Community is the New Deal


Spare Shelf is about building a business model that will give others a place to build a business.

Relief, Recovery, and Reform…

The New Deal was a series of economic programs enacted in the United States between 1933 and 1936…

…The programs were in response to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call the “3 Rs”: Relief, Recovery, and Reform. That is, Relief for the unemployed and poor; Recovery of the economy to normal levels; and Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression.

Aside from the politics surrounding creating a national or even global economy, what we will need to meet the needs of our own little community is something for a different discussion.

Many businesses today rely on a discount model, thinking rather falsely that the only thing that matters is low, low prices. True, we all look for value. And it is true, too, that many big businesses owe their success to structuring their merchandise offerings to the lowest price in town.

It is also true that they have convinced us all to believe that we are the beneficiaries of this continued lowering of quality and price.

The real truth is that a lot of the costs of there business operations are externalized in that they pass the bill for their growth on to government, ultimately we, the taxpayers. When big box stores continue to hire part-time, minimum wage workers, there are very few benefits to the employees aside from what they can qualify for in the form of a subsidy provided for by our government (us), not the business itself funding these programs; food stamps and Medicaid. We pay in many other ways as well. Far too many ways we pay and don’t see than there is room for or interest to discuss here.

The most important thing is that we can all have a way to make a living wage, that we can have good quality products that are a true value, products that are useful for years, that aren’t ruining our children’s future to have, and that we can continue to see hope that what we build today will provide for more, rather than less of the needs of our own community going forward.

Most of the original New Deal reforms of the 30’s have been chipped away at through agendas to return capitalism to an unregulated free market. Many people believe that pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps is the only help that should be offered by the world, to the world. In other words, us helping us. About the only thing left is Social Security, and if big business (i.e. Wall Street) had their way, that would be turned over to them to gamble away as well.

It does seem, in this climate of deregulation and the stripping away of our social safety nets, that it might be a good idea to find a way to invest our own personal labor in a way that it is not constantly being stripped away from us with lower wages, fewer or more expensive benefits and no hope for upward mobility or even finding a job that can sustain us.

In this author’s opinion, the best hope for doing that is creating businesses for ourselves.

So, the new, New Deal is that we are in this together. We need to find ways to benefit each other while meeting our own needs.

Spare Shelf is about building a business model that will give others a place to build a business.

It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen without synergy.

Spare Shelf needs your help.

Please comment as to what your needs are for building the business of your dreams. Let’s start a discussion and lets get building.

For a start, Spare Shelf is offering to provide a place to show off what you create. It will be a place to show it, sell it, and eventually teach it and find the resources for it.

Can’t you always use a Spare Shelf?
It might be better than advertising! For the most part, advertising dollars go out and it is hard to track their benefit.
Having a Spare Shelf will be like having a 3D advertisement and the results will be realized in the form of actual sales.

Contact us now to find out more or to offer your suggestions for a better way to build it. We aren’t trying to invent the wheel. We know there is nothing new under the sun, but we know that if we want to build it, we need your help.

Spare Shelf … An alternative storefront reality


Cha, Cha …Changes!

Thank God for the young people because in them is our hope. And they are getting it.

Bla Bla Bla... Act Now!

Image: Inside Climate News,

Plant any land you have with flowers, trees and food.

Little Old Red-Haired Girl

The main goal for Ms. SpoolTeacher is to take care of her Little Old Red-Haired Senior Girl and make sure she is as happy as can be….Take care of little Doggies changes we must all make

Changes. They begin with us. We have the power to change the world. Want the beautiful things in life; relationships, nature and love of all things living. Forget about wealth other than the wealth of a wonderful friend and what it means to share time peacefully with them.

Or the beauty in petting behind the ear of a beloved animal and the pleasure they assure you with their eyes. They are grateful for your care.

