my pots and pans for years. Painted crib rails held the table linens. Book spinners have been trellises for most of the 15 years since I closed the store. The cages are the trellises, but the spindles they sat on? They hold tomato cages. Our living room lights are old theater can lights my husband reworked, etc. We do buy new, but we’re fussy and if we can use something old, well, we do.
2 weeks ago
Well, we are. Our bedroom and bath and office are upstairs. DH broke his leg last year and made it obvious we needed a plan to do something else! We’re doing planning now. Which is at least part of why I started this thread, know about AARP#s fit living guide, etc.

We’re facing having to do this perhaps without a lot of $ too, as retirement is also looming.

Not the best way to plan anything, eh?
3 weeks ago
I forgot the water heater we did that and the sump pump. Not planned.

Old sump inhaled a rock and died. Basement full o water. Needed new pump. Our old plumber was a neighbor, who moved. No listing for him, called another. They gave us 3 options, because they were wicked busy. One was if we bought a new pump at the local hardware store, they could install it on the way home from the other, big job... they left a pump going, came back at lunch time and disconnected it. Came back at the end of the day and put in the new pump, cheap.

The on demand water heater was always flakey. It was acting up. The mfg offered the plumber a deal, about 1/2 price because they had too many of a going out model. He passed along the deal and we took it, so we got a new water heater too.

One of the in process things which needs finishing is the basement insulation.
3 weeks ago