Mud Sale: April 12th





This was a new experience for me, not because I’ve never been to a Mud Sale, but because I went without Tony. My husband usually comes along-he helps me bid (I can be in two places at once), assists me get everything I bought, and loads things into the truck for me. Going alone was a new experience that I was nervous about, but with the husband being out of town it was a perfect distraction.


If you didn’t catch my last Mud Sale post in 2013, let me tell you a little bit more:

  • It’s organized and run by Amish volunteers to benefit the local fire companies. All the items are donated and the profits go straight to the fire company.
  • It’s an all day event- lasting from 7:00-7:30am- 2-3pm.
  • There are quite a few auctions going on at the same time: 2 separate plant auctions, crafts, antiques, horses, building materials, yard equipment, quilts, and all sorts of other stuff.
  • When I attend a new sale, in order to know where to go I just follow the crowd of people.
  • If you want to get the best deals you have to wait until people get tired and go home. Or go to a mud sale when it’s raining or extremely hot. Mud Sales are being advertised much better now thanks to social media, so I can’t always find the best deal. Usually bad weather keeps people away.
  • You don’t have to carry any of your stuff to the car or truck. The little Amish boys will do all of that for you, I give them a tip.
  • I always bring my own chairs- I set one up at each tent I’m going to be bidding at. The seats they provide fill up quick.

This year I went in search of a few things- perennials, wood crates, and something to hang on my garden fence for decoration.


They had crates! I only paid $3 each, but at our local craft store they are $12 each.



There a lot of flowers and I did manage to get a good price on some decorative grass.





For the garden fence, I bought stars I’m going to paint. Hopefully it looks okay. I had my eye on these cute wood daisies, but they went for almost $20 each (WAY TOO MUCH). So, instead I bought 7 stars for $12. That was more affordable for me.



It was a great day even without Tony there. And I leave you with something you don’t see everyday.. (Don’t worry I took this picture when I was stopped in bumper to bumper traffic).



And this is what the Amish kids do when the sale is just about over- It’s hard to see, but they are all playing volleyball.





Lessons Learned at a Real Estate Auction

I’ve been attending many flea markets, antique shops, and yard sales to find new project materials. Aside from mud sales, today was the first time I’ve ever attended and participated in a real estate auction.

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I did learn quite a few lessons today.. Here are a few tips.

  1. Arrive Early
    The auction started at 10:00 and we arrived at 9:15. This was plenty of time to get a number,  to look at all of the things being auctioned, and do some research, which brings me to my next point.
  2. Use your smart phone to look up prices.
    Esty and Ebay are just a click away. This will help you avoid paying too much for objects like many of the people at the auction. Of course I looked like I wasn’t paying attention (on my phone the whole time) but at least I didn’t over pay.
  3. Bring a chair
    It would have been nice to have a chair. Some people didn’t, but we did end up standing for a few hours.
  4. On October days, wear thick socks, bring gloves, and wear a hat.
    I didn’t dress warm enough. It didn’t really feel that cold, but when you are standing outside for hours it gets a bit chilly.
  5. Choose a spot wisely
    All of the auctioneer helpers were in our way. It was difficult to get a good look at the items being sold.
  6. It’s okay to ask questions, even while the auction is happening. 
    Many people were doing this and I was confused. Auctions are so fast-paced, but surprisingly they did stop for questions.
  7. Have thick skin 
    I talk to everyone, but I was a little surprised when people ignored me.  Don’t be surprised if no one wants to talk to you until AFTER the auction. Many people kept their poker faces on the entire time. Then the auction ended and it was like we were all friends. This caught me off guard. Auctions are VERY important to some people. I just didn’t know.
  8. Even if things aren’t being auctioned, if you see something you’d pay for, ask!
    We ended up getting an entire truckload of old wood for $5.00. Oh, the possibilities!
  9. If real estate is being auctioned, know everything you can about the house.
    Why? Because you just never know. You should know taxes, property lines, and house features. It’s important to talk to the attorney and the homeowner if you can. I’m glad we didn’t skip this step because… well read the next tip.
  10. Don’t bring your husband when there is a house for sale and you have money in the bank. 
    I almost went to an auction to spend a few bucks on craft materials and walked away with a $100,00 house. Thank goodness for a recess!

Let me explain #10 a little more. We are not looking for a house, but when an old farm house is about to go for $65,000 and there is only one other bidder… you have to bid. Well, I didn’t bid, my husband did. I was shocked, but he kept bidding. My husband and I always talked about owning an old farm house with a barn. I just love the character, so although shocked, I wasn’t mad. Finally, we had it at $100,000 and instead of saying “SOLD!” they said “Recess!” They had to talk to the seller because that price didn’t meet the reserve. We waited about 30-40 minutes. In the meantime two other interested bidders showed up and bid the house up to $186,000.