They know they depend on you. They may wish they had more control and maybe even thumbs. But they know you have them and they submit to waiting on the love you will deliver.  And Gertis The Mertis Too For the birds Ahhh Little Old Red-Haired Senior Girl Little Old Red-Haired Senior Girl Plant Food Ms. SpoolTeacher’s favorite tomato, Black Krim…

Ms. SpoolTeacher's favorite tomato

Seed Savers Exchange is a go to place for these seeds. Click picture to go right to them.

Change the paradigm. Change yourself. Plant food. Live slow. Hang out your washed clothes in the sun. Love animals. Love each other.

We can do it. We have to take away the power of things that are bigger than we are. If everybody does it, just Imagine….

Busy As The Bees

Product development is ongoing at Ms. SpoolTeacher’s house every day.

These yo-yo’s someday want to be a quilt like the one below this image. Someday to be a Yo-Yo Quilt


Image: NewVintageOldSkins on Etsy

These twills and corduroys someday want to be a patchwork purse with fringe…

twills and corduroys

seams as fringe

…with these as inspiration:

image from Barbara Vaughn’s Etsy shop:bvaughanhandbags

image from Barbara Vaughn’s Etsy shop:

View on: honeybeepollen on Etsy

View on: honeybeepollen on Etsy

Lately she got hooked on T-shirt yarn and got carried away making things…

how to make t-shirt yarn graphic

Where did she get this image?  She’s like to give credit where credit is due.

The first step is to cut off the hems and the top, under the sleeves. Save those though. The tops can be cut for strips and the hems used for other projects.

product development, making t-shirt yarn, tarn

The collection of hems from the rolls below

There is one step missing in the graphic above…stretching it after it is cut. It curls in on itself and gets much longer. There are lots of things to do with just the un-pulled fabric as well; but for yarn, seems best to stretch.

T-shirt yarn, tarn, pulled to stretch and elongate

The turquoise failed to turn in on itself and was used for a project you will see below.

Here is the pile she started with. All from shirts she had on hand and planned not to wear any longer.

collection of t-shirt yarn, tarn, rolls

This was her first project using the “Tarn”. You can see the details here:“Throwing a Tarn Bowl”, (though it is more of a basket).

Wabi-sabi tarn bowl, 21st century, thrown on an "artists" lap

Wabi-sabi tarn bowl, 21st century, with handles and a touch of purple


Wabi-sabi tarn bowl, 21st century, thrown on an "artists" lap

Bottom up!

Wabi-sabi tarn bowl, 21st century, with handles and a touch of purple

Strings have since been woven in.

And then she started braiding….
Braided rug fom t-shirt yarn.

…and braiding,

T-shirt yarn, tarn, braided for a rug

  and braiding…

T-shirt yarn, tarn, braided for a rug

She will try to post a tutorial of sorts to describe how efficient she got at braiding with rolls. The best rugs are made with “continuous-cut” tarn/yarn that is then rolled into balls, but the braid gets tangled if you don’t have a technique. And then when you do run out of the longest strips, there is a great way to splice a new run in.

There are several ways she has seen others splice pieces; but by far, the best way she has seen is to do it like it is done with bias tape. Click this picture to go to a how-to if you like. It’s for bias tape, but use the same method for the tarn.

Be sure to put the right sides (the original right side of the t-shirt) of “tarn” together when doing this as you want the seam to be inside the curling of the t-shirt yarn.

She did this herself and it worked like a charm; no lumps, bumps or knots (though that could be a design decision and even desirable, you be the judge).

As for how she braids…she can’t figure out how to tell you so that it will make sense, so maybe someday a video. Don’t hold your breath.

The main gist is to pick one ball to be the one to pull through the other two strands every two laps. Otherwise, you get a second braid forming below and it’s a tangled mess. If you get in a rhythm, it goes like the wind.

Lots of sellers on Etsy are stitching the braids together with zig-zag stitches on their machines. Ms. SpoolTeacher thinks they look nice this way. She hasn’t mastered (let alone even tried) this technique yet. She keeps hoping the braid will sew itself together.

