Saturday, April 17, 2010

THRIFTING CRITERIA—AND DOGS


Craigslist ads never let me down when I need a smile. Loved the yard sale ad that promised “etc. galore!”

I was looking for something the other day in a previous posting, and ran across a reminder to myself to ask two questions before I buy something:
Is this excellent? Will I use it now? Figured this would curb any (or most...or some…) superfluous buying.

Dang. It works!

I went out Friday to a couple of nurseries, and found one or two sales along the way. Spent a buck on two of these hilarious hats.
Excellent, yes? Of their type! I figured they tie in with our water-themed Summer Reading Program, so I'll be giving these away next month.

Saturday morning I was hot to trot. Neighborhood sales are starting in earnest, and I mapped out three to hit. The ads promised hundreds of households would participate.

Yeah, right.

Dozens. I would agree there were dozens. Hundreds, probably not. Though I admit I wasn’t counting. I've tried that. I've always wondered just how many sales I go to on a good day. The highest I've ever remembered to count was three. After that I never give it another thought until I get home.

Three neighborhoods in a good part of town for sales. Everything I looked at I put to the excellent/use now test. And I spent a whole buck and a half on two items.

Now, you might decide that I must be using a sliding scale for the excellence test.
Taste is a highly individual thing. I think she is a hoot. Anything that makes me smile this much is excellent. And I'm getting ready to replant several pots; she’ll be wonderful hiding among my new maidenhair fern. So she passed the second test.

Of course, the third unspoken test is, is the price right? And it was.

My other big buy doesn’t look like much. Yet.
I had a small pond for several years. Plants, fish, and snails kept it balanced. I loved it. My goldfish all had names.
I never knew it was possible to become fond of fish, but evidently I can get fond of anything. (Almost anything. I will never become fond of any bug.) Then something went wrong, and while the plants were okay, all of the creatures died. I decided I didn’t have the heart to start over, and a few weeks ago I sold the pond and the plants. Went to a very nice lady, hope she is enjoying it. But I've started to miss it. So when I saw this tub I asked the price. The guy said, “Oh, anything, what would you think?” I never know what to say when they do that. You know me, what I think is fifty cents. I told him to give me a starting point. “How about a dollar?” he said. Starting point and ending point! He even delivered it to my car, half a block away, while I shopped the rest of his sale.

I figured I'd splurge on a water lily, so I stopped at Home Depot on the way home. I knew I'd seen water plants there recently. And they had marked them down to half price! So my tub has two water lilies and a miniature cattail nestled in its depths. That should satisfy my need for a water feature, and I'm going to keep it simple. I won’t put in any fish, and if mosquito larvae show up I'll just overfill the tub and wash them out.
I did meet some excellent dogs. This is Harley, showing me his good side.
Harley’s other ear is missing. He had a tumor on it and it had to be removed.

Gracie is a Lab/poodle cross.

Didn’t get this one’s name or antecedents.
There was another little dog there, same size, shape and ears but with black fur. I figured they were littermates, but they weren’t related. Just friends.

This elderly fellow was having a very nice nap.
His owners said they adopted him from the shelter two years ago and were told he was about nine at the time. I think maybe the shelter folks were being a little kind on his age estimate; he definitely struck me as older than eleven. But how wonderful that he found a home at that age—and with people who care enough to shade him with his own umbrella!

I love geriatric pets. One of our best cats was Puddy, who we adopted when he was at least 12.
He was a homely old dude, but a fabulous cat. Walked in, said hello to our other pets, and settled right in. We had him for three years. Still miss him.

With three neighborhoods to trawl through, you can imagine all the stuff that I didn’t buy. Here’s an example. These are salt and pepper shakers.
With rhinestone eyes. They were scary. Enough to put one off condiments for life.

A lot of stuff was overpriced today. (Bear in mind that I bought a couple of twenty five cent cashmere sweaters last week!) One of my favorite overheard lines came from a woman who was trying to justify the price she was asking for a shirt. The potential buyer wanted her to come down on her price, but she wouldn’t. “You can't get it for that at Goodwill,” she said.

My other favorite bit came from a dad. The kids were playing in the garage, behind some boxes or something. Out of sight, anyway. Big thump, and giggles. “I don’t know what you’re doing in there,” the dad said, “but you better stop!”

17 comments:

  1. I love your finds. That great bird will look so good in the garden. It makes me smile also. I think that kind of pond sounds nice in the yard.

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  2. Love the bord - love the pond! And the prices were right .

    And I completely agree that those salt and pepper shakers are evil...

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  3. Oh come on, Queenie, can't you see those Salt and Pepper shakers in your new MidCentury Modern estate???

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  4. Thanks for sharing your sale adventures...especially the pet photos...they are priceless!

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  5. Such nice finds, the dogs are so cute. We don't have yard sales in Ireland but when we go to Canada we always make sure to spend at least one Saturday morning at them!

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  6. Oh the rhinestone eyes are really scary! But really funny at the same time!

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  7. Oh dear! I would have gotten the S&P shakers. I love the bird and the hats. You did good. I most look forward to your pet stories. What sweet dogs.

    I once asked the price of some plates a woman was selling. Oh she said "I can remember these hanging in my Mom's house as I was growing up" and then she gave me an outrageous price. I must have been asked to pay memory fees. lol. I might have if they had been my memories. lol

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  8. Fun photos and I love the enclosed "pond"
    Kammy

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  9. I have to share a craigslist funny. I was going through our Tampa Bay area craigslist in Arts and Crafts and I saw a listing for "high biscuit" I'm thinking what in the world is a high biscuit. I click on it and it is a picture of a hibiscus flower. cracked me up. Love your findings today, especially the bird, she made me smile.

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  10. since i usually do my best g. saling by my lonesome, i have plenty of ear time for others conversations. love jottin the good stuff down too!

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  11. I already know that your summer reading program is a favorite with the kids. That hat!

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  12. I need to ask those same questions before I buy at Yard Sales. However I did take a massive load of stuff to our Goodwill. But I also went in and shopped LOL.

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  13. I would have bought the salt and pepper shakers too ;0 It always amazes me people's justification for marking stuff so high and not negotiating. Especially on clothes. I love that you pick up stuff for the summer reading program the hat is to cute!!

    :) Michelle

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  14. OMG! Those salt and pepper shakers give me the heebie-geebies and I am just looking at a picture of them. They must have been creepier up close and personal!

    Love the hat! Makes me laugh. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. I like the bird. He makes me smile too. I also have fallen for a fish. I have had him for a year and half. His name is Fishy and he also makes me smile. He lives in my kitchen in a gold fish bowl. Yes those salt and pepper shakers are very scary and would go great with my scary birds I found attached to my cool grapevine ball. I used the ball this weekend in my potted plants I posted about yesterday. It looks much better without the birds.

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  16. Oh come on. How did you pass up those lovely salt n pepper shakers.

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

 
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