A few posts ago, Fern over on Thoughts By Frank And Fern (on my sidebar) talked about how they look at things they have and see if they can think of other uses for them. This reminds me of the old saying, "Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention". And it also reminds me that I like to do that sort of thing, as well. Before the City Fathers put the Recycling Drop-Off Center on lock-down, I gleaned many non-recyclable things out of the bins. Generally, unwashed things are not recyclable. Some of the things I would take home with me were plastic flowerpots, plastic toys with metal parts, plastic furniture, plastic buckets, and kitty litter jugs. Once I even found a box of about 25 floppy disks, not recyclable because of the metal parts, and a box of perfectly good glass pint canning jars. I would look for plastic Kraft mayonnaise jar lids, because they fit on quart canning jars and were good replacement lids for pickles and such after they were opened. Metal lids tend to rust and get funny looking on the undersides when refrigerated on a jar with vinegars and salt in it. I'd also watch for cottage cheese and yogurt containers, those red round Folgers tubs, and square gallon ice cream containers because I use them in the freezer. I also use the Folgers coffee tubs in the garden, with their bottoms cut out, as protection for new plants in the garden. They fit perfectly inside the bottom part of a small tomato cage. When pressed down into the soil a little ways, they keep the water from running off before it can soak in. And that lid is nice for if an unexpected cold night comes along.
And then one day we went to The Recycling Center and found that someone had unloaded an entire tree, cut into big chunks, on the lot near the dumpster that they left on the site for God knows what reason. Certainly my time spent at the local Workshop for developmentally disabled folks, where there was a recycling center, taught me that you just don't leave an unattended dumpster on the parking lot. People dump all kinds of things on you, from roofing shingles someone took off their roof, to nasty stained mattresses, and even, right after Thanksgiving, half a turkey carcass in a cardboard box. Thrown, of course, in the bin where recyclable cardboard was supposed to go. The things you see the public do at a recycling center is shameful. If that doesn't make you wonder how anyone can be such a jerk, then consider this: we got a surveillance camera and had it mounted at the end of the parking lot. I actually saw a man pull down his pants and defecate off the edge of a low bin that was there for the collection of glass bottles. It was actually funny, because I printed it off and gave it to our manager. One of the job coaches who worked in the Thrift Shop thought he recognized the man, and the next time that man came in, he walked up to him and showed him the picture. ".....Is this YOU?" he asked. Of course he knew it was. Well, funny isn't quite the right word. It still just disgusts me.
But I digress.
So the City put an announcement in the paper about how the center was going to be "manned" from that point forward, without mention of the tree. And they close the center on evenings and the weekend except for a few hours on Saturday morning. Lots of people don't recycle anymore because it's inconvenient to try to catch them open, but I guess it's a trade off they had to make. I don't go there to look for things anymore, even though most of what I took was what I knew they wound end up just having to dispose of because it wasn't washed or was the wrong kind of plastic, or had metal parts, or all of the above.
So, as the things I collected back then begin to degrade I have to think about how I'm going to replace the ones that just aren't useful anymore. Hubs has the people at the Wellness Center saving Folger's cans for me. Leroy, June, and one of our neighbors will save newspapers for me any time I say the word. Spike and DDL save their empty kitty litter jugs and yogurt containers. I've been buying yogurt for myself lately (Hubs doesn't like Yogurt) and I save those containers. And most recently, when I started drinking Ensure (or actually the Walgreen's equivalent), I saved those bottles, too. Didn't have the foggiest idea what I'd use them for, and so a couple of days ago I just piled them all into a bag and threw them in the trash. Then today, I noticed the homemade Absorbine Jr. that I was keeping in a canning jar in the bathroom had been evaporating away. That's when I thought about those little bottles. So I dug them out of the trash.
Something else that evaporates away in a canning jar is herbal vinegar.
Here I would caution you that if you are repurposing plastics, bear in mind that not all plastics are appropriate for food. Some say none of them are and I leave that up to the individual. And since plastics have a way of absorbing certain compounds in whatever's stored in them, I wouldn't store, for instance, weed killer or paint, in a bottle and then later on use it for something edible. It's common sense but you never know what people might do, just not thinking, or as I sometimes call it, having an airhead attack. Another thing is that these funny-shaped bottles probably aren't right for putting anything in that's going to have to be frozen, since things expand as they freeze.
This is Monday, August 17, and the first day during which I have to wash my surgical leg with soap from a bottle the hospital provided to me, twice a day. I did the first time this morning while I was getting dressed and I'll do the second one after I have my bath tonight.
This is a busy day, and yesterday was busy, too. During yesterday's morning hours I mixed up another couple batches of bread. I made sandwich buns out of one batch, and the second batch I spread out into the bottoms of 9" pie pans for individual pizzas. I pre-baked those, just to the point of beginning to brown, and after they cooled I stacked them and popped them in the freezer. And the sandwich buns, I just baked like always, packed them away in gallon zipper bags and froze them. Science is weird and not at all what might be expected, as far as the outcome. It strikes me as really odd that you can freeze bread and not change the texture at all. But put it in the refrigerator and it turns all dry and crumbly inside. Hubs and I each had a pizza for supper.
Also that morning, I simmered the last of the Elderberries I'd picked off the bushes in water, just to cover, got the container of Elderberry juice that wasn't enough for a canner load, last time, out of the freezer, and added the juice I strained the berries I had simmered. But by then I was tuckered out from the day's doings so it went into the refrigerator for processing the next morning. And this was the day for that. I had enough, barely, for the full seven quart jars and I'm glad to have that finished.
I'm getting caught up on the laundry and washing bedding today. We have a 60% chance for rain tomorrow and Wednesday is surgery day. So it's today or not at all. We need the rain, so I hope it doesn't go around us.
This is now Sunday, August 22, and I will try to get posted today.
Surgery was on Wednesday at the Oklahoma Surgical Hospital, and I was disappointed that I didn't get the "minimally invasive" short incision. My incision is about 8" long. If I had waited to have this surgery till after I lost some more weight, I might've been able to get the shorter incision. But I just didn't plan ahead very well and at the rate that weight loss is going, it would be another year. I was told everything went well during the surgery and that the progress I made on the days afterwards was better than that of many of the other patients. I didn't sleep much at all on the first night because the woman in the room across from mine had so many visitors and loud cell phone calls, 'way into the night. It sounded like there was a party going on in there. I guess she must've been at the top of the scale as far as progress after surgery because I didn't feel up to socializing that night AT ALL. She was claustrophobic and therefore refused to close her door. Friday was better because her pain block wore off by then and she started asking for more meds. But the nursing staff was wonderful, just wonderful, so kind, competent and friendly, I really enjoyed getting to meet them and they took very good care of me.
I got to come home on Friday. I go back to the surgeon's office in a few days to get the staples removed, and then not again, barring some emergency, for six weeks. So I am on the home stretch and if all goes as we hope, I should be pretty much recovered by the time my six week follow-up happens. Every day that passes is one day closer. We had a good rain last night and today has been a long and boring day, but I have done my exercises and I take little short walks in the hall, with my walker. They have the incision and bandage under waterproof tape, so I'm allowed to shower and tonight I will try to get upstairs to do that before too much longer.
Well, that's about it. I will probably not have much to post about during the next few days as I will not be doing much of any interest. Just laying around, doing exercises, taking walks to nowhere, and hoping for a good BM. Y'all rock on, and Hubs and I will, too. Hugs xoxoxo