When someone else’s memories cost you 22 dollars


The first garage sale house of the day , isn’t that a lovely maple

Hi All,

Fran is very busy today so I am posting the photos and captions for them ok so its my fault not hers 🙂

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Garage sale dogs like junk yard dogs but they are after the junk 🙂

What is it about “artefacts” that makes us curious and want to fossick around? It’s the same thing that has us wanting to pull up the collective psychiatrists couch whenever people reminisce and say “tell us more…” Today’s post is all about “What I got at The Progressive Garage Sale” a small thesis of less than (I PROMISE) 2800 words but my introduction is about the value of collective memories and how important they are to society as a whole (and that, I am reserving for my REAL thesis! 😉 ). I got a memo that my sister Pinky of http://cathyandchucky.com/ blogging fame had posted another post. I love using an RSS Feed Reader; it does all the hard work for me and keeps my email account free of post reminders. In her latest post she shared a magnificent chunky lamb shank soup that she has been making for many years. I remember the torn out page from the Australian woman’s weekly magazine that she took the recipe from being carefully folded up and covered in indeterminate stains. I wrote the recipe out myself because this soup is a winner. The mug that she used for her soup was one of the enormous mugs that I used for my (buckets) cups of tea while we chatted. Pictures and “things” are what memories are made of.


This is where we bought our computer throne from a few years ago (see past posts)

In saying that, I just bought a stack of past and future “memories”.  I paid $22 Aussie dollars for a whole stack of other people’s memories that I can only begin to wonder about. Our adventure began a few weeks ago when we remembered that pretty soon the annual progressive garage sale would be upon us for another year. We stumbled across the very first on 2 years ago when we were heading out to walk the dogs. If it wasn’t for the very first progressive garage sale, we wouldn’t have Big Yin and his original cohorts. We bought them as teeny little chicks and today they are the equivalent of Somalian pirates on Serendipity Farm…no sooner do you set foot outside the safety of your back gate and attempt to navigate the high seas of Serendipity Farm then you are set upon by wayfaring pirates attempting to rob you of everything of worth. The first year we spent a fair bit at the progressive garage sale. There were lots of vendors and plenty of bargains to be had and our chooks (8 in all) added to the cost. Last year we spent $27 and ended up with a higgledy piggledy mass of “stuff” to delight my hoarding heart. This year we spend $22 and despite the few vendors who had decided to take part we were still able to arrive back home laden with goodies


Fran caught unawares by my lens 🙂

We had contacted the lovely Lisa of obvious Scottish heritage who runs the Artisan gallery and who appears to be the poor lost soul that got stuck with organising this massive event each year. Last year she had a list of garage sales that you could print out and head directly to with a short list of what they were offering. This year she was a bit savvier and only gave the list out on Friday evening. The problem is that here in Tassie we have more than our fair share of “traders”…markets, antique sellers and general EBay vultures who like to predate garage sales, auctions and house clearance sales with a view to robbing them blind and making the maximum profit. They descend on garage sales 2 hours before the assigned time and try to get the very best for the very cheapest. Vendors are sick to death of them but they are like seagulls at the tip, unfortunately inevitable.


What a lovely garden this is in autumn

This year, a group of local Kayena dwellers decided to tag onto the end of the garage sale and we headed up to check it out. I managed to get an Italian glass litre wine carafe for $1 that I am now using for my homemade non-dairy milk. I also bought a stainless steel teapot/jug, a copy of a wonderful Permaculture book and a 1971 “Mrs Beeton’s cookbook in colour” for 50c each. I noticed a stone bottle that now lives in Steve’s room for $1 and I got about 10kg of various types of apples for $3. All in all a very good start to the day. I decided that if we didn’t get anything else in the entire garage sale, this one stop was worth driving to. Aside from getting some great bargains, we met the man that bought my brothers property over in Kayena and who owns the local school bus route. He and his wife are very nice people and he told me that whenever I fancy some horse or cow manure, I just had to call and he would let me collect as much as I like! Considering this man owns most of the farmland in Sidmouth, Rowella and Kayena (along with a share in the local dairy) I figure the supply might just be big enough for my aspirations! ;). Apparently the vultures had turned up to this garage sale at 7.30…sigh…


