Various and Sundry

Oh, peeps, I have missed you. Even though I have been away from the blog for way too long, never fear that I have forgotten you. I have conversations with you in my head on all of my junking trips. FOR REALS. I am constantly writing posts and conversing with my Internet peeps in my head; I just never get home and get them typed into the computer. There are a few factors at play here, chief among them that my Dad had open heart surgery about two weeks ago and I have been a little preoccupied with his recovery. They just moved him today to a rehab center where we’re hoping he will regain his strength, quickly, and get home ASAP. Before he went in for the surgery his doofus of a doctor told him he could be home in 2-3 days. Ugh. It’s been nearly two weeks now and he’s still too weak to go home. My parents live about three hours away and I’m trying to time it so that I’m there when he gets home, but feel awful that I haven’t seen him since the surgery — it’s just so complicated what with the kids and my husband having, you know, a job and all. And somehow, the thought of taking three-year-old twins to a rehab facility to visit a man with a bum ticker doesn’t really seem like the smart thing to do. So we’re trying to figure out the timing on that. In the meantime, I’ve been furiously trying to get as many things as possible ready for the booth since it seems I could be out of town for some time here in the very near future and we’re heading into a very busy time of year for our flea market — college kids are shopping for apartment decor now, and then later in August there’s a huge craft fair and the store gets mobbed for four days in a row. I gotta tell you — that bigger booth is a LOT of work. As in, I work on it every single day. With the smaller booth I would gather things and paint a little, etc., for about three days a week and then coast the rest of the time; I can’t do that now. My hope is that eventually I can get out in front of the work — i.e., that I can catch up and have a store of things in the garage ready to go and get back to working about four days a week on it but right now I’m just making it week to week. There’s some guilt associated with this because I feel like I’m not spending enough time with the kids…I’m just hoping that I will find the rhythm of it soon and I won’t feel so frantic all the time. On the upside, I LOVE the fact that I can fit bigger items in there and that I can take inventory right away to the booth instead of storing it in the garage for weeks, waiting for a space to open up in my tiny booth. My biggest sales of the last month, however, have not been in the booth but on eBay. YOU GUYS. During the 4th of July weekend, I found this guy at a yard sale on the outskirts of Prairie Grove [EDIT: I forgot to say that I owe finding this to Shara! She texted me about the sale on Friday and I went on Saturday. They had pulled some other stuff out by that point. Once again, my best junking friend came through!]:I almost didn’t even buy it because it had a huge chip out of the rim…but I had never seen anything like it, and I thought, if nothing else, I could take it up to the project room and keep trim or something in it. I showed it to my friends Kristie and Bailey that afternoon and Kristie said, “Oh, I think you have something special there,” and sure enough, she was right. It’s a Nippon humidor from the early 1900s and all of that trim you see is called Moriage and it’s all HAND DONE. Which still just blows my mind. Bailey and I found an auction from a couple of months ago where a chipped one of these sold for over $400. So of course I got it up on eBay so fast it would have made your head spin. The bidding went to $53 on the third day and sat there up until five minutes before the auction ended. It was one of those auctions where you refresh-refresh-refresh-refresh and it’s the same price and then BAM all of a sudden the price says $293. HOLY MOLEY. There was a bit of difficulty in actually collecting the money — the high bidder didn’t pay and wouldn’t communicate at all with me — but luckily the guy second in line was still interested so at the end of the day I made $288 on my $4 investment. SWEET. I went ahead and put my little bust that I found at the Salvation Army months ago up on eBay at the same time as the humidor:I love busts. I collect them, and have quite a few, but this guy has always given me the creeps. I paid $1.50 for him and sold him for $123. So that was a really, really, really good week on eBay. It’s been a while since I’ve done that well on there. Let’s do a quick run down of some fun finds from the last couple of weeks, shall we? On Friday, I went to a family-run estate sale that Shara alerted me to earlier in the week. The pictures they posted in the Craigslist ad looked amazing and I wanted to be first in line, if possible. I got up super-early and ended up third in line — not bad for me! The sale was supposed to start at 8 and I got there at a little after 7. One of the ladies who was running the sale was there, but didn’t have a key to the workshop where all the sale stuff was. The two guys who were in line before me — they’re regulars on the yard sale/estate sale scene  — immediately started badgering her about how they could get in early. She was so sweet to them, never lost her patience, and even called the guy with the key to see how far away he was. He told her that the house was open and there might be a couple of items in there they could look at if they wanted to while they waited. So she took us down to the house, about 100 yards away from the