Tag Archives: repurpose

Garbage Disposal

In the United States, many of us automatically think of an InSinkErator, which is a brand of electrically run mechanical grinder of food which then flushes it all down the drain for someone else to deal with.  It is attached to a kitchen drain and mounted underneath.

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This old one no longer works and leaks!  Thus the bucket underneath because we haven’t found someone to disconnect and remove it.  I’ll figure it out and get it done sometime.  In the meantime, we put a note in the sink so water won’t be poured in accidentally.  It’s not at our house.

I remember when i was growing up, we had one.  There was always a good respect for its power – keep fingers and spoons out of them!  However, as an adult, i’ve never had one and honestly never missed it.  Now, i wonder why one would ever need this type of garbage disposal.  Natural processes are excellent at garbage disposal – especially food scraps and other organic stuff.

But, garbage disposal is actually just a term that describes various ways to dispose of garbage.  Your location and occupation often determines your definition of garbage and how you may dispose of it.  If you have too much; it might be time to make a plan to reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, repair.

In my world, food scraps are not garbage – either they are composted, (i’m lazy and just throw them out on the garden spot to break down over time, or if i’m really energetic, i may get a spade and bury them) or i feed them to our pastured laying hens (chooks), but chicken scraps go to the dog – (i never feed chicken bones and such to chickens – it just seems wrong).  Fruit from fruit trees almost always produce far more than i’m willing to preserve in some fashion, so the extra is allowed to fall, rot, and provide fodder for soil microbes which in turn provides fertilizer for the tree.

There are some amazingly attractive kitchen sized compost bins available.  Here are some on Amazon, but i’ve never tried any of them.  Do some research before purchasing – you sure don’t want smell and/or flies in your house!

But, by and large, we have very few scraps.  Leaves from broccoli and cauliflower, for example, make awesome replacement for celery or other similar greens.  This goes for nearly all greens attached to vegetables.  The core from tomatoes go to the chooks; they love them!  Beef fat goes to the chooks for extra protein they need when bugs are in short supply outdoors.  (As an aside, if you are buying eggs that are labeled as vegetarian raised chickens, the label is either a lie or the hens are in confinement – either crowded in a floored building or in a cage.)

There is a lot of hue and cry about being ‘green’, but as is usual, the ones crying the loudest are often the ones living the least ‘green’ and the biggest wasters of natural resources.  They are the crowd who shout ‘do as i say, not as i do’ while they manipulate regulations to suck cash out of your pocket and put it in theirs.

We can all do better at managing resources – we are, by and large, a wasteful country because we are blessed with so much abundance.

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Nabbed this poster from Mountain Top Cattle Co Facebook Page.

 

Craft Supplies

For whatever reason, public school teachers seem to need to buy supplies for their classes each year, using money from their own pockets.  I won’t comment on that being right or wrong or even why because i simply don’t know.  However, we as home educators, really can’t afford to purchase extraneous supplies, so we are careful to collect and use free stuff for educational supplies.  When possible, we purchase secondhand textbooks and use them for all the children in the family.  Or we share with other families whose children may be similar in age, but offset just a bit.  (Currently, Missouri public education is funded by taxpayers at the rate of $10,457 per student per year).  Since i have three children – had that been sent to me, i could have managed nicely on $31,371 per year!

Missouri Statistics by district

Linn County R-I School District

Name: Linn County R-I School District
City: Purdin
Average Daily Attendance: 220.8
Expenditure per Pupil: $11,343.44
Local, Percent of Expenditure: 43.89%
Local, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil:$4,978.31
State, Percent of Expenditure: 46.54%
State, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $5,279.22
Federal, Percent of Expenditure: 9.57%
Federal, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $1,085.91

Brookfield R-III School District

Name: Brookfield R-III School District
City: Brookfield
Average Daily Attendance: 968.3
Expenditure per Pupil: $9,569.70
Local, Percent of Expenditure: 44.99%
Local, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil:$4,305.84
State, Percent of Expenditure: 43.91%
State, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $4,202.25
Federal, Percent of Expenditure: 11.09%
Federal, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $1,061.61

To that end, i have on hand various supplies that have been given to me or sent in the mail (we get a bunch of return addresses from outfits asking for donations and typically there are fun stickers and parts of the address that can be cut for stickers.)  Gifts that have been given to us (or i unapologetically collect tissue and paper from bridal showers or birthday parties that would have just been thrown away).  Coloured tissue paper is so fun for tearing into shapes (think Eric Carle) and making books.  Also, fun to fold and tie to make flowers, etc.

