Life as a mixed bag

Life continues to surprise me, and I have to admit I am never too old to learn something new that will make my life better.  I’ve also done some purging around the apartment and found ways to make the space work even more efficiently for me, and finally I have a couple new projects to share with you that I recently acquired.   This is definitely a mixed bag for you today.

Update on No Poo

I have had a private struggle with something very embarrassing to me.  I have had dandruff.  Horribly bad dandruff all my life. Over the years, especially when I was dumb and uninformed, I used every dandruff shampoo made, even prescription medicated shampoos. Nothing worked. I would have to limit the colors of clothing I wore so flakes wouldn’t show.  I couldn’t touch my hair after dressing or I would find my shoulders and the upper back of my shirts covered in white flakes.

Over the years I resigned myself to having this problem, but it was always something that made me very uncomfortable.  Until now!  As I was running low on shampoo I made the switch to baking soda wash with a white vinegar rinse.  I read up on this, and decided to comb through the vinegar to make sure I removed all traces of baking soda as I didn’t need any more white flakes than I already had.  That first combing was disgusting. The amount of white on the comb was shocking.  I didn’t think much afterwards, until I noticed I had no flakes on my clothes. Upon close inspection, I  had no white flakes on my scalp or on strands of hair.

I was nervous to mention it here on the blog, believing this was an anomaly, but it’s been months now and I’ve had no return of white flakes any where on my scalp. It’s been freeing to say the least.  After noticing the changes in my hair, which also feels soft like a young child, I did a search and found I’m not the only one who has benefited from using vinegar for dandruff.

If you are new to using vinegar, here are 101 more ways you can use vinegar around the home.

Streamlining my belongings

Entire contents of the closet emptied out to sort
Entire contents of the closet emptied out to sort

Once I was settled in to my new apartment nearly 2 years ago, I thought my decluttering was finished, not true.  I began in December letting more stuff go and started with the drawers in the night stand and the one in the table I use as a desk.  Then after Christmas began a more thorough sweep through my home.  I am amazed by how little I really need and found plenty to get rid of including the following (sorry no pictures of what was donated):

  • calculator
  • food dehydrator, it may have been a cheap brand but needing to have this plugged in for a minimum of 3 days to dry even a small tray of cranberries was using too much electricity for me and not worth the effort.
  • clothes
  • 4 more books
  • one small set of shelves
  • mop, I have never used it since moving. My bare floors are small enough a quick clean with rags and vinegar water only takes a few minutes and does a better job in those pesky corners.
  • 2 more baskets
  • kitchen utensils
  • silverware caddy for a drawer, it just took up too much space that could be used more efficiently.
  • A few toys the children no longer play with
  • coloring books that were filled went into the recycling
I set the broom next to this box for scale, this box contains all my summer clothes
I set the broom next to this box for scale, this box contains all my summer clothes

Prior to cleaning out the one drawer in my kitchen I had a basket storing my potholders and cloth napkins and another storing my dishcloths and towels.  Now here is my updated drawer.

IMG1313You can see I have cloth napkins in the front, pot holders in the middle, folded towels and dish cloths, and cooking utensils along the lower portion of the picture. I even found room for a beautiful tea box given to me years ago as a gift. In the very back, not easily seen, I have the lid from an egg carton (no not Styrofoam) that holds a few tools I use on a regular basis.  I have a silverware caddy I now store the eating utensils in for easy access. One caddy takes up so much less space than having 2 baskets and the tea box needing to sit some place around the kitchen.


Welcoming new projects

Not all the projects I work on come from other people.  In cleaning out my closet I realized I didn’t need two shelves to store all my clothes.  Here’s one that will have a new home shortly.


This shelf looks pretty sad right now.  This was originally a VHS cabinet with doors. Yes, another need eliminated by technology.

My grandfather bought this in the late 1990s to store bathroom items in a small corner. He couldn’t find anything else that would fit the space, so instead of adding all the little plastic things that would hold the VHS tapes he extended the inner shelves.

