Monday, January 17, 2011

Bargains and "Bellibuttons"

There was another "patio" sale here at the park Saturday morning. They are called "patio sales" versus "garage sales" since nobody has garages. Makes sense I guess.

Anyway, you know how seniors like a sale.

Gets them out in droves.

The sales started at 7:30 am.

I rolled out of bed at 7:45 am, got dressed, brushed my teeth and my hair, robbed Jim of any money he had, and hopped on my bike.

I was on a hunt for two things: cushions for my patio chairs and a crock pot.

I got a GREAT deal on a patio set at the last sale - TEN BUCKS for a table and four chairs!

But the chairs needed some kind of a cushion so your butt didn't ooze through the vinyl straps, you know?

And as far as a crock pot? Well, let me tell you the crock pot story.

You got a minute?

I had an old crock pot. In fact, I think it was a present from my FIRST wedding, 27 years ago! But it worked, nonetheless.

Anywho, the park was having a Chili Cook-off here last week. Jim wanted to enter. (He was still in the cooking mode from having to cook the two weeks I was gone.)

He wanted my chili recipe but he was going to "doctor" it up and make it hotter.

I told him to get his own damn recipe.

So he did.

He found some kind of Texas no bean chili. He went out, bought all the groceries he needed, came home, sliced and diced, etc., and threw everything into the crock pot. The smell of jalapeno punched the air.  The chili cooked all night. The next day he added another bottle of beer.

I had to admit, it smelled pretty damn good.

I tasted it.

Holy Macaroni! I thought my lips were going to burn off!

But then again, I don't eat spicy foods. But my lips were numb for about 10 minutes AFTER I tasted the chili.

Anyway, Jim was proud as could be when he carried the crock pot full of his homemade chili to the ballroom to enter it into the contest.

I was next door at my friend, Judy's, place.

Jim came back a few minutes later, went to our trailer, then came out, and stopped by Judy's. I thought he had forgotten something.

He came in, sat down, then said, "Well, we're going to have to buy a new crock pot."

"What? Why?" I said, thinking what an awful time for it to stop working!

"I dropped it and it broke."


"Well, the door to the ballroom was slightly ajar, and I tried to open it with my elbow while carrying the crock pot. The whole thing slipped out of my hand and crashed to the floor and broke! The chili splashed down my leg, I ran to the bathroom because it was burning me. By the time I came back, Camille (the Activities Director), was gathering up the pieces of the crock pot and trying to clean up the mess."

Okay, call me cruel, but I DID laugh first.

Judy was nice enough to ask if Jim was okay.

Luckily he didn't burn himself, but he did get cut in a couple of places. Not bad, but he DID need a band-aid.

The Chili Cook-off went on without him.

He could have been a contender!

They had to put a rug down on top of the "accident" to cover up the mess. We lifted it up when we left and saw all the meat sticking to the rug and had a good laugh. Jim was a good sport about it.

And THAT'S why I needed a new crock pot!

Because Arizona is a desert, it's quite brisk in the morning and you have to bundle up, and by 11 or 12, you're stripping off your clothes. It's crazy. Then by 5:00 you're putting them back on. But between the hours of 11 to say 4:30ish, it's great! So it was in the 40's when I started riding around on my quest.

I struck gold on the next block and found a crock pot that looked brand new - one of those large oval ones for $10. I didn't bother to try and dicker with the price. I was happy I didn't have to pay full price for one. The problem was, it was so large that it didn't fit in my bike basket, so I quick walked home with it, then walked back and hopped on my bike and continued on.

I ran into a few friends along the way.

One was looking for stackable plastic chairs.

I hadn't seen any but I told her that I'd keep my eyes out for them.

I told her that I was looking for chair cushions. She hadn't seen any of those, either.

I dawned on me later, as I was pedaling around the park, passing people on their bikes, or just walking, that we should all hold up signs that say what we are looking for. Wouldn't that be easier?

A person could shout out, "Hey - I saw cushions for sale over on 5th street!"

Or - "There are chairs for sale on 7th!"

How cool would that be?

I didn't find any cushions at the patio sale, but I DID find something else.

It certainly wasn't on my list of things to buy. But as I was talking to the woman who was having the sale, this little box caught my eye.

I just HAD to see what it was all about.

The woman figured that this was left over from the 60's. I can't imagine her carrying it around in her fifth-wheel all these years, but she did have a lot of junk for sale.

You could attach different sayings to this "button", then GLUE it in your belly button, FDA APPROVED, of course.

Then wear your hip huggers and midriff shirt, and, well, show people your message.

Does ANYONE remember these?

This is what the kit included:

Stickers, button, glue (all hardened, now) and "handbook".

