Monday, January 27, 2014

Thrifting Finds #41: You can't win 'em all

Well, I kind of knew--or at least suspected--that after last week's haul, this week would be kind of puny.  And boy howdy was I right.  Not that I found nothing at all, you understand, but, well, you'll see in a minute.

The good news (I always like it when there's good news), is that there's some good new thrifting potential.  To make a short story long, when Hubs and I were in the Rescue Mission thrift last week, I overheard a woman asking if they had a square dining room table.  The man running the place said no, but that he'd call blahblahblah and see if there was one there.

Now, I only heard this conversation "out of the corner of my ear" as it were, so didn't pay too much attention.  And then, thirty seconds later, I forgot about it entirely.

Until late last week that is, and I started wondering.  Then I started doing some research.  Turns out that the Rescue Mission does have another store. It's only a mile or two away, located in a quaint little downtown shopping area.

It's a great store!  Okay, I'll admit I didn't buy anything, but I was certainly tempted.  The RM thrift we usually go to is in an unheated gym, and always seems kind of, I don't know, random.  Like an outlet, I guess.  This other store was heated (much to Hubby's relief!) and clearly had the cream of the crop there.  Everything was neat and well organized, the furniture was immaculate, and there was a ton of stuff.

I was tempted by a couple of end tables, but Hubby thought they were too big (and I think he was right.)  I was also hugely tempted by a coffee table that A) didn't have a drawer (which is what I'm looking for) and B) was likely too big. But it was extremely cool, and only 15 bucks!  I can't wait to go back again next week and see what they have.  I'm sure I missed a lot of stuff, just because I was overwhelmed by the joint.

Also this weekend, I managed to lose my gloves, I think in one of the thrifts we visited.  Oh, well. Serves me right for being careless, and maybe someone who could actually use them found 'em.  Here's a minor problem, though:  have you ever tried to buy gloves in January?  Good luck!  I finally found a few pairs of leather gloves at Macy's.  For eighty bucks.  Yeah, that's not happening.  I have a backup pair, but they're a little slippery for comfortable driving.  I might just give up the search until next winter.

Okay, after all that, are you ready to see what I got?  I hope you're sitting down, because it's, well, it's something...

1.  Baking pans!  Three of 'em!  Can you believe it?  Awesome, no?  Okay, no.  But I've been looking for some so I can make those peanut butter cookies with the peanut butter cup inside. They were clean, and only a buck apiece.  Plus, one is marked "Happy Home" which is a Woolworth's trademark, so that made me happy.

Does anyone else miss Woolworths?  Man, I sure do.  Nobody could make a patty melt like Woolworths. Nobody.  I seem to particularly miss the store around Christmastime.  All their stuff was cheap and cheerful, and it was one of the few stores that actually made me feel Christmasy.  I even miss the odd smell that they all seemed to have.

But I digress.

Here's a little something I didn't buy:

Oink!  This was on the shelf at Savers (who clearly got cleaned out with their sale on Monday and haven't restocked yet) and I couldn't resist taking a picture of it.

In Other News Department:

My ebay auctions end this evening, and I'm a little disappointed, frankly.  The Cathrineholm fondue isn't generating much excitement--it's up to $11.01--and I'm not sure why.  It's certainly in wonderful condition.  Oddly, the auction with the most watchers is for those doll clothes patterns I got a couple of weeks ago.  Really?  I hoped to recoup my original expenses, but I didn't think that many people would be interested.  Still, watchers aren't bidders, so there's that.

I was hoping to make, if not a killing, at least a nice profit, because I've kind of gone a little insane on ebay lately.  Nothing's arrived yet, but I'll post a couple of pictures of some of the things I've won.

You see, I have this terrible habit on ebay:  If I see something I like, but not necessarily "like like", I'll make a token bid and say "Oh, someone else will outbid me."  Well, that sometimes happens, but often enough I'll find myself the winner of, oh say, a laundromat bleach vending machine* that I really hadn't counted on owning.

*Totally true.

What I Made This Weekend:

Beef Tips over Noodles!  Sorry, not a good picture.  I find brown is particularly difficult to photograph, particularly under fluorescent lights.  I'll post the recipe if anyone cares.  It's delicious.

Beef Vegetable Soup!  Actually, I made this a few weeks ago and froze it.  It's supposed to get frigid again here, so Hubs requested some soup this week.

