Sunday, August 24, 2014

You Never Forget

The gray-haired lady looked apprehensive but determined as she climbed onto the pretty turquoise blue bicycle. “I’m not sure I remember how to do this. I haven’t been on a bike in a long time,” she said.

“You’ll do fine, that’s something you never forget,” I assured her. “It’s easier if you go faster. Speed is your friend.” She took a deep breath and pushed off, wobbled a couple of times, and then sailed down the street. I cheered. In a minute she was back, smiling.

You never forget how to ride a bike

“My fourteen-year-old grandson is coming to live with me,” she said. “I thought maybe I could go bike riding with him. The last time I rode a bike was in Sweden, on a tandem with my husband. He crashed…and I went down with him!” We were both admiring the color of the bike when the gentleman having the yard sale walked up. “Did you find that bike at the sale next door?” he asked her. “No, it was at your sale!” she said. He shook his head. “This isn’t our bike.” He looked at it again. “Though that does look like my wife’s handwriting on the sign. I’ll go ask her.”

Who owns the bike           

He took the sign with him, and in a moment was back. “She says she’s never seen this bike before. We have no idea whose it is. Maybe one of the other neighbors brought it over when we weren’t looking.”

We all scratched our heads over the Mystery of the Unknown Bike Seller, and then the prospective purchaser took off again. I headed back to the car and caught up with her at the corner. We called goodbye to each other and I told her to have fun. Her big smile assured me she was.

I drove off to the next sale, musing over timing. If I had been a minute earlier or later getting to that sale I’d have missed the fun. But as it was I got it (as Goldilocks said) Just Right.

Judy and I were perusing another sale this weekend and chatting with the young man and woman sitting on the porch steps. A woman stepped out of the house and addressed me by name. (This is something that usually happens to Judy, not me, since she’s lived here about 30 years longer.) It was Ann, who works at the library…and from whom we bought our house! (Hi, Ann!) The pair on the steps grew up in my house and evidently have fond memories of it. And my favorite find of the weekend was here.

Vogue knitting magazines

A whole box o’ knitting magazines, dating from the Eighties to a couple of years ago. OMG, I am in knitter’s heaven. I am so looking forward to making may way through all this knitting wonderfulness. Thank you, Ann, you absolutely made my day! I sat down last night and had a great time pulling them all out of the box and sorting them by date. (Hey, I was a librarian and we like to organize things!) It reminded me of the fun I had when I scored a big jar of vintage buttons and got to sort and admire for hours. Though that time I did not have the somewhat odd experience of seeing my own address on the mailing labels. Wonder what the odds are of a bunch of magazines ending up years later in the house they were originally mailed to?

I think the issues from the Eighties look especially promising, with inspiring articles

Vogue sweaters

(I always wear a sweater over my bikini, don’t you?) and glimpses of hair styles of yesteryear.

Vogue sweater

My husband had a good score too. He’s been looking for an elliptical machine to replace the one I found nearly 3 years ago for $15. He’s certainly gotten his money’s worth from it! Judy and I stopped at a fundraiser sale for a boy scout group and the first thing I saw was a nice looking elliptical. Called the hubs and he came to look at it. But the batteries for the display were dead, so off he went to the dollar store to get some batteries. Came back, put in the batteries, tested the machine, liked it. So off he went to get enough cash to pay for it. Came back, paid the scout leader, and talked them into delivering it to our house. Which they did, a couple of the scouts wheeling it to the door. Their eyes got wide when we indicated the machine would be going downstairs, but we let them off the hook and took it down ourselves. About halfway down I was sorry, because that sucker is heavy! But we prevailed. And when he wears this machine out I’ll know better than to agree to help get its replacement down those stairs.


Found some other fun things as well. Another cute little Christmas ornament

Christmas snowman

and I couldn’t resist these glass bubbles for fifty cents.

Mouthblown glass bubbles

I’m thinking a loop of clear fishing line glued to each will turn them into fun ornaments. And while I didn’t find any glass vases for the kitchen window collection, I did score another midcentury coffee carafe.

Inland coffee carafe

We thought it would be good to get this collection in one place, so Steven redid the mantle on Saturday.

Carafes on the mantel

And the ballet corps that was there is now on the sideboard in the dining area

Sideboard Dance

performing that famous work The Dance of the Driveway Bargains. I’m looking forward to my front row seat!

Sideboard Dancers

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Stalking the Wily Punkin Heads

We pulled up to one of our early morning stops on Friday. Everyone at the yard sale appeared to be staring at us (always disconcerting). But then we realized they were looking past us at the deer across the street.  Look - deerWho were completely unconcerned by our presence. I almost expected them to come over and shop the sale, but they opted to continue their breakfast. Mmmmm, yummy hostas and roses.

Breakfast time

Judy tried on not just a hat, but a complete undercover disguise.

Judy goes undercover

And bought two cute plaid hats. This one and a blue one.

Judy's new hat

At the next sale I found something I’ve casually been hunting for a long time. I saw it lurking in the underbrush and using all my woodsman’s – er, woodswoman’s – guile and skill I stalked the wily potato ricer.RicerThese things are not really that hard to find, but I was holding out for the complete set (often the wooden pestle is missing) that didn’t cost too much. Passed on one for eight bucks a while back. This one was only a dollar. I win.

