Tips for reusing/repurposing items and health and home articles

Clara and Mom

I have always dreamed about being a farmer. I used to picture this perfect little farm with a little cottage, a garden outside the kitchen window, maybe a horse and cow out in the field and a few chickens in the drive.

I have never had my farm, but I still am trying my hand at some gardening. Last year wasn’t much of an attempt because we moved right about the time I should have been doing my planting. Most of my garden is container gardening because neither one of us are physically able to work a regular garden.

When we moved here last May the furthest I got in gardening was setting out the house plants and buying 3 small, wilted tomato plants from the hardware store for about a quarter a piece. I set them in containers on the back deck, watered them each day and watched them. Watched them do absolutely nothing.

They got a little taller, but that is all that they did. When winter came, I grabbed them and brought them in to see if I could nurse them through the winter with a plant light. Only one survived.


This is “Mom”. She grew to be about four feet a few times and I trimmed her back. She made it through the winter but was still a skinny scrawny little thing.

Sometimes good things come from something small. I took some cuttings from “Mom”, but only one of them survived.



This is “Clara” my monster tomato plant. Now she has given me quite a few tasty tomatoes and has more blooms coming out since I harvested them, and “Mom” one tomato, one still growing but has developed several more blooms.

I will be taking cuttings from “Mom”, “Clara” and the cherry tomato and husky tomato plant my sister gave me. We shall see, maybe, if they survive the winter, I will have a whole family of “Clara’s” and “Moms” next summer. I will definitely share their journey with you.


Heat Bubble

Heat BubbleHeat Bubble

The majority of the US is under a heat bubble right now. Temperatures are soaring into the mid to high 90’s with heat indexes up to 120. This can be a very trying time, especially for those of us on a tight budget. Running the air conditioning all day isn’t really an option because I budget everything including the utilities.

Unfortunately, our electric company does not have a decent level or budget payment plan. When I asked about it a few years ago, they told me I was better off without it because it would end up costing me more than paying the current amounts. There have been a lot of people who have complained about the company, but, hey, what other choice do you have when you live in a small rural town and they are the only source of electricity.

I usually over-budget for this bill, anything left over goes towards groceries, and believe me that extra amount for food really is needed. However, I have a feeling this next bill is going to be quite a bit higher because I have had to use the air more often.

The usual rule of thumb in this house, is to put fans in the windows in the early morning to draw in what is left of the cooler night air, but the last couple days it hasn’t been any cooler outside than it was inside, and I don’t run the air at night because it is an older house and I’m not sure how dependable the wiring is.

I have an air conditioner in the living room and one on the opposite side of the house back in the kitchen. If I could use them both on low it would probably keep the house cool enough without jacking up the bill, however the plug on the kitchen unit gets hot after it has run for a few minutes, even on low, and even with a gray adapter plug added, so I can’t use it.

Solution? I hung a curtain between the dining room and living room, I close off every room not being used, turn the one in the living room on, blow air into the office with a fan and have survived. Last months bill was actually a few bucks lower than the months before, but I didn’t have to use the air that often.

About an hour before bed, I open the bedroom door and force the cooler air out of the living room into the bedroom, and when it is cooled down, everything is shut off in the house except the fans in the bedroom.

I hope this gives some of you some ideas on how to keep your electricity bill down while trying to keep cool during this heat wave. Other options include going somewhere for a few hours where there is air-conditioning like the library or window shopping at a mall. Remember to drink a lot of liquids also, heat stroke  and dehydration are not only uncomfortable but dangerous as well.

I’m Back

moms-rose.jpgYes, I’ve been gone quite awhile, but my intention is to start posting again. If you notice, I have changed the name again, this time from Reuseit: Tips for Health and Home to Lori’s Corner: Tips for Health and Home. It’s odd how just the name of the site can encourage or discourage you from sharing and writing. I want this site to be of help to some people, mainly those who are in the lower class, disabled, retired and on a short or fixed income. I find it amazing the ways that I have been able to repurpose items, fix or upgrade some things, and cut corner on spending.

I don’t own my own house, so there isn’t a lot I can do when it comes to redecorating, but there are ways you can hang pictures, add knickknacks, curtains and such to make a home your own. I hope to share some of these tricks along with shortcuts, tips and healthy suggestions. The address will remain the same “Salvaging with” because if I change it, I will lose all the articles that have already been posted on here.

I will be putting up an article this afternoon, so check back, I am hoping to put up a few a day, but I am in the process of gathering pictures and information.

See you soon, Lori

Odd Socks

No, I am not talking about the game on Face book, although I do enjoy it. I’m talking about the ”’washer ate my partner” odd socks, or those pairs of socks where the heel on one wears out and the other doesn’t. We are all faced with that problem from time to time. We can either toss them, or we can darn them like my mother used to do with mine.socks 001

Even though I can sew, darning socks is not one of the tasks I will take on. My mother used to use a light bulb, pull the sock over it and literally weave threads back and forth with her needle until the hole was patched. While that did make the sock wearable for a little longer, the threads would eventually break because the material around them was being stretched all time, and, oh the embarrassment if you had to take your shoes off in front of anyone, yuck.

socks 002I had a bunch of such socks sitting on the kitchen table the other day (yes they were clean), and while I wondering if there was something I could use them for or should I just throw them away, Rich came and asked why they were there. He then came up with the brilliant idea of cutting the tops off, splitting them down the side and using them as rags. Walla, great idea!!!

