Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Get your motor running

My favourite garbage days, the first's of the month, were finally here and I ran into 2 snags. The first town I hit is my favourite because it's a bit more affluent and people throw out great stuff, I usually go the night before and do the perimeter of the town where the garbage trucks go first, and then the next morning I will go back and cruise around the center before the trucks get there.

This time the weather on the night before wreaked havoc with the roads. Everything was looking great outside, and I was so excited to get out there and hunt, but then around 4pm, it started pouring snow out. My husband always warns me about the road conditions when he gets home from work. Usually he is overly cautious and a tad bit of an over protective worry wart about me being out, but this time he came home later than usual, so I knew he was taking it slow and easy out there. I knew the plows weren't going to get out until the wee hours of the early morning, and I didn't feel like risking death out in a mini snow storm, so I begrudgingly stayed home and moped. :P

My kids were on spring break, so I was able to get out earlier than usual in the morning. I was doing good grabbing a few things here and there, when about an hour in, I looked back into my rear view mirror just in time to see my 3 year old projectile vomit all over my car 3 times. Oh lordy! I had to pull over on a side street to catch more barf in a bunch of kleenex and fling puke chunks out of my car. I ran out of kleenex to clean up, and I had to take my poor monkeys jacket off because he was completely soaked and crying, so the treasure hunt was cut short. Driving home with the windows cracked in the middle of the winter to dissipate the smell wasn't fun either since we were about 25 minutes away from home. It doesn't help either that I am emetophobic (irrational fear of vomit and vomiting). Thankfully I am better when it comes to my own kids, but I was still shaky and panicky getting home.

So here is what I did manage to get before vomageddon happened...

This pile looked promising as it was in front of a town house. 

There were boxes, a picture frame, and a broken wicker laundry basket, so I thought it looked like it could be a move out pile. I peeked in the box and saw a can opener, and then I looked in the bag and was sure I saw some office type things, however when I got home, it just turned out to all be garbage except for that can opener. Maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me? The can opener works great and is better than mine, so I'll swap it and bring mine and the frame to the second hand store.

This rug sat folded up at the curb with a bunch of baseboard heaters. I grabbed it pretty much site unseen and hoped for the best. Once I got it home, I saw that the only reason it was thrown out was because it has a faint yellow stain on it. It didn't smell at all, and a few inches away from the stain camouflaged on a similar colour was a small blob of what I assume was the culprit...curry. I grabbed my Oxy spray, and my little Bissel carpet cleaner, and went to work. Not more than 15 minutes later the rug looked good as new. The label on the back says it's 100% wool. I looked up the manufacturer online, but couldn't find the exact pattern. However, I found similar rugs for sale online for $350. Wow. That's quite an expensive stain! I'm so glad my son didn't barf on this in the car LOL

At the next pile this funky stool caught my eye. It turns out to be an Ikea Vitamin stool that retails for about $50. It works great, so it will probably go up for sale.

at the same pile I saw a shaped piece of wood under the snow which made me go back for a second look. Once I wiped off the snow, I saw that it was a Sleeman's beer chalkboard bar sign. It's a bit wethered, but I'll restain and laquer it and put it up for sale. It will probably look great in someone's man cave :)

This cabinet matches the cabinets I have up in my bathroom. I'll have to replace the knobs to match ours, but we can always use extra storage!

This piece looks like it may have been an extra shelf to a desk or something. There are screw holes in the bottom of the feet, so I think it must have been for a printer with the space underneath for the paper. It sat with a pile of construction type junk with no sign of the original piece it came from. One of my cats is sick and having a hard time getting around, so I'm going to use this as a little step stool to make it easier for him to jump on our bed. :)

At another pile I stopped to look at a small wooden table that I didn't end up taking, but in their bin I noticed a bag full of clothes and a pair of brown suede Reebok shoes (no pics) that looked unworn.

The clothes are all in like new condition with some big names like Nike and Adidas. I can't imagine why they were thrown out, but they are all my oldest son's size and he has really been into wearing comfy sports pants lately, so the pants and shorts will go to him, along with the 2 Carolina Hurricanes t-shirts, and the rest will be given to the second hand store.

The next day I checked out a new town's large item day. There were some piles but nothing that was worth taking, and the smaller residential roads were an icy mess, so I didn't fully check out the whole town, but there did seem to be good potential there. I only ended up grabbing this case that was sticking out of someones bin. I didn't know what it was, but figured if it was empty my husband could probably use it for his tools, and if it was something broken, I could just throw it out at home.

When I popped it open and looked inside I chuckled and called my kids over to see if they could guess what was inside. None of them could figure it out. I started making Transformer noises as I opened it up and yelled "Trans Table! More than meets the eye!" Inside that little case is a whole picnic table! As you can see in the pic, there are 2 chips in the upper middle of the table which is probably why it was thrown out, but it doesn't affect the stability of the table at all and it can easily be covered with a table cloth if you don't use a shade umbrella in the hole. I haven't decided if we'll keep this and attempt camping again this year, or if I'll sell it cheap as is.

