front porch trash

front porch trash

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I was getting things going for dinner for chicken enchiladas. I opened a pack of boneless chicken breasts. The size of this thing was amazing. I find it impossible to believe that the normal growth of a chicken could produce a breast this size. And this is only one half of the chicken breast!!!!
The Dolly Parton of the chicken world.
Way back when I was learning how to cut up a whole chicken......I don't remember that chicken breasts were this big. I realize that selective breeding has increased the size of chicken breasts, but holy cow!

What do they selectively breed roosters for?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, May 30, 2011


What do you do with orange peel scraps?

They make a good addition to potpourri or you can simply put the peel in a dish, break them up to release the citrus oils and place them in a inconspicuous place to release their fragrance. You can tie them in the mesh bag that they came in and put them in a closet or pantry. I have done all of those things but my favorite is to dry them and make orange zest.

I try to use stuff I have sitting around to make the process more economical (CHEAP!!).
Two lovely naval oranges
After I eat the orange, or better yet, put it in fruit salad, I remove as much of the white inside part of the peeling as I can and cut the orange part into small strips to make the drying faster. Here is my super cheap drying rack.

It is a recycled piece of styrofoam sitting on top of my paper plate holders (that we no longer use and need to go to the thrift but I am putting that off just in case we need them for something). They are inside a cabinet that we don't use every day. It takes 1 to 2 weeks to dry them depending on how thick they are and the humidity and if you forget them or not.

The other thing you need is a mini grinder. This is one that I used for coffee beans at one time.
I also use a recycled spice bottle to store the pulverized peel in.
Pack the grinder full and pulverize away. A very fine powder works the best. You can put the small chunks back in for one more whirl.
I have seen lots of these in thrift stores for cheap. $2-3 or yard sales.

Two naval oranges yield about one spice container full. It took four loads in the small grinder to finish all of the dried peel from the two oranges.
I only use oranges for the zest if they are sweet and juicy. I figure that if the orange insides taste good then the peel can't be half bad. This amount will probably last me at least a year. It only takes about 1/8 of a teaspoon in most recipes.I haven't had any lemons lately, but I do the same thing for them.

A..B..C...ah..... here we go into the spice cabinet.
What YOU don't alphabetize?

Saturday, May 28, 2011


This has been a week from hell.

I have probably a bucket of crap that has dripped out of my nose or been coughed up from my chest. And yet it still continues to drip.

To celebrate my crappy week, after work today (yes, Saturday) my SweetiePie took me out to dinner and....the grocery store.

Romance isn't dead...sorta....

Now, don't misunderstand me. I love my SweetiePie and he was trying to be thoughtful and I didn't have to cook but he did have a motive behind the madness.

We went to McDonalds and then to Food Lion.  I have been trying very hard to keep us out of fast food places. After his surgery the doctor suggested VERY STRONGLY that SweetiePie limit his intake of fat and sodium and we are all trying very hard to be good in the food department. Since McDonalds is the king of fat and sodium, I questioned his choice. "Gas is so expensive we don't need to drive too far" OK it makes sense.......sorta.  Oh and Food Lion had that lowfat staple, Breyers Ice Cream, on SALE.

So that was my night on the town.....sorta.

Now for the Mythbusters marathon to make the evening complete...sorta

I know, I know you are all jealous...sorta

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


What does everyone think of when you hear "you're full of it"?

Yeah, me too. Crap, ca-ca, poop or whatever your word for "it" is.

Well, my family has told me for years that I am full of it and I didn't believe them.

Now I know it is true. I have been blowing my nose and hacking up all kinds of gross stuff for the past 6 days. Probably enough to fill a large garbage bag and in colors not found in nature. I should seriously think of investing in the tissue market or at least the anti-histamine market.

Wait, I can't take antihistamines because they ALL make me sleepy. So scratch that investment. I just have to suffer and keep blowing unless I want to fall asleep in the middle of giving a patient an injection. Don't think that's such a good idea.

I thought colds and sinus infections only lasted a week or 7 days, whichever came first. That's what my Mom used to tell me when I wanted to stay home from school."Tough it out, it is only going to last a week".

Time is almost up and I can't wait to breathe again and sleep and stop coughing. Now the only thing left to figure out is when my time is up, at 12am or 11:59pm? 

You know I have been sick when I haven't even been to a yard sale or thrift store in a couple of weeks.
GASP!!!!!!!Where are those smelling salts?

