Sunday, January 29, 2012

You know you’re a die-hard gardener when…

…you’re at an estate sale, and you look out the patio door to see if there are any yard items for sale, and your heart rate increases when you see…

a compost bin!


Yes, I’ve been looking for one of these. People who buy them tend to keep them, and my regular checks on Craigslist have been fruitless. So when I spotted this quite nice looking specimen on that patio, and the price was within my tolerance level (i.e. it cost less than 10% of the same product from a store, and I’ve got that much cash with me!), I knew this puppy was meant to be mine. And that’s when the fun started.

First I had to wrestle it through the sliders into the dining room. Piece of cake – except for all the people in the way looking at the items for sale. Then I had to get it through a regular sized doorway into the kitchen on my way to the garage which is where the sales table was set up. Not so cake-like. Just barely got it through the doorway, and that was after clearing my throat and saying excuse me several times to the folks intent on the kitchen wares. THEN there was the doorway into the garage, and the 7 or 8 ladies on their way IN, which of course took precedence over me and the bin getting OUT. Actually, this part was rather amusing, because each and every one of them did a major double take when they saw the big black hulk in their way. I had to wonder just what they thought it might be.

Finally got all the ladies in, and that’s when I discovered that the door into the garage was not quite as wide as the door into the kitchen had been. For a few moments I was really wondering just what I was going to do. Then I realized that the handle on the hatch where you take out the compost was getting in the way, so I slid the door off and sque-e-e-ezed through. Whew! Except now I’m in a single garage with tables of Stuff set up in the middle and on both sides, with about 15 more folks milling around shopping. So off we go again, apologizing all the way. Finally reached the driveway, where I told one of the guys working the sale that I was taking this, and asked if I could just pay him since I had correct change. But no. I had to go back into the garage and stand in line, though I was able to leave the bin outside. Fortunately the line wasn’t terribly long, though the ladies looking in the case where they had jewelry were more than a little in the way. (At least I wasn’t still holding the compost bin. Hmmm, maybe I could have popped it over one of them and only released her if she promised to Get Out Of My Way. But I’m way too polite for that. Stop laughing, Cathy and Marcia and Marilyn!)

Paid for at last, I started to schlepp it down the street to the car. A large compost bin is not terribly heavy, just awkward. But I turned it upside down (there’s no bottom, it just rests on the ground), put the hatch door inside, and made steady progress. I was driving our Civic hatchback, and reached it just as someone else coming to the sale drove up. He seemed to be waiting for my parking space, although there was room behind my car for him to park. I popped open the hatch, laid the back seats down, and inserted the bin – mostly! It was just a leeeeetle too big for the opening. I tried to squish it and got it in about another inch, and that was it. (After a while the guy waiting to park gave up.)

I wasn’t afraid of it falling out, but I felt reluctant to drive the 4 miles or so home with the door sticking straight up. I looked all over the car for something to tie it down with, but Steven keeps his car really clean. So please, don’t anyone tell him what I ended up using…this rubber doodad with little hooks on them out of his tire chains!

IMG_3878     IMG_3879

Worked just fine, and no rubber doodads or little hooks were harmed in the making of this blog post. ;o)

Now we just have to figure out where in the yard to put this thing. A compost bin ideally should be convenient yet unobtrusive. We’ll see if we can pull that one off!

The compost bin was not my only purchase of the day. I’d stopped at another sale earlier and scored something else I’ve had an eye out for.


Haven’t had a wok for years, and this one came with a lid and a bamboo steamer.


I’ve already put a hold on a good wok cookbook at the library to inspire us. And it’s Steven’s week to cook, so I’m hoping he’ll feel quite inspired!


  1. Is is wierd that I was excited for you finding it? I love to compost. Don't put your bin to close to the house. It can attract little critters that may want to move in with you.

    Love your blog, love your finds.

  2. You had me chuckling all the way through, I could almost hear you bumping through that house. I love my wok, because my hubby does all the stir fry meals. :-)

  3. I WAS laughing until I saw my name, because when your big sis says stop laughing, you stop! How the heck do you know that from 2000 miles away? Guess that's why you're the big sister!

  4. you still didn't tell us how much you paid for it was a heck of a lot less than it cost us for john to make three bins for our garden during a green fit. between the wood, plastic trash cans, bungie cords, and lord knows what else.....
    how long does it take to "cure" usually?

  5. I love finding something that we really need at a sale. I guess the struggle to get it home is part of the price. LOL. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  6. Score! I am jealous of your compost bin. I've been using a blue bucket on my back porch which works fine when its not frozen. Love your blog! I am a librarian in WA state. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. I love to go junkin' and find treasures like you have. Looking forward to getting to know you.
    Clara from Redeemed Junk and Stuff

  7. Huh. YOU got a wok with a lid AND a steamer. See? Aren't you glad I got the other first? :)


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

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