Sunday, March 22, 2009


The fun started with the yard sale ads on Craigslist. One was dubbed the “Can’t Stand My Neighbor Garage Sale” and the ad encouraged you to “come and see how my neighbor continuously takes pictures as I have my huge garage sale.” Another billed itself as the “Garage Sale of the Year” and promised both a bounce house for the kids and hundreds of adult videos “for any fetish.” Now, there’s an appealing combo! Gosh, somehow we managed to miss both those sales, wonder how that happened…

I had companionship on Saturday—my friends Marcia and Jan. Jan had asked if she could apprentice herself to me for a morning; she’s stopped at sales before but said she’d never gone garaging on purpose. She’s planning to do a sale for her parents this summer to help them declutter, so she was doing market research.

We were greeted at our first stop by this handsome tiger, ready to hop onto a bike or skateboard.

The lady having the sale didn’t seem to be quite so ready. At least twice we picked up sweaters and when we asked the price, she said she didn’t really want to sell that and took it away. Of course she also told me she had worked until 3:30 in the morning, then come home and set up for their sale. Probably the lack of sleep talking.

Next we headed for the first neighborhood sale of the year, where we met this guy.
He said he just loves going to sales, so his family made him this shirt for Christmas. He lives in Long Beach (about 20 miles away) but thinks the sales are better where we are, so he comes down each weekend. But he always gets lost. I get lost all the time too, but these days I don’t say I'm lost, I claim to be taking a mini vacation.

Our favorite overheard conversation was at the sale where the guy was trying to move some old Avon hair tonic. Bottle was shaped like a dune buggy, and as we walked up he was taking off the cap to demonstrate that the contents were still good. Well, perhaps not good—but certainly potent! As soon as the lid was off that smell hit us like a brick, and we were several feet away. His price was a dollar, and I offered him a dollar not to take the cap off again. He was trying to sell it to a man who had a boy about twelve years old with him, and we heard the kid ask his dad what it was. “It's hair tonic,” dad answered.

“What’s hair tonic?” asked the boy.

We all agreed that some of this week’s sales were just “too proud of their stuff” as Marcia says, with prices higher than any of us thought reasonable. But there were enough real bargains to make us all happy. Jan’s finds included fresh picked avocadoes and brand new artist designed linens. Marcia walked away with a wedding gift food processor that had never been used and a wonderful hand woven wrap, among other goodies.

I spent $12 for:

Door prizes for the next meeting with my children’s librarians, some baseball items for our Summer Reading Program

and an unusual hat.
A vintage mohair sweater I hope to resell

Fun bowl to replace the one I keep at work that I broke recently, boo hoo
Two felted wool baskets
A couple of papercraft tools
A caftanish garment to wear over my bathing suit this summer
Satin brocade cloth with tasseled corners. Marcia said it would make a good Christmas tree skirt, so that’s what I'm planning for it. I figure eight months to cut a slit, hem the edges and add a tie or two is about right.

This was originally a candle holder, but my husband has repurposed it as his bathroom glass.

Here’s my big ticket (three bucks!) gamble for the week: a mosquito inhibitor. It uses a pack of scented stuff that supposedly keeps the mosquitoes from being able to find you, and the guy said it keeps flies away as well. We had such a fly problem last year (and mosquitoes arrive in droves to feast upon me, while totally ignoring my husband) that I thought I'd give it a try. I want to be able to get my ten-bucks-worth of enjoyment from the patio furniture we bought last week!

And lastly, four brand new mouth blown glasses.
I love the little bubbles in the glass (the name on the tag is Ruby Fizz)
and I really love getting them at a 95% discount from the store price!

My favorite item that I didn’t buy this week:


  1. Marcia and Jan, but no Cindy? ;o)
    Love the tent - that's too funny!

  2. Another fun weekend!
    I like sweater (would that felt?)

  3. Those Craigslist ads are hilarious! The one about the neighbor reminds me of my mom: she has garage sales a couple times a year, and an ongoing passive-aggressive feud with her neighbor. He thinks she runs a "rummage sale" out of her garage constantly.

    That mohair sweater is adorable! Good finds, as usual. :)

  4. I know what you mean about the mosquitoes! They love me but barely touch my husband. I guess we both are just super sweet :) When we were on our honeymoon in the Virgin Islands, I had about 40 mosquito bites. I seriously looked like I had chicken pox all over my legs. It was absolutely disgusting. I'm sure all the guys on the beach found my legs super sexy!

  5. Oh, I hate when people comment like this on my blog, but I'm gonna do it.

    Please be careful drinking out of the candle holder. A lot of those type of things have high lead content. I'm sure you know this, but the nurse in me just can't keep my mouth shut. (I have a cousin who was poisoned using a decorative bowl for food!)

    I think there's a way to test such things for safety. You probably know this too, being the Queen and all.

    I'm eternally jealous. Sales will start soon here in Minnesota. Until then, I'm an eternal thrifter!

  6. Okay.

    It's official.

    I'm going to HAVE To start going to garage sales this summer.

    The thrift stores are getting thinned out in my area.

    You always find the coolest stuff!

  7. How could you possibly stay away from those craigslist ads???!

  8. You showed way more restraint than I would have! I totally would have gone and taken a picture full of garage sale porn. Ha ha...

    That tent is hilarious, and so is that hat. I totally would put that hat in with the summer reading program booty. If I were 9 I would love it...

  9. Must've been the weekend to take back sweaters... I had a chunky brown cardigan removed from my possesion as well!

    Great haul. Pretty red bubble glasses.

  10. LOL -- the "recession-proof" house -- ain't that the truth anymore!

    Those Ruby Fizz glasses are so pretty.

    Please, if that mosquito repeller works, let us know!!!

  11. Hey, thanks for the visit to my blog. I love my sofa too...but it will soon be on it's way to a new home. Your blog is great! Great to see other's finds. Love the tent! LOL about the neighbor. We have a house here that every weekend there is a sale...what the heck are they even selling after all these weeks??

  12. It has never occurred to me to buy door prizes at thrift stores or yard sales. I feel so....DUH!!!

  13. I love the "hat". Just don't wear it in the bush during hunting season whatever you do!
    I have to agree with Elizabeth's comment about drinking from the ex-candle holder. Beware if you can't confirm where and when it was made.
    Anyway, as usual I really enjoyed my visit to your blog.
    Have a great weekend.

  14. My hubby laughed so hard at the CL ads that he cried. We LOVE yard sales. During the summer I rarely even buy kids clothes at the CONSIGNMENT shops because compared to yard sales they are a rip off! LOL

    Thanks for the comment over on my blog! I can't wait to finish my kid's new room. The duvet is going to the monogrammer tomorrow!


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

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