Monday, October 01, 2012

When the Going Gets Tough...the Tough Go Trashpicking

It's garbage "amnesty week" here in my corner of the world, which means it's essentially sanctioned garbage picking week.  I am always watching curbs and trash piles for something I can use, so this is like Christmas in comparison. 

Actually, it's almost exactly like Christmas because a large percentage of the things people throw out are Christmas related.  Yesterday I picked up a pre lit tree (I'm not sure if it works, but that's okay, I can put new lights on.  I also picked up a little miniature tree to put on the buffet; it was in a fancy little urn and also had lights and pine cones.  At one house I found a bonanza of 7 evergreen wreaths.  I snipped off the old greenery and now have 7 wreath forms available to make new wreaths with.  (These cost $5 or more to buy new).  Some of them had stands (I'm suspecting this collection was either a display or came from the cemetary :-) which Mr. Knitty will reuse for his Halloween display.

I picked up an expanding file to augment my rapidly-filling one, a brand new blank book I needed to keep my financial records in, a pretty crackle-glass candle holder, a stuffed animal "tree" (a stick in a stand with elastics attached with staples; you put the animals through the loops to store them), a big binder, a watering can, three novels, three books about trees, a Santa Claus jello mold, two plastic Christmas thingies (does anyone else remember the ones that were like little blops of plastic melted together?  You hung them up and the light shone through), a basket of faux poinsettias, three foam wreath forms, a string of 6 lighted candy canes, four basketballs, a nerf football, an embroidery hoop, a length of pink fabric, a brass plate stand, two pieces of statuary for Maggie's garden, a wooden Father Christmas, a few flower pots, a wooden shamrock on a stick, a wooden plaque with a fish shape cut out that says "the one that got away", and a really cool big light-up spider web decoration for the window. 

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to many that people throw out things simply for want of a screw, a glob of glue, or a touch of paint.  Some people toss out things in perfectly good condition that they just don't need anymore.  This says much of our excess both in purchasing and in gift giving.  While I'm a huge fan of gifting, it seems that there is a huge industry of "gift ware" that is essentially inoffensive generic gifts, for people you want to give something to but have no idea why!  A few of these pieces make for good decor, but a lot of it makes for garage filler.  In any case, I'm happy to scoop them up and have a few "dust catchers" :-)

I wonder if the neighbors down the street have driven by my house and seen my spider web decoration in the window.  If they have, I wonder if they scratched their heads and thought "hey that didn't work anymore...that's why we threw it out!"  Only half of it lit, but that's just because it was missing a bulb.  An extra bulb (from one of the wreaths I dismantled) made the whole thing work (and made my daughter very happy that we had "Halloween lights").