Saturday, August 27, 2016

Summer Roads

I had to go down to the Corvallis area to pick up some plants at a nursery on Thursday. When I saw an ad on Craigslist for an “enormous estate sale” in nearby Albany I figured I might as well go there too. Of course I left the house a bit later than I'd planned and fretted that there would be a zillion people ahead of me for the sale. Fortunately I didn’t fret much, because when I got there (a senior condo community) there were only about six people waiting to go in. 

It was one of those friendly crowds with everyone chatting as we waited. I met two lovely women and we ended up swapping pet stories. One had lost her dog about the same time we lost Edward, and misses hers like I miss him. The other rescues Arabian horses and showed me pictures of the one who seems to think he’s a giraffe, stretching his neck out longer than you’d think would be possible for a horse.

She also tells a story about a dog that arrived at her house one day carrying a sandwich in his mouth. Isn’t that a great image?

Most of the sale was simply not my taste. But I had barely gotten in the door when I saw this cute vintage lamp. 

Looks like a cross between Bambi and Rudolph (covering all their marketing bases I guess). Hmmm, that would work in the children’s literature-themed guest room.


I picked it up to check the price. I liked the price.

It was at least 20 minutes later before I noticed the tail is missing, and by then we had bonded. (Even without a tail you can still have a tale and that’s good enough for me.)

Another room held hundreds of pieces of nice quality clothing. I went for this ankle-length linen dress to upcycle

because it came with a matching ankle-length skirt that I can use to embiggen the dress. I'm not sure why anyone would buy both pieces, but it works out for me.

I thought I was finished and headed out to pay—and found yarn in the garage. Picked up some Irish wool for a buck a skein 

and a little booklet that will be a gift. 

I’m sure the person it's for will guess she’s the recipient, especially when I point out that the pictures place its publication around the first time she taught herself to knit!

From the estate sale I drove to the nursery, then headed home. I decided not to go back to the freeway and headed north on the back roads I've used before.

Detour, said a sign, so I detoured. Drove several miles, then came to another detour. (I think they’re doing work on some railroad crossings in the area.) I detoured again. The back roads became really back roads (still good paved roads, but I had no idea where I was). 

My GPS said turn here, then turn there, so I did—and realized she was guiding me to the ferry over the Willamette River. Trouble was, the river is low this time of year and the ferry is closed. I turned into someone’s driveway and found the setting in the GPS to ‘avoid ferries’. She recalculated another route. Whew! Took a while to get home, but it was a beautiful drive.

I don’t get lost. I just take the scenic route!

Friday morning KK and I headed out early for another estate sale, one that promised art supplies. Again there were only a few people in line ahead of us. But one of them happened to be a large, rather nasty man who actually started a fight with another guy at KK’s own garage sale a while back. She thought she might have to call the cops that time. I got annoyed at him once we were inside this sale because even though the place was not crowded, he bumped me aside a couple of times lest I get to something before he could. Sheesh. 

But don’t worry, I'll get my revenge: I'll use him as a character in one of my books and give him an unpleasant fate. Ha, take that!

KK did score some art supplies and an original oil painting, and I picked up a bundle of vintage dish cloths. There are two kitty embroideries, 

two days-of-the-week, 

and this curiosity. 

I was semi-astounded when I undid the bundle, because my last house was in Santa Ana and I'd never heard of this air base. Turns out it existed from about 1941 to 1946, and the land now includes John Wayne Airport and the county fairgrounds. So this is a pretty old towel.

They are all in an oxy soak now!

We went to a few more sales but nothing was tempting enough to buy. (KK found the bracelet of golden bees for fifty cents before I saw it!) We paused to admire a wonderful picket fence, 

and had a good laugh over the straightforward name of this product.

When we finished, there were no detours to keep us from our favorite Thai restaurant for lunch!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jog

Our trip to New Mexico and beyond was fabulous! Met lots of nice people (some with two feet, some with four)

saw amazing scenery,

and thoroughly enjoyed all the eye candy in Santa Fe – art of all kinds, 

jewelry, even clothing. I absolutely fell in love with this shirt decorated with poppies.

It’s only $1140 (not a typo – eleven hundred forty!). What do you think, should I have bought it for a souvenir? That’s almost as much as we paid to do the entire trip!

I made several new friends.

