Blessed are the Gleaners

For those that have never heard of Madison Moving Days, allow me to explain. The student neighborhood apartment owners all set their leases to end on August 14th and begin the next day on August 15th. This leaves most students renting a U-Haul overnight or camping out on the curb next to their pile of stuff to move.

Unfortunately, in our disposable culture, many students don't value the monetary value or environmental costs of their stuff. Furniture items are tossed from second story balconies and then put to the curb broken and unusable, the entire contents of many fridges are put out in torn garbage bags to rot in the sun, and nearly new buckets are found with a wadded bath towel and of dirty water from apartment bathroom "cleaning".

Now, this could be seen only as disgusting and depressing, but a brave few treat this as a holiday and an opportunity to save items destined for the garbage dump. It is a different kind of recycling and all it takes is some vision and soap and water.

The first year Ben and I were outfitting our first apartment together. We picked up some furniture and kitchen items and celebrated our first Hippie Christmas. The second year, we had just moved into our house in Beloit and filled the hatchback to capacity with 6 lamps, an end table, various linens and a work desk. In 2007 we made a major haul for us and for Tina's new apartment. Last year's best and most used items were 2 down comforters, 2 backpacks, some hipster T-shirts for Ben and a soft-sided cooler.

So, today, I post our 2008 Hippie Christmas Haul.....drumroll please....



It is a skimpier haul than usual, but this year's gems are a like-new office chair, a great pair of tennis shoes for me, a DVD player and a working vacuum (one is broken and will have to go back to the curb). This was also the first year that we heard someone was greeting the curb gleaners with calls of, "Happy Hippie Christmas!"

Proud Mama

I am soooo proud of my first toe-up (short row toes and heels) socks!! I just have to share a picture or three:


thanks, Ben, for modeling your socks so beautifully


I am also pleased with my tomato plants, some branches nearly 8 feet tall!



Lastly, I'm proud of my mama. She's 4 and 1/2 weeks post total knee surgery and she can ride a stationary bike. Go mom!