you can’t buy that new

you can’t buy that new.


when telling that to friends i’ve heard agreement in the form of: “no. no you can’t.”
and that might be when i’m sporting a polyester paisley skirt cut crudely to size.


if something has the you-can’t-buy-that-new quality to it, i’m in.
most often i’m drawn to pieced quilt tops or old coffee cans.
embroidered pot holders, teeny tiny glow in the dark angel babies,
old kitchen tools, buttons, thimbles, tape measurers and doll eyes.
globes, old school chalkboard erasers, aprons and tiny spoons.
things with rainbows and things smaller than an inch.
colors rich and golden and small enough to fit on my orange special shelf.
things you can’t buy new.



oh, the balance between having too much and still taking the 25 cent treasure home. the joy of taking these things to preschool for use in projects and play. my kids’ school has someone from the community come in on fridays to show a “tool of the day,”  inevitably an old or unusual tool. maybe i’ll recreate my alphabet box for preschool (lost in the fire, it had teeny tiny things for every letter of the alphabet) and use some of these treasures…a “tiny thing of the day.”




the latest addition:

salt and pepper snow globe!

oh look kids, plastic pastel tv sets.
oh wait, they are salt and pepper shakers!

plastic pastel tv set salt and pepper shakers.
50 cents. yes.

{go home, tidy up, put treasures away and notice two holes on the bottom of each salt and pepper shaker.}

wait, yes.
they aren’t just plastic pastel tv set salt and pepper shakers…
there is a little section for the salt and pepper
and the tv set part is a

{fill the babies up with water and shake and view.}


it is obvious that these have been used. what dear human sat at a table and saw the fake snow dance around a monkey on a trapeze while getting some salt on their supper?  i love that human.

simple joys.

who decided it was worth it to give away the 2 inches of yellow rick rack?  who decided to go ahead and donate the worn down pencils?  and then the dear people who decide it is worth their time to sort and organize and prepare them to go home with someone new.  we think about them all.


the same thing is happening on the orange shelf as does on our christmas tree. my kids know where this came from or that came from. they know which little friends of ours especially like which pieces to play with. they are reminded of people because of things.  they sort them and line them up and check the worn spots.  the little things, the old bottles, the stubby pencils used by them in kindergarten, the lost teeth, the vial of bunny hair…they are all here.  hopefully i’m not creating a spirit of hoarding but a spirit of enthusiastic collecting that has boundaries.  in this case, orange shelving.

simple joys.

5 thoughts on “you can’t buy that new

    1. Toby had a professor once who, on the last day of class, told them to never buy anything new. Chances are what you need has already been used and discarded while there is much good left in it. Once you buy something new it will never be new again and its monetary value is automatically lessened. Finally, there are so many “new” items growing old in our land fills and trash cans that one more round will keep it from that place for at least a bit. Thanks for the thought provoking post!


  1. This is a sweet post, and I love your whole family so very dearly; but, the red salt and pepper shakers are X rated.

    Love, Toby


  2. Unless your living room floor is stacked & piled like the shelf I think you’re ok. (according to tv these days) :)
    I love the orange shelf collection … inspired to do something similar!


  3. So YOU are the one snatching up this stuff at Et Cetera before I make it there!! You need to go in this week – I was there yesterday and there were some amazing childrenish things near the front doors. You will be in love.

    And I’m checking in to some serious counseling tomorrow – I’ve been forever damaged by those salt and pepper shakers. God bless our home and our two red penises. :)


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