birch

birch
Trees are poems that Earth writes upon the sky. We fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness. ---Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Repairing My Life Moody Blues





 
NIGHTS are spent by most people in sleep, but maybe we should spend a night occasionally outdoors
 
IN order to look up at stars and think about what we are doing in the daylight. With a sliver of the
 
WHITE moon hanging in the sky, surely our mind would be as comforted as a body sliding between
 
SATIN sheets. The cares of every day could fall into perspective. Life should be more than lists that
 
NEVER end. There are too many tasks to complete, too much chaos to organize. I seek peace found
 
REACHING beyond time allotted to us to attend to the daily demands of home, job, and responsibility.
 
THE time we set aside for reflection should not be squandered with regrets, but used purposely to
 
END negative habits and stop non-productive thinking that gets in the way of the pleasures of life.


LETTERS should be written to friends and family members thanking them for the acts of kindness

I’VE received, and begging their forgiveness for the times I’ve caused them pain. Either type of letter

WRITTEN would help us step outside the daily slog, to a place where serenity floats like a dream.

NEVER deny the appeal of a clean slate when embarking upon a new beginning! To start fresh gives

MEANING to any journey that deliberately sets out to move beyond the routine of daily life.

TO achieve this Nirvana, my next step will be to get rid of physical disorder. To open up space, I’ll

SEND away clutter that is binding me to this place on Earth with the discomforting weight of worry.


BEAUTY, function and love are the only reasons to hold onto objects. Simplicity will set me free.

I’D rather live a spare and simple life. Not austere, not unadorned, not harsh – just uncomplicated.

ALWAYS, I’ve wished I was the type of person who was neat and precise, but I’m not. I may have

MISSED out on opportunities because I am scrappy –outspoken and determined- operating always

WITH the intent to evade rigid ideas of what is acceptable, purposely choosing non-conformity.

THESE behavior traits are not qualities that often merit applause, yet I’m content. I guess my

EYES see things differently when it comes to following orders. I do not trust the obedient person!

BEFORE I leave this Earth, I want to know that I’ve squared away all relationship issues, retained


JUST the physical things I truly need and want, and left myself enough time to do things I want to do.

WHAT time remains, I’d like to design for myself. It would be virtuous if I could say that I wanted

THE extra time to volunteer for a just cause, that I was working on a great invention, or novel. The

TRUTH, however, is that I don’t wish to impress anyone. I just want time to read, garden, and play.

IS it selfish to want to finally be able to travel to all those places I’ve wanted to go, but couldn’t?

I could do this earlier when I was working 40-hours a week and had family responsibilities. . I

CAN’T imagine how we could have afforded it! Now, we’ve got the money – not a lot- but enough to

SAY that we could go to a few places and have fun while we are both still active. Putting it off

ANYMORE just seems foolish! Why wait? Now is the time to do those “someday” things


CAUSE the hourglass sand is running out! Tonight I’ll open the curtains, gaze at the sliver of moon

I see hanging over our deck and I’ll take out a pen to make a list of places I want to go with my

LOVE beside me. For what fun would it be to go alone without my life-long companion? Would

YOU? I think not. I better hurry, though. Time is swift. I hope the days of my future are not past.
 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Space Junk






Someone (who shall remain nameless for their own protection) once asked me in all seriousness why we don’t just send all our garbage into outer space!  Guess what? We have.  Well, not ALL of it…but, a lot.  There’s enough trash out there for scientists to have stuck a name to the [prophetic] scenario wherein the amount of debris orbiting the Earth would prevent us from launching satellites into orbit. It’s called Kessler’s Syndrome.  

And the really bad thing about Kessler's Syndrome is the part where it explains that the impact between two objects would create more debris.  This debris would then hit other objects, creating even more trash.  It just gets worse as the pieces of rubble get smaller and smaller! The more pieces there are out there, the greater the chances of another impact.



NORAD acts as a kind of air traffic controller for everyone by keeping track of all this floating junk so that there are no collisions.  We need to protect our satellites. Without them, we wouldn’t have the Internet or GPS navigation.  We wouldn’t be able to forecast the weather, or watch TV, or spy on our neighbors. Without them, we'd have to forget space travel altogether---forever!
I don't know about you, but I'd like to think that even though we have polluted our own planet, we aren't so irresponsible that we've screwed up our escape plan too! It's the only other alternative if we can't fix Earth.  If the trash orbiting our planet gets any deeper, humanity is well and truly stuck here on this planet for eternity.



Of course, "ETERNITY" - for us - might not be that long.
Scientist are working on ways to clean up this mess.     Clean Up link
Here is a link about the IMAX documentary movie.      SPACE JUNK 3D
---
For myself, I have renewed my efforts to create something from my own stash of trash which I have called The Flotsam Project. [see sidebar]
I can't clean up Outer Space and I can't clean up the Earth, but maybe I can clean up around my house?  Or at the very, very least  - around my desk.



