Sunday, January 11, 2009


Ahh, the first trip of 2009 in search of yard sales. Beautiful warm, sunny day, though windy. (Sorry, not trying to rub it in for those of you in colder climes!) And if the very first sale of the year is an omen of what is to come, I'm going to have to get more serious about my goal to be more circumspect in what I buy this year. Here’s what it looked like—part of it!

That’s just the stuff that was on the patio; there was also the yard and driveway. Lots of stuff was in multiples and much appeared unused. I asked the young woman running the sale if they had a party business or something. She said no, her mother had just loved to throw parties, there were twelve children in the family so there was always an excuse to celebrate something. And when her mom found something that she liked, she’d buy lots of them to share with the family. “Mom passed away a couple of years ago,” she told me, “and there’s so much stuff in there that when we come to visit Dad, we can barely fit in the house!” I tried to help her out by buying perhaps more than I should have, but dang, the prices were right! For instance, I got these four enameled steel tubs, some of which were never used, for a quarter apiece.

My first thought was to plant stuff in them (it always is) but I did so well buying pots last year that I don’t really need them. But they’ll be great for my children’s librarians; can’t you see them piled with puppets or reading prizes?

Later in the morning I thought I'd topped the family with twelve kids. I stopped at a sale where I recognized the dog (and the people looked vaguely familiar too). The parents are moving to Florida soon and some of the offspring are moving into their house. The daughter I was talking to said something about being the youngest of 26. What! You’re the youngest of 26? No, no, the youngest AT 26. Whew!

At one stop I had to park a bit further away because there was a moving van in front of the house having the sale. Two young men were unloading furniture, which was being set up to sell. The gray haired gent (who was probably about my age!) in charge was trying to glue an old rocker back together that had come partially unstuck. He had trouble getting the pieces to slide together so I helped hold things and we chatted. He said his son and daughter in law are moving in with him for about six months because they unexpectedly sold their house. I couldn’t help wondering how you sell a house unexpectedly; seems like something you’d pretty much have to be aware of ahead of time. But he went on to say that they’d had their house on the market for months and had given up on ever selling it, when suddenly someone made an offer. So he’s taking them and his two year old granddaughter in while they look for another house. He was very excited about having the granddaughter around; I bet they’ll have a good time together.

Another sale was pretty sparse by the time I reached it, but I picked up a small leather-covered box, about six inches long, and when I opened it saw that it's the inner box for a Rolex watch.

Beautifully made. The young man selling said fifty cents, and I said sure. Then he said that it had belonged to his good friend who died recently, and he started telling me all about this guy. You may have read about him in the paper. His name was Nick Scandone, and he won a gold medal for sailing in the Paralympics in Beijing last year. He had ALS, and his sailing partner was a woman who is a paraplegic. He also was named the U.S. Sailing/Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 2005, which I suppose is where my box came from. A couple of other people at the sale were neighbors and they all talked about what a great guy Nick was. His friend having the sale said that Nick had persevered and won his gold medal, and at the end he had gotten himself out of the hospital so that he could die in peace at home.

I spent a total of $7.50 this Saturday, mostly at that first sale. Along with the tubs, I came home with:

Some items for our baseball-themed Summer Reading Program
A red mesh colander
Some silly socks that yes, I will be wearing. Probably not to work though. After all, they go so well with the colander!
Two unopened packages of these spiffy rose lights. Can't you see them strewn through some plants in my garden? I may have to give a summer party this year to show them off! Hmmm, I saw replacement bulbs at the 99 Cent Store, maybe I should get some colored bulbs for them…

This coat rack was admittedly an impulse buy. Two of the lower hooks are broken but I'm hoping my husband has some in his hardware stash. But don’t you think it's cute?

Here’s another impulsive purchase, but hey, it was a buck, and again, awfully cute.

I'm thinking of taking down the hand-towel bar in my periwinkle blue bathroom and putting this up in its place. Towel & hairdryer from the two hangers, something decorative above. I'll keep you posted.

ALL of that (plus a green glass plate, maybe Depression glass, that I couldn’t get a good picture of) came from the first sale, for a total of $5. And my hands were so full when I went to pay that the woman asked if I'd like a box. Sure, I said, and she emptied out this 18 gallon tub and gave it to me! I told her I was thrilled to have it, and she said they have dozens. I think she was thrilled to have me take it!

The other $2.50 went for the Rolex box, and this Liz Claiborne sweater, which is destined for felting. I think it has a felted-bag feel to it. We’ll see what happens.
Also, got this cute bowl. I would so much rather eat from china that amuses me!
And lastly, from the youngest of/at 26, this kinetic frog thingie.

At the very last sale of the morning, one of the ladies was holding a baseball glove and laughing when I walked up. “Poor Amy,” she said, “she was the youngest kid and by the time she got this glove it had everyone else’s name crossed out.” Let me take a picture for my blog, I said, so she scrambled through several gloves to find that one.
Then she said, “Oh look, this was mine. What in the world was I thinking of when I wrote this on my ball glove?”


  1. beautiful weekend for shopping!
    I really like the coat hanger and the white shelf thing!
    did you see about that one house at the beach where they garage-saled the whole place---light fixtures, roof tiles, etc--- for charity. creative demolition!

  2. You did good!
    Wish I could go with you sometime.
    Still no GArage sales down here in GEorgia, too rainy and cold. Can't wait till Sppring tho.
    Keep up the good work.

    Miss Lila in Atlanta

  3. Love the red & white striped socks. You got some great deals - nice start to 2009 garaging!

  4. You're a lucky girl to come across that first garage sale. WOW! I had to enlarge the pic to see if I missed out on anything I would have wanted. It's a sickness I tell ya! ;o) You got some really neat stuff. The doorknob peg rack is too cool & I love the white shelf you're putting in your bathroom.

  5. Hmm.

    I can just imagine my daughter holding a huge garage sale after my death.

    Everything 25 cents, I'm sure.

    Makes me want to live longer.

    The weather was too nasty here in West Michigan for me to even make it to my two favorite thrift stores.

    Oh, we love our snow here...

  6. My goodness, you are among the more fortunate. We don't have yard/garage sales until mid-March, maybe later. But we do have good old Goodwill and thrift stores but they don't haggle prices. Do you auction? I love the thrill of the bidding.....

  7. My kids LOVED the video of the perpetual frog thingie (I believe that is the technical term, by the way)! We watched it about half a dozen times until they started fighting over who was going to push the button to make it play again :)

    I discovered your blog recently and I love it...thanks for sharing your yard sailing adventures (especially for those of us who must live vicariously through you until the warmer weather arrives).

  8. Wonderful finds! It is so cold here in No. Va. right now, I can only dream about a yard sale!

  9. wow you got some really good stuff there...I love rolex box, it's really beautiful.
    I must admit I'm not so sure what felting IS, but it sounds most interesting, I'll have to check back to see if you do.

  10. I love that Liz Claiborne sweater. Do share what you make out of it! :D


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

Pin It button on image hover