Saturday, August 31, 2013

And Now for No Apparent Reason, I Present...


Actually, there is sort of a reason.  I was feeling kind of silly and giddy and cleaning and stocking the booth this week.  I really shouldn't have a cell phone camera at those times.

We do hope you enjoyed this little jaunt in to my insanity.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fun Finds: Salem Tray

I was stocking at the booth this week, when I pulled out something I had meant to photograph for the blog and forgot.  The lighting isn't always the best there, so you'll have to pardon that, but I couldn't let this one go without sharing it.

I got this from a sale we just happened to run across on our way to another sale.  It was all one dollar tables and quarter tables.  I got a lot of stuff there, including this vintage advertising tray.  

What are they advertising with this lovely, delicious-looking still life?  Is it the bread?  Or the fruit?  Maybe it's the lovely tulips in the back?  None of the above, I'm afraid.  Take a look at the lower right corner.

Yes, it's Salem cigarettes!  Can't forget our after dinner ciggy, one we've finished with all these delectable goodies!  Let's lay them out here on the, uhm, steak so we won't forget them.  It was a totally different time back then, huh?

I know I've seen a similar tray, only with all kinds of breakfast goodies surrounding the cigs, but I forget which retro-vintage blog I saw it on.  They really stand out and look odd on that one!

I owe the blog an extended post of finds from the past month or so.  I just haven't gotten around to finishing the pics.  It's been a slow summer with very few good hauls, but there has been some cool stuff popping up here and there.  I'll try to get that out next week.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

So what happened, anyway?

I feel like I should explain a little bit, to the extent that I can, what happened recently that caused me to take a step back from the blog and reflect.  I'm still trying to make some sense of what happened and I think this will help me sort things out.

As most of you are aware, putting things out on the internet makes you a potential target for just about anything.  This is a wild, wooly, very public forum, and what you put out there never really goes away.  I have always tried to remain cognizant of this and have typically been very circumspect in what I've written.  I don't really write about my jobs, for example, past or present.  (Although I do admit to making some extremely veiled comments mainly for my own amusement during a particularly bad time at my previous employment.  Roger, that is what "Flee the Yellow!" was all about!)

At the same time, I have been open about other personal details (like my cancer), which I think has made my blog both an interesting read, as well as useful and cathartic for me.  I don't regret anything I've said here, even now.  However, it seems there's always someone out to make some kind of trouble for other people.  And that's what happened to me.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

So What's Next?

Today is my one week anniversary of being CANCER FREE!  Yay!  Let the pigeons loose!  Huzzah!  Huzzah!  And there was much rejoicing!

Melanoma spreads easily and has a high rate of recurrence.  The whole purpose of my chemo regimen was to make sure there was no spread and to try and prevent a future occurrence.  In order to be sure that everything worked, I have a lot of following up to do.  I may be cancer-free, but I'm not yet doctor-free.

Here's my schedule for the foreseeable future:


Alternating scans and x-rays, followed by an appointment at the clinic to get the results.  At some point this will drop to every six months, then once a year.  After about five or so years, I'm done.  At that point, I'm considered to be successfully non-recurrent.


Dermatologist appointment.  I have to get all my moles regularly checked and monitored by a doctor for the rest of my life.  I have one on my back right now that is kind of suspicious and has tested abnormally.  We were holding off on doing anything until the chemo was over, so I'm thinking that pretty soon that sucker's gonna go.  My next appointment is November, and we'll probably make the arrangements then.

Given my family's history of cancer--both my mother and grandmother died from it--and moles*, I'm pretty much okay with doing whatever we need to do to keep this from happening again.  Cancer has pretty much consumed 2013 for me, and I am not the least bit eager to ever repeat these last eight months again.  If it means inviting the damn dermatologist to Thanksgiving dinner, then I'll set him a place at the table.

It won't be too long before I'll be at the age where colonoscopies come into my life on a regular basis.  I'm guessing there'll be some prostate screenings too.  Bring it on, I say!  I intend to hang around for a while yet.  There are comic books to read and junk to buy and sell and blogs to write and bikes to ride and kitties to pat and music to listen to and soaps to watch and.......lots of other important stuff to do!  Not to mention the fact that I have a wedding coming up!

Thanks again, everyone, for going through this ordeal with me.  Blogging and touching base with you all was an important part of my coping strategy, whether I was writing about the cancer or not.  I truly do appreciate you all and have nothing but good hopes and wishes for all of you!

