Saturday, September 25, 2010


If you’re here to find out what treasures I purchased on the driveways of the OC today, we can get that over with really fast.IMG_9381Yup, that’s it. Two DVDs at a buck apiece. But of course one does not know that this will be the only score of the day until you’re back home again. That’s the gambling aspect of garaging—each quarter that goes into the slot machine just might be the one that hits the jackpot; each yard sale you walk up to might be the one where you’ll find your heart’s desire for fifty cents.

I did actually see some other items that might have tempted me had the prices been more in line with my values. (Yeah, we’re back to twenty-five cent cashmere sweaters as my personal monetary unit.) One place had a couple of acorn items; for the oversized acorn holding a too-smelly candle she wanted eight dollars. Not from the Queen of Fifty Cents, my dear. That was part of a neighborhood sale in a condo community. They must have had a committee setting their prices—all way too high. I finally stumbled upon a lady who had fifty cents marked on most of her stuff, and actually thanked her for realizing this was a yard sale, not a spendy boutique. She giggled and said she’d had a lot things marked a dime or a quarter and they’d all sold. We both rolled our eyes at her neighbors’ still well-stocked driveways.

Hmmm, I just had an idea. I could write and print up a tract about the purpose of a garage sale (i.e. to get rid of stuff) and the proper way to price your used goods (very low) and hand these out to people with overpriced sales. This could be the single most obnoxious thing I’ve ever thought of.

Good thing it’s more work than I really want to do.

My first stop was near home, where a middle age couple and their teen daughter had a sale that looked like a place I’d find something great. Turned out there was nothing I needed, but the wife and I had a fun conversation about being early risers. She’s another who wakes when the little hand is still on 4, and we agreed that sleeping in is when we make it to 6 a.m. And why is it, we wondered, that morning people always seem to marry night people? We finally decided it’s the secret to a long marriage—when your natural schedule is quite different from your spouse’s, you spend a limited amount of time together each day. Keeps things fresh!

A few stops later, this little guy came wandering down the driveway. It’s a wonder he didn’t get stepped on.IMG_9374His name was Paco, and they assured me he is a guard dog. Well, maybe. But from his rather portly figure I think what he mostly guards must be the dog treat supply.

His spiritual brother would be this border collie mix I came across next.IMG_9377His owner was eating a muffin, and this guy was absolutely riveted on that piece of food. In fact, this is a more true-to-life portrait of him.IMG_9375 

It must have been black-and-white dog day, since I also met young Lady.IMG_9379 Nine months old and yes, named for Lady & the Tramp. “I don’t have much imagination,” her owner confessed. From that gleam in her eye, I think Lady probably has enough ideas for the both of them.

Hey, speaking of ideas, here’s a good one: if you’re in Southern California, come to the Shopping on Driveways program I’m doing at the La Habra Library. It’s a week from tomorrow, Sunday October 3 at 2:30 p.m. Free, of course! I’d love to say hi in person.

LH flyer


  1. Hello Queen, tomorrow we are having my neighborhood garage sale. 15 houses. The organizer emailed and said 'tell your friends and your nannies' so I guess there will be lots of high chairs and car seats!!
    Except at my house, where I will have tons of old quilts, and lots of linens and fabrics. Too bad you can't come....

  2. If I lived close by I would definitely come and learn from the pro! Where I live you just drive around town and find all the yard doesn't take long!!! There never seem to be any great bargains in our area, yard sale wise or thrift store wise or anything else wise!!! I think I must live in the wrong place to be a genuine thrifter!

  3. Hi Your Majesty!
    Stopped by at the Octomom yard sale today. a pathetically small amount of stuff to sell, and several helpers bleating, "its for the children!" The most annoying one was a man who was hawking photos with OM for $10 a piece..."She has to raise $10k for the children!" I bought a nice little 12mo size plaid shirt and a very pretty Aryan type sweater for $2 for a cousin who will be a dad soon. As I left, OM was posing with a stack of tires that she had sold to somebody....not sure if she autographed them or not.

  4. Yesterday I finally saw lots of fur babies while garaging. I got to hold Harley, a tiny Shih Tzu puppy, my personal favorite. Harley snuggled into my neck and went to sleep. How sweet!! I tried very hard to take the little guy home!! It was a good doggie day all around.

  5. I would l-o-v-e to attend your seminar but Texas is much too far away! Would you consider doing an online version for we non-OC residents? :)

  6. What! Octomom had a yard sale! Hahahah! Why is that so funny? I really like that tiny little doggie up there, he's so cute :-) Sounds like you met more people than treasures! It was a bad weekend for yard saling up in Ventura too. Maybe the season is winding down, or maybe it was the heat! Whew!

  7. Have another seminar! I just discovered your blog and have been reading thru archives, I wish there were good yard sales near where I live! Or maybe there are and I just don't know where to find them...Anyways, I'm in the San Gabriel Valley, but I'll make it out to the OC if you have a seminar! (esp Fullerton or northern OC!)BTW, LOVE this blog, I need to work on my 50 cents skills! (never get anything that cheap!)

  8. ooh that's weird, it automatically published me as of my ancient, defunct (well it never really got off the ground) blog, which I was going to do when I was in Costa Rica 2 yrs ago. I ended up having too much fun to blog! lol.


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

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