Mason bees are marvelous early season pollinators of fruit trees, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries, as they are more active in the cooler temperatures of spring than the naturalized honeybees. Moreover, their hairy little bodies are able to carry more of the pollen needed for fertilization of blossoms. Masons are small, cute and docile bees that rarely sting. Every gardener should have at least one starter home to increase their harvest and help support our native bee species.
A very resourceful web page about the making of housing for the bees is:
Well let's get back to it. My family would say I live the green lifestyle of crafty creativeness. I am relearning crocheting. I am in the process of crocheting a scarf for winter and a baby quilt for my first grandson. I have several thrift stores that I go to in the lakes area and in Fargo, ND within an hour from us. I get yarn on sale at thrift stores. I can get multiple color products in various amounts of yarn. I get mostly black yarn for mittens about a dollar for a huge amount where you would pay $7 for the same amount in WalMart and other stores.
My crafting doesn't stop with thrift store finds, as I like to branch out. I hit garage sales in the summer for items that I can use in my crafting and art. I am now apart of an art community that we display our items we have made. People who are my friends say I have some of the most unique crafts made. I tell them I get my supplies at thrift stores and garage sales. I hardly ever go into stores that are not second hand anymore. In my younger days I thought WalMart was the bomb diggity, and now at 43 I know better. My children and my hubby all tell me thank you for my homemade gift. My hubby loves his mitts I make him. I am trying my hand at darning socks next. Again staying thrifty and green by buying from thrift stores for supplies. I also reuse old worn out mitts, as long as they are not moldy.
We are looking to get back to the land so to speak, so I am researching for free at the library on land up near Bagley, MN where my family has origins. Any 20 to 40 acres would be fine for our family, as I miss having a farm of animals around me. I miss having a horse I can see daily. Our idea is to live frugally and tightwad on our land. Renting or owning we don't care. My youngest I am home schooling, as she just can't stand regular school. You know a child is miserable when she comes home crying, because kids make fun of her home made mitts, and clothes with thrift store finds for lunch companions such as Transformer lunch box minus the matching thermos I got at a garage sale for 75 cents.
My guru Amy Dacyzyn the Tightwad Queen of America I assume self proclaimed, as all of us in here would like that role of Tightwad Queen or King. She inspires me to this day. I recently discovered YouTube online and caught up with her now in 2011 still living a tightwad lifestyle. Her daughter is a post grad student now and living the way her mom and dad lived and Amy said "she was the one who complained about their lifestyle growing up".
Living green to me is reuse, refuge, and recycle. I intend to remain true to that way of life. I will keep you updated of course, and I hope no one who used to read my blog last year is offended by long absences.
I picked up a table, free on craigslist that has a card inside that identifies it as an "Expand-O-Matic" table by Saginaw Furniture Shops and the bottom of the card says "Plant, Saginaw,Michigan. There are two brass handles on the front and it pulls out to add four leafs, to make an expanded table to accommodate extra seating. When closed up it has the appearance of a desk, 3 drawers on the left side . It measures 21 1/2" deep, 38 1/2" wide, and 30 1/2" high. When pulled out the table extension measures 54 1/2" in length.
So its my next project to refinish this beast lol...
My Soul mate told me he wanted to start a fish tank.
So living on a fixed income.. me and my frugal self started thinking. I have been accused of throwing nothing out or even a hoarder lmao.. Now I'M kinda proud of those tittles.
Can you believe how easy is to create a recycled aquarium, from trash?
For every great project you will need different materials so here is what you will need.
A jar. I used one from a bulk store that had pretzels in it.
Optional plant (I choose lucky bamboo) being careful to pick a plant that thrives in water.
Some rocks. I purchased mine on clearance this time for a 1.00$ but you can also get some from your local lake or river free.
Hole Saw Drill Bit found at any local hardware store
Fish…. choose some that can survive without air bubbles (filter).
2 rubber bands
First, we need to remove the wrap and wash the bottle. It needs to be washed inside and outside.
Using micro towels (reusable and washable), dry the bottle.
Cut the hole in the lid of the jar. I used a hole saw drill bit because it cuts the plastic better. Using sharp tools is not safe. If you decide to follow my instructions, you are assuming all responsibilities. Read the disclaimer below.
Rinse the rocks of well, and place them in the bottom of the jar.
Cut your plants to size. Make sure you have foliage(leaves) above the lid, and the roots or stems are below the water. I used rubber bands to keep them together.
Fill the jar with water. Let it set for about 2 hours to become room temperature.
Add bag of fish.. DON’T open bag for about another 2 hours for the temp to become the same as the tank. Fish will go into shock if you don’t.
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discover microfiber folks! created in Germany to be used for cleaning WITHOUT CHEMICALS!!! they have 200,000 dirt and bacteria grabbing dots per square inch; you can locate them many times in the auto sections of stores; and also on www.qvc.com; and www.hsn.com; on hsn they also have durafiber which is the next step up.
i have a microfiber mop I will have forever! made of tubular steel, with an extension on it, flat head, and the thick special mop head microfibers go on like velcro; when done, simply remove and wash! Fantastic to do walls with as well!
For your bathtub, just sprinkle baking soda like you would comet; you can get cattle grade baking soda at grange's; not meant for human consumption; split with friends; you can make a "paste" if you want, with that and/kosher salt, and use if need more "scrubbing"; this works fantastic as an oven cleaner as well, with NO CHEMICALS!
