In Kentucky going to a yard sale is always hit or miss.

Mostly miss, actually.


When I first moved here, I learned that “GIANT YARD SALE” usually meant a broken down washer and dryer, those glass vases that are left over after a flower arrangement, old Christmas decorations and two Hooters’ t-shirts.


Fine women’s apparel and old appliances.

That’s how yard sales usually roll around here.


Railroad Sign


Thrift stores usually aren’t much better.

But when you have the heart of a thrifter.

When hope springs eternal.

When you have found twenty-dollar trestle tables and 400 mile yard sale shutters and even one-of-a-kind English school chairs.  You know…that you know….that you know that there is a chance, however slight, that one day you will follow those endless yard sale signs for 14 miles or visit your 23rd thrift store and there… the end of the rainbow will be a pot of gold.

I followed my rainbow yesterday and found this.



It’s an old railroad sign.

Well…..okay…..part of an old railroad sign.  The part that says “railroad.”  The other part of the x….the part that says “crossing” is missing.  But does it really matter?  It’s chippy and worn and beautiful with all of its original patina.


And in the land of the Hooters’ t-shirts….

… take your small victories and run 🙂

Have a blessed and glorious weekend.  And may all your yard saling journeys be bright.

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  1. Image for Judy Judy

    Love that old RR sign...can't wait to see what you do with it! Just so you know, when those broke down washers and Hooter's tee-shirts don't sell in Kentucky, I think their owners bring 'um down here to Alabam-y cause I "seen" a few of 'um myself! Judy

  2. Image for Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    Perfect - I've been searching high and low for a Hooter's t-shirt. You're now my official Hooter's connection! And I'll be searching for the Crossing part of that sign so I can bribe you into mailing me to Railroad part (then my devious plan for sign domination will be fulfilled)! Keep on yard saleing! Kelly

  3. Image for Jean Jean

    Way to be tenacious! You should come to Montana....the garage sales are remarkable! I thought it would be a wasteland, much like Alaska was, but almost every sale has a treasure. And, of course, I can't buy ALL of it...there's plenty to go around! Can't wait to see where that sign lands.

  4. Image for Zolane Zolane

    So funny! I had given up on yard sales but maybe I'll try again :) Love the railroad sign and can't wait to see where you display it. Hope you have a blessed weekend too!

  5. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    Sounds like where I live too! Love the sign! What a great piece! The Hooter's founder lived right down the road from us!

  6. Image for Linda @ it all started with paint Linda @ it all started with paint

    My hoarder neighbor is having his first of many, many summer yard sales this weekend. I'm pretty sure I'll find some Hooter's t-shirt, broken appliances and those left over glass vases .... ... the only problem is that they'll be priced to stay ... :)

  7. Image for bj bj

    I LOVE this olden will put it some place where it will the true KARI FASHION. The funniest thing...I worked last night on a post that I titled I'VE BEEN WORKING ON THE RAILROAD...but....I surely don't have an awesome sign such as this. I do have a rusted, chippy sign that I can't figure out what to do with so I am anxiously awaiting to see what YOU tell me to do with it...cause I am such a COPYCAT, ya know. :)

  8. Image for Karen Karen

    What, you don't sport Hooters T-shirts with cut offs and flip flops? You are too funny with your stories. Love the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow story. It was worth it for this sign! Where did you move from originally and how did you end up in Kentucky?

  9. Image for

    You crack me up! I think you've found quite a few amazing treasures in your Hooter's dominated, appliance graveyard location. ;-) What about that roadside window turned chalkboard? Your persistence sure pays off! That sign is AWESOME!!! You've got the who shot JR cliff hanger type of interest going with regard to where you decided to put it! :-) --I say, save it for a post when we are away at Haven! I'm trying to stockpile some posts for next week! Is that what everyone else is doing, or are they just taking vaca? Enjoy the weekend! I hope you find more treasures if you are out searching! I'm at home trying to coax my new rescue puppy out of her timid little shell! xo-Lisa p.s. I will trade your rural KY farmhouse with lack of good thrifting for my suburban CA stucco, spanish tiled roof number! ;-) (Thrifting is slim here too, just not a lot of old stuff.)

