Saturday, January 31, 2009


Our weather must have been ashamed of itself for raining on my parade last weekend. Not only did it clear up but now it's quite warm. (I know those of you like Shara of the Monkeybox blog who have just survived a huge ice storm probably want to charter a plane to come and clobber me for saying that. But just charter the plane and then we’ll all go garaging together, okay?) I was able to get away from work early on Friday, so I found a couple of sales on Craigslist to check out on my way home. Got good stuff at both. Got more good stuff this morning. We’re simple folk here…life is good when there are garage sales!

Had fun chatting with the couple having the first sale yesterday. They are the only people I have ever met who knew about the great bed and breakfast deal you can get from Stash tea. For three proofs of purchase and $3.95 you get a coupon for a free night at a B&B (you buy one night, second is free). We have stayed at a number of wonderful places—used to take mini vacations to the Sonoma County wine country—and I'm one UPC short of sending off for the coupon this year. Can't remember how it came up in their garage, but soon we were comparing the places we’ve stayed. You would have thought we were the oldest of friends. The husband said something about being a Mickey Mouse collector, and the other woman shopping at the time said her husband is a fireman at Disneyland. Now, I get to tell people that my husband is a storyteller (yes, the man lies for a living!), but next to that, being able to claim he’s a fireman at Disneyland would be the coolest.

The next sale was at a house being extensively renovated; my impression was the older gent had moved into senior housing, and his son was down from Seattle to work on the house. They seemed rather harried, and I'm not sure why anyone would hold a sale at the same time they were renovating, but they were selling tools so maybe the renovating was finished. I bought 8 CDs from them, mostly for my husband. He helped me with a big work project this week, and some Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk were just the right thank-you. (What I really want to know is why I didn’t get to have a cool name like Thelonious?)

I was a bit miffed by the number of signs that led nowhere this morning. I suspect that people put up their signs the night before, then you follow them early in the day, and the sale is nowhere to be found. (And it wasn’t that early either, well after 7:00.) Grrrr! I also ran across three or four sellers who were not clear about two of the basic tenets of yard sales: 1) your purpose is to actually sell your stuff and get it out of your house, and 2) bargaining with your customers is not a bad thing. I heard one lady announce staunchly when someone offered her less than her asking price, “One thing about me, I never change my price.” She sounded so darned proud of herself. I left before I could be tempted to point out that she might sell more if she asked a little more than she expected to get, and then made the customer happy by coming down. Of course, the fact that she had nothing for sale that I was interested in also helped speed me on my way!

Another lady was rock solid on her prices, but she at least was entertaining. She was sitting in her garage with another couple, and the husband was a wise cracker. He made some smart remark as he got up from his chair to go into the house for something, and his wife commented that she was going to smack him pretty soon. The rock solid lady said drily, “Well, don’t hold back on my account.” I didn’t buy anything there either, but the laugh was free.

Met up with my Saturday morning friend Linda at the first place I bought anything. We found something neither of us had ever seen on a driveway before:

There seemed to be about six people having the sale, and no one knew prices for anything. Linda found a pair of overalls for her daughter, and a whole chorus began as one person asked another how much the clothing was. The question finally bounced to the teenage boy in the garage, who headed inside to ask yet another person. I told Linda I'd encountered the same thing at another sale recently, and someone had finally said really loud, “You’ll have to ask mom about that, and she’s in the bathroom.” You could roll your eyes and say, “Kids!” but those kids were in their thirties!

I did have to roll my eyes at another sale. The lady next to me looking at stuff told the seller that the box of hanging files he was selling had a bunch of personal files still in them that he should probably remove. He went and looked and sure enough, all kinds of stuff were there. And how did he thank her for her kindness in helping protect him from identity thieves? She had picked out several things to buy, asked him for the price, and he picked up a dish from her pile and said he didn’t really want to sell that.


I spent $21 on my two day yard sale spree. Zowie. But hey, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home, and one thing I saw in the produce aisle made me very happy. Remember back in September when we were given a whole lot of kumquats from some nice folks who had a yard sale? Wish we could have weighed what they gave us to multiply by this!
And just look at what I found this weekend!

The 8 CDs (one is a 2-CD set, so 9 in all) account for almost half. But I looked them up to see what I would have spent buying them new from Amazon: $105 without tax or shipping. I win!

From the bed & breakfast couple, I got these magnets to use at work (we clip notes to our office door frames with them) and a spiffy and unusual spoon rest.

Finally found a biggish mug that I like, and two dozen tea bags to go with it.

A denim visor to shade my eyes in the car.

A very heavy red wrought iron candle holder thingie. I'm betting it could creatively hold something else, and will let you know what I come up with!

At the same sale I splurged a dollar on this tealight chandelier. It seems to want to be made more wonderful; I'm open to suggestions.

Looks good on my patio, don’t you think?

I'm hoping to sell this absolutely gorgeous 100% alpaca yarn, but if it doesn’t go I'll be happy just petting it. Very soft.

