Sunday, May 10, 2009


Favorite sign of the day:
Funnest thing I didn’t buy:
First overheard remark this morning was from a mother to her teenage daughter: “You’re a woman, you can multitask!” I think she wanted her daughter to feed the dog as well as whatever else she was doing. This dog:
His name is Zeus, but I don’t think he’s let it go to his head. He was quite willing to be petted. After I took the picture I showed it to the daughter, mentioning my blog. I said how cute Zeus was, and so were her feet. She called out, “Mom! My feet are going to be on the computer!”

Later in the morning I heard two men talking about some item. “Does it work?” asked the buyer. “Let’s check it out—that’s a good question,” said the seller. “That’s a good answer!” said the buyer.

At another sale two Chinese ladies were shopping. Evidently only one of them spoke any English, and that was limited, but they were having a lovely time looking at everything. They asked the price of something, slippers I think, the seller said the price was fifty cents. The Chinese lady, concentrating fiercely, replied, “Seventy five cents?” in a bartering tone. Her offer was quickly accepted, and everyone seemed happy. Have to say it's the first time I've seen the bargaining go in that direction!

One sale had a stack of orange coveralls, and a man started going through them. They were only a dollar and he was checking them all. “These make great Halloween costumes,” he remarked. A minute later he added, “Looks like I’ll have to go as Daryl though.” The seller laughed. “That was my dad, he was a longshoreman.”

Which reminded me of something I'd forgotten. Several years ago the city I worked for hired a teacher to give classes in conversational Spanish. After a few lessons we had the assignment to bring in a photo and talk about it in Spanish. This is the photo I used:
and in class that evening I said in my halting and very basic Spanish, “This is my cat Buster. In this picture he is getting ready for work. He is a longshoreman.” (Okay, he wasn’t really, but I thought it sounded more interesting than telling them what he really did, which was sleep and purr.)

I met a very handsome young kitty along the way--Howie the brown tabby:
And this is Finnegan:
Talented Finn can shake hands with either paw, and loves to wear his bandana. They showed me how, when you take his bandana off, he comes right over and sticks his head back in it. I gathered that he has an entire bandana wardrobe. Pets with possessions.
I branched out from taking pictures of pets during the morning. This adorable young lady (the taller one) was doing a fine business with her bake sale; her little cakes baked in heart shaped dishes seemed to be a popular Mother’s Day item.
And this fellow was being encouraged to sell his Devo hat by his sweetie.
They had recently combined their households and were having a yard sale to get rid of duplicate stuff. I don’t think he was ready to give up his hat, but people weren’t lined up to buy it. Maybe he got lucky.

I spent $11.95, which brought me:

Four classical CDs
Four boxes of Christmas ornaments—party favors at our open house in December.

Two little ceramic pots. The one thing I really wanted to find on this outing was something to put these two plants in. A bit dated, but at ten cents each, how could I resist?
This wine glass came from the Devo hat guy. I like the colored glass running up the center of the stem.

Three pieces of wool appear to be baby blankets that got seriously felted over the years. One of the white ones has barely discernable embroidered rosebuds. I love the robin’s egg blue of the largest. New felt slippers are in my future.

I've been wanting some leather for slipper soles in a lighter color than the black that I already have. I think this brown suede jacket will work nicely. I've popped it into the washing machine and hung it outside to dry—looks like all the spots came out!
This entertaining hummingbird feeder…

… came from a sale that also had a rather cute rug. Flowers and checks and a rooster. I asked the price, but it was too high for my frugal ways. As we talked, it emerged that its owner really loves this rug, but was tired of dry cleaning it since it's wool. I suggested she wash it. I do mine in cold water on a gentle cycle and hang them up to dry and it works fine.

Cute coat hook from the same neighborhood sale...
...from two ladies about ready to close shop. We ended up having one of those fun conversations that ramble from cars to work to dogs and cats and how total strangers can tell you their life story in line at the grocery store. One of them remarked how much fun garage sales were for encouraging people just to talk to each other. They were so nice I was ready to invite myself in, sit down for some lunch, and keep talking!

I'm hoping I can find a new home for this vintage beauty.

It's a size 6; I won't be wearing it myself, but I just couldn’t leave it. 100% silk, still with hang tags attached. Look at these wonderful pleats and embellishing.

The body is lined, and all the seams are enclosed. Just gorgeous. It's from the mid 80s, and I guess 80s styles are getting popular again. If you’re interested let me know!

This crewel Beatrix Potter growth chart will be a door prize for a children’s librarian.
It could use some edge finishing—my guess is that by the time the stitcher was done, the child it was intended to measure was in junior high, and she just folded it up and put it away.

