When I originally started this blog, I thought it would be thrift-specific and a chronicle of my dealings with people at the thrift store, on Craig's List and a chronicle of The Compact. It evolved into a personal journal of sorts with occasional cute stories or photos of the kids and that's how I intend to leave it. A personal journal with occasional thrift stories and occasional kid stories and photos.
Well, folks - today is a thrift story. I had the good fortune to pop into a thrift store yesterday and today. We're getting ready to potty train Ramona so I needed an additional 10 pairs of thin knit pants with elastic waists. 'Cause that's how we roll old-school at the Quimby house (no $.40 cent pull ups here for potty training a 2 year old). I also wanted to take my time with Christmas shopping for the girls and really have enough time and opportunity to get things I know they will like.
Background: I have occasionally purchased a piece or two of very high quality children's toys. Typically hand made out of wood or fabric, once you buy one of these and they have your shipping address, there's no end to the catalogs you receive. Beezus and I love looking through these catalogs - she for just looking, me for familiarizing myself with "what's out there" and for the brand names common to these sorts of time honored and time tested toys. Beezus has particularly looking at the doll houses recently.
Yesterday at the thrift store I found several knit dresses in various sizes for the girls to grow in to, a couple pairs of pants for Ramona, a GORGEOUS Rothschild dress coat and matching hat for Beezus, a sweater for me, and . . . a MATCHING baby doll crib and bouncy seat for Santa Claus. I was pretty excited thinking I have gotten my mojo back !
Then today at a different thrift store, I wandered onto the left side of the store. Now, this thrift store is the size of your average target - and it is divided into two sides, each bearing a different name. You MUST NOT EVER take purchases from one side of the store to the other. (Doesn't make sense to you either? You're in good company.) The left side of the store is called Unique Thrift has brown carpet and the right side is Value Village and has a tile floor. Generally, most regulars routinely go either left or right first. Until recently, I was a solid right side shopper. I thought the aisles were wider, the children's section more well stocked, and the prices lower. I frequently would not even go over to the left side. Today, for some reason, I found myself going left first - AS IF PULLED MYSTERIOUSLY THERE BY SOME FORCE. As I wandered by the section where the "big" toys are, I saw some unpainted wood out of the corner of my eye. Upon closer inspection I found that it was a Ryan's Room dollhouse. I hesitated - the wood itself was in good condition, but some child had been permitted to use neon craft paint on it. (Yes, Elaine, I know that is normal, but I think my heart stopped beating a little bit.) But the wood is true wood, not laminate, so the paint can be taken off, and the ladder was there, which is pretty important, and there was probably 20 pieces of furniture (unfortunately all painted day glo colors). It was marked $34.94. I hesitated - Mr. Quimby and I are REALLY trying to save money and while I knew at the time that the dollhouse likely retailed for over $100 I was nervous about the work it might take to get the paint off (it's not a good paint job). As I stood there considering it, I flung myself on top of it anytime somebody walked by lest they think it was unspoken for. I decided that it was a justifiable purchase, since it was on my mental Christmas list.
I take it up to the register, and the woman tells me that it's 50% off, because all big toys are 50% off today. I kid you not, I kept repeating "oh my gosh, oh my gosh" and then I proceeded to GET TEARY. Seriously - who cries at the thrift store? Evidently I do.
After that stroke of good luck, I suspected that my mojo was DEFINITELY back. I found a BEKA wooden easel. Marked for sale as $4.94, it was also 50% off. (People - the retail price of the model I found would have been $143.00 !!!) Made in the good old US of A, heavy as shit, I could barely get it up to the register. Then I found a ton of leggings for Ramona, a kid sized backpack for Ramona (EVERY SINGLE MORNING there is debate over who is going to carry Beezus' backpack out to the car. Every single morning, Ramona asks Beezus, Beezus says no (which I totally support), Ramona cries, Beezus then yells at ME because Ramona is crying, and then Beezus gives her backpack to Ramona thereby reinforcing to Ramona that if you cry you will get what you want. Awesome. How do you solve that? Buy another backpack for $2.42. )
7 hours ago