Okay, all y’all antiques detectives. I need help! As much as I love a good bargain and the thrill of the hunt, I’m not one to get all googly-eyed over yard sales. Some people are. Some people get up on Saturday morning while it’s still dark and gather their yard-sale tools (measuring tape, hand wipes, bottled water, coffee) and then set off to discover treasures. I only do that in extreme circumstances — such as when the bed-and-breakfast in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where Dear Husband and I stayed after our wedding is cleaning out the linen closets and hosting a yard sale with profits benefiting the church next door where Dear Husband and I got married. Now, that is worth it. The folks who owned Byrn-Roberts Inn, a gorgeous 1903 house on Main Street just a block or so away from Murfreesboro’s downtown, had closed the inn several years ago and were simply living in the house as normal people. But apparently they decided they didn’t need dozens of water pitchers and hand towels after all and decided to declutter and help out Central Christian Church at the same time. My mom and Younger Daughter were all up for the adventure, and we planned so well that we got there even before the sale started. And we all scored. My mom, with her usual impeccable eye for gems among junk, made some great buys. And YD and I didn’t do so badly either. For less than $45, I bought a wicker towel rack, a metal wall mirror, a wine carrier I’m going to use for flowers or silverware, three adorable square glass flower vases, a restaurant-style ice bucket with tongs, a fun breads cookbook and some … I don’t know what you call them … cute things on metal stakes that you stick in your garden or landscaping — including an adorable metal ladybug for Capt. Adorable (he calls them “Grouchy B Bugs” from a favorite Eric Carle book). And then I also bought this stainless-steel Mystery Pitcher. It’s about 5 inches tall and 11 inches in diameter, with a brass-colored handle and hinge on the lid. I would guess it was for warm maple syrup or something else breakfast-in-a-quaint-Victorian-inn-like except for the holes in the lid near the spout area. I forgot to ask the inn’s owners what it was when I bought, so now I’m hoping y’all can help. Any ideas?
For the 10th Day of Cathy’s Countdown Before Christmas, here’s a way to save money and time on your holiday decorations. Right now, right at this very minute, Hobby Lobby arts and crafts stores are selling a big chunk of their Christmas home decor at 50 percent off. That is a thing of joy, for sure. Ornaments, trees, table ware, linens, kitchen items, figurines, gift wrapping, craft items, lights — half price. Fifty percent off through Saturday, Dec. 20. I don’t know if this is standard practice or something different for this year, but I’m not questioning. Aren’t you glad you waited until the last minute to do your decorating and plan your party, no matter what your mother said? Our local store was packed this morning as word spread and shoppers couldn’t wait to scoop up the bargains. Listen, with all due respect, this beats the 50-percent-off-all-old-and-wilted poinsettias-sale I’ve seen in other chain stores. The Web site http://www.hobbylobby.com says there are Hobby Lobby stores in 33 states — basically the middle of the nation. If you don’t know what to expect, Hobby Lobby is a sort of Pier One plus Michael’s plus Hancock Fabrics with scrapbooking and art-supply stores mixed in. Plus, you will find your former co-worker you haven’t seen for three years searching the stationery aisle for invitations to her son’s birthday party and you didn’t even know she had kids. You’re welcome.
Check back for Day No. 11 in Cathy’s 12 Days of Christmas Countdown — an easy recipe that’s perfect for gifts.