These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Yard Sale Results

The weekend went well. The yard sale was a huge success. Saturday was a little tough because last minute details left me less prepared as I would like to have been. On Friday, they came to put down my new driveway, so there was dust flying everywhere. I worked outside on the deck for a while, but it got to the point that I couldn’t breathe, so I came into the house and did as much as I could here. When they finished a little after 1:00, I returned to the deck to clean up, set up, and blow away the dirt. When Gail came home from work she helped me as much as she could. By about 8:00 we couldn’t see much. It was really dark and the porch light was blocked by the sales items. So I decided to quit and go back to it in the morning under “dawn’s early light.” Came in and showered. Ate a little and fell into bed.

So I set the alarm and was up at 5:30. It was dark, so I got dressed, fed the dogs, put on a touch of make up so I wouldn’t scare prospective buyers, had a cuppa tea, all the while checking the light outside. Finally, about 6:30 it was almost light enough to do something. Worked my patootie off again getting as much in order as possible, and at 7:55 left to put the signs up along the way.

As I drove the nearly two miles to the highway, I dropped a big box painted with arrows, etc., to guide people at each turn. The stretch of road from the highway to the first turn is long, over a mile, and as I traversed that section I met one, two, three, four, five, six cars. Now wait ... at 8:00 am on Saturday??? Oh, Lawdy, they were on their way to my house!! Poor Gail!! And sure enough, when I got back, all six cars were here, plus a neighbor that walked over just before I left!!

The day went well, all in all. We didn't price anything because there was too much to do so, and besides it is just almost impossible for me to put a value on a treasure, even if it is not treasured enough to keep. So we played "Make Me An Offer" all day long. I got perturbed with only two people. One wanted a price on an antique glass butter dish with cover. Not terribly valuable, I'm sure, but very nice, in pristine condition, and not something you'd find today. So I said $5, being ready to bargain down. She snapped at me, "Well, that's not enough for me to resell it." HUH? You want me to come down so that you can sell it for my price???? I don't think so, babycakes!!! But I simply said, "That's the price." My nostrils may have flared and my eyes bugged out, but I didn't get rude back. Later a neighbor bought it for a gift.

The second one involved a wooden airplane, not really styled for kids to play with. It is rather heavy, and I once had it suspended from the ceiling in my office when I worked with children. It's a really nicely finished plane, and all the kids loved it, especially when I would take it down and let them see it close or hold it during a counseling session. A man picked it up early in the day and was admiring it. He said, "This is really cool," and asked the price, and I think I said $4 maybe $5, again ready to bargain with him. But before any transaction could begin, his wife stuck her head over his shoulder and said, "NO! Look, it is cracked. And what is it good for anyway?" Yes, there was a fine crack in the paint on one wing. I sorta looked past her and said to him that I had hung it from the ceiling...etc., and she snapped at him, "Put it down." I would have offered him a lower price, but she was so nasty, even stomping down the stairs with him in the wake of her ugliness, that I neither had the time nor wanted that cute plane to go in her home. It was later bought by a man who wanted to hang it, as I did, for his grandchildren.

I was more intent on getting things out of here than the money, so we took ridiculous prices for most things. When I sensed a good home, I was more willing to come down. The husband of one of Gail's coworkers wanted a gorgeous floor lamp with an etched pale pink and white glass globe that was gently used for a few years, and I was comfortable giving them a price well below what I had in my head. And since they ended up buying well over $100 anyway .....

At day's end I counted my money (don't you love doing that?) and was pleased with the amount, around $350. It wasn't huge, but a decent amount. I felt good about how much was gone, so it all balanced out. By 8:00 I couldn't hold my eyes open, and I tumbled into bed.

We weren't sure about how Sunday would go. In KC, a Sunday garage sale is usually good, but this is The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, NM. The buyers started later, as we didn't have anyone until around 11:00, but I'm telling you, I've never seen so many pickup trucks, mostly duallies, in one place in so short a time. Several men were disappointed that there were no tools (I still don't know what I really need at this place yet), but most of them bought something. There were several who came back after being here on Saturday, bringing a spouse or a buddy. Two couples came back together for a second day. And the word spread wildly as one of my neighbors told another and then another. I met about eight or ten neighbors that I didn't know before, and have a tentative date to play dominoes (Mexican Train, of course!!!) with two ladies from the 'hood! One purchase was a tool that no one could figure out. The man who bought it took it to a mutual acquaintance who is an artist and who has a huge collection of tools, unusual or antiques. He knew what it was, grabbed his wife and brought her over to the sale, tooQ

Additionally, I was completely elated when a neighbor with whom I'd spoken recently about doing some building for me (Oh, remember the guy with the young bull and the chair?) looked at a screen I bought several months ago and asked about it. Let me explain, the screen is gorgeous, heavy carved wood, probably Indonesian, with mirrors on one side. I absolutely love it, but it just doesn't fit in my house, style or size. I put it out, knowing that it wasn't really a yard sale type item, but, hey, you never know. Early in the day a man admired it, and we talked about it. He wasn't in the market for it, just saw a beautiful piece of work and was looking at it. He is an auctioneer and disclaimed being an appraiser, but said that my price of $1500 was probably right on. He estimated it would appraise between $1200 and $2800.

