Sunday, March 22, 2020

"USE IT UP, WEAR IT OUT, MAKE IT DO, OR DO WITHOUT"

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oldnewgreenredo

Our home is full of antiques (enameled fish poacher makes a great space saver planter)...or 'old' stuff. 


I named my blog, "Old,New,Green,Redo",but I should have followed my mom's favorite saying.

We are children of parents brought up during the Depression. They were young adults during wartime; facing stress, shortages and pitching in for the good of all. 

Their generation knew how to stretch a dollar. 
My mom would say,"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." I heard this so many times during my young life, it actually 'sings' a little ditty in my head. 

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I remember material for my first prom dress was bought from grocery savings. We had a lot of casseroles made from chicken necks and half a pound of hamburger. 

I seldom buy anything new and often replace broken or chipped anything by buying the same thing at a thrift store. Why? Mostly because household items made 50 years ago...don't wear out! You seriously have to break something to throw it away! Thrift stores aren't just thrifty, we are saving the planet by reusing items, instead of clogging landfills. A GREEN thing to do. I'm sure Corning Ware would still be solid tossed in a landfill in a 1000 years...buried in tons of garbage. 

Yes, that is 1968 Corning Ware, from the time of our wedding.


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I utilize many OLD items for storage or display. Not just because they are vintage or antique, but because they are practical. Years ago, when my mom-in-law called me and asked, "Do you want the  stash of Blue Mason jars?",  she had always used for canning. I SAID YES!!!

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I keep staples in LARGE blue Mason jars with rubbers and zinc lids. A 1/2 gallon jar holds a large box/bag of pasta. Quarts hold beans, rice, peas! I use them in the refrigerator for nuts, buttermilk mix, flax seed.  Smaller pint jars are great for herbs, sugar cubes, marshmallows, lentils, baking soda, and smaller beans/peas.
I have labels on the back side, when the jar is empty--I easily add it to my grocery list.

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My grandmother's pickling crock is used for pickles in Fall and hides goodies the rest of the time.

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After going through and breaking two sets of everyday dishes in our early married life forty-some years ago. I began to just collect dishes in anything blue and white. Mix and match...this and that. 



I do have red Wachtersbach luncheon plates I found for 99 cents each for Fall and Winter to liven up my table.

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I love these egg cups (my mom's)...1950's Blue Willow...and we use them.

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This morning I'm making Pumpkin Oatmeal-raisin-pecan Muffins with roasted pumpkin from our freezer. My granny's coffee pot makes a great vase. The tablecloth is all cotton, reversible, 
bleach-able and vintage.

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Our fourth-generation family wicker fills our screened in porch. Cushions were recovered with vintage (spotted) tablecloths (I cut around the spots)---homemade piping was made for all of one fabric, backs were made from a Waverly 
discontinued fabric found cheap.
Our sofas in the living room are almost thirty years old...and really need to be replaced. But uncertain times means, we will wait---and we will make it do.

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A vintage cotton tablecloth ($6) was perfect for the settee on the porch.  Only things new here--are the wastebasket, and magazine holder---handmade by myself and my dad. The pillows are covered in ticking or plaid towels. The rocker cushions are from  from tablecloths.

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I've always redone and made do with used furniture. Here I took a $5 table and used it in my shop for ten years. When I brought it home, we reinforced it with a nice deep shelf.

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I love that it is really long and I painted it a neutral tone to match some chairs we had. It's in our nautical/fishing themed family room. The Grand girl gets to play with the doll house (1950's)  
on top when she visits.


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I use a piece of vinyl upholstery on the table top---so she can play hard and she does because the animals living in the house are very busy and raucous!


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Our pillows were all made from souvenir dishtowels of my grandparents and gifts. The sectional is in dark denim...and we love it, and it takes a real beating!

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An end table in the family room is the 1919 trunk my grandmother packed her belongings in when she came to America. I'm sure she had to do without, if everything she owned was in there.


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We have a vegetable garden and can or freeze all our produce.

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Corn relish is a favorite, made from a windfall of sweet corn from my sister-in-law last fall.

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We eat healthy, fresh and from scratch most of the time.

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Pickle relish was another large batch this year, we did as a family. And it is so much better than the glow-in-the dark green relish here in Chicago...what do they use to make it florescent???


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I've posted lots on our tomatoes, a wonderful source of vitamin C.

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Blanching tomatoes!

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Nothing is better than homemade, like spaghetti, or lasagna with home canned tomatoes and zucchini. 

I have no idea how old that funnel is. The old one fits much better than the new plastic ones...! We can so much stuff, we needed two for keeping up filling jars.

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SIGH! 
Remember when the weather was the worst thing we complained about?

