Monday, June 23, 2008

My Pleasure Doubled

I go online every Saturday morning to check for garage sale listings in the local paper, the Penny Saver, and on Craigslist. Then I spend a few minutes doing a week’s worth of cryptoquotes from the “Life” section of the paper. The Life section includes games & puzzles, pets, home & garden, health & fitness, horoscopes…you know, life. The stuff they used to call the women’s section before guys wised up and realized all the interesting stuff was here. When solved, the quote for Saturday turned out to be “Whatever we possess becomes of double value when we have the opportunity to share it with others.”

So there it is—the rationale for my blog! It’s fun to go out and find cool stuff, and even more fun to share it with someone. So thanks for coming along and letting me share with you.

Besides the cryptoquotes, I have a couple of other rituals. I pick up an egg and cheese croissant at a nearby donut shop, run by a couple of ladies who appear to know every customer and what each of us wants. As soon as I walk in the door one of them scurries to the back to make my “number eight.” And they give me my change in singles, so I have small bills to facilitate bargaining. I got a chance this Saturday to send them some new customers when I heard someone at the first sale asking if anyone knew a place to get donuts. Hope they bought lots!

My other regular stop is to buy gas (ouch) at the one station in the area that is consistently less expensive than anywhere else. Lately it's about twenty cents a gallon lower so I'm shelling out maybe a dollar less than I would at another station. But hey, a dollar can get you a bunch of stuff on Saturday morning! There was a gray haired gentleman getting gas at the next pump who said ruefully in a Ukrainian accent, “We work all week, then leave it all here on Saturday.”

At one of early sales, a young man was pumping up a twin-size air bed to show a shopper that it worked. She paid him a dollar for it, threw it in the back of her pickup, and drove away. The seller was ecstatic. “See,” he said to his companion. “A whole dollar!” She looked over at me and said, “I told him not to bother putting it in the sale, that no one would ever buy it. You just never know, do you?”

I'll also never know why the couple I passed with a pair of lovely, full-grown Australian shepherds had one of them in a baby carriage that the husband was pushing. The dog looked quite pleased to be getting a free ride. Wonder if the two dogs take turns being pushed.

As I drove to work this morning, I listened to the Country Fiddling CD from last week. Track 5 was amazing—bluegrass combined with electronic noises, as though the band had added laser guns. Perhaps they have rowdy fans from other planets? It reminded me of the Ozark Trilogy sci-fi novels by Suzette Haden Elgin. Highly recommended when you need novels that feature flying mules.

It was a slow Saturday, shopping wise, too hot for many people to be out either buying or selling. I did manage to spend $7.25:

My first stop netted a couple of freebies,

a little brush Christmas tree and a compact retractable measuring tape, small enough to be part of my garaging equipment. It's from an RV park in Corona. I keep picturing the RV owners carefully measuring to make sure their oversize vehicles will fit into the available space.

At the next stop I spent $1.25 on one wool and two alpaca sweaters for felting. Interestingly, the alpaca sweaters took the treatment completely differently. The one from Peru barely changed texture at all, and the one from Nordstrom became thick, fabulous felt. Now I have to figure out how to use all this felt I've got. I love my felt slippers and will make more, but I need to branch out. Some of this stuff is so sturdy I figure I could sew it together into a yurt cover and be warm and dry inside.
And I may be poor enough after I retire in a few years to need to live in a yurt. You know, this could work out.

Got the Collector’s Edition of the original King Kong. Unfortunately the button you push to hear Kong growl barely emits a purr any more. Guess you have to pay more than fifty cents for a good growl.

We have a set of six brand new placemats and napkins. The red plaid is not my husband’s fave, but they’re clean and sturdy. And, from the price still on the placemats, I saved about $73 on the set over buying them at the store.

Found a box of small spools of thread in a number of colors I don’t have. I hate buying notions at a fabric store, they’re so hideously expensive. Also in the box was a lifetime supply of sewing machine needles, several bobbins that fit my old Singer 201, and some vintage buttons. I've chucked the ugly plastic box, exactly like the one we kept thread in for about thirty years, and decanted the spools into a box I thrifted last summer.

This bowl made my heart go pitty pat. It's made of glass, absolutely gorgeous. Wish my photography skills were up to showing you the details.

My favorite quote this week came from a couple of women having a sale. One held a framed photo in her hand. From the colors and amount of fading it probably dated from the late forties, early fifties. “I should keep this and hang it in my garage,” she commented. As I was wondering about the honor of being hung in a garage, her friend said enthusiastically, “Oh, you should! It's an antique. It's older than you!”


  1. Great Christmas tree! The sweaters are pretty cool too! I love Alpaca! In fact, my husband and I used to take care of Alpaca`s and LLama`s. Very sweet babies.

  2. The brush tree was the first thing that caught my eye too...literally jumped off the page @ me.

    You sent me off on a google to learn more about felting. Now I'll be keeping my eye out for woolen clothing. Don't have a clue what I'll make out of them but I know I want to felt something. LOL


  3. Great score, as usual. I love the blue and green sweater. That would have caught my eye too.

    That bowl is really something. Looks like something you put on a beautiful dinningroom table with something cool inside. What do you have planned for it?

    Thanks for making us drool!!

  4. I haven't figured out where to put the bowl yet. Hmmm, maybe I could display felt in it...


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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