Saturday, October 1, 2011

Garaging in 2/3 of the O States

The rumors that I have fallen off the face of the earth are largely exaggerated. Busy, yes; slightly crazed, definitely – but still here, and stll garaging! I’ve been frustrated at not getting to post for a couple of weeks, and I’ve got less than an hour before the hubs has to work on the computers some more, so let’s dash away.

Yes, he’s here – got all (well, most) of our stuff moved up from the OC and into the house in Salem. The truck he rented wasn’t q-u-i-t-e big enough, so last minute decisions had to be made about what to leave behind. Our former neighbors Bob and Ruby now have my little pond, water lilies and the mosquito fish; some bookshelves went to a college student down the street; and the park bench we carried down the street when a former neighbor put it on the sidewalk with a free sign is still in the backyard we left. But the important stuff got here – husband, pets, bed, fridge – and after all, stuff is just stuff. Those of us who shop on driveways know there will always be more stuff!

The day before he arrived (two weeks ago) I figured I'd better go out looking for sales on Friday since we’d be unloading the truck Saturday morning. Didn’t buy much, but it was one of those days that remind me why I really go to yard sales. It’s not actually for the things I buy. It’s to see things I'd never otherwise see, like this amazing house that’s clear across town. I turned a corner and did a double take. “That house has a lighthouse attached to it,” I said.


There were large fantastic creatures in the backyard, and the front was pretty amazing too.


I continued to the sale I was hunting, where I saw this funny Yoda-esque dog sitting in his owner’s lap.


“Sing to him,” she commanded. “Sing Happy Birthday.” Obviously a person who has not heard me sing. I hemmed and hummed a bit. She herself began to sing Happy Birthday, and after a few notes the dog started to whine and howl. She switched to another song (can't remember what it was, maybe She’ll be Coming ‘Round the Mountain) and the dog stopped. As soon as she switched back to Happy Birthday, the howls resumed. Funniest thing you ever saw. Wish I'd filmed it, could have gone viral on Youtube. I bought a couple of things there, and started to leave but then remembered the house down the street, so I went back and asked about it. One of the ladies actually lived just a few doors away from it, so she gave me her version of their life story. It used to be an ordinary little ranch house, and the guy who lived there enjoyed building stuff. The lighthouse was created for the house plants his wife loved, but when it was finished they were chagrined to realize how hot it got with all that glass, and all the plants died. The large animals in the backyard were made for grandchildren to play on. I imagine the décor in the front yard was accumulated slowly over time. It's hard to tell in my picture, but along with the railroad crossing signs etc. there is a real cannon!

Last weekend I made a trip to Oklahoma to take care of some family business. Since I was there on Saturday morning, my sis asked if I wanted to go to some sales. Duh! is the only proper response to that question. It was a hoot driving around with her and her husband. Wish I'd had my camera with me, because I know you’d love to see the most unusual item I noticed for sale – a rattlesnake hunting kit, complete with burlap bag.

Back home again, my GPS, Gertrude, and I have been out both yesterday and this morning. It's been more of an exercise in exploring the town than in purchasing stuff, but that’s just fine with me. Who needs to buy stuff when you can stand amazed before a patchwork sculpture

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or meet a lovely smiling kitty named Becket.


I just looked at my spreadsheet, and over 3 weekend I’ve spent $39 – and almost half of it went for a single item today. I still believe this is the least expensive hobby ever! The (relatively) big ticket item was something I've been watching for on Craigslist, and only happened by the sale where I found it by accident.


At the moment it’s residing in our quite large master bathroom, which has an open 8’ x 10’ area in the center. Plenty of room to exercise, and you can jump straight to the shower when you’re done! Later it will go downstairs after we get the icky carpets out and some other kind of flooring in. Soon, I hope, since I can't unpack down there until that happens.

Yesterday all I found were a couple of vintage decorating magazines.


But there’s a lot of furniture in them to lust over! I’d like two of these beds in the twin size, two of the benches, and one of the chair, please.


Even though I didn’t buy much, I really enjoyed the drive. Headed to West Salem, including a sale on a country road. I had to pause on the long driveway while some cows were delivered to a field.

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Turned out not to be what I consider a yard sale – more of a high end antiques sales at antique store prices. But who cares if you buy anything when the wares include fabulous stuff to look at, like this antique piano that had been upholstered in bright pink vinyl and mirrors. My jaw dropped.


Last week we found some sales in and around Claremore, OK, and my sister, Midcentury Marilyn, scored several things for her eCrater store. I came away with a couple of things I could fit into my suitcase, a DVD


and a Belgian tapestry. I've never seen Humpty Dumpty depicted this way before. The people watching him fall seem quite calm about it.


It may have been our Noll who knocked him off his perch. Bad cat!


The week before, waiting for the hubs to arrive, I had pretty good luck. My BIL, Biker Bob, was quite chuffed at the brad nailer I found for his compressor thingie. He had asked me to keep an eye out for tools to use with it, and I was amazed to actually recognize something.


I couldn’t resist buying something from the guy who made this locomotive.


He had all kinds of things he’s made from wood.

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“I don’t like to watch TV,” he told me, “so I come out in the garage every morning and think about something to make and then I make it.” He seemed quite pleased when I had him sign the locomotive. “Nobody ever asked me to do that before,” he said. I assured him he is an artist, and artists should sign their work. “That’s what I keep telling him!” his wife chimed in.

Picked up a few things for the house as well. This soap dispenser is in my half-bath, the one with the vintage pink fixtures.


We needed a chalkboard for the kitchen. I really like the bunny, and the hubs is cohabiting with it uncomplainingly.


This vintage wool blanket will be cozy on one of the guest beds. It washed and dried beautifully.

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And I fell in love with this glass switchplate cover. I've put it up in the guest room with all the children’s literature toys.


So we’re settling in with all our new (used!) stuff. And I'm hoping the rains that have started will confine themselves to weekdays!



  2. I'm so glad somebody is finding something at sales. The yard sales have been pitiful this year for me.

  3. wow! what a post. love the lighthouse house.

  4. that house is the darnedest thing! Can you imagine the real estate agent coming over prep for sale, and write the description??
    Glad you are getting back into your groove! Guess they do have interesting stuff up there too; I would have thought it difficult to compete with SoCal!
    Love the chalkboard!

  5. This is a great post. I always enjoy seeing the animals you find, but you outdid yourself this time. The birthday song hating/howling dog and the smiling cat were somewhat overshadowed by the house and its accessories. hehehe

  6. I love the lightswitch plate! My daughter's bedroom is all ladybugs how adorable!

  7. Looks like you continue to find magic where ever you go!

  8. Its so good to read your posts again! You have the best adventures and I am glad that you are exploring your new surroundings. The blanket you found is my favorite. I have one very similar. Mine lives in my vintage camper. Keep the blog posts coming! :-)

  9. On what settings do you wash and dry a 100% wool blanket? I have some really beautiful ones that I never let anyone use because I'm afraid to wash them! Ugh! I want to use them!


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

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