We've planted more indoor seed starts for the garden. It's still very cold here in Chicagoland. I've seen snow flurries and white stuff 4 times last week, so everything still has to be in the house. 

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Our new greenhouse gets nice and warm during the day, but nights have been below freezing. The above photo is from May, last year. I hope we don't have to wait that long for everything to go into the greenhouse this year. Our tomatoes, peppers and broccoli need to be transplanted now to big cups. (Notice the reuse of beverage containers) All the shelving was reused from the old greenhouse as was much of the wood framing as well as the metal framing from the failed greenhouse.

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We started 24 pots of Caladiums and 5 huge Elephant Ears, as well as Coleus shown above.We have lots of shade in the yard, and hubby went a bit extravagant in purchasing some bulbs. 
But, I will use them for gifts for friends this summer. 
IF we ever get to visit anyone again.

In talking with friends many are housecleaning, 
projecting, crafting, and organizing in our uncertain time.


HOW are you,

 USING UP, 

WEARING OUT, 

MAKING DO, 

OR DOING WITHOUT?

**IF you wonder why I don't advertise---I think encouraging people to buy new trends causes rampant consumerism-usually of imported goods, and the latest trends end up in landfills. 

Mostly, ADS are annoying!

Thank you for any and all comments.
Finally I am able to reply to comments by using Chrome. So all you Mac users who have upgraded to Catalina---this might help the glitches on Safari and Blogger!

 Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. I am not reimbursed or given product for any of my opinions, or for use of a product in this blog. 

Thank you for your cooperation, 
Sandi 


















15 comments:

  1. What a stunning post!Your home is cozy and pretty!Thank you for the inspiration.Blessings and hugs!One day at a time...

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    1. Finally sat down to post. We've been working in the basement, it is barely photo worthy. Please stay safe...we are inside all the time now here!

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  2. I really enjoyed your kitchen tour, with all the wonderful dishes and preserves.
    Those blue willow egg cups are so precious.
    Like you, I shop at Thrift shops and save and reuse.
    Stay well ..Thelma xo

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    1. I think it was you or Dewena's Window, who had a similar post up. I actually had this sitting in my drafts for quite awhile...seemed even more apropos, now. Thanks, Thelma, and stay safe!

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  3. My grandmother grew up during The Great Depression also and I remember hearing her say this same thing.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting...yes, I have ration books, and lots of meatless recipes from the Depression era in my grandmothers' cookbooks. We really do need to relearn living from scratch!

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  4. Loved your re-purposing of the Fast Food Drink Cups for your Veggie Plant Starts! We Hope to eventually build a Greenhouse here and a Victory Garden so we can grow some of our own foods again like we used to at the Historic Homestead.

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    1. Oh, won't that be fun---I would think you might have to use a porch---where you can cut some of the summer sun...put some temp gauges out now, and see if you can find the most temperate place! I'm interested in your irrigation project. Not pretty visually---but how does that all work? Here we have had 3-4 100 year rains each year for the last 4 years...and need to figure out how to get rid of water sometimes. Thanks again for visiting, Dawn.

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    2. I am just now getting around to replying Sandi, sorry... we're just figuring out the Irrigation Thing and hire our Neighbor TJ to do it for us. It's more complicated than I imagined it would be, you get a scheduled Day and amount of time you pre-schedule for. The Water is actually Free but you pay about $200 annually for SRP to do the portions they do in maintaining The System, which is elaborate, thruout the Valley. Each property owner maintains their own stretch of Irrigation Canal that feeds their Property. Not every place has Irrigation, just the Older areas and Agriculturally Designated ones, it's a privilege and you can Opt Out anytime and resume any time, which is convenient. It deep Irrigates so Mature Trees do much better and you can actually afford to have Grass and Pasture... which would be too expensive Maintaining with City Water Services... which we still have for Home Use inside.

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  5. So good to see you at Tuesday Turn About, Sandi! Hope to see you each week!

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    1. Hi, Julie. My posting is hit and miss right now...so I will try and enter just when I post something! Hugs, Sandi

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  6. Oh my goodness...you are speaking my language. I have a print hanging in my laundry room that says " Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"! My mom said the same thing as she was a child of the Depression. I do many of the same things you do...and love to use items that belonged to family from many years ago. And...if you check my blog under "chicken soup" you will see that I just can't throw out the bones from a Costco chicken because I can hear my mother whispering in my ear " there is still good meat on those bones, you should make soup" !!!

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    1. I think we are all the same, children of the depression. Every formal I ever had, was the result of hot dog casseroles and chicken neck soup---my mom did the same things! Sigh, it served us well this past year...living out of the pantry and freezer. And---there is always delivery...ha. Thanks for stopping by Ann, hugs, Sandi

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Thank you for any and all comments. I will be happy to answer any questions or comments in replies or email! HUGS!