Garage Sailing

JUN. 4 | 2011 Squamish Garage Sailing Circuit: Week 4

  • Posted on: 3 June 2011
  • By: Michelle

Summary: We've really settled into Garage Sailing season now. There's plenty to choose from, and we are even starting to miss a few sales due to time constraints. And I know what you are thinking ... "Seriously, you live in a hippie town smaller than most universities. How many garage sales could there possibly be on even the busiest weekend, that you can't get to them all?" Okay, well ... you are probably actually thinking "Why am I reading this?" And maybe also "I wonder what's for lunch?" And in all likelihood there is also something of a sexual nature. I'm just saying.

But to answer your first, pressing question, I know right?

Let me explain: Garage sales in Squamish adhere to a strict Saturday-only-nine-to-noon policy. The Garage Sailing Circuit, like Cinderella, apparently turns into a pumpkin at 12 noon on Saturday. There seems to be a local belief that if an item isn't sold before the clock strikes twelve, that any attempt to continue falls into the category of pure futility.

The upside for us avid Garage Sailors, is that this conviction is so pervasive, that at noon "FREE" signs magically appear in the middle of piles of unsold articles left on otherwise empty driveways.


Lucky for me - The Find of the Week fell into this post-lunch-nothing-will-sell-all-of-the-sudden-I-am-not-so-attached-to-Grandma's-ceramic-donkey-collection-just-put-a-free-sign-out-because-I-don't-want-to-drag-this-junk-to-the-thrift-store-I-can't-believe-I-rejected-that-guy's-offer-to-buy-the-entire-collection-for-a-toonie category.

I've been looking for a clay pot with a lid to put on my kitchen countertop for compost scraps. And when we pulled up to an abandoned garage sale at, no joke, 12:10 pm, there it was, this awesome glazed pot, gleaming in the sunlight, still boasting its previous exorbitant $4 price tag.

I did find something else in the pile next to the compost pot, that I've been looking for for awhile, but I am incapable of talking about it with a straight face. And no, I am not talking about an electric lady-business shaver. (Pay attention, I found one last year, remember? What? It was NEW, in the package, okay? Geez.) I like to buy my honey at the farmer's market from the local bee guy. But the jars are those dumb jam jars that have those lids that split apart, and then that thin piece gets stuck to the top of the jar and you break your nails trying to pry it off and everything ends up sticky, and I hate sticky ... okay, fine. I am stalling. Yes. Yes, I was looking for ... a ... honey ... pot.

Giggle. Honey pot.

The tally:

  • Photo album and refill pages - $0.50
  • 2 CDs (Macy Gray and Deana Carter) - $1
  • 4 books - $1
  • Green long sleeve shirt - $0.25
  • 2 Ikea ceramic pots - $0.50
  • Reusable bag and 2 old glass bottles - $1
  • Ummm. Honey. Pot. - Free
  • Compost pot - Free

Total: $4.25


MAY. 29 | 2011 Squamish Garage Sailing Circuit: Week 3

  • Posted on: 1 June 2011
  • By: Michelle

Summary: Well, if last week was slim pickins', then this week the lord of they-who-seek- driveway-bargains was smiling upon us, and the heavens opened and rained down showers of garage sale blessings into our grateful hands.

I think we hit close to 20 sales this week, and let me tell you, those community cooperation gigs (i.e. one ad in the newspaper = an entire block of driveways hemorrhaging deals onto the street) did not hurt efforts.

Let's just say that when my partner-in-crime (who, on average, brings home three times the number of treasures that I do) and I were done this week, we might have called to order the first meeting of the Garage Sale Purchases Evasive Maneuvers Tactical Committee, to discuss exactly how we were going to transfer her goods from my car to various locations in her house, without either one of us being reprimanded. Remind me to refine our techniques for next week.

So here's the goods ...


But wait ... that's not all! This one was apparently in the bathroom when I took the group shot.


Also, there's a jug of windshield wiper fluid still in the car (What do you mean "Who buys windshield wiper fluid at garage sales?" I do. Obviously.) that I was too lazy to involve in the group shot.

But wait ... that's not all! Yous better all go to a garage sale to buy a new chair, and then sit down on it before I reveal the Find of the Week.

First, let me introduce you to, none other than, my long-term Garage Sailing Partner-in-Crime and Find of the Week finder (who insisted on being identified personally and publicly, for what she estimates to be the greatest Garage Sale find of all time). THIS is Kirsten, aka BFF by default, since that time Hadley tried to take me on a run. (For the record, it is pronounced K-EER-sten. And if you can't remember that, then you don't care enough to be her friend and you can f... uh ... take your leave. I have taken my leave many times.)