I thought I would use Miss Mouse for a door prize, but she keeps looking at me with her shiny black bead eyes, arms outstretched. I have to keep her.
Her tag says Liberty of London/Hand Made in England. Wool felt, Liberty fabric for the dress, fine nylon thread for whiskers. I adore her.
Last overheard conversation of the morning was at one of those sales where all the stuff is still in boxes, presided over by a young guy with a three day growth of beard and uncombed hair. He looked affable but not at all sure why he got up so early to have this sale. Perhaps he’d been left to mind the store while his mother or wife ran errands. As I walked away I saw a lady pull an old bridesmaid-type dress from a carton. “How much?” she asked.

I just loved his reply: “Um, what is it?”


  1. Love reading your yardsale stories. I am a people watcher myself, and it is funny some of the things you hear. Cute dogs and cats. Looks like you got some great buys.

  2. Entertaining as always! :-) I love Zeus, too cute!!

  3. I indulged online the other day and got some Gritty Jane prints. I found two beautiful gold frames with delicate flowers and fancy beveled mats at one sale for $1 each. the prints looked really beautiful in each after I took out the Sistine Chapel prints. The frames originally were $16.99 each. I was happy!

  4. I love your people and pet stories! There is so much more to garage saleing than finding bargains!

  5. Always stop by when you Howie:)

  6. I enjoy going "virtual garage saling" with you! Love to hear the stories and see all the pix you share.

    I bet you could make a BOOK out of your adventures...

  7. Entertaining as always! Love the mouse and I couldn't have parted with it either!

  8. Love it! Love it! love it! You have to be my first inductee to the yard sale shopper hall of fame. The overheard conversations were great and the dogs and kid feet as cute as ever. You are a great addition to my Loot section.. xo Joan

  9. OK, that was hilarious to hear all those conversations. You got some great deals, too. Linda

  10. Great treasures. Even better stories!!! You had me laughing out loud...I just might have woken up the kids. Oops.

  11. That's been so entertaining to read! Thanks so much for letting us feel like we were there too. I struggle with overheard conversations at places like this, as they are all in French. A fast French converstaion, often with a bit of patois thrown in, is absolutely bemusing! However, I get my fair share of amusing comments when I'm shopping, as the sellers are often intrigued at what interests this strange English lady. I'm hosting a Franco-Scottish giveaway at the moment, so do feel free to join...

  12. great! love your tales

    happy thrifting


  13. Hi again, and thanks for entering my giveaway! Best of luck...

  14. Love the conversations you overheard!! Very entertaining :)

    What IS that "funny" thing you found?! I can't figure it out!

  15. This was my first visit to your blog and I am now hooked.

    I will be back and I am now a follower. We have a lot in common!


  16. Oh, your yardsale banter is priceless. You talk a lot more than I do. :) I'm in & out of the sales & don't engage in a lot of conversation, but I'm probably missing out on some fun like that. You got some great stuff!

    And I love how you take pics of the pets along the way.

  17. I love the stories, and you found lots of great finds. Debbie

  18. Love that growth chart, and the flower pots too. Sounds like you have alot of fun while out saling!

  19. Whoa! Looks like the Queen's Fan Club just had a convention!! Great post, your majesty!!! Love, Kate Spike (aka Queen of the Exclamation Point!!!!!!!)

  20. I LOVE what you find! And, I'm almost envious of your ability to strike up conversions with people.

    My weekend thrifting/antiquing adventures were successful, but seriously lacking in interesting dialog.

  21. Love all of the eavesdropping that you did! Great stories and great finds!

  22. Followed your link from the Beach Cottage, you do have some lovely things going on in your blog space.

    Thanks for sharing all the finds from weekend treasure hunting! We just don't get enough of that sort of stuff in these parts.

  23. OMGOSH, I am read your entire blog this afternoon. I was sucked in and couldn't stop.... just like a good Patricia Cornwell or James Patterson novel. I love your yard sale stories and the pictures add so much.

    Now I find myself feeling like I do when I finish a new novel, when will they write more? ;-)


  24. Hi! You recently left a comment on my blog about a bird picture I purchased and I left a comment in response to yours. I hope I didn't offend you with my post. Please go check out my comment. Thanks!

  25. Hi again! I have an award for you over at my blog, stop by to pick it up!

  26. I love your blog and look forward to every post. I never go to garage sales and I never have garage sales. But, today our next door neighbor had a garage sale. We go a toy scooter for our granddaughts to play with/fight over. Free since we are neighbors. What a deal! We over-heard a comment made by the male half of a couple as they were leaving their car. He said, "Honey, Booger Pie, we already have a bunch of stuff in the car......". He said it sweetly as if Booger Pie is truly an endearment. I thought of you and all your wonderful over-heard comments and had to share!

  27. I love the beatrix potter item. And your mouse is adorable. Have you ever participated in I just started and was given a prisine 1953 singer 301 sewing machine with beautiful maple cabinet. It sews like a dream. What a great more way to recycle!!! PS I love your stories and pics of the pets!

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

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