Thursday, May 07, 2009

Greener Pastures (and Stables)

What an idyllic scene! Horses grazing on new grass while their buddy naps in the shade of his favorite round bale... does it get any better?

That is not my topic for today, but it seemed like a sweet lead-in and a reminder of why we do this.

Today I've had a revelation unrelated to drowsy equines and sunny fields. I was cleaning up in the kitchen (What? I do that now and then!) and had in my hand the empty container from my favorite instant coffee. I thought, "Hey! This fits my hand so nicely, there must be something I can use it for." Upon closer inspection I found the shrink label easy to remove and before I knew it I had a great little holder for horse treats! It'll fit neatly in my cabinet or my tack trunk (okay, maybe not the trunk, which is already spilling its contents), or my travel bag. The flip-up lid seals well enough for cookies, probably not well enough for a powdered supplement, though that remains to be tested (after all, the reason it's empty is that it leaped out of the cabinet and dumped its contents into my pasta a few days ago). And these cool, free containers come in two sizes! The smaller one will be great for travel, the larger for storage.

Taking it a step further, I can see that tubes of eye ointment or triple antibiotic that are so easily squished into leakyhood would be nicely protected and easy to find stuffed into these containers. And with the label removed, the translucent plastic is fine for labeling with a marker or stick-on tag.

One further level of extrapolation has me dying to empty the plastic, handled bucket that Domino Sugar recently put on the shelves. I can only imagine what goodies that will hold, and they're stackable!

Free stuff is always good, right? I'm on a free stuff kick since the Blue Seal Feed seminar last week at my favorite feed store. I not only got to watch a fitter fit saddles to a live horse, but I watched the feed rep explain equine digestion with an uproarious display made from garden hoses and plastic soda bottles. But best of all, I "won" four free bags of feed and got a free bag of cat food and some leather-care samples (and dandy cheese and fruit) for my patient attention for the duration.

Some time ago I did a series of articles on cross-over items good for both house and barn. Since the series is still available at the site of the recently-defunct Ecountrylifestyle "Horse Tales" E-zine, I'm not going to repeat the advice here. But I am going to post such finds as the (Taster's Choice) coffee jars and whatever else comes my way. With the economy in such poor shape (if it were a horse, we'd have euthanized it), a penny saved is a penny saved, and an item recycled directly into a new use is better than one sent through the local MUA's recycling plant at the taxpayers' expense.

Next time: What Tube Socks Mean To Me.

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