strays and stays

pillows

Just a couple of quick thoughts here.

On a recent post regarding an undying desire to own a salad spinner (yes, I know, low expectations keep me in check) I received a comment about using a pillow case.  This definitely rang a bell, albeit a really faint one.  I don’t know that I’ve ever actually seen it done but it seemed like a familiar idea.

So tonight, when I was cutting up heads of lettuce to prepare for upcoming salads I gave it a spin.  (I get ’em where I can folks.)  Worked like a charm!  I just cut up all my lettuce (those who say you shouldn’t cut lettuce – shoosh, I read a great article that I completely agree with), tossed it in an extra pillow case and shook away.  I ended up with a very wet pillow case and the lettuce appeared none the worse for wear.

Of course it did help that I happened to have enough lettuce to feed 12 people, I don’t know if I would have felt the effort worthwhile for a single dinner salad.  Maybe I can find a smaller pillow case for single servings?  I like that idea.  Although I’m not too keen on the idea of buying used sheets to put my head on, so would I really want to put my food in it?  Either way, thanks for the tip.  A pillow case makes a great lettuce dryer.

♦ ♦ ♦

heavyhaulertruckmaiike

And for all of you who love to shop etsy or your local crafters, artists, etc. for great kids finds you should have no problem finding those handcrafted goodies for another year.  The CPSC has granted a one year stay of testing requirements for all products (clothing included) intended for children 12 and under.  All manufacturers (large and small) must follow the guidelines as set forth but they are not required to submit their products for testing.  Yet.  This is great news for everyone making beautiful, handmade goods that can’t afford thousands of dollars to test the product for lead and such when they know quite well where all the ingredients came from.  A great breakdown of how this will affect everyone is given on the CPSIA Blog-In:

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning.  But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys?  The answer?  They’re banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we’ve seen in decades.  I’d like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA?  No?  Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren’t originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children’s books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there’s always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it’s passed testing. It won’t even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can’t sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can’t even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children’s items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you’ll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you’d better start buying now because it’s all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren’t certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

I’m not a preacher, I can’t tell you what to do with this information.  But I’m glad you’ve got it.

[photos: Nova Natural Toys, Maiike]

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2 Comments to “strays and stays”

  1. Holy crap. I’ll lend you my salad spinner (I think I still have one somewhere) – please do not resort to pillow cases again. While amusing in a slapstick comedy kind of way, and admirable in a jaw-dropping kind of way, there must surely be another option.

    And that law – please tell me Obama is going to retract it or something. It sounds utterly absurd.

  2. Not to worry Emma, I was able to find a salad spinner at the thrift store. And I’m sure much work will be done during this year long reprieve to rework the laws to benefit the little guy and still keep the major manufacturers in check. Or at least I hope!

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