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.
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!”