May 13, 2012

The Mother Load

Even though my "for real for real" Mother's Day gift won't be arriving for another 2 weeks (when my Beefa CARA will be here! WOOT!) my hubs and fate worked overtime in making this weekend Mom-umentally terrific.

That's right.
It's so good, I make up mom-puns. And I like it.

First. New neighbors. While their drilling and reno-shenanigans are killing naptime, them cleaning out the old neighbor's stuff worked out pretty well for me.

Exhibit A: Old Rusty Shelf
This is my boys' version of, "Now boys, do not touch this. Mama is about to paint it."
Which I spray painted a Robin's Egg Blue (aka- the only choice of the 3 colors to choose from at the hardware/paint store that seemed okay.)
4 year olds are sometimes hit-or-miss with "after" photos.
Exhibit B: Styrofoam
We saw our old neighbors approximately 1.5 times and think maybe the bank foreclosed on their house. Either that or they forgot they left a bunch of stuff in the house when they sold it. Who knows? This is Asia. There may not actually be an answer. New neighbor had no use for everything inside.

You must know that party supplies do not come cheap here and there are 0.00 sales here. Ever. AND this all fit in my corner cabinet. Bonus.

Exhibit C: Plant
I don't know if this thing is gonna survive. It was literally in the garbage bag when New Neighbor offered it to me along with the pot. I had potting soil leftover, so I grabbed it and went. You can't really think when this kinda stuff comes a'knockin. Ya know? Later on when I replanted it, I began hoping that it's the type of plant that climbs as it grows. Anybody have a clue? We'll keep watering and see how it goes.

Who doesn't love thrift?  Guaranteeeeed, if I lived in the United States of America I am quite sure I'd be decorating my house with fun finds from Salvation Army and 7am Saturday Morning Yard Sales. Dimes and nickels for awesomeness.

However, Asia hasn't caught on to how incredible it is to buy old furniture and clothes and fabric and random items from strangers for pennies. ****(they spend their time doing other things) ****Good thing there's no HGTV here or I would really be Jonesin' those decorators as they find the perfect old wooden doors to make headboards and kitchen cabinets from...{sigh}...

Nearby our subdivision, there are recycling centers lined up one after the other. They mostly look like this.
 And they're run by Chinese men who are the types, well, to drive forklifts and run junk yards. All crass and what not. And there are dogs that looks like strays, but eye you like they own the place. There's no signage that says anything remotely close to "C'mon in folks and rummage through this stuff for buried treasure." But there aren't any "KEEP OUT" signs either.

I loaded up myself, my kids, and asked my hubby to be a "man-presence" as I went to see what all was at these places.  Was any of it was salvageable in the American "someone's else junk" sort-of-way, and could I manage to get some of it somehow? I didn't know y'all, but in honor of mother's day, and the call of the Thrift, Anthony didn't object.

We drove past several places, but none seemed to be more than 3 storey high piles of old rebar and endless plastic containers. We kept going, me wondering if the next junk yard would throw down and I would start the slow change to Thrifting in Asia, single handed.

Then we came to "Nu Recycle Center" (pic above) and I saw them. I KNEW.
My sister just made herself the nifty-est thrifty-est outdoor table from pallets. No reason why I can't too. And we are NOT competitive. Not even a smidgen. So we'll just say her table inspired me. (but everyone secretly hopes their next child will have red hair like their niece's, right?)

Chinese-man on the forklift couldn't speak English, but we worked things out in our 2nd language. And pretty quick too.
Without him seeming to even notice that I was a random white woman in his junk yard asking to buy pallets.
We didn't shake on it (forklift and all, safety first) but we made a verbal agreement.
1 Pallet = 5 Ringgit (roughly $1.70)

Did y'all feel that? It must be what it feels like to start a change in culture.
Reminder: We drive on the left side of the road and the right side of the car. I am not holding plywood on my head, taking a picture and driving. Just the plywood and picture part.
Took the kids to the neighbors and returned.
I realized I hadn't even pinned one single made-from-pallet item on Pinterest, but it didn't matter.
Thrift folks. THRIFT.
4 pallets, RM20 later.
Goodness it felt good.
We also stopped by our 2 hardware-paint stores to get supplies (and the Robin's Egg Blue spray paint) to make the curtains in our loft. The nice man at the 2nd store sawed the board we bought in half, right there on the side walk, so we could fit it in our minivan (at our request). The whole board was like $9.
Y'all and if free stuff, cheap stuff, and good deals from nice people weren't enough...

That little itty bitty piece of green was a tiny affirmation that the whole homeschool preschool thing might just work afterall. I jumped up and down.

That is a Motherload of awesome, is it not? And all in one weekend! (see, told ya I wasn't playin' about the pun thing) 

My "Pallet" board has now been created on Pinterest and "Circular Saw" has officially been bumped up a few notches on the "Father's Day" list of gift ideas.
Happy Mothers Day!
****Same day I wrote this post and put that linky-loo to my friend's blog about her son's stuffed apple animal thing, THIS happened to it. Guys, I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious, and I'm now convinced Mother's Day Miracles are real.***


Brandon and April said...

I will not be jealous. I will not be jealous. I will not be jealous.
aww shucks. i'm jealous of your pallet stash. :)
can't wait to see what you come up with!!
Happy Mother's day to one of the best moms I know!

Anthony & Sharon said...

What I come up with??? Friend this is just one of the growing list of projects we can do together!!! Trying to find a tree or two for Brandon to plant too along with the building the cornhole game with Anthony.
You think I'm joking.

Brandon and April said...

your link to our blog brought on a post of it's own today. so ironic that you linked to Weird Apple on the day that he met his downfall.
hey, I'm up for anything. post hole digging, tree planting, pallet painting, you know we're missing us some manual labor!!

Cara said...

This is why we're best friends. You're creative and ambitious and I am not. But i CAN take pictures and praise you for your awesomeness. That's all I got. AND doing it in person will be bonus. :)

Heather Diaz said...

If I could make anything it would be a bomb-diggity garden in my backyard. It would have every vegetable and fruit known to man and it would be GORGEOUS. I would even be have enough to leave fun veggie/fruit filled baskets on neighbors doors, etc.
But I think I would have to endure some sort of nuclear blast, or spider bite, or gamma ray exposure and wake up with super powers.

I. kill. everything.

Here's to delicious, juicy red watermelon in your future!

Heather Diaz said...

p.s. My pallet table IS pretty fab-o. We've already had several people approve and some from our small group who claim they are now going to pursue a path as pallet-enthusiasts and make a table, too.


Cara said...

And btw, I've never been a mother's day present before! ;)
PS - I know I'm bringing your present, but I just had to throw that one out there...and happy late birthday, Happy Anniversary all rolled into one. Word.

Jason and Charity Palmer said...

yes. yes. yes. yes. and yes. to this awesome crafty post. And let me just echo your sentiments...if I were in the states (or close to an amazing thrift shop/antique shop/etc.) I would totally be spray painting, re-doing, etc. the mess out of all my thrifty finds! And WHAT a find in those!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

This post amused me a lot. So glad that you're finding lots of surprises in life to bring you such joy. Am still super curious about what your "for real for real" Mother's Day present was though I know that time for blogging with 3 littles is a rare thing. :) Hope you're finding lots of ways to enjoy summer!