Rag and bone cotton balls

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My new “cotton balls” may be cotton (or at least 50 cotton), but they sure aren’t ball-shaped.

I take perverse delight in not buying things. Mind you, I love to consume as much as the next person: just watch me go bonkers in the thrift store on books and sweaters. But there is a strange satisfaction to be had in saying “no” – or, in my case “no thanks, I make my own.”

We now produce our own stock, bacon, veggies (to an extent), ham, eggs, shampoo and conditioner, hair gel, soap, jams and other canned goods, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, chicken, pork, pasta, bread, yogurt, sausage, sour cream, vanilla extract, and beer. (Hot damn, what a list!) But we still buy these things from time to time. Sometimes I really don’t feel like spending half an hour grating soap into flakes for laundry detergent, or slaving over a stove for a lengthy but indeterminate amount of time to render fat and saponify it. Sometimes we don’t have any pork on hand to cure into bacon or ham. Sometimes the chickens are sick or fussy and egg production goes down. But by and large we make our own.

(Wow, that was a lot of tooting of my own horn. On to the subject at hand.)

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Those little white things are gun cleaning patches commercially made from underwear remnants. This is what got me thinking. And thinking is dangerous . . .

Inspired by the growing tower of discarded clothing in the corner of the bedroom, known as the rag pile, and also by the little cotton jersey squares cut from commercial underwear remnants that we use as cleaning patches for our guns, I decided to forgo buying any more cotton balls.

When Matt is done with a T-shirt there is no question of taking it to the thrift store. Because when Matt is done with a T-shirt it is well and truly done. Swiss cheese. Holey holey holey. Positively indecent. Fit only for rags. And, apparently, cotton balls.

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Wax on. Wax off.

I am not a big user of cotton balls to begin with. I have only recently started using nail polish again with anything approaching frequency and I rarely wear makeup (and when I do, it doesn’t require cotton balls for either application or removal). For the purposes of nail polish removal, Goo Gone® application, and cleaning up hair dye drips, these little squares of old T-shirt work just fine.

When (if ever) we run out of gun patches I’m sure we’ll use T-shirts for that, too.

— Amanda

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