Maybe I could do something like this?

CHECKOUT OUR BOOKS ON RECYCLING














Thursday, February 13, 2014

Junk Drawer Valentines


 




Just how much junk do you have laying around? If you are at work, just take a look in that bottom desk drawer.

 

Yes, the deep one where you removed the old file folders, scanned the contents and stored the info "in the cloud" and now use as a place to hide your secret stash of Little Debbie Cakes.
What else is in there?



 Could you make someone a valentine gift using the contents?

geek love from computer part
 
floppy disc planter


necklace from marker caps




 
 
You couldn’t? Why? Oh, because you are very neat and orderly at work?


Like I believe that, but ...wHaTeVeR!
 
How about at home? I bet you could open up that kitchen cabinet under the sink and come up with something clever?
For Example:

plastic bag wreath


plastic cleaning bottle
 
junk drawer bracelet
 

Your kitchen is TOTALLY organized? You say you’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest and -unlike the rest of us -you haven’t just been pinning, you have actually put those ideas into practice?
Are you, like ...you know...OCD or something?
 
Messy
Organized
 
What about that closet? Got any junk in there that you could get rid of without shedding tears?
 
Before
I bet you could repurpose some stuff into cute little valentines!
 
T-shirt rug
blue jean earrings
 
sweater heart 
Oh, let me guess. You just took a load of stuff to Goodwill and then had Closet Factory come to your home and systemize your entire wardrobe?

After

You know, I'm beginning to like you less and less.
Hey, I know….step out into the garage! I’ll bet your husband/brother/son has a bunk of “man junk” out there you could use to make some pretty UNUSUAL valentines! It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what half that stuff is even used for. I’m betting he won’t even miss it!
hex nut and leather men's braclet
gear heart pendant

wire and burlap wreath
 
 
Say what? Your husband/brother/son is as neat as a pin and there is absolutely nothing in your garage that doesn’t have a purpose.
 
Okay, now I KNOW you're lying!



Unless it has already been REpurposed - that's okay!
 
paint a wood spool pink
 
paint can art   (I love this!)
Well, what about your children’s bedrooms? If you’ve got a small child, I KNOW you have debris! And if you have a TEENAGER [OMG!] you have even more! And if you have a FEMALE teenager…well, you have hit the junk motherlode!
 
 
Nothing there? Okay, well, you must not have children. Or ever had children. Because when they leave the nest, they leave stuff behind. [Stuff that they expect you to hang on to for years and years. And they think that their old room should be kept as it was when they lived there too! Kind of like a shrine.]

 
If you never had kids, or if the kids are long gone and you’ve dismantled the shrine, then I’m guessing that the hobby/craft room that you’ve been dreaming of for years is fully operational now, right?

 
Well, enjoy it while you can, because once the grandchildren arrive it will become a spare bedroom again to accommodate random sleepovers when their parents (your grown kids) need a break.


 
Meanwhile …JACKPOT! I’m sure there is more than enough beads, yarn, fabric, buttons, paper, watercolors, and other odds-n-ends to make some beautiful recycled valentines. You better get busy!
 
 
What? You DO NOT do crafts?

What the hell do you do with your spare time?
READ???

Get a life! Seriously!


 
 


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Unbound Rebellion



Pondering great ideas amidst life's clutter
Because this is the start of a new year, I‘ve been trying to think of some different things I could do on my blog post regarding recycling.  I try to alternate my posts by writing one that is more informational and one that is more personal.  Meaning (sadly) as I’ve been told, one that “preaches” and one that “prattles”.  Nevertheless, I will push forward – ignoring detractors.

I do a lot of upcycling myself and I’ve always included pictures of those endeavors - though not always laying claim to them as mine. I think I will try to identify and expound upon more of those. I really enjoy turning something others consider trash into something beautiful or useful. The downside to this little fixation is the amount of clutter that accumulates between the time you first get the BIG IDEA, until the time you actually finish the job. This is a problem for me because I have more plans than I can complete, and so I sometimes abandon my first mission in order to start another one!  This accounts for the large number of UFO’s [Un Finished Objects] that surround me.

Therefore, in line with this UPCYCLE mania that I have, I will also try to collect one piece of “detritus” each day, photograph it, and then turn it all into something wonderful.   I will call this project  Reclaimed  Flotsam and it will be fun! 


