Saturday, July 24, 2010


I bought a volcano today.

I know, that sounds like I fell for one of those “we have a bridge we’d like to sell you” scams. But no. My volcano came from a sale where a cute little girl was waving a “Yard Sale Here!” sign around to get folks to pull over. How could I resist. Nor could I resist my volcano.
It's a lamp, with a flickering red LED light in the top, and the little plastic bubble thingies erupt out of the mouth of the volcano. Unfortunately not a terribly active volcano. The lava bubbles come up in a sporadic, desultory manner. And it needs some fresh batteries. But it will be fun on some children’s librarian’s desk.

And I get to claim I bought a volcano.

Speaking of librarians’ desks, this bubble lamp I bought a few months ago has been a huge hit.
The angel fish just hangs out at the bottom, while the others race up and down, but the children’s librarian who won it tells everyone it's getting a spa treatment or taking a nap.

I started off at a neighborhood sale in a townhome community. Only a few sales and most were way overpriced. I asked at one how much they wanted for a glass terrarium. “Three dollars,” said the elderly mother in a raspy smoker’s voice. “Five dollars,” said her middle aged daughter at the same time, pitching her voice somewhat louder. She went on to tell me about which very exclusive store in Newport Beach it had come from. It might well have been worth five bucks to someone (though not to me), but I just smiled and bit my tongue and did not say, this is not an exclusive store, this is a garage.

These kids were having a good time trying on hats.

Smart kids too—they were buying hats at the sale where stuff was a quarter, not five bucks.

Not long after this I met up with my friend Linda, who was out garaging for the first time since having knee surgery. She’s doing great, and we talked so long that another shopper assumed we lived there and started asking us prices. Then another lady walked by with her dog.
This is Brio. She’s a Bearded Collie. Beardie owners are always impressed when you know what kind of dog it is. Brio is twelve, a former agility champ, a therapy dog, and a dedicated avocado thief. In fact she had some green stuff on her face that we thought was avocado, but turned out to be a leaf. Brio is moving to Texas soon. Lucky Texas!

Also met Dante, a chocolate lab. He’s having his first birthday next week.

I spent a whopping three bucks today. Besides the volcano, I got a CD for the hubs
and a cute snowman candle holder for a colleague who loves snowmen

and a Lego calendar thingie to give away.
Linda got the deal of the day though, and she didn’t even see it. I spotted it sitting on a couch. A little negotiating on price and it was hers.
She’s an elementary school music teacher and has all the kids do the lion dance in January. They will be thrilled to have a real lion-dance mask thingie. And I'm sure the lion is glad to have a good home.


  1. What a find the mask was!
    Love Dante - what a handsome dog.
    M is a Bruce Springsteen fan, too. Years ago he got tickets to one of his concerts. Being the kind of person he is, M just folded them in half and threw them on the dresser in the hall. I found them when dusting, gave them a quick glance and thought they were an old golf score card. I threw them away. He took it quite well, considering... xx

  2. I love following your blog. Isn't it fun buying to give joy to others? I think that is even better than finding a treasure for yourself. Keep up the good work.

  3. I used to be a music teacher in an elementary school and I think that mask was quite a find for her. I can just imagine the looks on the kids' faces! Kelly

  4. Great finds! The mask is going to be a huge hit at school, the kids are going to LOVE it! The light, volcano, and Lego calendar would be great in classrooms as well! Thanks for sharing!

  5. You bought a Volcano!! What's next a waterfall? Lol.
    Looks like you had a great time. Enjoy your week!

  6. So how much does a lion thingie head mask go for? It looks to be priceless, that is for both the teacher and her students.

  7. Oh...I am still on my self imposed shopping hiatus...starting to have withdrawal symptoms.

  8. Just discovered this blog and going thru archives...and, I JUST bought a lion dance mask myself!!! (yesterday) I was at Goodwill and it happened to be amongst the books. It's missing the nose pom-poms, and it needs a little sewing on the attached tail, but just a little TLC and it'll be great! I don't know yet what I'll use it for besides home decor. I did some lion dancing years ago in Hong Kong =D although this was a child's size. How much was your friend's? I got it for $8 at Goodwill.


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

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