Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made: Our times are in His hand Who saith "A whole I planned, Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!" - From "Rabbi Ben Ezra" by Robert Browning

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Time to Hit the Thrift Stores!

I had a chance to get out of the house today!

Please understand, I'm out all the time it seems like, with John, on our way to the grocery store, the farm supply store, family gatherings, and various meetings, projects, and errands. Often, I can't wait to get home! But all that time on the road doesn't mean I get to go the places I'd like to go to. 

When we're out driving, I often see interesting places as we pass them, and I think to myself, "I'd like to stop there sometime." I can't tell you how many places that is, and I haven't managed to visit a single one of them in the last several years!

So my goal today was to visit a few thrift stores in the area. I'd ridden past them numerous times without having the chance to stop, and since the warm weather has settled in, I was really feeling the itch to get out on my own for just a bit!

My mother and I loved going to yard sales and thrift stores together. Mother always believed that she'd find some unnoticed treasure, and often, she did! So I thought of Mother often today while I was out, missed her terribly, and looked for my own unnoticed treasure. And what do you think? I found a few! Mother would be proud of me!

I spotted this basket tower (right) in a catalog more than a year ago. I was still thinking about it recently, but continued to agonize over the cost, $100. I had the perfect place for it picked out in my kitchen, where it would fit perfectly, and I was convinced that it would help contain some of the clutter I've been struggling with. I just couldn't bring myself to justify the $100 cost.

You have to realize, I'm very thrifty. I have been all my life. I've always managed with second hand things, and I rarely buy things new, especially really nice things. So bringing myself mentally to the place where I decide to spend large sums of money (over $20) on items is an agonizing process that takes a lot of time and consideration for me!

Well, while I was out today I found this basket tower (right). It was only $20, and although not exactly like the $100 basket tower, I recognized that it would fit in the pre-chosen place, and it would do the job of containing the excess clutter. I didn't have to think twice about this purchase! A couple of the baskets are ragged, especially the one on top, but I can work with that!

I also bought a metal corner shelf rack (right) that I will use on the front deck for container plants. I paid $12 for it at the same thrift store where I found the basket tower. I thought it said $2 when I took it to the cashier, and was surprised that it was $12, but I decided to get it anyway, since the basket tower had been such a deal. I have two other metal shelves that I use for my container garden on the front deck. One is a baker's rack, and the other is an over-the-toilet shelf unit. I found both at the county landfill a few years ago. So that was a cost of $0! And I've been more than pleased with both. I can get a lot more container plants on my little 10'x8'deck using these shelf units.

The only other thing I bought today was a book, Back to Basics. I couldn't believe my luck when I found it! It's a marvelous collection of instructions on traditional American skills. It covers a lot of topics, from buying land and building on it, building materials and techniques, to alternative energy sources, year-round gardening, and old-fashioned recreational activities for any season. But what I really love is the section on old time skills and crafts for the home and homestead. Natural dies, spinning, weaving, hooked rugs, broom making, metalworking, soapmaking, candlemaking, and basketry are just a few of the crafts and skills covered. I'm really going to enjoy reading through this book and adding it to my collection of homesteading books.

Do you like visiting yard sales, garage sales, estate sales, or thrift shops? What unnoticed treasures have you found? What unnoticed treasures are you still looking for? Or will you know them when you see them?

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