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Saturday, October 04, 2008

non-toxic wastebaskets

Eee gads, we've been steeping in the toxic waste of the mortgage-backed securities mess - and bailout, which didn't pass in the first round, then passed in the second after some changes. We generous taxpayers came through for our poor, suffering corporate dimbulbs. I hope it will be a better move than many of us feared and will help settle the markets down. (Whispering now . . .) Hey, if anyone sounds as though they understand this mess, don't believe 'em. As Don's economics professor said, no one really knows what affects markets and how to fix them. But don't tell anyone, this is just for you, because I know you can handle the ambiguity and not get freaked out knowing no one really knows what will happen.

Anyway, all that waste presents a good opportunity to show you my little wastebasket collection.

This one is in l'atelier. I picked it up at a yard sale.




This one is very old, and sort of falling apart. I think I bought it at a flea market, for the guest room. If you come for a visit, please don't throw anything into it, I think it would disintegrate. I see it as a sort of faux wastebasket, a wastebasket wannabe, a piece of art posing as a wastebasket. I should probably make a little sign to lean on it: PLEASE DON'T PUT ANYTHING IN ME. You can just throw your kleenex in the sturdy plastic bathroom wastebasket (which I'm not showing off here, as you see).


This one is a treasure because it was my mother's. It sat in her study for as long as I can remember, under her secretary desk. I think it was her mother's before it was hers. I keep it by my dressing table (not on the bentwood chair on the porch where I posed it for a photo). Peter and Lesley can fight over it when I'm gone.

Detail of my mom's wastebasket.

I guess I'm just as guilty as anyone of covering up and prettifying my trash.

I don't know about you, but this is what we do:

  • recycle everything that can be recycled around here: plastic containers, newspapers, glass, magazines, junk mail, paper, tin cans
  • get paper bags at the grocer to use for paper trash that we burn (I hope our little bit of paper burning doesn't hurt the atmosphere too much); goodness! some checkout clerks do not like bagging in paper! Yikes!
  • give food scraps to the chickens, except what isn't good for them, which we dump in a compost pile (that isn't being dealt with as compost yet; we're lazy so far about that)
  • the rest of the unrecyclable, uncompostable garbage goes into old plastic bags from the store; we finally stopped buying garbage bags - what a waste! We hardly have any garbage that goes into the dumpster now.
  • Oh, and when I'm gone, I want to take up as little space as possible. I want to be cremated.
I've been excited to hear about NYC and LA and their recycling of food scraps for compost for farmers.

34 comments:

Gwen Buchanan said...

Wow I love your studio.. so contemplative and calming.. that is always what I need...

Love this taking out the trash concept!! You are right about that precious little woven basket.. Too sweet for garbage...

you are super with your recycling.. feels good doesn't it... it is becoming aware... hopefully more and more will be on that track..

hey ... stop thinking of going to the great beyond.. we'll miss you too much.. That day will come too soon for all of us...

I really like this post..

shicat said...

It was a challenge returning to work on Friday, having pulled out most of my hair after watching Polly Palin squawk her way through the deabate. My cabernet stained lips and bloodshot eyes were tell tale signs of my grief.I had to put myself to bed early friday night,this is all just too much for this old soul.

Anet said...

Wow! I only have the cheapy plastic wastebaskets. I just love the one that belonged to your mom.
That is a work of art!

I was just talking to my husband this morning trying to understand just what the bailout means, what it means to us "Joe sixpack" as Palin calls the middle-class working people.

I am still confused and I find it insulting to be called "Joe sixpack". Like we all drink a sixpack everyday. I might drink a six pack of root beer! hehehe!!!

Ruth said...

Hi there, Gwen! Time for tea out on the porch, eh? You should see how perfectly autumn it is here today.

You know, there's nothing wrong with things, not a thing wrong in things themselves. As you say, awareness of their essence is what matters. So now, even as I stuff the unrecyclables into those little plastic bags, the minimal trash we dump now, I look at those things and ask myself, isn't there a better way to package them? Maybe next time I should get more lightbulbs in one pack so I'm not adding quite as much creation of molded plastic packaging. Stopping in gratitude for the many things that make my life easier and more comfortable is something I need to do more of.

I don't plan on leaving the land of the living any time soon, but I have no fear of it, nor do I mind growing old. Thanks for not wanting to say good-bye yet. :)

Ruth said...

Cathy! How poetically you put that! I am feeling the divisiveness of her in this role. I had no idea this many Americans would be impressed with her. It's going to be a slow month ahead, watching and waiting.

Ruth said...

Oh thanks, Anet! I have very fond memories of that wastebasket, it was, and is, a symbol of comfort to me, and so representative of my mom.

If anyone is not confused by the bailout, then they're not being honest.

Sarah Palin is a well thought out package, and they are making adjustments daily to appeal to a certain crowd. Her folksiness is as appealing to some as it is appalling to me (because it feels artificial, for one thing).

Hey, be careful of those root beers!

Loring Wirbel said...

You can tell a lot about people by looking at their compost buckets.

Sharon said...

Your woven basket is amazing! I can't imagine anyone putting their trash in it! Great that you guys have reduced your outgoing trash so much. We are way behind you but always striving.

Ruth said...

Loring, my ex-brother-in-law, a wonderful cook, used to chastise me for discarding carrot peelings, celery leaves, and other such scraps. He threw them in a freezer bag and saved them, along with meat and chicken bones, for stock which he cooked all day every Saturday. I still feel guilty every time I throw them into the compost pile.

Ruth said...

Sharon, I wish I knew more about that basket, it looks to me as if it could be Victorian.

We're doing better here at the farm than we've ever done with our trash. I've noticed it really takes the whole household to support the effort. If only one does it, it becomes cumbersome.

André Lemay said...