Monday, May 23, 2011


It truly is a sad week end when one doesn't feel like going yard sale-ing. I don't know what I have but I am sure that no one else wants it. Cough, sneeze, runny nose and just generally feeling like crap.

We stopped at the elementary school in our small town and there were about 25 vendors. Lots of children's clothes but in smaller sizes than I needed for my little Princesses. Since we stopped at 11:00  a lot of the vendors were packing it in. One lady said take anything you want for free. I didn't see anything I could use, it was all baby and toddler stuff....grrr.. My only purchases were an Operation game (with all the pieces), a giant floor size Chinese Checkers (10cents), a Calphalon 8in. saute pan that had been in the dishwasher (that's a no no) and one vintage Fire King soup bowl.I think I spent about $2.35. Honestly, that's all I could find.

My daughter bought a giant tub of My Little Ponies for $5.00 and there were 40 in there. She is going to make Custom My Little Ponies.  
Well maybe not that exotic...

And I felt so rotten that I didn't even take pictures.

It has to get better....on no....wait....I have to work today....and Monday is a very busy day at the doctor's office...

Friday, May 20, 2011


Shopping is always fun when you find bargains. Or maybe you thought they were bargains. It's not a bargain if you don't do something with it and save it from the trash.

For example:
What do you do with four pounds of ripe bananas before they go bad? Now, you must realize that I don't do bananas. I can not eat a banana...period. Can't stand the just will not go from mouth to stomach without lots of ... well,.you know.  I do like banana muffins and banana bread. The texture is different and I don't have a problem eating bread and muffins. Of course some good ol' butter helps too.

I popped the ripe bananas into the bowl of my mixer and smushed (that is so a word) them up, added a teaspoon of lemon juice to keep them from going black and I now had 7 cups of banana to deal with.

Not to fear....I whipped out my trusty recycled plastic ware and packaged two containers of bananas and popped them in the freezer for another day. 5 cups down and 2 to go.

Banana Bundt Bread!!!
Now to find something to do with this round thing.The empty tape roll. And I have already thought of a wheel for a toy something.
Any suggestions...

...besides my SweetiePie's suggestion of the trash can? dare he!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011


When you are in the DollarStore do you just look at the junky stuff amazing variety of items available?
I saw this item when I was cruising the candy aisle.Proudly brought to you by YUPI brands,and squirting ketchup and mustard bottles.
What the......?
I just had to waste a dollar to find out what it was all about.

One gummy hot dog, with ketchup, mustard and I'm guessing the green is relish.
Two gummy hamburgers with ketchup, cheese and the green stuff again. Don't know where the "hamburger" is unless it is yellow or green.
Three gummy colas shaped like a bottle.
A gummy pizza, "cut" into 5 pieces topped with red, purple, yellow and of course green globs of toppings.
A pack of sour gummy fries, that are yellow and sprinkled with something that looks like salt.
250 calories of "YUM".
In order to be fair in my product review I decided to sample the gummies, "bursting with natural fruit juice!".
I think bursting is too strong a word for the gummies. Escaping, or oozing would be a more accurate choice. The hamburger bun tasted like a dried marshmallow, the ketchup, cheese and relish tasted like flavorless chewing gum and while the cola tasted sorta like a cola beverage it had the texture of pleather, you know, plastic leather.

The cutest thing was the packaging on the inside, the outside was kinda weird. The hamburger on the front has drawn on google eyes and the lettuce and cheese and hamburger look like plastic

Oh well I have wasted a dollar on much worse things.

And according to the package, the YUPI brand is a proud sponsor of the Rain Forest Rescue.

My recommendation, Save Your Dollar +tax
On this trip to the DollarStore it was easy to sort out the trash from the treasure.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I personally think we have too many grocery stores in our area. From where we live to "town" I pass by 5 grocery stores, not counting the "super" Wal-Mart. So that is 6 stores that sell groceries in less than a drive of seven miles. And these are just the ones I shop at on a sorta regular basis. I have loyalty cards for all of he local stores but I am not "loyal" to any one store. Price and quality are important, not the store.

We all need groceries. I have to have my fix of chocolate milk and they don't sell it in that shadowy back alley down on the bad side of town. I try to get by with just the basics. I prefer to make my own cakes, cookies, breads, convenience mixes (HamburgerHelper etc...), soap, lotion and much more. Now that I am working semi-full time I find I have to plan a bit more but it is still something I can do.