Now what could I do with the toe area since the heel was the part that wore out. After I thought about it, why not use them as rags too! I could just slip the toe part over my hand and use it for cleaning windows, mirrors or dusting and then just throw them in the laundry, and I actually tested one after I cut it.socks 004 I was able to clean four mirrors before I tossed it in the laundry and didn’t have the messy, wet paper towels or newspaper. By the way, when laundered it came out as white as before. Yes I will be testing it on dusting soon, not one of my favorite chores since I collect a lot of knickknacks.

No more buying paper towels or using newspaper for my windows and mirrors and no more ruining dish or washrags for dusting, because you can just throw them away afterward if they don’t come clean.

I will be sharing more ideas for the home and healthy tips more often. It’s just been really busy around here lately with a lot of doctor visits for Richard, but things are starting to get back to normal so watch for more articles soon. Hope some of you find this idea useful

Changing the Name

Yes, I have changed the name again. Salvaging with Lori and more just didn’t seem to fit what I want to put on this site. I want to include healthy tips, healthy recipes, articles about things you can do around the house, ways of saving money, articles about re-purposing and salvaging items.

I’ve wanted to put up a lot of articles because I find new and interesting subjects each day, but they just didn’t seem to fit under the title of Salvaging with Lori and more because they aren’t all about digging through someone else’s garbage. So stay tuned as I will be adding quite a bit here in the near future.

new garden 003I literally love thrift stores. I have always found better items shopping a thrift store than going to large department or specialty stores. It’s also been friendly to my pocket book and that’s definitely a plus when you are living on a fixed income.

Some people may think I’m a hoarder and in a way I may be. We recently moved into another house, giving up the one we were trying to buy because it just wasn’t feasible on a fixed income. I had to make a lot of choices while packing on what to keep and what to throw away. It is amazing all the “junk” I had collected in 6 years.

After we finally got moved into the other house and started unpacking, I found many items that I thought I should have tossed before the move. They are sitting in a box in the kitchen waiting to be donated somewhere after I let my sister go through them to see if she can use any of the items.

The one thing I am very glad we kept was the bird feeder/bath. It really is just the bottom of a fountain we had years ago that we never really used. The electrical parts and the center piece are gone, but we kept it as a bird feeder and used to put nuts in it for the squirrels on occasion also.

Last summer I wasn’t able to do anything with my favorite hobby; container gardening, because I got into something that didn’t like me and had a bad allergic reaction that lasted most of the summer. I was bound and determined to do some kind of gardening this year and the bird bath was just what I needed to get started.

While I don’t have a lot of money to spend, I try to save a few bucks each month for something special. We were perusing the garden center at Walmart the other day and a family member who was there told us about some plants that were reduced in price.

new garden 004I bought up several trays of them at less than a dollar each. Some of them really looked pretty ratty, and were just thrown in buckets and containers, and I got those for like .50 apiece. This is what I did with them. The bird bath is in the front yard and the wooden basket sits on the stair railings of the front porch.

I went through the kitchen box and found all the little animal knick knacks that I had thought of donating and they put the finishing touches on both garden areas. I really don’t even know what kind of plants these are, but they are flowering annuals of some kind.

The whole project cost about two hours of work this morning and less than 4.00 at the store. I’m glad that I didn’t throw these things out

veggiesI try to be as healthy as I can. Granted, there are times I opt for the half gallon of ice cream or that hamburger and fries, but the majority of the time I eat mostly chicken turkey, fish, fresh veggies and fruit. Prices always seem to be going up on all the natural good stuff, while all the bad stuff stays the same or gets cheaper.

Think about it, for as little as $3.00 you can get a burger, fries and a drink, but for that amount you might be lucky to get a head of lettuce and a tomato or two at the grocery store, and even then you aren’t sure if you are getting a GMO product or one saturated with pesticides.

I recently had a total hysterectomy, back in January, so I am looking for ways to naturally balance my hormones since that function in my body has changed. I have signed up at certain health conscience blogs and while they send out good information, the bottom line is always price.

Living on a fixed income makes it hard to eat a healthy diet. For example, I received an e-mail the other day from “Herbs and Oils” titled “30 Foods that Naturally Balance Hormones”. Wow, I thought, problem solved. I needn’t do anymore research. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Among those thirty foods listed are items like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Cold-pressed Coconut Oil, Wild Caught Salmon, Free Range Eggs and Grass Fed Beef. Extra Virgin Olive Oil runs anywhere from $4.00 for a small bottle to $18.00 for a larger bottle, food grade Avocado Oil runs between $48.00 to $65.00 depending on the size and brand you buy. Cold Pressed Coconut Oil is between $8.00 and $23.00.

Not all grocery stores carry Free Range Eggs, Grass Fed Beef or Wild Caught Salmon, but if they did the prices would be around $9.00 per pound for the Grass Fed Beef, Wild Caught Salmon 4(6 oz) fillets are around $54.00 in some places and Free Range Eggs start around $4.00 per dozen.

I guess I will have to keep researching and just keep to my mostly veggie diet, hoping that the veggies I am buying are not GMO or chock full of pesticides.