Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Ultimate Snowman -Grinch in a Fort Part 1

With all the recent snow and family visiting, I thought I should take the girls out and show them how to make a snowman. Sad that I haven't done that with the girls since the older one's were young. 

I heard lots of grumbles except from Princess number five who had never really played much in the snow with anyone. We used to go to a cabin each year sledding with family but that stopped a few years ago and other than skiing a few times, she hasn't had much opportunity to go do things in the snow. 

Yes, this does make me feel guilty but being single and having hurt myself snow boarding (never been the same since) and breaking my backside sledding at the cabin once and ending up in the ER, I am not big on taking risks of hurting myself as I usually am the only driver home and if I get hurt or break a leg, the girls don't have someone to taxi them around and I have all the maintanence and upkeep and if I am hurt, that type of thing doesn't get done. 

For example, we had snow several times this week. No one shoveled as they were busy with life and I wasn't feeling well. We had 1/2 in thick ice on the sidewalk and driveway. 

Princess number four slipped on the driveway (you can see we have a little slope to our front yard. She hit her hip hard and the bruise is slowly showing up into a huge black bruise. It was a hard fall. We don't have insurance so I was grateful she wasn't hurt more seriously. A few tears and a good "once over" and I knew she would be OK. So, last night, Princess two and I went out and shoveled what we could but it was mostly ice. I then put out salt. 

Today, the walks are clear. I hesitated letting Princess two help shoveling heavy snow with her recent surgery. We both went easy on the icy parts and it turned out OK but being single makes me take just a bit more caution on what I do knowing that if I get hurt, the girls are alone.

Believe it or not, my youngest two princesses have never made a snowman. Princess four wasn't home this day and let us know later that she was unhappy we made a snowman without her. I roped Prince number one and Princess number one into helping. 

They tried starting their own snow roll and all said, the snow wasn't good for a snowman. Yes, there is an art to making a good snowman. As you can see, the snow was fine for making a snowman. With a little guidance, you can see, they took off and did well with it.

Make a small compact snowball, then press it down onto the snow on the ground, then while you are pressing down, roll. The motion is kind of like when you are rolling a sleeping bag and you don't want the bag to be really big. You keep pressure down on the bag. Similar motion for snowmen. Once the roll is large enough, the weight of the snowball itself is enough to pick up the snow. 

If all the snow in a roll isn't picked up, roll the snow ball back over where you just went and press down more. It will pick up all the snow and then you can move forward.

It was interesting to me that the only clean area of our yard for weeks after was where we picked up the snow for the snowman. It has been a month and today, there was a sliver of the snowman left. I should have taken a picture of it. It has been sunny many days, snowy lots of days and rained a few times and that snowman just kept being there. 
Once you have the base, make sure you push some snow at the base of the ball so it doesn't roll. Even if it is on flat ground, the weight of the middle and top layer can pull it to one side if the base isn't good. 

When you are ready to put the second layer on, make sure you have made a "Base" for it on the top of the first ball. As you can see in the picture of us putting the second ball on, there is a buildup kinda like a bowl of snow for it to sit on which will keep the second ball on well. 

Do the same thing for the rest of the layers. no one said it can only be three balls tall. You can see how tall ours is as Prince number one is 6' 4" I think. You may not believe me, but in the top picture, Princess number five is actually standing behind the snowman and you can't see her. It was as tall as she is.

Once the layers are all on, take snow and smooth it into the balls, pounding and rubbing as needed to make the balls hard and even. It can get very lumpy depending on how you roll the ball. 

You can see Prince number one doing that and making the head secure above and Princess five is smoothing it out and adding snow to fill in the lumps in this last picture. Isn't her smile the cutest. She had so much fun making this and that was before we did the final touches I will share in the next posts. I was glad I forced everyone out to play in the snow. It was great fun. More to come....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Me and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day

Sorry Everyone, it was just one of those days. I had nose surgery years ago due to a boating accident when I was a newly wed. Since that time, changes in pressure while driving or when I am sick cause me head pain and it gets to the point (if I can't stop it with pain and sinus medication) where the pressure is great and I throw up. 

