Tag Archives: trash

The Trashman Cometh and other Post-Christmas Joys!

Good morning Everyone!

I took a mini-vacation from this blog (three days – Friday, Monday and Tuesday) but it seems like forever since I last was here.  I’m glad to be back with all of you!

Not that kind of vacation - I would still be there!

Yesterday morning, December 27th, brought great joy to our household.  Was it due to Christmas?  No, we had that celebration Sunday.  Was it because it was my birthday?  No, but it was my birthday and we did celebrate it.  Was it because Kayla decided to spontaneously clean her room and throw out all of her junk and put all of the good stuff back neatly just for the fun of it?  Wrong again – I think that would fall under the classification of miracle.

No, the event that brought such joy was the arrival of the post-Christmas trash pickup.  Christmas was, as you know, on Sunday, and Mark spent Monday cleaning out the garage, so by the time trash pickup day got here, our dumpster had floweth over and there were four good size boxes full of trash beside it.  However, just like Santa or the tooth fairy (although with just a bit more noise – the dogs sometimes hear the truck and bark), sometime early in the morning the trashmen came and emptied our dumpster and relieved us of our trash.

This may seem a rather mundane thing to celebrate, but we no longer take trash collection over the holiday season for granted – the first and second years we were in this house, we went without trash collection for two weeks between Christmas and New Years!  Kayla was five and six at the time, and we had even more Christmas left-overs than we have now, so we were in dire straits.  I was considering wandering the streets of our town asking complete strangers at Wal-Mart “Brother, can you spare a trashcan?”  By the time the garbage truck toodled its way down our street that third week, we literally chased it down, and talked to the driver and assistant as fast as we could to keep them there while we deposited trash bags into the truck at rapid speed.  They had originally intended just to empty our dumpster and move on!

That was, however, a different waste disposal company and a different time (our neighborhood was relatively new and we were one of only two houses in it, so I think the replacement/holiday driver just didn’t know we were here), but ever since then we are quite grateful when our trash gets picked up Christmas week!


Monday afternoon late, Kayla was outside playing on the porch and the dogs were in the back yard for a while.  Suddenly Kayla opened the door to announce that Mandy, sometimes known as “Bad Dog”, had spent some time rolling in…well, the polite term would be, I think, biological waste products, probably her own.  I was writing at the time, so I told Kayla to wipe it off of Mandy with some paper towels.  I saw Kayla walk out with some paper towels, and then she came back in to say it wasn’t working very well.  I absent-mindedly mumbled that perhaps she should use more water (I had a 14,000 word article on depression I was trying to finish for a client) and didn’t really notice the grim-faced ten year old hauling the long but short white dog across the den into the bathroom.  I did hear the water start running, but since I had also suggested at some point that it would be a good idea for Kayla to take a bath, I thought that was what was happening.

Boy was I wrong!  About fifteen minutes later, the door opened and a clean, wet but not drenched Mandy came tearing out of the bathroom.  When Mark and I asked what happened, Kayla told us that she had given Mandy a shower!  She was very proud of herself for doing so, too.  (In her defense, the house rule is “Do not drag the dog into the bathtub with you because you want a friend to take a bath with.”  Since she was forcing a dog into the bathtub to clean her, I guess she didn’t technically break the rule.)  She said that she had to pop Mandy once on the rear to get her to finish going into the tub, but once she did, Mandy sat down in the bathtub and took her shower with good grace.  Kayla used Dove to clean her off, which I’m pretty sure is not a dog registered product but hopefully just one time won’t do Mandy’s coat any harm.  Kayla even cleaned the tub and shower out afterwards without being told.  Mandy has viewed Kayla with a new respect since then!

Pardon me; I just had to take a break for a minute to retrieve a ball of black yarn from Darwin, which he was tossing around trying to unstring, which brings me to another post-holiday joy – saving Darwin from the batteries.


Darwin, also known by the alias “No-No”, loves things that roll that he can chase around the house at will.  Unbeknownst to any of us, he decided to pluck a package of AAA batteries off of the coffee table.  Since the package was open already, 8 triple AAA batteries went rolling off in many directions, and Darwin was in puppy Nirvana.  I did look up once to see him pawing at something under the couch, but, silly me, I thought it was one of his balls or other toys that roll that he was playing with.  It wasn’t until I heard unusual chewing sounds that I went around the corner to discover Darwin happily munching on a AAA battery.  While I have discovered that there are many things that dogs can eat, such as a complete tube of Neosporin, and not suffer any harm, I am pretty sure that AAA batteries are not one of them.  Kayla and I had a fun adventure tracking down all 8 of the batteries to be sure that he hadn’t punctured or ingested any of them.  We found two with teeth marks on them at various places in the house, but fortunately he hadn’t broken the casing, and then found the other six under different objects – one under the love seat, two under the ottoman, one under the coach and two that had rolled underneath dog beds.  We heaved a sigh of relief after we found the last one.  Darwin thought the group participation aspect of the battery play was the best part!