The auctioneer apologized (yeah right.. what’s commission on another $86,000?) We did not buy a house today, but certainly I will think twice before making my husband go to a real estate auction with me!

Those are just a few things that I learned today. I wish someone would have shared those tips with me. 🙂 If you have any other tips, feel free to share!

A Day in the Mud

Yesterday my husband and I attended a Mud Sale. For those of you that have never attended a Mud Sale, it is a sale to benefit the local fire companies in our area. The Mud Sales are in Amish Country and I love the experience and deals! There are many mini auctions going on at the same time and it is an all day event (8am-3pm).


You can get things for great prices. Certainly, as with any auction you have the ‘deep-pocket-bidders’. I always question these bidders. Questioning why in the world did that one person bid a blueberry bush up to $40 when you can buy it for $20 at Lowe’s with a 1-year guarantee?


Not all people are crazy though. I did make friends with the lady and her entire family sitting beside me. It just so happens she was a retired teacher from New York and vacationing in Lancaster County is a treat for them (along with the Mud Sales of course!) I love to talk to random people (yes… I am one of those people). Everyone has a story if you are willing to listen. 🙂

Here is a little bit about the auctions:

Antiques- Some stuff is completely overpriced, while other items are a steal. They had everything from old shutters and stained glass windows to small collections and even old Cabbage Patch Dolls. I saw an old butter churn that I wanted, but it went for $235 (WAY too much money to fill with dirt and use as a unique garden planter).


Craft Tent- In previous years, I would spend the entire day here. I did not find a need this year because I have plenty of Amish built benches, shelves, and birdhouses. Aside from walking past, I didn’t even stay at the tent this year (per husband’s request to avoid more stuff).

Flowers- This is where I spent most of the day. They had two auctions going on under the same tent (a little confusing because they both had speakers). One of the auctions was just for perennial/shrubs and the other for annuals. At the perennials tent, they would explain each plant before bidding started, which was awesome! They would say the sun required, height/width, and types of flowers, and when it would bloom. The explanation was perfect for a novice gardener!


There were also auctions for tools, guns, lawn furniture/decorations, quilts, horses, and food/house goods.


We are expanding our garden next year, so we were in search of plants for the new garden area. Our haul consisted of:

3 blueberry bushes ($10 each)

2 sour cherry trees ($12 each)

2 peach trees ($10 each)

In addition, 1 dog crate for when we take our dogs to the mountains ($2), 6 beautiful (new) glass tiki torches ($10 each), a hanging swing ($62), decorative garden stakes ($5 each), 4 hanging planters ($2 each), 8 basket planters ($2 each), and a whole truck load of annuals and perennials for both sun and shade (not sure about the price here, Tony was bidding on $0.50 plants nonstop). I think he just liked pretending he was on Storage Wars and saying “YUUUPP!”


After we left the sale around 3:30PM, we began the two-hour task of planting our purchases. We ended up with more than we can plant at the moment, so we gave the rest away. We dropped a bunch of plants off at my mother-in-law’s and headed to my mom’s to drop off the rest and enjoyed some fireworks.


It was a great day! If you’ve never been to a Mud Sale, perhaps you might want to consider going. 🙂

A Mud Sale and POTATOES!

Today was an amazing day! I had a terrific day at a local Mud Sale even though I came home with a headache from the heat! I was in the sun most of the day and awake at 6:00am to get a good seat in the craft tent. It was CrAzY though! People were spending a lot of money for silly things. A small cabinet went for $55! I could have made it for $20! So I left that tent. My husband showed up and we went to the antique tent. My husband bid on a post digger (looks old), I will post pictures of that when it’s actually in my garden. Maybe tomorrow? My husband wasn’t exactly thrilled that I was taking pictures of him, but I did it anyway. 🙂

No real luck there either, so of course I got FLOWERS! I spent less than $30 and I got a lot of flowers! In fact, my mother-in-law might make out because I have no idea where I am going to plant them all. I even got two clematis for my trellis by garden table. I am excited to plant that!


After the mud sale, I decided to visit the garden to pull weeds, water, etc. I noticed my potato plants were looking a little dead. And I pulled them out and discovered POTATOES! A lot of potatoes! Super exciting! I have never planted potatoes before, so I had no idea how they are supposed to be harvested. It was a wonderful surprise!

I also found some peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and green beans! It was a great day in the garden! I think I will be making potato salad for tomorrow (not exactly the most healthy option, but still yummy!) It is so rewarding to grow your own food!