My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Scenes from a Yard Sale

Last Friday and Saturday, my friend Robyn and I (together with a few other people, including our former co-worker Vonnie and her husband Kelly) had a huge yard sale at Robyn's house. It was, I think, our fourth one and our biggest yet. Robyn's always generous about hosting them - she lives in a great neighborhood for it, her husband Jess works at an elementary school and furnishes us with several cafeteria tables, and we don't have to spend our entire yard sale ad just giving directions to my house! :-)

Of course I took my camera along - just in case - and enjoyed more photo ops than you might imagine a yard sale would provide! :-) Here are my favorites...

Willow, BW and Jess hold a summit in the shade
to discuss the world's many problems.
Willow's sanguine, BW looks concerned, Jess seems distraught.
So who do you think has the best grasp of the situation?

Joined by Kelly, they appear to have solved everything
and so reward themselves with a moment of levity.
As if their long break in the shade weren't reward enough.
(Now get your lazy butts over here and help us with the sale!)

Robyn's "grand-dog" Ani (pronounced "AH-nee") arrived with Robyn's daughter Ashley to lend a paw. Ani had a few items in the sale herself, and sold at least one dog sweater, the proceeds from which she planned to spend on treats. Kids! When high-energy Ani arrived she immediately talked Willow into ditching the "Manly Summit in the Shade" to enjoy an ambitious game of tag all over the front yard. Afterwards, Ani plopped herself down under our sold papasan chair we'd moved into the garage for later pickup, and enjoyed some restful solitude. At least she did till I bent down and stuck my camera in her cute face!

Temporarily tuckered, Ani recharges beneath the papasan

As for the yard sale itself, it started at 7 am both days (which meant getting up at 4:30 to make the long drive to Robyn's house in time to start setting up at 6) and ran till 2. Friday was very busy all day - so busy, in fact, that I never got to take the photos I'd brought the camera for the in the first place - the yard sale itself! Robyn's entire driveway and front sidewalk were filled with cafeteria tables, a bench and several boxes and tubs full of stuff, plus furniture, saddle stands, workout equipment, auto accessories... it was quite an extravaganza of stuff treasures. :-) But I ended up being the cashier and recorder - not an easy job for a sleep deprived, math-challenged clerk in a 7-person yard sale - and by the time I got a photography opportunity (and had recovered my wits enough to remember to use it), a lot of stuff had been thinned out. Which was good, because the next day was slooooooow, one of several things that made this yard sale very different from all of our past ones, when Saturday was always the crazy day. But if we had to have one slow day, Saturday needed to be it, since we got a call from our realtor Friday scheduling a house showing Saturday morning! So we got home exhausted Friday night and had to mow and clean for that. Such fun! And BW had to take care of the last minute tasks and vamoose with the dogs for it, so he didn't show up at the yard sale till after lunch. I wish I could tell you that we actually sold our YARD (and the house that sits upon it) that day, but alas, it didn't turn into that kind of yard sale! (Another dud, who never even bothered to provide feedback. Hmmph!)

Oh well, onward and upward ~ we managed to sell a lot, donated most of what was left (keeping some items for possible future giveaways!), and netted just shy of $500. Which is pretty paltry pay for all the work involved, but it sure beats a slap in the ass with a wet overshoe, as a local fence-building cowboy we hired once liked to say. :-)

I purchased just one item (I'll pause here while you applaud my self-control... thank you!), a pretty green wineglass from Vonnie for a dime. Here it is, posing photogenically on our deck railing with the bottle of Frey's vegan, organic white wine I partook of Saturday night. For medicinal purposes, you understand...

A couple of hours before the sale ended on Saturday, Robyn's neighbors drove up in their beautifully restored, sky-blue 1965 Mustang convertible. They were on their way to Buffalo's Big Horn Mountain bluegrass festival, but stopped to make a few purchases first. We'd thinned out our inventory significantly by then, but this is the only photo of the actual sale I got. And it was an unintentional one, since what I was actually photographing and wanted you to see, of course, was this fun and snazzy ride, which perfectly matched the color of the sky that beautiful day...

Classic 1965 Ford Mustang
The hood is up so BW could view the engine!
What a perfect day it was for cruising in a convertible!

Speaking of Robyn's neighbors, another one who'd stopped by our sale lives a couple houses up and across the street, and she had a blooming climbing plant on her fence that kept catching my eye. Neither Robyn nor I could identify it from that distance, and kept wondering if it was roses? Trumpet vine? Clematis? I could finally stand it no longer, so during an extended lull on Saturday afternoon we walked over with my camera for a closer look. It turned out to be the most beautifully colored honeysuckle I've ever seen...

See? I told you there were some pleasantly unanticipated photo ops at our yard sale! And you were probably expecting lame pictures of battered Barbie dolls, chipped flower vases and rusty muffin tins, weren't you? ;-)


  1. Such industry deserved that wine. I wouldn't give any to the men involved, they looked as if they were slacking in the extreme! The dogs should be rewarded for turning up and looking cute of course. That honeysuckle is so beautiful, makes ours look so insipid!

