Moving to the country was never a dream of mine, and I would have scoffed if anyone had tried to tell me this is where I’d be living when I was “all grown up.”
I am a suburban girl, born and raised with all that it entails. Friends that have been reacquainted with me after decades, do a double tack when I explain this “Green Acres” transformation. Sharing that I wake up to chickens in our coup, our typically sweet cat just sick and tired of the large puppy trying to wrestle with him, and cows and horses in my back yard (thanks to my neighbors, I enjoy all the beauty without any of the work, and can you believe that blue eyed beauty?) leave them wondering. They just pause, chuckle nervously and then ponder me in this environment, while wondering what in the world has come over me. It comes down to the realization that after 13 years of country living, I know the kids are living a dream. It might not have been my dream (and I still do miss elements of suburbia), but it is now. They may not know it yet because they think having trees to climb, woods to room, trails to blaze and forts to build over acres and acres is just normal, but they’ll understand soon enough.
Now what does that have to do with my yard sale find? Well, when you live nestled back on a gravel drive, there’s a tendency to just let nature be your master landscaper. We have the pros and cons of having no neighborhood association to answer to and so if our shrubs, grass and flowers lean toward the “they obviously need help” side, we are OK with that. And so I admit…we have landscape issues. Not that we haven’t tried, we have, but trying to do it ourselves has not yielded anything very dramatic. This year, we are going to change that. While my husband was unemployed, he actually took some landscaping classes at the local Community College (yes, it’s a long story). Besides from the fact that he can now name 500 species in their Latin root name, something he finds impresses those around him on a regular basis, he also did a lot of slave labor “class projects” around the campus to teach them new skills. We are going to figure out how we can use this new found knowledge to help beautify our landscape (or lack thereof).
Since we finally finished putting up the gazebo on our deck after my harried hospitality episode, I realize we have this gorgeous structure with a lot of mismatched junky items underneath it. Since I am not about investing$1K in some outdoor furniture, I am waiting patiently and slowly picking up some items that I can transform for our outdoor areas.
The large planter above, I picked up a few weeks ago for only $2, AND it came with the gorgeous greenery. I couldn’t even hope to buy a tiny plant for that amount.
I just love both of these outdoor chairs. The top black iron chair has great lines, and was a yard sale steal for $5. You can tell someone else started some painting of their own, and they had the right idea. I’m holding off on painting it until I know what furniture colors I will use, but I can’t wait to go to town on that chair. It’s going to be fabulous.
The white wooden rocker is as solid as you can imagine. I don’t think I am going to touch it, except to clean it up and glue in the one little rod. I bought this chair, along with the this brown chair for only $5 ($2.50 a piece). I would have easily paid $10 for that rocker, but don’t tell the sweet woman who just wanted to get rid of it.
These granite, concrete-y type planters were an unbelievable find (how’s that for a professional name). Someone was having a moving sale and literally selling everything. I came very late to this sale, and so I have NO idea why someone else didn’t snatch these up. My guess is that they didn’t know they were for sale. There were six of them sprinkled throughout the yard and some flanked their walk way with no “For Sale” sign on them. It took me just asking if they wanted to get rid of these as well, and the answer was a definite yes. Pricing these at our local nursery BLEW ME AWAY. These things are EXPENSIVE and I snatched them for $5/piece. I couldn’t even begin to pick them up by myself, so I went home and brought two of my boys back with me. They were that heavy.
Yes, they needed a little sprucing up, but look at how quickly they clean up with just a minute of pressure washing the sides. (One of our best ever investments…pressure washer.)
As I was loading the planters (it took two trips, so I got to know these new best friends of mine), I noticed a beautiful bird bath in their woods. I asked what they were going to do with it and they said, “nothing, it has a small crack in the bottom and doesn’t hold water anymore.”
HELLO!! He gave it to me after I mentioned I’d use it. Now it sits nestled in our woods holding some beautiful flowers.
Three weeks ago, I drove past a really junky looking sale, but something made me turn around.
It was this. Ok, don’t roll your eyes. It does have some work to do, but you all know how much I love the Cracker Barrel. Every time our family waits to be called, we sit out on their porch, play checkers and I covet the double rockers with the $250 price tag. Well, guess what? This is one of those rockers and I got it for $10. The owners kept it outside in the elements, so it needs a little tender loving care.
My daughter started helping me cut the frayed edges, but I think all it needs is a good cleaning and an easy paint job and it will be restored to front porch, checker playing glory.
My only question is if I should completely take off the frayed part and put in a new back or just go with the paint job. Time will tell and I will definitely let you know what I decide.
So that is the long, dragged out story of how I am slowly finding yard sale treasures…for my yard. Remember, I didn’t find this all in one week or at one yard sale. This was spread out over a whole season of yard sales, and I just consistently kept my eyes peeled for those treasures I can reuse.
Remember to keep your eyes open and don’t be afraid to ask.