Posted July 15, 2005 in One Man's Scrap:
One Man’s Scrap, Another Man’s Gold (July-August 2005)

Summer has arrived, and so have old friends and new, to visit the shops, to have a tour, to live and work with us, or to experience some other facet of our life. Our Lady of Comber-mere has a gift for each one.

To enable us to receive all our visitors, and to do all that we do in summer and during the rest of the year, we come knocking at your door once again to ask you for what we need.

Our mission shops—the gift shop and the used bookshop—attract many customers whose purchases support the poor in many parts of the world.

Thank you for the exquisite doilies and runners and fine art prints that you have sent for the gift shop. We washed and starched the doilies and framed the prints, and we could use more, as these items are very popular.


In the costume jewelry line, pierced earrings, pendants, and large men’s rings are selling well, and we would also welcome having whatever other jewelry you can send.

For cleaning jewelry and silver, DuraGlit has been recommended to us, as well as Silver-On, which coats small areas where the silver has rubbed off.

As for jewelry repair, we have people who can do it, but we need a special tool that removes rhinestones from old jewelry. Do you know of one you could send us?

And here’s a special request from the gift shop. Young couples are coming in asking for diamond rings. They want to buy one and help the poor at the same time—a beautiful way to begin their marriage. Do you happen to have one tucked away, that you are willing to part with? Some young couple would be happy to have it.


A wonderful benefactor who knows collectibles and helps us with them tells us that rounded tobacco tins (designed to slide into a breast pocket) are very saleable, as well as old postcards made from photographs, and old thimbles. In fact, any small vintage items are very saleable.

And when you send us fine things that you have owned for many years, would you consider jotting down a bit of the history and value of these items, This would be very helpful for us in setting a fair price.

Cana Colony

Those of you who are familiar with our Cana Colony retreat-vacations for families, won’t be surprised with these requests: baseball mitts (both children and adult sizes), and a catcher’s mitt with mask and pads.

We are so grateful for the large plastic storage containers you sent for Cana; in fact, we could use still more, this time mainly medium-size ones.

Archives and Offices

Our archives department continues to need computer photo paper as well as compact discs recordable (CDRs). They would also find a small stool very helpful—the kind with wheels which stabilizes as you step up on it.

The office is asking for index dividers for 3-hole binders, scotch tape, #10 white envelopes, and 8½ x 11 white paper, even if only one side is useable. (We use that kind for scrap paper.)


The people in our craft center thank you for the glue sticks and framing wire. This time they are asking for rubber cement, LePage 5-minue Epoxy for restoration projects, and Rub ‘n Buff (gold color).


These days the men are busy repainting fences and buildings around the compound. Can you help them with your leftover exterior oil-based wood stain (such as the kind used for decks and fences), water-based urethane (interior), trisodium of phosphate (TSP), methyl hydrate, and paint thinner or mineral spirits?


The nurses thank you for the heavy mineral oil. This time they are asking for knee and elbow supports; antihistamines such as Reactine, Benedryl; Band-Aids, polysporin ointment, Gravol 50 mg.; and Robaxacet. Our supply of supplements is pretty good except for vitamin C-500 and vitamin B complex.


We have some musical instruments that have been donated over the years—violins, guitars, and banjos—that are missing their strings. Do you have any you can spare? We also desperately need a couple of chromatic pitch pipes (key of C) to help us begin our hymns on the right note.

Household Needs

A few household needs have come to our attention. The kitchen needs oven thermometers, digital timers, dish cloths, and bottle brushes. We also need twin-size bedspreads, pillow cases, sturdy twine, toothpaste (our supply is critically low), and a heavy-duty rubber or rubber-backed mat.

Once again we are begging for your old tennis balls, not for the sport, but to put on our chair legs so they won’t scratch the floor. We need about 160. So if you know of a tennis club that would be willing to donate their duds, we’d be so happy to “shoe” our chairs.

Thank you again for all that you do to make our beautiful, challenging Gospel way of life possible. Let us assure you of our constant prayers of gratitude and petition for you and for those you love. We are deeply united with you in the heart of Christ.

In Our Lady of Combermere,
Susanne Stubbs and Mark Schlingerman (July-August 2005)


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