Friday Faves, September comes to a close

I had a great time this past weekend when Bethany and I decided to write guest posts for each other.  Thank you for such a warm welcome to Bethany  and   to every one who took the time to head over to My Journey to Ithaca to read my story I really appreciated it.

Enjoying a game of memory yet again outside.

Enjoying a game of memory yet again outside.

As September comes to a close I have been very busy pulling up the last of the garden beds and getting them ready for next year, filling the freezer with delicious foods to enjoy all winter, and when nice enough enjoying time outdoors knowing it will end very soon.  As I begin to move back indoors for autumn and winter the inside of the apartment is finally getting a bit of much-needed attention and the heavier clothes and blankets are coming out.

I have seeds drying and already want to get started planting my spring garden, just have to wait for the new catalogs to come out. And today I found time enough to make a pan of my black bean dip, several batches are in the freezer while I enjoyed a light dinner of my dip rolled in lettuce leaves.

In the meantime, it’s Friday, and time for my favorites from the week.

Hasn't rained in a while, but a cup of water was enough to make mud to play in.

Hasn’t rained in a while, but a cup of water was enough to make mud to play in.


  1. How did I ever get here, is a brand-new blog.  The first post was a beautifully written story about how easy it is to fall into the American dream and find ourselves with too much and the path one person took to return to her roots.
  2. Gina writes two blogs, the first People Exited About Co-Existence (PEACE), covers her thoughts and journey to a greener lifestyle.  I stopped by to see what I might learn and instantly found this article For Peat’s Sake, which blew me away.  I have started to build raised beds in the garden and filled the first 3 areas with peat moss. Find out why I won’t any longer.
  3. Gina’s second blog is Professions for PEACE, this is her inspirational blog.  I loved this post of cartoons titled Treat Yourself Kindly.
  4. Healthy Frenchie, suffered from bulimia and anorexia. She is doing fantastic and has turned her health around by eating real food. She shares some of her favorite recipes and this one caught my eye, I love stuffed peppers, and with quinoa what could be better.
  5. As I was reading through, Johanna”s blog Momwheaaringloss, I spotted a title which said simply Zucchini Fritters, I had to look.  This is a good vegetarian recipe, it contains yogurt and 1 egg but if you are looking for a healthy vegetarian option for what to do with your zucchini, this might be the thing.
  6. I love things from nature, I have a large rock on my bathroom vanity and a collection of smaller rocks and a piece of petrified wood in a tray, so when I saw a blog titled Small Pebbles I couldn’t wait to see what I would find.  This narrated story of a squirrel was just too funny, I had to share, I’m positive you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Another garden area cleared and prepped for spring.

Another garden area cleared and prepped for spring.

Green Living

  1. How far will you go to live a green life?  Would you resort to stealing?  Well if it’s at the curb is it still stealing?  Find out what could be so valuable Shannon couldn’t stop herself from “stealing“.  The funniest thing is I have considered this myself. :-)
  2. Life is full of conveniences, one of them a clothes dryer. We don’t really need this, but we, at least here in the US believe we do.  Katie, wanting to reduce her utility bills decided to see how much she could save if she hung her clothes out to dry for a month.  The lesson she took from this little experiment might surprise you.
  3. Speaking of laundry, what can you do with your old washer when it can no longer be repaired.  Check out this upcycled project.
  4. Don’t know what to do with all those cans?  Here is a list of 25 things you can make with old cans, everything from coffee cans and chip cans, to oil cans.
  5. Do you feel good when you donate your clothes to the thrift shop?  Cherie, has a different take on it. In her article The World Doesn’t Need Our Clothes she takes on the issue of real sustainability.  See if you agree with her.
  6. Do you have one or more watches just sitting around because you now use your phone as your clock?  Don’t let them collect dust, make them useful again with this Homage to Family
The fairy garden no longer has flowers, it needed a bit of rearranging so the fairies would still enjoy it. :-)

The fairy garden no longer has flowers, it needed a bit of rearranging so the fairies would still enjoy it. :-)

Small Space Living at its Best

  1. Have you ever considered how much living you could combine in a small square space?   I fell in love with this Living Cube.  Entertainment center, closet plus walk in storage,but can you believe  even the guest bed could all be part of one piece of furniture?
  2. Take a look at this home on wheels and tell me it wouldn’t feel cozy and comfortable.  This home has all the comforts you would want in a home, well, except for a bathroom. :-)

There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before. – Robert Lyn

Have a fantastic weekend.

