Monday, March 12, 2012


bowling ball

Almost every Friday, my friend Paula and I hit the local Goodwill and one or two other second hand stores in town, hoping to find some cheap treasures.  Lately, it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to do.  After I found the ceramic sailor and the sea shell bookends several weeks ago, I’ve come up empty handed, and Paula hasn’t done much better.

Last week, when Paula picked me up she mentioned the pile of stuff laid out in my neighbor’s driveway.  I told her I thought my neighbor had been cleaning out his old shed.  “We can check it out later,”  I told her.

After we returned to my house a couple hours later, having struck out  in our pursuit of good stuff once again, we ambled over to examine the junk in my neighbor’s driveway.  I told her we’d passed my neighbors driving the opposite way, as we headed back to my house-so the coast was clear.

Taped to an old picnic table was a sign informing us that everything was free, and that anything not taken would end up in the dump.  Right away Paula was excited because there were several items she wanted-a curry comb, a long stick used to herd animals when they are being shown at the fair (a show stick, I think she called it) and a pitchfork, among other things.  Paula’s family operates a cattle and hay business, and her son is active in 4-H.  Wondering why my neighbor had these things, I told Paula that he was an ex rodeo competitor and rancher himself.  After losing an eye in an unfortunate accident involving barbed wire, he became a used car salesman.

And as for me?  I found an old bowling ball.  It just so happens that I’ve wanted an old bowling ball for awhile now, to use as a garden ornament.  Don’t ask me why-it’s just one of those ideas I got into my head.  I’ve seen several on our weekly outings, but they’ve been way too expensive.  It amazes me how often items on  my “list” eventually turn up like this, and once spring is here and the garden starts to come alive, the bowling ball will look pretty nestled among my violets.

blessings from the junk gods

I also found these two artifacts-an old WWII era shovel and some hooks.  I’ll clean the shovel up and use it for gardening, and I’ll put the hooks in one of my flower beds as another piece of garden “art.”  And if any of you know what the hooks would have been used for, please let me know.

Speaking of the word hook, we recently replaced our upstairs bathroom sink.  The old one cleverly used a vintage dresser with the sink basin set into the top, while still allowing the drawers of the dresser to be used for storage.  When we first looked at our house, we found this note by the sink:




  1. The pictures aren't showing up on Blogger for some reason (they're not on mine, either - must be a technical glitch), so I'll have to stop by later to look at all your goodies.

    But there is nothing better than FREE!!!

  2. Melissa, What is it with Blogger lately? So many problems are cropping up it seems:(

    I love free, and I'm always amazed at how stuff can look really desirable when it is free:) I was happy about the bowling ball!

  3. Ok - got a look at your treasures. I love the color of that bowling ball! It will be pretty in your garden.

  4. Congrats on your finds. OMG, that note you found is hilarious!!

  5. Thanks Melissa!

    Lisa-we laughed ourselves silly when we saw the note. So funny!

  6. Love the idea of the bowling ball as garden art. It reminds me of the gazing balls I see in the gardens, which are so pretty. I hope you'll post a picture later in the spring when it's in place.

  7. Joanne-I got the idea after I saw one of those beautiful gazing balls:) I will definitely post another picture, in hopefully not too many weeks from now, when spring is here and the garden is not so bleak:) And I'll be waving to you from WA!

  8. funny!!! like your garden ideas! you should try Wenachee's goodwills and the second hand store at the senior center.. they have super prices and I always found some kind of treasure... haven't found any great thrift shops over here in Oly .. mostly alot of odd smells.......

    ~:o) enjoy the week!!

  9. Love your blue bowling ball. It's gorgeous! It will make a great gazing ball in your garden--especially with violets.

  10. What a cool idea to put the bowling ball in a garden. I bet the sun will reflect on. I imagine the birds and other animals will also reflect on what it is and why it's there. It would fun to watch them discover it.

    I love that sign. It is funny and I bet you were pleased it was left:~)

    This post made me smile today. Thank you!

  11. Lisa-thanks! That's too funny about your local thrift stores! Next time I'm in Wenatchee I'll have to check out the places you mentioned. Years ago, when I was a college student here, the thrift stores were amazing! I took a textiles class and my professor used to buy vintage clothes and cut them up for fabric samples because vintage clothes were so plentiful and cheap. The good old days...
    You have a great week too!

    Mary-thanks:) I was excited when I saw the bowling ball amongst the other junk:)

    Sara-thank you! I bet the birds will love it! I'm thinking I should frame the sign and hang it next to the new sink...
    Glad I made you smile:)

  12. Ha! The note made me laugh. Glad you were able to "huck" it up.

  13. Tina-we really got a kick out of it too! The person who wrote it gets extra credit for creative spelling:)