Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dumpster Diving

I'm stir crazy. Saturday I developed a horrible sore throat which my doctor has assured me will soon pass as it settles either in my head or my chest. He's a cheery fellow. 4 days at home - I can't take it anymore. I shout "Who wants to go dumpster diving?"
Only in my home would this be met with such an enthusiastic response. Sav and Lo jumped up and down and scrambled to find their shoes.
To my horror, the "big trash" truck was already out doing his dirty work, collecting the neighborhood cast offs. I wheeled out of the alley, yelling over my shoulder to the girls "Don't panic! He's heading North, we'll just get in front of him!“
This got them stirred up. They spent the next hour glancing over their shoulders and giving me progress reports.
Weaving through our neighborhood streets and alleys I managed to pass the same woman walking her dog about 4 times. I felt so bad for her as she cast a nervous glance my way. I tried to reassure her that I was not a stalker by smiling and waving. Not sure if that made it better or worse. I noticed she picked up the pace on the last corner.
At one alley I saw a man walking with a navy blue hoodie. I stopped to stare authoritatively at him just in case he was some kind of thief - I wanted him to know he was spotted. Hope my aggressive Neighborhood Watch technique worked. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make sure because the trash truck was rounding the corner.
We were at the end of our neighborhood. I told the girls to lay low and we would follow him to the next neighborhood and then get in front of him again. They thought this was a splendid idea, so did I. I may need an intervention.
The next neighborhood proved to be much more competitive as I saw several people out digging through the piles of big trash. Then, to my horror, 2 more big trash trucks were heading straight towards us, coming from the other direction. I wheeled around one of them and then passed the other at the corner. Just in time to, I found a lovely, large, wood framed mirror. A coat of paint and voila it will be as good as new.

I've always been a shameless dumpster diver but the past few years, living in the suburbs, have proven less rewarding than when we lived in Highland Park. In Highland Park people throw away really good trash - working vacuums, purses, art, pottery, furniture, any change smaller than a twenty dollar bill. Those were the good ole days. In the suburbs people throw away mostly trash. I'm not going to lie - It has been a rude awakening.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sister Norey and the Bag of Nuts

"Savannah don't forget that you are supposed to take something that starts with the letter “N” for show and tell tomorrow."

This is our 11th hour ritual - frantically searching the house for the perfect, letter specific show and tell item.

Both girls disappear into their playroom. A few minutes later they re-appear, beaming with pride, naked Barbie doll in hand.

"Look Mom! Naked starts with “N”!!"

Being the ogre that I am I say, “No Savannah, you cannot take a naked doll to show and tell.”

Completely astounded they immediately start in with the “What? Why? Naked starts with N.”

“Yes it does, but you can’t take a naked doll to school.”

A couple of hours later I am putting the girls to bed. I say, “Sav, did you find something that starts with “N”?

“No! Please can I take the doll?”

“Still No.”

Under her breath – “Well, I could go to school naked but that would be embarrassing.” Then out loud, to me with an I can’t believe you didn’t think of this, look she says, “If I just had a sister named Norey, I could take her…”

She has a point. I can't believe I didn't anticipate this several years ago. I could have had a sister named Norey waiting for her.

The next morning we are still searching for the illusive "N". One would think there would be dozens of N items littering our home. One would be correct. However, in the heat of the moment I could come up with only one idea. Grabbing a zip-lock bag, I frantically shoved three different types of nuts into it.

"Now Savannah, I lecture her as I am half walking half shoving her out the door, be sure you tell your class you have 3 kinds of nuts - a pistachio, an almond and a cashew nut."

"OK, mom. Pistachio, Almond, Cashew - got it."

She seems less than thrilled and I feel a moment of regret for not being more brilliant.

In the afternoon I picked the girls up from school and immediately started in with the daily debriefing session…

Me - “Did the kids like the nuts you brought for show and tell”?

Sav – a very bored “yes”. She was probably thinking “There just nuts mom, how excited could anyone be about nuts?”

Me - “What did all the other girls bring for show and tell?”

Sav – Necklace, Necklace, Necklace, Necklace, Necklace

Me – EVERYONE brought a necklace???

Sav – “Yep”

I guess my poor daughter was the only one sitting around the lunch table with a bag of nuts while all the other girls were comparing their beautiful necklaces!! I have to laugh. At least she was original.