With that very personal information, you must also know that when there is a "pressure" storm coming, I get horrible headaches. I can usually ward them off with pain medication, a large coke and some psudaphed.

This week hasn't been the best because I still have some stuff from being sick going on, as well as, dealing with a horrible tooth issues that has been going on for ten years or more.  I have a tooth that I have been to see six dentists at least twice each. 

For years, it hurts with the storms and when I eat anything on that side of my mouth. Each time, they take x-rays and tell me they can't see anything. This past week, I told the new Dentist that I didn't care if he saw anything. I told him to give me a root canal. He started to go in and said, "It is so calcified from trauma, it is almost dead and I can't get through the roots." 

He spent the next two hours drilling through my calcified nerves with marginal success. During that process, he had to give me FOUR shots of Novocaine. When I left the office, I still was in pain and couldn't drive the long distance home before taking lots of pills and drinking a LARGE Coke. 

He packed it with stuff that is supposed to help soften the calcification so he can get through to the roots and kill the tooth. This tooth got cracked when another dentist put on a crown that was too large and it was tight in my teeth and the crown shattered in my mouth the first time I tried to eat something. Since that day, I have had horrible problems which got worse and worse as the tooth started dying. 
This week we had had rain or snow almost daily. My tooth has been very sore. My jaw was stiff from being open so long and having work on the back teeth. 
I also had two sets of other bad news which was stressful for our family yesterday.  With that, I couldn't take the mess in our family eating area. The "Inside yard sale" is still going on but I decided we needed to make it "useable" for our family but functional for Princess Two doing her service. Also, several times she lists something, someone comes to get it and then she posts something else and they write back saying, "I wish I saw that when I was there..." So, the girls came in and said, "It looks like a "store" in here. 

Hopefully, we will be able to earn enough to make the payments on the trip soon and can finish up the "house sale" and get the place back to normal. 

We have out of town guests coming this week so that is part of the stress. Princess two wanted to put it all in boxes and suggested different rooms or the garage but with the storms, the garage is cold and I don't want to set up "shop" in another room. I have a "free" box going with things that haven't sold but usually when she lowers them to a dollar or two, they go quickly. 

I have a sweet friend Julie, I have mentioned before, who donated some books, video, a dresser and a wonderful working stereo to the mix. The stereo ended up taking residence in Princess Two's room and her old one is now for sale. The new one has a three cd player, remote and dual tape deck with a jack for auxiliary so she can watch movies on the great speakers. So thanks Julie (and everyone else who donates items to our "Inside Yard Sale") for your help in getting Princess number 4 to Thailand!

I fell asleep on the couch last night and didn't wake until just now. Once again, sorry about the late post. I seem to be making it a habit this week. Now you may understand why.... Hopefully, today will be a better day....

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fair Way to Settle an Estate Long Befrore You Die - Part 2

I wanted to finish telling you how we have divided everything due to the situations I posted about in part 1. 

I mentioned I had the girls write down lists. We spent an afternoon talking and visiting and writing down anything in the house they wanted. I had all the book sets listed on a paper as well as most of the toys. I told the girls to write down a dream list of anything in the house they wanted and they should put a number next to them as to what they wanted first and so on. 

For the most part, I was a bit surprised by the lists. I thought they would have more of the same type things on their lists. It was interesting to see that the older two girls had more of the same items and the next two girls (there is a five year gap between the second and third princess) had similar items on their lists. 

Princess number four had only two or three things on her list. I figured that would be the case as she isn't any where near having her own home or thinking in a way about a house or children. 

Because different toys came out in different years, the older girls wanted the older classic toys as those were the one's they played with. The middle princesses wanted middle stage toys from 15 years ago or so. Princess five, she wanted the toys that were newer that we purchase when she was young. 