This is all the house the chair came from , its nice eh

We continued on to the next garage sale at Iron Pot Bay winery. We arrived at 8.55am and slowly walked down the driveway to be met by an irate elderly man who told us in no uncertain terms to “PISS OFF!” We thought that he was joking at first, but after he told us that “This bloody garage sale doesn’t start till 9am!” and I said “Ok…so we will just wait here then…” and he said “no you bloody well won’t! You can head right back up that driveway quick smart!”…O…K…SOMEONE woke up on the wrong side of the bed! I dare say the vultures had been predating since 7am and this elderly gentleman had just about had enough! Steve wasn’t in the mood to be garage saling at this residence after our less than lukewarm welcome so we headed off to the next stop post haste!


not sure why the time is this but it must mean something to the owners

We arrived at the next garage sale (after checking that it was AFTER 9am…fool us once! 😉 ) where we got my blackwood throne (my computer chair) for $2 last year and managed to score a large cray pot for $5 and a wonderful wrought iron old single bed head for $2. We couldn’t take them with us because we had the dogs with us (they were “supposedly” behaving and we would take them to the beach as a reward for all of the stops…) and so I waved goodbye to my bargains and Steve was going to head back to pick them up after dropping us at home after we had finished garage saling and walking the dogs. The rest of the garage sales seemed to be condensed into a single neighbourhood and we walked to most of them. I could hear a grumpy man armed with what must have been most of the garage sale that we were heading to saying to his wife “she TOLD me I could have it for $5!”… It would seem that the antique brass plaque that he was toting might have cost him a teensy bit more? Oh how TERRIBLE sir? 😉


Liquid ambers at there best

I was more interested in taking photos of the delicious autumn colours than I was in hunting. I was already more than happy with the bargains that we had bought and by the time we arrived at the Deviot Hall we met Jenny, our friend from the bush who had just found a small folding table and 2 enormous wisteria poles for a bargain price. She was going one way…we were going the other and so we headed off to see what was still on offer at either end of the spectrum. After finding a few more small bargains including a nice stainless steel “Coffee” canister that now contains my tea-bags (tea thieves beware!) we headed off to the beach much to the relief of Earl and Bezial who were WELL over our ridiculous need to stop and start every 5 minutes when it was more than obvious we were headed to “THE BEACH!”


Pretty house isn’t it

By the time we got to said beach, the dogs were overexcited and practically jumped into the front with us before we stopped the car. We had a lovely “drag” around Paper Beach and I collected some lovely smooth beach pebbles. We might not have lovely white sand like the beaches in Western Australia (or the East coast of Tassie for that matter…) but what we lack in pristine white, we make up for in gorgeous smooth pebbles and rocks. Swings and roundabouts…  I have been surreptitiously collecting the odd pebble here and there whenever we walk on the beach and put them in my potted plants and dot them around our home. I am a quintessential reformed pack rat who has a need to collect. I try to give away as much as I collect now to redress the balance quotient but the need is still strong in this (not so) young padawan.


Wish our drive was like this oh and that’s our cray pot in the shot 😉

We arrived home triumphant and while I took photos and then put our bargains to work for us Steve headed back to pick up our craypot and bed head. The craypot is not situated on our deck stairs and the bedhead is going to become an ornate gate down in the garden dividing one secret garden from the next. The only thing that hasn’t quite found a place to live yet is a small watercolour painting that I picked up for $2. I just liked it. Someone had gifted this original artwork to someone else and it has an inscription on the back…more memories that obviously weren’t all that important any more. Time to create some new memories with my bargains and take them off on another tangent on Serendipity Farm and as most of them won’t be being used for the purpose for which they were created; at least they will get a second chance in the great memories sweepstakes


