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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Unexpected Thrifting - in the Most Unlikely Place

Warning: This is one of those 'one thing leads to another' posts, so it's a bit wordy and pic heavy.
Linking up to Rhoda's Thrifty Treasures over at Southern Hospitality
By now most of you know that I moved back close to my childhood home recently, where my mother still lives. One of the reasons for that is because my mother is itching for a change and has decided to sell that home and property and buy a smaller home with much less upkeep.

That's where I come in. I've agreed to help her get the house and property ready to sell.

(Sorry for the photo quality - I lifted this off my mom's facebook.)

No small feat, I assure you.

 The house is in the country. There is a barn, 3 small outbuildings, an in ground pool, and plenty of acerage that all need a bit of spiffing up. Not to mention the upgrades we need to do inside the house. It's a 1964 ranch and hasn't had many drastic upgrades through the years.

(See all those trees beyond the pool, and the field? That's all hers too, and the field has to get cleaned up also. Just to give you an idea of how much land that actually is to that side of the house, from the edge of the pool to the tallest trees is about 1/4 mile.)


I am absolutely dreading it.
Sorry mom, but the truth's the truth.
I love you in spite of what you're going to put me through this summer! lol


However.................that dread started to ease a bit a couple of weeks ago when I discovered something I had never taken the time to explore before.

Let me start from the beginning.

A couple of weeks ago while I was at mom's, she mentioned that she had a hole in the floor of her pool house. I went to check it out and didn't think it would be that hard to fix, so I told her I'd do it. (I'll tell you now, I had no idea what I got myself into! Bees and all.)

I gathered my tools and then got to work ripping the bad flooring out. The hole covered several planks, which unfortunatley all had to come out.

Side Note: If I ever see the guy who built that floor, I'm pretty sure I'll whack him a good one! Just saying. :)

He built the foundation, installed the flooring on it directly, and THEN sat the pool house on it.
That makes for a hard day of removing floor planks. Trying to get them out from under the foundation, and then trying to fit new ones back in was NOT easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Anyhoo, I finally got the planks out after much distress.
Mom told me to get replacement planks out of the barn. They were somewhere in the barn.

(I've always thought of that barn as a scary place.( And not because a cat jumped over a bail of hay and straight into my face, creating a scar that's visible to this day.) It is packed full and something could topple over on you at any moment and you'd never be heard from again.)

So I climbed up in the top of the barn, shuffled through all of the boards, and pitched the ones down to my mom that were good enough to use.

Wellllllllllllllllll, while I was in the top of the barn, I began to look around below me at what all was really in there.
 Low and behold! - How could I not have known what all was in there? I'd been in that barn a hundred times over the years. I guess I never really paid attention to anything other than what I was looking for at the time.

I'll speed this up so I can get to the good stuff.
So I got the boards down, finished repairing the floor, (in the rain now, mind you, with a scared dog sitting in the corner refusing to budge), installed vinyl on top of the planks, and called her done.

THEN, I went back in the house to get my camera and headed to the barn to poke around.

And now here's the good stuff.....................

Let me tell you, it's a junker's paradise in there!
See for yourself.
All the things I look for at flea markets, I found in here. And they're all FREE, because my mommy loves me that way.

Look at all that wood, and the ladders, and the display racks.......

Doors and windows and pails - oh my!

Chairs, and pallets, and more ladders................

More chairs, and drawers, and crates, and a bike, and another ladder

Tables, and wire, and fencing, and barrels..........

Tables, and shelves, and more wood
(Can't understand why that mattress is there. Did somebody really think they'd reuse that after it had been in the barn?)

See that table turned on it's side? It's metal, chippy, and already painted robin's egg blue. I can't wait to drag that out! See those shelves beside it? Yep, a little deeper robin's egg color.

More shelves, fencing, racks, and plywood sheeting

These goodies are harder to see, so I circled them for you. See that little pile of aqua stuff in the center? Those are the aqua glass caps that people covet at the markets. LOTS of them.
There's a plant stand, wood barrel, coke crates, and tons of tires.

Shelves and old window frames

Look at all this wire stuff! TONS of it.

Yet another rocker, turquoise wire baskets, crates, and another bike

More crates and old wood frames of some sort

A great bird cage and an old chandy.
 I'm a little worried about what's in that big box. It's sealed, so I couldn't get a peek in it.

Small bi-fold window screens, and plenty of them

Loads of shelves and drawers

And finally, look at all this loveliness laying against the outside of the barn. See that old antique bed frame? Definitely coming home with me.

I would post pics of all the stuff I found in the outbuildings, but this post is already WAY TOO LONG, so I'll save those for another day.

Do you see why I'm not quite dreading this portion of it anymore?
I forgot all about the work when I started realizing what was to be had in the barn.
What unexpected thrifting have you encountered?

You can't get any thriftier than free!
Head on over to Southern Hospitality and see what everyone else found during their thrifting excursions.



  1. Oh. My. Goodness.

    While the amount of work ahead of you has me reeling, at least you'll get rewarded. :)

    That Peters crate caught my breath. That's my dad's name. Sigh...

    Seems as if our childhoods were so similar. I'm posting about my childhood inspired through my Dad tonite. So your post made me smile. :)

    The cat story in the barn? I screeched with laughter! I have many of those. We use to dress our barncats up in doll clothes. If we could catch them that is.

    I hope you have help going through all that stuff! You have help, yes???

    Wishing you the best!

  2. Wow, a big job but the rewards will be sweet! Good luck and I'll be watching for your posts as you go.

  3. Thats so awesome! I can't wait to see what you turn all that stuff into!! :)

  4. Oh such wonderful things. I can hardly wait to see what all you take home and what you do with it. Hugs, Marty

  5. Hi Polly,
    I felt like I just got finished watching an episode of American Pickers! What fun to go through the barn and see what treasures you can find. I would have a field day in that place. Post as many pictures as you want...I want to see everything!!

  6. Holy moly, you hit the mother load! How much time do you have to do all this and go through that barn before she puts it on the market? You'd better get busy, there's a lot of stuff in there to go through!

  7. Wow Polly!! That is some cool stuff!! But I still don't envy your having to go through all of it. Have fun!!

  8. Way to go! I had the same experience with my parents place. Who knew so much stuff was in the barn!? I thought it was all in the garage! LOL
    He had 2 of the 3 chicken houses full of his Mothers (my Grandmothers) stuff from her place.

    You will be surprised how many "layers" there are when you start going thru everything.

    Happy Treasure Hunting!!


  9. Wow, what a lot of finds you could get right from your Mom's barn! I'm sure there are several things you could bring home, Polly. Have fun going through all that stuff! {Did you ever fix that floor?} : )

  10. You are a very lucky girl! I say we all come help you. I see so many treasures,it would feel more like a party then work. Enjoy the fruits of your labor! <3

  11. Oh, wow!

    I'll come help! Will work for junk~really!

  12. Oh Polly! What a great find. I would have loved to go through it all with you. Guess I'll just have to go back and look at the pictures. So many little time.

  13. What a treasure trove. Way cool.

  14. My word Polly! You certainly have a tough job ahead of you but my, oh my the rewards are many! It will be interesting to see what hidden treasures you find.

    ~ Tracy

  15. Polly, the whole time I was reading this I was thinking that if Donna saw this place and all that stuff she'd probably hyperventilate!!!!

    Hope you caught your breath!!!

    What's the asking price, btw? (after you've done your magic with the place, of course!) LOL! We don't have a clue where we're headed next!

    Oh and I loved reading this long was a joy!



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