Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I hope you like my GIANT GIRAFFE element. You can use all of him, all 12 inches tall, or part of him - peeking into your layout, or use him as a template... or or or.... well the possibilities are endless, really.

Before I go any further, I want to say THANK YOU CAROL - from Statistics Canada - haha, if it were not for your patience and kindness to keep calling me back this morning, I would not have got this blog entry up and running. (honestly folks, she had to call me back 3 times.... I kept running into 'blogger glitches' and every time she called I said, pleeeassse, just 5 more minutes...)

I had a reader suggest one, and also there seems to be an African theme unfolding around my life lately. Perhaps its like when you are pregnant and it seems like you notice everyone else around you is too... - is it because all of a sudden we are looking for relevant things?

Miles has four new students at his school who come from Africa - from Sudan, actually. They were sponsored here by a local lawyer and his family. These young people (there is 5 in the family) actually lived in a refuge camp for 5 years! They are delightful.

And my friend Becky just posted several african animal photos on her blog the other day. These are pictures she took during a journey a few years ago. You may just want to check them out and fill up on some of her encouraging and uplifting content. You can find her blog by clicking HERE.

I'm still packing, slowly. A box here and a box there. One for me, one for the thrift, one for the dump. I'm taking out scads of decorating magazines and books to get good ideas. Above, is my favorite, so far. This book speaks to me! I'll tell you why.

Miles took me to the dump on Saturday. What a date, you say! Actually, I love going to the dump. Ok, so I just lost half my blog following, I am sure. But I can't lie to you... allow me to explain. I grew up on a family of 8 kids. We all competed for time with our Dad and it was a big treat to be able to go to the dump with him. It was a huge adventure. Because Dad was into mining and followed the jobs to whereever they were available, generally we lived in miniscule little towns and the dumps were located on a dirt back road several miles out of the community.

This was way back, when you just took whatever you had and dumped it in one big pile. It was always a place that assaulted and awoke your senses. I have impressions of action - birds, seagulls and crows mostly, whirling and diving, and bits of paper and plastic flapping. Metal creaking. Color everywhere.

Most exciting (and sad, now that I think of it) there were always bears. The dump was a huge buffet for them. There sometimes would be half a dozen grazing around in the debris. They would not give us a second glance, merely raise their heads dully and then swinging back to forage. The town regularly trapped and hauled them away.

Once in a while, and now I am sure I am losing the second half of my blog audience, my Dad might spy something in good shape, and he would bring it home and restore it for use. I always admired my Dad for that. You know, today it's called recylcling. He was so handy with his hands.


I remember one time that Dad salvaged. It was not actually at the dump at all. We lived 100 miles north of Prince Rupert, B.C. in a tiny community called Kitsault - another mining town. The only way in and out of that place was by boat or float plane. This was located at the end of the Observatory Inlet, and in a far reaching arm of it. In Kitsault there was a trailer park built in the hook of the arm, and it had been built on a flat.

One day, as we were taking school, I was most likely in about grade 6, someone came screaming into the classroom that the trailer park was 'sinking'. Yes, it definately was. One of our teachers lived in that trailer park. Needless to say, the school was let out and we all went and watched the entire trailer park float out into the bay. It was quite as site!

No one was hurt, thankfully, but a lot of folks lost all their possessions to a watery grave. Propane tanks and appliances bobbed up here and there.

My dad latched onto one of those refridgerators at a later date. He fixed it up and it 'lived' in our house for years.

When you fly out of Kitsault, you had to make a stop over on Digby Island, an airport near Prince Rupert. Our family often got stuck there for HOURS as being a big family we had to break our group into two to be transported on to Vancouver, as our Dad liked to keep us together. In that airport we gathered and got onto a bigger plane, all in one group, to head off from there.

These waits were very boring, often for more than 8 hours. My younger brother, George, (bless his heart, he's with the Lord for several years now) George was the ultimate chatterbox. He would talk to anyone about anything. He would have been about 6 years old or something like that. I distinctly remember him rushing up to complete strangers there and telling them all about Dad's refridgerator rescue - and Dad, upon hearing this hauling him away by the ear. Dad was simply mortified. He was not a braggart about his salvaging.

So, you see I come by my love of junk honestly. I admit to you that I spied some things I would have loved to take home and love back to usability at the the local dump last Saturday. Thank goodness Miles is my voice of reason.

I'm not scared I simply want to collect trash - I do have a good sense of value and design. This book which I posted is filled with the coolest ideas. You just check it out and see yourself!

What also broke my heart was seeing what was being tossed. Knowing that in some poor countries people actually LIVE in the dumps. Knowing what we class as junk would be absolute treasure to some people, would be more than enough for them to sustain them. Why? Why do we deserve to be so blessed? I pray the Lord will keep me humble in this way. I pray my treasure will always be that I don't need BRAND NEW in everything, that I'm not enslaved to have to have everything 'perfect'


Jesus answered,

"If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor,

and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Do you have a story or thought about this entry? I would love to hear from you!

Got a Camera Hood Cover - Now you Do!

Paul Mutton doesn’t want you to spend twenty bucks on buying a useful, but painfully simple, piece of black plastic.

Lens hoods, those round plastic rings that sit at the end of your SLR’s lens, are great at preventing lens flare and unwanted reflections when shooting in sunlight.

