Friday, September 18, 2009

"One man's trash is another man's treasure"
Nowhere is this cliché more true than on The Freecycle Network.

I was first introduced to Freecycle by a friend of mine from high school. Every year, she hosts a multi-family garage sale and this was the first year we participated. Once the sale was finished, everything left over was either donated to charity or, if the item was not of interest to the charity, listed on Freecycle.

Curious, I had to check it out. Now, I'm hooked!

The Freecycle Network is a movement of people dedicated to keeping the amount of usable items from ending up in landfills. There are over 4000 groups located all over the world.

The way it works is simple: A person searches the Freecycle website for a local group. Once one is found in the user's area, they apply to join the Yahoo group and the moderator (a volunteer) will okay membership and send a list of rules (basic etiquette, list of forbidden items, safety hints). Then, simply start listing!

There are four self-explanatory types of posts: OFFER, PROMISED, TAKEN and WANTED. If you have something you want to get rid of, you post an "OFFER". Once someone has contacted you about your item, you post a "PROMISED" and, when the item is picked up, post that it is "TAKEN". Also, if there is something that you desire and are hoping another member has sitting in their garage, you can post a "WANTED" message.

The items being given away can range from the sublime (exercise equipment, computers, baby items, furniture) to the ridiculous (broken appliances, used lathe, 1/2 dozen promotional frisbees). I even saw someone offer a trash bag full of empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls. Funny thing was that it was posted as TAKEN by the end of the day I'm sure that some daycare of homeschooling Mom found a great craft use for them!

Two of my best "scores" have been for the girls.

Needless to say, they think Freecycle is pretty cool too!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In getting out and about with the girls, I always have my trusty aluminum water bottle with me. I also try to remember to bring snacks with me. It helps to battle the demon of low blood-sugar crankiness WITHOUT spending oodles of money at the snack bar. It is easier to do when you keep a bunch of quick and easy snacks on hand to grab as you head out the door.

Here is a recipe for a favorite in our family...

Seasoned Oyster Crackers
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 Tbsp dill
2 (12 oz) boxes oyster crackers

Combine all ingredients in large freezer bag. Shake well. Refrigerate overnight. Package in airtight containers and dispense into smaller sandwich bags as needed.

Simple. Tasty. Great for kicking back on a park bench and snacking on in between turns on the swings!