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Category Archives: garage sales

Going Overboard for the Animals

I have not been to many garage sales this year. Partly it is because I have not had much chance, but it is mostly because I’ve been thinking lately that I just own too much stuff. I need to get rid of some of it before I add any more.

That said, when I noticed that the Herkimer County Humane Society was holding a garage sale last Saturday, I thought it couldn’t hurt to just go take a look. After all, it was such a worthy cause. I could buy maybe one or two small things. I didn’t have to go overboard.

I’m sure everybody knows how this is going to end.

It was really more of a yard sale than a garage sale, with items laid out across the front lawn, but I suppose that is mere quibbling. I found a convenient parking space on the side f the road and commenced to browse.

The first thing I found was a pair of green velvet gloves with black feather trim. No idea when I might wear something like that, but I had to have them. Then I found a nice little tin. Steven likes to put Christmas presents in tins instead of wrapping paper. Of all the books, the only one that really tempted me was a paperback Agatha Christie murder mystery. I have in to temptation. Next was a slipcover for a love seat, which we have been looking for Naturally I grabbed a few post cards, two of Lawrence Welk and one of the Episcopal Church in Herkimer (the church we attend when we go to church)(those were the only ones I found; had there been more, I would have taken them, too).

My arms were getting pretty full. I put everything down very carefully to try on a Halloween vest. It fit! The last thing I picked up was a dismembered skeleton in sparkly black. How wonderful is that going to look this October!

Loading myself back up, I looked for who I should pay. They were giving everybody yellow canvas bags with the picture of a dog and cat over the slogan “Adopt!” That was helpful for my smaller items. Nothing was priced. They were asking people to think about the animals and make a donation.

I’ll be honest, I think my donation could have been bigger, but I have what I thought I could afford. I promised to give more when I could and asked about volunteer opportunities. I took away a flier and said I would look at my schedule and see what I could do. I think volunteering for the Humane Society would be an excellent thing for Mohawk Valley Girl to do. I could probably get some good blog posts out of it.

Searching for Treasure

Saturday Herkimer held village wide garage sales. Woohoo! I love garage sales!

Steven had to work till two, and we had a guest intending to arrive between noon and one. I figured most garage sales run till four or five, so there would still be plenty of junk to buy.

Prior to noon, Tabby and I decided to walk to the post office. We had a couple of checks we wanted to get in the mail (yes, we are that old fashioned) (actually, I hear that in some quarters it is unfashionable to pay your bills at all or at least on time). I had my purse with me, just in case we passed something we couldn’t resist.

Right away I saw a witch at a sale across the street. We hurried over. She was gorgeous, but she was not all there. The lady running the sale was waiting for somebody else to show up and mind the store while she ran up to the attic for the base. I promised to return with husband and sufficient funds. I knew I was taking my chances, but that’s the way it works. If I lost out on the witch, I could only hope she found a good home.

As we continued through Meyers Park, we saw that Herkimer Garden Club had a sale in the gazebo (or is it a bandstand?). We had to go through the park anyways so stopped to look. An extremely cute young girl showed us some of the plants available and tried to sell me a raffle ticket. I’m all about raffles, but I only had a five. I asked if she had change. She said she could sell me five dollars’ worth of tickets. I complimented her on her sales technique and searched my purse to see if I had a dollar in quarters. I did not. Well, I knew Steven would want to check the sale out so promised to return. They planned to be there till four.

Later on when Steven got home and changed into shorts, we decided to hit the plant sale first and work our way back home. They weren’t there! It was only ten minutes to three! We speculated that they had sold out. We went in search of the witch. She was still there, complete with base.

“You haven’t sold her yet,” I said to the lady.

“This lady just bought her,” she said.

“You snooze, you lose,” I philosophized. I couldn’t feel too bad. I have, after all, many witches and ghouls, and the lady the had gotten this witch looked delighted with her purchase. I do like to see things go to a good home. Our disappointment was further mitigated when we found a Halloween lamp post at the sale. We didn’t have a lamp post in our Halloween collection. We do now.

At another house we found a pair of lamps. Steven only wanted one for the second bedroom, but I thought we should buy both, because it was a matched set.

“We’ll put them in our bedroom and put the one on my side of the bed in the second bedroom,” I said.

At that sale we met a very nice beagle puppy named Lucy. Tabby is often indifferent to other dogs, but she seemed very interested in Lucy. Lucy’s people were nice, too.

Two other stops where we found some tins for Christmas presents and a book for me, and then we had had enough garage saling. A lot of the sales were winding down by that time.

It would have been nice to start our garage sale adventure earlier. We could have purchased a map at Valley Exchange. Then it would have been like a real treasure hunt. Oh well, there’s always next year. Or the next village wide sales at another Mohawk Valley community.

Humane Society Santas

The best thing I did yesterday was go to the Open House and Indoor Garage Sale at Herkimer County Humane Society in Mohawk, for a few reasons.

To do the story justice, I must first tell a story of my past. Growing up, I remember having a beautiful stuffed Santa Claus that was always out at Christmas time and only at Christmas time. When I was quite small, I remember playing with him like the rest of our dolls and stuffed toys. As we got older, Mom started putting him on a higher shelf, “Because he’s old.” I believe Mom and Dad had originally purchased him for my oldest sister, Victoria, at her first Christmas (the only one she didn’t have to share), but it soon became a family decoration. And when Vicki moved away, she did not get to take him with her.