My 1st piece of Flotsam
The second thing I am going to do is try to *REUSE at least one old book for each letter of the alphabet by author’s last name.  By “reuse” I mean *REREAD.  You see, in the library world, we try to keep new and crisp copies of books in the stacks.  Occasionally, you will find older rebound books on the shelves because they are:
 
A.      Out of print, but are still circulating.
B.      Circulating, but awaiting disposal as soon a newer copy arrives.
C.       Not circulating [maybe because they look old ?] and will soon be weeded out of the system.

I’m going to confess something unorthodox right here and now before my library co-workers:  I SEARCH FOR AND CHECK OUT REBOUND BOOKS! Yes, I do.  I try to screw up the circulation statistics whenever I can to save the life of a book  - and I am not ashamed!  I feel bad for books that nobody checks out!  Just because the author is obscure, the publish date is old, the covers are a little bland, or there is a bit of dust upon the book’s head doesn’t mean that it is unworthy to be read!  Why, some of the most enjoyable books I’ve found are these that I’ve stumbled across while scanning the stacks! I think of them as geodes among the so-called gems – otherwise known as “Current Best Sellers”.

A book on the Top Ten Sellers list merely indicates quantity sold, it doesn’t indicate QUALITY. More people watch “Honey Boo Boo” on TV than they do PBS’s “American Masters”. I rest my case.  I am going to call this rebellious reading and reporting on these old books the Rebound Report.


A = Asimov's "The Robots of Dawn"
I am hoping that by this time next year I will have recruited enough flotsam recyclers and rebound readers to start a small army.      Click to hear a Rebel Yell

In the words of Russell Brand


“Rebel children, I urge you, fight the turgid slick of conformity
with which they seek to smother your glory.”  

 

 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolving to Work With What I've Got

Art from Trash
 
Happy New Year!  Did you make any resolutions for 2014?  Well, good for you! Did you know that -statistically speaking - only 39% of people under the age of 50 and 14% of people OVER the age of 50 are able to keep their resolutions?  Actually, even that sounds too high to me!  I doubt most of us are even able to remember what we resolved to do/not to do by the time February arrives. 
 
Flattened Soda Cans into Art
I saw a joke about resolutions that went like this:
     2002: I will try to be a better husband to Marge.
     2003: I will not leave Marge.
     2004: I will try for a reconciliation with Marge.
     2005: I will try to be a better husband to Wanda.
The reason this makes us chuckle, is because we all recognize it as truth.  We are creatures of habit and habits are hard to break.  We like the familiar routines even when we know that what we are doing isn't exactly right for us.

Remaking an old chair

That's right!  So, there is no point in saying that this is the year that I will finally
     1. Get Organized
     2. Finish all my craft projects
     3. Exercise and/or diet
This is not "negative" thinking, it is "realistic" thinking. I know that these changes will never happen.

Making "Dolls" from Trash
 
Therefore, this year I'm only going to make resolutions that I know I have a chance of keeping.  Such as:
     Screaming whenever I see a spider.
     Gaining enough weight to get on "The Biggest Loser" TV program.
     Watching more TV  - because reading makes you think.
     I will balance my checkbook. (On the end of my nose.)
     Procrastinate more.
     Worry about the future instead of reliving the past.
     Eat out more. (Stop bringing my lunch from home.)
     I will drive closer to the posted speed limits when I spot a policeman.
     Resolve NOT to see any movie where a creepy dead person comes back to life.
 

Turning an odd sock into an odd toy
 
 
The good news (for me) is that most of the other categories that people resolve to change each year don't apply to me.
     Give up smoking.     I don't have to because I already don't smoke.
     Fall in love.     N/A  I've been with my husband since 1977.
     Spend more time with family.  I already spend enough time with them all.
     Learn something new.     I do that every day - I work at the library. Sheez!
     Help others.     Ditto.  
     Enjoy life.     I do!
                             
Junk Drawer Art
 
The one thing I CAN do (and probably WILL do) is to gather up some of the junk and clutter I have laying around and try to make something new and/or pretty out of it.
 
Will I be doing this to reduce clutter? No.
Will I be doing it because recycling is a good, noble thing? No. 
Will I be doing this because I'm thrify? No. 

I'll be doing it because it's fun!  And  - just like you - I only want to do what I think is fun. Always.



Scrap Paper Collage

Recycling
by Amy Vanderwater
 
I got a haircut
saved my hair
placed it outside
on a chair.
 
So many birds
came that day
to build from what
I'd thrown away.
 
And now those strands
from my own head
warm baby birds
asleep in bed.
 
Books Available on Recycling at CPL

CHOOSE TO REUSE by Latimer, Miriam
Engineering an awesome recycling Center by Betha, Nikole
UPCYCLING CELEBRATIONS by Danny Seo
Make It: Don't throw it away by Bull, Jane
Remake It: Recycling projects from stuff you usually scrap by Threadgould, Tiffany