Tuesday, October 02, 2007


My older son, Mac, is FRESH. That is, he is a freshman in high school this year. To ease the transition to this whole new world, we encouraged him to get involved in clubs and/or sports. He settled on ultimate Frisbee team and bowling. Since he is neither large nor particularly athletic, these are actually good choices.

Bowling must be a popular activity at his school; the club consists of a dozen teams of four kids each. On the computer screens at the alley, the teams are indicated as "Team 1," Team 2," etc. But my son's group decided to give themselves a name instead. To stand out, ya know. Somehow they settled on The Balls of Fury. I don't even want to know what discussion process led four boys to decide on this gem.

Today I was able to go watch Mac bowl. I looked at the screen and noticed that the entire team name didn't fit. So the name, proudly displayed, was THE BALLS OF FUR.

Yeahhhh, chalk one up for puberty!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Yard Sale Queen

I lurrve me a yard sale. Name brand clothes for $1 or less? A Fire King mixing bowl for $0.50? I am so there. Since I am kind of known for my "sale-ing" prowess, my family and neighbors tell me what they need and I keep a mental list. My sister, a fabulous knitter, once asked me to look for a knitting machine. Yeah, sure, I'm going to find one of those at a yard sale. The next Saturday I went out...a knitting machine. For $25. Booo-ya! Neighbor wanted a trike bike for her mom. Found it within a month. La la la...look at me! I have a superpower!

This weekend I snagged a brand new pair of Chanel sunglasses for $40, complete with protective pouch, case, box, certificate, and even the Chanel bag. Seller said he works for the company that makes them. A neighbor who actually bought a pair at a store looked them over and confirmed that they are the real deal. Serial number on the ear piece and all. Going to be a nice birthday prezzie for my sister.

So, what is the point of this post? Bragging? Nope. I want to encourage others to grab a fistful of ones and some quarters and get out there one fine Saturday morning. Maybe you'll find a replacement for that Pyrex lid you broke four years ago. Or a paper grocery bag filled to the top with real wood Lincoln Logs for $4 (another one of my finds). And if you are the person who bought the tractor seat garden cart for $5, I WANTED THAT.

I've heard people say they aren't comfortable negotiating prices at yard sales. Well, I usually don't, unless it is a big ticket item like that knitting machine (I got the seller to throw in a free skateboard). I figure people have a right to set their price and if I don't want to pay, fine, no biggie. If the seller wants to get rid of stuff (rather than make money) they are quick to say, "Make me an offer!" or "How about fifty cents?" Another common issue is getting "used" items. I yard sale in some pretty nice neighborhoods, so I assume they have washing machines. And showers. If the clothes are dirty or the people look like they have cooties, I steer clear.

I also avoid what I call "permanent yard sales." Have you seen one of these? They leave the sawhorses and plywood tables up all week and drag the same ole' crapola out of a ramshackle shed on Friday afternoon. Or, worse, the stuff is on the porch and they carry it out to the tables. Worst of all, they leave the stuff on the tables and cover everything with a mangy plastic sheet or a tarp. Sorry, but, ICK.

Ick aside, yard sale-ing is fun. In fact, this weekend is my neighborhood's annual yard sale. Y'all come now, ya hear? I have some niiiiice Christmas tins you'll be wanting for only twenty-five cents each.