Meanwhile she surfed the internet looking for that tutorial for joining the ends, didn’t find it, but found this Adirondack lady, Helen Condon, who makes some awesome rag rugs the old fashioned way. You can view a video of her working here. There is nothing like authentic craft, but Ms. SpoolTeacher likes modern adaptations as well… as seen here in a rug that inspires her:

For the old fashioned, lacing way of doing it, here is a great tutorial video, (Poor quality video, but useful for the information).

So as for that darned piece of t-shirt yarn that would not curl….she just used it as it was and imbedded it within this cotton macrame cord and made a few rows in single crochet with it as well as she went along. Pretty pretty, eh?

100% cotton macrame cord and t-shirt yarn crochet basket

100% cotton macrame cord and t-shirt yarn crochet basket

100% cotton macrame cord and t-shirt yarn crochet basket

There just aren’t enough hours in a day to do all the wonderful things she wants to do. She doesn’t understand how anyone gets bored.

She stays as busy as the bees…

busy as the bees

they say bees like green water…check out this blog:


Imagine knowing your baby will be secure for life?

Imagine knowing your baby will be secure for life?

“Imagine you are being born and society tells you ‘Welcome, you will be cared for, and asks you what you want to do with your life, what is your calling? Imagine that feeling, that’s a whole different atmosphere “ – Daniel Straub, Co-founder, Basic Income Initiative

Switzerland may start paying every adult (whether they work or not) a salary of over $2000 per month, based on the idea that their citizens will have more time to devote to things they are intrinsically interested in, instead of spending the majority of their time worrying about how they are going to survive, as many individuals with entry level positions find it hard to meet their needs. The income initiative promises every Swiss citizen a living wage , so they can always survive without basic financial worry.

Read the article here to consider pros and cons.

Ms. SpoolTeacher has always thought that as citizens, we own the commons. That means that the resources in the ground, air, water, nature, etc. belong to the people who inhabit the land.

Inhabitants of the land, the commons

Inhabitants of the land, the commons

She doesn’t believe that Corporations own them. She knows that it takes capital, small “c”, to make these resources viable for the citizens and that those engaged in making that happen deserve a “living wage” and their expenses paid for doing it.

Corporate Feudalism: The End of Nation States

“Corporate Feudalism: The End of Nation States”. Click picture to read the post by Steve Lovelace

She believes that any investment in research and development is an expense and should be funded by “the commons” who will benefit by the progress. If the commons won’t be benefited, it shouldn’t be being done. Period. If it does harm to the commons, it shouldn’t be being done. Period.

She doesn’t believe that those managing resources as profit making Capitalists should recover money for the investments that “the commons” provided initially; i.e., monies our government has already funded for research and development that is done before profit making Capitalist do what they do. You know, like all the work our government did to bring the internet into viability for Silicon Valley to further improve and develop. And that those same profit making Capitalists owe the commons a portion of the wealth they extract from the commons. It is, after all, our resources that they are given the privilege of “harvesting”.

The whole world is askew. There seem to be two basic camps of thinking…

Precision Nutrition. Click image to read post

two camps of thinking image courtesy of Precision Nutrition. Click image to read post (about food)

Will the chocolate cake be put to the Right use on the Left, or will the Right leave the Left with no chocolate cake at all? The cupcake is pink, so it must be of no use at all or maybe, just maybe Left on it’s own, the pink cupcake has all the Right ingredients after all. Right or Left, Left or Right? Maybe we should be thinking Pink?

Ms. SpoolTeacher believes with her whole heart that all new parents want the best possible for their babies. They don’t want their babies to spend their lives worrying in excess or unnecessarily. The right kind of stress is a good thing. Being in a chronic state of stress with survival worry is not.

They want their children to be free to grow into the beings God intends for them to be.