I love when a new grocery store opens. All of the already established stores want to keep their business so they start sending out coupons that give you a discount on your total bill and not just for specific items.

A new Harris-Teeter recently opened in our area and they sent out the "loyalty" coupons. Four coupons good for four consecutive weeks for $10 off of a total purchase of $40. Great for me since I tend to shop in quick spurts and try to keep a constant supply of stuff and don't wait until run out of everything to go to the store. So that caused the Food Lion and Lowes to do the same thing. We happened to be in the Lowes shopping center today and just needed a few things so we stopped there. They have recently posted a hand printed sign proudly stating that they accept competitors coupons, complete with cut-out examples from Food Lion and Harris-Teeter.

This is what I purchased today:
Five packages of meat, all marked down because they have a sell by date of today. My drug of choice, chocolate milk, 10 ears of corn that were on sale and brown sugar. (I know I can make brown sugar, but it is a pain and I don't use molasses for anything else so I just buy brown sugar, store brand is usually the best buy). Those packages of sausage will be divided into seven packages for breakfast or dinner-for-breakfast. The pork chops will be divided into four dinner size packages. The sirloin steak(under the sugar) will be sliced for fajitas, probably enough for at least two meals, maybe three. The corn will be for 3 different meals. I used a loyalty coupon from H-T for $10 off total purchase for a grand total of $23.53.

I love me some competition, especially when I am the winner.

Oh, and I used my cloth bags and they give me a rewards credit for taking my own bags.
Win Win

Saturday, May 14, 2011


How do you get your trash home?
I usually don't mess around and bring it home by the van load. I can truthfully say that I do haul it off by the van load also. I can't verify it but I think the bring home count is just a smidgen higher than the hauling off, not absolutely sure but it is a pretty good guess.

Most folks bring home their stuff in bags or boxes. Over the years I have learned to take reusable bags to yard sales. After all, my goal is to get rid of plastic bags not to get more. And let's face it, some of those bags from yard sales look less than clean. Just an observation.

I like to keep a bunch (do bags grow in bunches?) of reusable bags in my car, some in my work tote bag and some in a basket in the kitchen. I want no excuse not to find a reusable bag when I need one

Over the years I have purchased a variety of bags for reusing for shopping of all kinds.  I have also made a lot of reusable bags for myself, friends, family and for sale at different venues. My favorite bag is one that is made from a vintage sheet or vintage fabric. Like this:
This was a piece of vintage barkcloth that I found at Goodwill for cheap. I used an old Wal-Mart bag as my pattern for this bag, I just made the handles a bit longer and the bag a bit wider and added an outside pocket so you could drop your keys, wallet or customer card in there.
I have also made reusable bags from discarded and purchased t shits. Like this:
These t shirt bags are great for stuffing. They hold a lot of stuff and expand very nicely. And sometimes I find really cute t shirts that are popular. I wish I had a hundred of these. I sold this one on line in less than 30 minutes after I made it.

I made this one from a garden soil bag I made last year. I lined it with a piece of vintage sheet. My SweetiePie refers to me as his "Dirt Bag" when I use this bag and he is along. He is funny like that.
There are lots of web sites to purchase plastic bags (like the ones at Wally World) that are new. You can also find ones that are made of recycled plastic bottles or bags. The website will teach you how to make plarn so you can crochet or knit your own bag. Like this:
So next time you need to move some trash please think about what you are going to do with those plastic bags. It doesn't matter what type of bag you use.You are only going to be using it an average of 30 minutes.  Just long enough for you to get your purchases home. In an average persons life time you will use over 20,000 plastic bags.In just my family we will use 160,000 bags in our lifetime. That's probably enough to fill the back of my van several times.

Doesn't it make sense to use them more than once?

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I love me some crafty stuff.

It is my excuse for not doing housework. works
Not now SweetiePie, I have to finish this for a craft show.

No SweetiePie, I can't make chocolate chip cookies, I have to finish.....wait I'll make an exception for chocolate chip cookies.

I did a local craft show over the weekend. It turned out to be really nice weather. Not really hot, not windy and the crowds were great. My booth was not too close to the music venue and the face painting booth so I had a great time. It's like getting paid to people watch.  Or kinda like Funny People of Wal-mart but just at a craft show. I am proud to say that everything in my booth was recycled.
Even my Folk Art Painting!!
My main craft this time was recycled note books.
Everybody loves mac&cheese
You need something to drink with that mac&cheese.

