Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bangs for the Holiday Buck

With a national holiday falling on Friday, I had absolutely no expectation of there being any sales over the weekend. So on Thursday I picked up 20 pounds of beautiful dark ruby sweet cherries to work on. Started right in with freezing some, and tried my hand at drying them in the oven. I now know why dried cherries are so darned expensive – two full size cookie sheets produced a handful of dried nuggets. Delicious, but still.

On Friday I went to pick up sugar and pectin for making freezer jam. Of course I checked Craigslist before I went; imagine my delight when I found some sale ads! As it turned out they were almost entirely piles of kid stuff or what we call a “two bald tires and a candle stub” sale, but I didn’t care, I was out in my convertible on a beautiful Oregon summer day. And at the last sale I managed to spend two bucks on a DVD of Mystic Pizza and three tops:


the comfy Eddie Bauer knit shirt in cherry red


a gauzy knit thingie


and a cute hoodie that will be perfect for early morning trips to the dog park, with its appliqu├ęd pups


and paw prints.


Made some jam (which is the most gorgeous red), froze more cherries, then family arrived for the weekend. Our holiday traditions mainly revolve around eating and talking, and since it was the Fourth we fired up the Weber for a variety of grilled vegies with our parmesan cheesecake. We even grilled a foil packet of cherries for dessert!

Saturday morning I saw a couple of nearby sales that started early, so on the way back from the dog park I checked them out. At the first I got into conversation with the lady about the vintage chair she was minding her sale from. “My family had this set when we were kids, and it became my painting chair,” she told me. “It’s still so sturdy and comfortable I just love it.”


I suggested she might want to spiff it up. The seat and back are attached with screws, and the frame would be easy to clean and perhaps repaint. As we talked we both got more and more excited about the possibilities, perhaps using a mix of several fabrics. I gave her my card and told her she has to send me pictures when it’s done. Then as I was heading for the car, I spotted a couple of boxes of odds and ends that I’d missed and looked inside. And scored!


She does a lot of sewing and had made this adorable curtain panel with Dick and Jane fabric. Perfect for my children’s literature guest room, so home with me it came. Not only is the fabric perfect – the curtain is the perfect size. All I had to do was wash, iron, and hang.P1060149 P1060150I have a soft spot for Dick and Jane since they were my doorway to reading. No kid ever wanted to learn to read more than I did! And as politically incorrect as many consider them to be, I found the family in these books very soothing compared to my own family.

My children’s lit room is looking pretty good to my eyes. I’ve never been one for theme decorating (unless the theme is Cool Stuff I Found on Someone’s Driveway) but I had all these toys from my office when I retired.


A couple of weeks ago I finally found two Heywood Wakefield beds that look very nice with the Hey-Wake vanity I bought for $15.


The vintage bedspreads came from an estate sale last year.P1060153

And now Dick and Jane have arrived. Woo hoo!

After scoring the curtain, I made one more stop. They were still bringing stuff out, but when the 30-something guy noticed me looking at the wares on the ground he called out, “I’m selling my shoe collection!”


I laughed and told him I now had a real feel for his sense of style. Didn’t find anything I wanted, but before I left I asked if they just happened to have a twin box spring, since I need one for one of the Hey-Wake beds. The lady I asked, who was about my age, said no, that in fact she too is looking for one. She’s moving her 95 year old mother to an assisted living this week. “She’s going to *****, [names deleted for privacy!] and she’s really terrified,” she confided.

Another lady who was looking around perked up. “That’s where my mom lives! Tell her to say hello to *******. She’s in room 137.”

“My mom’s going to be in 114!”

As I left they were making plans to introduce their moms to each other. So the newcomer will have someone to look out for her as she settles in…all because I stopped at a yard sale!


  1. Just returned from a trip to go pick cherries. We got carried away and ended up with over 50 pounds!! I'm happy to know I won't have to dry any since now I know they reduce by so very much. I'll mostly freeze them for winter yummy goodness. My SIL has a carry-all bag made of that Dick and Jane fabric and I covet it. It's fully lined and so pretty as well as sturdy. Enjoy your cherries!!

    1. I wish I had freezer space for more! It's pretty crowded in there now and I know I must make raspberry freezer jam soon. Enjoy those cherries!

  2. I just love the Dick and Jane fabric and your children's lit room! I have a little zipper bag with Dick and Jane, it really brings back the early primary school years, the same way seeing the little wooden desks do.

    1. I remember those desks...though they didn't seem little when I last sat in one!


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

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