Category Archives: environment

Reduce, Reuse, Recyle, Reclutter

We have all heard it. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I even have those words on a rubber stamp.

When I go to large book sales or auctions my cycle starts to look more like: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reclutter.

This year I am concentrating on all four actions in the circle, making sure that every “reclutter” is followed by “reduce”.  I hold myself accountable for some basic actions.

Be selective when purchasing.  I don’t buy just because the price is cheap. It has to be something that is actually worth my time. I may buy large quantities or box lots to get a great price, but I do not keep anything that has no value to me.  I have found that it is best to sort through my treasures quickly – the same day if possible. 

Throw items into the trash or recycle bin.  Some things are past the point of being of value to anyone.  The only question may be whether or not it can be recycled by the city. I do not want to become a candidate for one of the hoarders shows!

Give to friends and local nonprofit organizations.  Think nursing home residents, church fundraisers, friends and their families, thrift stores like Goodwill, etc.  I have a friend with an elderly live-in relative that enjoys jigsaw puzzles.  I am always happy to donate my clutter if it will be appreciated by someone else.

Have an annual yard sale.  I never feel like I am ready, but I make myself plan a sale with friends every year.  I price things cheap, take offers and make box lot deals with shoppers.  I need the money and the space, so I measure my success in dollars and empty boxes. It’s a way to meet people from the neighborhood, too!

I admit that the reclutter stage is the most fun. Because I am getting pretty good at reducing, there are empty shelves waiting for my newest treasures – so it won’t really look like clutter at all!


Indiana snow increases work from home thankfulness!

Today, as the winter storm warnings become big news for our area, I am extra thankful to be working from home. I love my home office. As long as our power stays on – fingers crossed that the ice misses our town – I can get my work done just fine.

There is the challenge of snow to shovel. I am also very dependent on my hardworking mail carrier, so I will keep the walkway clear and salted.  This is what it looks like right now. Yes, that is my mailbox out there, but packages are picked up near my front door from a weather sheltered area.

As you can see, I haven’t been outside to shovel just yet. Snow is coming down as I type this. I tried to capture the large snowflakes on camera, but it didn’t work.

Towns about 45 minutes away are reporting ice accumulation. My candles are ready and the fireplace is lit. Are you inside and safe from the winter weather?  I hope so!

Buckeyes for good luck and bowl fillers

A lifetime ago, when I was a little girl, buckeyes were for good luck.  I remember having the idea that putting a buckeye in my pocket was a lucky thing to do – though I have no memory of who put that notion into my head.

One of our Mustard Seed vendors, Debby Beaver, recently brought a bowl full of buckeyes to the shop. Somehow the price of 3/25¢ makes me doubt any magic effect, though they do make interesting bowl fillers. I like the old metal container she displayed them in, too!

I did try to find some information to back up my memories of buckeye good luck charms. 

According to one of my old dictionaries: the brown glossy seed or nut of such a tree…

Wikipedia says: In addition to using the tannic acid for leather working, Native Americans would roast and peel the nut, and mash the contents into a nutritional meal they called “Hetuck”.

The buckeye nuts can also be dried, turning dark as they harden with exposure to the air, and strung onto necklaces…

The price and location are hard to beat, so I will end up with a few buckeyes this week.  If you want some, please stop by! Your buckeye stories and/or facts are more than welcome.

The old time facebook, checkers & a warm stove

I have to wonder as I sit here using the computer in the old general store building part of our business. We are trying to recreate an old time atmosphere with the historical buildings, antique fixtures, bark path sidewalk and homemade goods. There are tobacco plants growing next to the old doctor’s office and sunflowers along the fence. We are also posting information on the Internet in hopes of catching public attention. Years ago, when this store was selling essentials instead of decor, how did people stay in touch?