In case you are wondering, that is either a glass of organic apple juice lovingly pressed by a class of Waldorf school children during their afternoon handwork session and sold at the May Fair to raise funds for alternative forms of education. Or it's a big-ass piña colada. You figure it out.

Incidentally, the Where's Waldo scarf was one of last year's garage sale finds. Incidentally to the previous incident, it was one of MY last year's garage sale finds. I would revoke her BFF status for stealing my awesome scarf, and give it back to Hadley, except that sometimes I still mispronounce her name, and the scarf generally keeps me in the clear. And also this ...


Yep, this blue and plum Oakley wool jacket with lemon and gold highlights was something K-EER-sten dug off a rack at our very last garage sale on the circuit this weekend. She subsequently handed it to me, and said "Here. Put this on." When it comes to Kirsten and clothes, I don't question. Once I had put it on, she said "I hate you." Followed by "You are buying that. You don't have a choice." And that was the end of that discussion. I'm okay with the outcome. Maybe someone will give me a job now. Of course, they will be sorely disappointed when I show up on the first day wearing board shorts and a hoody that doesn't match and haven't brushed my hair.

The tally:

  • Oakley jacket: $5 (+ Family Tree book and bottle of Pantene De-frizz Cream thrown into the deal. Yes. I know it's weird to get toiletry products from garage sales. But first, what gave you any impression that you were going to find normal around here? Second, who ELSE is going to take them home? They are just going to end up in the dump. See? I'm a hero. Also, most of the time they are free.)
  • Hat: $0.50
  • Windsheild wiper fluid: 2 bottles for $0.75 (K-EER-sten owes me 37.5 cents for the one she got)
  • Three Ikea shoe cabinets: $7
  • Mousepad and sparkly euro-weird bracelet/brain puzzle and book: $1
  • Black feather cushion for couch and Tori + Guy hair straightener: $1
  • Ceramin coffee mug and capri pants and secret gift #1: $2 (Now you will forever wonder, did Michelle get my birthday present at a garage sale for a quarter?)
  • 2 patterns: Free
  • Secret gift #2: $1
  • A pillow of extreme refluffability: $1

Total: $19.25


MAY. 22 | 2011 Squamish Garage Sailing Circuit: Week 2 (Plus Garage Sale Drive By Categories)

  • Posted on: 24 May 2011
  • By: Michelle

Summary: Slim pickins' this week - only three listed garage sales, and one of them was a straight-up Category 3 Drive By.

In case you are wondering, Garage Sale Drive Bys are categorized as follows:

1) Category 0 Drive By: This is the home of the Serial Garage Seller. This person has a garage sale every week. All summer. This is essentially an outdoor thrift store. Except, often with a strange bent, depending on the proprietor's preferences. Like only girls infant clothing. Or only V.C. Andrews novels. Or only vintage drill press machine parts. This person isn't trying to declutter. They are trying to cash in. So don't expect any bartering. They'll just sell the item next week. Or the week after. Feel free to stop in the first time this sale is listed. You might find something worthwhile. But after that, drive on by.

2) Category 1 Drive By: You approach the address and see an old lady in a lawn chair next to a solitary table. You can assume the wares offered include doilies, 1950s sewing notions still in the package, aluminum cookie presses, a crock-pot, crystal figurines, and a variety of genuine Tupperware, which you can be rest assured does not have that new, plasticky smell. On slow days, with nothing better to do, you might stop the car for a peak, because you feel sorry for the little old lady, you have patience enough for a 10-minute report on her health status, or you really need a crock-pot. And while the likelihood of her negotiating is slim, the possibility that she is dealing in 1950s currency is quite high.

3) Category 2 Drive By: The proprietor of this garage sale is an overweight, thirty-something pizza delivery guy who is cleaning out his mom's basement, AKA his bedroom. In the 1980s he was totally techno-current, and would not have tried to sell 8-tracks for the same price his parents paid in the mid-60s. But the years of playing nintendo and watching Star Wars on Betamax in a dark basement, combined with the lack of nutrients offered by pepperoni pizzas, have overrided the "What year is this?" reality-check. From the car you can see the stacks of VHS tapes, cassette tapes, floppy disks, floppy drives, zip drives, encyclopedia sets in their entirely, and at least four Windows 3.1 user guides. Oh, and a wicked ghetto blaster. There is NOTHING ELSE. Trust me. I mean. Go ahead. Get out of the car. Check it out for yourself. See? I told you so.

