Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Good Weekend

In the last two weeks, I have worked twelve days straight, and then followed it up with 6-8 more hours of work (gardening, etc) at home each day.  By the time this past Friday rolled around, I felt pretty worn out.  I knew there was still so much needing to be done (ahem, weeds in the garden, ahem) but I also knew I was near the point of exhaustion and needed to go a little easier on myself.  So, I made the conscious decision to not push myself over the weekend.

Friday, I worked my normal hours at the horse farm, then came home and did just an hour or two in the garden, did chicken chores, made dinner for all who were here (*just* a head count of four that night!), and went to ride the Quarter Horse, who has become my main horse by default--as in the other two being retired.  Other than an unplanned dismount during the midst of my ride (code for, I went off his back in an ungraceful manner) that was not due to maliciousness, just a dive and hit the brakes motion on the part of the horse, it was a nice evening.  It's been a long, long time since I've fallen off/been tossed, and let me tell you, that ground is harder than it used to be.  But, true to my horse trainer nature, I picked myself up, shook myself off, caught my horse, got back on, and continued to have an excellent ride in which I paid much better attention.

Saturday I slept in to the 'late' hour of 7:45 a.m.  A whole two hours of extra sleep!  Tried out a new to me banana muffin recipe for breakfast, and then headed off to the local hay & straw auction in the hope of purchasing some straw for about $2 a bale (since all the farmers have cut their wheat in the last week or so).  I could use a few dozen bales of straw to mulch the garden with to help prevent weeds the rest of this season.

Alas, straw that cheap was not to be had, going for $2.30-$2.50 a bale.  And I'm too cheap to pay that when I know there is a straw glut coming.  However, auctions are not attended just for shopping, they are also for socializing, and I ran into a farm mom/wife I know who told me (when I mentioned wanting to find affordable straw) that she would most likely be baling some in the next week or two.  She then told me she would cut me a deal.  So, I shall probably be getting straw at my price after all.

Then, on the way home, I stopped at a yard sale, where I not only found some potential Christmas gifts (I'm always on the lookout for tins and mugs that I can then fill with homemade goodies) and some classic kid's books for the grandkids, but I found 'The Chair' that I have been looking for off and on for over a year now.  I've been wanting a small armchair for up in my bedroom; one that is kind of Victorian in styling--wing back and upright, not slouchy and overstuffed--that I can comfortably sit in to knit, read, or do counted cross stitch when I don't feel like joining the crowd downstairs in the living room.

Again, I'm too cheap to go buy such a chair brand new.  And even the few I've found on craigslist have been pricier than the budget I'd set for such an item.  So imagine my delight when I walked up to the yard sale and saw, off to one side, The Chair with a price sticker of only $10!!  I gave it a test-sit, liked how it felt, and decided that this definitely was meant to be.  Only $10, and in great condition.  Apparently it had been an 'extra' chair in the corner of someone's office for a few decades (yeah, it's older), so had had very light use.  Now that person was retired and no longer wished to keep the chair.  Into the back of my pick-up it went.

Once home, I took the shop vac to it, even though it looked like the previous owner had cleaned it well.  Then I hauled it into the house and upstairs, where I proceeded to spend the next several hours cleaning and rearranging the bedroom (did I mention that DH went fishing up north yesterday with a friend who just bought a ridiculously expensive new fishing boat?).

The Chair, installed in a nicely lit spot.
(note knitting bag near chair leg; I had to give The Chair a test knit, LOL)

While I was cleaning and rearranging, inspiration struck: push pins in the wall to hang hats off of instead of having them clutter up the tops of the dressers!

DH's hats hung neatly. 
 Except for the pictures on the wall--and the light switch-- looks sorta Amish in there.

My big floppy sunhat, hung out of the way.

While I was working on my bedroom redo, I managed to get 4 loads of laundry washed and hung on the line.  Once the bedroom was finished, I hit the garden for an hour or so, knocking out two more rows of potatoes.  The plants seem to mostly be doing well despite the weed pressure; I accidentally unearthed a handful of new potatoes that were all good sized for this time of year.

This morning was the monthly consignment auction (held at the same place as the weekly hay/straw auction), so I played hooky from church in order to go to that.  Missed the May and June ones due to DS1 & K2's wedding, and DH, K3 & my (sorta) vacation.  I scoped out all the consignment stuff yesterday while I was at the hay/straw auction and had about a dozen items I was interested in bidding on.

Most of those went for higher prices than I was willing to pay (again, I'm cheap and none of them was a desperate need).  Two milk crates of antique blue Ball canning jars in pint, quart and 1/2 gallon sizes went for $18 and $24 each.  I had been hoping most people wouldn't know the value (I would have gone $10 per crate) but unfortunately there were some antique dealers there who knew their stuff.  Wall-mounted saddle racks that are about $14 new were going for $10-$12 each (my bottom line was $6).  A decent set of 4 patio chairs fetched $75 (I was hoping for $40).  Seemed like it was going to be a long, hot day in the sun with empty hands for me.

But then the crowd began to thin out; the auction had been going on for about nearly 3 hours at that point, and I scored my first bargain:  a Rubbermaid 100 gallon water tank for only $20!  They are $70-75 brand new at the farm stores near me, and I've been watching them go for up to $65 at the auctions for over a year now.  My top price is set at $40 (or slightly more than 1/2 the price of a brand new one), so I was amazed to be the winning bidder at only $20 today.

Another half-hour went by, and I got my next good deal.  I'd had my eye on a 2-passenger tow-behind bicycle cart.  The same kind we'd had when my kids were little, but then sold about 12 years ago when they all wanted to ride bikes of their own instead of sit in the cart behind Mom or Dad.  I wanted that bike cart and figured I'd bid up to $25 on it.

Well, it was next to an assortment of bicycles that the auctioneer couldn't get anyone to even bid $2 each on.  So, knowing how to ensure a sale, he threw that bike cart in with the bicycles as one lot, and started the bidding at $2.50.  The lady next to me wanted the cart too, so she raised her hand at $2.50.  The auctioneer asked $5 and I jumped in.  Didn't want those bikes and I'd have to figure out how to sell or get rid of them, but that cart was definitely worth more than $5.  Lucky for me the other lady didn't want the cart bad enough to go up to the $7.50 the auctioneer then asked, so I won the whole lot for $5.  Two of the bikes are men's 10-speeds, and DS1 has all ready expressed an interest in one or both, depending on what sort of parts they might need (one has flat tires; not sure if they will hold air or not).

My $25 auction haul

better view of the bike cart

Overall, it's been a good weekend.

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