Well, the most important thing is that we all have food. So let’s quit worrying about all that other stuff and get out there and at least 1% of us plant some food.

White House garden

White House garden: Image courtesy of One Green Generation. (click image to read post at )

This looks like a pretty good plan, don't you think?

This looks like a pretty good plan, don’t you think?

And live a little more simply, and want a little less in material goods, and start wanting more for each other?

Are you planting this year? Are you helping someone else plant? Are you buying from someone who grows in your community?

That’s where imagining a better future starts. At least Ms. SpoolTeacher thinks it is.

Imagine. Just imagine.

Thanks Giving


“No Christmas until after Thanksgiving”, is a common refrain when the stores first start putting the displays out even as they put up fall and Halloween. But at the first signs of chill, we all start anticipating our family gatherings for Thanksgiving and soon thereafter, Christmas. The first chills after a nice long hot summer make us all want to blanket up and start the fireplaces.

Ms. SpoolTeacher is trying to make her way “off the grid” so she can accomplish her goals to live simply, live with less, make do with the least of things and have more time, not exchanging her labor for money but using her labor to effect the changes in the world she hopes to see. At the least she wants to make the changes in her own life that will reflect the values she holds, organic food grown by herself, time spent studying things that will broaden her perspective, studying nutrition and health so as to avoid the pharmaceutical fiasco, spending time loving other people and building relationships, sewing, caring for her animals, keeping her own house up.

Little Red-Haired Girl and Gertis The Mertis TurtleSo instead of running expensive utilities for heat, she just piles on more clothes. She has done this now for several years, and it is doable. A little uncomfortable, but doable.

She resents that prices keep going up on everything. Especially insurances.

She thought lately about dumping cars and getting her bicycle in gear to make her rounds about town for the essentials of her life…

But, just yesterday, one of her elder clients who hires her for housekeeping, had gotten so ill he was taken to emergency for what turned out to be pneumonia, again. He had called her up to make his bed with new sheets. When she first saw him he was grizzly with an unshaven face and mussy hair. He was laboring to breath. She patted him on his skinny little arm and said, “You feel so bad, you haven’t even shaved?” To which he replied, very slowly and labored, “I feel so bad, I couldn’t even take a shower.”

Levon HelmHe’s a handsome man, looks a little like one of her favorite actors/musicians of all time, Levon Helm but with much whiter hair.

While she was scuttling about making the bed, another friend came in and together they decided that he should go to emergency hospital. She finished her chore and left just ahead of the two of them.

It wasn’t much later that Mr. Frail Client called her, “I hate to ask you to do this, but I’m waiting for them to give me a shower. Could you bring up a pair of shorts and a T-shirt?

“Of course”, she responded. He gave her detailed descriptions of where to find and what to bring. She would need her car for that.

She no sooner got home from doing that when he called and said, “I’m sorry to bother you again, but I should have thought, I will need a pair of pajama bottoms too.”

Well, she would get one thing to him and he would think of two or three other things he had forgotten… brush, deodorant, razor; steak in the fridge that needed to be cut and frozen for when he came home; sleeping pills and more shorts and T’s for the days he anticipated staying.

She must have made five or six trips. “I’ll catch up with you for money when I get home, is that okay?”

“Of course”, she said as she thought of how she gets to be too friendly with her clients and hates to even charge them for things she does for the love of them. But she knows they love her also and want to keep her going and handy and wouldn’t think of not paying her.

But she sure did need her car for all that. So the insurance that she just changed, probably two months ago because of rate changes, has gone up now too. She sure would like to dump it. She hates (strong word but accurate), hates, hates insurance. It’s a racket and completely unfair to consumers. She thinks regulations aren’t strict enough. She’s assured by seemingly everyone that “that is Capitalism at work”. Where’s the competition if the only competition is a tiny discount to get one moved over and then two months later they raise it to “allowable increases” at the first opportunity? Maybe she'll get a Harley and ride off into the sunset

Well, she will get rid of car (or maybe she’ll get a Harley and ride off into the sunset with Old Harley-Davidson-Riding Boyfriend) as soon as she can find the right things to make with her abundance of resources (of which she wants to rid herself) and is able to sell them on Etsy or at a fair or some such way.