I think it would have been more difficult if they had all wanted the same things but this way works for that as well. 

I then had the girls pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and whoever was first got to choose first and then next closest went second etc. 

It was amazing to me that most of them ended up getting what was on their original lists save the classic few things that were on all their lists. Dr. Suess books, Legos, hot wheel, etc were on every list. 

I was happy to see that for the most part, the girls handled it well. There were a few sad faces on the Dr. Suess books but if the person we bought the item for in the first place got everything then Princess number one would have ended up with most of the toys and books. 

I am planning on keeping a few Barbies, the Hot Wheel track and the Puppet theater and dress ups for kids to play with at "Grandmas house" but when I die, my girls all know who gets what and there won't (I hope) be any fighting over anything. 

We did this with items in the house etc but we still have heirloom furniture and history items. I told them we would do a little each time they come. This way, it is never overwhelming and hopefully, when I pass away, things will be organize and settled so they can mourn in peace. 

The reason I have all the Barbie photos is that each girl wants their "own" Barbies that they got for gifts. So, I spent a few nights grooming them, dressing them and putting together all the sets that go together, together. 

I bought five new middle size bins. I labeled them with each girls name. Next time we are all together, I will put all the Barbies and Hot Wheel in a pile. We will pick numbers again and then can start picking. They all pick which were theirs anyway but we did have lots of old Hot Wheels they didn't get as gifts. I have bought five car holders over the years and they are shown at the top. They are almost all full. They all wanted them so this way, they can all have some. 

Funny story, while I was cleaning out the toy closet, I pulled the Hot Wheel track bin out and in the bottom was a "Strawberry Shortcake" shoe and a ballet shoe. My nieces lost these over a year ago while playing at my house. I remember saying, "It will turn up at some point" thinking they would be back soon to play but they started school and rarely come over anymore for more than a few minutes. I called my sister laughing when I found it. Shows how often the girls play with the Hot Wheel track anymore.  

Now, the books, toys, and most house items are spoken for and have a "home" when I don't need them anymore. The girls can take them at any point as they are their property now. I kept a few Barbies in a shoe rack, one ken and one smaller Barbie. No extra clothes and I have the "baby" toys in a toy box and have a small container of Hot Wheels that I will keep with the track. I also have a small plastic drawer with bigger cars, plastic animals and dinosaur and some dolls with clothes. I like knowing that I won't have to go through any of it again, once they sort through these last items. The stuff they get goes in their bin and I am done..... 

I think some may think this morbid but my mothers best friend died recently and I am good friends with her daughters. I have spoken to several about what she did and at first, I thought she was selfish in how she handled everything. But now, I see she felt she was giving them a gift. She sold her home, gave away all her stuff and did her history. She then moved into a rented beach home. She lived the last year of her life relaxing on the beach. She organized her remains to be donated to science, then cremated. She told them to have no funeral where everyone was sad. She asked them to get together and sprinkle some of her ashes near her husbands grave, some at the beach and some near her home in the mountains a year after her death. They did have a memorial service which my family attended but it was more of a "roast" as that is how she would have liked it.
That was what prompted me the most to do things the way I have. Many issues from my last post about how much time I have spent with my mom's belongings and "stuff" have made me feel that organizing my own things now and scanning all the pictures and copying all the video will save my girls weeks, months and years of the "hell" that I have had to deal with going through my mothers belongings and history. 

What will your children and family have to deal with when you leave? How can you make that easier on them now? Just some question I have asked myself a few times now......    

Monday, January 28, 2013

Barbie and Puppet Spa Day Side Track

I mentioned that I was going to write a "Part Two" to yesterdays post but I got side tracked and had a bit of a set back this weekend with my health. I was feeling better and stopped taking things that would make it continue to get better and also having some high pressure storms moving around caused me to not have the best weekend.

I took lots of medication and still had head and chest pain so not being able to sleep. I continued our "winter cleaning" for our "inside yard sale" and worked on finishing up the toy closet. 

