With Dunkin Donuts coffee in hand (I make my own) and all the dollar bills I can wad into my pocket, I grab my camera, my keys, my detailed list of which houses to go to (and in what order), and then I accelerate into the sunrise!
Gotta love those folks who start their sales at 7:00. By 8:00, I'd love to be wrapping it up and heading to the last few places. Never happens though, because most of the people don't start until 8:00. It's hard to get a jump on the best stuff when everyone starts at the same time and across town from each other.
Lucky for me, most people aren't looking for the good old fashioned junk that I am.
I usually manage finding junk-o'plenty. This week I was beyond proud that I had gone almost everywhere I wanted and only spent $4.00. A bad day junking is a good day for the wallet. I felt like I was making up for weeks past when having run out of allotted garage sale funds, I cleaned out the ash tray cash (which isn't saying much), pilfered all the quarters, dimes and nickels from the car door handle, searched through my purse's zipper area and my little change purse in hopes of resurrecting a sum needed to purchase some important artifact (I'm sure). Aside from my $5 limit per item, having only so much cash on hand keeps me from getting caught up in a spending spree. Dollars add up fast!
Here's what I hauled home for the pittance I spent this week:
Each of these items cost me $1.00. They wanted $5 for the box, but I get tool boxes for $1 all the time, so I didn't feel out of line asking if they'd take $1.00. The dad said "Sure." The kid who was helping said, "Dad, that's 4 dollars off of 5!" The dad wisely told him "I want to get rid of it - someone wants to pay me something for it - it's a garage sale - you take what you can get and get rid of it."
Smart man. The handle is super shiny, but the box itself is a perfect shade of red and it's all chipped up. Then... look at that cool scale! $1.00. I didn't think I'd ever find one. Score!
I spent way too much time digging through a can of stuff so I could find just the drill bits that I needed. There's also some sort of a pick that looks like a dental instrument. It'll come in handy for sure. Altogether these cost me another $1.00. I should've sprung for the old scissors they had, after all, they're on my list! However since this was only my second stop, I didn't want to buy too much and be out of cash later.
Did you see the not-so-silver serving tray with handles peeking out from under the red box? Here... have a close up view. Looks like someone baked it in mud for about half a millennium. I got it for $1.00! I'd been wanting to get some silver items and use them in my decorating. I have a few ideas. I figured this would clean up for the most part. To find one with handles is sweet!
These handles were mere murder to clean, so I moved on to clean the other silver.
"What other silver?", you might ask. Well, that's a fair question. It's like this...
I went by Goodwill after the garage sales and I found the little silver bowl below for $1.00. All the other silver there was priced higher than I wanted to pay, and I couldn't decide if I needed it THAT badly, (even though I passed up a cool silver champagne cooler a couple weeks ago because it was $8.00 (I thought that was high), but when I realized I HAD to have it and went back for it, it was gone! I was so mad at myself for passing it up! Me and my pricing standards - I went to another Goodwill near me and their silver was $15 to $25 each piece! What!?) Then I spotted this bowl and it was a buck. It was tarnished of course, but I could tell it was a good one. A buck for something useful and quality is always too tempting to pass up. Sold.
I think I'm entering a silver phase. It will probably last until I run out of my sundry containers of silver cream and my nails and fingers, black from polishing, crumple up and stop working. In other words, the phase may not last long, but I'll enjoy it while it does!
Okay, now steady yourself, and I mean it. Are you ready for a real surprise? Are you sitting? You're not reading this on your iphone while hiking through mountains or walking near a busy street are you? Pay attention...I don't want you to get hurt when you flip out seeing what else I got. Okay, okay, you won't be that excited. You may not even think it's cool, but I do, so I'm counting on you all to at least play along. Nah...that won't do. Go ahead and tell it like it is. I can take it. I'm pretty sure I can count on certain daughters of mine to give me THEIR honest opinion.
Well, here's what happened...there was this sale that I had gone to last year where there were these two patio chairs popular back in the Old Florida days of my youth. I could have cared less about them as a kid and would've gone so far as to call them "old lady chairs" at the time (maybe like certain daughters of mine might?). But since they appear now as part of the supporting cast of my childhood memories, they have taken on a beyond cool vibe that now invites me back to that place and time, and to which I happily oblige. Hence, the "old lady chairs" meet "me as an 'old lady'" and guess what...we sort of fit with each other in a way we previously didn't. That's what happens with age, kids!
Last year at that sale when I first saw them, all chippy and turquoise and straight out of the early 60's, I asked if they were for sale but the woman said she'd only sell them if she could get a good price and proceeded to tell me how old and special they were. I knew she wanted too much for my stingy budget. However, I thought my friend Lynn might want them for her new home when she moves, and then I could enjoy them whenever I visited. Lynn and I had seen a white, chippy, rusty bench of this kind at a salvage yard for upwards of $1,000. I called her at the time, but she and her husband were planning to pack things up and downsize for their move, so it was a no-go. That was that. I had to walk away, but the memory of those chairs stuck with me.