colours of nature are so bright

It’s raining on Serendipity Farm. Nothing unexpected about rain in autumn but this is our first real rainy day in ages and it came smack bang on the day that we were all going to head into the city to accomplish an amazing array of “stuff”…does anyone else get the feeling that someone out there has a great sense of humour? ;). The dogs are now sulking because they were expecting to go to town and have a ball and I am sulking because “I” was expecting to go to town and have a ball but in the end, the trailer got disconnected and poor Steve had to go to town and do everything himself. There are benefits in that he will be back a good 3 hours before we would have otherwise been back and when he gets in, I can take over putting things away, unloading groceries and dividing up the dogs meat into meal sized portions for the freezer. As carbon savvy consumers we tend not to use our car much these days. We walk the dogs locally most of the time and only use the car if we need to go further afield than our 2 feet are willing to take us. A 100km round trip is out of the question and so sulking dogs and a less than impressed “Fran” remain at home.


More hunters

Steve will be pricing up timber for making 2 custom low seating units either side of Brunhilda. We don’t want to waste space and are designing wood storage into these units. They will be predominately for the dogs to use as beds over winter but will be great for stretching out and reading a book on our cold days. This rain might have forced me indoors but it is also soaking the rock hard soil where we need to dig holes and will make our job tomorrow a whole lot easier. Steve and I have trepidations about digging holes on Serendipity Farm. We know, from past experience, that digging a “hole” is a whole lot harder than it might initially sound. Our soil is littered with rocks of various sizes and 20cm down we have solid yellow clay that you could make pots out of. It’s probably what has kept us on track with our studies…we had 2 choices…”study” or “dig a hole”…studying won! ;). We can’t put it off any longer and as founding members of the Serendipity Farm procrastinators society we have both agreed (after a few cups of tea, hanging a load of washing out, baking some biscuits and tinkering around in the shed…) to get stuck into digging some holes. Once the holes are dug it will be somewhat smooth sailing, it’s just the digging of the holes that has us twitching.


Apparently these people camped out in anticipation lol

I have 35 photos to share with you all today so I might just leave this post a little shorter than usual. I am going to head off now and do something positive with the rest of my morning before Steve gets back home. I might do some dusting…the spiders have been getting cheeky lately and I think it is time to remind them that we have a mutual agreement…I let them eat our flies and they keep their webs to the corners of the room…I noticed one festooned across the ceiling yesterday so time to make the advancing hoards retreat! See you all on Wednesday folks :o)


Some spoils of the hunt


Treasure and some nice apples


22$ can go a long way


Ahh crays ahead


This will become a gate one day soon


Apparently I like pot ….


Finally finished and Bezials happy


A very pretty vine on our way to the beach


Beach stones Fran loves stones

30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. quarteracrelifestyle
    May 15, 2013 @ 18:42:08

    Ohhh, we love garage sales here!! Last week we got a pushmower; sewing machine, interlocker and cabinet; and 3 large crates of preserving jars for $42. 🙂


  2. LyndaD
    May 15, 2013 @ 18:55:58

    Ive had one garage sale in my life and i did it for my son who wanted to play shop. In the end he ran a cafe serving hot drinks and lamingtons. We live across the road from a poling booth so we aimed for voting day. As usual it was over organised and everything was labled and priced and displayed under cover. Not being familiar to this kind of event, i was surprised by the early arrivers also. But since it was on our deck in the back and they had to walk through the garage it was a simple matter of pulling the roller door down. Still they banged away and when i did let them in they were rude and were picking up $20 worth of stuff in a bag and saying $5 for the lot. Im not that stupid, so i made them empty it. One had an almost new Buzz Lightyear (it cost about $80) covered up with cheap clothes. I almost cried selling my books. I didnt much care about the clothes or anything else. Tom had fun so i guess it was a success and i think we pocketed about $450 for a day. I dont think ill be doing it again – too much work. Tom’s cafe was a success though, so if he wants to do it later this year on polling day, that’s ok. Hundreds of people walking past our driveway.


  3. brymnsons
    May 15, 2013 @ 19:05:23

    What a lovely time you had, except for the irate elderly gentleman…. He must have been very angry by the time you got there. Mind you if he is up and able to shout at you he might as well have let you in me thinks 🙂 I have a metal teapot like the one in your picture, I think it is used, originally, for hot water. I’m off to a sewing bee tonight! A group of us girls from work all like to sew and have decided to get together for a sewing night. It is freezing here at the moment, so I haven’t turned the heater on or I might not get out the door lol.


