Saturday, September 3, 2011

She’s Back!

It’s been too danged long since we got together! Moving and nesting can really cut into your day. Yes, I am 1,000 miles north of where I last posted, with a warm breeze redolent of pine (or perhaps barkomulch) wafting in my open window.

I admit I’m glad to have the trip behind me. I’m calling it the Journey with Two Cats and a Bonsai. Never heard a peep from that little tree, but Noll Baxter cried and cried for miles. Then he stopped crying and panted for many more miles. If it was an act, it was a good act. When we arrived he claimed he was exhausted.


Mrs. Wilberforce mewed in a distressed fashion a couple of times and then went into a catatonic state. I’m not sure if that wasn’t harder to see than the panting. But we all arrived safely and transferred thankfully from the car to our new home.


So far I’ve spent most of my time here painting. As in walls, not lovely pictures. Though I could be inspired by the terrific sunrises I’ve seen most mornings outside my windows.


So far I have eradicated pale, insipid pink walls from my office, half bath, hall, master bedroom and master bath, which went from this


to this


The bedroom is a darker shade of green, and my office is a nifty shade called Quiet Moment that is blue, gray or green depending on the time of day and the light. I’ve also mitigated (at least temporarily) the southwestern motifs on the tub surround


with some I like better.


Starting tomorrow I’ll be painting downstairs, and since that’s only a gigantic family room, a playroom, three bedrooms, a bathroom and a hall I should be done by oh, Christmas. Optimist that I am, I’m even thinking Christmas of this year! Need to do it before the rest of our stuff comes up from California. Which I am happy to announce will most likely be soon – way before Christmas even.

We must have been living right, because we got a decent offer for our house in the OC less than a week after it went on the market. Looks like escrow will close in mid-September (everyone keep your fingers crossed). We even have a backup offer on hold in case anything goes wrong with the first buyers. Whew! Of course it’s a nice house with a fabulous yard in a great location, but I’ll be very, very happy when I don’t have two mortgages to pay.

But wait, some of you are saying, this woman writes about yard sales. What’s with all this house stuff? And to you I say, gently, gently, this is only the 3rd weekend I’ve been here, and I’ve only been able to go our garaging…three times! Yup, I was out on the trail my first morning here. That was the day I learned that sales here tend to start on Friday and go all weekend, and they don’t start until at least 8 a.m., many not until 9. So that first morning I cruised about in the convertible, just enjoying the early morning air until it got late enough for a sale to be open. Had a lovely chat with a lady who works at the hospital (apparently there’s only one). From her I bought 4 Garrison Keillor 3-CD sets (so a total of 12 disks) for a buck. Can’t show you a picture though because I loaned them to my friends Diana and Dave when they came by on Sunday.

My next stop netted a brand new applicator pad for putting sealer goop on your deck. We have over 900 sq. feet of decks here (I’ve lived in houses smaller than that) and it all needed sealing, which my fabulous brother-in-law Biker Bob has undertaken since the hubs is still down south. (Everyone send blessings his way, this is a huge undertaking!) Bob says this pad thingie may be the best fifty cents I have ever spent. At the same sale I spent another fifty cents on two 50’ rolls of clear vinyl carpet protector, which I figured would come in handy during the painting process. However, it’s probably at least 10 years old, and is a very wide tape with the sticky side out, and it has baked together so that I could hardly pry up a corner, let alone actually cover anything with it. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. The lady at that sale threw in a really great dish brush for free, so I’ve decided that’s what I shelled out the fifty cents for instead of the carpet stuff!

Last week I went out on Friday. Mapped out a little route with the help of and went exploring. There’s no better way to learn your way around than by going to yard sales, right? And I found some sales and managed to find my way home (after shelling out a total of fifty cents for a black fanny pack) but the experience convinced me that my life would be a lot simpler if I finally got a GPS.

Choosing one about drove me nuts, but I finally did, and it arrived a couple of days ago. So today was my first day of garaging with the assistance of Gertrude Pemberton Smith. She’s not as much fun as Marcia or Linda or the other friends I’ve been garaging with, but her sense of direction is quite good. But there is one thing I’d like to know: how DO they make an electronic voice that manages to sound peeved as she says “recalculating”?

Went to the west side of town today to see what we could see. Some older neighborhoods, some midcentury areas, and some quite new. For a total of $8.50 I scored a desk chair, not fancy but rolls around really well


a couple of Ikea jars, so that I can decant my flour and sugar


and a DVD.


Yard sales are always a good source of “as seen on TV items” such as this supply of 6 tubes of Mighty Putty.


Don’t know how well it actually works (very mixed reviews on Amazon) but the “as seen on a driveway” price was the proverbial fifty cents. And it was worth that much to see the video pitch on the Mighty Putty website. Those hucksters who sold stuff at fairs are alive and well and selling Mighty Putty.

Picked up a couple of items at an estate sale down the street from my house. It was mostly priced too high for me, but this little candelabra was reasonable, and I think it has a nice MCM vibe. I’ll have to watch for some of those extra skinny tapers at future sales.


I also found a lovely vintage embroidered table runner in a heap of old kitchen towels and potholders under a sign that said “linens, ten cents” – a sure sign of a sale run by guys. They had dollar signs on all the tools, but beautiful hand embroidered grapes and vines on ecru linen was only a dime. And they didn’t even bother to take my dime! My fabulous sister-in-law Linda was helping me prep the family room for painting and liked it, so it’s gone home with her. Yes, she hangs out with Biker Bob. I’m very fortunate in my relatives – not only do they help with home repair but they take home those vintage linens that you swore you were not going to bring home any more of!


  1. Love the picture of your cat. Laughing about the linens vs the tools.

  2. Thinking of you & the hubs as you rid yourselves of one of your mortgages!

  3. Oh I like the candelabra. I was so glad to see that you posted. I had a good week last week. I struck out today. I am glad to hear things are moving along.

  4. Congrats on the move! Aren't cats a joy to travel with? LOL! Just imagine all the new thrift stores and yard sales you will get to explore!

  5. I've missed you Sharon. I'm happy the kitties survived the trip, and I really like the color you painted the half bath.

  6. Welcome back to the blogosphere!
    How did you cover those pesky little turtle tiles????

  7. I can't wait to see some pics of your mcm house! Love the rolling chair. Crying cats in the car must have been a tough one. Hope you had earplugs. Happy painting.

  8. Congratulations on the quick sale of your home. So glad you have had some great finds in the driveways of your new hometown and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them!

  9. Cathy asked how I covered up those turtle tiles (actually, one is a turtle, one is a frog, and one is a horse)...went through the very difficult process of printing my chosen motifs inside a 4" square on regular typing paper and sticking them on with curls of tape! I might do something more major later but I kind of like the idea of being able to change them whenever I want.


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

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