*My grandfather told me about the moles he had removed when I saw him right before he died in July.  One of my cousins had to have pre-cancerous moles removed in the spring.  My whole ordeal even prompted my uncle to get his moles checked out and he had to have several removed.  He had been putting that off for years.  We are a moley people!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Return of Monday Rambles!

And....I'm back! 

Thanks for waiting for me.  I had a lot of stuff to think about regarding this blog and some other issues, so I appreciate your patience.  I'll be explaining more in the next couple of days.

My body is starting to realize that I didn't get any chemo last week.  I'm a little perkier and a little more energetic.  I still tire suddenly and unexpectedly--those damn bricks are still sneaking up on me--but I can feel myself slowly returning to normal.

I actually took a short bike ride the other day!  It was wonderful!  I kept it very short and reasonable and stayed close to home.  I can't pull hills just yet, so I had to walk the bike in some places.  Windy needs some work done, so I actually took Keith's bike, which worked well, because it's easier to ride.  Of course, once I made it home, I immediately crashed--hard--but I got to take a bike ride!  I'm planning another one for this weekend.  If it goes well, I'm going to start semi-regular riding next week.

Booth sales have been uneven due to the fair.  The first week of the fair, they were pretty good for fairtime, but last week was more typical.  In other words, sucky.  I'm glad it's over.  Things pick up in the fall, so I am looking forward to it.  I have to start gathering the harvest and Halloween stuff.  My back to school stuff didn't do as well this year as last year.  Don't know what's up with that.

Yard sales have been spotty this summer, but last weekend was good:  old comics, wooden kids' chairs and other fun stuff.  I'm needing to do a post on my finds real bad.

I need to run, so I'll sign off.  Look for regular posts this week.  I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Let me leave you with this pic of a phone booth near my work:

I thought it looked kind of artistic with the bright colors and the broken receiver.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


And we have the "All Clear"!


I have to go for regular scans and follow ups over the next few years, but everything looks like it's supposed to and there is high confidence on the part of the doctors involved that it will stay that way.

This is me getting good news and not getting chemo!

I'll have a lot more to say about this shortly, but for right now, I'm enjoying the feeling of knowing that all that chemo and all those bricks were worth it.  I'm still waiting for all the bricks to fade away, which might take a few more weeks.

Thanks so much to all of you who have supported me through all of this .  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your notes and thoughts and prayers and emails.

Look for regular posting from me to resume on Friday.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Buying Comics

The only productive stop I made during last week's less than fruitful yard sale run was the comic store that I used to shop at.  I still consider it "my shop."  I started shopping there when I was a senior in high school, so old habits are hard to break.  The manager still knows me by name and talks to me every time I come by.  Mostly, my trips these days are to buy booth stock on sale days, get comic bags, or do some research.

Last weekend was their sidewalk sale, which is always a good source of stuff for me.  I try not to miss them.  They didn't have as much non-comic stuff out as they usually do (or maybe they did and I just missed it), so I mostly bought just comics.

Buying comics for the booth is kind of tricky, but I think it's one thing I've got down.  There are other dealers with comics in the Peddlers Mall, but I think I outsell them.  It's not unusual to find their comics left at my comic boxes.  People will leave them there after carrying them all over the mall, because my selection and prices are better.

There are three things (I think) that help me as a comic seller:

1.  I know comics and I have a pretty realistic view of them.
2.  I know what's selling in the bargain bins and boxes in the comic shops, comic shows, and places like Half-Price Books.
3. I have been the dude searching through the comic boxes at flea markets looking for treasures.

What this does for me is give me a selection of comics that's more varied with price points that are better than other sellers around me.  I don't have long boxes full of stuff from the 90's glut that no one wants.  I don't uniformly price my comics, either.  Everything is priced issue by issue.  I do have some standard price points, but my comics are priced according to a variety of factors.  My stock changes regularly too.  I add new comics every week.

It's a little more work for me, but I want to do it right (or at least what I consider to be "right').  I think it works for me, based on conversations that I have with people shopping for comics and conversations I overhear from shoppers looking through them.   I pretty much sell some comics every day, even when I don't sell anything else.  (It's the "anything else" part I gotta work on.)

Anyway, here's some of the stuff I got.  Just some.  I got tired of taking pics, so I quit.  I'm such a bad junking blogger.  The lighting in some of these is really off too.  Sorry about that.

