Saturday, November 14, 2009


I admit it, the joke was on me. It wasn’t last weekend I was destined to find absolutely nada at the myriad of sales I went to—it was today! Yup, not a thing, in spite of a couple of neighborhoods with lots of sales. To top it off, I started on Friday with a biggish estate sale, so I had two days in which to find nothing.

The good news is, I don’t care a bit! Still had a blast, and feel wonderfully frugal since the only money spent was for a bagel and cream cheese. And I had a dollar-off coupon for that.

Yesterday’s estate sale was not as creepy as the one I went to back in May but it shared some of the same vibe. This one too had creepy broken dolls for sale, along with a number of other things that were broken and useless. I perfectly understand one man’s trash etc.—but even as frugal as I am, I still think some things are just trash!

I did have one favorite moment at Friday’s sale. I was looking through things strewn over the back yard when a crashing sound made me look at a shed attached to the house. A young couple had dropped a picture and broken the glass. I could tell from their demeanor they were not going to ‘fess up to the people running the sale. When I went in there to look around, crunching on broken glass was quite unpleasant, so before I left I found one of the sellers and told him there was broken glass all over the floor back there. His response was classic: “What about it?” I told him rather tartly that it was a safety hazard and it should be cleaned up. “Oh,” he said.

Today was a lot better. Hadn’t been at it very long when I pulled up in front of a sale, and as I got out of the car I heard, “I know you! You bought our patio furniture!” Indeed we did, our amazing ten dollar purchase of a love seat, two chairs, cushions and table that we so enjoy on the patio outside our family room. I was pleased to be able to tell her how much we have appreciated it, and that getting it at that price was a big part of the fun.

A few sales later I noticed a couple of other ladies shopping who had a Wheaten terrier with them. Turned out I've been to sales at their house at least twice and taken pictures of their dog. And down the street at another sale I petted a cute little boxer, and it was one I took a picture of about six months ago. Then again, before I left this neighborhood, I got to talking to another lady and she remembered giving me some of her fresh catnip a couple of years ago. “There’s a sprig of it on the driveway,” she said, pointing. “The neighbor cat comes over about four o’clock every day for kitty happy hour. I guess he saw us setting up this morning and figured the joint was open early.” Here she is with her cat Gracie.

I also enjoyed petting sweet Lady, a Samoyed/Husky mix.
I have a soft spot for Samoyed mixes, because we had one for many years. Casey was a Samoyed/pointer cross. She pretty much looked like a polar bear with spots.
Yes, that is me with sweet Casey—thirty-five years ago! This was our “Little Breakfast in the Big Woods” moment.

While I made no purchases this week, I did take a few pictures of things I didn’t buy. I may regret this non-purchase ever so slightly:
Chicken slippers. They were only a buck, and I was a leeeetle bit tempted—but I know that wearing something like this around the house would drive my dogs absolutely nuts.

I thought this box at the estate sale was a hoot. Don’t you love the part where it says ‘Throw dust away the modern way!” And it's delightfully scented—or it was fifty years ago.
Here are a few of the creepy dolls on offer. What kind of person thinks they can get $6 for a doll with demented eyes and no arms? Next to the dolls, this struck me as about the most macabre thing there.
I often give my tongue a bit of a brush when I'm doing my teeth. A sonic tongue cleaner with 7 agitator ribs and 2 scrapers sounds like overkill. Possibly literally. Ig.

Perhaps the thrifting gods just wanted to wean me gently from buying stuff for a bit, since I won't be able to hit any sales for the next two Saturdays. I'm kind of excited about the reason…we’re buying a house!

