Practically Waste Free Actions

  1. I replaced the flapper in the toilet tank. While I have to throw out the old flapper and the new one had packaging, it does save us plenty of water. I am curious when I see a year’s worth of trash in a mason jar and you never see toilet or faucet repair parts in there. Am I missing something?
  2. Our furnace has kicked on a handful of times even set at 61 degrees but I am wearing a beautiful hand knit birthday scarf around the house and keeping warm.
  3. We have been using our gas fireplace to heat the room we are in most of the time. The fan is noisy so I have never been one to turn it on, but when the technician told us how much heat we were wasting by leaving it off, well, I have been dealing with the additional noise.
  4. It has been a bit since I posted so I will throw this one out there: we ate Thanksgiving dinner 3 days in a row in order to eat it all up (Do not take this as a complaint! I love Thanksgiving leftovers more than the original meal).
  5. I am reading through some books that I own with plans to donate them to the local library or putting them in a neighborhood Little Library.
Practically Waste Free Actions

Happy Things

  1. I rode my unicycle unassisted for a distance today and it was as amazing as I thought it would be. I’ve been learning to ride with hiking poles to assist (obligatory caution: note that some people caution against using poles for fear of injury when falling).
  2. Easy dinner of rice and black bean salad. 
  3. Enjoyed the first tomatoes from the garden. I wish I could grow them year round.
  4. I am reading The Lightning Thief and am enjoying it so far.
  5. The first apples of the season were at the market. Sweet, crisp apples.
Happy Things

Book Review: Quiltmaker’s Gift

Photo by Practically Waste Free Living

If you aren’t familiar with The Quiltmaker’s Gift, by Jeff Brumbeau, get thee to a library posthaste! This is one of my all time favorite books. The quiltmaker is an almost magical woman who lives high on a mountain and makes quilts only for the poor or needy, she would never sell one of her beautiful quilts. A greedy, unhappy king finds out about the quiltmaker and demands she sew a quilt for him. She refuses unless he gives away all of his many treasures. This is a great book for introducing the idea of crafting for charity and minimalism.

The illustrations are in no way secondary to the story, in fact they tell as much of the story as the written words (as they should in any good picture book). They show many different quilt patterns and are just lovely.

Admittedly I have a soft spot for picture books, but this is a book that transcends age and, in my opinion, is a must read!

Book Review: Quiltmaker’s Gift


I love books. I read constantly and everyone is happier if I am in the midst of a good book or, even better, a series. I read everything from kid’s books to adult mysteries and chick lit to nonfiction. Needless to say I own more than a few books. Once during a cross country move the mover commented that my move was similar to a library they’d once moved; lots of small, heavy boxes.
Growing up I relied on books to make things better. I wish I could write a thank you to every author of every book that made growing up easier. Back then I was a chronic re-reader. I am fairly certain there were books the library kept in circulation only because I checked them out so often. Going on a weekend or week-long trip my backpack would be filled with library books, many which I had already read several times.
Then I left home and went to college and read a lot for class but not much for fun. A summer or two later I returned to the library, nostalgic to check out some old friends and … they were gone (see, I really was the one keeping them in circulation). I was crushed.
Several years later, my beloved books not forgotten, I found myself at Powell’s with some money and some spare room in my suitcase and lo and behold, several of my old friends were there. I brought them home and read them and tucked them on my shelf, comforted that we were together again.
I still have those books and I still read them once a year or so. I also have many other books that I have enjoyed but don’t see myself ever re-reading. Time to let them go! So  where do I take my books to be re-homed?
  1. A local bookstore that buys back used books for store credit. I often use the store credit to buy books to give as gifts.
  2. Friends of the Library. My library, and most that I have been in, has an ongoing used book sale as that supports the library and the many programs it offers.
  3. The hospital. Our local hospital has a small library where families and patients can take books (or leave them).
  4. Little Free Library. I see these tiny libraries popping up in neighborhoods more and more, and what’s not to love about neighbors sharing books!
Now I buy books I know I will read and re-read. I also take full advantage of our library, both brick-and-mortar and online. Online is great because I can check out a book from home and it is automatically returned, thus saving me the overdue fine. For pure browsing pleasure, though, there is nothing like taking a trip to the library and wandering the stacks.
So how do you re-home your books?