I always have to get Silver Age Lois Lane comics when I can get them cheap.  The boxes that held my Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen comics came up missing when Keith and I moved in together, and I have been trying to rebuild that part of my collection ever since.  The one on the right is in rough shape, but for 50 cents, what do you expect?  These are keepers, but I think I might have that one on the right.  If that turns out to be the case, I'll toss it in the booth.

Stuff from the era of my heyday buying comics as a reader/fan.  I think the late seventies to mid eighties gets undervalued in terms of comics.  Stuff was well-written, well-drawn and a lot of fun.  I like to carry that stuff when I can find it.  I think there's some nostalgia out there for it.  The last Supergirl comic was a promo/giveaway thing done with Honda.  I love those kind of product-placement comics, so I'm keeping this one.

Series I always wanted to read when I was a kid.  Keepers, for the moment.

Nineties crap.  So much stuff was pumped into the market in the mid to late 1990's, that you have to be careful with this stuff.  There's a lot of it out there in the secondhand non-comic market.  Dealers will buy a long box of crap for 60 bucks at an auction and think they're going to clean up because the comics are 20 years old and everyone knows old comics are worth a lot of money.  What they don't know is that what they're buying is stuff the original owner thought was going to be worth a mint when it was published.  After that never panned out, they took it to the auction with a bunch of other old junk they didn't need any more.

There's so much of the so-called "hot" comics of that era out there, that you can get burned if you're not careful.  If it's selling in quarter and fifty cent bins at comic shops, then it's really not going to bring more than that in your flea market booth.  What I try to do is limit myself either to getting whole series cheaply then bagging them to sell as a set or else just stick to special issues--basically anything with more pages than a normal issue.  I always liked to feel like I was getting more for my comic money, so I like to pass that feeling on to my shoppers as well.

Stuff from this century.  Again, I try to stick to larger than usual special issues and such.

Major "event" comics from this era.  I hate the whole concept of "event" comics and crossovers and such, but the idea is here to stay and it ain't going nowhere.  When I can get them cheap (that's my mantra), I'll sell a whole series as a set.  Otherwise, I'll stick with the odd issue or special.  Believe it or not, there are buyers like me who would bypass the thing at full price in a heartbeat, but check it out when it's super-cheap. 

Another thing I always look for is what they used to call the "prestige format" (comics with cardstock covers and square spines).  It's another way of offering more bang for my customers dollar.  All I have to do is find them cheaply enough.  (There's that mantra again.)  I wish I had been able to buy all four issues of this one, then I could have sold it as a set.  Oh well.

I know it seems kind of hodge-podgey, but that's what I'm going for, a variety of things from a variety of eras.  There are comic readers who have been priced out of the market who still wouldn't mind catching up on things, if they don't have to pay an arm and a leg.  They don't care if it's the hot event from three years ago.  It's new to them.  They're one of the groups I try to cater too.

Like I said, it seems to be working.  I have a good sell through and turnover.  I also have an audience of regulars who seek my stuff out.  I love selling comics because I still love comics.  I have fond memories of being that kid at the flea market, digging through the boxes in search of back issues.  I remember the thrill of finding a treasure for 25 or 50 cents.  I want to provide that same feeling to someone else.  All I have to do is buy carefully and find things cheaply enough.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Something Has Happened

I'm going to be taking a blog break for a few days.  Not sure how many, but hopefully, it won't be long.  I need to figure some things out with relation to this blog.  A couple of personal things have happened involving the blog and I need to take a step back and think.  I'll explain more when I come back.

Before any of you who have been following the cancer stuff get worried, let me say that I am fine.  Nothing has happened to me, at least not physically.  Keith and the cats are okay too.

I had my scan yesterday, which led to another struggle to find a vein for an IV.  (I'm really starting to hate needles.)  After that everything went okay.  I did have to drink the yucky contrast stuff.  Ugh!  I'll get the results next Tuesday.  The word we want is "All clear."  Keep that in mind.  Thanks.

I've got a post scheduled for Saturday that will go on.  After my appointment next week, I'll update on my health status.  But after that, it may be a little while.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I'm rich I tell you!

I just opened a box that I bought at a vendor mall a little while ago and I found that it was stuffed with money!

Seriously, take a look:

Do you see those hundreds?  There are dozens of them!  What a lucky find, just sitting in this innocuous box, waiting to be discovered.  Fancy that!