  2. Please note the timely reply...will miracles ever cease?
    Love the shot of the dog with the guys in the shade. Willow has it all worked out. $500 doesn't seem like much for all the work, but it's stuff, I mean treasures you don't have to pack and move later or pay someone to haul away. I agree with Barbara, you earned that wine-for medicinal purposes.

  3. That's too bad that the house didn't sell yet, but $500 isn't too bad! It does sound like it was a ton of work, though. Phew!

    The honeysuckle is gorgeous and that Mustang is equally gorgeous! I kind of miss my convertible on certain days. You know, the 3 or so a year that it's nice enough to drive with the top down here. :p

  4. I am glad I can enjoy your yard sale vicariously! What a ton of work! The wine glass is gorgeous and a real bargain. Love the photos of Willow and Ani! Sorry the potential home buyer didn't pan out--the right buyer just has to come along soon, I'm hoping! Cheers!

  5. Yeah, those guys are a bunch of slackers! I'm with Barbara: no wine for them! I love your new green glass though, it's so pretty and the white wine looks lovely in it.

    Sounds like fun overall...and 500$...that's great! I wish I could have stopped by...I would have if i lived a little closer.

    Love that old mustang too...I used to love those cars when I was a kid, because of the horse logo, of course...who cares about the car? Lol.

    The honeysuckle is gorgeous, I bet it smelled divine too.

  6. Barbara ~ Fear not, for no man (Homo Sapiens Slackus Extremis) got a single sip of my wine! Though BW did get a very good ale, because he did help a great deal. I could not, in fact, have done it without him. His efforts just weren't quite wine worthy, though. LOL

    I know what you mean about that honeysuckle! All other specimens pale into inferiority if not insignificance. They're rather like our yard sale men ~ slackers all!

    Susan ~ Timely reply duly noted! :-) (My reply to your email is likely to be less timely, as it's been a hard day that is going to be followed by a hard week. But I enjoyed it and promise to respond as soon as possible!)

    Willow is a smart cookie. She was so cute, spent the first couple of hours feeling it was her responsibility to greet everyone, and was very diligent about QC'ing the merchandise that was within reach of her long collie nose. :-) And I agree, the $500 is great, but it was getting rid of all that ballast that felt the best! It always does. There is far more we intend to dispense with when this place finally sells, but for now we need it either a) for "staging" (eye roll) or b) because living here requires use of it. I can hardly WAIT to see a lot of that stuff heading for new homes! Lightening the load just feels so good.

    Thank you to you and Barbara for understanding so well my medicinal needs. ;-)

    Molly ~ I'd rather have sold our house, but I'll take the $500. On second thought, why couldn't we have both? Huh? Tell me that! *sigh* This is one tough, demoralizing slog. The yard sale was indeed a lot of work. Starting during our spring cleaning in January and right up till the evening before the sale when BW decided to get a bunch of stuff out of our Morton building and throw it into the mix, we were culling, cleaning and pricing things, boxing it up and hauling almost all of it to our storage unit. From there the week before the sale we started hauling it to the space Robyn had made in her garage. Then there was the sale itself (of which balancing the cash drawer was the most challenging part - Robyn and I worked on that for at least an hour!), and then sorting, boxing and hauling everything that was left to the appropriate destinations. By the last hour of the sale, we were all giving things away, just to avoid having to deal with it.

    I miss my convertible sometimes too! What kind did you have? (You probably told me once, but I'm old now and CRS. lol) I had a 1975 red Fiat Spyder named Mario (for Andretti). :-) He didn't have a second gear, but he was a lot of fun! We drove him all the way from Abilene, TX to Alamogordo, NM once with the top down (both ways ~ never have I had wilder looking hair, lol). :-) We sold him just before we moved to WY from TX, and the kid who bought him (the son of a co-worker of mine) blew up the engine a couple months later. >:-( What became of yours?

  7. Daphne ~ I think vicariously is the best way to enjoy a yard sale! It's probably fun to be a customer, too, but then you end up hauling stuff home and eventually, you need to be the one having a yard sale. It's a vicious cycle. :-) I'm glad you like my wine glass! I love the color, and it's a nice sturdy one. I wish I had videotaped Willow and Ani chasing each other, it was really cute! Willow didn't seem to know what to make of such a small and energetic dog, but she got into the spirit of things after a bit. :-)

    I hope you're right about that buyer coming along, and we hope it's soon too! All we can do is hope. And keep cleaning and mowing and repairing and maintaining... blech. We are so ready to do something different!