I am late to make this post and am not feeling the best so I will share with you how to "Redo", "revamp", "Make-over" barbies, puppets or dolls with "fake hair.

I got rid of lots of our puppets this weekend as I don't have children small enough to play with them so I probably got rid of half. I kept the one's pertaining to the girls "collections." 

Princess four collects Muppets so I pulled the "Miss Piggy" puppet out. All this yellow sticky foam started raining down. I thought about throwing it out but it is such a cute puppet, I decided I would try to save it. I had to clip the lining off the dress and shake it into a few bags to throw away and then I took it outside and really shook it trying to get it all out before washing it. The foam is yellowed and was staining the dress at the corners. 
After that, I took "ZOUT" (Best product for getting out stains by far.) and washed the entire thing without submerging the hair of the puppet. I rinsed and dumped and rinsed and dumped several times. Then, wrang out the fabric part that was washed. 

I took "Totally awesome cleaner" and used WHITE paper towels (colored ones will bleed onto whatever you are cleaning) and washed the face. I also use it on the Barbies and other toys as it is "amazing." 

This puppet is over 30 years old and it was time for her to get a spa day and get her hair done.  For the hair, 
use a mist or spray bottle, Comb it out dry first, when the tangles are gone, get it damp. Next, spray it and pick out a little section. Use your finger to wrap the hair around and you can make the curls tight which makes them really curly or wide and loose. 

After it is wrapped, slide your finger out and put a bobby pin through the center of the curl with one side and the outside with the other side of the bobby pin. Do this with the entire head of hair.

Use something to keep the arms up if it is a puppet as you don't want the water dripping off the finger tips as it dries or it will leave water marks. So, I just used a hanger to keep the arms up and dry. I used a paper towel holder as a drying rack and placed it on top of a heat vent until it was dry. 

Princess four was thrilled with the puppet and how cute it turned out.  With Barbies, it is easier as there isn't any fabric so I just use the "Totally awesome cleaner" on the entire thing minus. 

I just keep falling asleep causing this post to be late and I'm getting a sore neck. I wish I had a before picture of the puppet, dirty and mangy hair, but you have to admit, it came out fairy well. Sorry about the late post.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fair Way to Settle an Estate Long Before You Die - Part 1

I touched on this subject a few weeks ago as during the holidays, I had the girls do something for me that probably isn't the norm. 

I had the girls write up a list of everything they wanted in the house in several categories.

I had them do books, toys, furniture, heirlooms etc. 

I am not planning on dying anytime soon. However, as I have been so involved with taking care of my mom over the past few years, I tried VERY hard to be equitable to family members when it came to items in her home, copies of family video, photos, history etc. 

With all that, someone mentioned something last year that was hurtful to me as I have done so much and worked so hard calling, writing, and asking if people wanted items before cleaning out her home and since. I decided I didn't want to put any of my children in the position of having to be "mom" to me by cleaning out my home, photos, videos etc. 

My older girls, over the past few years as they have left home, said that there were certain things they would like in my will. Many of the items they mention are the same items that others have asked for as well. 

When my grandmother died, I lived on the East Coast and I had a cousin that cleaned out her home and ended up giving many things to good will. The only reason I have anything is because my sister gave me the everyday dishes that she inherited. I felt sad about this as I see her lamps at my brothers and a couch at another brothers as they were the same age and sex as the cousin who cleaned out her home. 

I was also living in the East when my parents moved out of their home and everyone living near them inherited many things which I didn't have the opportunity to get. With all those experiences coloring my past, I have tried to organize my papers, belongings, and family photos so that the girls will just be able to take "their stuff" and not have to worry. 

As you know, a few years ago, I started scanning our family photos. Here is a post about that. And, Here is a post about doing my mothers pictures.   I made sure each of my siblings and parents received copies of all the scans.
I organized all my "important documents" in a book and made second copies and have them at a different location in case of disaster or fire. Here is a link about that. 

