Things I bought in January (2019)

I first experimented with a Buy Nothing month several years ago, and it wasn’t as hard as I expected. Many of the habits have just stuck without having to make resolutions. But it may be time to start back up with a regular review of how I’m doing on this front.

One thing I purchased this month not on the list below (because it’s not an item) was a WordPress subscription. I intend to look into other options for hosting someday, but as much as I hate advertisements it only makes sense that for now I would spare anyone from seeing them when reading my blog posts.

Purchased Plants

My resolution to buy no more than 12 plants (seeds are OK) this year has definitely helped with temptation when I visited my local nursery this month and also while browsing the internet encouraged by other folks’ seed orders. I did order 2 plants, but that’s pretty reasonable.

  • 2 black chokeberry plants (to be delivered in March) – This was one of the plants on my wishlist, so I shouldn’t regret it. One would have been enough but they came as a pair. At least I still have a month to figure out if I want to plant both or share one with someone else who wants it.
  • Onion starts – I’m not counting these against my 12-plant quota because the pack contained dozens of baby onions, and they were already fully edible when planted (although small) so they’re pretty much just food. 🙂
  • Cucumber seed – Because, yum.
  • Butternut squash – Once we had a butternut squash that just appeared out of the compost, so apparently they do grow well here.
  • Edamame seed – I’ve been thinking about growing this the past couple of years, but this is the year.
  • Borage – Attracts pollinators, edible leaves and flowers, what’s not to like? The last time I planted this I expected some self-seeding so I’d never have to buy more seed. Let’s see if it happens this year.

Not New Stuff

And it’s mostly Not New stuff that I got for free, so all the merrier for me.

  • Porch light fixture – This is one of the few things I purchased. We made a trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore just to get it, and this week we were able to turn on the porch lights for the first time since buying the house.
  • Bricks – Although this was a good month for scoring free bricks, I also purchased about a dozen more while at the ReStore. I may love bricks a bit too much.
  • Punching bag – As mentioned in a previous post, this is a way more functional replacement for the punching bag I found during bulk pickup week some time ago. It’s great for exercise.
  • Bricks and pavers – These came from many sources – by the dumpster, set out for bulk pickup, and posted on Craigslist. It doesn’t look like a lot in my unfinished garden path, but they were plenty heavy to lug around.
  • Cardboard – It should surprise no one that it’s easy to find used cardboard for free. 😛
  • Tomato cages – These were posted on Craigslist by someone getting rid of a bunch of gardening stuff. I got up early on a chilly morning to grab them before work.
  • Young yaupon hollies – I “weeded” these from my mom’s garden bed and planted them in my own yard.
  • Snakeplant – One of my coworkers had a plant just sitting somewhere being neglected (although they do thrive with neglect), and just by asking it is now mine to admire every day.
  • Sweet pepper seeds – That same coworker shared seeds of several different types of sweet peppers. (We’ll be doing a seed swap event at work at the end of Feb to share more.)
  • Various seeds – I attended the seed swap for the Central Texas seed library last weekend and got so many seeds — carrots, native milkweed, zinnias, melons, basils, and more. A few of these will end up getting swapped again at the work seed swap.
  • Plant cuttings – There will be many Mexican Honeysuckles to plant out in the spring for sure. They root amazingly well even just in water. I’m hoping many of the others pull through. The mints definitely should.

New Stuff

  • Lightbulbs – They’re LED bulbs so they should last a while.
  • Potting soil – The soil itself isn’t quite new, but it’s all packaged up in a plastic sack so I’ll count it.
  • Toilet paper

Things I didn’t buy

  • A dragonfruit plant – This was in the seed catalog next to the black chokeberry and I really would like to have a dragonfruit plant someday, but it doesn’t grow as easily in this area and I’ll hold off until I have more time to devote to it.
  • A baker’s rack – Just one of the items I’ve seen posted to Craigslist which might be a good fit for replacing worn-out cabinets in our kitchen which will be taken out someday. I will be buying something in this line at some point though.
  • More seeds – Just because there were so many more awesome options for planting. It was hard to resist, but I have enough for this year.
  • Seed starting containers – I’m a bit low on reused small containers right now, but there are plenty of food containers to make do with.
  • Gutters – This was part of my plan for January. And maybe I should have gotten these. We have regular flash floods in Austin that would be much less impactful if more water was stored close to where it landed instead of all being directed into our waterways. However, I wound up with analysis paralysis on whether I should get gutter covers or not. For now, I’ve started digging out some earthworks to hold the water. I can go for the larger scale option later when I’m more confident about the purchase.

Wishlist

We’ve had a fairly long todo list since buying this house a few years ago, and we’ve been slowly picking one thing at a time to improve. I have no idea which of these will come first:

  • New back steps or ramp to replace the unused deck area that has rotting wood
  • Gutters, as mentioned above
  • A real bathtub (not a plastic surround) and a sink faucet that doesn’t have rust holes
  • New kitchen sink cabinet configured so the sink comes up near the edge of the countertop instead of making me stretch to wash dishes
  • Other new bottom cabinets or something like a baker’s rack as mentioned above or even a buffet, because one day I’m going to rip out this gross bottom cabinets. I’m a pretty accepting person, but these cabinets are sitting there unused because they’re really not in good shape.
  • Hallway runner – It’s a 20ft hallway with some of the last old carpet in this house that hasn’t yet been pulled up. If a runner that length pops up on Craigslist for a reasonable price, I’d get it.
  • More bricks or pavers – There’s only a path in one part of the garden so far, but I’m going back to taking it slow and only collecting free bricks.
  • Plant wishlist: agarita, pineapple guava, goumi, mexican redbud, texas persimmon, crandall currant, beautyberry

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