Vintage Ricer

The other item we were attempting to stalk was chalk. Regular old blackboard chalk. (And if you remember blackboards being black instead of green – or electronic – you must be my age.) Judy was going to buy some the other day. Don’t, I told her, I have a whole box at home, I’ll give you some. I was positive I knew exactly where it was. I was wrong. Still haven’t found it. And the little nubs of chalk I’ve been using on the grocery-list board in the kitchen

Keeper of the grocery listare almost too short to write with. So we started searching for chalk at every sale, but no luck. Until after I had dropped Judy off at her friend’s house so they could scoot up to Portland. Very next sale they happened to ask if I were looking for anything in particular. Chalk, I said. And danged if one of the ladies didn’t jump up and go search in her garage, coming back with three containers of chalk. “I forgot all about getting this in the sale,” she said. She seemed pleased to have fished it out. Only problem for me was, it was all honkin’ big sidewalk chalk, which is a little had to use for grocery lists. However, a few regular size pieces were lurking down in the bottom, so I scooped them up. And now we’ll probably find chalk at every sale.

Cheap chalk 

I also found another piece of glass for the kitchen window. Not the blue or green I’d asked the yard sale gods for, but a new shape. A glass creamer

  Glass creamer  or possibly a very stylized penguin. 

Creamer ...or penguin

Glass in window

Before I dropped her off, Judy picked up something for their dog Buddy. She bought him red devil horns last week, and this time she found this punkin for his furry head. (He’s all set for Hallowe’en.)


Of course as soon as we got in the car she had to try it on.

Punkin Judy

And everyone at my house had to try it on too. Edward

Punkin Edward

and Noll, who was convinced I just wanted him to play with the dangly string under his chin.

Punkin Noll

Zoe had gone back to bed. She raised her head for a moment,

Punki' Zoe

then went back to sleep.

Punkin Zoe sleeps

I even tried it on myself.

Punkin Queen of Fifty Cents

You’re right, I think the devil horns might be more me.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Around the Course

We took a little mini-vacation this week to visit friends and their dogs in Roseburg (Hi, Sophie! Hi, Tootsie!). But we got back in time for Judy and me to go to the big community-wide sale in the golf course neighborhood. Last year was our first time there and it was pretty crazy, but we both agreed there were fewer people this year (and somewhat fewer sales, but we still didn’t see all of them). There were still enough sales and people and stuff to amuse us, and I managed to spend a little over $17.

Don’t think I saw a single vintage hat, but Judy did try out this one to see if she wanted it to keep her ears warm in the winter.

Extra warm ears

At the same sale I spotted a bear that is a cousin of one I used to own, back in my teddy bear collection days. This fellow had seen some use.

Big Bear

I was most amused by the note on his price tag.

Big Bear has a secret

Prices through the neighborhood ranged from the incredibly low (I bought some of those!) to the ridiculously high. Judy is on the lookout for an electric griddle, so we both noticed the non-electric one priced at fifty bucks. What the…? I looked it up when we got home and that’s only about $20 less than a new one of its brand. One of those sales where they thought they were running a boutique.

But at the other end, down in my price range, I spotted four woven placemats – at a dime apiece.

Woven placemat

Yes, thank you.

Finlayson placemat

And leaving that sale I noticed more textiles on a table, and picked up this quite nice cotton tablecloth for fifty cents

Fifty Cent table clothFifty Cents tablecloth 

and a set of coordinating napkins for a quarter. Now that’s more like it!

Cloth napkins

Zoe is still shredding cloth napkins when she gets hold of them (bad dog!) so I went ahead and shelled out a buck for the peach colored ones on another driveway.

Another fifty cent find was a set of coasters from the Metropolitan Museum.

 Bestiary Coasters

I love the illustrations, which come from an alphabet book by Alfred Van Loen. Especially the frog.

Frog Coaster

If anyone remembers my Disapproving Angel Kitty


you may be glad to know she has a new companion, Approving Angel Kitty.

 Approving Angel Kitty Disapproving Angel Kitty meets Approving Angel Kitty

AAK is much smaller than DAK but they will both be hanging out in the kitty section of my Museum de Me (i.e. all the bits and pieces with which I decorate my office).

Kitties in Museum de Me

When I asked the price of this DVD

Good Bad Wierd

the young guy said three bucks. I laid it down and explained I rarely spend more than a dollar for a used movie. He launched into an enthusiastic description of this flick, ending with his willingness to take one dollar for it. I told him we’d give it a good home.

Another dollar find was this racecar toy, which I have no excuse for getting other than I liked it

Alex Toys Rainbow Roller

and it goes well with the one I bought a few weeks ago.


I have something of a weakness for wind chimes, but it’s rare to find good ones on driveways. I was pretty excited to pick these up for three bucks.

Arias windchipmes Windchimes Arias windchime

My big splurge of the day ($6) was at our last stop, which also offered for sale this evil bunny cookie jar. Evil Bunny cookie jarWould you take food from this guy? Don’t think I would! (Though Disapproving Angel Kitty might have liked him.)

Evil Bunny

What I did bring home was another addition to my colorful midcentury vase collection

 Orange cylinder bubble vase 1 Orange cylinder bubble vase 2 Orange cylinder bubble vase 4

that’s growing on the kitchen window wall.

MCM vase collection

I’m hereby putting out a call to the garage sale gods to provide some glass in greens and blues. Hope they’re listening!

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