Coloured paper from flyers in the mail can be cut into strips to make decorative chains.

Making books involves math skills (ie: fold paper in half, one fourth), large and small motor skills (folding, tearing, punching holes, gluing, drawing, etc), sharing and helping (work in groups), creativity (develop story telling skills, logical and chronological thinking, and how to express ideas in picture and words), understanding relations (large and small, tall and short, etc), shapes, colours.  Goodness, so many skills in just one fun activity.  At the end, have each child read and show their creation to encourage public speaking and reading skills.

There are a multitude of craft and art activities that can be expanded to teach nearly all aspects of education.

Time is the most important investment in the education and training of your children.

Ask for, gather, then develop a plan using those free supplies.  Wow, you can even then teach the importance of repurposing, recycling, reducing.

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Some of this is brand new that was given to me but i have no use for so it needs to be in the hands of someone who can educate and encourage children.  Not shown is an envelope of stickers that i cut out of the Arbor Day return address labels that were sent in the mail.  

 

 

Hillbilly Valances

I may not be the queen of repurposing, but i do try my best.  Not able to find and purchase valances of the right length and type i wanted for my kitchen windows had me tying on my thinking cap.  Of course!  Old pillowcases!  Of all the households’ worth of stuff we have in storage, surely i could find something that would work without using an heirloom.  It took me longer to scrounge through all the scraps than it did to make the valances.  A couple mismatched yellowed and gross pillowslips were found and put to a new purpose and they are exactly what i had in mind!

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The slips i used were yellowed from use and despite bleaching and washing twice were not recoverable.  Thankfully, the ends with the pretty lace were beautifully white.
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Cut to length.  I wanted very short valances to let in as much light as possible.  Notice that this piece is different than the other.  If you are matchy matchy person, you may have to buy new, but i’m eclectic at heart and mismatched by similar works fabulously for me.
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Cut or rip seams to lay out for full length.
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Stitch up each of the loose ends.
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I sewed in a rod pocket, but you wouldn’t have to if you just wanted to sew and edge then use rings and clips.
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Curtain number 1
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Curtain number 2 – they are both white – it’s just the photo.

Repurposing Lumber

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Assembling the tools and supplies usually takes longer than accomplishing the task!

Last summer, we took down the old horse barn behind our house and salvaged as much lumber as possible.  Built in 1899, it had far outlived its usefulness and had become, not only an eyesore, but unsafe as well.  Jeff McCotter used some of the planks and timbers to build a stunning platform bed, as well as, these beautiful picture frames.  I finally got around to taking some old glass to Hometown Hardware  and having glass cut for them, then i finally ordered and received the frame turn buttons to hold the photos in and the hangers, then finally cut foam board pieces for backing.  Then FINALLY, this morning, assembled the whole affair.  If you had frames made like i did, would you want them to come back with glass, backing, turn buttons and hanger already installed?  or would you prefer gathering the materials and doing those parts yourself?

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Turn buttons and hanger installed on one picture. I discovered that the screwdriver set for my DeWalt 18V power drill did not contain a driver small enough for these tiny screws. I ended up using a hand screwdriver which was probably the better choice for this job anyway.
Finished and hanging.  Might look better stained darker, but for now, i'll enjoy them au naturale.
Finished and hanging. Might look better stained darker, but for now, i’ll enjoy them au naturale.
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Hand crafted platform bed built entirely of planks and posts from our vintage 1899 horse barn from the Lamme Farm.

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