Think I am just thinking.

Words are but thoughts made visible.

What to do while distancing from home?

Well, here we are in week, whatever it is, of the Covid-19 mess.  Spending a lot more time at home has provided us with an opportunity to spend a little more time on our backyard deck and actually enjoy our backyard!  One of the first things that I started to notice was that we had a lot more different types of birds around the house than I had really realized.  Having the time to just set and watch with a pair of binoculars, there are Robins, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Red Bellied Wood Peckers,  Cedar Waxwings, and a little family of Blackburnian Warblers flying around.  So far the star of the local back yard group has been a family of Robin’s who build a nest on top of the back yard house light.

The Robin family was a determined little two birds at the start.  Twice I removed the beginning of a collection of dead grass that was appearing on top of the house light.  Then a few days later, I stepped out to find a completed next with four blue eggs inside.  As the nest was now already completed and in use, I had to leave it be.  But as it turns out, these Robins have been a treasure trove of entertainment.

Did you know that it is against Federal Law to remove an occupied active nest of a Robin?  In fact you cannot try to capture, raise, or Check out the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, if you doubt me.  All Migratory birds are protected under this treaty from being hunted, killed, captured or sold, or even messing with nests and eggs unless you have a specific license for such action.  This has helped to insure that birds are not over hunted, but also has includes a whole list of birds you do not think of when thinking about hunting of birds.

So, here are a photo of our new family of Robin’s:

Robin Family

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May 25, 2020 Posted by | Birds, Photography, Things at Home | | Leave a comment

Getting rich on trash?

   In the previous post I was noticing just how many different containers there are to put our trash in.  Have you taken a look at the prices on those colorful containers?  Not only are they expensive, but you might just want to read the label on the ingredients that many of these designer trash containers are made of. 

   As it turns out, there are a number of plastic trash containers, that are made from the very trash which is placed in them every day.   In years past, all of our trash was hauled away to landfills to be dumped, covered and buried to decompose at the speed of dark.

   Today, about 30-35%, of all trash is recycled, depending on what city you live in.  Of this volume, much of it is paper products, which have one of the higher percentages, at around 50%.  Of all the plastic bottles used everyday, some 40% of them are recycled back into new products.  The plastic bottles are ground up in to small pieces, cleaned and ultimately turned back in to new plastic items, such as trash bins!

   So back to the original question of “can you get rich on trash?  Well the short answer is absolutely.  If you own a trash hauling company, you can count on there always being a customer.  Of course the hard part is being large enough to attract customers and being able to hold your costs down enough to attractive in pricing, as well as service.  If you are a recycler, you can make lots of money, if you can process huge volumes of recyclable material, and have manufacturers lined up to purchase the material from you in bulk. 

  You will note, the key to making money on trash is being able to handle tons and tons of trash.  unfortunately, this typically means you must already have the financing (MONEY) in order to put together a trash business model that will end up with a profit at the end of the day.  Then, if you can increase your business (trash volume) enough, you will indeed get rich on trash.

   As for myself, I will be content to put as much recyclable material into the green bins each week, and just feel good knowing I have helped to reduce the volume of trash just being buried each week.  Currently this amounts to just over 50% of all the trash from the house.  Some weeks, a bit more.  If I can get this up to 75%, I do feel I will have made a difference.  The difference I make, may not make me richer, but it will enrich the lives of others by helping to create new jobs in recycling, and making a cleaner environment for my descendents.

   I feel richer already.

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Household Improvements, Things at Home, thinking, Trash | Leave a comment

Trash everywhere and so many places to put it!

A place for every piece of trash.

   Who would have thought that garbage could be good-looking?   Well, just take a walk through any store which has items for the home and you will find a varitiy of garbage and trash cans which will decorate about any abode.  We can buy trash cans with lids, or flats, open tops, flip lids, solid sides, open web sides.  We can get trash container that are silver, blue, red, black, yellow, green, brown, and a multitude of other colors, and yes even white (the biggest seller).

   Just goes to show you that everyone can have personal trash which anyone would be happy to show off.   Personally, I still prefer the stainless steel with the flip lid for the kitchen.  After all, there is always one aspect of trash that we always have a hard time covering up!

January 20, 2011 Posted by | Household Improvements, Things at Home, Trash | Leave a comment

What happened to the water?

   Every day, people go to the faucet in their home; turn, pull, or lift the handle and an endless supply of clear clean water flows out for their consumption or use.  We are so accustomed to this daily little piece of life we take it totally for granted.  And then there is an evening like todays.

