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Archive for the ‘growth, frugality,’ Category

Something got into me on Wednesday and I moved furniture in my office. It’s just got to work better for me and my office mate. Coworkers have of course noticed that something is different. One commented that I need artwork of some kind on the walls. She said, “What about those posters?” indicating the three that someone in our frugal nonprofit put in there because no one else wanted them, three years ago when we first occupied the building. They won’t do, I told her, because “they’re what’s left. I’ve had it with what’s left.”

If you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you know I love to recycle, upcycle, get creative with what’s left. Still true. It’s one way I express me. But it’s also true that I’ve had it with what’s left. If I can’t remake it, repurpose it, I can’t accept something readymade that fits someone else’s taste. This goes beyond office artwork. I’m so glad I could actually utter those words.

Until I find artwork that expresses me, pleases me, I at least took in one of my philodendrons. Life. Growth. It’s good.

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I’ve found two more frugal solutions to pesky problems. Wanna hear?

First, mosquitoes seem to love me. And when they bite, I get these hard half-dollar-sized knots that itch insanely, and sometimes a rash even comes a distance away from the bite. I usually douse myself in mosquito repellent when I’m going to be out, but if I forget or miss a spot, they find me and invite all their friends and relations. No, I don’t have a natural mosquito repellent — yet. But what I can tell you is that basil tea is a great natural itch remedy. I grew my own basil a couple of years ago and still have some dried in my cupboard. I boiled about a half cup of water in the microwave, crunched up some basil leaves into it, and left it to steep for a good ten minutes at least, then strained out the leaves and put it in the fridge to chill. A cotton makeup pad dipped in it and smeared on the mass of bite bumps, and relief comes fast. Besides, I like the way it smells. I’m keeping a jar of it in my refrigerator throughout warm weather from now on.

Second, according to home and office organizer Heidi DeCoux, salt and baking soda will open up a slow drain, if the problem is grease and not hair. I tried it in my kitchen sink, and I’m very impressed at how fast and well it worked. This costs pennies instead of whatever one pays for Drano these days, and is much less toxic.

Now about that mosquito repellent: Any natural suggestions? (Citronella makes my eyes water.)

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I’ve been having fun making things, a bit at a time.It awakens something in me.

Knitting up rectangles that get sewn into wrist warmers, a pair for myself (done!) and more for gifts, will use up some of my yarn odds and ends.

I’m also making paper beads from old magazine pages. Each one emerges with its own handcrafted look. When I get a stash of colors built up, we’ll see what they become.

Frugality and creativity do seem to bring out the best in one another.

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