On my last post I indicated that I would be sharing about homeschooling next, as that topic has been sorely neglected here on the blog. A travesty really, because of all the things we do homeschooling seems to eat up most of my time! Anyway, the injustice shall continue because I had to share our theme from this past week: Repurposing.
Okay, so we don’t actually put themes to our weeks around here, but if we did ‘Repurposing’ definitely would have been it.
It started with a feed trough as we needed one for the goats. Since Flora and Pepper arrived, we’ve been using a large mesh bag meant for horses. Feed troughs are expensive, but the lady at Tractor Supply suggested a mesh bag thing (which probably has an actual name, what it is I know not) to hold the goats’ hay. Because the openings in the mesh are small, the goats are only able to pull out small amounts of hay at a time and limit waste. The financial risk was low, too. Worst case scenario, we’d be out nine bucks.
Guess what? We’re out nine bucks. When they pull the bag down, or chew through the cord, then all of it goes to waste.
Granted, hay around here is cheaper than the straw we use for bedding, so I guess it’s not a huge loss. But still, goats can’t eat straw while they do need hay, so it’s a loss nonetheless. Steve came up with this in order to solve the problem:
It used to be an old bunk bed. It worked out perfectly, with enough solid pieces and slats that with just a few cuts and a couple dozen screws, it made for a great manger. The bottom half is for catching any falling hay, as well as doubling as a low trough for when we have goat kids that also are ready for hay. It works ‘okay,’ though a few small modifications will help to limit the hay waste even more so.
And now, for my own bit of repurposing:
If you’re not a hand spinner, this probably doesn’t mean much to you. When I spin, the ‘singles’ (one strand) wind onto the bobbin, and then two or more singles are twisted together off of their bobbins to form finished yarn. So at any given time, I need to have at least three bobbins. (This is, of course, assuming I’m only working on one thing. Which I never am, because I get bored easily and like to bounce around to different types, depending on my mood. Ahem.)
The majority of my bobbins were unfinished, and with the dry weather the wood shrank, the glue cracked, and I have 5 useless bobbins sitting around waiting to be fixed. Since I only have two working bobbins and need three to finish my yarn, the solution is a storage bobbin–one meant for holding a single or finished yarn until it’s ready to be used. This makeshift storage bobbin is made from the cardboard tube off a dry-cleaner hanger and two old mason jar lids. I’m actually very impressed, because for something so makeshift it worked exactly the way I needed it to. Especially when you consider the hanger came with the dry cleaning and mason jar lids can’t be used for canning more than once. So, this was essentially free when new bobbins cost several dollars a piece. Hurrah!
Lastly, we have these:
Our rabbits’ nest boxes! They were the drawers for one of those plastic shelves that you can get at Target or Walmart. The shelves they belonged in were cracked, so we pulled them out, filled them with hay and let the rabbits use them for their babies. We’ve been doing this for about a year now, so it’s not a new practice. But since we did give Hester and Elinor their nest boxes this week, I’m counting it in with our ‘Repurposing’ theme!
Hopefully, the next theme we’ll be talking about is ‘Homeschooling,’ because as I said, it really hasn’t been given the attention that it deserves on here! And I’d like to get around to sharing a bit more about the process of hand spinning. I also have a lot of thoughts on ducks (nicer thoughts than Steve has about them), and the beautiful January thaw we’ve been having. Plenty of things I’d like to chat about, but as writing isn’t particularly my forte, it takes much longer to get those thoughts out than I’d like!
Anything in particular YOU’D like to hear about?