Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Using Up Scraps (What Leftovers Can Make) #woodworld

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Barely 2 generations removed from the Great Depression and old enough to have heard many stories from grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, and parents, throwing ANYTHING away is hard to do. Every single item must be used to the end of its’ life, threadbare and loved into shreds. I’d rather make do, recycle, borrow, reuse, or give away than toss things in the trash.

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I’m so happy to see my honey using some of those creative-good-to-the-last-drop (or piece) urges. He’s been using up his stash of scrap wood. Leftovers from other projects like building a deck, making a potting bench, and adding a bit of this and that to make a unique Chevy tailgate bench for our Chevy-man son. Once he gets an idea, I can count on him to disappear for hours and turn up later with something very clever and cute.

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Each piece truly is one-of-a-kind creation, in part because using up scraps requires the builder to use what is on hand. And what is on hand changes on a daily basis. Occasionally new items must be added, like screws, a 1×3 or 2×4. But the outcomes of his dedication to using up stuff to make something new and useful are truly beautiful.

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Hobbies are good for the mind, body, and spirit. My honey calls what he builds his Therapy Creations. A retirement project? Perhaps. But for now, he’s just enjoying after-work and weekend time spent with the drill, hammer, saw, and piles of stuff, waiting for attention.

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I’m not complaining, not at all. My garden is graced with many special pieces and I love each one.

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Heading back out to watch him use up some more scraps. What do you do with your scraps? We might need some new ideas. Or your old scraps.

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Haiku Moment: cast iron

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cast iron greens bake

sprinkle of rust, glass, and rock;

pink-tipped succulents

 

cast iron by Angie Quantrell

photo by Angie Quantrell


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Earth Day

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Happy Earth Day, neighbors!

I love this old earth. It’s the only one I’ve got, so I suppose I should help take care of it. Earth Day reminds me to do something, not just talk about it or ignore the problems I see.

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For example:

~Yesterday and today, I planted thyme and basil, both edible yumminess for humans and flowering treats for bees.

~I’m trying to convince my pasture mowers to leave the dandelions as is for bee food.

~We avoid spray unless absolutely necessary and spend more time hand weeding.

~I keep planting baby trees from the Arbor Society to create habitat for birds and small animals.

~I always have water out for the cats, but wildlife benefits from the source of hydration.

~I’ve been noticing lots of trash along roads and paths, so it’s time to carry along a trash bag and pick up as I go on walks.

~We pay extra in our valley to allow us to recycle trash items like cans, cardboard, and certain plastics.

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I know there are many ways to help Planet Earth. These are only a few ideas to be good stewards of the beautiful environment God created for us to enjoy and care for. Spend some time outside today and pay special attention to how awesome our Earth is.

How about you? I’d love to hear what you do, especially if you have fresh ideas!


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Tuesday Tots: Bubble Wrap

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This post is NOT about wrapping preschoolers in bubble wrap. But it is about how much fun tots have popping bubbles.

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Today during a sorting marathon, I discovered two small boxes filled with hand-sized rectangles of bubble wrap. Bubble wrap became the seed of creativity for my two young charges.

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First, the fine motor skills used in attempting to pop the plastic bubbles brought intense concentration. Next came sound effects-boisterous shouts for each successful popping noise. And after introducing the ‘stomp-til-you-pop’ game while standing on the kitchen floor, squeals of joy and excitement filled the house.

30 minutes. That’s the minimum time they spent focused on small squares of bubble wrap. Moms, I was able to complete several tasks while supervising the giggly kiddos.

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Mom tip: Get (save) bubble wrap!

Other activities to do with bubble wrap:

– use bubble wrap taped to a cardboard tube to make a paint roller

– add bubble wrap to cardboard strips to make bumpy roads for toy vehicles

– experiment with the protective properties of bubble wrap (drop an egg?)

– press bubble wrap in play dough or damp sand to make prints

– add bubble wrap to doll beds for mattresses (tape securely with duct tape)

– cut bubble wrap to fit inside a freezer gallon ziplock bag; seal with duct tape; let younger tots pop bubbles through the bag

– make bubble wrap shoes and walk around outside to see how well they work

CAUTION: Always supervise any play with plastic. Keep plastics and bubble wrap away from faces and mouths.

It might be noisy, but bubble wrap fun will be music to your ears.