Monthly Archives: September 2017

I Do This — Do You?

I buy used durable goods, like blankets.  We have quite a few blankets, almost none of which were bought new. A few were, one’s an heirloom, but more were bought used, especially the wool ones. I love wool blankets, and even used they’re rarely cheap!

So, buying a blanket with moth holes, or missing its binding, is not new for me. I’d rather pile them on the bed and just enjoy the warmth, than be bent out of shape because I can’t find the perfect piece.

I was thinking about this because I’d just looked at a few sites pushing the idea of buying something only once. That by buying quality items, then the inevitable replacement isn’t necessary. I like the idea, and as I was going through the blankets today I was thinking about it:

  • Two of the blankets I bought new in 1984. They were replacements of two blankets I’d bought the year before and had taken to the dry cleaners, which burned down before I got them back. The plastic carrier for one of them has split and was put into the trash today. I can store both of them in the other carrier when I put them away next spring.
  • Two LL Bean Polartec blankets we bought shortly after we got here. They’re over 20 years old. The used-to-be-feral kitty loves Polartec, all happy claw kneading and deafening purrs, so whichever one we aren’t using is her current bed.
  • We have a hand-quilted matelese piece which is literally falling apart. This is one of those supremely comfortable pieces you fight the guy to get rid of. We got it at auction about 10 years ago.
  • We have another hand-quilted blanket which DH’s grandmother made. (She made enough quilts for all the grandchildren.) It’s starting to wear, but we’ve had it 30+ years now.
  • There are 3 wool blankets, (white, pink, green) with moth holes. I got these at a church sale on the seacoast 6 years ago. I intend to actually felt these this year, somehow that just hasn’t gotten done.
  • Finally, there’s a plaid wool blanket I got last year from an antique store. It’s nearly the same colors as the 3 wool blankets from the church sale. I felted it right after I got it. Works fine.

The first blankets weren’t cheap, but we’ve had them 30 years, so how much is that? I don’t remember how much the Polartec blankets were, but they’re weren’t cheap either. The others were all cheaper and bought second hand.

Buying used stuff makes it harder to get matchy-matchy if that’s what you want (not my thing).

I have 4 duvet covers, which is quite a lot for just one bed, ‘eh?

We bought one this year and it wasn’t cheap, but we’ve been looking at buying linen sheets. We want to stop buying sheets for at least 5 years. [Buying used sheets is a crapshoot. You get something wonderful which lasts every now and then, or you get a sheet you put your feet through the second time you use it.]

Sheets are insanely expensive for what they are. Okay. If I’m going to have to spend premium money, I want premium goods which won’t need to be replaced in two years! So, we got a duvet with linen content, as a test. Without a quilt in it, we used it as a top sheet this summer to see if we hated the feel of the fabric (No.) We plan to use it as a regular duvet cover this winter.

Two of the duvet covers are home made (not by me) from sheets. I got these used, somewhere, don’t know when. I don’t use them as duvet covers, but heavy pieces of cloth over veggies in the car on the way back from the farm, to haul laundry, etc.

The last duvet cover is a fancy Umbra one we got at BB& B, on last markdown, about 9 years ago. It’s spring green and I break it out mid-winter when I’m completely sick of white, mud brown, black, gray, drab and other grim wintery colors. Combating those winter blues!

So I buy a few premium new pieces and keep them for decades, or buy good used things — and keep them for decades. I’d love to have the $ to just go out and buy premium stuff if I wanted to, but I’d miss the hunt and satisfaction I get from knowing I’ve paid little for something which will help me be a happy non-consumer.

One reason I went through the linen collection this week was to determine WHEN I need to start worrying about buying sheets? When we do, I’ll go looking for linen content, but in the meantime, what we have should last another year or more. The same is true of duvet covers and blankets.

We have one bedspread. I will probably sell it. The duvet covers work just fine.

 

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Did I? Friday’s Five and . . .

What did I get done from my list yesterday? NOTHING!

When I got back from the farm, I dove into dealing with the bags and boxes of food and making dinner.

I washed a few dishes and managed to wash 4 lbs + of tomatoes, prep/freeze celeriac, deal with peppers, etc. Today? Today I have to make two large batches of salsa and some roasted marinara (red). Most of that happens in fits & starts, so it can happen concurrently with other chores.

I decided the Alphabetics sheets were a mess and started making master sheets and work sheets, separately. I’d had them combined. Too much in one place!

Long and short of this? I have to do all of yesterday’s list and today’s as well.

Here’s today’s list:

  1. Put the house jacks away in the basement.3:20 p.m.
  2. Straighten two shelves 2:45 p.m.
  3. Get all the tweeds for the upholstery job in one place, tidily! 11:00 a.m.
  4. Work more on the general fabric storage clean up.3:10 p.m. I’m counting pulling the blanket basket down, dusting the shelf where it sits, cleaning the basket, shaking all the blankets and putting the entire thing back, neatly!
  5.  Pull the quilts out of storage and check for needed repairs and required cleaning. 12:05 p.m.