Some of you may remember a post last summer where I bought a lawnmower; I almost missed the sign and had to turn around and go back. Same thing happened at the same corner today—saw the sign at the last second. This sale was about a block from the lawnmower folks, an older couple who were selling what was left in the house after their aunt and uncle moved to senior housing. Apparently they’d been at it all week and just wanted to be done with it; prices are marked, they said, and everything’s at least half off. Half off at a garage sale is good for me! Didn’t think I was going to find anything since it was so picked over, but there it was in the back of the garage.
My new vintage red rocking chair. Picked a pile of paper out of it and sat down, and I could tell immediately that my butt had come home. It's not perfect—there’s a crack in the seat—but in spite of that it's rock solid.

Very heavy. I really wonder what the wood is; it's too bad stripping paint is such a horrible job.
I do love the color. Needs cleaning and perhaps some embellishing. Don’t you think it has a sort of Mary Engelbreit vibe? And I didn’t pay the $10 sticker price or even half—they seemed perfectly happy with the three bucks I offered.

Predictably my husband took one look at it when I got home and said, “Where are you going to put it?” (He’s wonderful, but he’s not perfect.) Don’t know where for sure yet, but it will look great wherever I want my butt to be!


  1. Hey! The sun shown here in Michigan all day! Still below freezing though.

    LOVE the chair.

  2. I was out early this AM and we found a few things. No garage sales in the winter here!! and Yes I would love to go to garage sales with you, where it's Warm and Sunny!!
    Great deal on the red chair and I'll be back to visit with you. It's fun sharing our stories of great deals.

  3. I'd love to hear when/where you're selling that yarn because it looks wonderful. I look forward to reading your blog every week (I discovered it about a month ago)...thanks for sharing your love of garaging :)

  4. It was almost like a summer day here, which is surprising after the week we had - thanks for the mention! I'd fly out to go junkiing with you anytime. ;O) LOVE THAT CHAIR!

  5. Wow, what great finds! I love garage saling.

    My sister and I did the mixes last weekend. This weekend I cranked out the sewing projects.

  6. THANK YOU for letting us 'cold-climaters' live vicarously through your saling!!!

  7. Great finds! I love the chair. I would just glue and clamp it to fix the crack--as a kid, I got stuck, wearing shorts, in a crack just like that, OW!

    Great finds. We're having a heat wave here in Minnesota--yesterday it was 45, today 30!

    I'm so jealous that you have sales to go to.

    Keep up the good work. Your blog is fantastic.

  8. Mornin' from Atlanta,
    Ohhhhh girl you did good!

    Love the red rocker. Would go perfect in my kitchen which just had all the cupboards painted red.

    Miss Lila in Atlanta

  9. Yes, I think that's a WONDERFUL idea. I know that several bloggers have these blogger events they put together. Wow, we could all meet up and go yard saling together and then go to Disneyland. What fun!! I'll start saving! OK when would be good for you gals??

    Miss Lila in Atlanta

  10. What a fabulous haul: especially the wool :-)

  11. The rocking chair is a real BEAUT! I picture it in a Jan Brett book....

  12. I see that I am not the only thrift store junkie in blogland;)
    We have no garage sales around here, too cold and the wet snow doesn't help. Luckily we have enough indoor places to keep me busy.


  13. Your red rocker may be my favorite purchase yet! Wow-ee!

    So, I'm not the only one who gets folks who don't actually want to SELL their items at a yard sale! Some just want to charge retail prices and be angry when you try to counter-offer. There's always the next sale, right? :)

  14. LOVE that rocking chair. Awesome score.

    I think that spoon rest is a Nigella Lawson one from Anthropologie.

  15. First of all, wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog often, but that I am bad about leaving comments. Trying to get better about that.

    I live vicariously through you on the yard sales. I'm a thrift store shopper, but just don't seem to find the time for yard sales and when I do try to go to some can't find any good ones. So I'll continue my thrift store shopping where I do have decent luck and enjoy your yard sale finds and stories.

    Love the rocker. It looks pretty old from the way the seat is made, though I'm not an expert. As for the hanging votive holder, you could make it more like a wind chime with hanging beads or something. It's pretty like it is.


  16. From one queen to another: Love the pink, love the chair! It's perfect slightly distressed, as is. I too share the chair obsession ... keep joking to myself if I dig up any more at the thrift store I'll have to start hanging them from the ceiling!!

  17. I came over to say hi, since you came to visit me. Thanks for the comment. The bunnykins mugs are so cute, I might gift them when babies are born with something hand knitted. Maybe. I have an idea for your tea light chandelier thingy. I work in a store that has a tea light chandelier with old spoons and forks hanging off of it. It gets lots of admirers, but is pricey. You could thrift some cheap silverware and somehow (don't know how) drill holes and hang with wire. It would be cute!


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

Pin It button on image hover