Repurposed container gardening
Glass Paper Scissors
green ideas, fresh designs, recycled crafts
“Paper or Plastic”? When I think of hauling my groceries up to my fourth floor walk-up, I skittishly mutter “plastic” and shamefully carry back 6-10 plastic bags of groceries every 2 weeks. I was reusing them (categorized on their tensile strength) for wrapping lunch boxes, parcel fragile glassware, provide water-proofing in projects and picking up after my dog. Several months back, I came across a cute trick on Pinterest and landed on Bao’s craft page http://www.relevedesign.com/. So can plastic really be used to make crafty dinner table items? Let’s try.
1. Cut of the handles and bottom of the plastic bags and make it into a rectangular shape.
4. Lay 3-4 sheets of plastic rectangles on the paper, preferably with the print (color or text) facing each other and not the paper directly.
10. Cut the new reinforced plastic to shape and enjoy your new washable coasters and table liners
and hence you don’t have to throw them away
Before I end, let me thank Bao (of Releve Design) once again for sharing great ideas on reusing plastics into fabulous craft items. So much to learn, so little time!
Remember my last post with plastic bottles where we cut the tops off and grew spring bulbs. Those tops will come in handy now.
Next time you chop off the bulb part of your green onions/ shallots, put them in a little (1" deep) water and watch them spring out into edible, almost never ending shoots. By far the most forgiving plants ever! With enough water and daylight (direct or otherwise) there’s no stopping them. Of course unless you drown them.
Brownie was sad and distant when we first started fostering. He withdrew himself from everything that was his. I felt it in my core because that is what I do, when I am scared to lose something I love or when I fear something will change, I dissociate myself that something or someone. So when I felt his hugs loosen, I panicked. There were spells of barking, a show of stress and disgruntlement. There was agitation, cowering and bossiness. And I was doubting my decision to foster, scared of complaints from my neighbors and overall unsure of what will happen to the wonderful bond that is Brownie and me. Despite the humans in my life– spouse, parents, friends, Brownie and I have a bond like no other and I wasn’t going to risk it, for anyone or anything.
And that is exactly what I told Brownie, I showed him he was my forever and my only and my most important. Our foster dogs came to us needing TLC, starved of love, attention and likely, food. So as you realize the fosters and the resident needed different things; and we catered to each. Thanks to my husband, we split guardianship in taking care of our pooches. He gave the foster all the TLC he needed. And I gave my Brownie what he deserved most–time and Mom. Whatever little time I had after work and errands and chores, I spent it with Brownie–I walked him, I fed him, I petted, hugged, snuggled and I never petted or picked up the foster in front of him. I stayed consistent for a couple days. Then gradually, we started spending us-and-them time together. Two humans, two pooches, giving short spurts of equal attention to both and more often than that, NO attention to either of them. We let them figure out their own social order. We had 2 squeaky toys, 2 balls, 2 beds (or a big bed) and they started being ok with the other being around. Stealing toys from each other, pushing, jumping, but also playing and lounging together.
Now when I walk 2 dogs, the foster and the resident, I always hold the foster on a tighter leash than the resident. 3 reasons:
Do you have tricks of your own that helps the resident and foster get along better?
I have only fostered a couple dogs and for about a couple months. So I am not an expert foster parent or dog trainer by any means. But being the Mum and anchor-point of my very emotional Brownie has given me considerable share-worthy experience and on how to deal with canine emotions. (Yes, I am of the school of thought that canine depression and canine emotions are very real).
N, a very good friend and a mum to a beautiful adopted Corgie, Bella recently pointed out that “I really commend Brownie that he lets you have foster dogs… If I ever do it, I am sure I am going to need a foster home after that;) She does not even let me dog sit…… The girl does not know what sharing means” I just wanted to hug N and say “Looky you! Bella is adorable and very very nice. I have seen her with strangers, she is confident and calm and a complete love and contrary to what you say, B does know how to share”
But, I also understand that it’s a tricky thing, to consider bringing in a 3rd wheel when the 2 of you are so complete–like Bella and N, like Brownie and me. You don’t know what she will do, how she will feel and you don’t want anything, ANYthing to jeopardize what you have, it is so precious. It is THAT precious.
So why do I foster?
Because I love dogs and because I have a sense of faith in them that I don’t have in humans (and this process is helping me with the human part too).
Because I want to help and this is the only way I can, for now and it fills up the void of helplessness,
Because I could scream at the top of my voice–”Adopt” or “breeds don’t mean that much”, but unless I am doing something more tangible, I don’t feel like my screams are being heard.
Because this helps me show that “there’s nothing wrong with shelter pets” and nice pictures + TLC can make them very adoptable.
Not just that, I like it that Brownie gets to socialize, even if it is supervised and limited.
You see, having Brownie is not an impedement to fostering, it is the reason I can foster and successfully let go of my fosters. After dropping off the happy, curious, somewhat anxious and upset pups in their new, forever homes, my car and my heart feels a little (read very) empty. But I rush home happy because I know my anti-emptiness drug is at home. He is sitting on a couch magically refueling my life with meaning and my home (and car and heart) with love; and as soon as I turn the key on my door, he will grab his squeaky toy and come to greet me. He will be a little curious to where his friend or frenemy went but he will also look a little relieved that I am home and with him. Within minutes, he will forget there was another dog, unless of course there is another dog.
But I didn’t get here in a day. Brownie was sad and distant when we first started fostering. He withdrew himself from everything that was his. I felt it in my core because that is what I do, when I am scared to lose something I love or when I fear something will change, I dissociate myself that something or someone. So when I felt the hugs loosen, I panicked. There were spells of barking, a show of stress and disgruntlement. There was agitation, cowering and bossiness. And I was doubting my decision to foster, scared of complaints from my neighbors and overall unsure of what will happen to the wonderful bond that is Brownie and me. I have a lot of good humans in my life– spouse, parents, friends. But Brownie and I have a bond like no other and I wasn’t going to risk it, for anything or anyone.
I like to believe I am a good person. Honest, fair and for the most part, pleasant. I smile when smiled at, I laugh at jokes (and jokers), I respond truthfully to most questions.
I have a set of rules that I try to abide by. I waste less, I save for the rainy day (from rubber bands to plastic bags), I give openly. I believe in small changes, in internal peace and in having fun. I try to spend some time with Nature regularly. I try to do at least one good thing everyday.
Lately, I feel like I have been spending way too much time sitting in traffic on the impersonal, dirty, dark highways in Massachusetts.
My Nature time happens when I roll my window down near Medford. The quota of doing good is limited to letting 1 car get in the lane before me in East Cambridge.
I practice deep breathing when the radio- omnipresence of Justin Beiber or Taylor Swift suffocate me. I have fun when I can beat 3 signals in a row and cut my commute by 7 minutes or more.
If you have ever lived in or driven in Massachusetts, you probably have your share of horror stories or sweet memories of self-emancipation.
In all this, it makes my day when I can squeeze my mid-size SUV through a tight spot and the guy next to me gives me a thumbs up rather than his middle finger. It makes my day to see more and more people driving smaller cars and hybrids, while in my mind’s eye, I see my SUV as a Smart car. Only bigger. It makes me happy to push the brakes for the rightful pedestrian, it makes me feel big to protect them from sneaky, greedy drivebys.
Overall, when the weather is safe without glaring suns or black ice or storms, the coffee –hot, the calendar –forgiving, the commute is a good time to practice self-control and reflex responses. It is also a good time to rehearse hate mail and snide remarks, as well as deliberate on consumer behavior insights and market trends.
Only let it be short, let it please be short. And interesting.