Happy Happy Happy

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Dear Friends.

Are you happy? If so, what makes you happy? Most of us would put our family and friends at the top of the list, but I’m fairly certain there are other things around us contributing to our happiness far more than we realize.

The beginning of the new year brought suggestions to start a thankful jar or daily journal to help us become aware of the wonderful things we have in our lives that we often take for granted. My husband, Larry, often remarks how he appreciates a nice hot shower, so I’m sure he would include that.

A few years ago, we changed the way we did many things in our city home. We stopped using chemicals to have a perfect yard, and started composting and gardening on a small scale. It is curious how something like that can contribute to happiness, but I know it to be so from experience. We have done these things for so long, now, they have become second nature. Yet, just this week, I was peeling an orange, and had the happy thought, “When some people, peel an orange, they just get an orange to eat. When I peel an orange and toss the peeling in the container by my sink, I also get compost!” I wish everyone could have that feeling of satisfaction from making the rich earth that gardeners refer to as black gold. Kristin Kimball, in her book, The Dirty Life, said of all the things she experienced on their journey, making compost was her favorite. The wonderful thing about it is that anyone can do it.

How about you? Do you get a charge out of reusing things? We haven’t always been a wasteful, throwaway world, and Larry and I often discover examples of wise usage of salvaged material on our little farm. I’m sure the lack of extra money, or time to run into town to buy something needed was a great motivation, but, shouldn’t we always be trying to reuse, repurpose, or recycle?

I just have to tell you of an example we found this past summer. Larry was taking metal electrical conduit off the outside of the loft before we repainted it, and he noticed the conduit was held on by a piece of metal that wasn’t the normal clamp used for this purpose. Upon looking closer, he turned the piece over and realized someone had used a Prince Albert tobacco can that once held tobacco for filling a pipe or rolling cigarettes. We had to admire his ingenuity! He had cut strips from the can, turned it over so the bare metal was on the outside, nailed both ends over the conduit, and painted it.

Larry had this antique can for me to photo!

I want to be more like that person, and find ways to reuse things here and there. This is my latest idea that I recently read about. I save toilet paper rolls, stuff them with dryer lint to make great fire place starters for on the farm. That’s so silly you say? Nope, I just reused two things that normally get thrown away. *If only I used my dryer more so I could have more lint! Now I AM being silly, but you get the idea.

Great fireplace starters from toilet paper rolls and dryer lint.

Share with us about something that makes you feel good to reuse, and be happy, happy, happy!

*For those of you who have read my post on “To Hang or Not to Hang,” you may be wondering how I am getting dryer lint. I still do hang nearly everything and I much prefer it. This winter, however, I have been using the dryer for our king-size flannel sheets as they are getting difficult for me to handle. I also used it for all the bedding after the gang was here for Christmas. As my mother used to say, “Getting old isn’t what it’s cracked up to be!”