I have written journals most of my life and have the family history written through yearly news letters and wrote in journals for the girls when they were young. Here is a post about that.  And, here is a sample of our family letters.

Several years ago, I took on over a hundred old movies in different forms and had them transferred over onto sets of 12 DVD's and made copies of  ten of them for all of my fifty cousins as well as aunts and uncles on my dad's side. My immediate family had even more DVD's due to the fact that most were of our family so we had video of home life. My siblings helped scan slides as well as some audio (this part isn't finished as there are hundreds of cassette tapes still needing to be listened to and organized) I watched every minute of the DVDs and made a master list of each video, who was in it and which DVD the clip is on so that a person can just type in their name and know exactly which DVDs and where on the DVD they could see themselves and where the video was taken and what year. Here is a post about that.

I have LOTS of video of the girls (Here is a video about that) as we got a video camera the day Princess number 1 was born. I haven't taken the time to make them copies as technology is progressing faster and faster. At the moment, my idea is to digitize all the video and put them all on a back up hard drive and make one hard drive for each of the girls so they all have a copy of all the videos. I plan on doing it so they won't have to do it. I already have most of them labeled as to who is on the video and the date etc. I would just need to make a master word document so they could search it as well.

As you can see, I have thought about this more than most and with that, I want to have all of my estate settled now or asap so that I can enjoy the time with the girls and they can mourn me when I go and not worry about having to clean out the house and worry about who gets what and have any hurt feelings at that point. 

Monday, I will share about a friend who recently passed on and her situation as well as how we divided things up.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Computing Kind of Day

As you can see by the top photo, I have three laptops on my computer desk as well as a flat screen for my PC (so glad to be getting rid of my large monitor finally) and if you look at my drinking bottle, you can see that I have another PC to the right of my desk.

I spent the day cleaning off laptop number one and going through and looking at what was on some old floppy disks that I found the other day. I transferred them over and was surprised to see that most were from 20 years ago when we lived on the East coast and the internet was just getting started and I had files from my first online experiences with a craft group where we would share craft ideas and actually make and trade our crafts with each other. It was a definite trip down memory lane.

I also had a horrible time with Laptop two. I can't for anything remember the password to get in. I tried every password I ever remember having and several that others used and can't get in to clean it off. I don't dare give it to charity without taking off the information.

So much of the day was wasted on that. I remembered seeing the little sticky note that I used to keep with the computer with the password on it a month or two ago in my closet but can't remember what it said or where I put it so that led to me pulling out things off the closet shelf and looking to see if I stuck it up there.

I pulled out my "Book of life" (see that post here) which was on the shelf and spent a few hours pulling the old medical records out and reorganizing it since Princess one is married and gone, several have graduated high school or college etc. I threw out old grades, transcripts, medical tests, and old information.

Who would have thought that would take so much time, but I was able to clean out quite a bit from it. It was also another trip down memory lane as there were growth charts from all the girls while growing up and lots of medical treatments from their lives. None of that is pertinent now so it all went but having to sort through it was, for the most part, good memories. There were a few trips to the Dr. I would have rather forgotten as they were traumatic for the girls at the time but in viewing all those, it made me realize that with having five children, we have been rather healthy. You wouldn't know it from the last few years with the girls having problems on their missions but we have only had one appendicitis and one gall bladder surgery and one broken bone. I talk to other parents and hear many horror stories and today, looking at the past in so many different ways, I learned how blessed I am.

I will figure out how to wipe the other laptop and hope to get the pc cleaned off and take it up to someone who needs it in the next week or two. It is also nice that the laptops are going to help a charity we have gone to Peru with in the past (see a post about that here) which my brothers helped organize. You can see a video of us serving in Peru here.

I still need to see what is on the "zip" drives as that drive is on the laptop I can't get into. It is amazing to see how much computers have changed in the 20 years since those first floppy discs and my first "online chatting group" and craft swap group.