What a nice collection and great colors, all I have is an old piggy bank.

Ruth said...

André, did you have the piggy bank since you were little? That's cool. I've never had a piggy bank.

Rauf said...

please keep the header picture for sometime Ruth. you are changing too fast. this is a beauty.

economics yes yes yes.i knows one ting there bees a money problem in your country, that makes me very happy actually as i am not the only one in the world with money problems. only ting i unnseratand or misunnerstand that some idiots have been giving your hard earned money to some useless fellows. in a way this is just the opposite of Robin Hood ? These chaps have been robbing the poor and giving it to the very rich ?? is that the case Ruth ??

you are contributing to mother earth's welfare, das good ruth.

Ruth said...

Yes I know, rauf, I like change and I get impatient to change the pittur. I'll leave it for some time. How long is enough? :)

Oh dear, rauf, I don't understand much. Loring sent me a slideshow with stick figures. a) mortgage companies approved mortgages too easily with adjustable rates, for people who wouldn't be able to afford them when the rates went up in a few years. b) Then those bad loans were pooled and sold off to other companies as new kinds of securities. Then it gets more complicated. But anyway, all those companies that had stinky loans started to fail because, well people couldn't afford to pay.

This is only one piece of a very complicated mess of traders trading securities. These people make ungodly amounts of money on one transaction. There is little regulation on all this trading. Oh dear I'm digging myself in and I'm already over my head.

We're in a very bad credit situation. The bailout happened primarily I think (it was marketed and passed this way) because good people now can't get loans, credit availability is so bad. People are losing jobs because businesses can't pay them.

I don't think you want me to go on. I probably already told you more than you want to know.

You know, as much as I don't want to suffer, I would like to see wealth spread more evenly around the world. (But I think more like a socialist than a capitalist. Shhhh.)

Mrs. M. said...

Easy solution for the question of what to do with G'ma's basket...leave it to some niece who loves you very much ;) ;)

Seriously, though, I remember that basket vividly, and it is gorgeous! Where is G'ma's desk living now?

Ruth said...

Mrs. M., aha! Good to know you'd like to have a wastebasket to remember me by. :D

G'ma's desk?? Ahem. Your mother got it! Since I haven't seen their current place, I don't know where they have it situated.

freefalling said...

Ruth!
That's an Eastern Rosella!
Look here -
http://freefallingskyward.blogspot.com/2007/08/splash-of-colour.html

(I agree with Rauf - your banner photo is a bewdie)

Ruth said...

Ohh, Letty! The Eastern Rosella, I remember your beautiful Asian photos of those pretty exotic birds. Now I want to know more about this wastebasket.

Nautankey said...

Wish even the failed loans get recycled :).

And please dont feel guilty about prettifying the trash,they look really good.YOu can probably try selling them;monetary-fying the trash and help out the dimbulbs :)

Ruth said...

Oh, recycle those failed loans, good one, Nautankey! :)

And now you've got me thinking, maybe wastebaskets are a good investment . . .

RunninL8 said...

I LOVE the faux wastebasket! Right up my alley!
Yes, this whole mess is frightening. Or am I just used to "feeling the panic"? It kills me to think of lining the pockets of big corp. while so many are loosing their homes. Are they purposely trying to increase the divide between the haves and have nots? A generation of kids growing up sleeping in cars or on the couches and floors of family friends....

Ruth said...

Hi, RunninL8! You're welcome to the faux wastebasket. Next time you're in Michigan I'll gladly give it to you.

It's interesting, isn't it, that the very rich rarely pay for their crimes. Ken Lay was one of the rare ones indicted, but even he didn't have to go to prison since he died before sentencing. That was a strange one.

Sandy said...

I like this post. I could be much better with recycling, much better. I think if Mike and I lived alone we would be better, but ...there are others who aren't.

enjoyed reading this....

s

Sandy said...

ohhh just noted your updated links on the sidebar. Looks like some verrry interesting sites..the kind I would enjoy, I'll be checking them out here and there.

Ruth said...

Auntie Sandy, hi! Don and I were not very good about recycling up until recently. Then we just got fed up with ourselves and got organized. It's still an effort, because the only places to take the recycling at the moment are a good distance away, so we have to really remember when we're headed in those directions, one or the other, to load the stuff up. I wish someone picked ours up curbside. But soon my university will have a completely overhauled recycling center, and it will be amazing,. Then I can just take stuff with me to work!

Ohh, I'd be curious which links interest you.

Ginnie said...

Uh-oh, Ruth! I may be guilty of throwing trash in the guest room wastebasket. I'm the guilty one! But now that I know, I'll behave properly. Remember Dad's "kick-the-bucket" story about the preacher's wastebasket and his g'saon! I thought of that while reading this post. (sigh)

freefalling said...

Hey Ruth - wanna see a really cool bird?
Have a look here:
http://tassiebirds.blogspot.com/2008/10/shining-bronze-cuckoo.html

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, I love the connection of wastebaskets and and what's going on with the economy, cool baskets, I just have the office type plastic ones, highly efficient and cheap, not like the economy.

Ruth said...

Hahaha, Boots! All tongue-in-cheek, I assure you. :D

Ohh, yes of course I remember the kick-the-bucket story Dad told, but I forgot it was about a wastebasket!

Ruth said...

Letty! That shining bronze cuckoo is splendid! Those iridescent green feathers, the striped belly! How could we never have seen that bird before??

Ruth said...

Hi Bob! Yeah, some of us take our trash seriously. :) I like your analogy too. I wonder if you're feeling the crunch up in Saskatoon.

carl h. sr. said...

Your Mom's basket is certainly beautiful,but I would say that what makes it a treasure is it's history. I have some things with history,nothing so beautiful though!

Ruth said...

Carl, the right kind of history can make anything beautiful.

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