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Gifting, Thrifting and Free

October 1, 2008

I actually did some sewing this week. It was for a friend’s baby shower. I really like how she handled the gift situation. She, Lawrence and I had a specific conversation about gifts at Isabel’s birthday party in August. It was about quantity and quality of gifts and how to mesh that with your values if you are opposed to consumerism and stuff for the sake of stuff. So, on her baby shower invitation it states, “If convenient, W. is graciously requesting second-hand, homemade, or locally purchased gifts.” I thought that was great. You know that people are going to bring gifts, so a gentle nudge in the direction your values takes you was an ideal way to handle it, I think.

I decided to make a big stack of soft, flannel baby wipes and give her our baby wipes warmer. We no longer use it and it was a great convenience to have. We didn’t have it with the first two, only Juliana and it was so handy to have warm wipes at the ready and it made using homemade, natural baby wipe solution a breeze. I am also planning on giving her a bottle of baby wipe solution concentrate, so she can just pour a few drops into the warmer, add warm water, add the wipes and have a whole warmer full of wonderful smell, good for her baby’s skin, reusable wipes. Since I was barely able to get the wipes done on time, I haven’t made the solution yet and I also forgot to take pictures to share with all of you. So, a photo of the two fabrics used on the wipes will have to suffice. I did double-sided flannel wipes. I sewed the squares wrong sides together, left an opening, turned them right side out and then top stitched. They turned out well.


I also had some successful thrifting, which is rare for me. I found this pretty apron at Goodwill. It is a pale green sheer kind of material with a vintage handkerchief as the pocket. This will be my fancy cocktail party apron. Oops. I don’t have cocktail parties. I guess dinner with friends will have to suffice. I was in search of a one gallon glass jar to make apple scrap vinegar. I thought that I would have to make do with a sun tea jar with a spout. I didn’t find any gallon glass jars at Goodwill, but at St. Vincent de Paul the next day I found the exact one gallon jar and lid that I wished for. Just a plain glass jar. I didn’t have to settle for a sun tea jar. And it was only $1.00!

On the free front, we went to my friend’s house and she let and helped us pick lots of apples. We got two varieties. One is a small to medium size red one with some green streaks. She didn’t know what variety they were, because they were already on the property when they bought it. We also got some large pale green ones. She thought they might be Green Transparents. I think we must have picked about 80 pounds. What a generous friend she is. This is the same friend who let us pick lots of her cherries in the summer.

While we were there, we got to see both batches of chicks that we hatched. The first batch are starting to look like mature chickens.

See? They’ve grown a lot. This is one of the beautiful peachy colored ones.


Here’s the second batch of chicks that we hatched. While we were incubating them, our friend discovered a broody hen on a clutch of eggs and our batch and her batch hatched within a day or so of each other; she was able to sneak our chicks in and the mama hen took them on as her own, so they are being raised by a chicken not a human!

Our friends own a property with a beautiful bio dynamic vineyard on it. The chickens jump up to eat the grapes hanging down. It’s so fun to watch for us, though not for them because that is future wine!

Finally, on Monday we picked about 40 pounds of Bosc pears. They were offered on Freecycle, so we headed out and picked. Anyone know how long it takes pears to ripen after you pick them? I’m hoping it will take a while so that I can buy myself time to process everything. I have food piling up that needs processing! More posts on that to follow.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Evelyn permalink
    October 1, 2008 5:45 pm

    What a great idea for the baby shower invitation. Not only does that help them receive what goes with their values, but it could help someone that would love to give something but isn’t able to buy something new.

    I am jealous about all the apples. lol I remember such good times when we were given apples and you and Laura used to help me sort and wash apples to make applesauce and cooked apples to freeze.

  2. Evelyn permalink
    October 1, 2008 5:45 pm

    What a great idea for the baby shower invitation. Not only does that help them receive what goes with their values, but it could help someone that would love to give something but isn’t able to buy something new.

    I am jealous about all the apples. lol I remember such good times when we were given apples and you and Laura used to help me sort and wash apples to make applesauce and cooked apples to freeze.

  3. Laura permalink
    October 2, 2008 4:33 pm

    Oh I wish we had all that fruit.