I mean who would suspect that a box labeled "Play Money" would contain such riches?

Wait a minute....

Never mind.

But isn't vintage play money cool?  There's stuff from at least four different companies here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Grumpy Monday Rambles

I came really close to pre-empting this Ramble.  Really close.  I'm in a foul mood that won't seem to lift and just don't want to subject you all to it.  I do enough whining here as it is.  Last week was a crappy week, and that's all I'm going to really say about it.

Other than this:  my sales remain in the toilet.  I've had one good sale day so far this month.  I get depressed just thinking about it.  It's at the point that it doesn't matter that yard sales are really sucking right now, because I'm not moving through my stock right now.

Not even my beloved Days of Our Lives could cheer me up this week.  There were lots of nice little scenes--Victor and Brady for one--but the big blow up between Marlena and Kristen--which was hyped in the network previews--turned out to be anti-climactic.  If we're only going to see Marlena once every three weeks, then she should at least get to knock Kristen out.  It's only fair.

I spent Sunday on the internet (instead of pricing merch, writing blog posts, and tidying my junk room) reading comic book blogs and sites, which actually made me feel a little better.  I might write some more stuff about comics over the next few weeks.  I'll definitely be pulling some stuff out of my graphic novels to read stack this week!  A whole lot of what I read online pretty much reconfirmed my decision to get out of the hobby as a hardcore collector.  I can definitely echo the relief of this post about getting rid of comics.    At the same time, though, I was also reminded how much I do love comics themselves.  It might be just the thing to cheer me up a little.  It's worth a try.

My scan is scheduled for Wednesday, so I'll be one step closer to (hopefully) finding out that I am cancer-free in a few days.

I'm probably jumping the gun a bit, but I intend to take a bike ride this week.  I don't know how far I'll end up going, but I'm getting tired of having to be so damn inactive.  Maybe it will make me feel better.

Not sure about blogging for the week.  Nothing is really planned or set up as yet.  Might be for the better, given how crummy this post is turning out to be.  Oh well.

I think dealing with the cancer over the past eight months has really impacted my depression, which would certainly explain my mood.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Eddie Does Dolls

It's pretty well known among the members of the Yard Sale Queen message forum that I find dolls to be, well, really creepy. (Also clowns.)  Maybe it's one too many horror flicks, but I look at them and the only thought that comes into my head is that at midnight they're going to come to life, form a coven, have a satanic rite, and eat my soul.  Brrr. 

Sometimes, though, you just can't pass up a bargain.  And so I have these.

Really, one of them is named "Miss Mary"!  I'm supposed to pass that up how exactly?

Luckily, they're still in their original packaging, which renders them and their evil inert until opened.  I ain't gonna open them.  I'm just gonna sell them.  What happens after that is beyond my doings.  Caveat emptor, indeed.

The YSQ forums, by the way, are a great place to hang out, share junking stories, and learn more about this wild, insane world of re-sale buying and selling.  Several of my regular commenters are also members there.  Folks are super nice over there, so check it out.  I highly recommend it.  Tell 'em I sent you!  (You do have to be a member to read the posts.)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Linking Around

It's "Geek Week" on YouTube, so in honor of that I present this pretty awesome Nerdy Jokes video.  How many do you get?  I'm either pleased as punch or appalled that I got everyone of them, save two.  Nerditude confirmed. 

Turns out the most famous Mark Twain quote about Kentucky didn't come from Twain.  Doesn't matter.  It's still true.

Roger already did this one but it's too funny not to share:  George Takei on the aftermath of the DOMA decision.

Finally, links to a couple of collectors sites that I got from monkeybox.  I'm always interested in seeing what people collect.  Sadly, both these sites are defunct, but they've been left up for others to appreciate.  I didn't care for Collection a Day so much because it was so curated and staged.  It really felt artificial and contrived to me, because I didn't feel any of the passion of the real person that is supposedly collecting all these things.  She did get a book deal out of it, so what do I know?

Copycat Collector based her blog on the CaD site, featuring a part of her collections every day for a year.  This one I like a lot.  It just feels much more genuine.  Part of that is because she shares about her items, where they came from, why she likes them.  That is what collecting is about.  It doesn't matter what it is.  There's always a reason why someone collects it.  Divorced from that reason, a collection is just a pile of stuff, and who wants to look at that?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Listen to the Music!

