Garage sales are the new happy hour 5

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It’s been nearly six years since Scott and I scattered our unwanted possessions across the front lawn, peddling them to strangers in hopes of turning a significant profit.


Syracuse, NY — 2009. The “All items $1″ strategy was quite effective in clearing out the last of our inventory in the final hours of day two.

Our Syracuse yard sale — held just a week before our cross-country move to Seattle — generated enough cash to purchase a brand new Vizio flat screen TV from Costco. Surprisingly, the hottest selling items were Jolie’s gently used dog dresses, and several paintings I had created in college that I could no longer stand to look at. Go figure.

Fast forward to life in ‘Sota, where have accumulated enough excess crap to warrant a “cleansing” of our gently used assets. Next weekend, Scott I will host our first ever GARAGE sale.

(Note the name change, as this is the first time we’ve ever owned an actual garage.)

Over the course of one (possibly two) days, I’m hoping to achieve the following:

  1. Get rid of at least twenty throw pillows.
  2. Earn enough money to pay for one of our plane tickets to Maui this January.
  3. Have the most fun, fabulous, socially stimulating garage sale in the history of garage sales.

Let’s face it — garage sales can be dull, uneventful and even tedious. As the daughter of Washington State’s most avid yard saler, I’ve been dragged to my fair share of yawn-inducing rummage sales. So how do I make my event different? Is it even possible to create a sale that is lively, boisterous and downright enjoyable?

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • A (spiked) lemonade stand. (You don’t suppose I need a liquor license for that, do you?)
  • Lawn games! Cornhole, Twister and croquet, to name a few.
  • Snacks. Lots of snacks.
  • A free glass of wine when you purchase 3 or more items.
  • Karaoke. (Do you think the neighbors would complain?)
  • A cake walk. Obviously.
  • A free glass of wine if I like your outfit.
  • Complimentary skin cancer checks by Scott Taylor, PA-C.
  • A “snuggling chair” where you can sit, and soak in the cuddliness of two dogs and a cat who just want to love you.
  • A free glass of wine if one of the critters accidentally farts, urinates or sprays on  you while in the snuggling chair.
  • End of the day BOGO sales.
  • Free palm readings! While I have no official training, I could slap on big earrings and a head scarf and act super convincing.

What do you think? I’ll admit, the skin checks could be a little creepy, but the rest seems pretty fun, right?

Any tips on making our little garage sale the best thing since the snack aisle at Trader Joe’s? I’m all ears.

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I risked my Birkenstocks to tell this tale 5

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Birks: Not as outdoorsy as they look.

Oh, the fashion sacrifices I will make to bring to light the story of a good, old-fashioned haunting!

Let’s rewind a bit, shall we?

Two weeks ago, I shared the story of the mysterious fluff that randomly appeared in my office while I was away from my desk for two minutes.


After exhausting all logical explanations for why our ceiling had suddenly started snowing, Scott determined the entire event to be–for lack of a better term–supernatural.


A few days prior to the fluffy invasion, our next door neighbors had informed of us a collapsed house in the woods directly next to our property. “Really?!” I exclaimed, “In our woods?”

While the wooded area isn’t considered our property, it shares a border with the garden on the West side of our lot, and feels quite familiar to us. Lars disappears into the forest each day for hours of cat adventures. The woods also happen to be the home of an abandoned Studebaker that peeks out just behind Scott’s compost pile. We’ve toyed with the idea of transforming it into a chicken coup, as the owners of the property live across the country and are never around.

Surely, our woods couldn’t be hiding a collapsed house?

collapsed house

Alright, fine. Maybe they could.

The above structure was formerly inhabited by four old maids who had been shunned by the community back in the 1940s and 50s. Apparently, being unwed and childless ’round these parts was enough to warrant a banishment the woods. The premise of a secluded house for single women is messed up on a variety of levels, and grows even more disturbing as additional facts (listed below) are filled in…

  • The house is tiny, and consists of single, approximately 12×12 room. How that space plan worked for 4 adult women is a mystery to me.
  • The home existed before the highway to our house was built in the 1980s. It was literally isolated in the woods, practically unreachable by modern modes of transportation.
  • All four women died in the house. (Of natural causes…but still!!!!)

(Truly, I may not have purchased our home had I known about all of this a year ago.)

We decided to visit the house for the first time the day before the ceiling fluff incident. Lars had meowed violently at the dilapidated structure, while our nieces and nephews ran haphazardly around the perimeter of the building.

