Hot. Finally. I know most of you will want to kill me when you hear this, but until earlier this week it's been downright cool here. I was getting awfully tired of gray skies every morning. But now suddenly it is summer and we get to complain about the heat along with everyone else. I actually did the last part of the morning’s driving with the top up on my car and the AC on, so you know I was roasting!
It was on the sunny side of the street in a neighborhood sale that I got into conversation with three young women. A lot of items with ladybugs were there, waiting for new homes, and we talked about the danger of letting people know you collect something. Often you end up with…well, a yard sale’s worth of stuff you don’t need. “That doesn’t really happen to me,” said the one with the English accent. “My name is Lamb, so I collect lambs, and they’re all over England but you never see them here. I mean, if you buy a farm set there it always includes sheep, but here it's always cows and pigs and cockerels.” I laughed and said that they’re not cockerels here, they’re chickens, roosters, and one of her friends looked relieved. “I was wondering what the heck cockerels were.”
We chatted for a while about language differences and the trouble you can get into if you don’t know for instance that what we call an eraser the English call a rubber. Turns out they are elementary school teachers, so that particular one is worth knowing! Miss Lamb teaches third grade. Isn’t that perfect? You would remember third grade your whole life, having a Miss Lamb for your teacher with her cool English accent.
They had one of those kit thingies with various bath products, and I asked if it had been a gift. “Oh my god,” said one, “are you a teacher too?” I explained my “if there were no gifts, there would be no garage sales” philosophy, but added that I used to be a school librarian in a fairly posh private school. I was absolutely amazed at the (yup, I'm just going to say it) crap you were given for Christmas. “I'd rather have a two dollar card for Starbucks,” said one “than a ten dollar thing of bath salts when I only take showers.” “Yes, or school supplies, or a book for the library.” (Parents, take note for when next gift-giving season rolls around!)
By now we were all waving our hands around and talking a mile a minute. I hope no one was trying to buy anything from their sale about then because none of us would have noticed.
I didn’t stay out as long as usual because of the heat (I could hear my pool calling my name all morning) but still managed to spend $7.25. The quarter was for this cube of sticky notes.
“I never used to need these because the realtors all dropped notepads on your porch,” I said. “Yeah, those long ones,” the woman answered. “They were great for grocery lists. Boy, you knew the economy was bad when those disappeared.” Staying in the stationery realm, I found a Harley Davidson notebook thingie for a certain Harley-riding relative of ours.
I think it's hilarious that you can buy Harley stuff at Hallmark.
Found a cute angora sweater that has already been felted! “We won’t talk about who put that in the washing machine,” said the mom, rolling her eyes toward her teenage daughter.
This acrylic pitcher still has the sticker on it.
I continue to pick up prizes for my colleagues in our summer reading program. Here are this week’s:
The little frames came from a sale that had several Pooh items. One was a music box that another lady was looking at. “It's only four dollars,” the seller explained, “because you need to glue the head back on.” Sure enough Tigger was missing his head, but it was there waiting for reattachment. When I pulled out my camera we all thought having Tigger hold his head would be a good idea.
I also picked up a pair of simple silver earrings from her. They looked okay but a little rub-up with some toothpaste (my silver polish of choice) made them shiny again.
My last two buys were of pieces of clothing. I no sooner had the thought “I wish I could find some cool unusual clothing today” when I saw what looked like a bedspread on a heap of clothing. But it's really some kind of drapey top. It has sleeves, and pockets in the side seams; the back is long and full and cut on the bias. The front has a part that goes over your head and parts that hang down. I'm going to have to play with it, though if anyone would like to chime in with advice I'd be grateful. Buy hey, it cost fifty cents. If I can't figure out a good way to wear it, it can be a bedspread.
This is my other clothing find. I definitely won’t be wearing this one, but I could not go off and leave it there.
The only story I could get for it was that it had been a gift from friends whose family were world travelers, so this could have come from anywhere. I'm leaning toward somewhere in Europe, maybe the Balkans, what do you think? From the trim and the fact that it's handmade, I wonder if it was something like part of a folk dance costume. What I find really endearing is that someone made an inner pocket from this completely unrelated fabric.
I think the pocket material has a look of the Sixties, but I'm just guessing. I'd love to resell this piece, but even if I can't find it a new home, I had to buy it. It was lonely, hanging on a rack with pieces from Gap and Target that don’t speak the same language.