Short Thought 221 (IQ)

When I was a child, there was a neighbor boy who was considered extremely bright. A younger brother followed but he evidently didn’t show the same degree of intellect. My mother commented that his mother must have been glad to have a regular or normal boy.  I still can’t decide exactly what she meant.  Was my mother merely reflecting a bias of her own? Did she think a high IQ child was a hardship of some kind? (I fail to see how as I had a reasonable, albeit not likely genius, IQ, and nobody did anything special  for me, ahem.) Was a high IQ child intimidating to her?  Or otherwise off-putting?


My clothing haul from the synagogue rummage sale!

The local synagogue holds an annual two-day rummage sale every November that’s open to all. With a fun, upbeat atmosphere, it’s a big hit around here and I, like lots of locals, look forward to it. They have lots of household items, shoes, and many tables piled with clothes as well as additional clothes on racks. This year I was focused almost exclusively on shoes and clothes.

The key, I’ve found, to doing well at this type of sale is to go rested, fed, hydrated, and with an open mind. You have to be willing to methodically root through the various piles to find what might suit you; for example all the jeans – and there were many – are piled together without regard to size. It’s a bit of work and not everybody enjoys it, but I do, especially when it pays off. (I see a lot of women half-heartedly look at a few things on the tops of the piles and give up. Not me. I mean business.)

The first day has set, albeit low, prices and the second day is half-off household stuff & shoes and a single price ($8 this year) to fill a bag of clothes. The bag is a grocery store sized paper bag (I was a tad disgruntled the years they offered only a small grocery store plastic bag so I was happy to see the return of the brown paper bag on day two of the sale.) I was very pleased with my first day finds: a pair of Levis 712 slim jeans, a print 3/4 sleeve top, and a(nother) Downton Abbey type of winter hat (I’ve acquired two others secondhand prior to this). The jeans and top were each $4 and the hat $3. I didn’t buy them to be a “set” per se (and found them in three different locations) but looking at the photo, they DO look like a nice outfit together!



I wasn’t sure that I’d go back the second day but spontaneously decided to return for “bag day.” Having already found three nice items, I didn’t feel pressed to find more and took the attitude that if I wasn’t having fun, I’d leave. As it turned out, I enjoyed myself, stayed two hours and found a bunch of good stuff. They have a small restroom where you can try on clothes; I always take advantage of this and I was really happy to find a working heater installed this year! (Gets chilly in there.) I paid $8 total for all that follows.

These two t-shirts were great; flattering fit and colors. The brand is Caston which I’ve never heard before.

I saw this shirt on the first day and LOVED the print (I’d like some tie-dye in my life) but I didn’t want to spend $4 on it. I was surprised it was still there the second day.IMG_20181115_093554_kindlephoto-4636398.jpg

I found a pretty Chicos t-shirt but was a bit loose on me. Figuring that I’d be paying under a dollar for it – and it was closer to .50 when all was said and done – I went ahead and got it. The irony here is that the shirt was a size 0. Before you decide I must be impossibly small, let me note that whenever I’ve seen Chicos clothes in second-hand stores, etcetera, they look HUGE to me; clearly the brand uses “vanity sizing.” So anyway, once I had it home, I decided to hand-stitch a seam straight down the back, taking in about 2″ total. Then the shirt fit me nicely.

I think of shirts like these as “play clothes”, nothing fancy but useful and cute. I never heard of the Simply Southern brand and I’m not Southern but have to admit it’s a pretty catchy name. They must have thought so too because the brand name is written on the sleeve and printed in BIG lettering on the back (see the photo). I also included a closeup of the illustration on the bottom of the Faded Glory shirt because it’s a bit odd: children in row boats. These children reappear on the sleeves and the tiny pockets as well. I can’t decide if they’re wearing life jackets. Where are their parents? Are they fishing? They have no rods. I’m worried about them.

These two sweaters are Croft & Barrow (blue) and Ann Taylor (green). Typically, sweaters in my uh, price range, are cheaply made and scratchy, so I don’t buy sweaters. These are soft and very nice. The blue is big – about a size or more big – but I decided that’s okay; it’ll work with leggings and a hat to balance it out.

