Well, I did it. As promised in my last column, I went on a Dumpster diving excursion to see what kind of loot was lurking in trash bins behind local stores. I thought that my oldest son would be my trash-finding partner, but as it turns out, my youngest, 14, was the slightly coerced volunteer. I’m not sure that psychologists would call this good family bonding, but I think we did alright. For those of you who may not have read that column, it was about the fascinating “freegans.” These people retrieve items, particularly food, from Dumpsters to keep the good stuff from going to waste ... saw it on “Oprah” and was intrigued. Also in that column, I asked for tips and suggestions on recycling/reusing from any who had them. I would like to thank Stefanie Thomas for her tip on using Freecycle.org, a website for those who give and get free stuff to keep the still-good items out of landfills. The local site is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Humble-KingwoodTXFreecycle/. In my attempt at rescuing goodies from being wasted at the dump, I was quite disappointed. My son and I surveyed the contents of no less than 10 Dumpsters; only to find that the only stuff in them was stuff that needed to be there. I had visions of all this great loot that we would find. But, alas, only crushed boxes, nasty food, foul bags and one cracked TV. We looked behind a grocery store, a discount store, a department store, a pet store and an office supply store – no goodies to be found and documented in pictures for the website. So, like I said, at first I was disappointed. But when I thought about it more, I was pleased. I was pleased to know that it appears that at least in our neck of the woods, we’re not filling Dumpsters with perfectly good food, office supplies, furniture, etc. My Cute Little German Mother was not happy about our trashy plans, and was relieved that we didn’t bring any Dumpster treasures home. While on our rendezvous with rubbish, my son and I had a nice little chat in the car. I’ve found that when your kids are teens, you have to seize every chance you get as a parent, to get them talking ... boys that is. The opposite applies for girls. I’m still hoping I have a better chance with this one. I’ve had some practice at screwing up the other two, so he’s the last hope ... or that’s what I jokingly tell him. It usually at least gets me a grin. Maybe Dumpster diving isn’t the best form of bonding, but it worked just fine that day. I went home feeling pretty good about my mothering skills. Later that evening, I actually had to ask two questions that, oddly, did not seem so out of place for my house. “Why is there $800 in cash in a dryer net in the dryer?” And, “Why is there a grenade in the kitchen?” Not to worry too much, though. It turns out the money was not stolen, despite having been laundered, and the grenade was not live. I welcome your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Patsy would love to hear your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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