Hmmm, I wonder if I have some frog DNA...
One of the highlights of our time in southern Utah was an off-road tour via Jeep to a slot canyon. We could hardly believe the beauty and stillness.

We saw faces in the rocks everywhere we went.
We got back to Marcia’s home with enough time to do some laundry and repack. Saturday morning we headed toward the airport in plenty of time to get in some garaging back in my old stomping grounds. I had to be really restrained since I was a thousand miles from home and my suitcase was stuffed. But I managed to fit in a pair of earrings 

and three gauzy rayon jackets from the 80s. If I hadn’t known they were vintage by the labels I might have thought they were new, since this style is currently popular again. One of them even has poppies! 

At two dollars each, these are probably a better souvenir than the shirt in Santa Fe…and I won't be afraid to wear them!

While I was away, KK had a good day at the Goodwill bins. She presented me with this shirt when we had breakfast Monday morning. (All the ladies around us in the restaurant wanted it!)

Kind of reminds me of someone.

When I figure out how i want to reuse the fabric, I’ll have to embroider Millie’s mustache on one of the faces.

Speaking of Millie, she is starting college on Wednesday. I told you she was smart, yes? Four months old and in college already! (Actually, she’s participating in this research project.) I just hope she doesn’t go bragging about it to Zoë. It might hurt Zozo’s feelings to know that she had to start in puppy kindergarten and Millie is going to straight to the university!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Travel Interim

Last weekend I was at the beach, where there was no garaging. Next weekend I'll be in Santa Fe, NM with a friend, hoping to find a few yard sales among the gallery- and restaurant-hopping (but who knows). So I was awfully glad to spend a happy couple of hours this weekend in my native habitat, shopping on driveways. 

I almost didn’t go out, thinking I had too much to do, but I'm so glad I did because I found one of those ‘holy grail’ items you just never see on a driveway.

The first sale was on Thursday. I was on my way to the grocery store and noticed a sign pointing into one of my favorite midcentury neighborhoods. I turned, wound down a couple of curving streets, and parked at the end of a private road. From the first table I picked this up.

We have five guest beds, so another twin sheet is always welcome! I couldn’t resist this 1943 book.

These martini ornaments were too cute to leave behind.

A couple of silk scarves called to me. At a quarter each I had to heed the call.

So much more fun (and less expensive!) than anything I found at the grocery store!

Friday morning I made a short list of addresses and headed out. The first sale was a fund raiser for a family with a premature baby who is in NICU up in Portland. They had many donations from friends and family so it was quite a sale, with amazing prices. (I think they had been given so much stuff that the goal was as much to move it all out as to make money!) I quickly scooped up some sewing notions.

A quilter friend had donated pieces of fabric, and at five for a dollar I was happy to forage. I brought home nice sized pieces of this lovely floral

and a ‘hugs & kisses’ print

I think these two have to be coordinated prints.

And there’s a full yard of this one!

The clothing was mostly in tubs. I pulled out a linen sweater for a quarter, and a silk one for fifty cents.

This fabric of this never-worn linen shirt is just about heavy enough to count as a jacket.

I like the price I paid so much more than the original!

These zinnia seeds were packed for 2012 so who knows if they will sprout next summer (probably too late to try them this year). But I was willing to gamble a quarter.

My contribution wasn’t much, but every little it helps. More cars were arriving as I left. I hope they sold everything and made a lot!

At another sale, my only buy was half a dozen blooming lobelia plants for a dollar. The lady selling them plants hundreds of flowering plants in her greenhouse each spring and fills her own large beds and apparently half the neighborhood as well. She had a few flats left, and I have a few bare spots in my pots where the lobelia had petered out. We had a nice chat about plant lust and how hard they are to resist.

There was one more sale where I bought something. As I walked up I saw a folded wool blanket, cream with colorful strips. I picked it up (weighs a ton!) and started checking the corners for a label, figuring this was probably another JC Penney piece like I have on one of the guest beds downstairs. I stopped breathing when I spotted this.

OMG, a real Hudson’s Bay blanket. It’s one of those things you just never see on driveways; I've spotted a handful over the years at estate sales but they were always very expensive. New ones of the size I found retail for close to $500, and even used they go for up to $350 or so. And this one?

Ten smackeroos.

So yes, it's most likely going on eBay in the fall. If I can get Zoë to move off of it!
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