fun stuff


This morning I was strongly remembering through the years I’ve spent of buying other people’s stuff from their yard sales.  I started going to yard sales after my first child was born, stopping at each house, putting on the baby “front” pack, placing the baby inside it, and going off to see what bargains we could find.

It being a university town, it was a bonanza!

I think half of what we own here came from thrift stores and yard sales–and it’s not in disrepair, either!

During the child years, it was easy to rise very early and to get onto the road.  We had a “family bed” for a long time, so I never needed an alarm clock.  I quickly dressed, put on my special Garage Sale hat (to hide my messy hair), and started driving.

I was serious.  I was often one of the first arrivals.

(But I was never mean, I never pushed, I never grabbed–just so you know)

Since my boys are teens now, and I don’t have that special alarm OR that need to buy toys and child clothing, it’s been a while since I’ve even bothered to go out.  Today I wasn’t one of the first ones to arrive, and I often found myself musing about the homeowners, the house, and the yard instead of looking at what I was SUPPOSED to be doing:  choosing stuff before others got to it!

I bought a lot of things.  It was very hard not to buy more.  BUT:  none of it was for me.

Here are some camping supplies for my younger son.

I have a friend who works at a reform school.  The students aren’t allowed to remove books from the library, and so they’re eager to devour any books she brings to her classroom.

One gentleman had everything at his place for FREE.  Well, surely someone I know can use this battery-operated clock.

I found a Victorio Food Strainer for $4!!!  These things are absolutely fantastic.  Since I already have one, I called a friend.  But she already has one, so she called her mom.  I am soooo glad I found someone for whom I could buy this bargain.

And a tractor for 10 cents.  Yes, it’s true, only 10 cents.  Surely I will find an opportunity and a boy for whom I can just whip out this gem as a gift, right?

If you want me to look out for one for yourself, let me know.



It doesn’t take much to entertain folks at this house.  After my Older Son had a vehicular brush with a skunk, my Younger Son and I decided to do something we’ve never done before:  take the car to an automatic car wash.  It wasn’t even anyone’s birthday!

(I once took my little son to a Do-It-Yourself car wash on his birthday and let him wash the car.  They don’t call those tools “power wands” for nothing)

We quickly learned that it is assumed the average American should know how to use a car wash like this.  After watching the car ahead of us, we had to back up and get in a different line.  Then we had to choose which cleaning package we wanted, and pay lots of money, and read the instructions.

What an absolute hoot!  I clutched my son’s hand in nervousness as those beaters came toward us, and we laughed and laughed out loud!  Absolutely as fun as a rollercoaster or an electric drill!

But of course, the car still smells.

Here is a homemaker’s version of “downsizing”–moving the leftovers from the large container into a smaller one:

Old Hat is building a House of Cards (namely, postcards), which brought to mind a few years ago when the boys and I had a fun time spoofing a friend of ours with postcards of his car having adventures.

Our college friend asked if we could keep his car for the summer, because it was too old to make the trip to his home in Colorado.  So we took a photo of the car, used Photoshop to “cut” it out, and then pasted it onto scenes of various exotic sites around this country and the world.

Here is the car visiting Mt. Rushmore

Every whipstitch we would mail one out, with a little tale written on the back from the car itself.  What a blast we had!

He went to a big reunion in Sweden,

He went on a hot-air balloon ride in Arizona;

And he even visited Niagara Falls–getting to do something a lot of us miss out on!


I had a short but interesting conversation with my dad today.  When I called, their answering machine started to pick up the call, but my dad quickly picked up the phone then, and we began to talk.  He was out in the farm shed and told me that Mom had called a few minutes ago to say she was headed home, and that she would bring lunch with her.

The subject quickly turned to my dad’s concern:  what should he buy for my mother’s Christmas present?  He had no idea, and now it’s only a week until Christmas….

Knowing how easy it is to spend someone else’s money, I readily came up with a couple of great ideas!   (I will not be specific here, on the off chance that “someone” from my family will read this blog)

We were happily into details, brand names, and plans when we heard this sound:  beeeeeeeeeep.  It was the answering machine, which had been recording our entire conversation!  And quite frankly, it could be quite possible that my mom had arrived home and had been gleefully sitting in the kitchen listening to every word we uttered!

“DAD!”  I said, “That was the answering machine!  It recorded everything we said!”

“ACK!” he replied.  “I gotta go to the house!”  Click.  And THAT was the end of that.


One thing people might not know about me is that I enjoy postal stamps-but perhaps not in the same way as collectors do.  I just am particular about which ones I buy, and I very much enjoy choosing which ones to put on which envelope I am mailing.

Modern days have made this both difficult and enjoyable.  Because of email, I don’t send near as many letters as I used to, and that’s sad.  BUT if I go to the local postal office and they don’t have any interesting stamps to purchase, I can go online and buy them with only $1 shipping fee.  Not that their website is the easiest thing to figure out….still, it’s worth it.

There is only one stamp I have ever kept, because I couldn’t bear to part with it:  the Star Trek ship Enterprise.  It’s laying around in the drawer somewhere, and it’s nice to see it when I come across it.

Here are the ones I’ve been buying lately:

So, if you ever get a letter from me, be sure to look at the stamp.  Because I’ve chosen it especially for you!