Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Yard Sale Cure

After we packed up the leftovers from our yard sale a couple of weeks ago, I realized I had done something to my back – and it hurt. (I’m a total pain wimp.) Felt like a pinched nerve by my left shoulder blade. I tried ignoring it (didn’t improve), and had my husband do some Shiatsu massage stuff, and laid on a heating pad. Darned thing hurt all week. By Friday I was contemplating a trip to a chiropracter, but realized I hadn’t tried ice on it. So I put a wet washcloth in the freezer, meaning to lay on it for a while Saturday morning.

Which I forgot to do. But, Saturday afternoon I realized that my back no longer hurt. Now, it might have been that the mere threat of ice was enough to make my back shape up. But I think it was going to a bunch of yard sales that cured me!

No, really. My theory is that the repeated twisting motion of getting in and out of the car all morning eased whatever was out of whack back into place. So the next time you have a pinched nerve, take ten garage sales in the morning, and then let me know if it worked. If we get enough anecdotal evidence, maybe we can get a research grant to really study this. Just imagine, some foundation could give me a whole lot of money to dole out to thrifters with backaches to see if yard sales cure them.

It’s the least I can do for mankind.

Today I succumbed to the lure of some mid-century china. Is this not perfect for a 1957 house in Oregon?


It was a bit of a splurge for me (you know how I get when the price is over fifty cents!) but I took one look at one plate and was a goner.


I didn’t have nearly as much money on me as the price the lady quoted (which I would never have paid anyway), but she immediately said, “Well, how much have you got?” So we explored my billfold and she was okay with what I had, which was half of the price she had said. (Had to go find an ATM afterward so I could keep garaging!) Then she told me it had been her grandmother’s, and that her grandmother had worked at the Vernon Kiln. Which I guess is where this stuff was made, but I’m not completely sure, since this is Winfield china.


She said the employees at the Vernon Kiln got to take turns naming the patterns, though she’s not sure if her grandma ever got to name any. Grandma got complete sets of dishes to give everyone in the family, each grandchild getting a different pattern. This one is called Blue Spruce.

It’s not a complete set, but I’ve never been big on sets of things. This will do us just fine!

As if one vintage china find wasn’t enough, a few sales later I peered into a box of junk and saw this graphic.


Ooooh, cute dog dish, I thought, and pulled it out of the box. And my heart went pitty pat. It’s not a dog dish, it’s a baby food warming dish.



You pour hot water in the spout and it keeps the porcelain bowl warm. The metal handles on the side balance it perfectly in your hand so you can grip the dish and feed baby with the other hand. So there I am on this guy’s driveway, gripping this thing and staring at it as he tells people how much his other things cost. I finally got his attention with “How much?” You know this moment…will the price be low enough that you can justify buying something just because it is adorable? Your heart speeds up just a little, and then he says the magic words:

“Fifty cents.”

I found similar dishes on the Internet, but no others in this pattern. This mark is on the back.


It appears that the company is German, and the only thing I can find that they made were these warming dishes. Talk about a niche market!

I’m almost glad I only found a few other things; how much goodness can one stand in a single morning? Picked up some DVDs


some seeds for the birds I feed at work


and a house o’ blocks…because I love alphabet things.


I’m awfully glad to know that one can be cured BY yard sales – because I sure don’t want to be cured OF them!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Sun Came Out for Mrs. W.

I wasn’t sure I would be able to write a post today. Our cat Mrs. Wilberforce has been quite ill this week, and I was very much afraid we would have to make that hard decision this afternoon to let her go.

But we didn’t!


She didn’t eat all last weekend, so we were off to the vet on Tuesday. Her bloodwork indicated she was in kidney failure, and she was born with only one working kidney, so this is serious stuff. She is a very private and shy cat, and any trip to the vet is torture for her. We decided not to do dialysis (which would mean leaving her there several days) but to bring her home and administer fluids under the skin, plus some other meds. Doesn’t take long for a cat to decide to have nothing to do with you when you’re going through this, and it’s been a rough week.

But they checked her again today, and the vet said the change in her blood levels is “remarkable.” He acted like he could hardly believe it himself – all the readings are now at the high end of normal, instead of off the chart. We’ll still be dripping fluids into her, but only every other day, and don’t have to take her back for a recheck for two weeks. So Mrs. Wilberforce looks like she will be with us a while yet.



