Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vikings and Magicians

My friend Marcia came garaging with me this morning. She was kind enough to drive, and since she’s the friend with the sleek black Audi convertible this is no hardship on my part. Though evidently I am strongly identified by my car in some people’s minds. We passed a woman and her mom who are garaging regulars that I’ve met a number of times. When I stopped to talk to the mom, she said to me (quite disapprovingly), “It’s awfully confusing when you change cars!”

Kind of a luxury to have a driver take you to sales though.

At one point in the morning Marcia commented to me, “You know, we call them garage sales but we never set foot in anyone’s garage. Ought to be driveway sales.” “We call them that because we’re from the Midwest,” I told her. “Most people here call them yard sales, and in the East they use tag sales. And you know I am an expert on this. Kind of a weird thing to be an expert on, but there you go.” She said, “I bet you’re actually an expert on a lot of things.” “Yeah,” I agreed, “but probably not as many as I think I am!”

We went to a couple of neighborhood sales. The first was in a condo community, where we met this handsome kitty.IMG_9645 Her name is Chemo. The lady who owns her said her husband got her when he was dying from cancer, and what a comfort she had been to him. “She’s a total Velcro kitty,” she said.

A couple doors down from Chemo I found my first score of the day in a free box.IMG_9670A rubber Viking helmet with braids attached. Edward SO did not want to model it for you but I convinced him he would look adorable. So be sure to tell him how adorable he looks next time you see him.

Around the corner, Marcia found one of those hand-held steam cleaner thingies. She’d been thinking about getting one, so she scored a brand new one for about a quarter of the store price. We had a nice chat with the lady at that sale about the horrors of housework. I’m hoping this steamer thing works really great so I can borrow it.

On to the other neighborhood sale…we thought. From the description on Craigslist I was sure we were in the right tract, but there were only about three sales and they weren’t worth stopping at. Turns out we had gone in the wrong entrance, and eventually found our way into the area with a number of sales. And dogs. I’ve met this sweetie before.IMG_9651 They had an awfully cute little six-month-old baby here too, grinning and drooling at all the shoppers, but you can see who I took a picture of!

This elderly poochIMG_9650 was in a very bad way last week, coughing and coughing with chronic bronchitis. But a trip to the vet, some antibiotics and a dose of…maybe cortisone (I should take better notes!) made her feel much better.

This handsome guy was next door to a sale we stopped at.IMG_9646 I wasn’t too sure about his friendliness level at first, but one second after I snapped this, he wagged his way over to me for some petting.

I think he was by the sale where the young woman told us all proceeds were going to a very good cause. Marcia asked what, and she said, “My bills!” She told us she has just gotten a job after eight months of looking for one. You could feel how happy she was to be employed.

Next we walked up to a house that looked familiar, or at least their topiary did, and when I saw the bunnies in the garage I knew where we were. “You’re the magician!” I said to the tall guy in the garage. He agreed, and we chatted for a bit about his lovely assistants.

IMG_9657 IMG_9655  IMG_9658

Marcia asked him if it’s true that crows are really smart. “Oh yeah,” he said. “The parrot mimics language, but this guy understands it.” When the garage door is down, the crow has free run of the house. He likes to go over to the workbench and remove tools from the pegboard wall and hide them. He’s still a young bird, only about five months old. He fell out of his next before he was fledgled and was rescued just before the hawk circling overhead had him for lunch.

Here’s another rescue we met.

IMG_9661He was a Christmas present for the children in this family, who named him Dasher after Santa’s reindeer. He was doing that shivering thing that some Chihuahuas do, milking it for all it was worth.

It was hard work finding something to buy, but I managed to part with $1.50. I thought this Schylling kaleidoscope has a mid-century vibe and will be fun at the new house.

IMG_9666 I’ve never tried to take a picture inside a kaleidoscope before, but I thought these came out rather fun.

IMG_9664 IMG_9663

I did see another toy I would have liked to buy—a nice midcentury modern-looking dollhouse. I was thinking recently this would be a fun thing to have and when people come to stay they could play with it. But these folks were asking $150 for theirs. As Marcia muttered when we walked away, “It’s a garage sale. You can’t ask over fifty bucks for anything at a garage sale.” Even fifty would have been over my tolerance threshold. After all, look what I’ve been paying for actual MCM furniture!

My other buy was four pairs of tights in a range of colors: black, brown, bright blue and fuchsia.

IMG_9667I don’t have a need for fuchsia stockings too often, but for a quarter a pair I figured I could indulge myself.

Speaking of quarters…at our last stop I chatted with the two middle-aged guys minding the sale, and when I was done told them that heck, looked like nothing I couldn’t live without. One of them said with mock chagrin, “Nothing? Not even for a quarter?” Ummm, nope. “Not even if I pay you a quarter to take something?” Man, were those guys ready to be done with their sale!



  1. hahaha! you sound just like my sister who's also a librarian ... the being an expert on everything bit. :)

    edward the viking! too cute!

    my fave quote of the day: "it's awfully confusing when you change cars!" yard sale people know me by my camry, so i can relate!

  2. The kaleidoscope reminds me of a short film made by Eames' which is all images from a kaleidoscope. Its really may be able to find it on the internet someplace. I saw it on a DVD box set of the Eames' movies we had checked out of the Library. Its def. worth tracking down!

  3. I just love your posts and look forward to them every week. As for those tights, they are the 'in' thing right now!

  4. I would have also snapped a picture of the handsome canine over the drooling homo sapianling!! I love your updates not only because of the fabulous finds, but all the personal photos of the animals you encounter!

  5. What a fun post! My dog Henry isn't a Chihuahua but he sometimes pulls the shivering stunt to create some drama. As for Gigi, my other dog, last time I put a fashion item on her against her will, she gave me a nip. RUDE!


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

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