Thursday, September 22, 2016

Both Sides of the Hill

“So did you girls bring a pickup?” inquired a gray haired gentleman as we walked up to the first sale last Friday. He had a definite twinkle in his eye. “Because we need to load it up for you. There’s even free stuff.” He pointed to their free box. We demurred on the pickup but dove into the free box (never pass up the free box; usually it's pitiful junk but not always!).

I pulled out a large spoon-shaped object that had been made from a gourd. Judy & KK and I looked at it and all said, “SUCK-ulents!”


See, two or three years ago, Judy and I went to a Ladies Night event at a large local nursery. There were refreshments and a little fashion show and demonstrations of how to create your fall décor (with items you could purchase right there at the nursery, because of course the point was for you to shop, shop, shop). We sat through a couple of the demos, hoping for inspiration, but were not terribly impressed by the originality of hay bales, corn stalks and pumpkins on the front porch. The next lady had all kinds of junk and proceeded to show us how to plant succulents in various objects. You’ve seen them – a shoe or boot, an old hat, a rusty trowel, anything that can hold a bit of dirt. If you want to dally in front of your computer, go to Pinterest and do a subject search for something like ‘creative succulent planter.’ But the thing that had us holding in our laughter was the way the demonstrator said succulents. Heavy emphasis on the first syllable every time: SUCK-ulents. For some reason we thought this was hilarious. Naturally we shared it with KK, so now all three of us go around saying SUCK-ulents any chance we get.

Okay, so we are easily amused. And now I had a gourd spoon, and yes, I have planted it with SUCK-ulents.



It was a fun sale. I spent a whopping fifty cents for a decanter that KK spotted and handed to me. Turns out it's by Dansk.




Looks great with the other decanters.


The real draw was not just the barn full of stuff to look through, but the couple having the sale. As we looked and chatted their story emerged. The property is where the wife grew up; her parents owned that side of the hill, and his parents owned the other side of the hill. They raised cattle for a while back in the Sixties, but Christmas trees had been their business for many years. They were selling boxes of gigantic pine cones and stacks of curious wire forms in several sizes, which turned out to be wreath forms. The wife picked one up to show us how they had constructed wreaths from fresh greenery and pine cones, using some kind of machine that pinched shut the prongs on the metal form when you pressed a lever with your foot.

“My parents used to come over in the evenings and we would all make wreaths,” the husband reminisced. “It was a lot of work, but we just had the best time.”

They were so much fun to talk to that we hated to leave, but finally forced ourselves back to the car to go to the other half dozen sales we had planned. A couple of these turned out to be nonexistent (do you suppose there are people who put ads in Craigslist for a joke?). All of the others had chicken objects for sale.

You know how there’s usually one motif that runs through a day of garaging? It can be anything – baby gates, martini glasses – and today it was chickens. I even bought one.


Isn’t she cute? She was fifty cents, and her plump form reminded me of my pottery duck. They are hanging out together on the deck.


Another sale provided a DVD I was thinking I needed only the other day.


I love it when that happens. Another sale provided fifty cents worth of vintage magazines.


Eye candy galore.


I always love the way they pose the men. The manly men.


Our last stop was at an adorable little cottage in a neighborhood near downtown. I spotted some vintage linens to drool over, and picked up a large lace tablecloth to show KK. “This could be upcycled into a really cool top,” I said.

The cheerful red-haired lady presiding over the sale noticed what I was holding and came to tell us its story. “That was made by a lady I knew back in Wisconsin.” We looked at the piece more closely and I realized that it was indeed handmade, in a technique called Mondano netting. Wish I had taken a picture for you, but it was something like this.


“We were good friends, even though she was much older. She wanted me to marry her son,” the lady went on. Her own son, the owner of the adorable cottage, was amazed. “You never told me that,” he said. She looked demure. I bet she has a few more secrets he doesn’t know. “Her grandson did marry my cousin though.” We moved on to another lace tablecloth. This one looked to be machine made lace, and had a few tears. We got to talking about mending, and I told her how I would repair some of the damage. Just as at the first sale, I was enjoying myself so much I could have stayed all day, and when she mentioned that she lives in an old Craftsman house in the country up near Gervais, it was all I could do not to invite myself over!

Let me close with a couple of completely gratuitous kitten pictures. Our Millie has been growing. (She is draped across my arm as I am trying to type this.) Here she is with the Velveteen Rabbit back in July when we brought her home.


Here she is with VR this week.



And when she is not tipping over houseplants or scaling the fireplace, she is still pretty darned perfect!

16 comments:

  1. Oh, such a sweet (looking) kitty. I love her markings. I bet she keeps you on your toes!

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    1. Definitely on our toes...also occasionally on a ladder to rescue her from some ill-considered piece of foolery!

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  2. What a fun day of sal-ing! I love meeting people like them when I'm at sales or flea mkts. I have a 4 y/o kitty like yours, but her mustache is a little smaller! Her fur is like velvet. Millie's looks like that too.

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    1. There is something about the fur of a black cat - I just love how shiny & soft Millie is.

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  3. I love the little gourd planted with SUCK-ulents!. I also appreciate a bit of silliness among friends that just never gets old no matter how many times you say it! Millie is a little doll. I am sure any plants tipping over were purely accidental. The dog did it!

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    1. I bet you'll be saying it that way from now on! And while Zoe is innocent of plant torture, she did turn out to be the one who knocked over the kitty condo!

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  4. She is so precious. I once had a kitten that liked to scale me, lol. It was painful right through the blue jeans. I always enjoy your yard sale stories, and yes...we seem to see themes in items too, which is very strange to me. Just love the art in vintage magazines too! Manly men, lol.

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    1. We're really lucky that Millie rarely uses her claws on us!

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  5. I always say our little calico and white, Rhubarb, is perfection wrapped up in a little feline body - it looks like Miss Millie is another (stunning) example!
    The decanter is awesome!

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    1. I love them all, but some are a little extra special!

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  6. Late in commenting, have been traveling. Have you heard of a site called Kitler? Cats who have mustaches like Hitler? It sucked an afternoon of my life once and I think your Millie's an almost Kitler.

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    1. Never too late! Isn't it amazing how much time can disappear on some sites? I wonder if there's a site for kitties with milk mustaches. Might have to start one!

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  7. I agree about the themes for a day of yard sales. The funniest one I had was where I kept on seeing breast pumps for sale. I happened to mention this to the lady of one sale and she said "well, I don't have the whole pump,but I do have some parts of one right here".

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

 
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