five things we learned last week

Bright ideas we gathered from your comments.

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1. You collect a great many things, emphasis on “great.” N. of Bad Human, for instance, says, “My fiance and I are trying to be more green, which involves more simplifying than collecting, but it also involves trying to grow our own food, so our latest collection is heirloom seeds.” Scrappy Girl collects “books about the moon that were published prior to the landing of 1969, old drawers (not panties!), wishbones, hair, old pie tins and old cameras.” Perhaps our favorite comment is from Sarah of Going Jesus, who says, “I have a fine collection of Jesus and nativity kitsch, but the collection isn’t displayed at the moment as I’m having a li’l crisis of faith. Which is too bad because my resurrection snowglobe rules.” We’ve received so many delightful submissions, look for expanded posts (and photos) in coming weeks on some of our readers’ collections. And add yours here.

2. Experts read our site, and offer advice — for which we are grateful. Ken S. of the Northwestern Michigan Orchid Society left an extremely detailed and helpful comment on our orchid post, which we mentioned last week. His advice on an orchid with yellowing leaves is: “Take it out of that pot as soon as possible! Chances are that the bottom sections of the roots are rotted, depending on how long it’s been in that pot.” Be sure to read his advice — it’s priceless for those who love orchids.

3. Even slow cooker beef stew can get easier. “I make an even simpler version, from a cookbook I received as a gift,” says Kate: Chop up two onions (maybe one? I’ll check at home), two carrots, and two potatoes. Brown a couple pounds of stewing beef (tossed in flour, salt and pepper). Put it all in a slow cooker with a few sprigs of thyme. Pour in two cups of Guinness or other very dark beer. Cook for eight hours.” See Angela’s slow cooker stew recipe here (along with other tips from readers).

4. You find inspiration on Flickr, too. Sam says, “When I finally get around to building a dwelling for myself, it’ll be the hobbit house: this or this. See the post that inspired her comment here.

5. Your parents may have had better taste than you thought. Several of you mentioned that your folks had the Franco Albini Rattan Stool when you were a kid. Who knew it was actually a designer object of desire? Well, except for ren, who warns us, “I’d say take care if you are seeking one out on eBay; I am pretty sure ours was from Sears and thus probably wouldn’t fetch that price. But it sure as heck looked like that so, you know, be aware. Also, sorry, I think it’s goofy looking.” That’s okay, ren — we welcome debate, especially when it includes some good advice.

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