Tag Archive | Cleaning Up Stuff

How to Almost Make a Buck


Here’s a picture of all the different types of metals that can be recycled.  If you have a bunch of old metal curtain rods, an old sump pump, a rusty pair of scissors, extension cords, an old steel Christmas tree stand, used-up batteries, and about 50 other pounds of metals, you can take it over to the metal recycling place in your neighborhood. I decided to go to such a place with my husband last weekend.  After we got there, we got a big cart, where we placed the items, and got in line.  There were about six people ahead of us, with matching carts.  Some were wearing masks, but it didn’t seem necessary since we were mostly outside and the warehouse was completely open with fresh air flowing through.  Plus, the carts were at least six feet long.

If we had a pound or two of more metal, we might have made an entire dollar!  We ended up with 99 cents. 🙂

Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.  ~Benjamin Franklin


Were You as Shocked as I Was?

As the sun shined down and sat in a perfectly blue sky, I pumped my legs trying to get the swing to go as high as it could. Green leaves from the trees waved to me in the wind as branches swayed back and forth. Stomach muscles felt tight and strong every time I pumped my legs. My hands held tight to both of the chains that held me up. Each time my legs were in front of me on the way up, I saw how the sun had turned them a brown berry color over the summer months. My toes pointed up trying to touch the leaves that were too far to reach. My hair flew back and forth keeping time. I never thought I could go so high!  Then, as the swing and I winded down, I sat still and thought how cool to be able to go so high. As I day dreamed a little more, a splat of something wet hit my leg to bring me back to reality.

On SwingA Different Day on the Swing in November

“What was that?” I thought. I looked down to see a white blob sitting on one of my legs. The offending thing had just missed landing on my new pair of shorts. As I stared at it for a little while, I realized that it looked familiar – something I would have seen on a sidewalk and tried to avoid. A little speck of black surrounded by a white blob had ended up on my leg. Could it be that a bird pooped on me? I looked up at the sky and didn’t see one bird flying or sitting above me. With pockets empty of a handkerchief, I had to leave my swing to search for something to clean up the mess. I quickly found a leaf and scraped away the upsetting gift the bird left on my leg.

Since then, I’ve heard that it’s good luck when a bird poops on you, but I didn’t know that at the time. Back then, I was so shocked and grossed out!  Do you remember the first time a bird pooped on you? Were you as shocked as I was?

Empty Nesters Still Nest

“May I help you find something?” the saleslady asked.

“Yes, do you have any Lazy Susans?” It was my first time in a long time shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I had been to this store a very long time ago and decided that I should stay away from it then because I thought it was expensive and frivolous. That was back when I was a stay-at-home mom. Now I am practically an empty nester.

“I think we have some over here.” I followed her over to all the kitchen gadgets. “What will you be using it for?”

“To organize vitamins and aspirin in my cupboard,” I said. I thought back to the day when my daughter, Katie, told me that I should really organize “that cupboard.” I felt like I looked at her funny when she told me that because she is not always so very organized.

“They are called turntables now,” the saleslady told me with a swift turn of her head as she looked back at me.

“Oh.” I was happy she told me this because I didn’t want to go around saying Lazy Susan all the time if I wasn’t using a popular term and not being up-to-date. Some Susan somewhere must have started a movement against derogatory name calling on behalf of herself and her fellow Susans. Obviously, I didn’t hear about the revolution.

“I ask because we have several types of turntables. I think this one here will best suit your needs. The other types of turntables that we have are wooden and very large.”

The plastic turntables were stacked on a shelf and came in two different sizes. There was a larger single-shelf turntable and a smaller one with two shelves. I wondered out loud if there was a larger double-shelf turntable.

“I will go check our stockroom,” she said. I hadn’t seen such great customer service for a while and I was definitely impressed.

I wandered over to the wall that contained all sorts of utensils. My friend, April, told me about her pineapple corer, and I found one and put it my basket. A bright yellow banana saver screamed “Buy me, buy me.” I don’t know how I managed to live without these items for so long!

“I couldn’t find the larger type with two shelves,” the friendly lady reported back to me.

“Thank you for looking. I think the smaller one will work just fine.”

I found a nice cotton blanket on clearance and headed for the cash register. The cashier greeted me as if we were long-lost friends! While heading for the exit, I spied a wire shelving unit that looked like it would fit under the bathroom sink and help us find things easily. I knew I would be back soon.

When I got home, I piled up old medications in a bag to toss at the local pharmacy and found a new home for my Lazy Susan turntable. Every morning I turn the table and easily find my daily vitamin and fish oil that will hopefully help me remember to say turntable, not Lazy Susan.

The next week when I was in the checkout line at Marshall’s, sitting there, just for me, was a double-shelf turntable. I picked it up and bought it with my new socks. The moment I got home, I organized the shelf that holds the peanut butters, oils, vinegars and honey.

Since the two youngest kids left for college, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning. This is good because when you clean you might find your kid’s old forgotten bag of Halloween candy sticking to a shelf and wonder how long it’s been sticking there! You also might forget about wondering why your kid is not always so organized.

Empty nesters still nest, but I didn’t think I’d be emptying the house this way!

Make Some Sort of Fun Again

There’s a large wooden shelf in the garage that holds many strings of lights and woven baskets. We took Mom’s Christmas lights and baskets from her house because I knew we would use them to make some sort of fun again. We added Mom’s lights to the ones we already had, and we have just about every kind of light you can imagine. Multicolored lights, lights surrounded by pedals to look like flowers, and large old-fashioned lights with white bulbs just to name a few. I tried to ignore the tangled mess over and over again by not looking at that side of the garage and telling myself that no one would notice. I mean, really, does anybody really care what their garage looks like? I guess I do.

The mess became a chore that I could no longer ignore. I removed the lights and the baskets from the shelves. The strings were easy to wind around and untangled pretty easily. I held the string in my hand and wrapped the cord around my elbow spinning the cord around in a circle from my elbow to my hand one end to the other, over and over again. Bunches of lights went in the baskets, and baskets lined the shelves. It was the only thing I wanted to organize that day, but then I noticed the floor.

I swept the dirt and dried leaves into a pile. I brushed away the cobwebs that held little insects that could not escape. The dirt tried to sneak back into the cracks, but I got it out and threw it away.  All that sweeping caused little rivets of moisture to trickle down my back, and I was glad the day was somewhat cool and the wind was light. I didn’t want more leaves or dirt to sneak back inside.

Photo Courtesy of flickr.com

Mike and I also worked on making a pile of things that we didn’t need any more: outgrown bikes, bike helmets, Rollerblades, tennis shoes, cleats and the ugly but old comfortable outdoor chairs left by the previous owners many years ago. We stacked the things in the van to be donated to the church garage sale. I was glad I was able to find room for all the lights, and we didn’t have to donate one string. I noticed that the crazy daisy that we hadn’t used for a very long time had ended up in the pile. I felt like it was Andy from Toy Story, because I wasn’t ready to let go of it yet, but I just let it stay in the pile, and I hoped the crazy daisy would find its Bonnie. Some little kid would play with it and it would make some sort of fun again.

Picture Courtesy of NYCuty55

Now we don’t bump into things like we used to, don’t have to try to squeeze around stuff we didn’t use, and don’t have to worry about the cars getting scratched by the old comfy chairs.

I’m just trying to hold onto the things that will make some sort of fun for us again.