And she wants to write a book. Those are all things she can do without a car.

Car is dying anyway and that would require more labor for wages and a trap she could never get out of if she started that cycle again.

She marches on.

So she is giving thanks for all the things she does have that make it possible for her to keep on living the life of which she has become accustomed; off the grid, simple. Great friends, Old Harley-Davidson-Riding Boyfriend, (who came to visit lately and took her for a day of fun), family, pets and God.

Thank you God for everything.

Thanks Giving. It’s a good practice to keep everyday, don’t ya think?

Hot Pink, Fairy Zinnias and Christmas Candy Bar Stockings

Red Gingham

For the love of anything red gingham or Red Gingham Calms Her Like Yoga

It hadn’t turned cold yet. Ms. SpoolTeacher wanted to go out and do some work to make her summer liter-strewn yard look a little more presentable for the clients who show up for mending and alterations.

As often she does, she grabbed whatever “felt” good to her at the moment to wear.

She happened to have on a pair of hot pink tights she’d cut the feet off of (because she can’t stand the pressure of anything bearing on her toes or her feet feeling confined). She had been to church that morning and had started out to wear an ensemble that they accented. She had decided not to wear that outfit, had put long pants on instead and didn’t want to bother to take the pink tights off so wore them under the pants. She didn’t bother to take them off when she got home either so just pulled the red gingham overalls over them. She had on a hot pink long-sleeved T-shirt as well. When her friend showed up later he exclaimed, “Woah, wow…shades of Marilyn Manson, I mean Monroe!”.

Red Gingham bombshell kinds of thingsShe took it as a compliment and went on raking.

She had already previously corralled things into heaps of decaying debris for compost but was letting leaves dry so they would more easily fall from the branches and stems.

Gertis The Mertis Turtle Branches, sticks and debris Branches, sticks and debris, Compost debrisThis day Gertis the Mertis Turtle was helping as much as she could, (following Ms. SpoolTeacher around keeping her company).

She got finished with as much as she could do for that day. Now she needs to turn the compost heaps and add the debris she has corralled and shaken, stomped, rubbed off the branches and stems to what already exists and hope it’s ready for next spring. Leaves haven’t fallen quite yet, so there will be much more to add as fall continues. Most of what she corralled this day was from a giant branch that had fallen from a tree. It fell on the patio roof and was still attached at the crotch til friend came with chainsaw and finished “felling” it. Now she will need to hand saw the bigger branches into firewood size pieces. She has a chainsaw, but likes the exercise and the lack of noise and not using fossil fuel. Simplicity. Doing with the least of things. Minimalism.

Vintage Christmas Stocking Pattern

The last she mentioned in her Gingerbread-aholic post, she was on her way to making some Christmas “candy bar” Stockings. Well, she’s been working on them and isn’t so sure she’s gonna bother to go very far. Sewing is a very laborious task and very hard to ask for enough to make the time spent pay for itself. She’s been ironing the bugs out to start; making a pattern she likes, getting it sized right and curves that please her eyes, testing techniques for adding embellishments and finishing treatments (hiding seams, raw edges and such).

ss.christmascandybarstockings 022ss.christmascandybarstockings 025Fronts and backs. Size about seven inches long, just enough for a large candy bar.

Which one do you like the best?

She found a vintage item on Etsy and used it as a “model” to sketch her idea.

Vintage Christmas Stocking PatternIt’s a lot more work than she thought and she’s not sure she likes the results. The one from her childhood mentioned in last post was felt, seamed on the outside with pinked edges and glued on glitter in her initial. But she wants so to find a good use for all her millions of fabric sample swatches from Designer days of old.