   Arrived home after a long days work, and noticed that the when getting a glass of water, the water was not flowing at the normal high rate of speed into the glass.  Made a comment to the mate, “Hey the water pressure seems low”.  Her response: “What would cause that?”  About fifteen minutes later I went to rinse a diner dish off and no water!

   Well it hasn’t been cold enough to freeze lines yet, so I knew that could not be the cause.  So we made a call to the neighbor asking: “Hey Nancy, you guys got water?”  The confirming answer was: “Nope, heard one of the neighbors driveways collapsed from a blow water main.” 

   We have lived in the same house for the last 12 years and we have lost electrical power, but never have we lost water!  Prior to that we lived in a home about two miles from our current home for over 10 years there and also never lost water.  Needless to say, we have become very complacent about water always being available.  But, we still have heat, lights and the water was still going down all the drains, at least while the water was running anyway.

   So as the evening wears on, the though crosses our mind, “what do we do if there is no water yet in the morning?”

   We would both like to shower in the morning and I would like to shave.  Not even having a bottle of water in the house we may be forced to clean up camping style.  After all, there are still a couple clean reservoirs of water available for heating up in a pan on the stove.  But then of course we would not be able to flush!  As we don’t use the chemical treatments, the water is clean.  Most people forget about the tanks.  And then, in a pinch, there is the drain on the hot water heater.  Then it’s the old fashion, shower in a wash-cloth routine.

   Do you think anyone would notice if I am wearing extra aftershave tomorrow?

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Household Improvements, Things at Home | Leave a comment

Own you home? Do we ever?

  I was having a little conversation about homes and ownership the other day.    For those who are lucky enough to be making payments on what they hope to be their home, free and clear some day.  So we take out a bank loan for a mere 30 or so years and then after a selling and buying a couple other new homes do to relocation, up-sizing, or what ever reason, they find it really takes more like 40 years to pay off the loan. 

   So, the bottom line is it takes the average person 30 plus years, if they are lucky, to pay off the original loan on their home.  Then, they find out they need a new roof, the siding needs to be replaced and the deck has become a hazard in own rights.  So, now there’s another 5-10 years paying off the home improvement loan, and then the house is free and clear, or is it?

   So after 40 years you own your home and have no loans.  But, you still have payments to make.  If you check around the country, you will find that if you look at a an average home worth lets say $200,000, the local taxes on that home will run somewhere in the range of $4,000.  You will also find that you need to have insurance on the home, not just for fire, storms and the like, but liability insurance, should someone trip walking on your sidewalk and get injured.  So, what you will end up with by the time you add-on some routine maintenance is that your free and clear home should only cost you about $450 per month.  Ok, still cheaper than the $750 you would pay for a small apartment. 

   So as we all try to plan ahead for what we hope will be the good retirement years, these are all costs that will remain on our free and clear home.   And yet in spite of all this, if you are one of those people who ends up owning your home free and clear, you still are luckier in terms of expenses, as compared to the person who is renting.  If you haven’t checked lately, a small apartment in the midwest goes for anywhere from $650 to $900 per month.  For something the size of the typical house, the rent easily jumps upward of $1,600 for a 2-3 bedroom house. 

   But, if you are like me and working on trying to some day own your home without the bank sharing ownership, there is the yard to mow, the deck to clean, the trees to trim, the exterior to maintain.  And oh yes, the Taxes to pay.

October 24, 2010 Posted by | Things at Home, thinking | Leave a comment

Round the Merry-go-round and the Garden.

Merry-Go-Round

You will have to forgive some of the blur, but it was a handheld shot.  But, the image does help to portray some of the motion of the grandson’s wild horse ride.  Ok, perhaps wild is too strong of a word, but he sure did seem to be having fun.  Besides, watching the grandson is so much more fun then sharing a cold or flu bug with him!

Now, not that a Merry-Go-Round has anything to do with garden’s, I did want to give an update on the garden.  Pictures will be following, I promise.

I mentioned the garden previously.  It is really starting to produce.  We have been getting lettuce  for almost four weeks now.  But the big news is this week, we picked our first cucumbers, string beans, a d a couple small tomatoes.  Barring a hail storm, we should be swimming in tomatoes in another week.  I think we will have our fill of cucumbers and string beans in another 5-10 days as well.  There is really something about a vine ripened tomato that cannot be found in any store.  Myself, I am not a great tomato lover.  But, I have to say, that the sweetness found in those coming from the garden made them palatable even to me!

July 5, 2010 Posted by | Cold, Flu, Garden | Leave a comment