Here are the different messages that you could stick on the button:

The title of the pamphlet? "A Handbook of High Etiquette and Correct Usage of the Bellibutton".
The first section is called, "Mystique and Power of the Bellibutton Through the Ages" and humorously rewrites historical stories to include the "bellibutton".

Here's an example:

"Contrary to popular belief, it was not a stone that young David killed the giant Goliath with. The latest translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls relates the story as it really happened. David, with no stones for ammunition, found himself facing Goliath in the middle of the desert. David, thinking quickly, plucked his Bellibutton, loaded his sling and fired it, killing the giant in a blink of an eye. You shouldn't have blinked, Goliath!"
The rest of the pamphlet tells you the wheres and the whens to wear your "bellibutton". It really is quite cute.

What a bargain for a quarter! I wonder what I could get for it on e-Bay?

NOTE: You may have noticed cushions on the patio chairs above. Here's a close up.

 Later on that same day I went to Goodwill and found these cushions at the bargain price of $2 each! (It was 50% off day!) 


Valerie said...

Your days are soooo interesting, Pat. Pity Jim didn't get to show off his special chilli. Perhaps now you have another crock pot he'll be able to try again... sometime. I seem to remember the bellybutton stickers, never used one though... honest!

Brian Miller said...

i am not using my belly button i love hot chili!

Gail said...

Sounds like the perfect day!!!

Eva Gallant said...

Glad you found the crockpot. And I really think you should sell that bellibutton kit on ebay! Too bad about the chili!

Entre Nous said...

Oh this is great. Though I'm gonna pass on a belly button sticker :}

My daughter makes fourth alarm chili, what is the sense (no pun intended...) when it dulls the senses so much there is no taste, only painful, horrible, burning HEAT!?!

I have to stay away from yard sales, at least until the latest carload of stuff I no longer want makes it down to my daughters.... :}}

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

LOL - poor Jim. I bet that burned like a sonofagun as it slid down his leg. ouch!

i love yard sales. and estate sales. don't go much but i love to see what "priceless junk" people have for sale.

Mama Zen said...

I've got to have some of those bellibuttons!


This is a hoot - I could just see the whole episode. Glad you got the table chairs and crock pot. I hate to pay full price when you can pick up the same thing at a great sale, and have a good time too.
You sound like a great gal and one I'd like to meet.
Blessings to you and hubby.

Lindy MacDuff said...

Sorry to hear about Jim's chili. Glad his injuries weren't too bad and, most of all, that he didn't sustain any burns.

Good deal on all your *new* accessories!

Donna B said...

I just LOVE yard sales, patio sales, garage sales, thrift stores. Wish I could have been with you.

Your vagabond life sounds like so much fun. When Mr. Clean and I first met, I took him to meet my dearest friends so they could tell him all about me. My friends have been married for years and she and I go way back. They lived in a motor home. We had such a great weekend, and I asked Mr. Clean, "Wouldn't this be fun living and traveling in a motor home?" He looked at me and hesitated for a second...then told me, "I could NEVER live in a motor home!". I brought it up about two months ago, and he still feels the same way. Oh well...


Sounds like a fun day !

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Too bad about your crock pot, it would have been fun to see just how long it would have lived. I love bargains!! My buddy, Yvonne and I have discovered several thrift stores and love to wander through. We never leave empty handed. If you are looking for patio cushions, you might try and check out the clearance items.

Ruth said...

HAHAHA: "I'm a virgin. (This is an old button.)" I love it!

I wish Jim or someone had gotten a photo of you on your bike with the cushions. Oh wait, maybe you didn't ride it to Goodwill. And I don't mean to be rude (after all, this is your salon) but how were you planning to get a crock pot home and the cushions too on your bike?


Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

I've got to have some of those bellibuttons.
Great read!

B xx

Levonne said...

Those bellibuttons are hilarious! Love them. At least they don't leave permanent holes. LOL Thanks for coming by and leaving comments at A Camp Host's Meanderings. Appreciated!

Carletta said...

I'm glad you found a crock pot, sorry Jim didn't get to enter and I'm totally in awe of the Bellibutton kit. I have never seen that before. I think I'm of the age I should have. I'd give Ebay a try. Somebody who may have seen one might very well be interested. Keep us posted!

Missy said...

I can never find anything at sales like this, but my friend can find the most amazing things!

Nancy said...

I want your life.

Those little belliebutton stickers wouldn't have the same effect they might have had on my button now versus in the 60's. That is, if you could find it once it was applied applied...

Nancy said...

Whoops - sorry about that second "applied"

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi Pat, just wandered over from another Our Country Cove Life blog, and read this post about the crock pot mishap (poor Jim) and patio sale finds - what fun. I volunteer at a thrift store and aside from helpout out, there's always the excitement of new "finds" many of which end up as gifts to friends. I'm planning to read some of your earlier posts and invite you to stop by our blog place too - we also enjoy visitors at