Thursday, August 26, 2010

My tomato plant gives me a present

My cherry tomato plant finished growing its first tomato the other day. When we first met, the plant was only a little bigger than the one pictured below.

I am shocked by how emotionally attached I have become to this plant. It is my first attempt at gardening.

The plant now, with at least four green baby tomatoes growing

When I picked the tomato, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I couldn't think of a sufficient way to express this, so I said thank you and kissed a leaf near where its first fruit had been.

I didn't feel worthy to eat the tomato that I had done so little to help grow, so I let it sit in the kitchen for a few days while I brainstormed alternatives.

The tomato resting on my porch

My first thought was to give it to Nate's mom, who has let me eat countless tomatoes from her own garden, but that didn't seem like a good idea since she already has more tomatoes than she can eat.

I also considered cutting it up and sharing it with multiple people, but it is so small that I was afraid a significant amount of its juicy insides would be wasted during the chopping.

After a few days, when it seemed to be too ripe to wait any longer, I decided to eat it. I had never before had so much fulfillment from eating! The process of watching a plant grow, watching its fruit grow, picking it, and eating it made me feel very close to the earth. I've recently gotten out of the habit of thanking god for food, but I might like to get into the habit of thanking nature for food.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Photo, news, and promise

Nate through the peephole at Melissa's apartment. He's getting his own apartment in a few days, complete with ugly mismatched carpets in every room except the kitchen, which has old linoleum. But I am up for a challenge/I am not going to take over decorating his first apartment.

P.S. I have an actually interesting post in mind (concerning my beloved tomato plant), which I will publish soon, but tonight is a letter-writing night.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two photos

I haven't been posting recently partly because I have been generally busy and partly because I am pet sitting, so I haven't been home for long enough to make anything.

Anyway, I have a dilemma. I took some photos of a chive (?) the other day, and I don't know which one I like better. I have no reason to pick a winner, but I want to.

Any opinions?

(Neither photo has been edited.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Secondhand stuff: What's good about it, where to get it

When I decided to downsize my possessions about a year ago, I got rid of lots of things that could probably be useful. I had acquired most of these potentially useful items for free, picking them up with the intention to be made into something, used in my nowhere-in-sight future apartment, or given to someone who could use them. But after becoming frustratingly bogged down by my excessive possessions, I decided that I would probably be able to find these things for free again when their purpose arose, and if I had to do without them for a time, I could probably manage.

Free stuff is really easy to come by. I see free furniture in fine condition on the side of the road daily. It makes buying these things new seem a little unreasonable. Of course, when you go to a firsthand store, you have a better selection and you might have to do less work (lifting, finding a truck to use, potentially refinishing), but is it really worth it? It is understandable to put effort into having a clean, safe, comfortable living space, but style might be worth compromising for the advantage of both the environment (there are already more than enough couches/tables/lamps/TVs/beds/dishes/etc. out there already, why use resources to make more?) and your bank account. Plus, visually challenging items can spark creativity to make them work with your taste.


Alternatives to buying new:

     -Grassroots nonprofit dedicated to reusing and keeping good stuff out of landfills
     -Sign up (for free) with your local Freecycle branch to get and give free stuff

2. Craigslist (free and otherwise)
     -You can use Craigslist without even having to sign up
     -On the Craigslist home page, click "free" under the "for sale" category
     -Also a good place to find out about yard sales--click "garage sale" under the "for sale" category

3. Yard sales
     -Yard sales are good for recycling, building community, and spending time outside
     -If you go to yard sales near the end, lots of times people just want to get rid of everything so they'll give stuff to you for free or cheap

4. Thrift stores
     -Good for recycling and getting bargains, but not free stuff, and not usually as cheap as yard sales
     -Good for finding fabric. Sheets usually cost a couple of dollars and provide a lot of fabric
     -Often money goes to charity or church

5. Consignment stores
     -Good for recycling and getting bargains, but not usually as cheap as thrift stores
     -Some consignment stores are very designer brand oriented, so they're not as cheap

6. Swaps
     -Some organizations (colleges, churches, etc.) organize swaps, especially clothing swaps
     -If you can't find one, organize one! Even if it's just a few friends.
7. The side of the street
     -Good for finding free stuff!

Some of my recent free finds:

A side table found on the streets of Quincy, which I think I'll paint; a picnic basket found on the streets of Easton

A large vase found on the streets of Easton; a candle holder found with the vase

Pillows found on the streets of Stoughton; a ton of curtain rods found next to the metal/furniture dumpster at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy. I have also found book ends, paper organizer things, futons, office chairs, comfy chairs, and lots of other things next to/in that dumpster.

I also get all of the beads I use in my jewelry for free, mostly at the ends of yard sales. Don't spend money on stuff!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What it would be like to live in a house boat

Ducks would swim up to your window.

I saw ducks at Sheep Pasture on Sunday and they looked like they were having so much fun! I love them.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New jewelry with buttons and chain links

I went through my vintage button collection the other day and was inspired to make button jewelry!

Vintage light yellow button over a shell-like vintage white button:

Vintage white button:

Vintage light pink over a vintage tan and black button:

I've also been using the links from this vintage chain a lot recently. I take each link off the chain and hammer it flat before using it.

Chain link necklace on a vintage silver chain:
(This necklace actually used to be this necklace, with the bronze beads. I like it much better now.)

Chain link dangle earrings:

Blue and pink recycled faux pearls with a vintage goldtone leaf pendant:

My cousin Jennelle brought this fabric back for me from Ghana. I love how the birds' feet fit together. I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet.

Also, if you are ever interested in buying jewelry from me, let me know. I don't think I would ever charge more than $15 for a piece of jewelry I made, but most would be less than that. It would just be nice because I have to spend money on chains, clasps, wire, and earring question marks. My email address is, or you can just leave a comment. Thanks!