mad gals …and my love of a good second hand store

Jeanne here.

With a reminder:  DON’T FORGET TO REGISTER FOR OUR NEW YEAR’S GIVEAWAY COOKBOOK:  Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons, by Kimberly Harris.  Just a few hours left!

It started simply enough with an invitation to lunch with the Mad Gals.

Yes.

Mad.

Gals.

The Madison and Gallatin Counties Ranchers’ Wives Association Monthly luncheon.

This organization has been meeting once a month since the County Fair in 1910.

My friend Suzy invited me once two years ago … and has been letting me tag along ever since.

Actually, she only really lets me come when the events are in Madison County.  (I refuse to believe it’s just because she wants company on the 45 minute drive.)  But I LOVE these luncheons.

Not because the food is very good.  (It’s fine … but not something to write home about.)

Not because the venues are all that special.  [The last one was in a newly remodeled bowling alley in Ennis, MT (population: 835).  Charming.  Just … you know … a bowling alley lounge.]

And not because I get a few hours of uninterrupted adult-time.  (It’s a rare afternoon that I spend 3 hours without the littles.)

What I love about these luncheons is that the average age of the members is probably something like 70 years old.  (I don’t think I’m exaggerating.)  Many of these women have lived in the valleys for more years than I’ve been alive.  And they’ve just about seen it all.  Most of them are ranchers’ wives, or farmers’ wives, or used to ranch themselves.  A few of them are living the rural and homesteady life I aspire to.

Most of the gals seem just pleased to meet and gossip and have a glass of wine (or 2) with their old friends.  So it’s not like I’m learning the ins and outs of homesteading from them (although I am confident I could).

But what I love most about these luncheons is the treasure hunt Suzy and I embark on after.

There’s a little “antique shop” in Ennis.  And by “antique shop” I mean thrift store.  Actually, there are three (in a town with a population of 835) … but one of them is on the “other” side of town and one is closed on Thursdays, which is when the luncheon is.

And I’m not bragging … but I had less than $25 cash in my wallet last time we were there, and here’s what came home with me:

$4 for the cutest egg crates ... ever.  They take up the same room in our fridge as 2 dozen eggs, but easily hold up to 3 1/2 dozen (the most we ever get from our egg ladies) ... can you believe there were only 6 eggs in the house when I took this photo?  me either.  Makes me nervous just looking at it!
$4 for the cutest egg crates … ever. They take up the same room in our fridge as 2 dozen eggs, but easily hold up to 3 1/2 dozen (the most we ever get from our egg ladies) … can you believe there were only 6 eggs in the house when I took this photo? me either. Makes me nervous just looking at it!
$12 for 6 ramekins (which I promptly used to make baked eggs) and 8 small french coffee bowls (that are the perfect size for yogurt or ice cream or all sorts of sweet treats), another ball jar and two glass bottles (which are all being used for  kombucha at the very moment of this posting).
$12 for 6 ramekins (which I promptly used to make baked eggs) and 8 small french coffee bowls (that are the perfect size for yogurt or ice cream or all sorts of sweet treats), another ball jar and two glass bottles (which are all being used for kombucha at the very moment of this posting).
$8 for the fourth and final child's chair to complete the mismatched set of school chairs in the playroom.
$8 for the fourth and final child’s chair to complete the mismatched set of school chairs in the playroom.


And I had $3 to spare!

Wonderful women.

Laughs galore.

And thrifting at its finest.

A lucky lucky day.

Are you thrifty?  Store-wise, I mean?  What treasures have you discovered on your adventures?

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