Well, I think I have written more than enough to make up for the three days I missed, so I better stop before I have written the equivalent of a full length novel!  I hope each of you had a very Merry Christmas and post-Christmas adventures at least as exciting as mine!

Have a great day!


Underappreciated Tasks In the Modern World: Garbage Collection

Good morning Everyone!

Those of you who read yesterday’s post, Now the second day, will remember that by the time I pulled out of the driveway headed to work I was somewhat discombobulated.  This sensation only increased when I realized that the garbage can was not out on the curb for trash collection.  I should have realized that yesterday was garbage collection day, because I had been given a clue – the sunrise pictures I took yesterday included photos of my neighbors’ garbage cans out on the curb.

A Clue for the Clueless!

However, I did manage to forget, so was aghast to see the garbage can in the driveway as I pulled out.  In our household, going two weeks without garbage collection usually leads to a certain amount of desperation.  No matter how hard we try, we just can’t cram two weeks worth of stuff into the bin.  Fortunately, I found out this morning that my ultra-organized husband had not only put the garbage can out on the street for pickup Tuesday morning, but had gone ahead and taken the can back in since it had already been collected by the time he was ready to leave for work. 

Horse Drawn Garbage Cart

The idea that garbage collection is a necessity is a relatively new one in human history.  For centuries, humans did not worry about waste disposal; they either piled the waste in one spot, burned it, or, most common in cities, just threw it in the streets.  Interestingly, it was Benjamin Franklin (surprised?) who formed the first street cleaning service in 1757 and who encouraged the public to dig pits to dispose of their waste.  It wasn’t until the late 1800’s to early 1900’s before cities started to really focus on waste collection.  Even then, as the photograph above shows, there was not a lot of concern about where trash was dumped; it was dumped in any open field, wet land or watercourse that seemed convenient. FN.

One of the first motorized garbage collection trucks

Once the internal combustion engine was invented and harnessed for transportation, it didn’t take very long for the garbage collection truck to be invented as well.  The truck above is from the early 1900’s.  It posed problems for garbage men, though, because it required the person picking up the trash can to lift it over his head.   

The rear-loading garbage truck was invented as early as the 1920’s. 

Ad for 1920's rear-loader

A similar model is still used to pick up my garbage today, although hydraulic lifts and other mechanical improvements have been added to make it easier on the garbage collector.

The garbage truck I am most familiar with

Between the 1920’s and today, of course, many other forms, shapes and sizes of garbage trucks were tried out.  The next one is one of my favorites; using it taught the garbage industry that bigger is not always better!

The Godzilla of Garbage Trucks

My family has not had to resort simply to imagination to experience what it would be like today if there was no garbage collection.  The first two years we lived in our house, our neighborhood was so new that when replacement drivers would come in around Christmas time, they just forgot about us.  You don’t realize how desperately important trash collection is until you go three weeks without it with a five/six-year-old girl at Christmas time.  By the time we heard the garbage truck that second year after Christmas, Mark and I both flew out of the house, chased it down, and held the garbage men there in conversation while we not only got them to empty our can, which was full to overflowing, but also sweet-talked them into taking the other seven garbage bags we had been forced to store in various and sundry places.  Actually, there wasn’t a lot of sweet-talking involved – we just kept grabbing bags and chucking them into the garbage truck opening like madmen.  Fortunately, by the third year in our house, even the replacement drivers knew where we were (or word had spread that the crazy people at our house would chuck garbage into the truck no matter what if you skipped us) and we haven’t had the same problem since.  However, I have never taken garbage collection for granted after that!

Other garbage trucks from years gone-by

So, today or the next week, if you get behind a garbage truck, or when your own local garbage man comes by to collect your trash, give them a friendly wave, and a kind thought.  Without them, our homes would be messier, smellier places and they deserve our thanks!

Have a great day everyone!


FN.  The pictures and historical information above came from Ace Disposal:  The History of Garbage Collection.