Her favorite thing is to be out in the sun, digging in the dirt. Maybe she’ll take her sewing outside…maybe not.

Hot Pink Fairy Sister Zinnia

The Hot Pink Zinnia that volunteered in her back yard she thinks was a seed her Fairy Sister flew over from the front yard to under her clothes line and planted to remind her that she isn’t so far away after all. (Her sister passed not long ago). It’s still there after all the ones in the front have expired! Hot pink was her favorite color!

Hot Pink Fairy Zinnias. She loves zinnias. Wasn’t that sweet of her sister to do?


Gingerbread House

(/\ photo belongs to

Gingerbread-aholic, that’s what she is. She has a hard time editing. She likes to put lots of detail in anything she does. Especially sewing as it is an opportunity to “apply” (i.e., applique) more of her acquired repertoire of skills, techniques, and abilities.

It shows up in everything she does.


Hand-painted Checkered Floor treatment

Not Your Mothers Smock

Not Your Mothers Smock

Egyptian Cotton Pillowcase Curtain

Egyptian Cotton Pillowcase Curtain

So it’s very hard to believe that she is all about minimalism, scaling down, doing with the least of things, doing with what she already has. The problem there is that she has a lot. A lot, lot, lot. Big Lots! Of course she is “still not 60” and has had a hoarding ability handed down by her mother who threw away/parted with not very much, so she has had lots of time to “collect”.

She thinks that the reason why her house always ends up congested is because that is the comfort she brought from childhood.

When she was little, as has been told here before, she lived in a very small 30 x 30 “cracker-box” (her mother called it) house. As the years progressed and the three little girls grew up, the more they accumulated the more furniture went into a room. She lived there until she was 13 with wall to wall, floor to ceiling stacked furniture, every drawer or cubby filled to the max.

So now as she edits things out and starts to believe she is on her way to minimalism, she realizes she is bored with nothing to look at.

She’s an analyzer. An introvert who likes to think, think, think. She likes to have something to think about and for her eyes to fix on for inspiration of what next to think about.


But she is trying very hard to get to her desired goal of minimalist living. She really wants not to have so much stuff. Indigenous people wonder why industrial societies need so much “cargo”, they call it. And that’s just what it feels like.

But, she still likes gingerbread, the cookies and the look, and little Gingy of course.

“Not the gumdrop buttons!”

So today, she is going to be making some little Christmas Stockings big enough to put just a candy bar in, like what one of her “Room Mothers” made and gave all of the class for a Christmas treat when she was in elementary school. Yes, she still has it. It had a Milky Way bar in it. It made a big, big impression on her little thinking mind. Now all these years later, she will use it as a pattern and try not to Gingerbread-aholic it up too much.

She will be using her stock of fabric sample books for curtain making/upholstery from days gone by when she did that kind of stuff as well as other things from her stash of goodies.

Does she have you waiting With Bated Breath to she what she comes up with?

Check back soon for the results. Or check out her Etsy shop and “Favorite” it to see them as soon as they are posted. (heart)

Update: currently at her shop on Etsy. (get while they are available!)

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

click on picture to go to Etsy shop

Fall Here. Not to be Eeyore-ish! fall here. that's a lie. monsoon season.That’s a lie. This was taken during Monsoon Season…??? (Sporadic throughout summers here).

Raining sometimes just over your house (and only your house) like a cartoon image…

picture link: Click on picture for source

“I don’t know what I’m gonna do.”, did he actually say that or is that just how Ms. SpoolTeacher remembers it? She got lots and lots and lots of rain this Monsoon Season. She couldn’t catch it all.

Not that that would make one sad. You know Eeyore, though, he seems to like to be sad. Maybe he just needs a little more lovin than most?

Nufty rain water retrieval system gardening

Above is her nifty rainwater retrieval system.

She used everything she could find that didn’t have a hole in it…

Some eventually did. Have holes. Now they are leaf/debris collectors or something to wash something out in and drain on its own without having to turn it over….

