end of a yard sale queen

There’s not much I loved doing more than getting up early on a sunny Saturday morning, planning my route of attack, and hitting as many local yard sales I could. Whether I was searching for Legos, yarn, furniture, tools, or just out looking to see what was there, I spent an awful lot of time picking up lots of useful treasures. While I may not have been a hoarder level yard-saler, I certainly had more of such treasures than I ever could use. What’s the harm? Not much in the way of cash. A few dollars here, a few there. My wallet was not where it hurt.

The real cost, well, that was in the overwhelming amount of stuff in my home. It was also in the time spent, keeping those items clean and organized. I had a nice big house with a spare bedroom and three different family rooms. They all needed furniture and decorations. And they all needed to be maintained. (And you all know how much I hate to clean!!)

I spent time and money on storage solutions for craft items I never used, jewelry making supplies, paper crafting supplies, and far more yarn than I could use up in ten years. So, I gave most of it to charity. I kept only what yarn I had a real plan for, as well as the painting supplies handed down to me from my father, and released the rest of it. I haven’t missed any of it, not for a single moment, and I won’t buy ANY more until I’ve used up what I have.

The 3 family rooms worth of furniture? That’s now down to one. Three bedrooms down to two. Two dining areas down to one. We don’t have a garage or a shed. We have a tiny outdoor closet that just fit the bikes and a few small tools. We don’t even have bureaus in our bedroom – if it doesn’t fit in the closets we don’t keep it.

I haven’t checked the local paper for a single yard sale, and I don’t plan to any time soon. As much as I love the concept of yard-saling; reusing things instead of throwing them into landfills, saving money buying used instead of new, and helping your neighbor make a bit of spare cash, well, I just can’t do it right now. I don’t need anything, and I don’t want anything, and I have no space for anything – that’s what I keep telling myself!

Now, whenever I have a free Saturday morning, I hit the Farmer’s Market instead. I’m still supporting local merchants and I’m getting good fresh food for my family. I can’t buy a single thing there that could clutter up my house! I come home with this instead:

Pottermore, more Potter, more reading

I haven’t joined Google+, I reluctantly signed up for Spotify, but for Pottermore, I’m willing to get up at a horrendously early hour and refresh my browser indefinitely? Yep. I know, I know! We are Potterheads, and we’re proud of it. šŸ˜‰ I managed to get accounts for both Josh and myself, and we’ll just see if the site is worth the trouble. What I do know is that JK Rowling obviously has a brilliant marketing strategist. ~ahem~

With or without Pottermore, things are still All Harry Potter All The Time around here. We’ve read all the books and seen all the movies, and now Josh is re-reading them. He’s planning to be Harry for Halloween, again. We discuss storylines, and theories, and how we would have written things differently if we were in charge. He looks for details he missed in the first read and we talk about in what ways the books differ from the movies, for good and bad. I love what this series has done for Josh’s willingness to read, ability to read, and his constant need to read more, more, more. He was always a good reader before, but this year, he became a became a real, pick-up-a-book-on-his-own-and-read-for-hours-at-a-time READER. The one thing he really wanted in his new bedroom – a comfy reading nook. ~love it~

I am constantly on the lookout for other books to fuel his reading bug. He particularly likes scifi but enjoys mysteries too. Series books are a must – he’ll read stand-alones but much prefers stories that go on and on. These are a few series and authors he’s read recently that we highly recommend:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan (We’re definitly going to check out his other 2 series, the Heroes of Olympus, and the Kane Chronicles.)

The 39 Clues by various authors (Fabulous for those who like both mysteries and history. Josh can’t wait for book 12!)

How to Train Your Dragon (Yes this was a not so great movie, but a fabulous series, especially for readers new to sci-fantasy)

Guardians of Ga’hoole by Kathryn Lasky (We only read the first four and Josh grew out of them before we realized there were many more.)

Swindle by Gordon Korman (He is a seriously prolific author and has some other series we’re going to check out.)

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black (Again, a mediocre movie but really fabulous books.)

The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D’Lacey (We just finished the first book The Fire Within, and Josh is chomping at the bit to go back to the library for the next couple.)

Some series that we’ve heard great things about and plan to start soon:

Redwall by Brian Jacques

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Do any of you have recommendations for similar books?

We’ve already been through all of the Narnia books, The Wrinkle in Time books, everything Roald Dahl ever wrote, almost everything Beverly Cleary ever wrote, and as many boy classics like How to Eat Fried Worms and Frecklejuice that I could find. Sheesh. I’m running out of ideas, someone give me some!

ps. While I’m waiting, I’ll be looking into how to officially change my name to my Pottermore nicknameĀ  – hollyfirebolt. I’m sure you can get used to calling me that, right?

pss. Did any of you also get into Pottermore? Or am I the only crazy one here??

psss. Honest to god I made him do a math sheet this morning because I started to wonder if I’m letting him read too much. I am crazy.

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