Monday, July 12, 2010

The Bone Yard

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see. We are ruining our world. We are consuming at rates we don't even know even if we could imagine. We are addicted to buying. I admit to having the same human character flaw. Its ridiculous to say it is about cars and oil. Its really about all of it...consumption!  I have resolved to buy only that which I can't make or find used. I am not a 'Greenie'. I never confessed to be one. I am a reuser, a freecycler, a frugalista! I can go lengths on what I think about the 'Green' movement and all the charaders latching on for the money. But I won't.

OK, hands in the many of you have bought at least one cute but "only lasts one season" type of lighting item for your garden at the big box store? You thought its only $6 bucks on sale and the lights will be so cute at the summer night barbeques right? Now its two years later and they are more appropriately ready for the trash with holes in the paper lanterns and the design faded along with the bird drops and dust that has accumulated for two summers but the lights still work. So what do I do? Run to the local big box store and buy know the ones they just made in a country that doesn't have fair rights for its citizens, and then travels by boat to a central port on one of our coasts, then gets put on a rail train to a central point to get dispersed, goes to the distributor by truck and once again when it takes its trip to the local store, which could be hundreds of miles away. Those replacements?  That's what I am talking about when I say consumer. I am not talking about our needs. I am talking about our wants. Let's just talk about all of the 'things',  like the late George Carlin put it ..'stuff', that we have that aren't really used to sustain our lives. They are possessions.

The best thing you can do for your children, their children, and the future of our country is to stop buying into the government propandga that you must buy to boost the economy. Invest in yourself, your local community and your families future. The government has their M.O. in this whole scheme besides the large corporations who want profits. You buy 'stuff' and they get a cut. If they get what many economists say they are planning to get, add the VAT(Value Added Tax) then you will really be supporting them to the tune of about 25% of everything you buy. You will have more than a small stock in the company of  "The US Government" if you keep buying 'stuff'.

So my solution? Recycle. I thought, the ribs of the lanterns are still there. The lights STILL work! All I need is to reinforce the paper. I got a sheet of deep blue rice paper(from my stash of things collected over the years...not much are consumed items but collected, I'll explain later), white glue, a sponge brush and I sat myself under the Abelia bush in the shade listening to Garrison Kellor's 'Prairie Home Companion'( free entertainment on the radio you know). I used watered down glue to brush the lanterns, which were partially dusted off and still very weathered looking, and painted away. Tearing bites of paper, yes bites, not bits and overbrushing them with glue. The initial results is great. It is a technique I have also used on pots and candles. I can't wait to see them later tonight all lit up. I didn't spend any money and used current resources.

For those who came this far I want to note the difference, as referred to my me, between a consumer and a collector as I promised you more about. A consumer sees something they want at the moment and buys it only to find themselves bored or tired or some other vague excuse which they no doubtfully will remember next time they buy the same said item once it is disposed of in the trash. A collector sees an item and sees potential in what it can be made to do or into. I am not a collector to tell a story as the character in Jonathan Safran Foer's 'Everything is Illuminated' but I collect rejected materials and objects to create something useful by giving it another life. I have collected many things, some are being used, some are on their way to being used and others are waiting in the bone yard for an idea to emerge from the 'black hole' or in other words, the imagination zone of my mind.  Of course the later items are taking up space somewhere along the side of my house in what is lovingly referred to as the 'Bone Yard'. A 'Bone Yard' is what they call the leftover scrap metal and materials left outside in a designated area after a job as my husband explains it so I have adapted the name in hopes it will somehow seem more acceptable to him when he sees the 'stuff'' if I've gone diving a few too many dumpsters. As a collector I see potential. Everything in life has potential.


  1. I didn't want to stop reading here, but I MUST sleep!

  2. Absolutely lovely! I discovered your site through Facebook. :) Have a great weekend!