Sunday, September 9, 2012

Yard sale haul

We spent several hours yesterday and today treasure hunting at the town-wide yard sales. Because there are so many sales spread all across the town, we took a systematic approach to try and hit as many of them as reasonably possible. First we took the list and the paper map that the yard sale organizers (a local realtor) provided and marked them up to find the areas with the highest concentration of sales. Then we'd drive to those areas (so as to have the car handy if we picked up anything large), park somewhere near a likely-looking sale, and start roaming up and down the streets, checking out each sale we passed in turn. At first, it looked like we were going to have poor hunting, because Saturday morning kept threatening to rain, and so many of the scheduled sales hadn't materialized (and some of those who had set up bright and early were hastily trying to bring things back in or cover up all their goods with tarps). But eventually the weather cleared up, though it was still so humid that we found ourselves wearing out long before we'd exhausted the possible sales. Today was much nicer—clear and not too warm—and we were able to check out all the areas with Sunday-only sales.

So how did we do? As you can see in the picture at right, we brought home a pretty good haul. Our best find was the kneeler chair, which we picked up for 10 bucks at the Reformed Church rummage sale. (We also got a back pillow there that can be used in a normal chair--that's the black square at the back of the pile.) This will allow Brian to sit in good spinal alignment at both work and home. But we also found some other great stuff at good prices, including:
  • a bicycle pump that will work with Brian's new bike
  • five board games—some to play at home by ourselves, some that can be played with a group
  • four books, including an amusing little hardcover called Uppity Women of Medieval Times and a selection of short stories called English Country House Murders, which should be good for reading aloud in the car
  • a set of computer speakers for a friend who needs some
  • a nice pair of silver-and-paua-shell earrings for me
  • various gift items, including some clothes and accessories for our nieces, some blocks for one of our nephews, and one other item that isn't in the picture because a certain reader of this blog is not allowed to see it yet
Altogether, we spent $32—pretty good considering that the chair alone would cost over $70 new and the various board games sell for anywhere from $22 to $75 at Amazon.com. Three of the four books were actually free; we came across a yard where there was just a tarp spread out, covered with books, and a sign saying, "FREE." People were stopping and saying things like, "Are these really all free?" and "Well, I can't say no to free!" But Brian said the chair alone was enough of a find to make him consider our weekend of yard-saling a success.

One additional note: those who read my last post will note that our yard sale haul did not include a suitable container to use for compost in the upstairs bath. However, the sales did provide us with an idea for such a container. At one sale, there was a huge box full of all kinds of Tupperware and similar containers, including several empty Blue Bunny ice cream cartons. Unlike most "half-gallon" cartons (which these days typically hold only 56 ounces), these are made of plastic rather than plastic-lined or wax-lined cardboard. It occurred to me that one of these, spray-painted to blend in with the bathroom decor, would make a perfectly reasonable compost pail. And since we happened to have a nearly empty carton of Blue Bunny in our own freezer, all it would cost is the time needed to paint it. (We have black and silver spray paint already; we could also spray on a coat of primer and then brush over that one of the colors we used to paint the vanity several years back.) So I will fill you in on that project in future posts.
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