My plan was to have it appraised in a couple weeks and then to advertise it in the paper. But my neighbor looked at it and asked the price. He said he thought his wife would love it. He left and came back a couple hours later. He asked if I would trade off the screen for the deck that I want built on the back of the house. OK, now the cost of the deck was a little lower than the price of the screen. I told him to let me think about it. Bottom line is that I might or might not get that price, I can't use the screen, and it would mean no money out of pocket for me right now. So I agreed. His wife came to look at it and she did, in fact, love it, so the deal is struck. FYI, I paid $800 for the screen. Yeah, I got a good deal. Isn't it funny how things work out at times? Also, this man came back (1) with his partner and his wife/girlfriend (2) with his children, and (3) with his wife, a total of five times. And he purchased five times!! I like that kind of "customer"!!!

Sunday's take was about the same as Saturday's was, plus the screen deal. I'm not unhappy! I'd say approximately half the stuff is gone. There is still quite a lot out there, so I've decided that since it is set up and not a hassle, I'm going to advertise it again and do a repeat next weekend. Gail won't be here to help me, but that is OK. If I get too tired, I'll just close early and put a threatening sign on the deck! I'll be out just about $30 in newspaper ads, and if I continue to make around $350 each day, I'll be thrilled. Heck, even $200 for these final two days will tickle me silly!

I'm tired today, but as I said to Gail last night, it isn't the stress-filled weariness that I experienced all last week. I feel that a lot was accomplished and I'm feeling a weight lifted from my shoulders. Now, I need to get off my duff and clean house!! But that feels good, too!!

Oh, yeah, you'd better believe ....
Life is beautiful!!!

PS - don't forget to check out the Monday Movies below.

PS - I forgot to say that one of my neighbors who came by invited me to be involved in a group that picks up items for and prepares "care packages" for our troops overseas. One of the things they ask for is stuffed animals. It took about a nanosecond to scoop up the two bags of stuffed animals (all in very good shape) for him to take with him. These are sent to service people in places such as the Middle East so they can give them to children. I wish I'd had ten bags of stuffed animals. From my work with neglected and abused children, I know how vital it can be in helping a child who has been traumatized. So HURRAH to these people and those groups like them around the US!!!


  1. WOW! Congrats on a very successful sale! :)

  2. You hauled on that sale! Love the trade of the screen for the deck.

  3. My goodness, sounds like you had a good weekend, albeit tiring. Ya know, I have never had a yard sale before. I have a really hard time putting price on something "used". I've done a "group" sale before, so I let me buddies, price my items for me :-). That's so exciting about the screen and your "bartering". Can't wait to hear how the deck turns out.

  4. Wow, that is awesome. I hope you spend that money on something fun for yourself.

  5. So glad for you that except for those two minor black-cloud-on-a-sunny-day grumblers, that the yard sale went so well, Lynilu !

    Hope that next weekend the rest of it all goes --

    And nice that the stuffed animals found a good home :)

    *cybe hugs*
    Loving Annie

  6. Casey - I can't complain! ;-) Thanks!

    Sassy - Isn't it interesting how good it feels when no money changes hands, yet both get what they want? Awesome!

    Dawn - Yes, it was good. The cool thing about garage sales is that everyone feels good ... me for getting it gone, and them for their amazing purchases. Win-win!!

    Caroline - One thing for sure ... I'm going to spend some of it on a good massage! Ahhhhh.

    Annie - You know, those grumblers didn't spoil my day nearly as much as I'll bet they spoiled their own! It is sad that people have to be so rude and grumpy. I'm really pleased about the stuffed critters! Wow, what a cool thing!

  7. I loved how you got a deck for the screen!!! Congratulations on your yard sale. I hope next weekend goes just as well.

    What a wonderful idea for the stuffed animals.

  8. You had a fantastic sale! Now you need to buy something for your house or something for yourself.

  9. Way to go on the yardsale. I'd say you did very well indeed! Good luck next week-end as well!

  10. Daisy - Considering I don't like doing yard/garage sales, I'm amazed and thrilled that I sucked up and did it! I think I forgot to say that I'm also going to be helping the group that prepares the packages for shipping. I think it is such a great project. I'm essentially anti-war (not just this one) but I certainly support the troops who are doing their assigned job. Anything to make it easier for them emotionally, I'll do.

    Pepper- Yes, I plan to do both! And I'm going on a long road trip soon, so some of it will help pay for the trip. Let's keep in touch ... if our paths cross in late October and November, perhaps we can meet and have lunch or dinner!

  11. I liked your yard sale story. That's always cool when you can do some bartering. I don't really like to go to or to put on yard sales. I'm not quite sure why. But it's neat that you brought in some good money for your efforts!

  12. Sheryl - I don't like doing them either, but I simply felt I had no choice. I find it difficult to be the first to say "hello" with a new person. No one who knows me believes me when I say I'm actually quiet shy, but I have had to overcome it. So I just sorta took big breaths and charged into the battle! The bartering deal was EXCELLENT!! :)

  13. I'm TERRIBLE at the yard sale. And yet I really liked living vicariously through yours just now. :) Congrats on doing so well and meeting new neighbors in the process!

  14. Catherine - I understand that completely. My hub used to do them because I really hated it. Now if it's gonna get done, I gotta do it! Thanks, it really wasn't bad!


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!