This was passed on to me and it’s held various items in our homes, in various places in each home.  I’ve used it to store everything from books and movies to pantry items.  I then passed it on to my son and his wife for storing their movies.

When it came back to me shortly after moving into this apartment, I used it to store pantry items again, then took the doors off to use it as a bookcase/nightstand.  Finally, it was put in the closet to store my clothes so I could eliminate a dresser.

Now it will be updated and given to a little girl for a small bookcase in her bedroom painted to match the colors she chose for her room.

Of course you didn’t think I would only be eliminating items from my home did you?  I was asked to take on two art projects by my ex.  He has a collection of guitars and found two were in such bad shape they couldn’t be used and weren’t worth trying to sell or find a home for.   He asked me if I could do something with them to make them art pieces for his home. I’ve never worked on guitars before so this should be interesting.  Here they are.


From a distance they don’t look too bad, but up close they are in pretty sorry condition.

cracks in places
cracks in places

The next picture is hard to see, but there is a long crack just to the left of where my grandson began sanding yesterday, and to the left of the crack the wood is warped as if it had gotten wet at some point.

Yes, the grand children are very observant and will look for where I am hiding the latest find.  While they are busy sanding they are also taking time to play with the strings on the darker guitar creating music for each other to dance to.
My home may not always be as organized as I would like, the guitars are currently residing in the closet, yes my nicely cleaned and organized closet, but I do have a home that is creative and the little ones love the new items as they rotate in and out of the apartment.  While some people rotate toys around so their children don’t have all their toys available at all times, I have “projects” that rotate in and out for the children to experiment on with me. They may only be 4 but they no longer need me to show them what direction to sand the wood which surprises me when I think how often I need to look through a finish to see the natural grain of wood.

What new things do you have lined up for you this month?




    • I used something totally different for babies with cradle cap, before bathing rub oil, can be baby oil or even olive oil into the scalp then with a small comb lay it down on it’s side so the teeth don’t dig into the scalp and slowly lift the cradle cap off the scalp. It doesn’t hurt and works wonderfully. If you try the vinegar, I’ve heard some people can be sensitive to the vinegar and you should put a little on the skin to see if it irritates the delicate skin of a baby before applying to the whole scalp. Good luck.


    • It has gone through quite the transformation from the first day I moved in. I was convinced I was going to live with the furniture that came with the apartment, but piece by piece I had it removed as they just weren’t necessary to me and took up too much space.


  1. I knew about the vinegar trick, my grandmother used it long ago. I always have vinegar in the house as it’s great for so many things! I can’t wait to see what you do with the guitars Lois! As I’m a painter I would probably paint one. I would make a small shelf out of the other one, the worse one, by taking off the front and gluing a small shelf inside. Anyway, that is in my head, not sure how it would work for real. 😉


    • How smart your grandmother was, wish I had tried vinegar years ago on my hair.

      As for the guitars you and I are thinking very much alike, I planned on taking the front off the one adding shelves and painting it as well. The other one I want to do a mural or something similar. I’m not much of an artist, I need a little help in that area so will do the best I can, and will have fun while doing it.


  2. i’m excited to see what you do with the guitars! i bet you will come up with something really cool 🙂 And I have also wanted to try no-poo 🙂 i have really dry curly hair !


    • My hair tends to be normal to dry and this has been wonderful. It’s funny the first time I used the baking soda with vinegar rinse as my hair dried I couldn’t stop touching it as it was silky soft, it felt so different from my own hair. Now I’m used to the feel, but it still feels nice to touch now and again. The guitars were supposed to wait until I get a few more things finished and my ex is in no rush to have them back, but the kids couldn’t wait to start sanding something new.


  3. You have put me into decluttering mode. I will start from tomorrow morning.

    Vinegar has so many amazing properties. Vinegar was even a secret Hannibal and his elephants used to defeat Rome.


  4. I’ve been doing the No Poo thing for about 4 years now, and my hair has never looked better! I did make a bit of a tweak to the recipe though, since I really hate the smell of vinegar. So instead I buy citric acid powder and mix it as I need it. It’s really cheap and you can mix it as strong as you need, and the best part is there’s NO smell!


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