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We have a huge window in our living room, which gives us a pretty clear view of things that go on on the streets around us. Nick (and some friends who shall remain nameless) sometimes tease me and call me “neighborhood watch”. So be it. I’ll own that title and be proud of it! Besides, life outside my window can be quite entertaining (and exciting) sometimes.

One thing that always amuses me is the sight of people stopping to poke through people’s trash on trash day. I’ve seen it more times than I can count and have even witnessed people taking something from our own trash pile. In fact, right now we have a broken fan sitting next to our garbage can and I’m wondering if someone will come snatch it before the garbage truck comes.

Anyway, early last fall some people in a nearby house were moving out and rather than moving some of their junk with them or trying to sell it on Craigslist, they hauled it all to the street and just left it there. All morning long cars were stopping to poke through the stuff and see what there was. I spotted a baby bouncer/activity center thing and was tempted to go look at it, but my pride got in the way. “I can’t be one of *those* people”, I thought.

Eventually my resolve wore down and when I went to pick the boys up from school I drove past the pile of junk very slowly in order to take a casual look at the bouncer. It looked decent! I didn’t see any duct tape on it, so that had to be a good sign. I stopped the car, looked at this disgustingly dirty baby toy and heaved into the back of my car.

I think Nick was embarrassed when I showed him my “treasure” and told him where I got it.

That bouncer sat in our basement all fall, winter and spring and finally emerged the other night. It was dirty, covered in cob webs and just gross. I pulled the fabric seat out and threw that in the wash and then tackled scrubbing down the plastic. I scrubbed and scrubbed and then scrubbed with some bleach water for good measure.

Not bad for free, huh? Lily loves it! I think she enjoys her view from up high. Yesterday she was just sitting there grinning at her brothers. The boys like it too and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to tell one to get out of it.

Apparently I’m not too proud to dumpster (curb?) dive after all…

  • June 3, 2011 - 11:01 am

    Aunt Sue - Hey, we’ll do anything for our kids, right? We just want to keep them happy and Lily sure looks happy!!! xoxoReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2011 - 12:02 pm

    Sarah - From the pics you would never guess it was once trash. Good find!ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2011 - 3:20 pm

    Pam - She looks just like her brothers in the last pic!ReplyCancel

    • June 3, 2011 - 5:41 pm

      Helen - I find her resemblance downright eerie at times!ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    Susan Heim - I got several great Little Tikes items from people’s curbside trash! We rescued an adorable picnic table and a little slide. We’re doing the environment a favor by using these gently used items rather than throwing them in a landfill, so it’s a great example for the kids to see!ReplyCancel

  • June 5, 2011 - 7:55 am

    Zoie - It’s recycling toys. I’ve gotten a bunch of outside toys that way, around here, we put things out a few days before the trash pick up. Then you drive around and grab things off the sidewalk. I then go online to see how much it would cost me and tell my husband how much money I saved by picking it up. At first he wasn’t into it, now he knows I’m saving money and being environmentally responsible.ReplyCancel

  • June 5, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    pop pop - Great job. Maybe you could start a recycled toy business. From curbs to craigs list……ReplyCancel

  • June 6, 2011 - 10:51 am

    Sarah - We dumpster dive also! My husband has been doing freecycle – it’s been a great way to get rid of stuff and pick up some barely used toys for the kids.ReplyCancel