    Rose ~ Then you will enjoy my reply to Barbara on that subject. :-) I agree that the white wine looks really nice in that green wineglass. I don't know what red wine will look like, but I'd just bought my first bottle of white for the season since it's gotten hot here now, and thought that wine glass would be perfect for it. I wish you lived close enough to have stopped by our yard sale, that would have been fun!

    LOL about loving Ford Mustangs as a kid because of the horse logo - I was exactly the same way!! How funny (yet unsurprising). :-) And the honeysuckle did smell wonderful!

  8. Willow, Ani and Frey's...perfection!

  9. Laloofah -- I bet you rested most of Sunday after all the work you did on the yard sale and the quick "get house ready" for showing. Houses aren't moving here either. I once sold a house in a peculiar fashion. I had always kept it perfect. I went away for the weekend leaving my two older sons at home -- who, unbeknownst to me, had a party and invited just about every kid in their school. Had two showing that weekend and sold it -- even with all the party left-overs laying around. Couldn't get mad as the house did sell.So have a big party and don't be in a hurry to clean up afterwards -- barbara

  10. veganelder ~ Yep, a trifecta of fun! :-)

    Barbara (KY) ~ Yes, compared to most days around here (and especially the four preceding it), Sunday was a relative day of rest for us.

    GREAT story about selling your house! The people who bought it probably took one look at all the post-party flotsam and thought, "What a fun place to live, it must just be a constant party!" I'll have to try that tact next time. BW and I have often kidded that when we finally give up and don't care about the house and lawn looking perfect, that's when we'll get a buyer. I'm not quite there yet, but I can feel myself getting a lot closer. But I hadn't considered staging the house with party streamers and empty beer cans! LOL

  11. Just reading about all of that work made me tired! I can't even imagine how you feel! Hopefully it all pays off soon and gets you a bid on your house. I keep hoping to hear that it happened!

    I had a VW beetle, which I leased for the past three years and just turned in this April. It was cute, but junky. Things fell off of it, the windows wouldn't stay up. It just was a lemon and a half and I'm so glad I leased it instead of buying it. Someday I'd like to get an old hot rod convertible. Some day. :)

  12. Molly ~ I know, just writing it wore me out all over again! LOL And I sure look forward to being finally able to tell you we've got a contract on this place... and a closing date... and the keys to a new cottage in town (or a boat!) :-)

    I remember your turning in a lemon lease car and getting the Subaru, but didn't realize - or had forgotten - it was a VW bug convertible. Robyn has a non-convertible VW bug, that, if all goes according to plan (big if!), will appear on my blog on Thursday. She's had it for 10+ years and I think it's just as cute as... well, as a bug! :-) What a shame yours gave you so much trouble, and I'm glad along with you that it was a lease!

    So, got any particular old hot rod convertible in mind for someday? I can see you zipping around some cool town in NM or CO in a sporty ride... you've got the top pulled down and the radio on, baby... :-)

  13. I had heard the stories but it was fun to see photos to go with it. It does look like it was a beautiful day and that's good - I can't imagine what you would have done with all the stuff/treasures had it started to rain. That's happened to me once at least and it's a mad dash for sure but I didn't have that much!

    I loved the photos of the honeysuckle. What pretty colors!

  14. Oh, I would have loved to have been at your yard sale! And I would have helped, not like those lazy men! But I'd have bought a lot, too, so maybe I'm better where I am...

    Pretty honeysuckle. We have one that's a nice colour, too.

    So sorry the house isn't sold yet. It's quite demoralising, isn't it? Maybe it IS time for the 'lived-in' look to prevail...

  15. Jo ~ No, rain would not have been fun to deal with at all! Luckily, there was none in the forecast (not that you can always depend on forecasts!), but we weren't worried about it. We did have some wind to contend with, though - we often do. But except for a few gusts that knocked a couple of lightweight things over and off the tables, it was really perfect weather for it.

    Have you ever seen honeysuckle that color? It reminds me of a sunset, or a tropical fruit smoothie or sorbet or something! I think it's really beautiful.

    Penny ~ Oh, I wish you could have been there! And I'm sure you would have put those slacker menfolk to utter shame, but it would have been fun just to share your company! Robyn always says she's my best customer at our yard sales (and I think she's right!), but she just has to carry her new treasures into her house. You'd have luggage restrictions to think about, and that would probably keep your buying impulse in check. :-)

    What color is your honeysuckle? I think I'd only seen them in yellow and white before.

    Yes, the house sale thing is very demoralizing, especially since it's impossible to know when things will improve. I'm sure everyone is waiting now to see what the lunkheads in DC do about the debt ceiling. It wasn't easy for me to make the decision to sell this place (BW was years ahead of me on that one!), but once I did I wanted it done so we can get on with the next thing. This dragging-it-out business stinks. It's interesting that Barbara and I are going through it at the same time. I sure hope they sell theirs soon so they can get the thatched roof cottage they want!

    I think we'll try the lived-in look next time regardless, I am burnt out trying to be Martha Stewart for these ingrates! LOL


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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