Re-Use

Let Us Be Kind

I watched a video today which my friend Jim-Bob posted.  It is a great idea this young man had and such a total tear jerker video!  Consider yourself warned!

Anyway, I decided to finally get to the linen closet because of watching this.  You see, I read that the SPCA is always in need of blankets and towels, so that the pets do not have to sleep on cement.

I once lived in a big house and had a big family and when I downsized last year I thought I had pretty much purged, but alas, this is what I had to give!

I am going to deliver them right now.  If you have any old ones that you don’t need I urge you to check with your local rescues and shelters because chances are you have old ones you don’t need and dogs don’t care if they are a little bit ratty.

What other nice thing can I do today????

Categories: Dogs, Materialism, Re-Use, Sustainable living, View | Tags: , | 3 Comments

The Piles

I have another confession.  I don’t want to be one of “those families”… you know who I mean… every neighbourhood has them.  Their places are run down, and half put together, they have stuff all over their yards that never seems to be used, just sits there rotting and taking up space.  If anyone was doing a project at their house, my neat-freak Mom used to say, “they need to clean that mess up because it is starting to look like the ____ ‘s place”.  You can fill in the blank for your particularly messy family.  My mom kept a very clean home and she did not like mess.  Mom, she would hate my piles!

These days they have a name for people who keep too much junk.  They even have a TV show about them, Hoarders.

The thing is, that there is a fine line between people who hoard and people who keep stuff because it is useful.  Artists often keep a lot of bits.  So too do people who tinker.  Me, I have a few left over building supplies which I am still using for projects.  It is not out of hand but takes up about a 12x 9 space… just as big a footprint as THO, so this, in my opinion is what makes it look so bad.

I put it all on the far side of the house, so that you can’t see it when you drive up, but from the cloth porch, there it is, a little hoard of stuff.  It would be nice to have a shed with some upper beams to slide all that stuff in.  A shed feels a bit like a slippery slope for allowing me to collect more stuff – but admittedly it would be handy for the rotation of seasonal gear, such as boots and sandals, snow shoes and flippers.

Fortunately, I live far enough away from others that the mess is not seen by anyone but me and my visitors.  Still, I wonder, would my remnants piles drive you crazy if you lived next door?  Be honest.

Categories: Cloth Porch, Off Grid, Ontario, Re-Use, Stuff, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario | 4 Comments

Repurposing with a Purpose

When I redid the kitchen uppers I made the depth of them more than the little shelves that I had there before.  Because of this, the wonderful little spice rack that my cousin Vernie made for me when I was in my 20’s had to be taken down.  Still, I want to have as many of Vernie’s works in THO as I can fit there so I decided that I would repurpose it as a shelf for candles and pottery at the top of the stairs.  I won’t be needing the candles as frequently because of the new 12volt electric lights, but they are nice to burn from time to time because the bee’s wax smells so lovely.  Too, they are excellent to have on hand in case of emergency.

As a veg*an you might be asking yourself, if I have thought about the use of bees for my own purposes.  Truth is, I have and I am mixed about the subject of bees and have considered quite seriously putting in a few boxes for them.  I am not really a honey lover or even a candle fanatic, but I love the idea of the bees being there to help me with my garden.  Truth is that while I don’t eat any animal products, I am also guilty of killing spiders as well as mosquitos, biting insects as well as house flies and I have a leather jacket as well as leather footwear that I purchased before becoming vegan and I won’t throw them out so that they go to waste.  I hate waste and destruction of useful things, more than anything else.

On the subject of bees, I am happy to say that  I do have a lovely large paper wasp colony on my land right near the escarpment.  I don’t like to get too close to these awesome little pollinators because they do not take lightly to a threatened nest, but Colleen Murphy has a good camera and could take this photo from a good distance away.

The nest is far enough away that I don’t feel threatened for myself or for those who visit, but still, I have had a few of them in THO this year.  I am not afraid of them though, I just catch them carefully under a glass, slide in a piece of paper and then let them free outside.  They leave without problems so far, every time.

Categories: Materialism, Nature, Open your eyes, Re-Use, Simple living, Sustainable living, View | 3 Comments

Stepping Up

Next year’s planned job, the stone patio is giving me a bit of grief.  The big issue is that when Hj and I put the gravel dust in place the drop to the East was too large and this began to wash away because of the 1 foot deep drop for the opening at the in-house on the East side (in the image it is the dark place where the boards meet).  I want to put some steps there, not just to keep the dust from washing but also because they will eventually have to go there anyway.   It is early to do this because the dust needs to settle but still getting them in is the only realistic way to keep the dust from spilling way with the rain.  The other problem is that the stones for this are simply too large for me to handle on my own.  So, this was the other job that Hj came down to help me with on the weekend.

We brought in many more wheel barrels full of stone dust and stomped this as firmly as our weight would allow, then the two of us put the large stones in place.  Unless they go out of level, or settle too much, then this will be the last time we ever need to move them.  I am strongly hoping that we put in enough of a buffer that it will be exact, and permanent, because these big rocks are really NOT fun to move!

The two top stones are to be the first edge of the stone patio.

The bottom large stone stair will make a handy place to sit in order to change the catch bucket from the toilet.

Lets hope that they winter well.

***ps: The blue box has kindling in it plus a few pieces behind there too.  It is being picked up by someone who uses it.  Waste not-want not, right?

Categories: Family, Off Grid, Re-Use, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario | 11 Comments

Newish Utility Cupboard

A few days ago I took out the shelves that I had been using in the kitchen of THO.  I built them last summer out of left over lumber from the house construction but did not find them deep enough to be good practical storage for dishes and so forth. When I took them down I thought that they would make a really great utility cupboard for tiny building supplies such as nails and screws, extra hinges and thingamajiggers.  I decided to put it up on the South facing wall inside of the cloth porch.  Truthfully, I had this stuff in one of those big exterior use plastic storage bins with all the stuff like the big tarps, string, rope, chain, oil and so on, and this was a nuisance because the containers were constantly popping open and dumping.  Can you just about hear me cursing?

Only problem with the idea of repurposing this, is that I wanted to put it up high and and I was both too short and not quite strong enough to get them up there on my one and screw the things in.  So, it turned out good that my husband decided to come down to help me with this task on the weekend.  I held it up and he drilled it to the wall.  Bammo-presto, in a few seconds the job was well on it’s way!

After this, he put on some 1×3 to trim it up while I attached hinges to some left over 12 inch wide boards from the kitchen construction, for doors.  Oddly, I also had two hook and eye catches in the odds and ends that would eventually go in here, so I put one inside to hold door one closed and then I put the other one on to hook the two together.  I also coated them with lemon oil although I am not sure that this is strong enough for exterior use, but if they start to look ratty I will simply finish them later.

In future, I will have to stand on a step ladder to reach any of the small thingies in the newly reused cupboard – but even so, I think that this is markedly more practical, than having to root around and find them in the abyss outside!

The bonus is that the abyss itself, does not seem all that awful now either!  Funny how simple stuff makes life so much easier sometimes!

Categories: Off Grid, Ontario, Re-Use, Simple living, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario | Leave a comment