Thursday, June 26, 2014

The bag of irony

It rained all of Tuesday which made for a bit of a soggy Wednesday morning run. I picked up 2 old posts that were sticking straight up and out of someones bin. At first glance I thought they were table legs, but they have fancy ends that aren't meant to be on a floor, and they screw into something, so my best guess is that they must be bed posts. They do need a little TLC, one has a crack in the top so it will need a little wood glue and a clamp, and the paint stain is peeling off in some places, so a paint job is in order as well. Once fixed, I'll list them for sale.

I also found these antique venetian shutters. One of the pair is in a bit of rough shape, the wood cracked where a hinge was screwed in, and one of the sticks to move the shutters up and down is missing. There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest for reusing old shutters, so I'm pretty sure I could sell these to someone who has the time to do something with them. This idea is my favourite, but I just don't have the time or the room for it.

I rescued this shabby looking plant from someone's junk pile as well. It was really heavy, and once I got home I found out why...the previous owner had put it in a pot without any drainage holes. Because of the rain the night before, the dirt was totally water logged. If the previous owner kept watering it without letting any excess water drain through, it's no wonder the poor thing was dying. I tipped it on it's side in my yard and the water came pouring out. Thank god it didn't tip over in my car! I trimmed off the dead and dying leaves, punched some holes in the bottom of the pot and placed it in the sun on my porch. We'll see if it bounces back by the end of the summer. I'll let you know how it goes :)

My next spot was at a house that had produced for me before, so I got out of the car and took a peek in their bags. One contained a bunch of broken wood and old peeled off linoleum flooring. I guess they are doing some renovations. I left that bag for the garbage men. In the other bag I could see Halloween decorations, so I grabbed it and threw it into my car.

Sure enough, they were throwing out more perfectly good usable things this week. Here you can see how I divided up the stuff that came out of the bag...recycling on the left (some boxing and paper), actual junk in the middle (some rusty metal rods and some leaf litter) and the usable stuff on the right, which turned out to be one of those garden stake halloween decorations that makes it look like the witch crashed into your lawn, a glow in the dark tombstone, a small christmas gift bag, 2 heavy duty extension cords, and a cordless phone. My husband wants to keep the extension cords, and the rest will go to the second hand store.

My last stop will leave me thinking about it for a long while. What caught my eye down the road was a huge dresser. I stopped to take a look at it, and it must have been really gorgeous in it's day. I would guess that it was from at least the 1950's. Some of the decorative veneer wood on the outside was peeled off and missing, but it was well made of solid wood. It had 5 drawers on the right half, and the left half was a little closet with a bar for hanging clothes. 

I never really pick up furniture unless I know I can get rid of it quickly, because frankly I don't have the room to store it, and now that my kids are on summer vacation and in the car with me on my runs, I don't really have much room in my van either to get it back home. I peeked in a few bags that were on the ground with the dresser and saw clothing and other misc stuff, so I decided to grab those.

As I drove off, I couldn't stop thinking about the dresser, so I turned around to take another look. As I got back to it, the garbage truck pulled up at the same time. The garbage men asked me if I wanted to take the dresser and even offered to help me put it in my van. I told them that I just didn't think I had the room for it in my car. I popped the trunk, took a quick look and made a split second decision I regret. I told them thank you, but I didn't think I had the room. They then lifted the dresser, tossed it in the truck, and as I drove away, I watched in my rearview mirror as it got crushed :( Another beautiful, historic, well made and useable item for the landfill.

Going through the bags from the dresser spot left me more upset. One bag was full of clothing. Mostly women's and some children's items from big brand names like Old navy, Boca, Jacob, AE Sports, etc...Only 2 items went into my actual garbage pile.. a beyond stained t-shirt, and a torn up blouse. The rest of it was in perfect condition. Here is everything straight out out of the bag, and then all washed and folded ready for the second hand store.

The second bag didn't look too promising at first, the first thing I noticed was a lot of recyclable items.

Here are my sorted piles. There was tonnes of recycling...mainly juice jugs and tonnes of egg cartons. The juice jugs were clean and the egg cartons were stacked, so I guess someone was saving them for some reason. The actual garbage was some scrap wood pieces, a burnt light bulb, a torn car shade, one pair of shoes with holes, and a few others with no match. The reusable stuff that will be going to the second hand store is a plastic tray for underneath pet bowls, an unused sealed bag of red party cups, an older computer keyboard, and over a dozen of those reuasble plastic grocery bags. Can you see the bag at the top of the pile? It's a winged heart with the word "Recycling" across it. How ironic.

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