Seventeen years of Treehouse talk

Seventeen years of Treehouse talk

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Frugal finds and fixes: Yard sales, wind storms, and earthquakes

Fixes: People in southern Ontario are starting off this weekend with lots of unexpected fixing ahead, after strong winds crashed through yesterday (up to 122 km/hr where we live). Trees blew down behind our apartment building, and we could see shingles flying off roofs in the neighbourhood. In Toronto, balcony furniture was seen flying through the air, and the roof blew off a school (there were also fatalities because of downed power lines). We had similar tree damage a couple of times at our old house, and it's not easy or cheap to deal with.

The only thing we had damaged here was one of the car ramps we had stored on our balcony (used for oil changes, not on the balcony). It fell over when the winds started up, and a piece broke off, but Mr. Fixit was able to re-glue it. That's pretty minor compared to what others are dealing with after the storm (and in other situations like flooding in New Brunswick and volcanoes in Hawaii). 

Finds: Street sales are starting, and in spite of the mess left everywhere this morning, there were lots of people out enjoying the warm weather. I found a Daytimer the same size as my planner (so the Bible cover can go back on my Bible), and a pair of earrings. The Daytimer was two dollars, and I actually bought it just for the paper and dividers inside it. Half-size filler paper is hard to find here, unless you go to the expensive office-supply store. Walmart used to carry it, but I haven't seen any there for awhile. Anyway, I cleaned up the cover and then decided that I like it as is; so I got more than I expected for my two dollars.
Finds: The one thing I'm not interested in right now at yard sales is books. I see enough of those at the thrift store. Here's one that came home recently: The Invention of Clouds, by Richard Hamblyn. It's about Luke Howard, the amateur meteorologist who gave the clouds all their Latin names.
E-book reading: I had to wait awhile to be next in line for Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism, by Fumio Sasaki. I wasn't sure how much relevance to expect from a lifestyle book written by a single male thirtysomething, and translated from Japanese.  However, it was one of the better short books I've read recently on what we expect our stuff to do for us, and why we keep chasing down more of it. The author referred several times to the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, and how that affected his own and others' attitude toward possessions. (He points out that his previously large book and camera collections could have been dangerous in such an earthquake.) In comparison, I recently read a twenty-year-old (thrifted) book about the simplicity journey, and I could barely get through it--too preachy. (So you know I don't recommend every minimalism book that comes along.)

Finds, again: I have been very lucky lately, finding summer clothes at the thrift store. I am putting a Project 333 list together, to be posted near Victoria Day. (In a couple of weeks.)

In the meantime, this is my happy find for this week: a chambray shirtdress, that was even more of a bargain than it might have been, because it was tagged as a shirt instead of a dress, and priced accordingly. It's a short shirtdress, okay? Anyway, this one also has sort of a patience-pays-off moral attached. I had been wanting a dress like this for awhile, because they're so useful: you can wear them closed, open, layered, whatever. The discount store next to our building has shirtdresses for about twenty dollars, and I looked at them a couple of times when I was over there getting milk, but I never got around to trying one on. They looked sort of flimsy, and I kept thinking about people sewing those dresses overseas. Please note that I have bought shoes, hats, and other things there, and even the occasional t-shirt or sweater over the years, so I'm not trying to get all sustainable-purist about it; but something about those particular dresses just didn't seem right, and I didn't feel right about buying one. 

And then this one, a better brand, turned up at the thrift store for a quarter of even the discount-store price. Plus it has a pretty floral pattern (hard to see in the photo, you have to look close). 
So, worth the wait.

No comments: