Archive for the 'Look What I Found' Category


soda for days

About once a month, one of the dumpsters on my route turns out some sort of new-in-package food that has “expired”. The dumpster is behind a strip mall with both a dollar store and a grocery store. Since the grocery store has its own dumpster on another side of the center, I assume the food is from the dollar store.

This month’s bonanza is, mostly, Coke products; cherry coke, diet coke, coke zero, minute maid lemonade, minute maid fruit punch, fanta orange and fanta strawberry. There is also a single tampico citrus punch. All were at the top of the dumpster; one of those that are only open at the top and are chest-high. All are full and still sealed. The only thing they need is a bit of a wash to get off the dust that seems to be from sitting in storage.

At work every morning, I go to the machine and buy a coke. I don’t drink coffee, so this is how I get my caffeine. The machine charges me $1.50 per soda. The coke haul is a mix of 20-ounce and 2-liter bottles. Given this and the number of bottles recovered, I estimate that I have just saved about $50-75. CPI is in from A&M and will take some back with him.

Given the way I found the sodas, I believe they were left for me. I go by this particular center every Friday. I make no secret of what I am doing if asked. I met the security guard the first time I was there and explained what I was doing. I have read in blogs or seen in YouTube videos, other divers who have people leave them things. If that is the case, thank you to the kind person who did this! Every penny I save this way makes it easier to put the boy through university. Also, thank you to God, Who made sure I found them.~~TSG


keeping FMP clad

Today, I went on one of my periodic searches for new work clothes for FMP. His work in construction means that he goes through pants rather quickly. He either rips them on something or gets paint on them. Fortunately, there is a large resale shop near us. For less than $25, I walked out with three pair of Dockers and a long-sleeved plaid shirt. One pair of pants is more suited for going to make bids. He dresses nicely for that, as you would imagine. When a pair of these get frayed or worn, he moves them into the “work” drawer. I feel a great deal of satisfaction when I can get him nice things for so little. As a bonus, I am helping people who have less than we do. TSG


an unexpected bonus

Last Saturday, I went to a cemetary to continue my research for a book I am planning to write. I have been to this cemetary before, but never at this time of year. I was surprised to discover, growing up a tree in the middle of the gravesites, muscadine grapes. Fortunately, I had my work gloves in the car. As you may know, the skin of this type of grape is very acidic. Picking them without gloves on often results in chapped hands. And rubbing your eyes by mistake is painful. However, the grapes make a superior jelly, so the extra effort is well worth it.

Since I did not know that the grapes were there, I did not have a basket with me. So, I had to improvise. In the car, I had a small bag from Jack-in-the-Box and another from Barnes and Noble. I also had an empty Dr. Pepper bottle. Using these containers, I managed to pick, and actually make it to the car with, enough grapes to fill my large colander. Getting them out of the bottle required the use of a pocket knife to cut off the neck. The Barnes and Noble bag broke on the way to the car, so I probably looked quite comical trying to hug it closed until I could put it on the car seat.

This week, I need to go back to the cemetary to finish my research. I will bring a basket this time. Then, I will make all of the grapes I gather into jelly. If my family speaks to me nicely, I might even give them some.

Some of you may be wondering why grapes were planted in a cemetary. In Victorian times, it was common for families to picnic in the cemetary next to the church between services and on national holidays. Children have always been children and they would get bored after a bit by the adults’ talking. So, many congregations planted fruit or nut trees so that children could be kept busy. I have been looking for pecan trees, but had not thought to look for grapes. So, that is my happy surprise for the month. If CPI ever gets around to sending me the pictures from his camera, I will add a photo to this post.



the free house project 3 or will blog for storage

We are on a temporary (I hope) hiatus from this project as FMP is distressed at the amount of stuff I have found and brought home. So, I am looking for a place to store the materials. Maybe, I can find a conservation group who would like to sponsor the free house project to make a point. When I find a place to keep it all, I will let you know.



the free house project 2

FMP has declared that, if I am going to pursue this, I must get rid of other things that we have in the house from previous adventures. I intend to make this so.

Yesterday’s material:
Seventy-one flat and forty-three curved edging red brick tiles 6″ square-from a field near a recently completed restaurant and suitable for an entry hall.



The Free House Project 1

I am always fussing at FMP about the amount of material that is wasted in construction. Last Saturday, I found that it is also wasted in destruction. I stopped by a former storage facility that is being bulldozed. Everything is being swept into huge piles and then discarded. Some of the units were still standing and I found usable things in them. This gave me an idea.

I have bet FMP that I can find enough material in five years to build us a house. If I win, he buys land and we make plans. If I lose, the whole shebang goes to Habitat for Humanity. Either way, someone is getting a new house.

I am starting with the following:
Five porch pillars-The bottom 3-4 inches are rotten, so one of our clients had to replace them. They are still tall enough to support a porch of average height.
Three opaque glass 5’x3′ windows-Found at the demolition site and of the kind placed above garden tubs.
Linoleum tiles-Found at the demolition site and enough to floor a laundry room (dimensions to follow).

Found includes, obviously, anything on the side of the road, in the trash, etc. It also includes what I deem usable off-cuts from FMP’s cabinetry adventures, anything I am given free (but not if someone bought it for the express purpose of helping me win) and anything I win in a contest. Also, if I find anything that is saleable, but not useful for a house, I may sell it and put aside the money for anything I don’t find. Appliances and HVAC are not included in the challenge.

Oddly, even my brother-in-law, who sometimes thinks I have lost my mind, believes this can be done. FMP would like to point out that he has not yet agreed officially to the bet. I would like to point out that he has had a week to say, “No!”. I realize that some people may feel this old-fashioned, but if FMP says I can’t, then this entire project will come to a screeching halt. Someone has to be in final charge and FMP is it.



Little Saint Elizabeth and Other Stories by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This volume contains several stories by the author of “Little Lord Fauntleroy”, a book which is highly under-rated due to its association with an unfortunate boy’s fashion of the Victorian Era.

The title story is a tad preachy for today’s youngsters, but the others are retellings of fairy tales that I had not heard. They were quite charming and I enjoyed them greatly.

“Prince Fairyfoot” is about a child born with small feet in a place where big feet are valued.

“The Proud Little Grain of Wheat” details the adventures of that character.

Most enchanting is “Behind the White Brick”. This is the adventures of a little girl who is pulled up her chimney to investigate the world behind the single white brick in its interior. She meets many interesting characters there and is sad to leave.

This book can be accessed at: