Cure for the common pothole

Found in Paris, via Flavorpill,  potholes filled up  with knitting.  Got any incomplete gloves or scarves to donate? Might not cure the pothole, but it will be sure to bring delight.

On the bright side, potholes are a sign of spring.

Here’s a sound track to remind you that spring is really here.


the slow move movement

I’ve been trying to sell my house for the last year….or two.   You’ve heard of the “slow food” movement.  I’ve been working on the “slow move” movement.  This is how it works.  While your house is languishing on the market during the current epic buyer’s  market, you savor the impending move.   You know those manic trips to Salvation Army to dump truck loads of your stuff that you look longingly at while the guy in the apron pitches them into canvas carts? No more!  The dumpster that sits in your driveway while the entire contents of your basement disappear over the metal, graffiti etched sides? Banished.

With the “Slow Move” movement, you take the opportunity to ponder (best done between 2 am and 4:15 am) how much of that stuff do you really need, anyway?   During this year ….or two, of slow-moving, I’ve found some great resources to  disinherit myself of the contents of my house in preparation for maybe someday moving day.  Here are some resources I’d like share.

Craigslist.  I’ve had great luck giving away things on Craig’s list.  There’s a good feeling about playing fairy godmother to the dozen people who respond to your offer to give them a 30-year-old desk with sticky drawers.  It’s not at all unusual to get thank you notes after such a transaction!

Kids’ textbooks,  12 years of Spanish (Dime!), Accounting,  Dystopia, etc. –  Books for Africa has a location on the East side of St. Paul It’s a fun adventure getting there.  Some really friendly people thank you, and help you carry your heavy textbooks, and provide you with a receipt for the IRS.   There is something very satisfying about transferring all that physical and intellectual weight to a place where it will be well used.  Don’t forget to swing by Swede Hollow Cafe on your way out of the neighborhood, to treat yourself for the effort.

They are pretty picky about the type of books they are willing to ship thousands of miles.  Another place to drop off your books, if you would rather exchange them for a little $ is Half Price Books.  The St. Paul location is in Highland Park.  It usually takes them 40 minutes to go through your books and you can wait there, or wait there. They are pretty sticky about letting you leave.    See, it’s the “Slow Move” movement.

The next great find was a place to recycle trophies.  It just seems wrong to throw all that metal, and perfectly beautiful chunks of walnut, into the garbage.   There’s actually a place in St. Paul that will take them, and recycle them for you.  The A.J. Shaake Company,  at 919 St. Clair.  Thank you, hockey gods.

Except all of the ribbons, that the medals used to hang on.  There’s another great place, at 1459  St. Clair Avenue, that uses all kinds of your spare craft  detritus.  They are called Artstart Artscraps. It appears that since I last visited their website they have expanded into travel programs for arts enrichment.  Definitely a place worth checking into.

The next quandary in the pre-moving saga, involved a monumental pile of CD‘s and jewel cases generated before flash drives, mp-3, i-Pod’s, or iPhones.  Many of these were Napster generated compilation CD’s, cringe worthy, and not worth the time it would take to download into iTunes.  Recycle bin? Were CD’s considered recyclable? Well, short answer, no.

Trip to google .  Unaware that a 3 day saga was unfolding.     CD’s are pretty toxic  stuff that linger in landfills for centuries.   They are not accepted in the recycling program from Eureka Recycling, St. Paul’s uber hip and green, green, blue-green, waste management company.  I wrote to ask their advice, and they engaged in a several exchange problem solving session about CD disposal.  While that dialogue was going on, I contacted 2 local major purveyors of CD’s (who will go un-named) asking advice about how they dispose of unwanted CD’s.  Bottom line answer – it’s not our problem, we throw them in the trash.  O—Kay.   On line search led to  advice such as – use them as coasters, or tie them on strings and hang in trees to deter birds.   I found one company, CD Recycling Center that accepts CD’s for recycling provided you pay the postage to send your CD’s  to them.    Then, eureka,  of a different kind,  stumbled on the fact that Best Buy company accepts CD’s for recycling.   My estimation of Best Buy soared considerably after learning of this news. The next day I traveled to the  West St. Paul Best Buy store, and stuffed the offending CD’s though their rubber recycling hole. All the while worrying that they were going to take them out back and pitch them in the trash.

Yes, moving very slowly.   But it feels pretty good.