Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,


This conversation is closed.

How did you do a lot with the little that you used?

Let's call this an exercise to spread your wisdom, innovation, and creativity.

From using coupons to taking advantage of free deals to tips and tricks about anything.

Let's open source some knowledge that you feel is worth spreading.

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    Dec 20 2012: Hi Derek.....this is a fun exploration!
    I was a queen of recycle, reuse, restore, renovate before it was popular, as many people were, because my parents went through the depression, and learned to be resourceful. We made our own cloths ( I started making EVERYTHING I wore at age 16), and we had a huge garden to grow our own food, which was then canned and stored for the winter months. So, as an adult, I continued with this lifestyle, and apparently passed it on to my kids.

    A favorite recycle story...
    A long time ago, at a garage sale, I saw a whole bolt (many yards) of brand new fabric for $5.00. It was a lovely flower pattern, and since I did MANY sewing project all the time, I was certain that I could use it for something, so I bought it.

    When my daughter went off to college, the couch in her apartment needed a cover, so she looked in my "supply", and found the $5.00 bolt of fabric. When she covered the couch, she knew it would only be temporary, so rather than cutting the fabric and sewing it to fit (which she could do), she folded and tucked the fabric to fit and pinned it neatly underneath....it looked like it was upholstered!

    After a couple years of use, she was finished with it, folded it neatly, and brought it back to our fabric stash at home. Soon after that, my son was in college and looking for fabric to "decorate" his apartment. Guess what he took? The $5.00 material. He cut it up to make curtains, tablecloth, napkins, bed spread, etc.! He stripped it from the apartment when he left, folded his made "stuff" up and brought it back home.

    Awhile later, I was looking for fabric to recover the porch furniture at home...perfect...lovely colorful flowers!!! So, that $5.00 fabric was re-used again. I think it's pretty well worn and gone at this point, but what a GREAT bargain, which combined with a little creativety gave us a lot of pleasure and use:>)
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      Dec 24 2012: That's perfect, as you use to write. I agree, I feel very similarly, I've lived some similar experiences ('mutatis mutandis' as they say). Oh, and thank you for your welcome. I really never went away, but I have been very busy and my lack of time only permitted me to watch one or two talks, and nothing more. But I really enjoy when I 'am' here. Thank you again for your kind and generous words.
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        Dec 25 2012: Dear Sean,
        Kind words are my pleasure, which "feed" me, as much as those to whom they are directed:>)

        It's another example of "how to do a lot with the little that we used"...
        Words are simple, little, meaningful expressions, which often create a big impact....don't you think?
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          Dec 25 2012: Yes, I totally agree. One of my favourite actions is to be soft, careful and respectful when I must criticize, but generous and exhaustive with the positive opinions. People often uses to expect hard words but not so often good words, even if the job was very well done. Because of this, when you recognize the good job and you tell it them so, it's very pleasant, I think. And what it costs? It isn't so expensive!!
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        Dec 26 2012: It costs nothing Sean, and is VERY ENJOYABLE:>)
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    Dec 10 2012: My grandparents lived through the depression. They were farmers and during the depression, not only was there little money, but there were little supplies. In a sense they were better off than many people because they grew a lot of what they consumed. I am all for gardening and putting up vegetables and fruits. I really enjoy that when I have the time.

    But one thing that I absolutely love, is my grandmother's recipes. I often thought about writing a cookbook about depression era cooking. Some of her dishes feed many many people for just pennies. Things like corn pie and oatmeal patties. Simple inexpensive food. She not only had to feed her family, but also the farm hands.

    In times past, people did a lot more with a lot less, made quilts from old clothes, Rugs from wool rags. To this day I sew a lot of my clothes. I have been low income more than once in my life and have the skills to live on little money. I can make my own soap, bread, and everything from playdough to finger paints. When the kids were young eating out meant picnics and candle light dinners at home. We fished and hunted.

    You don't need a lot of money to have a great life.
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      Dec 10 2012: I think people have a disconnect with practical skills because of the easy access of food and products in developed nations, and especially places near meccas of civilizations in the United States. There is also an argument that the easy access is supposed to allow for more time for education and innovation, or so Hans Rosling argues.

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      Dec 10 2012: PS: I would love to see a finished product of your grandmother's recipes for depression era cooking. =)
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      Dec 24 2012: You should definitely make the book. I seen something on YouTube couple years ago an older woman made videos of her recipes from the depression. I think the book would be a good idea and I would also want a copy 0:)
  • Dec 9 2012: As a parent,, go and do as a family. Ask questions, make them think early and often.
    As a car owner, buy used cars from the family and practice automotive hospice. Celebrate inspection victories.
    As a woodworker, use good materials, your time and energy are worth far more than the materials and living with poor quality afterwards diminishes the effort.
    As an engineer, constanly update your library from e-bay and amazon used books. Sort on "lowest price" on Amazon once you are in the subject area you like.
    As a homeowner, take care of water problems, change filters often, learn how to do basic house maintenance.
    As a son, pay attention to genealogy, capturing family lore, making pictures digital, making lost family connections, attending family events, and sharing information with family.
    As a Christmas card writer, never take an older person off the Christmas card list until there is no one there to enjoy a holiday message. Put your digital photos to holiday music and send them with your Christmas cards or letters.
    As a mentor, after you figure out what to do in a situation, ask yourself is there an opportunity for someone else to gain from the experience, then let them solve the problem.
    As an Uncle, see that all of your nieces and nephews learn to play chess.
    As a husband, notice things done in your behalf, never stop trying to make special things happen for the one you love, hold hands, share time and experiences, look for ways to defuse arguments or stop them early, go to garage sales together like a Saturday morning date, remember likes and dislikes and use them to help make life more enjoyable.
    As an employee, work hard and cheerfully, always make your employer feel like they got more than their money's worth, find a way to compliment your co-workers, smile, learn names, be positive, and take pride in your work.
    As a person, improve society, your profession, your health, and your environment. Do all you can yourself before asking for help. do not be a victim
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    Dec 11 2012: When I completed my studies at film school, I travelled to my hometown and decided to do something positive and impactful.
    I wanted to shoot a PSA for the local TV station; but there I was, coming from a place where I'd work with 16mm and 35mm cameras, RED One, Sony HDs and all the fancy cameras.
    There was no competent crew except myself (this is a small town with no film culture), no lights like I'm used to. I almost gave up.

