Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure (Part 2)

Yesterday I told you the story of how we upgraded our weight bench in the basement, then needed to get rid of the old one.  I got some great comments on the post, including one from a.eye who reminded me that instead of sending the bench to the landfill it would be better to give it to someone.  I don't know why that didn't occur to me; I've regularly used Craigslist, Freecycle, and local online recycling forums in the past.)

Resolving to do the 'green thing', yesterday afternoon when I got home from work I carried the bench out to the curb.  I set it next to the mailbox, making sure the large FREE sign taped to the side was easy to see.  As I did, I noticed the bench was still structurally sound but the vinyl on the pads was cracking more than it used to.  It was looking its age.  I figured the worst that could happen is that the bench would still be there in the morning and I'd have to drag it back inside.  Several hours later when I was sitting in the family room watching TV I heard car doors in front of the house.  When I looked outside the bench was gone. 

I didn't realize until this morning  that today's Earth Day, so it's appropriate that the old bench never made it to the landfill.

Five years ago today: Walking Down Your Street

Monday, April 21, 2014

One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure

When Son Donald moved back home last year he brought his small collection of free weights.  He also returned the old weight bench I'd gleaned from a trash pile for him about five years earlier. He put everything in the basement, and when the weather was too hot/too cold or we didn't feel like going to the gym we'd use them.  However, the bench was rickety and missing a leg extension attachment on the end.  (Which was the same condition it was when it came into the house, so no surprises there.)

Last fall Hubby Tony noticed one of our neighbors had set out a weight bench with a big "FREE" sign on it.  It was much nicer than the one we had, so he brought it in the house.   We put the old bench in the unfinished area, where it was in the way any time I needed to get something off the shelves.

Twice a year our city has a bulk trash collection. The spring one is this week.  Guess what we're setting out to get rid of?

Old bench
New bench

Five years ago today: Appeal To The Masses

Saturday, April 19, 2014

If There Is A God, He Did Not Mean This To Be So

Moses: No son could have more love for you than I.

Sethi: Then why are you forcing me to destroy you? What evil has done this to you?

Moses: The evil that men should turn their brothers into beasts of burden, to be stripped of spirit, and hope, and strength - only because they are of another race, another creed. If there is a god, he did not mean this to be so.

 The Ten Commandments
Five years ago today: Root The Crown

Friday, April 18, 2014


Several years ago I started a Holy Week tradition of listening to the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar in the days leading up to Easter.  The two are a perfect fit, because the opera (one of the earlier works by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice) is loosely based on the Gospel accounts of the last week of Jesus' life. 

There are three versions--I have the rock opera one from 1970 (as opposed to the Broadway cast recording from 1971 or the movie soundtrack from 1973.)   When the album first came out my religiously traditional mother thought it was sacrilegious and banned it from the house. In her mind Biblical stories should not be set to rock music!  That just meant that instead of playing it at home I listened at my friends' houses. 

It wasn't until years later, though, when I got a copy on CD that I really began to appreciate the complex themes, lyrics, and music of the disc.  Now, driving around in the car I can crank up the volume and feel like I'm in my own personal concert hall.

The only problem with listening to the infectious songs, though, is getting them stuck in my head. At different times during the week walked around singing different snippets.  First it was "Hosanna" (Hosanna, Heysanna, Sanna Sanna Ho).  Next was "King Herod's Song" (So you are the Christ/You're the great Jesus Christ/Prove to me that you're divine/Change my water into wine.) and the latest has been "This Jesus Must Die" (What then to do about this Jesus-mania?/Now how to we deal with a carpenter king?/Where do we start with a man who is bigger/Than John was when John did his baptism thing?)

I could probably have worse things stuck in my head, though.

Five years ago today: It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts from my first grass cutting of the year:
--The bangs I got to go along with my new hairdo are now long enough to fall into my eyes, but too short to tuck behind my ears.  I'll have to get a haircut soon.

--I wonder what type of bird had sported the small pile of feathers I found scattered next to the maple tree, and what ate the rest of the bird?

--It's a shame the 'turf authorities' have deemed that violets and dandelions are weeds that shouldn't be allowed in lawns.  Their purple and yellow flowers go so well together.

--If they also reclassified chickweed and henbit as acceptable lawn additions, our yard would be one of the best in the neighborhood.

--I stepped on several fresh mole runs in the far corner of the back yard.  Someone once told me you'll only find moles in fertile soil with lots of earthworms.  Wonder if that's true?

--The neighbor's fence has wide cedar slats mounted on both sides of the rails.  One of the boards on our side has broken off and the piece is laying on the ground.  Would they appreciate me letting them know about it, or would they think I was fault-finding?  (If the shoe was on the other foot I'd want to know).

Five years ago today: Who You Gonna Call? FurBusters!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Day 2014

Am I the only one who hadn't realized the two spelling permutations?


Five years ago today: The Big Switch

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bloomin' Delicious

Photo by Greg Hume
I recently read an interesting article about native trees and shrubs that you can use for edible landscaping and was surprised to find out that I had one of them, a redbud tree, growing in my back yard.  The article said that the flowers of redbud trees were "tasty and attractive additions to salads, pancakes, and muffins".  Since the tree just started blooming a couple of days ago the timing was perfect to find out if they really were.

Tonight after dinner Son Donald and I went out and collected about two cups of redbud blooms and buds.  Our redbud tree is about 20 feet tall, but it grows right next to the deck and the branches are easy to reach. I sorted and washed the blooms and added them to my standard muffin recipe. When it was mixed the batter looked stiff and lumpy, but the finished muffins were dense and moist, with a vaguely fruity taste.

Wikipedia told me that Native Americans consumed redbud flowers raw or boiled, and ate roasted seeds.  There just might be another redbud project coming several months from now.

Five years ago today: Apologies In Advance

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April Showers

Last Saturday when I got home from running errands there was a plastic bag tied to my front door. It took me a couple of seconds to figure out why it was there, but then I remembered it was April Showers time!

April Showers is a service project for the local Girl Scout troops. They collect personal care items, then distribute them to local shelters and food banks to pass them out to their clients. (Did you know that things like toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo can't be purchased with food stamps?  Could you live without them?  I couldn't.) 

The project lasts for two weeks.  The first day troops go door-to-door distributing bags. A week later, they return to collect the filled ones. On Wednesday I took my empty bag to the store and filled it, then set it on the table by the front door so I wouldn't forget about it.  This morning I moved the bag to the front porch. A couple of hours later when I looked out it was gone.

What an easy way to do a good deed.

Five years ago today: Don't Throw It, Grow It!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Who Wants To Dance?

Several of my Facebook friends, as well as a couple of businesses that I've 'liked', were kind enough to point out that today is National Pet Day. 

One of them suggested that in honor of the day I might want to give my cats a big hug and dance with them.  I was pretty sure I wouldn't have any takers for that idea, but I think I might be wrong.  Doesn't it look like Pepper's be ready to boogie?  Jackson, not so much.

Five years ago today: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same