Using microfibers or CLOTH napkins, got mine at thrift store for 10 cents each! they will STILL be going when 700,000 paper towels would have been used! BE WISE!
I work from home and I have long stopped purchasing note books. Instead, when I clean out file folders I keep the tossed sheets of paper (normal print stock), I keep them in a stack at my desk and use them to jot notes down on the back (clean) side, do calculations, etc. There is a system- I write the customer's name at the top of the sheet and the date then if i have to follow up it goes in my tickler file, if not it I file it in a binder folder alphabetically,. Benefits: 1. Save at least one biggish tree a year 2. Generate less garbage. 3. Save a few dollars for my employers. On more benefit: I feel real good saving that biggish tree. If 100,000 persons in Canada and the US did that we would save a little forest for a while.
Last year we ran across a craiglslisting, for a free deck, just take it down.
to my regret we did not take any photos. but it was a dual layer deck 20x25 and 20x15, with railings and stairs.
after 3 days of tear down and removing. we stack the wood behind our house till this spring.
And then we de nailed , and removed the bolts.. Easier than it sounds.
My neighbor is a scrapper so all those when to him!! Go recycle..
Got our city permits, wow expensive I may add.
Cut the boards to length. yoo-hoo I learned how to use a table saw, measuring twice and cutting once. Some of the ends were bad, so they did get thrown out, as you can not burn treated lumber.
I then learned how to use a chaulk line(for straight lines), and a post hole digger , which I may add I don't like any more!!!!LOL
we then started on the base of the deck(3 decks actually) the MANque(boyfriends Non girly bbq area), main floor, and upper deck( because we have central air it needed to be higher).
Then we laid the flooring. More table saw and measuring. But what we did not use went to neighbors for their projects. 1 is part of a ramp for wheelchair bound little girl.. parts of the railing went to another neighbor for her deck. And most of the railing we reused for a fence in our back yard ( see photos)!!!!
Next I learned about a belt sander and wood putty.. to fill all the extra holes from the used wood.
wow never thought it would take that long(5 days) but the end result was worth it!!!
We went to lowes Got to love clearance paint. we wanted Cabots paint but reluctant at 36$ a gallon, I found 2 gallons , semi close in color,(what they call misTint paint) for 10$ a piece!!!! Woohoo.
Taking a break!! next blog painting
With the stripping, filling painting all done whewww.
The arm rails we had left from the porch removal.. hmm what to do with them. Our backyard boarders a city park. And people sneak threw our yard. The city refused to put up a new fence.. So we recycled once again. See attached photos!!!
Our next project is putting the sides up. Some time this week will start..
Craiglist list once again I found a 7 step stairs for 30$ what a huge money saver!!! I installed with a few nails, and bolts actually very easy, will take pics soon.
Whew we got a couple walls up, and allot of the framing done I will post some more pics later >>Outside to saw again... sure my neighbors love me LOL
So, it just kills me to throw away all those glass bottles. There is not a major way to recycle them here, so they just end up in our landfill, or must be barged off island to be disposed of.
I started reading a lot about these folks that use them to build retaining walls and other stuff. So, I told everyone to save their bottles for me...wine, liquor, beer, etc. Now I have this huge mountain of bottles...so I better get started. I have never attempted anything like this before, so it should be interesting...and hopefully stable! When I get my camera (I don't currently have one) I will post some pics of the end result.
Rain today...yeah! I ordered seeds and they came, and I also had to order bird netting, which was lost in the mail. I don't dare attempt planting without the netting, or else I will be providing snacks for the wild life. We have good sized iguanas here...and they can munch down a garden in a few hours. We also have these birds called Thrushies...and they love to eat anything that is almost ripe. It is nearly impossible to beat them to the fruit or veggies. The netting will do the trick when it arrives.
Planting here can be a big challenge. In most areas of the island, the soil if quite bad, what little of it there is. Back in the plantation days, most of the island was clear cut to plant sugar cane. By removing most of the native plants, the good top soil washed away. In some areas, the micro climate even changed because of the deforestation. Areas that had been moist, turned dry. Now, a few hundred years later, the soil is coming back and the forests are returning to old growth. Kind of interesting.
I am fortunate that my yard has excellent soil. I even have worms, lots of them, something that is very rare here. I have been doing a lot of planting and everything is starting to take off. With the rains coming back, everything is growing so fast you can almost see it grow.
The veggie garden will have the usuals, tomatoes, lettuce, squash, beans, cucumbers, and some herbs. A good start I think. The best part is...it can keep growing as our temps only vary by 5 degrees the whole year.
Water is an issue as well. We do not have a fresh water source on island. We have large cisterns under our houses, with all rainwater being collected from the roof and drawn down into them. We can buy water (we have a desal plant), but a load of water, about 4500 gallons, costs about $350. Want to learn how to conserve water? Come live here for a bit and we will show you! Nothing worse than running out of water, and not being able to get some delivered for two days (been there, was not fun). I have rigged up a homemade system of our laundry water is piped into two large plastic trash cans. I use all of this to hand water the gardens. One load of wash, fills a 40 gallon container. I don't use bleach (the sun does the trick on that since I don't use a clothes dryer) so the water is great for the plants and they seem to thrive.
Waste not, want not. By being conscious, it is amazing how much can be saved.
That's all for now. Back out the garden as the rain has stopped and lots of weeding to do. Hope everyone is well!
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