Music has always been a huge part of my life.  I know I'm not alone in this, by any means.  There used to be a group of bloggers that did mix CD exchanges a few years ago.  That's how I met Roger.  I loved doing that, because I found so much new music that I liked.  Lately, I've been using YouTube as my source for new music.  I hardly ever listen to the radio any more (unless it's NPR), so I tend to play/listen to my old faves and stand bys a lot.  I watch YouTube stuff while I work, so I still get a good dose of new/interesting stuff.

I thought I would do a post about some channels that I really like.  First up is kexpradio, a public radio station out of Seattle.  They apparently do a tremendous amount of in studio artist appearances, because they post three or four a week.  The variety is amazing--established acts, new acts, indie artists, alternative stars, local and regional faves--and the spread of genres is pretty varied.  Not everything is my cup of tea, but there's a lot more hits than misses.  I always have several of their shows on my Watch Later list. 

Another one I really like is MusicCityRoots, the channel for a concert series out of Nashville that focuses on the wide variety in the Americana and alt-country scenes, but also ranges out into rock, jazz, and world music from time to time.  Jim Lauderdale is pretty involved
here, as he keeps popping up in their vids.  That's always a good thing.  The acts range from established folks to local/regional artists, which means there's always a lot of folks I'm not familiar with in their feed.  Since this is my "favorite" type of music, I usually find an awful lot to like.  My only gripe is that I wish they would put up whole sets in their feed, instead of individual songs.  Sometimes I find someone I really like, and there's only one song from them.  Augh! 

The last one I want to plug is not connected with any kind of outside entity.  It's just a channel done by a fan, who uploads music that she likes.  And she has a vast library of stuff to choose from! 1000Magicians has a real bug for the Americana and traditional country scene, so you can find all the good stuff on her channel:  John Prine, Kristofferson, Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith, Vince Gill, Allison Kraus, and of course, the lady, the legend, the goddess herself:  Ms Emmylou Harris.  If you know me, you can see why I like this channel a lot.  It never disappoints.  You can find some real gems here from classic performances.

Happy listening!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Monday Rambles

Monday?  Again?  Already?  Are you sure?  Oh well....

Last week pretty much kicked my ass.  The chemo may be over, but the bricks are still here and they were really dragging me down last week.  A couple of nights, I hit the bed as soon as I got home from work.  Heck, Saturday I crashed in the car on the way home from yard sales.  I foresee no marathons in the immediate future.  I am so impatient to be 100% again!

My schedule eases up this week, as my summer gig ends today.  That will change me from having to be at work at 9:00 am to having to be there at 12:30 pm.  That shift will really help in terms of the extra rest.  Also, I'll be able to get some things done at the house before I go, when I feel like it.  I've kind of been a lump for too long as far as the house is concerned.  I can hardly keep up with just the booth stuff.  Keith has been so good about picking up my slack, but I'm feeling a little bad that he's had to do so much for me.

Speaking of the booths, I am really discouraged right now.  For the first time in my junker career, I feel like I do not know what I am doing.  I went to work the space on Wednesday and just ended up sitting and staring and feeling sorry for myself.  July sales were just about the worst I have ever had.  I cannot seem to sell any large items right now to save my life.  That would be okay if the smalls sales weren't in the toilet too.  I've had way too many days lately of less than 10 dollar sales, sometimes less than five.  I seriously wanted to cry on Wednesday.  I just don't know what to do.

Part of it is my fatigue, I know.  It makes me a lot more dramatic about things, but there is an element of hard reality here smacking me in the face that I don't like.  I need to be going in twice a week to tend to the space, but I just don't have that in me right now.  I'm paying the price for that, so I feel like a failure.

Things did pick up over the weekend.  I had a killer day in smalls on Saturday--over 50 bucks--and sold a glass-topped table on Sunday.  That's left me feeling a little better, but I also know that it's August, which means State Fair and Back to School and traditionally low sales overall.  I know it's all ebb and flow.  I know that I have to get better to do what I need to do.  That doesn't stop me from feeling down and upset over this.  My confidence is really shaken right now.

Oh, geez.  This is another one of those whiny Monday posts, isn't it?

Sales were so-so this weekend.  Threatened thunderstorms, which did not happen, really cut down on the participation in one of my favorite neighborhood sales.  What was there was pretty mediocre.  I had to put up with one seller telling me that the plate she was overcharging for was "selling on eBay for that."  Someone hasn't read the rules!  I barely caught myself before I told her to go put it on eBay if she wanted that price for it.  I did find a couple of things and have a couple of stories to share, but I'll do that later in the week.

