Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Seemed like everyone was going somewhere on Friday. At the first sale we visited, the lady was getting ready to go to Italy. Along with the usual books and knicknacks and clothes, she had some lovely blooming plants. “I know my sister won’t take care of them while I’m gone,” she told us, “so they might as well go to someone who will.” She took us into her back yard to see some more plants. It was a lovely space, though a bit bare; seems she’s been selling plants for the last three weekends. “I just love to work out here,” she said. “It doesn’t feel like work. But I always do too much and the next day, oh, I hurt!” She pointed to where two paths crossed. “I told my sister when I die she can bury me there. This place is heaven to me.”

At another stop, the guy was getting ready to move to France. “Eleven more days and I’m out of here!” One of his first stops will be Normandy, where he wants to stand in the surf and imagine what it was like on D-Day.

When we reached this house, Judy started to laugh.

Free Coffee

“If you’re giving out free coffee,” she asked the lady having the sale, “does that mean you’re also offering a free bathroom?” The lady whooped with laughter. She had a number of quilted things in her sale and I asked if she was the quilter.

Little quilts

She said she was, and began to tell us about the quilt she’d made for her son. “He was diagnosed with cancer, and when they found it he was already stage four. So I sent out quilt squares to family and friends and everyone hurried to make their squares and get them back. I got them pieced together while he was having chemo, and even though it wasn’t finished I was able to wrap him in it.” Judy and I were blinking back tears as we talked to her. You could tell she was grieving (he died in May at the age of 33), but she sounded cheerful as she talked about him. You knew she really felt his presence near her. And that the quilting has been her comfort.

Actually, she just kept us laughing. She was offering coffee to everyone, and one guy said he could only drink two cups a day and he’d already had them. Immediately she switched to, “Get away from that coffee! Don’t you dare have another cup!” Judy got a cup and liked it, so she asked what kind it was. Something from Costco (don’t ask me what, I’m not a coffee drinker and it didn’t sink in). “Oh, they’re discontinuing that,” Judy told her. “I’ve been buying it too.” “Noooooo!” the quilting lady cried. They commiserated with each other over the loss of their coffee supply.

It’s what we do. Go to garage sales and bond with people.

And dogs.  Does he have a licenseStuff-wise, it was a fabbo weekend. Didn’t spend a whole lot on Friday (we both passed on this vintage incense!),

Incense from the good old days

just $3.50 for some linen napkins

linen napkins

(yup, still buying cloth napkins so that as Zoe sneaks off with them I won’t be left having to resort to paper towels) and some music books

music books

and a garden book

yard book

and a crystal water buffalo.

Crystal water buffalo

Okay, I tried REALLY HARD not to buy this thing. He was sitting there with some crystal snails and other figurines and I look at him and thought, what is that? It’s not a sheep. I picked him up. He’s small, about 2” long, and yes, a water buffalo. Even odder is that he’s engraved “Hadeland” on the bottom, so he’s from Norway. Most of their figurines are polar bears and seals and rabbits and snails, but evidently they break out into the occasional water buffalo. Normally I can keep from buying something at a sale by reminding myself I’ll most likely see this item again down the road and if I still want it I can buy it later. But that’s probably not true in this case. So I bought it…for a quarter.

At least when I’m crazy I’m still frugal.

On Saturday I deliberately limited my route to just a few sales close to home; family was arriving in the afternoon and there were things to do. But I’m really glad I went out! I passed on the large galvanized trough for planting more bamboo somewhere in the yard at the first sale, but did select a nice stunt kite for a buck.

colorful kite

Her next door neighbor was also having a sale, and while I was there the kite lady came over to offer her neighbor some breakfast. “My daughter is making these pancakes, you’ll love it. You smash up a banana and mix in an egg and fry it.” The lady at the second sale gave it her best shot to be polite, but it was obvious she thought it sounded as awful as I did. Of course I detest bananas in any form. I left before they forced this ‘pancake’ on her.

Made a couple more stops, picked up some cheap entertainment

cheap entertainment

and about 3 yards of some fabric I just love.

hummingbird fabricfabric gurantee

Then I turned a corner and headed down a street that seemed familiar, and when I got to the sale I remembered being there before. They had a sale last year that my SIL Linda & I stopped at and ended up talking about gardening for a while. But it was nothing compared to their sale this year. They had really decluttered and their daughter brought stuff as well, and the prices were quite good. Most things were a dollar or less, and I carted off a boxful for ten bucks. Which included 9 new woven placemats

lots o' placemats

that might even work with the napkins from Friday. Fine for family!

placemats   napkins

Two brand new heavy duty cake pans? I’m good with that.

cake pans

I tried for a few seconds to resist these egg coddlers, but they’re way cute and were marked fifty cents each. I figure I can use them for little storage jars if I don’t get into coddled eggs.

let's coddle

More storage – a cool glass jar with an unusual clamp lid.

jar with clamp lidscrew clamp lid

And the two items that made my husband’s heart go pitty pat, being the coffee aficionado that he is – a brand new Chemex pot

Chemex pot

and a glass coffee dripper.

Vario coffee dripper

Vario dripperHe definitely has a collection of these now – four that he uses all the time, all different.

coffee drippersI gather that each one brings some variation that subtly changes the brewing. I do know that he’s had a very good time since I brought home the Chemex and the Vario, looking up discussions on the Internet of their properties and the best way to brew coffee with them.

As good as the stuff from that sale was, I got an even better story. It seems that only a few minutes before I arrived, two men got into a fight over something at the sale. Don’t even know what it was, but when Argumentative Guy A saw that Guy B was looking at the whatever he started to yell at him to leave that alone, he was already looking at it. Guy B was also feeling argumentative and yelled back. The daughter of the sale folks told me the story; when she saw what was happening she figured she’d better defuse the situation. So she began to yell too. “Fight! Fight! Fight!” (Our grade school days never really leave us, do they?) When Argumentative Guy A heard her he seemed madder than ever, but AG B thought it was funny – and so he backed down.

While she was telling me this story, her friend was listening. “That’s when I was looking for the bubble wrap,” she threw in. Bubble wrap? we said. “Were you planning to smother them with it?” I asked. And she said yes! “I figured I could wrap it over their heads and pop the bubbles while I did it. That would have taken care of things.”

Yup. I’m sure it would have!



  1. Just wondering if your figurine might be a yak, from the north instead of a water buffalo. Without color and texture the two could look similar. You always find the coolest stuff. I need to go rummaging on the East and West Coasts, the mid-west has lost all the good stuff. ;)

    1. I could go for a yak, I've always liked them. Remember the Hilaire Belloc poem about the yak? the last verse goes:
      Then tell your papa where the Yak can be got,
      And if he is awfully rich
      He will buy you the creature - or else he will not.
      (I cannot be positive which.)

  2. I think she should have organized an arm wrestle over the item...and winner pays double..lol

  3. Great finds and great stories

  4. I couldn't have left the water buffalo behind - he's gorgeous!

    1. Oh good, I'm not the only one! Can't you see it on our headstones..."She had a soft spot for water buffalo"?

  5. Great deals as always just like the stories!!! I have missed you!!!


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

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