I search through my family's garbage and rescue boxes, game cards and anything that I think I can use for making recycled notebooks. I have been known to dive into a trash receptacle just to "rescue" a cute box. This is the first time I have had a public showing of my recycled notebooks and I got varied responses.  A blank stare was the most popular one. Then "how clever", "oh you are so smart", "what a great idea" and of course the person who picked the book up while I was giving my sales pitch of what it was and then threw it down like a dirty diaper.
Milk cartons recycled into coin purses
Really, I rescue them before they are in the trash, not after they lounge around in the garbage can for a week.

This craft is much more than making something to sell. To me, it is a way to save something that would be sent to the landfill and keep it useful for a while longer.

Of course, eventually it will go to the landfill, but while we still keep it around it is useful and cute to look at. I try to use everything 100% recycled for the book but sometimes I can't get the spiral binding that is made from recycled plastic. But the paper and cardboard is always 100% recycled.

It's the least I can do for my great-great grandchildren. I am doing my part to help recycle.

How about you?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I must admit that money is tight at my house. Like it is everywhere. Well I am finally at work. I thought when I accepted the job that it was full time, WITH BENEFITS, but they changed their mind after 3 days and decided to hire two of us for the same job and split the hours. Gee, thanks.

Lets see....I need a job to get experience so I can get a permanent I guess I'll just work part time until something better comes along. A long way from the pitch when I was hired about becoming "part of the family" and a "long term member of the team". Nothing says family like screwing you over after just 3 days of work....not even a kiss.

Oh, and the other "member of the team" is already history. She lasted 4 days... they didn't like her attitude!!

It's sad to think that I went to school for two years, studied my butt off, and graduated with a 3.9 GPA, did excellent with my externship and it took me over 4 months to get a PART TIME job. No one told me in school that I would have such a hard time finding a job. The medical field is full of opportunities, blah, blah, blah.....that'll be $1200 tuition and $600 for books and because you own your own home and are married to the father of your children you don't qualify for any scholarships...blah...blah...blah

Of course, my advanced age could have had something to do with the job search. If I want to RETIRE from my job, I need to have had a job in the first place. My retirement plan has always been to work until I die. Now it looks like I will work part time with NO BENEFITS until I die....ain't I smart...?

I think I will file this under trash.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I don't know if anyone who reads this blog sells on ebay or not, but you get some interesting questions from potential customers. I currently have a few things on ebay for sale. Not big items, just some stuff I have found at yard sales, estate sales and a few things of my own that I don't need any more.

I have a pair of tassel loafers that I did not wear, no longer need and would like to get some cash for. Can't for the life of me understand WHY I bought them in the first place. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
I think I wore them once, maybe twice about 15 years ago. Now, when you price things on ebay you have to consider what they are worth, what you think someone is willing to pay for them and how much ebay is going to eat of your price in their never ending fees. I felt that $10.00 was a fair price, considering they cost about $50 when I bought them new. Shoes are heavy to ship. It will cost me about $9.00, plus shipping confirmation, to ship them across country. I had a generous offer today of $12.00, in total, for the shoes.

Lets do the math!!

I will cost me 94 cents as the final value fee charged by ebay and 90 cents for the fee for shipping. Ebay now charges the final value fee on the total, auction price and shipping costs. If the purchaser pays with paypal, as most customers do, it will cost me another 90 cents for the paypal fee. Paypal, by the way is owned by the same company as ebay. Hummm..... So let's see how much profit I would be raking in if I accepted the "generous" offer of $12.00.

Purchase price    $12.00
ebay fees              -1.84
paypal fees            -0.90
shipping                -9.00
"profit"                $ -.26

You'll notice I did not include the delivery confirmation cost, printing and paper cost,and packaging cost.I reuse shipping supplies when I can. I do have to buy tape and paper for the printer, printer cartridge (yeah, those are cheap!!) and all of this takes time. If I had added all of those costs I would have been in the hole even deeper.
Wow....what am I going to do with all that profit? 
What profit?

I did have enough sense to tell the person willing to take the shoes off my hands for $12.00 that I didn't think I could accept the offer.

Oh and a word of advice about ebay. Never, never, never set your starting bid for less than you paid for the item. It is never guaranteed that you will get more than the opening bid. Don't ask me how I know this little tidbit. But it only happened should happen once to learn your lesson.

And folks think you can make a fortune by selling on ebay....yeah if you sell a CD telling how to make money on ebay...