Sunday, February 23, 2014

Twenty Two

$22!! There were actually enough sales this weekend to spend $22! Pretty darned exciting for February. And we even had blue skies and sunshine…talk about icing on the cake!

Judy and I made the rounds on Friday, which took us to the north end of town. (Seems like there’s been more sales that direction this winter. Can’t help wondering if those North Salemites are somehow so much hardier than us soft South Salemites? They are after all three or four miles further from the equator…)

Anyway, north side of town. First sale – didn’t exist. Second sale – what appeared to be a pile of junk on the driveway ready to pack to the dump, and an open garage door. A couple of people poking gingerly into piles. Only the garage sale signs convinced us to actually get out of the car and start poking into piles ourselves. Judy homed in on a bag of dog supplies right away, and I snagged a new-looking dog brush to replace the one that recently fell apart.

Edward loves to be brushed

We kept poking. The garage was piled with tools and welding equipment. The only reason I know it was welding equipment is that I heard a couple of guys say it was, and when I noticed an interesting wheeled cart the seller told me how he’d welded it and put on bicycle tires so he could pack out a deer when he was hunting. Decided it was interesting enough to take a picture, and had another shopper hold it up for me to get a shot.

A handy cart...

“Looks like something you’d use to carry bodies into the woods to hide them,” he commented, then looked around to make sure no law enforcement types were at the sale.

Somehow we got into conversation with the wife of the welder. I said something about all the dog supplies and that started the storytelling. Turns out that they always had Springers, and the last one was a brown and white guy named Buddy. And the dog that lives with Judy is a brown and white Springer named Buddy.

The Budster

We traded dog stories for at least fifteen minutes. I did a little more poking in the nearby piles as we talked and noticed a dusty, closed plastic box. When I opened it I found a dog grooming kit inside. The price was two bucks, so I got it for my friend’s dog Xanadu.

Wahl grooming kit

Being the hairy little lady she is


(she’s a shih tzu/lab mix, unlikely as that may sound!), she actually needs trimming from time to time. So now we can groom her more economically, and I figure if she gets a less-than-perfect haircut while we learn she won’t care since she’s a dog.

Finally got away. The next stop was the polar opposite, everything as neat as a pin and presided over by a sweet elderly couple. Nothing I wanted to buy there, but we chatted as we looked. Then the husband said to me, “We got some news this morning. The lady is moving out of the house we bought a month earlier than she thought, so we can get in right away!” I have no idea why he told me this other than he was so excited he had to share. I asked about the new place and somehow we segued into his life story and early hard times and being a prison guard and how he got out of debt and the relief of making three dollars an hour when he started working at the paper mill. And then it was a tour of the nicely landscaped front yard and the fountains his wife had built. Finally he said he’d better get back into the garage. “She’s going to be mad at me for not helping.” “Just tell her that woman got to talking and wouldn’t let you go,” I advised.

Last sale on our list was another nonexistent one, so we decided to check out a nearby thrift store, where we got the same kind of sensory overload I feel in malls. We both feel so much more at home at garage sales. But we each found something we couldn’t resist. Mine was this small lidded casserole. The price tag was the half-price color, which brought it down to something reasonable.

Small Savinio casseroleSavinio inside

I think it was the design on the inside that caught me. Judy’s score was a fabulous little boiled-wool jacket with embroidery that fit like it was custom made. I looked up the company when I got home (Icelandic Designs) and found it was likely in the $300 range when first bought. Maybe one of these days we’ll find one of their hats to go with it.

Saturday I got to go out with my friend Toni (Xanadu’s person). We headed to an estate sale. On the way she noticed the address on the GPS and said her grandparents had lived on that street. Turns out the sale was two houses away from their house, and one of the other shoppers lived in the house between and recognized her. While they caught up, I marveled at the house. From the outside it looks like any ranch house, and then you walk into an absolutely stunning ROUND living room

curved wall

with stone tiles on one wall that to me looked like quartz.