Fast forward. Here it was garage sale day again, and with it came a sale that sounded like it was in that same townhome complex. I wondered...could it be? If it was, would the chairs still be there? Might she want someone to take them off her hands for less? I remembered that the front of one of the seats was broken and needed to be soddered. I was unphased. I almost dreaded going and finding the chairs gone, or worse yet, seeing them there but discovering they were still out of my financial realm of possibility.
So I pulled up and it was the same place. Pulse quickening, I craned my neck to peer into the carport. Oh my goodness! Sure enough, the chairs were there still sitting up against the wall in the exact same place. Gorgeous aqua/turquoise paint was still flaking off and no one was even glancing in their direction. They were obviously meant for me. She must have wanted too much last year to still have them, or else no one else NEEDED these 1960's time travel apparatuses as did I. The question was, would they be for sale, and if so, for how much? I got out and did my nonchalant wander-around looking at the goods on all the tables, afraid to discover the awful truth... that I just couldn't have the chairs. Before I left, I got up the nerve and asked if the chairs were for sale. "Yes," she said. "Make me an offer!"
Uh, uh! No, ma'am. I was not falling for that again. No way! (That happened to me with the blue metal chairs, remember?) So I told her, with a laugh, that I didn't have a clue as to what to offer because I had a very low budget for garage sale items. I didn't want to offend her because I knew they were old and worth more than my typical garage sale limits would allow, but I didn't want to blow it by offering based on my assumptions of what I thought she wanted. These were true gems. I had walked away last time and waited the better part of year for this second chance; I was hoping she was one year closer to wanting them out of her hair. My patience should account for something! Financial leniency toward my self-imposed limits was being called upon.
She went ahead and thought a minute and said she would take $50, I countered with a $30 offer, but she was completely unwilling to go that low. I was stuck because I have a hard time spending money. Her friend who was helping her sell told me that if I offered her $40 and held the cash out to her, she'd probably take it. Problem was, I didn't have that much with me. That gave me time to drive away and think, go to the rest of my sales and get more cash if I decided this was indeed the necessity I was being told it was by my Old Florida inner child.
I thought so... glad you agree!"Old lady me" and "inner child me" haggled this decision out across town and back again. I stopped home to drop off salvaged wood I found in my travels, and while there decided that I didn't really HAVE to eat ALL week. I could easily substitute peanut butter sandwiches a few times, have a bowl of cereal for dinner a here and there and make sure to eat every bite of leftovers in the fridge. That would make up for most of it, and in that way my "account" would balance out to $0.00, right? I thought so... glad you agree! The chairs would in effect be free. Duh!
Mind games are a wonderful thing! And so it goes, everytime I want something over my limit, the garage sale diet comes into play. It suffices to say I do not have a weight problem. In this money shuffling game I give up basics, make trades and juggle funds for the love of a different kind of sustanence... "JUNK food".
So look what I got for going without groceries this week...
I gathered together some money, drove back, and the woman looked at her friend for confirmation (and getting it) accepted my $40 offer. The turquoise painted cast iron chairs found themselves at home where other treasures have found safe haven before, in the backseat of my car.
A chippy, aqua, romantic patio dream.
I haven't figured out the patio arrangement yet. I've been moving things around and replanting and that new pile of cabinet doors needs to be dealt with, so right now the chairs are just biding their time awaiting placement. They do need to be stripped and repainted eventually, but for now, I'm just loving them as they are and enjoying their shabby beauty as is.
There were still twice this many doors left in the pile and some long doors as well. I didn't even know what to do with the ones I got, so I didn't take any more. The ones I got are strewn about my patio and I have to decide about them quickly. The torential downpours have already come three days in a row, and these will all be bowed soon. Without a storage area, great finds like this being held for some future day can end up being more of a hassle than they're worth. I've moved them around 4 times already. I may have to salvage the knobs and toss the wood after all. [Sad sigh]. Amazing what you can find out there though. If we were doing a wood covered wall, these would have been just the thing!
So there you go. Up until those chairs came along, I had only spent $5 all morning and hauled a few fun finds home, including the free wood. In the end after the chairs, for a $45 morning, total, I was a happy camper. I spent the rest of the day planting two tibuchina bushes in the Florida Summer sun by my patio and gazing fondly at my sweet cast iron lovelies.
Gosh, I just realized - I'm starving! Anybody want some company for dinner?
I'll be sharing this with:
Fridays Unfolded @ Stuff and Nonsense
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
What's It Wednesday @ Ivy & Elephants