workshop. When we got there, it wasn’t open after all. So guy #1 goes to the garage and opens a window, peers in, and turns to her and says, well, you could climb in through this window and open the door for us. !!!!!!!!!!! Here is where I had one of those conversations with you guys that I was talking about at the beginning of this post. I was thinking about Amy’s post on estate sale rudeness , and thinking about how it’s not that I don’t feel that urgency to get inside and see what’s there — I just manage to be CIVIL and show a little human kindness instead of letting the estate sale monster that lurks within me out to see the light of day. And I was asking you guys if you feel the same kind of urgency and whether or not you are able to retain a layer of civility in these circumstances. Not these two gentlemen. When she declined, because she said she was afraid of spiders, they turned to her 15-year-old, sweet, slight son and asked him to do it. He hesitantly moved towards the window, obviously nervous, and I said, NO, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THAT. And then I turned to the two gentlemen and said, if you want in so bad, why don’t you haul your own butts through the window yourselves? Oh, don’t you wish I had said that second thing? But I didn’t. 20 years ago I would have. I guess I have grown more polite since then. The window idea was quickly abandoned, and we all went back up to the shop to wait for the guy with the key. He was there by 7:20 or so and promptly let us in, which was really, really nice, given that their ad had a start time of 8 am. I spent about $40 there and got this little stack of stuff:I also got two old Coke crates that I sold later that morning for twice what I paid for them, which was probably too little. A guy who was loading some stuff in from another sale saw them and asked if he could buy them from me and I felt bad saying no! What the heck is wrong with me? He just caught me off guard. The other thing I bought was a typewriter case that I couldn’t get open. I could tell there was something in there, and it seemed like it was child-size, so I was excited at the prospect of what it could be. After fiddling around with it for a couple of minutes at home, I found this inside:It cleaned up pretty nicely but unfortunately, the carriage doesn’t advance, so it’s just for looks. It’s a very nice blue color — this is a crappy Instagram picture so it’s kind of hard to see how cute it is. On Saturday, I made the unfortunate decision to sleep in a little bit because I didn’t see many sales listed for that morning. There was an estate sale in Rogers that sounded promising — family-run, and packed to the gills — but 1.It’s a 30-minute drive and 2. the photos showed a lot of dolls. Like, a LOT of DOLLS. Wall-to-wall. But when I woke up Saturday morning I decided to give it a shot anyway. It started at 9 and I walked up to the house at about 9:40. On the way down the driveway I passed two people with dazed looks on their faces; one lady said, “prepare yourself” and when I asked if that meant it was good or bad she said that she meant GOOD and that the lady didn’t really know what she had in there. The second person I passed said “You’re not going to believe your eyes!” so as you can imagine I was pretty pumped to get in that house. It was a tiny house, packed from top to bottom with stuff. There were, indeed, a lot of dolls, but that was only a tenth of what she had. Other than chickens and dolls, there really wasn’t a theme — this lady had a little of everything. It made me ill to look at the boxes of stuff already sold by the cash register. Their prices were crazy — dirt cheap on some things and then, suddenly, really expensive. You just never knew what it was going to be. This was my favorite purchase:It was outside, and I think I was probably the first and only person to ask about it, because they sold it to me for $20. I had just looked at a huge bird cage the day before with longing — it was $150 and wasn’t nearly as cool as this one is.These were very cool — leather-wrapped horses. The big one is over 2 feet tall. They were kind of expensive but I think I’ll do okay with these in the booth. Plus, they’ll look so nifty while they’re in there. My other big purchase was a kids’ player piano. It came with a bunch of music rolls. Unfortunately, I can’t get it to work. I’m so bummed about it, but they were very honest and told me they weren’t sure if it worked or not. I checked eBay and I think I can at least make my money back by selling the music rolls. A few other small things…The water and the figure on the front of the boat are what sold this chalkware plaque for me — it’s pretty big — about 30 inches tall.I just love these two clocks. I got a few other things that I didn’t take pictures of…It was a FUN sale. I just had fun going through everything. I wanted to show you one more picture before I close for the night — this was another instance of me talking to you guys inside my head after making a purchase at a yard sale.I got all of those glass doorknobs at a yard sale at a gorgeous house in one of the historic districts in my town. The couple having the sale were young professionals and when I bought the doorknobs (all for $5!!!) the wife said, “those are actually the doorknobs that were original to our house when we moved in!” And I said to you guys in my head: can you even BELIEVE that someone would take these GLASS DOORKNOBS off of their doors and sell them for $5 at a yard sale? And you guys were all, WHAT??? NO!!!! THAT IS INSANE!!!! And that, my dears, is why we’re such good friends.

