Waste Not, Want Not

Thoughts of luxuryWaste Not, Want Not A phrase that the working classes have instilled in their children from depression times on in the U.S. The “working class” is now the fortunate one, as the reduction of jobs across the board has become a way of life, setting a lower standard of living. The reality of “frugality” may take some time to set in for many of us who enjoyed spending – when a weekly paycheck funded the coffers of our discretionary income. Income, or the extreme lack thereof, has redefined the growing “unemployed” populace, now learning to edit lifestyle choices for the sake of economy. Despite the continual promotion of luxury goods and experiences in the media, a larger “budget-minded” audience is being targeted and capitalized on by some crafty and creative entrepreneurs and advertisers. “Sales” are a 24-7 business; the Blue Laws of yesteryear begone! Department stores open their doors at 6 a.m. and close after 1 a.m. for premature and/or last-minute holiday shopping.

Piggy Bank
Saving Bank

My natural predisposition to practice discipline manifested itself at an early age; rarely allowing me to stray from my preference to save rather than to purchase on a whim. Placing my allowance in a passbook account, and eventually investing in the market for increased wealth, has, on occasion, paid off. While sustaining all possible utility from clothing and devices even past their shelf life, when it comes to replacement, I want NEW. I am not a flea market shopper, nor an extreme couponer, but will happily accept “hand-me-down” clothing offered by a friend or relative if they fit.

A segment on a “newsy” TV program caught my attention the other evening. A “step-and-buck-saving beauty tipster” was demonstrating methods of extracting the last drops of make-up from myriad containers – I considered it worth a listen.

In order to get the last vestiges of seemingly dried mascara from its tube, add a drop or two of contact lens solution to the tube and replace the wand. Without pulling the wand out of the container, move it up and down to liquefy the caked mascara. It was recommended to avoid adding air to the mix, i.e., keep the wand in the container while mixing.

In order to salvage the sticky residue of lip gloss in a tube, hold the tube under a faucet, letting fairly warm water run onto it (keep the applicator wand inside and closed so that no water gets into the container). Once the gloss starts to liquefy enough to pour, remove the applicator and pour gloss into a tiny plastic or glass container with a screw lid about the size of a quarter. (You might even save and thoroughly clean an old lip gloss tub container and reuse for the remnants of a tube container.)

In order to extract every last trace of your foundation in a jar, find an itty-bitty, mini plastic spatula and insert into bottle to scoop out and apply to face.

As to the mascara:  It is well documented that it should be discarded after 6 months, especially if it has dried up. It would be unhealthy to continue to use and certainly if you added any potential contaminants to it. Not only would you incur the cost of contact lens solution, but a possible trip to an emergency room if an eye infection emerged.

Lip gloss is cheap enough, let it go. How much time do you need to invest in search of that “tiny container,” which would have to be sterilized before use. But as demonstrated on the program, you are to dip your pinky finger into the pot each time you needed to reapply – consider the sticky mess on your finger and the time to wash your hands before and after applying. “Time is money” and lip gloss comes in a tube container with applicator wand to address and simplify all the conditions you will now bring upon yourself. No recycling!

Turn your jar of foundation upside down and let it stay that way once the product is just too depleted to reach. (You may have to prop it up by leaning it against something else.) Carefully open the jar once foundation regroups into the cap and neck of jar. You will be able to use with dab of finger or Q-tip for another month or so. Done!

Brings to mind another wise saying: ”Penny wise and pound foolish.”  Back to my point – Waste Not, Want Not.

Recovery

African Violet on the mend

African Violet on the mend

Recovery:  However relative to our lives, it’s a waiting game that we have all played – hoping to return to “normal” or to “break even” or to find a lost possession; not to mention the healing process from illness or emotional trauma. We are compelled to expedite our cause in whatever ways seem most effective, oftentimes relying on past history, medical cures, professional advisors and simply, on faith. The reassurances we receive from those we confide in along the journey only contribute a momentary balm. Who doesn’t resort to “Wishin’ and Hopin’” and prayin’ to St. Jude, for one. Sending good thoughts into the Universe, in combination with presenting one’s self as open and receptive to all methods of healing and guidance, however forthcoming, are all positive enablers. Hope springs eternal, allowing us the fortitude, confidence, trust and patience we need to further along the desired result we seek. “Ahhhhh,” the sigh of relief we take when we see the light at the end of the tunnel – progress in the form of  physical movement, an “up” day in the market, a pain that ceases to distract us and a glimmer of gold under a cushion – the missing earing found!

Violet bud
Budding

The fall and winter months passed for me with a sense of painful concern over my inability to rescue the few plants I own, some for over twenty years. From health to withering and death in a matter of weeks, two well-loved philodendruns had to be discarded. I also tried to sustain an African Violet (“AV”) which flowered last spring but then just continued to wilt and drop outer leaves. I tried a stick of plant food as well as watering the bottom of the pot. No, I do not have a ‘green thumb’ nor am I big on plant research, repotting or root surgery. I care though, never over-watering or exposing to extreme heat and cold. Observing no change from bottom watering, I once again top watered. A little more sun I felt would be good, so I put my AV on the window sill for a few hours each day.  A slow change:  the outer leaves remained a pale sickly mint color, but no leaf fall. There was an apparent density of center leaves, and could it be?  With my strongest glasses I peered into the plant, and noticed an embryonic flower bud. Life had begun!  Was this my harbinger of health for all my far-from-well and unfinished business?  In order to bring about any change, one has to be proactive, but, as recovery appears on the horizon, most of us repeatedly say, “Thank God,” “Thank you, God.” And some “Wishin’ and Hopin’” never hurt – sing it Dusty.