Fall Here at Ms. SpoolTeacher's house

Fall Here at Ms. SpoolTeacher’s house

Fall is coming-back-inside (as much as one might dread it).

Even more than spring, it is a time to make home livable so that the cold, sometimes dull days of winter don’t leave you feeling Eeyore-ish.

(It’s time to relearn how to use a camera.) (inside)(or try to get a new one).

Period of Stagnation

There’s one more little Cantaloupe hanging on the vine. This little one was perfect. Tiny, but deliciously sweet and juicy. Ms. SpoolTeacher is saving the seeds!

She’s trying to get to planting clover that she can turn into the soil for nutrition later…Time, it’s such a thief. 005

Fall is the shadow of the house falling farther and farther into the raised bed..the marigolds still hang on and look so, so…Orange!

The one last little Cantaloupe dangling (way back about in the middle), actually resting on a stake on the wire mesh fencing it grew up on to.

She did pretty good getting after the weeds and everything she could into compost heaps..or strewn about where she hopes they will “volunteer” next year… 006

Zinnias. She loves Zinnias. 004. succulents. frost. evacuated

And all the succulents and tenders are creeping closer and closer to the places they can be evacuated in to should a frost appear to threaten.

Little Red-Haired Girl

It all goes by so fast.

Not to be Eeyore-ish!

Eat Don't Eat on Facebook

Ms. SpoolTeacher has started a page on Facebook, Eat Don’t Eat

where she hopes to coagulate all the tornado of advice being whirled at us for what to Eat Don’t Eat? That is the question.

Check it out and give her your 2 sense! (yes she meant to spell it that way).

Happy Face!

That Darned Mouse

Mouse in the houseMs. SpoolTeacher had a mouse tormenting her in her kitchen. She even dragged her one-burner-left stove outside thinking she was dragging Mouse out with it. She saw his/her little beady eyes look out from under the stove as she was dragging it out but she kicked it (the stove) and hoped s/he hopped back up inside…well, not so.

Mouse and his/her little beady eyes had stared her down one day from under the toaster oven sitting on the cabinet beside her while she was typing, and that was it. As soon as eye contact was made, they were simpatico (on the same wave length, agreeable). She told him in her silent mind, “Don’t run across my feet or across my table while I’m typing and I won’t feel the urgency to pummel you with my life-saving plunger weapon.”

So, she found humane traps that could be baited with peanut butter and set them in places she knew Mouse had been or liked to store/hoard pieces of garlic, sunflower seeds, peanuts (of which she will never leave out on counters again).

ss.Mouse.trapShe didn’t think it was gonna work; but one day she heard a funny scraping sound and sure enough, Mouse had fallen for the trap and was anxiously trying to pry down the metal trap door. It was late one night and she didn’t want to go out in slippers and night clothes to find a field to release Mouse in, so she hoped s/he would be okay til morning. She felt horrible about leaving him/her in that little box all night, but outside her kitchen door just wasn’t far enough away to not think s/he would find his/her way back to his favorite haunts.

Next morning, she came out right away to check on Mouse. She picked up the trap, and Mouse moved so that s/he was straddled all fours reaching out to the edges of the box so s/he wouldn’t slide. She took Mouse in-the-box over to Sister’s empty house thinking she would release Mouse to go out into the giant field behind her lot. She slid the cover to the box back and Mouse turned back to look up at her with his/her peanut-butter infused/spiked fur with his/her beady little eyes and said, “I was happy at your house, why are you doing this to me? I thought we were simpatico?”, and ran right over to Sister’s neighbors back yard which was full of hoarded things. A perfect place to hide from their big bad dog.

Ms. SpoolTeacher thinks there is a story brewing about Mouse and his/her adventures. She has way too many things brewing, but it’s fun to think about.