If you have any old computers you aren't using hanging around, let me know and I can add them to my group of things to drop off to the charity group. I'm sure they can use them. They get taken to schools in Peru where the children learn on them to develop skill to help them get a job in the future.

I hope I get more done tomorrow but I am LOVING cleaning out the house. It is "winter" cleaning. Usually we have spring and fall cleaning but I am good with this!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Copper Recycling, Jokes on Me

 I have fallen asleep 20 times in the last forty  minutes. I am making this short so I can get some sleep. From sick in bed most days to not home for 10 minutes all day and it being past midnight, may let you know why I am falling asleep.

I took the copper from my post yesterday to the recycling today and had to laugh out loud when I realized I did all that work and got carpal tunnel going on in my wrist all for the big $1.47. I laughed and laughed. I would have made more had I brought all the wire in without doing anything to it I think. I have wires left, I will take it tomorrow and see what I get for it.

I wanted to see what I could get and realized that it was a complete waste of my time. While there, a man came in and said I should have just started a fire up in the hills in a garbage can lid and burnt all the casing off. The recycle guy said that people lose half the copper that way and it is illegal.

Either way, I think it is not worth it. So, I won't be doing that again. However, getting $.21 cents for a few cans was worth it and the brass was an old cymbal we didn't think we could sell so I got $4 for it and a little in steal. In all, I got $6 which would have been worth it without the copper deal. It goes into my "found money" jar with all the rest of the money I find.

I learned that unless it is large gauge house copper wire, it isn't worth taking out or stripping.

I left there and got $6 for Princess 4's report card as a local bank pays kids for getting A's on their report cards. A few years ago, she signed up for this and within a month won $100 in a drawing they have for all the kids that participate in the state.

At the time, it was a huge deal to Princess four as she kept telling me she was worried about paying for college as someone told her without their help, she wouldn't be able to go to college. Well, God knows what we need when we need them and at the time, we had just discussed how her sisters were able to go to college on scholarships and ended up making money going to college and graduated without debt and had more in the bank than before they started. It was the next day she got the call she won the $100 and when I asked her about winning she said, "I think God is trying to tell me that I shouldn't worry about college, He'll take care of me."

So far, she has a nice amount in her account and it is all "free" money for getting good grades. I wish we had started all the girls off doing this but we didn't start until later so the older girls missed out on this.

I went to the dentist today and laughed when I looked at the bill, Yep, you guessed it, there was a $111 on the bill. I smiled and pointed it out to Princess 2 who also had an appointment today. I'll have to tell you about my nightmare tooth another day but lets just say I have never had such a hard time at the dentist as I did today so that little 111 on my bill gave me strength as I took four pills and drank a lot of coke praying that the pain would reduce after the four shots to try and numb me hadn't gotten the pain down. (See my 111 post here)

A few hours later, I was at a drill competition and after it finished, I was helping clean out the girls dressing room and on the way I found a quarter and then in the dressing room, I found a dime. (click here to read about that) Princess two also found a dime on the way out to the car and my friend Melissa found a penny right behind me in the stadium.

Heavenly Father sure wants me to know how much He loves me and to get me to trust in Him. I am so blessed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Money in Recyling Copper From Wires and Motors

Today I had a better day, which is nice since I haven't left the house much in two weeks now. The weather was beautiful so I  thought I would go through the garage and get rid of more things. I gave Princess 2 lots of items she could sell to raise money for Princess fours service mission and also got rid of several things. 

I had three bags of wires I have accumulated over the past few months. I usually just take all that type of stuff to the recycle center where I donated it to the local school activity fund but I wondered just how much money was in the wires. I know copper is expensive and have heard lots of people talk about how the copper taking electricity to their farms off the main road is cut and stolen regularly and also have seen on the news recently how people steal it from construction sites so I thought I would see just how much is in the wires and a few motors. 

My neighbor across the street used to pull apart car motors for the copper in them and recycle it and would pay for his family vacation that way each year.

 If he can make money at it, I thought perhaps I could as well.

