Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cool Finds

This past week, I discovered two very cool and useful "products."
The first will only be possibly useful to you if you live in Oceanside and want to plant a garden or something. But if so, take note! When my parents came to visit for Easter, my dad helped me majorly "trim" a tree in our front yard. "Trim" is the understatement of the century perhaps. This tree was getting way too tall and unwieldy, some of its branches hovering perilously around our chimney, which made me afraid to have a fire all winter, and others leaning precariously far toward our neighbors' house, making me concerned that it would topple over with all the rain loosening the soil this winter (the tree's roots having already been weakened in the past). Bottom line, we chopped most of this sucker away, leaving an awkard "puff" of branches in the front to keep it from looking like a mere stump. I wish I had a before and after picture. But I don't. Long story longer, our entire front and back yards ended up piled with branches that we needed to dispose of. We were planning on renting a chipper/shredder, but it would have cost over $200 to rent one, and chipping that many branches would be back breaking work, not to mention, I really didn't need that many wood chips. A planter can only take so many, y'know. So my dad suggested looking into the local green waste dump, which we discovered cost $40/ton, a much more agreeable sum and a lot less work. When we got there, we saw lots of people shoveling compost into their trucks. And here's the cool find:
We asked around and discovered that Oceanside residents can have as much compost/mulch as they want...FOR FREE! And this looked like good stuff. Apparently, you can even have a tractor load your truck for you for a mere $2. What a deal! So, they take all that yard waste and chip it and mulch it and let it set and then let us use it for free. What a great idea. I didn't take any that day, but I drove back this past week, and loaded up buckets of it in my little Saturn (not nearly as handy as my dad's pickup!)
My other cool find: Mrs. May's freeze-dried fruit snacks. Thanks to my friend Lauren who told me about them. They are 100% natural, nothing added, freeze dried fruits that aren't specifically for babies, but they are so easily chewable (they practically melt in your mouth) that they are perfect for our toothless cuties. But I like them, too. I found them at Costco for about $13 for a box of 24. Not cheap, but not too bad. Try 'em! (Warning: Do not give baby the package of strawberry snacks in the car. Said baby may be enthralled by them so much that he dumps the package upside down and gets sticky red fruit "crumbs" all over himself and carseat...)