Monday, 15 June 2015



Pine Tree Post | Sports Page

If yard saling were a sport the citizens of the Place Under The Pine would compete at an Olympic level.
The family as a whole makes an ideal yard sale team - they posses a mix of skills and abilities :
  • Vision
  • Bargaining Skills
  • Cuteness
  • Stubborness
  • GRIT
To see this team in action is truly a life changing experience one needs to witness. It is extraordinary what they can do - what may look like a pile of trash to some can be combed through by the team in seconds (often with only a glance) and any gems, or diamonds-in-the-rough, will be identified...then the negotiations begin.
Watch this short video clip and get a look at the talent this team has for yard salin'

There are many reasons the PUTP does so much garage saling.
  1. Save Money
  2. Be "Green"
  3. Find Unique Things
  4. Tradition
  5. The Thrill of Treasure Hunting
  6. To Kill Time
  7. Fodder for Haul Videos
The following picture represents all of the above mentioned reasons.

The Garage Sale Smile!
Found at yard sale: 1 hockey chest protector ($1), 1 set of hockey shin pads ($1)

Save Money - $2 paid ($50-$75 saved from a new purchase...or about 97% savings)
Green - Reused (one of the three Rs)
Unique - Where else would you find such a small chest protector?
Tradition - We had used sports equipment as kids and we turned out just fine!
Thrill - We went out looking for hockey equipment and were willing to spend some paper money...ended up only spending a coin (twoonie)!
Kill Time - One Saturday morning out of the way...and the kid's had zero screen time!
Fodder for Haul Video - again, pushing the haul video

Other notable finds:

Purple Shelf - You need vision to see past the purple haze. This shelf's narrow width is the ideal size to fit in the PUTP's front foyer and hold the ever growing pile of shoes. With a little paint this shelf (that only cost $3) will be the perfect solution for our bomb-gone-off-shoes-everywhere problem.

I would love to see the room this shelf came out of.
Baseball Glove - For the first year T-Ball player the only equipment you need is shoes and a glove. A worn-in glove for a couple of bucks from a yard sale is sure to make any T-Ball player happy.

100% real pleather!

BMX Bike - Children's bikes seem to be on of those items that do not hold much value after you drive them out of the toy shop. The team bought this barely used BMX for $5. Compared to a new bike this purchase is pushing a 95% savings! That is just smart shopping!

The bike fits...but, the helmet does not.
Ah, there we go. A yard sale helmet $3.

More Hockey Equipment - One major deterrent from kids joining hockey is the perception that it is extremely expensive. That can be true, if one buys all new equipment. Suiting up can start at $300 and the sky's the limit. However, with yard sale bargains the team has done it for around $20! 

Skates of all sizes ($2 or $3), Elbow pads ($1)

BBQ set - Not the most exciting purchase, but, this set came to the PUTP for $1. This is an example of cut throat bargaining. Stick with the price you want to pay, not the $10 sticker the seller put on it, and more often than not you will 'win'.

Dress - Clothing is a hit or miss item at yard sales - prices, quality, and style vary so much. However, every once in awhile you will find that perfect item (your size, your style, good condition, great price). The best part about clothing at yards sales is the unique pieces you can find. This year the PUTP team has had good luck and come home with a few great fashion finds.

Fun dress

A new stock of t-shirts
Books (and games) : For a book loving place, like the PUTP, yard sales are like treasure chests just waiting to be opened. A majority of garage sales have books for sale. They are one of those things that depreciate in value by 95% with just one use. Every single week the team comes home with a stack of books. And, who can blame them? At 50 cents what bookworm can resist buying the entire collection of [insert any series name]?
On a similar note - since yard saling season began trips to the library have virtually ceased.

Stock those bookshelves for $5

It can be a thrill finding that one book you are missing from a series.

RETRO TUPPERWARE - Everyone knows that classic Tupperware works the best (and it was made before fun chemicals like BPA were invented) and they never seems to wear out. The PUTP team will often spot this increasingly rare item and move in. Sometimes, the price will be so reasonable (50 cents an item!) that it will be purchased sans bargaining - out of respect to the product and the seller (Garage sale rule of conduct #123-03)

Keep your eyes peeled for dependable Tupperware
FUN MUGS - One way the PUTP citizens spice up life is with funny coffee mugs. The best way to obtain unique/fun mugs is at yard sales. Sellers are typically more than happy to get rid of said mugs and therefore the prices are usually very reasonable or can be added onto any additional purchases as a 'freebie'.