  4. cathyandchucky
    May 15, 2013 @ 19:57:48

    Great photos Fronkii and Steve. Thanks for the shout out too. I need to learn how to insert photos into text on Word press. It’s driving me barmy as all I can post is one photo then some text. There has to be a better way.


    • narf77
      May 16, 2013 @ 04:07:01

      You can even do a slideshow Pinky with all your photos in the one place :). Are you resizing your photos? I think I might have to send you an email (if you want) sharing how I do it? Let me know if you want me to :).


  5. Littlesundog
    May 16, 2013 @ 09:14:12

    That old, crabby man made me laugh! Non-morning people are such a hoot! I am a morning person, and these grumblers always make me laugh. How can anyone be so moody when the world is fresh and new and just waiting for everything to come to life?

    We love garage sales. Much of our home furnishings and deco are from garage sales or antique stores. I generally have a garage sale once a year, when our city has a town-wide garage sale. It’s always fun, and it is good to see my junk become someone else’s treasure.


    • narf77
      May 16, 2013 @ 16:29:43

      That’s exactly what makes garage saling fun isn’t it? Finding treasure in someone elses discarded “stuff” :). I think its a triumph to find enough eclectic and wonderful stuff in garage sales and antique shops to furnish your house so you get kudos from me 🙂


  6. Linne
    May 16, 2013 @ 11:38:37

    I love going to garage sales and buying at garage sales; however, you will never see me holding a garage sale (at least not in the foreseeable future). In spite of what various people have said to me over the years (a LOT of people lol) I am NOT a ‘hoarder’. I do not stock up on things like food and refuse to share if someone is starving.

    I consider myself to be thrifty, a person who plans for the future they hope to see. I have spent many years foraging; collecting, buying, rescuing; most of these things have a place in my future life (assuming I get there). Most of it is not anything other people would want, so I’m not denying anyone a necessity.

    Once I learned about the ‘Input’ strength, it all began to make sense; to people with a high level of ‘Input’, everything has meaning. I love the things people have given me; I love the things from people I never knew. I really don’t like new stuff; it’s barren to me. It is so rare that I would buy new anything. Techware not included; that doesn’t do it for me, anyway, except for that wee nerd hiding in the back of my brain somewhere . . .

    I think those of us who salvage and forage are doing the rest of the world a favour; we save things from the landfill; we help to create a world with less being made and more being mended, re-used, re-purposed, upcycled, and so on . . .

    Fran, I LOVE everything you found at the sale!! Those baskets; the rocks (well, they weren’t from the sale, were they? but I love ’em nearly as much as I love my own collection lol), that sweet little picture, the craypot (which, in another incarnation, I could see finding a variety of uses for; it’s lovely! And that headboard/gate! BTW, don’t know if you’ve seen it done, but I’ve seen pictures from a few gardens in this country where they took an old bedstead with no springs, sunk it a bit into the ground, then planted flowers in the centre – creating a ‘flower bed’!

    We have those predatory people here, too, and I have the same take on them as you. I’ve met a few sellers just like your grumpy man; from what I’ve heard, if they let someone in a few minutes early, the next times they get people coming earlier and earlier. It’s hard to get everything ready when people don’t respect your opening time. Sorry he was so harsh with you, though. And, all that said, I ‘might’ have let you in early, if I had been him . . . 🙂