When Steven, then boyfriend now husband, began to spend his Christmases with my family, he fell in love with the Santa Clause. It became a recurring joke that Steven was going to hide Santa Claus in his suitcase and leave all his clothes behind. Not a fair trade. We always looked for just such a Santa Claus but never found quite the right one. Eventually Steven bought me a very nice stuffed Santa Claus which I love. But Mom’s Santa is still the best.

Fast forward to December 2011. Steven had to work, but I always want to support the Humane Society as well as feed my addiction to buying other people’s junk (that’s what we call a win-win situation). As I drove out, I was pleased to see that lots of people were supporting the Humane Society. I knew many people were picking up pictures of their pets with Santa, taken at an earlier fundraiser which Steven and I sadly missed. I finally parked in the Parking Area near the canal trail. That way I was facing back into town, and it was only a short walk down the highway to the Humane Society.

A couple of volunteers were dressed as elves, and Santa was present. I made my way through the crowd to where the garage sale was. They were doing a booming business! People were nicely letting each other through. You often run into more politeness at these fundraisers than you do at normal retail establishments.

The first thing I found was a basket of ceramic Santas. We have a few similar Santas. They stand about 5 inches tall and usually have a year printed on the base and sometimes a country. I could see there was more than one layer, and they wanted $10 for the basket. I figured even if I found some duplicates with what we already had, it was a good buy and we could always use the duplicates for presents for others. I picked up the basket, turned around and then I saw him.

An old fashioned stuffed Santa. He was not exactly like my Mom’s, but he was beautiful. Obviously of the same era and in very good condition. $5. I was in love. I picked him up, then I picked up a ceramic church with a place for a tea light. Perfect for my Christmas village which I did not set up this year but intend to set up in 2012. I got in the long, slow line. I checked out some other things as I stood there. Luckily I remembered we do not need any Christmas mugs, because they have a lot of them. A Yul Brenner as the King in The King and I caught my eye, but my arms were full. A volunteer was trying to sell a couple of artificial trees for $10 apiece. If I had not already purchased a tree, I might have been tempted (when I got home and smelled my tree, I was glad).

A fellow ahead of me had $45.50 worth of stuff, but the lady rounded it to $45.

“I’m not so bad,” I mused to the lady behind me.

“No, you’re not,” she said. She had found a tree skirt as she stood in line, which I wish I had seen first. As I often say, you snooze you lose.

When it was my turn I resisted the cookies and cupcakes they also had for sale. For one thing, my arms were full. After I paid and made my way toward the exit, I saw… another stuffed Santa. This one not as big, a similar age, equally beautiful, $2.

“I didn’t see him!” I carefully put down the ceramic Santas and opened my purse. I caught one volunteer’s eye and handed her the $2. “Please don’t make me wait in line again, he’s $2, I didn’t see him before.” She graciously accepted my payment.

A man standing nearby offered to help me carry my stuff to my truck. I thought it was very nice of him, especially as I was not parked close by. He was fine with it.

“If I would have bought cookies, I’d give you one,” I told him. Being a fundraiser, it did not seem appropriate to offer a tip. He told me he had to watch his sugar intake anyways. I’m sure the real Santa was watching and gave him more nice points.

When I got home I found the basket contained 20 ceramic Santas, not one a duplicate of those we already have. Steven was predictably delighted with the stuffed Santas. It was altogether a great experience. I helped the Humane Society to the tune of $18 (OK, not a princely sum; we do what we can), and our Christmas decorations are enhanced for years to come.

The Herkimer County Humane Society facebook page reminds us that every day really open house. Stop in and meet some nice animals. You’ll be glad you did.

My Saturday Morning Adventure

We began our Saturday in the Mohawk Valley with breakfast at Philly’s, formerly known as Chet’s, on South Caroline Street in Herkimer. I’ve blogged about Philly’s before, but it’s worth another mention. The food is good, and the service is fast. We both had eggs over medium with bacon and sourdough toast.

After breakfast we headed to a garage sale Steven had read about in the paper. It was a multiple household sale, so there was a lot of stuff. They had some old yearbooks, which I find fascinating. I remember looking at my mom and dad’s yearbooks when I was a kid. Different times. I found a compact and an old bowl I liked. They had a bunch of books that were free, so I took a few of those, too.

From the garage sale we drove to Middleville for a rummage sale at the Methodist Church. We had been at a rummage sale there before, so Steven knew right where it was (I had forgotten). Past Lady Carousel Woodworks, the Crystal Chandelier Restaurant, and the Diamond Mines, all potential future blog topics. There is an old graveyard behind the church I’d like to walk through sometime.

At the rummage sale we found a couple of books, a nice tin and a Christmas decoration (can’t have too many of those). They were having a bake sale as well, so we treated ourselves to some frosted sugar cookies. Yum! We peeked in the church itself before we left. It is quite beautiful.

We hit another garage sale, then drove back into town by way of some back country roads we had not been on before. That was an adventure. The roads twisted and turned through the hills, and we saw some lovely views of the countryside. Herkimer County is blessed with many such country roads. We made up our minds to drive through them again when the fall colors are at their peak.

One more garage sale tempted us before we got home. We purchased about four Christmas tins and an old fashioned Santa Claus candle. We returned home with our loot, all of which I have not even mentioned, much to the delight of our loyal dog. It wasn’t even noon. Plenty of time for further Mohawk Valley adventures.