used books, bursting blooms, & rummage sales


OK all you children of the '90s:

Can I see a show of hands?

Who else remembers The Sweet Valley Twins?

Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. I loved them!

They made about a million of these short chapter books.

And a bunch of unfortunate spin-offs.

I think I read all of the original series.

Then several weeks ago at the Ithaca Library Book Sale I spotted a bunch of them and  just had to buy the primo first one in the series on Amazon, of course.

I love library sales.

We hit up this monster one on the last weekend, and picked up over 80 books for 9 bucks!

A portion of the titles purchased.

We are jump starting our 2nd annual books for ice cream Summer reading incentive. It's a way to get my girl excited about reading, not turning into couch potatoes, and keep me nominally sane during the Summer vacation coming up.





Another reason to love book sales.

I absolutely love those circa 1950-1970s picture book that you can always find at these sales at the end, since most people have never heard of them, and they are worn.

But I just love finding and flipping through them.

The aged sepia color of often turned pages.

The old book smell.

In my collection of picture books I have noticed that, much like my home decorating, and wardrobe, I unconsciously am drawn to certain colors, prints, and styles.

The illustrator of the above book, Adrienne Adams, is a favorite.  It was not until I came home that I realized I had one of her books.  While tossing 10 cent books into our bulging sack I just grabbed whatever book's illustrations and plots immediately grabbed me. She wrote and illustrated in the 60s and 70s.  A favorite series is the Orson Bunny books, along with others here is her page on Amazon.

Charlotte Zolotow's books are favorites too.

Oh, What a Busy Day by Gyo Fujikawa being our all time favorite picture book.  Each one of my girls loved this one. We wore out the first copy and had to buy another when The Babe came along.

All these authors and artists have beautiful water colors, pencil sketches, and sweet story lines that beautifully capture and stick with a child's widening mind as she delves into the wonderful world of book.

And as Kathleen Kelly, owner of Shop around the Corner once said,

                   "No other reading in your life effects you the way reading does as a child.  It becomes as part of you and then determines who it is you are going to be…and I've…I've gotten carried away"

                                                                            ~You've Got Mail


Speaking of getting carried away, I was supposed to just reminisce about Sweet Valley Twins….


After our early, early spring, and then really cold April my garden was green, green, green for about 3 weeks.  And I am not talking about good for the environment kinda green.  I'm taking boring bloom-less leafy and weedy green.

But all that changed as temperatures soared and warm rains fell just this past week:


Wild clover springing up in front of my "te jardin" sign.



Rich spikes of royal purple Russian Sage


Delicate lavender pin cushions


Dapples of cheery shades of pink against lush greens and white metal. One of my favorite color contrasts.


Some old metal garden art.


And then there are my bending peonies poking through my porch rails.  Such a lovely sight to see as I step out first thing in the morning.




This does not even showcase my roses.

That will be for another post.

I know, I know.  Clearly more pictures of my garden are needed…these 17 were not enough!


Moving along, following the outline of my handy title above….

One cannot put ones house on the market without one cleaning out junk, basements, and attics, and then having a rummage sale:

The big girls could not get enough of this joke.

The selling of lemon-aide and bouquets of flowers simply must accompany any sale.



All in all these books and flowers are a jolly good start to Summer.

Here's to blogging way  too late at night… pretending using words like "jolly good" is normal.



2 thoughts on “used books, bursting blooms, & rummage sales

  1. I agree completely about old books – I will never in a million years love the iPad or whatever it is people read on nowadays. The smell, the feel, the look of books – old or new – will always be enchant me! And BRILLIANT “make offer” photo! I’m sure we have all felt that way (even if jokingly) at one time or another. =)


  2. Make offer-too cute! I have the box of Sweet Valley High books my sister and I read as teens (in the 80’s though)daughter read them as well,I add to them from opshops sometimes.May I say your garden is looking particularly gorgeous at the moment,Leah,so jealous ‘cos we’re in winter!Love the flowers.


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