I had this timer for the outdoor lights that went out a few months ago so I took a hammer to it and found that it had three different areas with copper besides the wires in it. I used wire cutters and a knife to get the thin small wires off and that went quite quickly but the thicker copper wire, I just unwound it. 

I also kept the brass pieces as I know that adds up as well. 

I tested all the metal  with a magnet to see if it was aluminum or another metal. I ended up with four or five piles of different metals. 

There was the hair like copper, the thick copper wire, the brass, aluminum, steel and some weird colored wires I am not sure what metal it is but plan to ask the recycle man when I go in next. 

I then spent hours listening to an audio tape on CD (Click here for a post about that)  and pulling copper out of wires from a dishwasher and other electronic devices that I have collected recently. 

I ended up getting a better system as I went learning with each wire and there are many different types of wires. 

I didn't finish all the wires I had but enough that when I have time to go to the recycle place, I will get an idea if it was worth it. 

Another thing I pulled apart was a switch that I replaced on my suburban lights that my dad and Prince number one switched out for me awhile back.  My dad said to hold onto it for the other parts in case they went out. I decided today I didn't want to keep it so I added it to the stack and there was a bit of copper in it as well. (See that post here.)

The best way that I found to strip the wire was a "find" since I was headed out to buy a "stripper" to use. What I found that worked quicker, which I wish I had found earlier, was to use two sets of pliers. 

Clip the end of the plastic off like you see above.Then, take one pair of pliers and hold onto the copper, then take the other pair and grab onto the plastic and pull the two apart at the same time. The copper cuts the plastic as it gets pulled and goes quite quickly over using a stripper and pulling the plastic off. 

I think if I were watching a movie with the family, it would be a great thing to work on. I don't think I will ever just "do it" again without doing a movie or perhaps while someone is driving etc. The time it takes is consuming but if you are doing something else at the same time, it is probably worth it. I'll have to let you know how much I get for the copper.

The tools needed depend on what you are planning on getting the copper out of but I used the tin snips a whole lot. The screwdrivers helped me pull out the wires from things like old curling irons etc. The pliers were invaluable and I would probably wear the plastic coated work gloves if I were going to be doing very much of it. 

Here is a box of the casings from the wires along with the tools I used.  At the bottom, are the different bags of metals I acquired from my hours of work.  For some reason, I don't think I will make much after all the work. I think aluminum cans is probably a better way to make money. I just collect them along with the aluminum foil I use that is "clean" and make a dollar or two in a month or so. 

I will let you know how much I get for the copper once I have finished stripping all the wires I have. I didn't do many from the dish washer yet and still have another bag in the garage so it should be interesting to see how it goes. My guess is I would do better to collect old pennies and take those in instead. I wonder if you get more than a penny back when you take in a penny to recycle it. 

There is a thought..... Perhaps raiding our money jar would be a better use of my recycle time than stripping wire.... I'll check into that and let you know..... 

Ok, so I just did some searching and each copper penny made before 1982 (that year they made both copper, and zinc with copper coating pennies) are worth at least 3 cents. However, the government made it illegal to melt down money. There is a "ban" on it but I know for a fact that a hospital in our area takes coins that are thrown into their fountains and has them melted down and makes LOTS of money each year. That way they don't have to sort it and any "crud" from the fountains gets melted off in the process so they don't sort their coins at all.

People are now hoarding copper coins in hopes that the ban may be lifted. If you want to start "collecting" the coins. Just look for the aged dirty coins and 80% of the time, you will be picking one that is pre-1982. The older quarters, dimes and dollars prior to 1964 have a higher silver content. 

There are apps you can download that will tell you exactly what a coin is worth that day on the current silver prices. Interesting information. 

Speaking of quarters.... You'll never guess what I found in the "self check out" line at Walmart today.... Yep, a quarter. I smiled as I picked it up and thanked Heavenly Father for reminding me to "trust Him." My "found" money jar is getting full. (See one of the many posts about that here.)