surrounded by old pantihose

Not just pantihose, but regular stockings too — you know, the kind you have to hold up with garters ( the kind attached to girdles; of course, if you’re younger than 40, you probably don’t know).

Every time I open one of her dresser drawers, out pops a baggie full of them. And not the kind of baggie with a zip lock that keeps the items inside from spilling out. Oh no — these baggies are either the cheap kind that you’re supposed to use a twist tie with (but she doesn’t) or they’re bags that something else originally came in. Nude, taupe, tan, beige — an ecru avalanche.
Most of them she never wore, and these days she mostly wears socks. Knee-highs if she decides to force her feet into the more dressy shoes that are the culprits in the irritation of her hammertoe and bunions. No use trying to convince her not to wear those aggravating shoes. THEY ARE HER SHOES! SHE PAID FOR THEM AND SHE WILL WEAR THEM! There’s no point in arguing with her; getting her upset only intensifies her dementia.
In anticipation of the day when I can clean out all of those assorted nylon tubes, I did some Googling to see how I might recyle them.
This site is a hoot to read through. — but I’m looking for some actual practical uses.
The best ones I found are on a site called The Jewish Woman. Among the nylon tips were these, my favorites:

• Hand buff a wood floor to a beautiful shine with a pad made by inserting a folded bath towel into an old nylon stocking. The stocking will get snagged, so gather up plenty of old hose.
• Old nylons make perfect applicators for stains, varnish or polyurethane, especially in places a brush can’t handle.
• Keep an old pair of pantyhose in your trunk to use to tie down the lid of your car trunk if you have something bulky to carry.
• Need an extra-large rubber band? Cut around the elastic top of an old pair of pantyhose. Two of these, crisscrossed, work fine when bundling newspapers or magazines. Use one to hold a bag in place in a garbage container, too.
• Make your own inexpensive softball that won’t hurt kids or furniture: stuff an old sock with pantyhose and sew the top closed. Stuff dolls, pillows and toys, too, for softness and washability.
• To find a contact lens on the floor or carpet, cover your vacuum nozzle carefully with a piece of nylon hose to keep the lens from being drawn in. Gently move the nozzle over the floor.
• If it’s difficult to scrub your back when bathing, center a bar of soap in an old nylon stocking and tie knots on both sides of it. Holding one end in each hand, seesaw it across your back.
• Carry some old nylons in your camping kit. In an emergency they can be tied together and used for rope. They also make good bags for children to put their collections in.
• Store plant bulbs in the foot of a nylon stocking and hang them high to dry.
• When you’ve gathered pods from your garden for seeds, pull a nylon stocking over them and hang to dry. When dry, shake, and the seeds will fall to the toe of the stocking. Cut off, knot and store.
• If your skin is sensitive to a wool sweater, line the sleeves by tacking in the legs from old nylons.
• Old nylons make good ties for tomatoes and other plants because they’re strong, yet won’t damage vulnerable stalks.
• Strain lumpy paint through an old nylon stocking. Some interior painters strain all paint this way.

For alternative uses for all kinds of used objects — i.e. dryer sheets, emory boards, coat hangers, candle stubs, etc. etc. — check out Mrs. Fixit’s.
Someday, when I have time to spare, I’ll have to gather up all of my used “stuff” and put it all to good re-use. Right now, time to myself is more valuable to me than anything I can think of.
The trick will be how to extricate myself from all of those old pantihose.

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