Had we somehow upset the old maids with our visit? Did they view our curiosity — not to mention our rambunctious pets and family members — as a sign of disrespect?

Were these crazy b*****s behind the white crap all over my desk?

I shivered at the though of such a possibility.


Fortunately, The Pest Detective (yes, that’s what our local Exterminator goes by), confirmed he disaster in my office was the result of carpenter ants, not a haunting. While these ants–which are similar to termites–can cause major structural damage, we were lucky enough to catch them right away. After a quick spray around the perimeter of our house and the tree in our yard where the ants had colonized, our infestation came to a screeching halt. It might just be the best $180 I’ve spent all year.

As for the old maids, they seem to be friendly souls. Still, I brought them some strong coffee when I took pictures of their home this morning, just to stay on their good side.


Here’s hoping the ladies like French Roast.

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Ten pathetic excuses for why I’ve been AWOL for the last 20 days 4

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1. We’ve had company at our house for two months straight. Apparently, this influx of visitors is what happens when you live on a lake.

2. Every time I sit down to write, I end up reading instead. (Just finished this guy. Currently halfway through this book, this book, and this book.)

3. Work has been crazy. I’ve been eating, sleeping and breathing Photoshop.

4. I’ve been training for my very first CrossFit competition.


Despite logging several hours in the gym, I’ll still publicly humiliate myself with my tragic attempts at unassisted ring dips. Still…I’m quite looking forward to sporting our sassy team uniforms.

5. I may have had a little too much fun at a Minnesota Twins Game.


Photo taken BEFORE all the “fun”

Not only did this directly undo all of that ring dip training…it took me a good 72 hours to fully recover. (If that’s not a sign that I’m officially out of my twenties, I don’t know what is.)

6. Before you judge me too much for #5, what would you do in the face of one of these???


At only $16, the Hrbek’s bloody mary is easily the best value in the entire stadium!

7. I’ve been dealing with the fallout of a broken dishwasher, washing machine AND the mystery fluff in my office. (I promise I’ll explain the rest of that tomorrow.)

8. I’ve been outside swimming, paddleboarding and sunning myself. Gotta get it all in before it starts snowing in three weeks, right?


9. Not sure what’s gotten into me, but I’ve been cooking up a storm. This overnight apple cinnamon french toast is my new favorite method for consuming my entire daily caloric intake before 11 am.

10. I’ve been just plain lazy. The critters (and their siren-like snuggling powers) may or may not be directly responsible for my sloth-like behavior.


You know your life is in a sad state of affairs when you Photoshop lying in bed pics to make your hair appear less…er…greasy.

In other words…it’s beyond time to get back to blogging.

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What the fluff??? 11

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It was possibly the most typical Monday morning in the history of Monday mornings.

I was drinking my first cup of coffee, answering emails and minding my own business. Suddenly remembering the critters (my new term of generalization for Jolie, Penny and Lars) had been outside for a good thirty minutes, I ran downstairs to corral them back indoors. When I unsuspectingly returned to my office a mere two minutes later, I could hardly believe my eyes.



I immediately texted the above images to Scott, explaining this mystery debris appeared to have suddenly descended like fresh-fallen snow from our exposed ceiling.

We quickly brainstormed what the unidentified, possibly toxic waste could be.  Potential options included…

  • Light, feathery chips of dried paint??
  • Something insect related
  • Fungi
  • The result of Scott spraying the nearby windows for spiderwebs the night before
  • Queso fresco. (I had purchased a crap ton of queso fresco for tacos the day before. Scott’s family had been staying with us and he wondered if our nieces and nephew could have possibly stashed it in the rafters as a prank. Admittedly, this theory is a stretch.)

Unsatisfied with Scott’s logic, I turned to Facebook for answers. Disappointingly, my internet friends weren’t much help, either. (No offense, internet friends.)



So…best case scenario it was Ebola/SARS/Anthrax/Ceiling Leprosy. Worst case scenario, my home office had unwillingly become the epicenter of an impending zombie apocalypse. Awesome.

I was just about to Google “How to tell if your husband is hiding bodies in the ceiling”, when Scott texted me with an even more terrifying possibility.


Little did he know, I’d been thinking the exact same thing. Only I’d been too afraid to say it out loud, for fear that might somehow make the haunting “real”.

To be continued…

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