I like to think I’m a ‘low maintenance’ kind of person. And I know that now I’ve said that in public probably any number of people will come out of the woodwork to prove to me I’m no such thing. I can’t decide whether to say to them “go ahead, do your worst” or simply “go away and leave me to my fantasies.” Let’s go with the latter.
Go away and leave me to my fantasies, you naysayers.
One area I know for sure that I’m low-maintenance is…happiness. It takes absurdly little to thrill me. Take my souvenir from our trip to the beach last week. We strolled around Cannon Beach, enjoying the amazing flower beds and hanging containers and ducking into galleries and what I call “stuff stores” – those emporiums of high priced, shiny gifts that people take home on vacation (things that end up in their yard sales a few years later). My SIL and I oohed and ahhed over paintings and sculptures and thises and that’s, and headed back to the house empty handed. So what did I end up taking home? Some bulbs we pulled out of the yard! I love crocosmias, which grow very well in Oregon, and have been wanting some of the golden yellow/orange ones. Of course I could buy them in a nursery – for three bucks or more for each little bulb. But there was a big clump blooming at their beach house, so we pulled up about, oh, seventy bucks worth, wrapped them in newspaper, and I brought them home and planted them. The clump was so thick you couldn’t even tell we’d pulled any, and yup, I was absolutely thrilled to have this great souvenir of our lovely time at the beach.
I was also quite amused to find another souvenir…a week later! No, not something that stowed away in the car. Found this great shirt at a yard sale on Saturday, and if this isn’t a beach souvenir I don’t know what is.
It certainly made me happy to score half a dozen DVDs for five bucks.
I was quite taken with the people at this sale, because they thought I was funny. As I arrived there was conversation about what a nice day it was (it’s been quite hot, but this weekend was perfect) and I mentioned that whenever I have a yard sale, it rains. I could probably rent myself out to conduct yard sales wherever there is a drought.
I tell you, it’s quite a responsibility being in charge of the weather like this.
I don’t even have to buy things for them to make me happy. My first stop on Saturday was near home, and as I often do I asked if they were having fun yet. The woman started laughing and pointed to what she’d written on one of the toys she had for sale.
That was certainly enough to break the ice. She’s a just-retired kindergarten teacher, and we both totally lost it when she told me they had planted a tree in her honor at the school.
A crab apple.
After I left her, there was another sale near home, and I had to pass my house to get there. Waved at my husband as I went by; he was out watering my recently planted crocosmia bulbs. And there was more happiness waiting at the next stop. People usually put their free box near the street, so it’s the first thing you pass when you arrive. Of course I always look, and in this free box was a set of fireplace tools. I grabbed ‘em.
Not to use by my fireplace. These are going to be hose guides in the yard. The only one we’ll have to attack with a hacksaw is the shovel; the other pieces are screwed together. The handles are long enough that they’ll be quite sturdy when pushed into the ground, and the gold handles will show up so we don’t stub our toes on them all the time. Perfect!
That was a lot of happiness for one weekend, and I was perfectly satisfied. But this morning I went out to pick up fresh eggs from this cute teenage boy who raises chickens and llamas.
Don’t know if you can tell from the picture that the lighter eggs are a delicate green. Opening a box of his eggs is a gift, and I don’t know about you, but I just love knowing there is a teenage boy in the world who has pictures of eggs on his cell phone, which he will whip out to show you what the eggs from the new chickens he’s raised will look like. (Deep chocolaty brown. Can’t wait to get my next batch of eggs!)
When I left his place, I stopped at a couple of sales on the way home. The first had a lot of stuff on the drive and in the garage, and I was amazed when one of the ladies told me they’d been selling since Friday morning. (And kind of sorry I didn’t get there then!) But no matter, I found something I’m really excited about on the first table I checked out.
Here’s the deal. I don’t really like fountains and water features with moving water. To me they just sound like a running toilet. I know, I know, everyone else in the world finds a fountain very soothing to listen to. But in about three minutes I start to feel my shoulders going up towards my ears and hear that ominous grinding noise that means I’m gritting my teeth. Wind blowing through treetops or bamboo, bring it on. Very soothing. Running water, not for me, thank you. BUT. Several years ago I was in a garden that had a drip fountain that emitted just a single drop from time to time – plink – and loved it. I saved an article from somewhere on how to construct one, but here’s all the components in a kit. Woo hoo!
There were three ladies having the sale, and one of them mentioned she had just retired from teaching (dang, didn’t remember to ask her if they planted a crab apple in her honor!). Another is still teaching, and in about a minute we discovered that both of them know my niece, who is a middle school science teacher here in town. And in about a minute more they had posted something on Facebook about me being at their sale and my niece had replied to it. It’s a small world…and news travels fast in it!
Made one more stop on the way home, and this family was having fun. A woman about my age, her two grown daughters and one of their husbands, and a four-month-old baby girl. This baby was a pistol. She’s doing everything way ahead of schedule, including teething and rolling over and sitting up. She’s trying really hard to stand on her own, and her grandma and I agreed that in about a week and a half she’ll be demanding the car keys. It was great to see how much they all enjoyed this child.
While I was there I found something for Zoe’s buddy Xanny.
She’s half Shih Tzu, and a bit of a hairy little dog, and when she goes to the groomers it costs way more than her owner’s haircuts. So maybe we can keep Xanny’s eyes visible now without the price tag. Delicately.
I don’t think we’ll be using the little bows on her though.
NOT her style…and we want her to be happy too.