42 thoughts on “Friday Faves, September comes to a close

  1. September just flew by…….. and again you have given us a delightful choice of wonderful links… Glad to hear you have been saving seeds.. as you may have seen in my post recently I included the photos of the clearing of the allotments, with hoeing the spaces clear.. I started drying out the runner bean seeds and we have let a few others go to seed such as beetroot etc to allow us to collect future seeds.. The Sunflowers produced masses of seeds too…
    I dont know how you have the time to do what you do.. But you give us all inspirations Lois xox

    • I so wish our sunflowers took this year, but there is always next year. I keep raw sunflower seeds to supplement my diet and now the little ones have decided they are really good too. I wanted enough to put up for myself and to hang a few of the flowers out for the birds. You could teach me so much about when and how to plant and of course storing. I always had a small garden, but only to supplement our food so I am pretty much a newbie at growing such a variety. I’m sure I will get better each year. :-)

      Sue, I work very little which gives me the freedom to do the things I want and enjoy doing more. :-)

  2. Lois! What a wonderfully generous and kind post this is! I am honoured to be included here on your delightful blog and amongst such incredible company. While many here are already blogging friends of mine, I can hardly wait to get visiting all the new individuals you’ve introduced. Bless you for sharing the love around as we build community of like-minded individuals who know that every (seemingly) small choice adds up and makes a BIG difference. Loving hugs to you from Gina xo

    • Thank you, Gina. I hope you come back again to check out further Friday Faves as I try to mix it up with different ideas each week. I think the reason you found so many blogs you already knew this week was because your lovely post where you introduced me and my blog to your readers sent some of your best readers to check out my blog.

  3. I am so honored that my first blog entry made it to your Friday favorites. What a great resource for all of your readers. I used to do a favorite blog of the week, but yours took a lot of time and commitment. I applaud your dedicaiton. I also love being introduced to so many bloggers with topics that I find in common with my own life and ambitions. Thank you so much.

    • I hope you keep writing, Barbara, I enjoyed your style and look forward to reading more. I get to have a lot of fun with the Friday posts, it’s also a great way for me to “bookmark” something I would like to reference later rather than fill up my computer with them.

  4. Hi, Lois!

    Thanks for the reminder that it is actually *fall*. I get to be a year older on the last day of September, and my grandma always put a red leaf in my card (I saved one!). But no red leaves this year. No cold weather either!

    The article on used clothing was interesting. I think the important thing is not to accumulate all the stuff back, AFTER we purge it.

    • You are welcome, I had trouble with that living in Arizona. California and New Mexico had a change of season enough to remind me what time of year it was, but not so in Arizona.

      If I forget later, Happy Birthday. How sweet of your grandmother to include a red leave each year in your card. With her example you were destined to be a minimalist :-)

  5. I liked the clothing article, but the solutions still allude me. I don’t buy much, maybe 10 item per annum, but still, some will be decluttered periodically, cause I’m not wearing them. I loved the leaves stealing, so sweet! The living cube was pretty awesome too. And I love Low Waste Living’s blog, as well as the new reader who is downsizing. Some great picks, thank you.

    • Sarah, the solutions still allude me as well. I have started to buy vintage fabrics and make things with them rather than newer fabrics, but there’s only so much vintage left to work with. Glad you enjoyed the links this week.

    • I am so glad you enjoyed those links. I always hope things I am drawn to will interest my readers. When I did have a clothes line, I loved being outside to hang my clothes. Sure it takes a bit longer than tossing them in a dryer and pushing a button, but it allowed me to slow down and have some fresh air. That home on wheels was so gorgeous that it made me realize that even an old bus could be a beautiful home. I hope you too have a great weekend.