It's still a few years until I will retire, but we’ve been talking about trying to find a house we want to retire to now while house prices are down. We started looking a couple of years ago. We had already decided we will move back to Oregon. After some looking around we settled on the Salem area. We found an absolutely wonderful agent to work with—her agency only represents buyers, so there’s no conflict of interest like when they are also trying to sell property. (Seriously, if anyone needs an agent in that area let me know. This woman is fabulous.) We looked at a bunch of houses more than a year and a half ago, then something came up and we put the whole project on hold. But there was one house we had really liked, and we kept talking about it regretfully. Imagine my amazement when I found out it was still on the market! There have been some ups and downs to the saga (including the present owners accepting another offer the day before we arrived to look at the place again!) but evidently this house is supposed to be ours. We’re scheduled to sign the closing papers on the 23rd.

I'm determined to spend a few nights there before we have to find tenants to rent it, so I'm heading up to Oregon next week. I'll be on the road the next two Saturdays, so no garaging. But I'll have more pictures of the house when I get back. Meanwhile, here are a few shots of our 1957 Midcentury Modern beauty:

Doesn’t look very big, does it? Looks are deceiving! It's built on a hill as you can see from the back view...
…and it's twice the size of our present house. And—it has a tennis court!
Even weirder than the fact of it still being on the market is that the folks we are buying it from are also librarians. What are the odds of that?

So I'm pretty excited. Keep your fingers crossed that we will find excellent renters!


  1. Oh, I check your blog every day to see what's new, and I am delighted to here you are moving "up my way'. Well, I'm in Bend, but we go to Salem a lot. I actually went to High School there back in the dark ages :-) One thing I have never done is go 'thrifting' in Salem, except at Value Village which is dreadfully overpriced, so if you come across any neat thrift stores while you are there, let me know!

  2. Congrads on the house - now you'll have a great excuse to hit more yard sales - you'll need more things to fill it up since it's much bigger.

  3. I absolutely LOVE that house! Many, many congrats are in order for such an awesome find!

  4. Congratulations on finding the house. You must be very excited. How lovely to have more space to fill with bargin finds!
    The doll with the 'eyes' reminds me of that film 'Chucky' - is that the title? Creepy. The chicken slippers made me laugh, just imagining the reactions of your dogs. xx

  5. The doll in the middle looks like it just gave birth. Your new house is incredible and you will have such fun furnishing it in period style. Good buy!

  6. Your new home is fantastic! Congratulations on it finally becoming yours. And twice the space? That means a whole new area of thrift stores and garage sales and loads of places in your home to put it all. Hooray!

  7. Congrats on the house!!! It really is amazing! I love the great room :)

  8. Your house is incredible. I am so jealous? I just love it and would one day hope for something similar. I'm so happy for you.

  9. Congratulations on the house! It is Huge!! I would have perhaps guessed you a Craftsman girl, but thinking about your house down here, this is perfect.
    Jealous......except for all those steps.
    Wow,impressed by the doggie and the long hair too.
    my best buy last week was $1 for 9 out of twelve of a set of new multi colored sharpies from a house right next to the Octo-complex. I controled myself and didnt ask for gossip, but I could guess perhaps why they might be getting ready to move

  10. OMG! The house of my dreams. I've been visiting your blog for a bit and not commmenting, but this house surely deserves a comment. MORE PICTURES please!

    We just moved to Georgia and while I wanted a mid century home, apparently they don't exist in this area. So sad. I am so jealous of your lovely house.

  11. Thanks for coming by for a visit...I wish you good luck with your new home. Happy Thanksgiving!


  12. Awesome house! I looked at a really cool 1974 time capsule of a house that had a tennis court recently and darn it, the very next house I saw was perfect for us and we close on it the 25th. What a happy house Thanksgiving!

  13. pretty house! i'm enjoying your bloggity so much i nom'd it for a k.blogger award ;)

  14. Your blog is a hoot! Thanks for dropping by Patra's Other Place and leaving a comment on my garage sale bargains. I'll put you on my favorites so I can find you again!

  15. I love all the windows!!! I downsized and that's what I miss the most in my condo type house. That and the space. I know you're going to be so happy when you actually move in.

  16. Thank you for the comment! It was high praise coming from the Queen of Fifty Cents. ;) I'm adding your blog to my reading list, it looks very interesting and I have a soft spot for librarians.


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

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