We hear it said over and over. It is a small world. Back then it must have seemed like a larger world with many places unknown…or at least out of reach. But the local world was smaller. Nobody expected us to have a twitter account or a facebook page. Nobody wanted thousands of friends to interact with everyday. People stopped by because it was the only place to go for what they needed. I imagine they also stopped by because they wanted to know what was going on with others in the area. The news wasn’t piped in to their homes like it is now. No google searches to do if a question came to mind. People learned from the experiences of their neighbors.

This place may have been the small country town version of facebook. With a checker game going on in the back and several people gathered around the old wood stove. Children being quiet unless spoken to, but listening all the same. Stories gathered and repeated – some accurate, some not – much like today. Happy birthdays and congratulations on things like new babies (or new calves) being passed around.

Yes, as I sit here in the peace and quiet, hoping for customers but enjoying the moment, I have to wonder.

Memory Tip

My grandmother died of Alzheimer’s disease. We hear about the disease from time to time when someone famous suffers from it, or when a medical theory or break through hits the news. We also hear many jokes about it, because humans do funny things when they are forgetful.Any of us that have watched the disease happen to someone that we love have a different perspective. Small things make us think of the unfairness, the waste…and yes, we think “could it happen to me?”. We look for ways to keep our minds sharp.

Today I ran across a tip in my daily Wisdom Tip emails that I think is worth sharing.
Memory booster
Scientists have discovered that bushing your teeth with your opposite hand or driving to work a different way or even chewing gum is a form of mental exercise that increases blood flowing through your brain which helps to create and strengthen both brain lobes and the link between lobes.

There is a difference between regular forgetfulness and Alzheimers, but it cannot hurt to exercise our brains and keep them as strong as possible.

I think tomorrow I will share a one of the lighter sides of Grandma’s behavior during her illness, but for now just a reminder to take care of yourself – and to be patient with those around you that may be having a confused day. God bless.

Fresh produce

Today’s mail brought a catalog from Sam’s Club. Curiousity got the best of me even though the cover was a bit on the disgusting side – with seafood on ice that looked too much like it had just crawled out of the water.

I hurried past the pages of raw meat and seafood body parts, but lingered on the beautiful photographs of fresh produce. I am afraid that Sam’s wasted their advertising dollars on me. All they managed to do was make me anxious for our local farmer’s markets to start.

Local farmers sell freshly picked produce at the markets in our area. Somehow vegetables just taste better when purchased from the person that grew it. Corn on the cob, green beans that still snap when broken, green peppers, tomatoes, onions…and of course there is always a vegetable or two that is new to me.

carton sizer is saving us time & money!

I want to sound off about a tool that I purchased from ULINE when I ordered boxes earlier this month. Their carton sizer is saving us both time and money. I wish I had found this item months ago!

Because we ship packages everyday, we keep an inventory of boxes. We recycle and get free shipping supplies every chance we get, but we still have to purchase a basic supply.  It is a challenge to stock the right size boxes…large enough to allow for safe transit of the contents, but small enough to keep postage and waste to a minimum.

This gadget allows us to cut down large boxes to the needed size in just a few minutes AND it gives us straight edges. I recommend this item for anyone that wants a simple inexpensive solution to shipping challenges. It helps us make use of what we have on hand.

If you do get one, please come back and tell us what you think!

There are no trash elves!

Everywhere I look there is trash. Fast food bags and cups along side the roads, cigarette butts by the hundreds at every stop light, dirty disposable diapers in parking lots and even on benches at the mall!

This week someone left an empty cigarette pack, beer bottles, an aspirin bottle and other trash in the snow next to my husband’s truck. Then we noticed the beer case with more empty bottles ON his truck. Like someone found a convenient place to party between trucks.

At our house we have a rule. We do not litter. Period. Ever. Anywhere. Even if we do not recycle it we take the time to throw it in the appropriate places. Not in someone’s yard, in front of their business, on their vehicle…it really is not that complicated. What do these people think happens to their dirty trash?

There are no trash elves folks. Pick up after yourselves. Use your ashtray. Take along a trash bag. Let’s keep the world clean. We all have to live here!