TOYS - Toys are a necessary evil of the yard sale. They are the sole motivator for the younger citizens of the PUTP to 'waste' an entire Saturday morning driving from one drive-way to another. There is no other word that better describes the purchase of a yard sale toy other than a BRIBE. The children are brided with the promise of a toy if they attend yard sales. The PUTP is already over its maximum toy capacity, which usually means these yard sale toys are used for only a short period of time and either resold or donated to charity.
To make the most out of the toy situation the team uses it a learning experience with money. A budget of $1 or $2 is allotted for each child to spend as they see fit.

Barbie car. The boy's said it was a 'must have' item.

A One Direction Doll - already missing shoes!
BEDSIDE TABLE - This is an example of what we call a yard sale success items. Bought for $5 this table was dusty, a bit wobbly, and coated in chipped black paint. It only took one screw fixed the wobble. Two coats of navy blue paint to finish the look. And, now it sits in the boys room holding the CD player, a fan...and whatever else the boys put on it during the day (pokemon cards, cups of water, lottery tickets...)

Yet again, this year the team has sharpened their yard saling skills and have proven they are still a top tier garage sale team. With the season almost over they can look back with pride at the treasures they found.
To keep on top of their game the team has already made up a training schedule which includes watching this youtube series Garage Sale Scavenger Hunt.
Happy hunting.

Thursday, 11 June 2015



Pine Tree Post | Garden Update

Whipping winds caused a bit of stir in the garden last week by snapping some support strings causing the PUTP's prize winning raspberry bushes to fall over! Luckily, there was only minor damage. The canes have been strung back up, tied to supporting poles with new rope. These poles were then lashed to the fence for extra support. If this year's weather is going to be windy, the PUTP will be ready for it.

Aah, our over-nutured plants cannot handle the wind!
Other than the raspberries, it has been a very slow start in the rest of the garden. The kale is sprouting near a small pitstop the Fairies can use on their way back to the Fairy house.

Tiny Kale near the Fairy rest area
Although, this weekend saw the most gardening activity in weeks with the planting of the tomato plants. Only one set of little hands, lil' Oskie's, were around to help. Gardening is not a chore to him.

See, tomato cage

Lettuce is leafing, Zucchini are zucching...the garden is in good hands.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015



The Fairy-Home builders are at it again. Donating their time, energy, and building supplies to help ease the homelessness crisis of the Fairies.
You may recall that last year this same crew worked on a house for Fairy-anity (Click Here) and helped at least one Fairy find a home. That one house did make a difference, however, there are still countless Fairies out there sleeping under leaves and curling up into flowers at night. More Fairy houses need to be built.
To accommodate the varied tastes and needs of the Fairies, this year's Fairy House is markedly different than last years. First off, the 2015 house is located right in the front garden instead of under the big pine tree. The colour scheme and fencing is also more subdued by the use of natural colours and materials. And, as with human housing, a built-in pool is not always a desired feature.

The Pebble Place

This year's Fairy House (The Pebble Place) was loosely based on designs by a well know Fairy architect Rockcandy, who's mantra is: BE FUN. BE FUNCTIONAL

Location, location, location -  This year's house is located in the primest of prime locations : amongst the hostas and lillies of the front garden. Close to amenities such as the water spout, the front door, and the outdoor power outlet. The neighbourhood is sparsely populated, recently mulched, and always a priority when it comes to outdoor infrastructure improvements. As well, there is no chance of the lawnmower accidentally rolling over any housing. What more could a fairy ask for?

Real estate is 90% location
The house name, The Pebble Place, comes from the magnificent pebble walkway. An inviting path, lined with pinecones, leads the way up to the front door.

Premium riverstone is used to create the walkway
The door is a custom designed, hand crafted, wood door made by Elli. Hot glued popsicle-sticks have proven to hold up to any weather thrown at them, ensuring the Fairies will be snug and secure in their home.

All Fairies love entertaining outdoors. A lovely (and functional) wood chair and table set, set amongst the flowers, is sure to be well used by any Fairy family. This charming set was imported from Riley's garden supply, located only a few kilometers from the PUTP.

To add some fun, a Fairy sized tree swing was installed. This feature is sure to bring squeals of delight from the younger set. Its location, set on the opposite side of the path, will give enough distance from the adults to allow everyone to have a grand time. 

Tire - formerly part of a lego set
The Pebble Place - come out to the open house and see this Fairy abode before it is claimed. 
Directions: Front Yard, head south two steps, east two steps and look for the sign "Fairy Lane". Actual street address is #1 Fairy Lane.