I like what I’ve seen of New York & Company clothes, which these next two sweaters are. Both are soft and feminine. The red is a true red – like fire engine – but I couldn’t quite capture the exact shade with my tablet. The black one has a little built-in tie at the neck so I included a close-up.

I’d seen this swan shirt on day one of the sale and passed it by. I don’t have any clothes with animals on them and wouldn’t normally consider it. But oh my! This was sort of a cross between a sweat shirt and a sweater and felt great. It looked good too so what the hell? The swan is stitched into the fabric not an applique. (My only association with swans is a story by the Southern writer Bailey White that revealed how mean swans can be. Her story is vivid and I never forgot it.)IMG_20181115_095728_kindlephoto-3583144

Here we have my first pair of hot pink jeans! Normally I wouldn’t get something like this because not a whole lot goes with hot pink jeans, but at this price – under a buck – I went for it. The blue blob is a hat so I included me modeling it so you could see that.


This last top was so beautiful and dressy. It has an inner camisole. Since it didn’t look like much laid out on the table, I modeled it too.

Hope you enjoyed the bargain fashion tour. I enjoyed writing it!

Requisite fall tree photo

This is one of my favorite trees to watch each year. It turns color from the top down.


Nov 1


Nov 2

Saturday’s rummage finds (the bargain hunter in her natural habitat)

I hit 2 rummage sales and one yard sale this past Saturday and want to share what I got. I’ve said it before, but Show and Tell was my favorite thing in early grade school.

Before I launch into the finds, let me reiterate that I’m definitely anti-clutter and have unloaded A LOT of stuff over many years and routinely get rid of things. Just last week I was in a certain kind of mood one day and told myself, “Find five things to get rid of” (which makes it kind of a game). It took about 1.5 hours to hit my goal which I took as a very good sign – it means I’ve already gotten rid of most of the stuff that I should. Along the way I found a couple things for recycling too but they couldn’t count in the 5 items.

So, onto my acquisitions. At the first rummage sale, one with many tables at the fire house, I took my time and found a couple good things.

On first glance I thought this necklace might be a vintage costume piece. It wasn’t but for a buck, I still liked it. These pictures don’t do it justice; it’s a brighter more attractive gold.


It’s huge! 6″ end to end


Scented candle in tin, so nice in winter


Eye shadows and a .10 Scunci brand hair clip

Modeling the hair clip (I’ve been growing my hair & this clip particularly makes it look super long):

I next went to a church holiday fair which included “White Elephant” items.


$1 for a 100 white light strand (I’ll be attaching them to a 100 light strand I already have and will use to decorate in December)


I was delighted to find this plug-in light Jack-o-lantern for a dollar


The sales lady gave me this gorgeous 13″ candle along with my jack-o-lantern; I don’t think she expected many shoppers to want Halloween stuff at a Christmas fair

My last stop was a local yard sale. I didn’t get much but it was worth stopping.


Unused lamp switch and a Craftsman screw driver, for a quarter together!


Easy Spirit shoes, lots of use left, for just $1; here they are fresh from the washer

For under $6 I got all these useful-to-me finds. And it was fun.


Short Thought 220 (money)

You hear about all these women getting scammed out of money, their life savings and so on, from men online. Or they just give money to their boyfriends who never pay it back (and often never intended to). If a man was silly enough to ask me for cash, I think I’d send him an envelope full of Monopoly money. Maybe I’d throw in a hotel or two if I was feeling frisky.

Know your audience

This happened many years ago. All the kids in my family were grown but we still congregated with our relatives at out-of-state family reunions. One year the big reunion on our mother’s side had been held at a park but in the evening the group continued the festivities at one of my cousin’s homes. People had begun telling jokes. My brother, in an animated fashion, told a detailed, moderately racy joke that was greeted with much laughter after its punchline.


My sister, on the other hand, told a short joke:

“Why is American beer like having sex in a canoe?”
“Because it’s fucking close to water.”

This joke didn’t go over quite so well. Perhaps because my sister had failed to think about the fact that we were literally in a town that made an American beer, one much beloved by the locals.