  10. Image for Peggy Peggy

    OH Karianne, I know for a fact that those yard sale leftovers simply cross the border into Indiana! Between the Hooters t-shrits, the Hardrock cafe memorabilia, Elvis jumpsuits (seriously saw a rack of white leisure suits complete with belts & white shoes last week!!!), and the plastic vases we have a treasure trove of ???? Like Chris says... "oh looks they have treasures...(in a whispered tone) maybe they should take them out back and bury it!" That man cracks me up!! but I love him dearly!! And your railroad sign... it makes my heart go pitter patter! Well I am off to go take some frustration out on some silver... okay not real silver but some flatware I scrounged up. And I am going to.... try my hand at..... stamping!! Yes! I am!! Are you going to Haven? Have a truly wonderful time!!

  11. Image for Beth@thedailyparagraph Beth@thedailyparagraph

    I've learned not to get my hopes up concerning garage sales. Some of the best sounding sales turn out to be the biggest duds. Looking forward to seeing more of your sign.

  12. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Before we had to STAGE this house to seel, my husband had a ROOM of trains. His brother found him an OLD railroad sign, it even had dents on it from people using it as target practice. It is a treasure around here. Love your sign too and can't wait to see what you do with it. XO, Pinky

  13. Image for Gee Singh Newbanks Gee Singh Newbanks

    Hahahhaa.. I like that ' you take your small victories and run' . Planning on hitting a few Thrift stores this week. Fingers crossed and all that. Would like to fall unto a few good deals :D

  14. Image for SheilaG SheilaG

    Maybe we should all bring a thirfted hooters shirt to Haven. I once saw one at a church rummage sale. Kelly, I'm sure your 2 months postpartum self looks better than my 30 year postpartum self. :)

  15. Image for Anne Anne

    I have the best garage sale experiences in this little wee town! I held my own sale today & one of my "customers" saw that I like old wood doors & offered to deliver any doors he finds to my doorstep :) How's that for neighbourly?? I adore this town!! Great find KariAnne, although I'm a little peeved at you for putting that hokey old song in my head...

  16. Image for Cindy Cindy

    That is a great find! I love it, I would love to find something like that. Garage sales are mostly hits around here, sadly a lot of the sweet little older homes in my area have aging residents who, once they've passed away have LOTS of great vintage items that get put up for sale or put at the curb. I have found some GRAND things at the curb, like a treadle machine, two old ladders, an old galvanized laundry tub and a old wooden stand that used to hold two laundry tubs. Those were all FREE! I'm glad you had such a successful day! Hugs, Cindy

  17. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    Doesn't it suck when you turn up to a gargage sale and what they are selling is a much of useless junk...........................good on you finding the railroad sign do you know what you are going to do with it..........

  18. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Now you bought that old Railroad sign over the Hooter's tee shirts?.....I know you were being kind, leaving them for the next were considerate to do that, and took that chippy old RR sign instead....No good deed goes unpunished...! Have a great weekend....!!!...Happy Father's Day to your hubby!

  19. Image for Becca Becca

    I can totally see this in your downstairs. Bu I'm waiting with baited breathe to see where you think it should go! Great find, chica, xo Becca

  20. Image for Barbara F. Barbara F.

    The RR sign has so much character! My husband is a huge railfan so we have a house full of train related items, most of them small and in closets but once in awhile something bigger makes it's way out into the public areas. Hubby would go nuts for that sign. I, like so many others, can't wait to see it's final resting place.

  21. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Wow! You hit the jackpot! Love the RR sign and as I type, I can hear the train in my neighorhood go by. I find something very soothing about listening to those trains in the distance.

  22. Image for andrea cammarata andrea cammarata

    Thank you my friend for linking this up to the junkin joe linky vintage finds party! not everyone has something as awesome as this! this is a find of the ages!!! absolutely awesome!!! sending hugs and stay cool!!!! : )

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