  4. Laura permalink
    October 2, 2008 4:33 pm

    Oh I wish we had all that fruit.

  5. Rane permalink
    October 2, 2008 5:01 pm

    I want to know more about the
    wipes and the solution.
    You Luck gal… so much free
    fruit!!!! Evelyn is not the only
    jealous one!!!!!! Have fun!!!
    Don’t work too hard. Are you going
    to let the kids bob for apples
    before the are tired of them??
    *I had wondered where you had gone
    You’ve been busy!*

  6. Rane permalink
    October 2, 2008 5:01 pm

    I want to know more about the
    wipes and the solution.
    You Luck gal… so much free
    fruit!!!! Evelyn is not the only
    jealous one!!!!!! Have fun!!!
    Don’t work too hard. Are you going
    to let the kids bob for apples
    before the are tired of them??
    *I had wondered where you had gone
    You’ve been busy!*

  7. Rane permalink
    October 2, 2008 5:04 pm

    btw.. pease E~mail me the recipe
    for the natural baby wipe solution.
    Thanks a million!
    Rane
    iremembersleep@yahoo.com

  8. Lisa permalink
    October 2, 2008 7:52 pm

    Mom-I remember that too.

    Laura-We are very lucky, indeed.

    Rane-What else do you want to know about the wipes, besides the recipe for the solution? You can use anything for wipes really. We used a single layer of flannel with serged edges, but people use old t-shirts that are cut up, baby washclothes or regular sized ones. I made the ones for my friend out of two layers of flannel, because it was a gift and I wasn’t interested in the easiest or most economical way. I thought double flannel would be the softest and most durable! I’ll get back to you on the recipe. I need to do some experimenting with what I have on hand. What I used to use back when my youngest was a baby was to put a couple ounces of Dr. Bronners castile soap into a bottle and add about 10 drops of essential oils, usually lavender or chamomile or a mix of the two. I would shake this up and then when I was ready to make a batch of wipes, I would drop about three drops of the soap/essential oil solution into the wipe warmer, add enough warm water to get the wipes wet, then I would push with wipes into the now great smelling water. This always worked well for us, didn’t mildew and smelled wonderful. I don’t have any liquid castile soap on hand, so I’m going to experiment a bit with some of my homemade bar soap, almond oil and essential oils. I’ll email that recipe to you when I get it right!

  9. Rane permalink
    October 3, 2008 2:01 am

    Thank you much!!! I am just having
    enough with how much we pay for
    the enviro~wipes. They are nice
    for the planet not not for our
    pocket!! LOL!!! I love the Idea,
    and it gets me that much closer
    for cloth over T.P. (*n_n*)
    They are 4.49 for 88 wipes and
    with 2 in daipers that is alot
    of wipes because they are smallish
    and thin. *sigh*
    What is castile soap??
    hummm…. I want to do something
    better for there bottom skin
    because I think that they are
    allergic to the wipes I use too.
    That is awsome…. I am going
    to go find some flannel ….(*^_^*)

  10. Lisa permalink
    October 4, 2008 3:36 pm

    Castile soap is a soap made from olive oil. It is available in bar or liquid form. Dr. Bronners is a very popular brand and can be found at almost all health food stores. Many have it available in bulk so you can just bring a small bottle and fill it, or some people buy a whole gallon because they use it for lots of things.

  11. rane permalink
    October 5, 2008 1:28 pm

    ooooooooooh! It sounds nice!
    Is it strong? Or gentle?
    Can I use it as a hand soap?
    Is it costly?

  12. april. permalink
    October 5, 2008 5:42 pm

    nice apron. i get lucky at the goodwill now and again, too.

  13. Lisa permalink
    October 7, 2008 5:08 pm

    Rane-It’s fairly gentle and economical. Yes, it can be used as a hand soap.

  14. Kim permalink
    October 23, 2008 5:45 am

    Your blog is so inspiring. It’s making me want to go out and plant a bunch of apple and cherry trees. That might be a problem considering it’s 10:44pm and they don’t grow very well in the Sonoran desert. A big garden and some pomegranates would be nice though! Look forward to more great posts.

  15. Lisa permalink
    October 23, 2008 6:10 pm

    Kimmus-Thanks for your kind words!

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