Butter Bucket Brigade

I don’t just write my own blog here, I also read other blogs that interest me. One of my favorites is Musings From A Tangled Mind by Wendy Kowal. The subject matter is sometimes serious, sometimes lighthearted, and occasionally hilarious.

Yesterday there was a post there which discussed her mother’s use of “butter buckets” (my term) for storage of things other than the butter they originally contained. It rang true to me, since my family was also one where everything got re-used and re-purposed as possible. It also was hilarious because that apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.

My father used coffee cans, butter buckets, baby food jars, and so on for storing all kinds of things in his workshop. (With eight kids, there were a LOT of baby food jars!) I remember him finding a design in Popular Mechanics or some similar magazine for a rotating rack that used baby food jars to store miscellaneous small nuts and bolts. He built it, with end pieces about the size of a bicycle wheel, and the horizontal spokes between them about two feet long. All of the spokes could swivel to stay upright, like the cars on a Ferris wheel do. Each spoke was a piece of wood about two inches wide and a half-inch thick, with about fifteen baby food jar lids nailed to the underside. The baby food jars containing the small parts would be pushed up and screwed into position, then the whole thing would rotate to bring different racks of jars into use. Sort of like a cross between a Ferris wheel and a vertically-oriented lazy Susan.

At least none of those baby food jars held anything that might be confused with baby food.

When I read Wendy’s article yesterday I immediately thought of how I do the same thing as her mother, but I do it more like my father did. I wanted to post a picture in my comment on her article, but I couldn’t. so I’ll put it here!

FullSizeRender (5)

On the bathroom counter next to my sink are, from left to right: a red Solo cup (which is actually orange), a slot machine change cup from Paris Las Vegas (from our honeymoon fifteen years ago), two butter buckets exactly like those in the picture that Wendy used yesterday, and an orange Halloween candy collection bucket that was a Kids’ Meal giveaway at least fifteen years ago.

In those various containers are pens, notes, scissors, old toothbrushes (they’re great for cleaning things), car keys, small tools, parts for bathroom repairs, a flashlight, old MP3 players, loose change, old headphones, key chains, batteries… You get the picture.

My favorite item, no doubt because it’s the weirdest and most out of place, is the New Year’s Eve party horn sticking out of the Paris Las Vegas cup. You never can tell when you might need something in the bathroom to go phweeEEEEEETTTTTTTT to celebrate something or spook the dog.

Wait, that didn’t come out right…

(NOW do you see why Ronnie’s earned the title of “The Long-Suffering Wife”?)


Filed under Castle Willett, Curiosities, Family, Paul

2 responses to “Butter Bucket Brigade

  1. Jemima Pett

    Oh, I know what you mean. I rescued some of my Dad’s old tins with useful bits in them when we cleared the house, and still use them. At present I’m trying to work out a good use for some nice near-cubic plastic jars which held my guinea pig’s glycosamine tablets! I’m sure I have something good to put in them as a nice matching set 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much my friend for the kind words! And Wow! You weren’t kidding! You have a counter full — I love it!! I too am very curious as to why you have a party horn in your bathroom…the possibilities are endless indeed. 😀

    My Dad, like yours, kept his nails and such in baby food jars…my Mom (who painted), would mix her colors and use baby food jars to store her paint. So many uses for old containers.

    Liked by 1 person

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