August 6, 2014 - 9:04 am

Erica I do so many of the same things…compose blog posts in my head, think about things I would say to people if I wasn’t raised to be polite, etc. Must be the sign of a good junker! I absolutely cannot believe the deal you got on those doorknobs. I’m with you, Lara. Who in the world takes those off of their house?!! I just saw some at the Alameda show for $10.00 each. If you aren’t going to sell them as is, there are so many cute things you can do with them. I found two at a garage sale last year and added them to old door plates and use them to hang hand towels in my bathroom. Use them as actual doorknobs? Thanks to Pinterest, that’s easier said than done 🙂

Have an awesome day!


August 6, 2014 - 10:45 am

Shara Why on EARTH would they take off those glass doorknobs? Crazeeee. We stole all the old doorknobs out of my in-law’s house when we sold it.

I still can’t get over that humidor – I am SO glad Mr. Second in line was still interested and you got your MONEY. Happy Dance!

Don’t forget – if I can help while you are away – please ask me! I really, really Do mean it. REALLY!

I need to come see all these things with my own eyes in your booth. It must be packed by now!

August 6, 2014 - 10:59 am

phyllis griggs So hopeful that your dad is on the mend and gets his strength back quickly.You made some great buys and I`m proud of you for sticking up for yard sale manners in any situation! See you soon! Ms Pill

August 6, 2014 - 12:16 pm

Pam @ House of Hawthornes I’m glad your father is recovering from the surgery. I would totally expect more than 2-3 days for that big of a surgery. What was the doctor thinking? Anywho, those horses crack me up. I’m picturing you loading them up in your front seat. I bet the kids LOVED them!

August 6, 2014 - 12:45 pm

Laurie Those people don’t deserve that house!!!!

Also, I enjoy pissing off the people who show up at my sales before the posted start time. They usually try to chew me down on price anyway, so screw them. One guy (probably one of the ones at that sale) was furious after he came by THREE TIMES and I kept sending him away. Idiot.

Hope your dad is feeling better SOON – it’s so hard to be the kid who isn’t there. 🙁

August 9, 2014 - 6:01 am

Chanelle It boggles my mind about those doorknobs. BOGGLES! I would have snapped those guys right back to politely waiting in line. I do not tolerate that type of bullying. I’m glad you stopped what you did.
The booth sounds like it’s doing so well! Remember if it’s not busting out with goodies because you take time to visit and help your Dad…so what. Fill it in a week or two. Sure you will miss a sale or two but time with Dad is priceless. Poor thing . If I was closer I’d lend a hand. Of course we’d be chasing the same junk….

August 9, 2014 - 5:36 pm

Anne Well girlfriend you did great. I love the glass door knobs, actually I love it all.

August 11, 2014 - 9:29 pm

Into Vintage You go girl! Saving that kid from crawling through a window for those two impatient junkers…how great you still were able to get inside so early to shop. Sounds like some very accommodating sellers.
In happier news, your magical humidor has inspired me to get back on ebay. It’s been so long I’ll have to relearn everything but I am inspired!

Wishing all best for your dad.