Other news: We returned the contract for the chimney repair, yesterday. DH also sent a note re the last of the roof/porch issues to the contractor this morning. Either this weekend or next, we’ll be getting the first part of our firewood supply. Came Saturday. Next load, next weekend.


What I’ve done so far: lg container of veggies in freezer. Two bags of “stew veggies” started, but not finished. 10:50 a.m. Three bags of stew veggies in the freezer. Golden barley soup started. Carrot storage reorganized. Dishes washed. Laundry. Helped DH with clapboards. (He’s doing the last 2 on the south side — now!)

I May Hex Myself

But I have to say this: the PTSD hasn’t gotten up in arms about what I’ve been doing. I’m amazed, really I am. For DECADES I couldn’t do this, make a list of 5 things and then do them without feeling vulnerable, targeted, panicked, and weepy.

Not there this time!

As I said, the tacit acknowledgement of what I’m doing may be the thing which ends this, Gawd knows it has 100s of times before. But, it doesn’t feel that way this time.

Maybe that’s why I’ve felt compelled to write this post? It’s a sort of emotional running your tongue over the hole where your tooth used to be.

We’ll see!

J

Thurs. 9/28 list: 5 plus the one I still haven’t done!

  1. Clear off my desk.Worked on this, not done. Friday 9:15 a.m.
  2. Put away loose insulation or other building materials. DH did this Sat. morning. 
  3. Add the romances I’ve decided to keep to their bookcase, or, if there’s now too many, do a SPACE BUDGET.No space budget req’d Friday 6:20
  4. Tidy up the shipping supplies. Add any needed items to shopping list or cull extras. Friday 6:30 p.m. (I had done the tape earlier in the day!)
  5. Go through the overflow dishes, do a SPACE BUDGET, if required.
  6. Add to the kindling boxes (the undone piece)! Done Saturday 4:50p.m. Needs to be done again, at least twice, but I finally got into the corner and got the empty bin out and 1/2 filled it — finally!

This is all complicated by the fact that this is farm/market day. I go to the farm and get food, stop at a market on the way home. Ideally, I should go to the co-op in the morning, then to the farm, then the supermarket. However, I rarely manage that!

I have things to put in my booth today too, so that’s another stop.

The five list will likely NOT be done before this evening, and the outdoor items (insulation/building supplies & kindling) may not be done today at all. That’s dependent on when I get home and how tired I am when I do.

Weds. 9/27 Five new, and the same carry over

  1. Wood stacking (also on to do list).
  2. Clean small tables in living room.10:55
  3. Organize/cull dehydrated foods. 1:30
  4. Organize/cull refrigerator/freezer fronts.11:15
  5. Cull/clean baskets of onions and potatoes.11:30
  6. Desmudge walls.10:30

And of course there’s the day to day: laundry, dishes, making the bed, etc.

 

Tues. 9/26 Five, with one left over

  1. Work on the wood piles (also on to do list).
  2. Change the sheets. Examine the flannel sheets to see if any need to be purchased! 9:50 a.m.
  3. Put out the grass seed on the north side and cover with landscape cloth, as planned.1st piece graded, composted, watered, and cloth put down. 4:50 p.m.
  4. Reorganize the linen closet.10 a.m. also culled the sheets, top/bottom and pillow cases. Yay — less clutter!
  5. Inventory vinegars: do we have enough cleaning vinegar and other types? Any which need to be discarded? (Unlikely.) 2:30 p.m.
  6. Work on the Christmas ornaments again, now that I have pins! (Couldn’t find mine last week.) 1:30 p.m.

Also: did a partial cleaning of the bath yesterday, that should be finished today.

Tomorrow is dump day, so any prep for doing a major cull or starting one will be to my benefit tomorrow!

The sheet cull generated a pile of too small sheets to be sold, turned into rags or sewn together so that they’re big enough. What will happen to them will be determined by their fabric content and “hand.” 11:15 a.m.

Monday’s Six, no Seven

I have one item outstanding from last week (#1), and today’s six:

  1. Work on the wood piles, also on the to do list.
  2. Straighten/tidy the wardrobe, no attic. Changed because of back up items waiting to go into the attic. 9:15 a.m.
  3. Do more work to catch up on my filing.6:30 p.m.
  4. Tidy and cull craft equipment.3:20 p.m.
  5. Desmudge the phones. 7:30 a.m.
  6. Straighten 2 dresser drawers. 8:30 a.m.
  7. Go through the vegetable bin, clean and cull. 2:30 p.m.

I also owe a friend who I’m writing an article with a draft or a piece of the article, so I’ll be busy today!

Partly because of the veggie bin clean out/cull effort, I went looking for food waste info. I found this link, which was new to me and thought it might interest you too!

(link)

What else I’ve done today?

Swept the steps, and from the entry to the hall. Vac’d the landing and office. Cleaned the bathroom, done the dishes, two loads of laundry, packed items to be sold into my car, organized the things pulled from the dresser which need to be sorted through.

Just lounging around all day ‘eh?