Sunday, August 26, 2012

Found a Spin Off magazine in the free magazine section of the library! Rumor has it that our library used to carry it, but they don't now, so this is the first one I've gotten to read.

Yesterday was fairly productive. The Sandpoint Friends were having a bake sale at the farmers market to raise money for the food bank. I had committed to making gluten free scones for this bake sale (at least one other Friend is also gluten free and GF items are not always easy to find at the farmers market) but for a variety of reasons, decided to use a bag of gluten free brownie mix to make GF brownies instead, which was fine. Did minor networking there.

Picked up stock panels (2) and the cup leather for the pitcher pump. We replaced the flapper leather a day after my son sliced his thumb open in an attempt to make our own. For the price of the stitches required to sew him up again, we could have purchased a few brand new hand pumps.... We had used up considerable amounts of water (about ten gallons!) trying to prime it to get it to work before I began to realize that the cup leather also needed to be replaced. Once the hand pump is working we will have water on demand for uses other than drinking. Until we get it tested for drinkability, I will continue hauling drinking water, but having this water available for all other uses will be very useful and save a lot of work. We could always boil it for drinking, but boiled water tastes lousy. I thought about buying a wooden pallet to use as a gate for the pen, but they were $2 each and I have seen them free elsewhere.

On the way home, stopped at the dump. Now, my dumpster diving years ended largely when I left my mother's house and completely when I was no longer living on the streets. While I heartily dislike the amount of perfectly good stuff Americans throw away (if not for use as intended, then it could be recycled) and my frugal nature screams at senseless waste....I also distance myself from those folks who tear through the garbage bags (literally! ugh!) in the dumpsters. Even when I was thoroughly destitute, I didn't do that, just as I never once panhandled or held up one of those awful "will work for food" or "need cash, please help" signs. One has to have standards even in the face of extremity. With that in mind.....I was appalled at the amount of waste. In the metal pile, there was a stock tank, a giant sea chest, a perfectly good bicycle in working order....and the guy came out of the building to tell me that none of this stuff was up for grabs, it gets crushed for scrap. He said that the wood, on the other hand, is free for all. There were countless pallets there for free, a nice wooden bunk bed, various shelves and dressers that probably could have been fixed before they got thrown there, and....lumber and firewood, LOTS of it. There was pressure treated lumber, beams, planks, wooden doors, plywood, wood that is only good for very small projects or to burn....I could not believe the sheer quantity of usable wood. There were actual rounds of firewood logs.... I am not going to have to buy any firewood. Probably it is more tasteful to buy wood, but this wood is in a pile of only wood, there's no garbage or stinky stuff on it, and I cannot in good conscience pay people to cut down trees for me to burn when this wood is getting thrown into the landfill. Much of it will not even need to be sawn; it can either be broken in half or is short enough to burn. Unbelievable.

Next: went home with the best gate quality pallet I could find and two rounds of firewood, unloaded the stock panels and showed my son how to connect these to make a sturdy round pen for the alpacas. Put the cup leather into the pump, reassembled the pump but lacked sufficient water to prime it....gathered dirty laundry, cleaned out the van and removed the last seat so as to make room for the alpacas (they fold up and so can ride easily in the back of a minivan). What else....oh, I don't know...I did a lot. The plan was to pick up the alpacas today; I am not sure now that this will work out but I am ready if it does. Otherwise, we will do it next weekend and will have an intervening week in which to put field fencing up for them. The round cattle panel pen is for rotational grazing, not a year round pen.

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