    • narf77
      May 16, 2013 @ 16:42:14

      Just lost my wordpress comment :(. WordPress is doing more and more comment dumping (for no reason)…sigh…anyhoo…I forgave that grumpy old man on the day and have since found out that he isn’t very well so I forgive him even more :). I thought I had done really well at our garage sale and then quarteracrelifestyle told me about her bargains and mine pale into insignificance! Did you see that she got a mower, a sewing machine, an overlocker, 4 boxes of preserving jars and a few other things for $42!!!!! She WINS hands down :). Lucky girl eh? I don’t consider myself a hoarder either, although the word conotates something different here to in the U.S. We are going to use that beadhead as a gate to lead into a “secret garden” somewhere with an arch covered in clematis. Clematis grow incredibly well here…so well they are growing wild all over the place and they look really lovely when they are flowering :). We have rhododendrons and azaleas going nuts here too and when Steve and I were watching his moonshiners show (about the Apalacian mountains that I watch solely for the plant porn 😉 ) we recognised rhododendrons as wild in the area. Anyway, time to get Steves tea ready! It’s starting to get dark and it’s only 4.40pm. The evening routine is just about to start :). Have a great day Linnie and “FOOL ME ONCE” WordPress…I won’t be typing out comments in the comment box ANY MORE. I will use notepad and will cut and paste and good luck to making my words disappear WordPress! 😛 😉


  7. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    May 16, 2013 @ 11:42:01

    Ah, yard sales, tag sales, garage sales; no matter what you call it, they’re all wonderful fun! I love rummaging through discarded treasures because you never know what you’re going to find. That’s how I get the majority of my photography plates and props, since I could never afford such a wide variety of items at full list price. Plus, this way you never get roped into buying full sets when you need just one fork, for example.

    You definitely spent that $22 well. You’re an expert tag-saler!


    • narf77
      May 16, 2013 @ 16:43:30

      I wish I could donate the cups and saucers that dad left us when he died. They are lovely things but are in a cupboard in town because we just don’t use things like that. They are all antique Shelley and some are Art Deco. I guess they will just stay in the cupboard till we can figure out what to do with them 😉


  8. teawithhazelt
    May 16, 2013 @ 12:04:28

    i’ve had a few garage sales and stalls at trash and treasure style markets so i can understand that grumpy guy..i’ve had people arriving at 5 am wanting to come inside my house to check the merchandise and hoards of people grabbing at things as i’ve been trying to set up.. and 4 am is set up time at the market i’ve sold at and the ‘dealers’ tend to come around like a pack of torch carrying locusts trying to sniff out the bargains..it was so disconcerting that i got to the stage where i’d tell them to come back when i’d set up even if it meant losing out on a better sale..and the bargaining got on my nerves because i was selling everything really cheaply anyway but i realised that i needed make the items a bit more expensive to allow for it..i had one guy once who was so determined to bargain an item down from $2 to $0.20 that i just told him to take it..:)


    • narf77
      May 16, 2013 @ 16:48:23

      Yeh, garage saling and markets brings out the worst in people doesn’t it? When you are already heavily discounting your stuff it is somewhat insulting when people act like morons and expect you to give them all of it…human nature really isn’t it ;). Anyhoo, that elderly man isn’t very well I have found out since so aside for forgiving him on the day, he gets a mental hug as well :).


  9. christiok
    May 17, 2013 @ 01:58:42

    LOL Big Yin and chickens as Somalian pirates on the high seas of Serendipity Farm…a great image, my wordsmith friend. As is garage sale “traders” likened to seagulls at the tip. Delightful.

    We used to take Ruby and Jake to the beach all the time. We had a “Chuckit” which is a 3-foot-long plastic stick with a cup on the end for a tennis ball. http://www.amazon.com/Chuckit-Classic-Launcher-Colors-Vary/dp/B00006IX59
    Jake in particular loved the Chuckit, and we still have it — an invaluable, slobber-free throwing tool that I highly recommend. lol Perhaps Earl and Bezial don’t have the retrieving gene, though.

    I love your thoughts about memories and the evolutionary path of “stuff” from the original intent to ever more creative incarnations. Just like us. Love from Olalla.