    • Alex, I loved that. To think in the same measured square footage that a full or maybe queen sized bed would take up, a closet, entertainment center, and storage you would prefer not to have in view and the bed of course could all be in that little space.

    • Hello, Healthy Frenchie, the first solution to reducing waste is to bring less in the home. It’s really as simple as learning to buy what we need with less packaging. That had the biggest impact on my trash. When my boys were young, I got so frustrated with the huge packaging for a small video game that I asked them to please buy used instead. They were thrilled to see how much further their money went and I was happy not to have all the extra waste. Of course, shopping used helps as the original owner already disposed of the packaging for me. :-)

      • Thanks for the tip. and I agree with you on the ridiculous amount of packaging! It’s just incredibly frustrating. To be honest, I’m not completely ready to go through the second hand / minimal living for everything. But we are trying to reduce our waste on small thing at a time

  6. What a thoughtful quote to end your post with Lois and so true. I’m happy that I’ve actually been organised enough to read your Friday Faves on Friday! I loved the post by Shannon on the leaf collecting. In our neighbourhood it’s common to leave out prunings or tree loppings on the naturestrip for people to take. One day, I was happily loading up my car boot, when a woman came out of her house and let me know that she had put the wood there for her friend to come and pick up with his trailer. I apologised and drove home with a very red face….

    • Jen, how embarrassing. :-) I have yet to have anyone stop and confront me as I collect things at the curb. Every now and again, I find myself looking over my shoulder thinking this can’t possibly be trash because it’s in perfect shape, but I drag it home anyway. If I see the home owner of course I will ask first. Glad you enjoyed the quote, it was fitting as I had to repair our birdhouse. I studied how carefully the tiny twigs were formed into a nest and was careful to leave it intact for next year. To think an animal without hands could make such a sturdy home from twigs amazes me.

  7. Hi Lois!
    Thank you for the shout out! I am constantly challenging things I “need” verses things I “want”.
    I also really enjoyed the article about “used clothes” by Cherie. I get so much criticism for only buying clothes second hand, and I have to reference the Bangladesh factory collapse in April. It amazes me having 1000 tectiles workers die making our crappy clothes has had seemingly no affect on consumer America.
    But anyway, I will curb my rant and just say, thank you for the links that keep me reading, thinking, and inspired to make changes.

    • Katie, rant away any time. I too get criticized for buying everything used. The most common comment I get is that if everyone did as I do, our economy would collapse. It’s already collapsing, but yes it would change things. We would have more small businesses owners who could make a living selling used items, people wouldn’t need as much money to support themselves, etc. And we wouldn’t have to hear about the slave labor and the loss of life in these factories. There is no way I will buy something, new at least, that was made in one of those factories. I have to justify to myself that I am still wearing brands that were made there, but at least by not buying it new I am not encouraging the practice to continue.

      I think you and I could spend all day ranting about the injustices being done solely to provide cheap junk to the first world. :-)

    • Dan, I thought you would like that if you had time to stop by and check it out. It has such class that from the inside I wouldn’t believe (other than the placement of windows) that I was in a bus. So many ideas and abandoned materials just waiting for someone to use them.

  8. It appears we have more in common than Gina at PEACE Blog! Anyone who’ll accompany me on an excursion around the neighborhood to steal others’ trash to nurture my edibles is my kind of people. Glad to see that you are resolved in your efforts to live a more simple, sustainable existence, and hoping more come around to our way of thinking. I look forward to visiting your thoughtful fellow-bloggers as well. Cheers to you! — Shannon @ DirtNKids Blog

    • Yes, we do. I took a walk today and noticed large clumps of dry cut grass on property owned by the cemetery, I’m heading back up with a bucket to collect as much as I can to add to my compost. :-) I have been known to stop on the sidewalks and grab handfuls of pine needles littering the walkways as well. And anything put out for trash is free pickings. I too hope more come around to our way of thinking, not only would it be better for the environment, but it’s a fun and keeps us connected to nature.

