Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Graceful Going

“Grace” was our watchword for Friday’s garaging adventure. Three women, one green convertible with  a small back seat – my companions took turns gracefully occupying the back! Then our first stop was a fundraiser for Grace House, a new shelter/program for homeless women. I don’t know about you, but I can imagine very few things that would be scarier than being homeless, and it sounds like they have a very solid plan in place. They had gotten quite a few donations for the place and decided to hold a sale to move out some things they had a surplus of in order to have some cash. “People don’t think of donating stuff like toilet paper,” the woman running the sale told us. I lucked out, finding a cute shirt in the most wonderful sky blue

blue shirtcute trim

and a pair of Keen shoes that look like they’d never been worn – and fit me perfectly. The shoelaces even stay tied!

Nifty Keens!

If you like these, apparently you can still buy them in stores, where they will set you back ninety-five bucks. Sheesh.

Found a ‘grace’ connection at our next stop too, where the woman having the sale was fixing up her bicycle for the summer. None of us bought this book but it did start a conversation about how many dog stories have sad endings, and how none of us will read those. And we all agreed that Old Yeller was the worst kid’s movie ever.

Gracie book

I got a bit of a giggle over this doll.

insane doll

She looked perfectly demented, possibly the antithesis of grace, lying on her back and making esoteric gestures with her hands. Started conversing with the lady minding that part of the sale (hi, Elaine!). One of her friends had dropped off some stuff to sell, including a couple of big baggies of buttons. You know I can never resist looking at buttons, but I could certainly resist buying these, since they were marked $20. I mean, my last big button buy (goodness, five years ago!) was a similar baggie full – for fifty cents. Elaine and I chatted about pricing (she assured me the buttons weren’t hers and her feelings wouldn’t be hurt). As my friend Marcia says, the button owner was just way too proud of her stuff. I truly believe that yard sales are for the purpose of moving stuff out of your life, creating a space where you can breathe. If you make a little cash, excellent. But you most likely will not recoup your expenditures by reselling on your driveway.

Okay, will step off my soapbox now!

I kept looking around Elaine & company’s sale (it was one of those multi-family sales, which I sometimes see advertised on Craigslist as mulit-family) and picked up this little sculpture.

yard art

When I got home I noticed it was signed on the bottom of the rock.

yard art signed

Original art for a buck, woo hoo! It will most likely end up in the yard somewhere. Then I spotted a blender jar and recognized it as matching my blender. Complete with lid, bottom assembly – perfect for a backup in case something happens to mine. Elaine told me it was hers and that the weirdest thing happened to her blender. As soon as she said that I knew where this story was going – because the exact same thing happened to my blender. The teeth on the black rubber thingie that the jar fits over and makes the blade spin (which is apparently called a coupling) broke off one day, rendering the blender useless. I was quite annoyed, as it was a pretty expensive blender and I had bought the thing new (and we know how unlike me that is!) and Elaine said the same thing. But you know the old saying: Don’t get mad, get to researching! (Okay, that’s the librarian’s version.) Turns out this is a very common problem, but you can repair it yourself and the part only costs about six bucks. So I told Elaine she should keep this jar and I’d send her the link for the part to repair it. And she started to dither – she had bought another blender, but this was a better one, but maybe the motor had suffered when the part shredded, but maybe it would be okay…It was like hearing myself talk. Do you ever do that, keep going back and forth on something, even something minor, until you drive yourself nuts feeling indecisive? I’ve come to feel that the only important thing is to decide, and either decision will be fine. So I handed her the blender jar and commanded her to keep it and fix her blender. I know, I can be pushy like that! Besides, I saved the two dollars I would have spent on something I might never have used. A win all around.

Friday’s yard sale pets included this sweet little kitty

Peekaboo kitty

and golden retriever Lizzie, whose nickname is “the Lizard of Odd.”

Lizzie dog

I did a double take when I saw the picture I’d taken of this cat

Not Mrs. W!

because it looks an awful lot like our Mrs. Wilberforce.

Mrs. W being floofy

We also found hats for Judy to model. She was wearing her own green cap that day and it gives a really special look to a couple of things she tried on.

Winnie the Pooh earmuffsMeow!

These two might keep her ears even warmer next winter.

warm hatJudy the storm trooper

Speaking of keeping warm, I love this handwoven shawl.

pink shawlChurchill hand weavers

Thought at first it was knitted, but when I looked closely, it is indeed woven. Feels like wool and probably some mohair. The warp is a deep fuchsia and the weft a more strawberry pink. Absolutely yummy colors. And it was fifty cents!

On Saturday I had to take my husband up to the airport in Portland, and he timed his flight perfectly – I dropped him off just in time to get over to the annual neighborhood sale in a posh part of town. We went last year and I was really looking forward to it, but I have to admit to ending up just a bit disappointed. There weren’t nearly as many sales as advertised, and a whole bunch of them were just a card table with some kid stuff. But I did enjoy the huge gorgeous old houses and mature landscaping, and the pets that were hanging out. Like Dudley

Dudley the driveway cat

and Ralph.


Ralph is actually a girl; she came home from the shelter with the name Rafaela, which they tried to change to just Ella. But it didn’t fit – and Ralph did.

I also managed to come home with a couple more things on my “look for” list. The first was actually the latest addition to the list. Steven mentioned a couple of days earlier that we need more small spatulas. I think he was trying to get something out of a smallish jar at the time. And at my first stop I found a nice one of red silicone.

narrow spatula

I also got to cross off “brown belt for purse strap.” My old (I’m talking from the Sixties) Coach bag is doing great, but the strap was getting beyond tatty.

tatty old strap

I know that Coach supposedly will replace parts, but I doubt they keep any straps for vintage Bonnie Cashin designs laying around. So I was happy to see this belt for sale.

belt to repurpose

It’s a little darker than the bag, but that won’t bother me a bit. This little old bag is good to go for a long time now. With any luck, we can ride that trail from ‘vintage’ to ‘antique’ together. Gracefully!

Coach bag good to go!


  1. You guys look like you had fun! I want to go next time. lol Next time I'm in Portland it's Powells and junkin' with you.

    Clara from Redeemed Junk and Stuff

  2. LOVE the color of your new stole!
    Had orientation and scheduling of about 30 teens today and we did it in an hour and a half!!
    i am pooped....Tomorrow the fire engine comes for storytime! barring any Emergency, of course!

    1. I keep looking at the color of that stole and it just makes me grin!

      Can't say I miss the summer reading program at all - although I did create the bibliographies for my library's adult program this month. My volunteer job!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! Every time I pick up my purse now I feel clever - and I'm not afraid the strap will break. ;o)


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

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