Saturday, April 18, 2009


The crochet hook flew in and out of the bright red yarn, leaving a trail of shell pattern in its wake. The younger woman hoped to learn how to crochet by watching her grandmother. “I learned by watching this lady I knew,” the grandmother told me. “I was ten years old. She had a son my age, and he didn’t know it but I knew he was supposed to be my boyfriend. I told him I knew how to crochet even though I didn’t, that I just didn’t have my hook with me. So he handed me a hook, and I took it. Now what was I going to do? Somehow I started making a chain, so he was convinced I knew how. And after that I just watched and then I could do it.”

I told her the perfect end to the story was if they had grown up and she had married him. She laughed. “No,” she said, “that was in Texas, and then we came here, and I haven’t seen him for many years. But I still know how to crochet.”

I was a little surprised when I got home that I hadn't bought more stuff. Not that I didn’t pick up plenty! Found another huge neighborhood having its annual sale day, and I didn’t even get around the entire tract before I called it a day. I'm so proud of myself for not overdoing it. If you go to sales, you’ll know that they’re as addictive as a slot machine—though ultimately produce way more return for your quarters. (A lot of this morning’s deals were literally paid for with quarters. Somehow I had a whole bunch o’ change in my billfold and now it's down to a few pennies. And weighs about six pounds less!)

I doled out a total of $11 this morning, and came home with:

A cozy cotton velour shirt for next winter.

As I was fishing for money, the seller held this shirt and told me it always gets lots of compliments. “One guy I work with would always come up behind me and rub it and say it’s SO soft,” she told me. Hmmm, could be harassment, I said. She shook her head. “Nah, he was gay, he just liked my shirt.” From her I also picked up this cute little china chick.
“There’s another one like it somewhere, but we can't find it,” she said. No matter, two would be less perfect than one. I keep saying I won't get any more chickens, but I didn’t have a baby chick so I needed this, right? And it was twenty five cents. Even I can't get too guilty over a quarter. Also found two bottlebrush trees
and some kitchen/office scales. I was going to give them to a colleague who told me she’s looking for one, but my hubs took one look and claimed it for his office. Sorry, Cathy G., next one is for you!
Loved the colors in this silk scarf.
When I asked the price of this little Rubbermaid container, the guy joked, “Well it used to belong to the Queen of England, which makes it pretty collectible.”
I gave him my Queen of Fifty Cents calling card so he could see how appropriate it would be for the container to go from one queen to another. I think I'll use it to hold birdseed. A couple of weeks ago I hung up a bird feeder outside my window at work. Two purple finches found it the first week and told all their friends. Now the gang is consuming an entire feeder’s worth daily. I'm going to have to put the birds on a diet.

A large sale turned out to be two in one—the driveway and part of the front yard had wares belonging to a mother and daughter, and nearer the porch a couple of friends were setting up their display—tasteful china mostly. A couple of boxes in front of the tasteful china had odds and ends of kitchen stuff, and I pulled out this wonderful bowl.

He quoted me the stiff price of two dollars (okay, it's stiff for me!) but then because it was with the fifty cent stuff he said that was fine. Thank you, thank you--I love this! Perfect for waffle batter on Sunday morning with our new waffle iron from two weeks ago. He said he bought it at an auction in Iowa, which is the icing on the cake. A jadite batter bowl is good, but a jadite batter bowl from an auction in Iowa is perfect. When I got home it was the first thing I showed my husband. “Look! A jadite batter bowl!” He peered at it. “And that’s a good thing?” he asked. I assured him it is, and I'm sure he will agree at breakfast tomorrow. And at least he didn’t ask me where I'm going to put it!

I also scored on the mother-daughter side of the sale: three pairs of shoes! You know how I love Mary Janes, and to find sporty green suede ones, as well as flowered ones just really made my morning. The other embroidered shoes make me feel like an off-duty pasha in my palace.

Ironically, I had bought this cute pair of tennies at the Nordstrom Rack on Friday.

They had been marked down and marked down and were another 35% off which put them into my comfort zone, and are a perfect fit. And I know they’re really cute because while I was trying on the green suede Mary Janes, another shopper picked up my new tennie that I had just taken off and started looking for its mate! “Umm, that one’s mine,” I said, pointing to the other still on my left foot.

