Craft Project For Borderline Hoarders

As I’m getting older, I’m finding it easier to let go of the past, especially when it comes to stuff. Every now and then though, I come across something I just can’t get rid of. For example, a t-shirt I bought in 1988 (the 8th grade), and even though nothing significant happened while I was wearing it, I just couldn’t throw it away. It spent about 20 years in a box at my parents house, until they cleaned out their storage space. Then, my old junk was relocated to our house where I realized very little of it was actually worth keeping.

Most of it ended up in our donation bin, but I held this one old t-shirt. I’d loved it so much back then. I just couldn’t let it go.

I was never going to actually wear it again, so I turned it into decor.

The rectangle shaped pillow was made from the front of the shirt and the back is the smaller square. The backs are made from navy blue corduroy.

Long live my favourite t-shirt!

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Herb and Goat Cheese Dip – Lactose Free!

This conversation took place in our home last night:

D: Jeremy, you should try this dip. It’s lactose free, but you wouldn’t know it…Oh come on, don’t recoil in horror.

J: I’m not recoiling. I’m slowly walking away…In horror.

My husband will not touch any of my wheat free, dairy free, new age hippie foods.

It’s his loss.

Herb and Goat Cheese Dip – Lactose Free

2/3 cup dairy free sour cream* (I used Tofutti brand)
1 brick goat cheese (130g)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp chives of green onion, chopped

Blend sour cream, goat cheese, garlic and herbs in a small food processor.

Garnish with green onion or chives. Serve with vegetables and/or crackers.

*Obviously, you could use actual sour cream here, if lactose is not a concern.

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My Greenish Thumb

“Do you actually like gardening?” Jeremy asked, while we stood outside looking at the backyard.

The truth is, I don’t.

Although I talk about it a lot, and it consumes so much of my free time, for me it’s actually just a means to an end. What I really love is having flowers, trees, fresh herbs, and vegetables right off the vine, all summer. Unfortunately, having these things requires a lot of work.

There are aspects that I do enjoy.

I love spending time outside and the way my arms look after a summer’s worth of cutting the grass with my little manual mower. People think I’m nuts for pushing that thing around, but it really sculpts the guns. I also love shopping at the garden center. Most of all, I love that feeling of pride and satisfaction when I drive up to our house and see our beautiful garden, knowing that I did this.

On the other hand…

I don’t like being attacked by swarms of angry Japanese beetles (which happened to me last year, when I was trying to save what was left of a birch tree they’d devoured while we were at work) or being stung by bees, ants and thistles. Furthermore, I don’t particularly care for cleaning up turds from the neighbourhood cats – three cats, that don’t belong to us, regularly use our garden as a litter box. I also do not enjoy finding carcases from deceased birds and small animals in our flower beds (the later, I thankfully, have not encountered yet this year).

Then, there’s the time. Whenever I step outside, I feel like there are always weeds to be pulled, shrubs to be trimmed, or grass to be cut. I spend so much of my summer up to my elbows in dirt, when I’d rather be on the deck with my feet up, with a magazine and a glass of wine.

I’m still relatively new to gardening. I don’t really know what I’m doing, so I don’t always approach it as efficiently as I could. It’s getting easier every year though. With every passing summer I learn a little more and gain that much more control over our suburban jungle. I’m confident that someday soon I’ll get to spend more time enjoying our yard than working in it.

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