Norm likes to put on a fake French accent, twirl an imaginary mustache and say, “Oh ho! I am zee master recycler!” He has a pile of wood too short to burn, pipe, PVC, and buckets and tins of assorted stuff. He stops on the side of the road to pick up debris that he thinks he can use somewhere. He found a potting bench discarded at the curb near one of his rentals in L.A. and I picked up a little round table on trash day near his condo that we turned into a charming “coffee” table to use at the Love-Love Tree.

Friend Robin gave us 2 old wicker chairs for which Norm made new wooden seats, we painted them and placed them at Hatfield View with the umbrella Cliff & Janet gave us. Peter & Sue are always giving us things: a wooden redwood rocking chair, a triangle shaped dining table with 2 wrought iron chairs, 4 wrought iron chairs for our dining table at Chinook Ridge. I reupholsered all the chairs. Someone else gave us a garden bench that Norm repaired and painted which is now at the labyrinth.

We were driving around the neighborhood of his rentals last year and I spotted an old oak pedestal dining table and 4 chairs at the curb. We stopped to ask the homeowners who were in their front yard what they planned to do with them. They said they just wanted to give them away and asked if we wanted them. Duh. So we went to get the truck and when we came back for the table and 4 chairs, they asked us if we wanted the garden bench, 2 matching stools, the bistro table and its 2 matching chairs. Bag ladies, that’s what we are!

We compost kitchen waste, and recyle cans, plastics, bottles, paper and cardboard, usually at the recycling yard at the Wild Animal Park. And then there is the firefighter and tax agent who have been recycled into viticulturists…

Every hour is a happy hour at Chinook Vineyard!