The last town of the week also produced nicely for me again. I was blown away at the first stop that someone would actually throw this away when there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. My 3 year old loves it, and I keep singing "Born to be wild" to him while he rocks away on it. Once he gets tired of it or out grows it, it will be an easy sell.

This wicker basket is in perfect condition, I'm not sure why it was thrown out. I suspect that it may have had a matching wicker lid attached to it that fell off, but that still doesn't make it any less useful.

Another storage bin that got the heave ho. Just a small paint drip on this one that can be scraped off with a razor. It will be used to store all of my son's Thomas the Train tracks.

Another nice chair. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to recover this one and try to sell it, or just donate it straight to the second hand store.

I stopped at a pile that was throwing away some white melamine wood pieces and decide to stop and grab one so that we could add a shelf to the bottom of the white bathroom cabinet I picked up above. I'm glad I stopped, because hidden behind some of the pieces I saw an old picture frame. I checked it out with my flashlight, but couldn't see much behind the glare I was getting off of the glass. I grabbed it anyways because it looked old and if it was behind glass, someone must have thought it was important enough to frame and protect. 

At home I got a better look at it and it turns out to be old diagram sheet for flagging trains on the Canadian Pacific railway lines. I tried to research it online, but only came up with this link that said it used to belong to someone named Paul W Holm who was an engineer with the Cranbrook railway in British Columbia, and who had died in 1970. I'll have to do some more digging to see if I can find out any more info as to how it got from there to this little town in Quebec.

As you can see, it did get slightly damaged at the bottom by sitting in the snow and slush at the curb. I dried it, but it still has water marks on it.

Here is a closer look at the documents. I love old historical finds like this :)

At an apartment building I found amongst a bunch of broken crappy presswood furniture a basket full of catnip toys (which I washed before I let my cats near them) and an old jack that got my husband all excited.

If you know anything about this type of jack, please let me know in the comments as it doesn't have any markings on it that I can look up online.

The last pile I hit looked to be another move out. There were bags full of clothes and a broken bin full of blankets. After washing, the tally came to: 2 nice blankets, 1 red and 1 black tab topped curtain panels, an orange table cloth, a white fuzzy bathmat and a burgundy shower curtain. All will be donated, however, I really like that brown fuzzy blanket, so it might stay on as a keeper. :)

On the weekend we took our kids bowling in a town I never pick at as it's 45minutes away, but I noticed some bags at the curb of the apartment complex across the street. When we were done, I told my husband to do a slow drive by so I could check out the bags. The bags were slightly see through and I could see all kinds of clothing inside. I told him to stop and pop the back hatch, grabbed 4 bags and tossed them in.

My poor husband used to get so embarrassed when I would make him stop the car, but he's used to my craziness now. He still refuses to come out with me on my regular runs, but I'm still working on him. Here he is hauling my crap into the house for me. Thanks babe! :P

Along with a few household knickknacks that I didn't take pictures of, the bags ended up containing an insane amount of kids clothing. It took 5 loads to wash it all.

There are so many nice pieces here that I am now considering holding a used clothing sale, along with all my kids out grown stuff as well, where the people can buy a standard sized grocery bag for $5 and then load it up with as much stuff as they can fit inside. This way I get to clean out our closets, and make a few bucks as well at the same time.

I also discovered a few weeks ago that one of the towns that hasn't been producing for me at all the last few months had changed their large pick up day. I was checking out the towns website for a completely non-garbage related reason, and caught a glimpse of their town calendar that showed their large item pick up day had been moved to the second week for the winter months. It's no wonder I wasn't finding anything there! So this month I kind of get a bonus large item day. I wish they would keep it that way as it kind of spreads my runs out more throughout the month, but, after April it will move back to the 1st week again.

I also found another town a little bit further from here that has their large pick up on the 3rd week of the month, so I am hoping to check it out as well and see if it is worth the gas to get there :)


  1. You found nice things again.
    I love the picnic table and the motorcycle.
    The chair I would sell as is.
    Also love the rug. It looks very nice.
    Good idea to make a sale, maybe a barn sale.

  2. Hi, Looks like some nice finds there. We used to live in a town with monthly bulk pick up but we moved to the country so now we miss out on that wonderful treasure trove. I don't have much to offer about you jack other than it looks like a basic old hydraulic floor/car jack. If you cant use and it works it may fetch a few dollars on CL

  3. Cindy, wow despite the weather (and vomageddon!) you got a lot of great stuff. That rug is a beauty. Love the train document. - Karen

  4. You're an emetophobe too eh! That's funny. I've had that as long as I can remember. I'm not as stressed about other people's vomit now, but I still worry about vomiting myself (haven't done it in around 8 years though).

    It seems somehow strange that we have this phobia and yet do trash picking, the idea of which seems to make others feel sick... haha.

    Looking forward to spring!

  5. Some interesting items you seem to find around! I really like the bar sign, you're right, it would look pretty good in my man cave! The rocker is an excellent find, my kid is only one but I reckon he would be singing away to that as well. Good job, keep on the search.

    Dennis Barton @ Chands Disposal