Monday, May 28, 2012


I don't have any major projects to post today, but it's been an interesting week.

On Monday night, an old friend came for dinner. She lives in Nashville and had come back to Delaware to reconnect with people she hadn't seen in awhile and to visit all of the great gardens and museums in our area--Longwood, Hagley, Winterthur....

She arrived with a fancy shopping bag filled with a recipe for muffins and all the ingredients needed to make them--whole wheat flour, bran, raisins, honey, and molasses. We had a wonderful visit with her, and two nights later I made a batch of the muffins:

They were delicious, and I'll think of her every time I make them. What a great hostess gift!

On Friday, I volunteered at the University of Delaware's annual "UDon't Need It" project.  Started six years ago by a sustainability-minded student named Dave, who stills comes back to Newark every year to run the program, "UDon't Need It" provides a central location for students to leave off unwanted furniture, sporting goods, and household items. During the first week, charities come to select items for people in need; in the second week, the public is invited to buy what's left at ridiculously low prices. The project keeps tons (literally) of stuff out of the local landfill while helping people who have just lost their jobs or come to the U.S. as refugees.

Volunteers are invited to take one item for every day they work. For the past two years, I've snapped up vintage kitchen tables, probably given to a college kid by grandma. I got this green one two years ago--it's in good shape and even has a neat silverware drawer, but we have no place to use it, so it's in our basement as a catchall for whatever we carry downstairs and don't feel like putting away:

This year I didn't find anything I wanted the day I worked, but I went back on Sunday, the day after graduation, and spotted a sturdy white dresser in good shape. Christine will be moving into a house soon when she starts grad school, so Doug and I picked up the dresser and then went to Home Depot for hardware. I cleaned the outside with a Magic Eraser, while Doug drilled holes for the hardware, and then we loaded Christine's clothes into it.

Dresser: free
Hardware: $30.32
Christine's clothes all in one place: Priceless

I spent Saturday with my friend Jennie, whose son is getting married this Friday night. I had offered to help her clean in preparation for all the company she's having, so we started with the kitchen cabinets (yup, another Magic Eraser or two), and then it was time for lunch. After lunch, when I asked her what my next assignment was, she said I could choose between washing windows or driving her to Brandywine View Antiques in Chadds Ford.

Let me think: cleaning or junking? Well, I do like to clean, but....

Brandywine View, which is run by two really fun sisters, is in a cool old house with a porch wrapped around the entire building.

Jennie made a beeline for a fabulous potting bench made from old barn wood with a thick grapevine artfully incorporated into the design. She bought it for her patio, with the promise of free delivery the next day.

I found this cool rustic birdhouse with a tin roof and hunted for something to prop it on, but Martin solved my problem when we got back to their house after the shopping trip--he gave me an old garden table that was in their garage attic:

Birdhouse: $38
Table: free
How cool it looks in our garden: Priceless

Now, it's Memorial Day. I took my first bike ride of the season this morning (casually riding past dumpsters in student areas...just in case there might be something good left behind).

I didn't find anything today, but there's always next week at the UDon't Need It sale.

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of the U Dont Need It Sale. Ohio State University isn't that far away from me and there's always a ton of stuff just left by the dumpsters this tie of year.