Category: Yard Sales

O-kay …

I understand that sometimes I can sound like a crazy person to those who don’t know me. (And probably to those who do) While out yard saling I came across a plastic tool box full of Matchbox cars. The woman running the sale told me that I could have the whole thing for a dollar. I didn’t really want all of the cars, only a couple, but the tool box was decent so I bought it.

Her – “You must have a little boy.”

Me – “No, this is for me.”

:odd look:

Me – :taps top of box: “I like toys.”

:odd look intensifies:

Me – “… I’ll just go put this in the car.”

Imagine the look I would have gotten if I had told her I just wanted the tool box to keep my boiled My Little Pony heads in.


Saturday proved to be another fine yard sale day, a bit windy but the rain held off until later that night. While digging around in a box I found a cache of women’s size nine wide shoes, which is the size that I happen to wear. It is difficult to find them and I have a hell of a time locating shoes. I pick up a pair of Timberland boots to take a closer look and see something inside the shoe. At first glance it looked like fine gravel but it wasn’t. The shoe was full of a mixture of mouse berries and birdseed.

Meh, close enough.

The woman having the yard sale, seeing me dump this stuff out, explained it away as “Something must have fallen into the box when I was moving it around.” Um, no. Mouse nests don’t just fall into shoes and lodge themselves into the toes by accident. Even though the shoes were only $2 I did not buy them, I can stomach wearing used shoes but not used shoes whose innards have probably been soaked in rodent urine.


What Is This?

As I said on Sunday, I bought a large tool box filled with … things at a yard sale on Saturday.

Lots of rusty things.

I have no idea what most of that stuff. Bits like the hand drill and a few punches, those I recognize. Most are utterly foreign to me. I asked GhostDad, who has years of experience with tools, and he recognized some things (like a valve puller) but like me he was baffled at some of the things. The bits that I was able to identify lead me to believe that the previous owner was a mechanic of some sort, since many of the tools are engine-related. There are very few newer tools, most of them look to be decades old.

This box, a Ford piston rings box from the 1920s, was in the bottom portion. Notice the fine "patina"

There was one tool that baffled me more than the others. It looks to be handmade and I can’t imagine what it would be used for. At first I thought it might be a bullet mold of some kind, but bullet molds don’t have holes in the sides.

Since I’m curious as to what the hell this thing is, I thought I’d post a few pictures and see if anyone has any ideas.

The handles are different lengths, but it's about 18-20 inches long

The round hollow is about the size of a marble.

Close-up of the inside. Both sides have holes on the left and right of the center hollow.

A Monty Haul!

Saturday morning Mother Dearest and I went yard saleing, as we so often do. There was one especially that we wanted to check out, we had wanted to go the weekend before but it had been rained out. It was just down the road from our house, so it only took a few minutes to get there. When we arrived, there were a few cars parked on the shoulder of the road and you could see a few a few things on tables set up under an awning. (It was overcast and actually rained later in the day off and on.) It didn’t look like much and I wasn’t expecting a lot, so we headed down the driveway.

At the bottom of the driveway, in a grassy place beside the house, there were about a dozen or so storage tubs crammed full of Christmas stuff. Not my thing, but some people were picking through it.There were also several large pieces of furniture, clusters of chairs and tables (the legs of most of the tables had been removed so they would store easier.) Still not my thing.

Immediately to my left, along the back of the house, was something that was definitely my thing. The house had a very nice double back porch, with the floor of the top porch sheltering the bottom and the two levels connected by a very cool spiral metal staircase. I want a porch like that. Crammed into this space was what looked like (and turned out to be) the entire contents of someone’s house. A half-dozen tall shelving units were  set up perpendicular to the house and were stuffed with all manner of goods. Appliances, craft supplies, toiletries, yet more Christmas crap. Tarps had been set up, tied to the porch railing above and the closest trees, offering a small amount of shelter from the elements on the sliver of lawn not crowded with trees.  There were tables covered with more stuff, all household things. Some kid’s toys and games, some tools, a lot of random junk. Talking with the couple who own the place, it seems that the woman’s sister had died and left her everything and they had been storing it all in a large shed and were now trying to get rid of it. While tragic, those are the best kind of sales. The people having the sale have little or no attachment to the items, they did not buy them and have no interest in doing anything with them. They just want them gone.

I very quickly found a few things I couldn’t live without.

These things.

A two-burner buffet range, an ice cube tray for water bottles, a small pot for a child’s play kitchen that still had it’s tags (and a tiny piece of Christmas wrapping paper still taped to the lid.), a two-quart Pampered Chef mixing bowl with lid, a Zippo lighter, a brand-new never-used percolator, and an insulated Starbucks French press carafe.

And I paid seven dollars for all of that.

The French press, the shiny thing on the right, still has it’s original price tag on the bottom – $49.99 ( or $59.99 if you live in America’s Hat)

I paid and beat a hasty retreat to the car before they come to their senses and demand more money. I come back a few minutes later to see how Mother Dearest is doing and get distracted by stuff.

This stuff.

A storage tub of perm rods and assorted stuff, including a vintage hairdresser’s case. (The yellow thing) I really only wanted a few of the skinny rods to style Pony hair, but it was all or nothing so I bought the whole thing.

All 466 of them.

Attractively packaged in a jumble of splitting plastic bags. Some had the added bonus of used curling papers and stray hairs!

After a through wash and about an hour of sorting.

Mother Dearest didn’t do so bad herself.

Wave to Mother Dearest!

Some of that stuff was already on the porch, but most of it was purchased at the one yard sale. The box teetering on the porch railing to the left is some sort of fancy hand mixer that retails for around $300. (She didn’t pay that much.) Supposedly it’s the same kind Gordon Ramsey uses. *Jerkass attitude not included.

After she paid (and I paid again) she backed the car down and we filled it up. And then I went back and bought a giant toolbox.

The rusty monster in the middle.

It weighs what I would conservatively estimate to be a metric fuckton, I nearly wrenched my arm out of the socket trying to pick it up.

It's full of ... I believe the technical term is "metal bits"

A very nice man helped us get it in the car and it was a tight fit, since the car was now full.

And we had only visited one yard sale.

We went back home, unloaded the now full car, and went to a few more sales. Nothing very spectacular. After a quick breakfast we head back home, pick up Mother Dearest’s van, and go back to the first yard sale. Mother Dearest has hatched a convoluted plan to buy Christmas lights very cheaply, cut off the plugs and bulbs and sell the copper wiring to the recycling center. By this time it has rained briefly several times and tarps are covering most of the stuff. Mother Dearest isn’t happy with the price she is quoted so she decides not to buy the lights. She does buy a box of vintage mercury glass Christmas ornaments and some other stuff. I pick up a box of random kitchen stuff, a stainless steel baster, some nice silicone spatulas, and other utensils. I also pick up a tall wrapping paper storage container that looked to be full of trash.

Picture those little boxes dumped in the bottom of the storage container.

We get home and I decide to clean out the storage container – I was sort of curious as to what was in the little cardboard boxes.

It's vintage wooden Christmas ornaments! (and Simon, but he wasn't in the container)

Approximately a hundred and fifty vintage wooden ornaments from the Seventies, for the most part in good condition. I’ll post more pictures later as I sort through things.

Yet another creepy-ass clown.