Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Suitcase Surprise

It was a pretty busy weekend here. My kids were in a fishing tournament on Saturday morning which meant no sleeping in for us! They ended up in 8th and 9th place, and walked away new fishing rods as prizes :) This of course meant we had to go out on Sunday as well to try out their new gear.

After reeling in a bunch of bass, we headed home where I was able check out some solar lights I pulled out of someone's trash a few weeks ago before I started this blog. When I first pulled them out of the car and plugged them in, I was disappointed to see that as the sun went down, they weren't working. I left them in the garden because I like the way they looked and vowed to take a better look at them when I had the time.

All the wiring looked fine, and everything connected properly, so I couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. Then I noticed what looked like a battery compartment under the solar panel. I opened it up and there were a pair of cruddy looking rechargeable batteries inside. Of course! The solar panel must recharge them every time! I really had no idea that solar products actually had rechargeable batteries inside of them, and I bet the people who threw these out didn't know either.

I took out the old batteries, cleaned the crud off of the connections with my nail file, and ran inside to get another pair of batteries out of our junk drawer. I anxiously waited until dark, peeked outside and...


Thursday evening I managed to hit my usual town. I ended up finding another nice mirror. It's pretty heavy and very good quality, but it does have a few tiny dings and scrapes. All it needs is a tiny bit of putty and a paint job. Seems like a pretty easy fix.

At the next stop, I noticed this pink suitcase sitting inside a big box. Inside the box was a bunch of loose junk, mainly papers and some self made mixed music CD's. The little heart shaped hole punch, the Sims computer disk and the faux diamond earring was also mixed in with the junk, so I thought the suitcase might contain a bunch of interesting things as well. I grabbed it and threw it in my car to open later at home.

It was rather heavy, and by seeing what was in the box with it, I expected to find a whole bunch of girly junk inside. I was really surprised to find this instead...

and let's see...does it work?...

Of course it does!

Next stop got me this painting on canvas. It's not signed or anything, so it's probably just done by a hobbiest. I really like the colours that are used. Why would someone want to throw this out? Maybe they weren't happy with how it turned out, or maybe it was just a gift that didn't suit their decor. In any case, I don't think it belongs in a landfill. I'm actually going to keep it because some of the yellows used in the painting match the colour I have in my hallway. It's also become the new wallpaper for my cell phone :) 

There was also a baby gate at this pile that I grabbed, but I didn't take a picture of it. It is a newer safer version, so again, there was really no reason for it to be thrown out. Maybe I'll use it on my front porch so that my little guy can hang out there with me in the fall when we wait for the bus to bring his big brothers home from school.

Speaking of porches, mine is in pretty bad shape. It's still solid, but all the paint has chipped away on the wood, and not only does it look old and weathered, but a few boards are rotting and crumbling in some places. Thankfully my husband has a week off coming up soon and we'll be re-doing it. 

In the meantime, I have been keeping my eye out for a tossed rug that I can put on the porch to cover up it's unsightliness. Friday evening I hit a new town and my first pick got me my rug! It looks like it was tossed because there a few weird spots on it. They are either burns or melted crayons, I can't even tell. They are mainly on the outer edge of the rug, so not even noticeable. It doesn't matter anyways since it's an outdoor rug and it will probably get walked on with muddy shoes LOL

My porch definitely looks a lot nicer now.

This new town was a real gold mine. It was just a regular garbage day, but people had huge piles everywhere. There was a lot of furniture, BBQs, kids toys, and TVs. All stuff I don't usually pick up, but the place definitely has potential for some good finds. I'll have to add it to my usual route!


  1. It always surprised me that those solar lights have replaceable batteries. Most of them are cheap, yet they bother putting in the door, and the holder. So yes, it is something to check, indeed one of ours lost a battery during the winter.

    I thought the suitcase would be bricks. I kick boxes, because sometimes people throw out the old thing when they get a replacement, and the old thing may be in the box. But I don't randomly bring heavy boxes home, I check, since more likely it's bricks or garbage. I think I'm seeing less electronics being tossed out, but it's hard to be subjective. A good thing on one hand if it's getting to recycling, but bad since I don't get the chance at it. That said, printers (and scanner/printer combinations) seem pretty common still. Two years ago, I found three laser printers in the same week, all the newer more compact type. I ended up bringing the second one I saw home, not because I need it (I bought a used HP 4P at a rummage sale a decade ago for fifteen dollars, still works fine) but because it seemed a shame to leave it there. I haven't gotten to it, but assume it still works. They've gotten so "cheap" that people are likely to toss because the toner has run out, or they no longer need it.


  2. Thanks for your comment Michael. I haven't had the misfortune of finding bricks yet LOL

    I have seen lots of electronics being tossed unfortunately. Just last week somebody had 7 TVs lined up at the curb! Usually the printers I find don't have any cables to be found, so I can't bring them incomplete to the second hand store. I was quite happy that everything was in the suitcase this time.