4) Category 3 Drive By: This garage sale is located in the front entrance of a row of run-down townhouses. There is one table outside the open door, with a strange and slim variety of items: toaster, crutches, morse-code machine, gas masks, inflated jetliner lifevest, a Pound Puppy, machine gun rounds, Prom Barbie in mint condition, used Tupperwear. There is no one in sight. There is a sign on the door that says there is furniture for sale inside. You will never come out alive. I don't even have to convince you to just keep on driving.

So, yeah, for all intents and purposes, we were down to two this week.

But. I. TOTALLY. Scored. No. Really.


A genuine, leather Roots brand BAG.

Anyone inclined to make some smart-alec remark about my perceived need (or otherwise) for another BAG, may first want to examine the length and durability of the leather strap on said BAG.

For anyone inclined to inform me that said BAG could be conceived of as, say, a purse ... see above.

The tally:

  • Leather Roots BAG: $10
  • Wasn't sucked in by Mint-Condition Prom Barbie at Category 3 Drive By: Priceless

Total: $10


MAY. 17 | 2011 Squamish Garage Sailing Circuit: Week 1

  • Posted on: 18 May 2011
  • By: Michelle

Summary: OK. So. To be completely honest, this isn't TECHNICALLY the first garage sailing weekend of the 2011 Season. There is a slight possibility that I may have sourced out a one or two several garage sales in Squamish back in early April late March before I left for France. OK. And it's also possible that I might have figured out the French variation of garage sales ("Vide Grenier" or "Empty Attic" are big, scheduled community events where people back their car up to a designated area and lay out whatever trinkets that have been stashed in their attics for years and they are trying to sell ... ). OK, and I might have gone to one or two garage sales the day after I got back from France ...

Let's just chalk all that up to pre-season training ...

So. I think this season opened up quite satisfactorally. Because I actually went to the bank and got a twenty out before, but managed to spend only the change in my pocket.


This week I got this wicked new CD. Has anyone ever heard of this band called Bon Jovi? I LOVE them! Man, you guys should totally check them out. If only they had been around when I was in high school ...

The tally:

  • Esprit shirt ($2)
  • Pots ($2) - now I can stop cooking my spaghetti in a wok because my one pot is heating up the sauce ...
  • Two candles ($0.50)
  • Baseball ($0.25)
  • Metal organizing bin and Bon Jovi CD ($1)

Total: $5.75


SEP. 18 - 2010 Squamish Garage Sailing Circuit: Week 15-16

  • Posted on: 19 September 2010
  • By: Michelle

Week 16 - September 18


Summary: Okay, today marks one of the best (read, mostly illogical, and, moreover, completely futile when battling my honed Garage Sailing Negotiation Tactics ... ) responses I have ever received to one of my initial bartering offers.

I picked up this novel, read the back and decided it might be a fun read. Now, given my extensive Garage Sailing experience, I can assure you that books at yard sales generally go for a quarter, or possibly 50 cents, or, if it's a hardback, maybe a dollar. But this one was marked up to an absurd two dollar price point. There was also a scarf I like, initially priced at a dollar. So I made an offer of the two for a buck.

The proprietor looked a little taken aback, and after gathering her composure, made this point: "But ... that's a really good book!"

Really? Your counter offer is "That is a really good book!" ? No offense (a statement which, in itself, inherently insinuates that, according to my calculations, you're a doorknob, and as such carries a built-in implication of offense ... ), but this is a garage sale, not the NHL draft.

My counter offer was "OK. I'll go get it at the library."

So, then I gave her my loonie and left with my book and scarf.

I am assuming that, if this book sucks, I can take it back back to her, and request a refund ...

The tally:

  • Gold picture frame for my post-modern, Euro-chic, French Provincial themed bedroom ($2)
  • Scarf and book ($1 cents)

Total: $3


Week 15 - Sep 11

Summary: We're definately coming down to the end of the season. Good thing my Garage Sailing Partner-in-Crime's sister was having a sale this week ...


The tally:

  • Kettle, grater, organic cotton tee ($5)
  • Vaccuum attachment (25 cents)
  • Mini crib board with metal pegs (free - well, I weasled it into one of Kirsten's deal piles, and got away with it ... )

Total: $5.25

In case you are wondering, I somehow managed to destroy my last kettle, while, uh ... boiling water. I use the adverb/emphatic "somehow" as though I am surprised and wondrous at this kitchen calamity.

I am not.

Nor should you be.