Unfortunately, buying or replacing one can be surprisingly expensive. So Paul created a whole series of printable, foldable, paper lens hoods you can download for free!

Just look up your Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina lens, print out the corresponding lens hood, fold it up, and slap it on. They even fold back up to make ‘em easier to carry around!


  1. Okay first, that was really long. Second stop picking on me for having a life and not getting my blog posted first everyday. Third thank you for my poem, it was super cute! And fourth I love going to the dump and discovering treasure and repurposing or refirbishing it too! It's so much fun to see what you can make and/or do with something someone else consideres junk. Oh and thanks for the giant animal- it's cute too!
    Hugs to everyone!

  2. Good afternoon Barb.:)
    Thank you for your cute giraffe.:)Oh..and for coming to visit today and leaving me such a sweet comment.I know you are soo it means a lot to me.:)
    I didn't have a huge family..but there were four of us kids..two boys and two that order.We lived on hand me downs and good will ...thrift store stuff.My Mom use to sew my dresses for me and sometimes I wish she had found something in the thrift stores.LOL But..she tried.:) My favorite skirt in high school came from Good Will.:)I wore it out.It kept getting shorter and shorter.LOL Afer I was married a few years..I wondered how everyone had their cupboards packed with dishes.I discovered ..thrift stores and loaded mine up.I would take five dollars a week and go buy some dishes with it.I got some really nice things that didn't have any chips or anything on them.If you look on the pics of my pantry a few blogs back..the cookie jars that line the top of the cupboards were from thrift stores and good will.Most of them were only three dollars a piece and soo cool.Some were gifts ...but you can't tell which is which unless I point them out.:)
    I agree with you..if you can get the same quality by paying three dollars for something..why pay twenty...and if you can get it for free and fix it up..even better.:)
    Well..I guess I better leave room for someone else to comment.LOL
    Have a great day!

  3. Hi Barb, my Dad and I would also go to the dump. We didn't have garbage pick up on Naramata road so we went once a month to take up the non-burnable garbage. We would find all kinds of stuff and we would bring home all kinds of treasures! Before I moved to Cawston we had tree cuttings and found a tv entertainment centre and we use it today. My hubby drives long haul and he notices all kinds of treasures going to the garbage and he wishes he could stop and pick up, but no room in his sleeper but for him! I also wanted to thank you for the giraffe I'm making a record book for my daughters and the giraffe will be a great element for their growth page! I finally did a upgrade on the computer and I can finally download from your new provider!!!! Thanks for your blogging it brings back some fond memories of my Dad. Hugs.....Lucy.

  4. Hi I'm back! I have been back tracking and I missed one element I was hoping you could re-load for me,rope elements! I don't know how I missed them before! LOL must have been sleeping! I loved the trees and foliage element and I'll use it as a familytree page for the girls baby record book. I'm done for the day need to get lunch on the table! See you tomorrow! Hugs....Lucy.

  5. love the story Barb and has you know I love second stuff and fixing things up been to my home ...but each one is a treasure ..thanks for the giraffe ..he awesome

  6. Love the giraffe!!!!!! Adorable. Giraffes were my fave for sure!

    Great 'dump' tales. It surprises me that they don't allow people to 'take away' from the dump. Lots of useful stuff up there. Its too bad its so regulated. (but then L would probably bring too much stuff back & we'd be back where we started) *giggle*

    Have to cancel our date - I will email you.

  7. I too used to go to the dump with my dad...and found treasures. Today my DH and I love to go to Flea Markets to poke around for treasures!!
    thanks for the giraffe! :O)

  8. Very cute giraffe (and my-oh-my is he a BIG one! Thank you for creating and sharing. We used to go to the dump...but not current dumps - only the old ones that you can dig around in that are no longer in use.

  9. Barb thanks for the super cute Giraffe :-) I always remember going to the dump (in Aust we call it the tip) with my dad when I was little, we always came home with more that we took LOL. Now here the staff go through your rubbish the minute you dump it and resell items in used shops owned by the dump. I have a love of everything old, these days things just don't have the detail or workmanship like they used to. Hugs Sonia

  10. Hi, Barb--
    Was that beach picture taken at Crescent City? I recognize the rock in the background. It is home to a great many seals. That's my home town.

    I always thought the dump was a cool place. It's amazing what people will throw away.

  11. Sorry you did not loose me in either the first half or the second half of your comments! When I was growing up we were very poor because only my dad worked. My mother stayed at home to take care of 4 girls. However, I never really knew I was poor because to me we had so much. My dad could fix anything. We were the first in our neighborhood to have a color TV because my dad fixed what someone threw away. I had my very own transitor radio that my dad fixed. Do you remember those flexies (they look like a sled on wheels) which was way too expensive for us to aford. But yes, someone threw one away because the brakes were broken which of course my dad fixed. I love doing craft projects. HGTV has several TV shows that show "Thrash to Treasures" that give so many great ideas on how to repurpose or reuse things. While the dump has become very regulated in what you cannot take for free anymore, I love going to Thrift stores and flea markets for many great finds! Thanks for the cute Giraffe and the great link for the camera hood cover! It is appreciated! BettyJoR

  12. Thanks for the cool zebra and giraffe!

  13. We used to go to the dump too! How funny is this?! And thanks for the Decorating book review, I just reserved it at my library!


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