    • narf77
      May 17, 2013 @ 04:20:26

      Even though Bezial is part labrador, it’s ONLY the part that likes to eat an enormous amount and that goes mental with anything to do with water (although the labrador bit comes up against a brick wall whenever he gets up to his chest in water…he will race out and suddenly hits his American Staffy limit and stops dead in the water 😉 ), he point blank REFUSES to bring anything that we throw back to us. Earl is worse. He will take it away and eat it in front of us! We gave up taking them to the off lead dog park because 2 humans standing around twiddling their thumbs while their dogs walk slowly from post to post around the external perimeter of the entire park sniffing each and every post and delivering a squirt of “Earl/Bezial waz ere” to them all wasn’t much fun! We were armed with balls, frisbees, all kinds of fun things to play with but even when we had waited 30 minutes and the dogs had run out of urine we would throw the toys and they would ignore them and run around together ignoring us! Sigh…American Staffies are like having 2 of “those boys”. You know the kind? The ones that sit down the back of the class and ignore the teacher whilst plotting to share a cigarette behind the bike shed at morning tea…sigh…

      Hugs to you my wonderful twin in Olalla :). I just learned that you can dehydrate excess kefir grains slowly and store them dry in dried milk powder for about a year! Had to share that one as I HATE to throw them into the compost or blend them up (as they turn into the probiotic equivalent of snot if you use too many…be warned! 😉 ) and would love to find a way to store them and pass them on to people who would like some for free. Ok, off to read my RSS Feed Reader for a Friday morning, we are going to get out into the garden today as we had 3 days of solid rain! I can’t believe it and Steve had to stop me going out into the middle of it and performing a happy dance because he doesn’t want to nurse me back to health when I get pneumonia ;). We will be harvesting our dried beans today and letting the chooks into the first set of gardens to clear out everything in there ready for me to plant leeks, lettuce, silverbeet and a whole bed full of garlic and one of broad beans 🙂 Wish us luck! Tomorrow we start digging holes to build our enclosed veggie garden. No doubt photos will follow in a post 🙂


  10. thinkingcowgirl
    May 18, 2013 @ 00:17:19

    OMG we did a car boot sale once and were set upon by dealers…it was terrifying! They were peering in the car as we waited to go in and our naïve drams of having a nice day out vanished into the slavering jaws of these sharks 😉

    I love your somalian pirate analogy too. Very nice.

    I’m now longer a hoarder. I crave order and not too many things…I have even (shock horror, well for me anyway!) decided on a clothes buying free year. Nearly at the end of month five, how hard can it be? She says drooling over that nice pair of sandals… I notice you are in distinctly wintery garb…long black coat, very stylish 🙂

    Have a good weekend.


    • narf77
      May 18, 2013 @ 03:20:34

      Long black very stylish coat…$5 from local op shop 😉 SO last season “Dahhhhlink” ;). Check today’s post…someone got something gorgeous in the mail on Thursday morning ;). Can’t begin to thank you enough…Thursday was the very first day that IT’S COLD! was uttered and when we hit the mailbox at the end of the driveway on our walk with the boys Steve checked the box and there was a discrete little parcel sitting there…I recognised the name on the parcel and smiled. Got back to the most gorgeous pair of fingerless mitts and they haven’t been off me since :). My biscuit is framed and above the PC monitor to remind me that life is sweet and that biscuits are indeed good for you, if not life saving :). From one chilblain infested horticulturalist to another…you were spot on you wonderful woman…my hands salute you! 🙂 Hugs and all kudos to market knitters who make the world go round (oh…and those butchers in the North that sell all of the parts that people in the South won’t eat! 😉 )


      • thinkingcowgirl
        May 22, 2013 @ 04:34:42

        You are most welcome, I’m glad they hit the spot. I’m not sure why I didn’t realise before that the wrists are very vulnerable to cold. It’s only taken me 50 years 😉 Still freezing here…got a fire lit every night!

      • narf77
        May 22, 2013 @ 04:41:20

        Ditto…however the U.S. are currently sweltering with our rancid summer that went directly to go and didn’t get $200 apparently… My wrist warmers are welded to my hands…they are starting to take on other forms… must…remove…and…wash… 😉

  11. Emily
    May 18, 2013 @ 04:25:16

    Another entertaining read and lovely pictur. 🙂


  12. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    May 22, 2013 @ 06:07:06

    I think you got some cool stuff. I grew up going to yard/garage sales and junk and antique shops with my mom. In the first years of my first marriage went to a lot of estate sales. I think I just grew tired of shopping altogether. Just really don’t need to crowd anything extra into this house. We did shop some on vacation. I think now my joy in shopping is all about my grandson.


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