It was a damp, gray, chilly morning, and the trip to the vet that I so dreaded was about all I could think about. Garaging is about as good a distraction as you can find though. I wasn’t a very sparkling conversationalist, but did get some really good smooches from Lucy the Lab


and very much enjoyed the guitar performance by this young lady.


Aren’t the fuzzy slippers just the icing on the cake?

A couple of sales I stopped at had really, really nice stuff – and really, really high prices. Oddly enough I found a fifty cent item at the first one that I really like. I thought it was a necklace

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but after I got it home I decided it’s probably a headband.


Not something I need with my hair so short, but I rather like it!

I’ve been watching for some light colored fabric to make a new half slip, since my beloved silk slip has literally been worn to shreds. (Sigh.) Picked up some light cotton curtains to upcycle; didn’t get a picture of them before they went in the laundry, but just think white, cotton, bit of a ruffle at the hem. Should be fine until I get my hands on some white silk one of these days.

Found another silicone spatula for my colorful collection of cooking utensils


a dvd to replace one of our VHS tapes


a whole bunch o’ clip art

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and a cute winter pin. Those silver dangles are little bells that actually ring.


And then I found some mid-century fun. Dug these out of a box at one sale.

IMG_1066 IMG_1064 IMG_1065 Then down the road a piece I noticed some vintage knitting books in a box of stuff. Turned out the whole box was a buck, which netted me a handy dandy sewing machine threader


a baggie of embroidery supplies, and needle threaders so I can actually use them!

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And some really cool knitting magazines from the 40s and 50s.

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This one is full of Manly Men doing Manly Things.

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Many manly things, that include manly props like hammers, ski poles, paint brushes, a globe, ice skates, and (for the sweater with a couple of deer running across the chest) a rifle and a Weimaraner. I tell ya, they just don’t make knitting magazines like they used to. Or chins either. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a chin before that’s as big as the forehead. But it is Manly!

So my Saturday turned out to have vintage goodness, fabulous driveway deals, and Mrs. Wilberforce will be staying with us a while longer. Guess this clip from the Muppet Show is as good a way as any to express what I feel.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

From the other side of the table

The Queen of Fifty Cents had a yard sale today.


My belief that these things are way more fun to go to than to have was reconfirmed.

On the other hand, we got rid of some biggish stuff and quite a bit of little stuff, and made a few bucks into the bargain. The leftovers are boxed up for delivery to the thrift store next week. And my car can be parked inside the garage again, woo hoo!

The morning also alleviated a little personal fear I’ve been harboring. This is somewhat embarrassing to admit. Sometimes after I get home from a morning of garaging, I’m afraid that the chatty persona I adopt has been boring or annoying to people. I mean, it seems like we’re all having a good time, but then I start wondering if I’m deluding myself and people are breathing a sigh of relief as I drive away.

(I never said I was not paranoid!)

By the time our sale ended, I was longing for someone like me to come along and strike up a conversation. It’s not that the folks who came by weren’t nice enough people, but there was just no repartee. And what is a Saturday morning for, if not repartee?

Next week I’ll be back on the trail, and when I ask a seller, “So, are you having fun yet?” and wait to see how they’ll reply, I won’t be worrying about sounding like an idiot. Even if I sound like one, it will be a good natured idiot.

We did actually have a little bit of repartee, but that was with our next door neighbor, Kurt. He slept late, and when he got up he saw we were having a sale. So at about 10 a.m. he dragged a couple of things out of his garage to try to get rid of them. The welding stuff sold within five minutes. The ceiling fan went a bit later, then a bike. Then when a guy asked me if we had an exercise bike to sell (nope, still riding my vintage Schwinn every day) Kurt said he used to have one that he tried to sell several time and never could get a taker. I asked if he still had it and he wasn’t sure, so I told him to go look in his garage. (It’s one of those garages!)

Sure enough, he unearthed the thing, dusted it off, and sold it. I tried to convince him he owed me half the sale price since I made him go look for it, but that didn’t fly! He said later he had put it out at least four times when they had sales and no one ever looked at it. Guess it was waiting for just this buyer!

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