    So I decided to bring some young people together for a week of training; I decided to try my best and see what comes out of it.
    In the end, we shot a PSA 'Say No To Rape' and it was so good (considering the equipment and the crew) that I put it on my YouTube channel.
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    Jan 8 2013: I've been in the computer business since 1978 and realize the huge impact computerization and automation are having on the world.

    I also realize that learning about computers can take a lot of time, something most people don't have much of these days. I try to help by repairing, DE-virusing and giving counsel to people for free. It's also a great way to make new friends and receive a sense of having made someone else happy for free.

    We should all give more of ourselves for free.
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      Jan 8 2013: I am with you, John, on feeling grateful for what I can give for free.

      I wish you and Mrs. Moonstroller a healthy new year.
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        Jan 8 2013: Same to you. We did ok for Christmas (I'm still on Santa's Naughty list).
        The wife was rear ended but she is ok. We now have a new 2013 Honda Accord (no thanks to Santa).

        New years was quiet with the Grandkids -lots of hot chocolate and popcorn.

        Yes, we have to give as much as we can, especially to the younger generation. They lack jobs, a future and are straddled with debt.

        Sometimes I think the best thing we older people can do is have a giant euthanasia party and get rid of their burden (which is us). Some thoughts?
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          Jan 8 2013: My best to your wife.

          I continue to be optimistic about the prospects for the young, even if their futures are different than we might have expected. This is only a gut feeling rather than a case I can make with airtight evidence or logic.

          It is a hard time to come out of college, no doubt, but by the time those grandkids come of age, we will see.
  • Jan 5 2013: Conservation for me is an integral part of my lifestyle, and I have been doing it for so long that it is an ingrained habit. I flip over pieces of paper and scratch notes on the back, use the edges of newspaper or junk mail to scribble down phone numbers and, recently, do as much on my tablet that I can without the use of actual paper (grocery lists, appointment calendars, contact information, notes from meetings at work etc. . .). I am even careful to only use as much toilet paper as I actually need to use to get the job done!

    When I cook I use as much of everything as possible - vegetable peelings, fatty trimmings and bones get turned into broth to use in the future - broth freezes beautifully in zipper bags laid flat. If vegetables show signs of going bad, I am quick to chop them up and freeze them as they are easy additions to a variety of meals. Between recycling and using as much of my food as I possibly can, the amount of garbage that my household produces has been dramatically reduced.

    I own very few pieces of clothing or pairs of shoes that did not come from a second hand shop. Also many of my family's household goods, cd's, books, toys and games entered our lives through Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Even the telescope that we use frequently to stargaze from our porch. Once we decide we no longer need something, if it is still useable, it goes right back to Goodwill or another organization so that it can serve again. Clothing that is not fit to be used often finds new life in various art projects. I have taken to recycling old artist's canvas frames and stretching old jeans over them to make a unique surface to create upon.

    Conservation, upcycling and recycling are very connected. It is one of my dreams that someday using everything to the fullest extent possible will again become a common practice.
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    Jan 3 2013: One thing I’m doing to save future laborer needed to maintain yard, is planting tiger lilies around my detached buildings. This has eliminated a lot of weed eating, currently I have about 600+ft along sides of my barns with an 18” wide area of lilies that I can just use a riding mower around with no trimming required. Now I plan to find a plant for the chain-link fencing.

    P.S. I'm using Tiger Lilies because here in the Midwest they come up early before the grass and weeds, and so weeds don't grow there.
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    Dec 21 2012: Thanks, Don. I probably prefer the cow milk because in my mind it is more purely a product a product of the mother's body, the almond milk is a product put together by humans from different ingredients that come from different places, whereas the cow milk is simply "put together" inside the mother, somewhat like human breast milk.
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    Dec 17 2012: Last time I checked, the average American spent about nine dollars a day on food. I eat more cheaply because of my unique diet. For the last five years, I have been living on milk. Every day I drink between one and two gallons of milk, and I don't eat or drink anything else. Even if I drink two gallons of milk a day, this only costs me six dollars, so you can see I'm beating the average. I feel better on my all-milk diet than any other diet I've tried.
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      Dec 18 2012: Wow. Inter-species nursing at a whole new level. So glad you feel better!
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        Dec 18 2012: Yeah, I got the idea from the Masai tribe of Kenya, who famously live only on products of the cow, milk and beef. It seems like the only way I can control my weight. When I ate solid food, I got as high as 240 (I'm 6'2"). On milk, I hover around 165. On solid food I had high cholesterol, on milk all my tests are normal. I've tried ways of eating recommended by nutritionists, such as lots of fruits and vegetables, but I really feel better on all milk.
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      Dec 20 2012: Hmm? For my custom diet I switched from being a heavy milk drinker to a heavy almond milk drinker. Although it cost a little more I feel better and it does not go bad nearly as fast. So I’m not wasting any of it, as they say waste not want not.
      FYI: Almond milk has more vitamin D and is anti-inflammatory, which I need for my health issues.
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        Dec 21 2012: Oh, Don, please see my comment above, I forgot to push the "reply" tab when I commented on your comment.