When it comes to the frugal branch of the homemaking arts, I am pretty much a failure as a couponer. In fact, I’m lucky if I manage to redeem the coupons stuck right on the package for instant savings. But I do have a nose for other people’s garbage. Because I’m all for saving the earth, saving money, and saving hassle.
Since my last post on dumpster diving in May, I’ve taken abundant advantage of the fact that people leave all sorts of goodies out next to their garbage can on garbage day. Every so often on that magical day I take a walk or a bike ride around the neighborhood to see if it’s my lucky day. … Read more
The only time I’ve ever been bona fide dumpster diving was at married student housing in Provo, Utah during graduation week, when most of our neighbors were moving on to real jobs, and we were newlyweds gearing up for another year of starving studenthood. Among other things, I scored a functional microwave, some hair-cutting supplies, and a pair of shiny jet-black vinyl pants (pictured below, modeled by me on our first Valentine’s Day).… Read more
We finally finished packing up our house yesterday. Remind me never to live in a four bedroom house again. Also remind me that just because I see something free on the curb does not mean I should take it home and find a use for it (see Dumpster Diving in Deltona, Parts 1and 2). This week we left our own pile mountain of junk treasures out in front of our house. Actually, we did it multiple times, and each time the stuff, whether it was a duct-tape repaired beach umbrella or a large rubbermaid tub full of dirty old scratchy towels, it was all gone within hours, if not minutes.… Read more
So there’s this book that you’ve probably read, or someone you know has certainly read. Pretty much everyone I know seems to have read it and touted its genius and capacity for transforming one’s existence.
Which is nothing less than the premise and the promise of the book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This was a book that I vowed I would not read. Probably at least 85% of the fights I had with my mother when I was a teenager revolved around the state of my messy bedroom, and the stuff she wanted me to throw away to remedy it.… Read more
One of our less brilliantly successful forays into attachment parenting was The Family Bed. When Axa was born, we had a queen-sized mattress on box springs on the floor. Unfortunately, it was Tony’s old bed from when he was growing up, and he still had his old habit of sleeping diagonally on it. That technically still left half of the space on the bed open, but it was not very usable space, since it was bisected by him. I got my revenge when I was pregnant, because I slept on the wall side and rolled my very pregnant body right over him every time I needed to go to the bathroom (which at eight months pregnant was pretty often).… Read more
What with the death of Hugo Chavez, the Syrian refugee count reaching 1 million, the coming drone apocalypse, and everything else depressing in the world, we all really need something to cheer us up. So here are my top picks from the last six months of search engine queries that have landed people at Casteluzzo. I notice that among other things, I seem to have become quite a versatile authority on some esoteric facets of pet ownership.
“coffee table repurposed to hold rabbit cage”
“homemade dog cage out of cardboard boxes”
“epic rat cages”
You overestimate my inventiveness, as well as my menagerie.… Read more