      • Lois, are you saying you put pine needles in compost?

        someone told me they are not good for compost for garden/flowers, as changes the ph, or something..?

        • Yes, I do, Lynn. They can make your soil very acidic if you use too much and on plants that don’t like acidic soils. I don’t use a lot in any one area, and my plants seem to love it. Some plants such as blueberries like a more acidic soil so there I would add a few more, but not too much either way. When starting a new bed they are great to lightly line the bottom of the raised bed then build on top of.

      • Shannon, I just read your post and LOVED it. I have already started prepping a few areas for next year by laying down newspaper (all freely found) and all those horrible red plum flyers, then cardboard the neighboring business gives me each week rather than recycle them. Now I get to start building the beds up.

        Amazing how little trash you have for an entire family! You must save so much not having to pay for trash pickup too. :-)

        • Yes, I noticed the picture of your spring garden prep. Looks a lot like mine. A cardboard layer on the bottom is like a neon sign for the earthworms to come up to the smorgasbord! They’re the best little gardeners. They never wear out and they charge you nothing for their labor. Cardboard is everywhere too. So easy to get.

          PS – I pulled up my tomatoes after letting them run wild in my lasagna bed (we’ve not been in our home for 5 months). They measured 15 ft in height, not counting the 2-ft, 3-in diameter tap root. Dang!! If they hadn’t completely taken over, I’d have let them stay — they were loaded with blossoms for a second round of fall fruiting.

          • Shannon, your tomatoes were amazing. I can only hope to have tomato plants that hardy when they have a chance to take root in the raised beds. My cardboard garden isn’t all that attractive at the moment but it’s a great way to lessen the weeding I had this year. No matter how well I went through the tilled beds trying to get all the root systems out the weeds came back aggressively. The grandchildren spotted a worm in the one area I bury food scraps and such, I had to stop them from moving it it to another bed. I was thrilled the worms found the compost built on top of the cardboard.

          • Shannon, that is terrible. There are areas here that have a similar situation and if you don’t pay for the garbage portion of your bill your water will be shut off. In my town, you have to call the trash company to make arrangements, they deliver you a rolling can which is the only receptacle they will pick up from. So you have the choice to have pick up or not. Years ago they offered the option of a rolling can or large bags. They charged $35 a month for unlimited pick up, the bags (which were very large) we bought for $2 each. I went for the bags, it took me weeks to fill, but what a savings they were.

  9. Lois, I made a very quick trip to each, and can see there will be much to be enjoyed by me…thank you.
    will just comment on couple of quick thoughts, now.
    1) re used washing machines…. have seen a couple of folks do this/also seen similar at farmer’s market…
    take the perforated barrel out of the machine. Mount it on a broken down/no longer useful lawn mower, removing the motor. It can decorated with attractive patterns with fireproof paint/bar b que paint, or left as is to slowly blacken…(what is created is an easily portable fire pit. Seen it in operation, and darn slick)

    2) Peat Moss…Oddly enough, I really had no idea/never given any thought.
    On the other hand, stopped using Peat Bales some time back, as I was concerned the vast amount of “flying bits”/particulate was bad for “breathing in”. Even if careful I always seem to suck in some…

    As for the vermiculate (it was suggested alternate), I no longer used it after reading a couple of articles warning of same as my concern above.

    I think your composting is really the best, and I am now working on this/learning this.

    • Lynn, how great that others are thinking of ways to use broken washers, just imagine how much space each takes up in the landfill. I can definitely see the drum being used for a firepit now that you mention it. We’ve been wanting a fire pit here, now I’m going to be on the lookout for broken washers. :-) My neighbor offered me some of her vermiculite, but it was so messy and hard to control I changed my mind on using that. The peat moss is so often recommended in gardening books such as the Square foot garden and lasagna gardening I never questioned the environmental impact of buying it. Enjoy the links and have a great weekend.

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