Wall o' quartz

All the woodwork was painted a beautiful blue. It’s for sale, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it sells quickly after all those people at the estate sale saw it. Everyone was talking about how lovely the place was.

I even found a few things to buy. This hand rake will make cleaning up our Japanese maple much easier

Yard Butler hand rake

and of course I had to snap up some yarn. Four skeins for $1.50 – that’s a no brainer.

Cotton yarn

And when I got home I discovered it comes with a matching crochet hook!

Yarn with matching crochet hook

Xanny loves to chase squirrels, so I got her the squirrel squeaky toy.


She loved it immediately. Zoe is jealous (but would rip it to shreds in three minutes).


The next sale yielded the toaster oven that’s been on my list for some time, and this is the first one that I considered reasonably priced at five bucks.

Toaster oven

I also scored some CDs

today's CDs

and some LPs to play on our vintage RCA stereo.


I was pretty excited to find this one…it was one of my favorites years ago, but parted with when we didn’t have anything to play them on. It’s the only music I own on both CD and LP.

 An old favorite

We had one more stop, and it turned out to be at the house Judy & I visited last December on the day of our first snow. Since their sale got snowed out, they were giving it one more shot. Lots of stuff had gone, though not of course the gigantic freezer in the basement that I think they must have moved in and then built the house around it. I picked up this cache pot of textured terra cotta with a beautiful turquoise glaze on the inside

Turquoise on the inside

and a couple of decorating magazines from the 1960s

Vintage magazinesSixties fun

How much do you think I want these cabinets on the cover of the Kitchen & Bath Guide? Guide ‘em on over to my house, stat!

I need these cabinets!

When I got home I discovered that the Kitchen & Bath Guide had really been influential. The downstairs bathroom we had admired with the pink marble counter must have been inspired by this

Bathroom inspiration 

and tucked into that page were some bids for the work and this hand sketch of the vanity that they put in.

Bathroom plan            

The house is still for sale, still fabulous. Say, if any of my readers buys it, I’ll give you the magazine and notes for your archives. How’s that for an incentive to move to Salem?


  1. As usual, a great post! I believe that I also have the Rampal/Baker recording although my copy has a different cover. It brings back fond memories of playing in a weeklong masterclass with Mr. Baker in Bellevue, WA in 1987. After spending everyday with him, he asked me and another student if "you girls wanted to go out for a soda" after his evening concert. Also, there is a yourtube video from Dick Cavett with the two of them playing on his show:

    1. How cool that you played with Mr. Baker! Hope you're still playing. The lady I got the LP from was a flute player in her youth and now plays in a recorder group.

  2. The baker is great. But I could really use the hand rake for our Japanese maple. Good idea!!!! And, I loved the shot of the tile. They do look like Quartz. So pretty.

    1. That wall of tile truly was amazing. I looked at the realtor's pictures online and they really need to re-shoot them. This house was so gorgeous and they pictures they're using to try to sell it were quite disappointing.

  3. Always glad to see your blog. By the way, that freezer breaks down into assorted panels - which would still be enormous!

    1. Sounds like you know that you have one? I never thought about it breaking down, it looks SO solid!

  4. You sure did hit some great things. Lucky gal. That toaster oven are pricey in the stores and the one you bought for $5.00 looked brand new...awesome deal!!!!!
    Tricia XO

    1. They said the toaster oven had been used once and I believe it. Other than a smear of something on the glass it was pristine...and now the smear is gone too!

  5. Your garage season has begun? I am SO envious.

    1. It's hit & miss depending on the weather, but this time of year we're happy with anything!

  6. Spending most of our time cleaning out, and getting ready to donate to the epic Basset Rescue Yard Sale in April. They have it every year in the huge front yard of an old Victorian in Whittier....Perhaps when all cleaned out, I can start shopping again....

    1. Ooooh, how I love an epic sale! Especially one that helps Bassets!


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

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