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I’m excited to introduce you to Jo M, one of the owner/operators at “The Cockeyed Homestead” with her post “Is it Dead Yet? No, not Quite!” Jo M and Melody M are two 60ish year old widows with a common goal, to live the most organic and self-sustainable life possible! While Mel is a converted “city gal”, creative designer and builder, Jo has been an urban homesteader for 40+ years! Together, they have combined forces and are turning a once abandoned acreage into a homestead!
Is it Dead Yet? No, Not Quite!
When Kelly first invited me to guest post here, I was flattered. I read her blog to see what I might have missed and could put to use on our homestead!
Hi, I’m Jo from the Cockeyed Homestead. Our homestead is aptly named because we think outside the box. We operate on a shoestring budget striving for an organic and self sustainable lifestyle.
Now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s get down to the gist of why you stopped by today…Use it up, Wear it out, Reuse, or Do without! I decided to write on a subject closest to my heart, re-purposing.
What you do with a blanket that is torn, thread bare, and just seen it’s last days of usefulness in your eyes? Trash it? Not on your life!
- The correct answer is to re-purpose it! It can easily be stitched between two sheets and be given a new life as a quilt.
- Is the whole blanket bad? Usually not. Cut it up.
- Cut out the bad places and give the salvaged pieces new life as a child’s coat.
- How about a cat or dog bed, or shredded into strips for stuffing?
- Its winter do your kids (goats), cats, dogs need a coat or booties?
- How about your chickens, do they need aprons to protect them from a robust rooster or other hens?
- The unusable portions can always be shredded and put in the compost pile (natural fabrics only, please). Your veggies will love it.
I had one unusable piece of blanket left and I tossed it in a rabbit cage. It was about an 8″x 12″ piece of cloth. Let me tell you, that rabbit had the best time tossing that piece of cloth! She’d toss it over her head and peek out at you from underneath in a game of peek-a-boo. It became our favorite game in and out of her cage. They are such characters.
What you do with used canning lids after you’ve opened a jar of your home preserved goodies? Trash it?
No, no, no! Check the seal carefully. If it’s still good, reuse it in your next batch of water bath canning. I know, I know they (the powers that be) say not to, but I’m frugal like that. Do so at your own risk. I can about 1,000 jars a year between meats, vegetables, and fruits. Those lids get expensive! Even buying in bulk, it all adds up.
- Okay, the normal way to reuse lids is to reseal a jar when you put leftovers in your refrigerator or pantry. So, what then?
- I’ll make Christmas ornaments out of them.
- Cute labels to hang around the necks of jars and bottles. How about gift tags?
- Label rows and herbs in your garden. So what if it rusts around the edges. You were going to pitch them, anyhow.
- I’ll string them together to make flashy spinners out of them to keep birds out of my garden. Anything shiny and has movement will do this.
- I’ll even hang them in my orchard, when my trees set fruit. Don’t forget about your fruiting vines and bushes too. Work smarter not harder!
- Ward off predators. The slightest light will cause them to be wary. They don’t usually take the chance and look for easier prey.
- I’ll drill a hole in them, feed a 1/2″ dowel rod through it, add a cup hook into it, and use it to spin yarn. This works extremely well for teaching children spinning fiber.
Dryer lint is the bane of my existence or at least it used to be!
I know I should be hanging clothes outside, but it has rained for two weeks, it’s 29 degrees outside, the thought of hanging clothes inside is not for me!
Insert your own excuse for not hanging out clothes to dry and using your clothes dryer. For me, I have only one functioning arm and hand. I would spend hours attempting to do it. That’s a waste of my time and my energy. Trash it? Horrors! No, you re-purpose it. So what can I do with dryer lint?
- Make fire starters with it. Take the dryer lint (Here I’m re-purposing 3 other items too. BONUS!), an old muffin tin, an empty can, and some used candle ends and broken candles. I melt the wax in the tin, stuff the dryer lint into the muffin tins, and then pour the wax over it. They burn 10-20 minutes to start your fire.
- Stuffing for pet beds or pillows.
- Use to soak up motor oil or other automotive spills that you don’t want to use towels for.
- Instant packing material.
- Felt it with hot water and use to make mittens or as pads for pot holders
Recycling or re-purposing it items is a lifestyle choice! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it’s broke fix it. If it can’t be fixed, make goal it do something else you need. The possibilities are endless with a little creativity and thinking outside the box. These are just two items. If you look at an item with new eyes, trash becomes treasure just waiting to be found.