Friday, September 26, 2014

Green and Thrifty




The green and thrifty adventures at Chez Blueday continue apace.

Walking to the gym continues to be a wonderful interlude in my day. I walk through an avenue of ornamental pear trees which are currently in bloom. Every single garden in my neighbourhood is bristling with daffodils, magnolia trees, blossoming pink plum trees, camellias and rhododendrons. If I was whizzing past in my car, I would miss all this floriferous deliciousness, sunshine and life-enhancing exercise. What's not to love?

I'm considering other destinations I could reach on foot. It takes all of twenty minutes to reach the centre of town from my front door (there are hills though...whine, whine). Farmers' market, twenty five minutes or so. And you know, I am so whiny and lazy, that even though I love my short gym walk, and never want to drive it again, I still think walking into town will be hard. Please take me to task in the comments, and tell me to get out of my car and into the Great Outdoors.

Ok, problem of social etiqutte here that I need advice on: this winter I ran out of black socks without holes in them. I only had two pairs to start with, but now they are both languishing in the mending pile, with no action on that front. The helper elves haven't visited. So then I reclaimed some yummy thick bamboo socks from Rosy that I bought for her for school camp. They are wonderfully warm, but too thick to wear with nice shoes, so then I purloined some of The Man's. He has several dozen pairs of socks between two states, and I'm sure he won't miss a couple of pairs. They are a bit big, but who is going to notice or care? They are black socks worn with black shoes and long pants, ie invisible.

Then I was inspired to stop using tissues and start using hankies like a proper nana (thanks for the motivation Lucinda). Problem is, I own delicately embroidered nana hankies, inherited from nanas, which aren't really useful for actually blowing a nose. So I revisited The Man's wardrobe downstairs and sequestered several of his numerous man hankies as well, and can now blow my nose in capacious comfort, without consuming trees or hurting my nose on embroidery. Now, this is my awkward social problem, and I need to canvass opinion on this - it is totally normal to steal underwear from one's ex-husband, isn't it? Good, just checking.

More green and thrifty goodness: yesterday I made two batches of bathroom cleaning paste, and one of toilet cleaner, so I really have no excuse not to clean the bathroom.

Last night I had enormous fun making toothpaste and sunscreen at Tanya's Living Better Group. Can you imagine that? Toothpaste and sunscreen, those mysterious concoctions that are magically manufactured in plastic tubes, by some mysterious alchemical process in far away factories, can actually be whipped up by ordinary folk in kitchens with forks and whisks, with not a glass retort or white lab coat in sight. I will be road testing these concoctions over the coming weeks, and will be able to provide a review of their effectiveness in the fullness of time (I am not sure quite how to evaluate the toothpaste, other than on taste. How do I rate its effectiveness in anything less than a five year dental health study with a separate control group?). You can find the recipes on Lisa's facebook page. She ran a wonderful workshop for us, and is a mine of information on all sorts of things I never imagined it was possible to make myself.

I have also been pottering away with my decluttering project which has been relatively painless so far, which is why I started with the hallway! Today I have been cleaning walls and decobwebbing ceilings. This wraps up Week One of what promises to be quite the multi-week project. Frances has been busy decluttering this week as well, and as always manages to be practical and philosophical. I have been enjoying reading her decluttering diaries.

Thrifty garden tip of the week - I have been anxiously watching over some baby tomato plants that popped up in the garden recently, just a little too soon for safety in an uncertain Tasmanian spring, and sure enough about a week and a half ago there was a snap frost. How to protect the tomato babies? I have read about horticultural fleece in overseas gardening books, but never seen it for sale here, so I improvised - with teddy bear stuffing, popped over the top of the seedlings, skewered into place with wooden skewers. The baby tomatoes survived, and now I have a bag of teddy bear stuffing in my gardening cupboard.

Eating out of the garden this week: lettuce, lemons, the first oregano of the season, parsley, rhubarb, garlic chives. Planted: snow peas in the school garden. Cheerful chaos!

10 comments:

theroadtoserendipity said...

Whenever I start to feel like a complete oik from the shrubberies and that my hermitty lifestyle might need reinvesting in a little normalcy I head straight to Chez Blueday to get my fix of inner city living with elan and frugal flair. Back for a Saturday breather in between fencing and twitching about how much more I need to acomplish out here on our 4 acres. Bushfire warnings this weekend...BUSHFIRES in September! Looks like a long, dry, hot summer ahoy for we Taswegians. I almost had a heart attack when I saw that "Frances" comment until I remembered that other people in the world have also been cursed with this first name and had a bit of a relax. I was wondering if I had been sleep posting and started another blog (obviously full of lies if I was penning it ;) ) but lo and behold, another delicious (well organised) blog :). Cheers for the home-made shares and the how to's. I love finding out how to make things myself :). Do we have a freecycle here in Tassie by the way? If anyone would know it would be you Ms Jo :). Hope you have a delicious weekend in those gorgeous streets. We used to have a friend that lived in David Street, not too far away from you, and we used to walk our dogs around the area on a regular basis because it is so pretty. We stopped walking in the area when our horticulture lecturer also bought a house in David Street. You can have too much of a good thing ;). Ok, I now feel suitably normal again (cheers for the heads up about the undies...) so I can duck back to the Sidmouth Ozarks with impunity ;)

Jo said...

Dear Country Cousin, I do love your comments Fran. I am so pleased to hear that I provide elan!! let alone flair:) That comes as a complete surprise, and would make my children chortle wildly..
Seriously, bushfires? Eek. You prepare well now, out there in the wilds. Fire up that whipper snipper.
Definitely freecycle here - I signed up the other week after much bumbling around and swearing, but haven't been brave enough to post anything yet.
Cheers from the city mouse xx

Jen's Busy Days said...

If I lived at the bottom of a hill so it was uphill on the way out but downhill on the way home I think I could do the walking thing, but as far as I remember it you at the higher level. I vote no to the walking to town until you have a driver who can collect your weary bones. B-)

Best wishes
Jen in NSW

Jo said...

Yes Jen, it is uphill and downhill both ways. I actually have to climb over a mountain to get to town. Like the bear.. Still, 20 mins.. it is a bit of a pathetic excuse.

missmaudy said...

I had a (fairly) spontaneous day off work yesterday and decided I wasn't going ANYWHERE and I was STAYING HOME and doing the THINGS (yes, it was in fact a trifle shouty in my head) and I did in fact stay home, and do things. I had to whizz up the street for something - it's a whole kilometre away, and normally I drive. So I got my bike out - srsly, it took longer to get the bike out and put it away than it took me to get there, get the stuff I needed and get home. But it was way more fun than driving!

And I did get stuff done, too - I have a tidy wardrobe and I did some cooking and cleaned out the fridge and all that sort of tedious stuff that does clear ones head.

Jo said...

Ooh, Miss Maudy, you are so brave. I eyed off The Boy and The Man's bikes under the house the other day, and thought, 'Could I..?' but I haven't been brave enough yet. I think it might be twenty years since rode a bike. Also the hills. I'm sure I could think of more excuses too if necessary..

e / dig in hobart said...

i can't past 'floriferous deliciousness' - that is spring down here too, exactly!

Jo said...

Oh, yes, Tasmania outdoes any other state I have ever lived in (that would be all of them except Qld) for spring wonerfulness:)

lucindasans said...

You were spot on with the etiquette question. If an ex-partner has left clothes in the house, they are fair game.

As to driving vs walking: is a 5 minute walk too close to choose to drive? When I shop I drive, as I have a car load, but when I visit the library. I walk.

Jo said...

I don't know Lucinda, I often have a trolley load of books when I visit the library!

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