So, Mouse set her in action to revamp her house again. Her sewing room was not a happy place to be anymore because it is her extra (small) bedroom and she had taken EVERYTHING to do with sewing in there. It was overflowing and it was all she could do to make herself sew with it like that.

And, sewing is kinda her thing, (as well as painting odd colors all over her house to see if she likes them).

Mouse made her do itMouse made her do itAnd for some reason, her camera is failing to cooperate now. Time to check her lotto numbers…

So Ms. SpoolTeacher is once again Peripatetic Designing her house to accommodate her ever changing needs. She’s trying to get every little or big thing that isn’t absolutely necessary to her priority agenda-at-hand out, out, out of the house again and into her “holding” garage-that-wants to-be-a-studio. It’s a daunting task, but for the last week, she has had little other (paying) work to do and thinks God in His abundant wisdom arranged it that way so she could spend significant blocks of uninterrupted time putting “her house in order” for the wonderful things He has planned for her to do. She’s sure of it.

Mouse made her do it

She’s made great strides toward making it a guest/sitting room. ss.peripatetic.designer.clutterbusting-abundancemanagement

She’s really hoping That Darned Mouse didn’t leave her a family to contend with….

That Darned Mouse

The Mouse Made Her Do It – or She Failed Pepper Class

Bell Pepper

Some things seem like they should be so simple.

For two seasons now, Ms. SpoolTeacher has tried to get Bell Peppers to flourish. Last year she got a few to progress to the end but they acquired soft spots along the way. She managed to nibble around the soft spots (which might have been sunburn?) to at least get some of the fruit of her labor.

This season, she had many seedlings, but not many made it through transplant into the raised bed.

She had one little one that struggled all summer and amounted to one teeny tiny bell drooping on a stem. She thought it was at least pretty enough to bring in and admire laying on her kitchen counter while she contemplated how to do better next year, (that was the least she could do for all the valiant efforts the little plant made to survive).

It laid on the counter for a time until Ms. SpoolTeacher discovered that The Mouse thought well of it too. So she put it in a little vintage plastic pink vase on her shelf in the bathroom with all her pretty vintage-ish perfume bottles.

Vintage Pink Vase with Pepper PlantThe Mouse Liked It Too

You can see The Mouse nibbles on this side.

She hates to kill any living thing unless it scares her to the point of fight-or-flight lack of composure. Then it’s every man or tarantula for him/herself.

Well the mouse got pretty brazen (1. Marked by flagrant and insolent audacity. See Synonyms at shameless.) He crawled to the edge of underneath her toaster oven sitting on the counter next to her while she was typing like now and stuck his big ears out with his little pink nose and beady eyes and said, “Hi, Ms. SpoolTeacher. Catch me if you can!”

Once eye contact was made, there was no chance she could force him in to a spring loaded trap that might or might not kill him. There would have to be a better way. She DuckDuckGo’d it.

She thought she had him cornered and was standing silent with a towel but turned her head a fraction of a second and he scurried over the towel and back into the stove. (The stove only had one working burner and Ms. SpoolTeacher had wanted to rid herself of it anyway).

“I’ll fix you”, Ms. ST thought.

So she went about to shimmy the stove out to the back yard and at least get the mouse on the run, outside…

Elephant and The Mouse

Picture “stolen” from: Nothing Worth Stealing

Shimmy, shimmy. The whole time wondering when she might have to jump up on a chair like an elephant. He did peak his head out from the bottom and she thought he might run back in the house. She banged and banged trying to scare him back up inside. (She has a dolly but didn’t want to leave him long enough to get it, trying to outfox the fox/mouse.)

Well, she got the stove outside and hasn’t seen hide nor turd of him since. It’s lookin guud (as Jim Carey would say).

Now to rearrange the kitchen that was torn up in the process. Gosh what it takes her to get anything done.

The Mouse Made Her Do It. Thank you Mouse.

She failed Pepper Class this year, but look out next year. That’s a pretty brazen statement, don’t ya think?