Day by Days:  Sami had a bail hearing and Marlena was not there?  I call foul!  At least Hope is showing up more and more.  They need to make up their minds about the extent of Rafe's injury.  Does he have trouble with simple sentences or can he spit out monologues?  It seems to vary from scene scene.  I love the dressing down he gave Nick though.  This was a good week for Nick, with scenes with Rafe, Maggie (yay!), Kate, and Vargas (yum!).  I think they're maneuvering him for new story.   The show does need to decide what they're going to do with Vargas.  Right now his story and back story are a mess.  I thought it was a clever set up for Stefano was to deal with Chad and not lie to him.  That'll tied the story up for a while.  By the way, I still don't care for the increasingly dull Chad-Abby-Cameron triangle.  I'm also not excited about Chad's would be brain tumor.  Oh well.  Still, any week that gives me Lucas and Sami together is a good week.  I also loved when Anne cornered Theresa.  Yes,  I was rooting for Anne to do something besides get hit by a bus.

Stuff got away from me last week, so I didn't get posts all week long.  I think I'll have the fixed for this week.   See you around the internet!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Cat Philosophy

I've been a little lax in sharing the philosophies of the feline brotherhood.  Please accept my apologies.  Here are several to make up for the lack.

There's no such thing as too much of a good thing.

Don't forget to share.  If someone does forget to share, remind them.

It's important to be helpful.

There is Napping.  Then comes everything else.

Note to Kosh and Chiquito:  There.  I did it.  Now, please, give me my keys back!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Need some spice and flavor?

Try a little Salt n Pepa!


She Thing

Twist and Shout

Let's Talk About Sex


Works for me!  Hope it worked for you.  Sometimes I just need something a little different, yet familiar.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

This is How We Do It: Shopping for Catholic Stuff

Junkers are notorious for not revealing our sources.  There's too many of us, and not enough stuff to go around to be giving away all our secrets.  Interestingly enough, we do like to brag to each other about our most awesome finds.  We want to show off our stuff, just not tell where we got it all.

When you specialize in certain kinds of items, you get known for having a good selection of, in my case, religious items.  You create a bit of a customer base, and eventually you get the question:  "Where do you find all this stuff?"

My standard answer is:  "Everywhere!"  Admittedly, it's a bit vague, but it's also pretty much true.  As a collector, I'm more tuned to find the items I collect than someone who is not.  Truthfully, they just leap out at me, because I notice them more readily.  It doesn't matter where they are.  I use this to my advantage as a seller.

Sometime last year, I was hitting some estate sales with another dealer.  She went down in the basement and came back up declaring that there was nothing there I would be interested in.  I went down, stayed five minutes, and came up with half a dozen framed vintage religious pictures.  She was oblivious to them, because it's not something she was tuned into.

It honestly doesn't matter what the item is, someone who collects or deals in that item will be more likely to find it in a general setting.  This doesn't mean that it's all sheer luck and keeping your eyes open, however.  There are some other tricks that I use in my hunt for Catholic religious items in particular.

It does help to know a little bit about the religious history and development of this area.  Part of my interest as a hobbyist has lead me to do a lot of reading about the Catholic church in Louisville, so  I use that information when I can.  Call it "pre-find" research.  I use it to choose my hunting grounds.

Along with that, estate sales in neighborhoods that have been heavily Catholic are a good source.  In days past, life was more neighborhood-centered, so many people belonged to the churches in their area.  Usually an estate sale near an older church will be the home of a deceased parishioner.  Older church members are typically more devoted to having things like images and statues, so those sales are a good source.  This is true even if the church has been closed or consolidated with another one.  Just because the church moves doesn't mean the people do.  Oftentimes, the family will keep one or two items that have a lot of memories, like a rosary, but have no interest in the other stuff.

Another great source for me is to make sure to hit sales in the somewhat more eclectic parts of town.  Lots of the "cool kids" are into this kind of stuff too, so I find a lot there.  Never underestimate what you can find at a "hipster" sale.  Stuff is usually cheap too.

Finally, another no-brainer:  look for church-run thrifts and/or sales benefiting Catholic schools, organizations and charities. Never miss a sale run by a Catholic church either!  Ever!

That's how it works for me, anyways.  For another category of item, the tips might be a little different, but mainly it's about using the knowledge you have to figure out where you need to be.