Besides all these great deals, this sale sported a handsome—and wide!—black Lab named Blue, who was giving his undivided attention to a sandwich (in the yellow wrap) being consumed over his head.
Little candles for the lanterns in the backyard.
Actually, there are lanterns in the front yard now as well. Good thing I keep finding candles at yard sales! My husband added a couple more in the back recently, and got shorter crooks to hang the furthest, so at night the yard looks longer than it really is.

The resident dog at this sale was Mack, a poodle-Maltese cross. He was a little shy but finally agreed to a bit of petting. Those Maltese genes have given him the most amazingly soft coat—almost as soft as our cat Mrs. Wilberforce!
On the same street I had a lovely chat with a couple of ladies who may have given me the deal of the day. Piled on a daybed were several packages of fabric. I told them I'm not crazy about sewing but I do love to look at this stuff. One plastic bag held a partially made silk kimono. “My mother was a seamstress, so she was either working on this or got it to use the fabric.” We looked shook our heads admiringly over the hand stitched seams. I was very tempted by a package of Indian fabric with horses hand embroidered on it, but I resisted. I stopped resisting when I saw the grocery bag full of wonderful textured silk.
All that plus the piece in the next picture. For a couple of bucks I have enough fabric for the curtains I've been needing in my home office, and possibly slipcovers for the rattan sectional as well. Woo hoo! Silk curtains! I hung some of it over the empty curtain rod so we could see how it looked.
“You got all that for two dollars?” my husband asked. I nodded. “Sure beats the ones we saw at Ikea the other day,” he said, “and I think we would have had to hem those as well.”

Now really. You just have to love being able to look at Ikea as the expensive option! But that makes me remember something the fabric lady said that cracked me up. We were talking about second hand clothing, and I said all mine comes from driveways because I think Goodwill is just too expensive. “Oh,” she said wisely, “you always have to remember—it's the name you’re paying for.”


  1. You paid 50 CENTS for a Fire King Jadeite batter bowl??? Here I thought I got the deal of the year the other day when I paid $17 for the same thing. Not fair, not fair, not fair--and you get to meet all those cool dogs, too. Some people have ALL the luck!

  2. I had no luck again yard saling today. I didn't find too many sales, I think I'll do better when the season is in full swing!

  3. Do ALL husbands say 'where are you going to put it?'.

    I'm going to have to give garage sales another chance. You just have WAY too much fun!

  4. That's OK, Queenie, the King does come first!
    It seems the more money I have in my pocket, the more things I find I cannot live without....This week I found a 1950's cedar hope chest for our bedroom. It has 50's style, even the blond wood, but I will probably strip it and make it go natural. And it is a perfect place to store quilts, and my husband can sit on it when he puts his shoes on in the morning and not wake me up! Price $40. Yes I know it's not quite 50cents, but still a very good buy. Very nice lady, just cleaning out her garage. She had a couple of big storage bins of Lego blocks. I asked her about at my first visit. $100 was way to much for me. Three hours later when I came by with my load-bearing sons to pick up my new chest, she had already sold it for full $100! I did get a new wooden handled stainless steel ladle for two quarters!
    Craig's List was very helpful!

  5. Enjoy your blog!Good luck.Welcome to our blog

  6. You found quite a deal with the fire king bowl! I love the stuff!

  7. Do you know that just YESTERDAY I was at Goodwill and went through two bins of clothing for kids... came up with a nice pile and took it to the register and they are now charging $1.50 for ANY piece of clothing!!!?? I nearly croaked. I said ... you know you are thrifty when... Goodwill is too expensive for you! Great minds must think alike!

  8. I LOVED the "your paying for the name" comment concerning goodwill! I about wet my pants laughing!
    Fantastic buy on the bowl!
    Can't wait for warm weather here to start yard sales.

  9. Love the jadite. You inspired a few posts on my site by the way.

  10. A women after my own heart! I love seeing all your deals. Sales in our area aren't nearly as thrifty. It must be the region.

  11. Hi Queen... You really "are" the Queen... I should go out to garage sales with you and learn something...

    Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving your comment!

  12. LOVE bottle brush trees! Wish I could find some for cheap! Ha!
    I'm having another giveaway :-) This time for my one year blogversary. Come on over and comment, 'cuz you just might win again!!

  13. Love the new Mary Janes, and I also busted a gut over paying for the name! Had a little luck Saturday but it is hard to shop on your lunch hour.

  14. Are the cat shoes available? My daughter has been looking for some like those and they are just her size! Please let me know... Thanks!


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

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