Cheesy biscuits!  Which I completely forgot to take a picture of.  To go with the soup.

I'm not proud of it, but I'm linking up this week with Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/FarmThe Nifty Thrifty  and We Call It Junkin.

Hopefully, next week will be better!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Thrifting Finds #40: Woo hoo!

Yeah, it was a pretty good week.  For a change.

First off, I mentioned last week that I was going to stop in to a little thrift that I had never been to.  Turned out to be not worth the trip.  It was a tiny little place, mostly women's and children's clothes.  But it was run by dear little Church Ladies, so it was fun to at least visit.

Anyway.  We usually do the bulk of our thrifting on Sundays, but this week we went to the Hubster's office and we filed and shifted files and basically worked our tails off instead.  The reward, of course, was to go thrifting on Monday since we were both off.

What we weren't expecting was the mob as Savers.  I had gotten an email saying they were having a 50% off sale on clothes and bed/bath, departments neither Hubs nor I are interested in.  Turns out, they were giving 50% off everything and word must have gotten around because the parking lot was jammed.

Well.  So back to the Hubster's office for a minute.  While we were there, I took a couple of pictures of his glass collection, in case anyone's interested:

As I told him Sunday, "If you ever decide to have a Margarita party, you're set."

We did hit our usual stops on Saturday.  Nothing at the Goodwill, but I did find a couple of things at the Rescue Mission thrift.  I always feel bad when we go there because we hardly ever buy anything.  It's one of those places where you pick out what you want, take it up to the front, and the person there makes up a price.  Not my favorite way of doing business, but the people there are nice, so I don't mind.

1.  Andy!  Again!  Yeah, I realize I just bought this album a couple of weeks ago, but I saw it sticking out and thought I could finally make a purchase. Plus, the cover's in better shape than the other one and still has the plastic on.  Rescue Mission thrift, $1.00

2.  Little Drummer Boy!  While I was grabbing Andy, Hubs started flipping through the records and came across this.  His family used to own it when he was but a tiny tot, so we bought it.  The jacket isn't in  very good condition and the record itself has a lot of wear, so we got it mainly for sentimental reasons.  Rescue Mission thrift, $1.00

3.  Singer!  I had seen this book last week and meant to check whether I already owned it or not.  Of course, I totally forgot, so I just up and bought it because I figured it wouldn't hang around forever.  Turns out I don't own this particular one, but a slightly newer edition.  Well, no big deal.  I can either try to sell this on ebay or just re-donate it because it was only a buck.  Rescue Mission thrift, $1.00.

And remember--"What's new for tomorrow is at Singer today!"

I just realized that I saw two individual end tables this weekend that I totally would have bought if they had been pairs.  

I'm going to save the best for last, so here's what I got on Sunday.

4.  Dinner in a Dish!  Here's another Betty Crocker cookbook that I just had to have.  I've seen some recipes from this book on some of the foodie blogs I read, and it looks like there's a lot of hilarity inside.  I picked it up and told Hubs that I was only going to get it if A) the checkout lines weren't too bad and B) I found something else.  Savers, $1.00 (half-price day.)

4a:  Disappointment!  I have been on the lookout for one of those microwave turntables because my microwave is quite old and doesn't have one (it's a genuine Radar Range, and when you close the door, it's like closing a vault.)  So I was pleased as punch when I found one in a plastic bag on Savers' Wall O' Crap.  Unfortunately, it didn't work, so it's getting tossed.  Well, you win some, you lose some, right?  Plus, it was Half-Off day, so it was only $1.50, and there were two random spoons in the bag as well.  

Have you seen what those turntables go for on ebay?  Crazy.

Okay, now for my Big Find.  Well, big for me. A lot of you find really cool stuff all the time.  Me, not so much.  So I was quite pleased to bring this home:

5.  Cathrineholm!  I saw this out of the corner of my eye and immediately thought "That's not Cathrinholm, it's some Japanese knockoff, right?"  So I picked it up and nosir, it's the genuine article!  No chips, no dents, one small scratch on the side.  The lid and stand were taped to it and the burner was inside.  I did a little happy dance!  It looks kind of pea-green here, but it's actually avocado.

I guess you want to know how much I paid, huh?  Well, I'll tell you.

Are you sitting down?

Four bucks.

I know!!

Second happy dance!  And that's not even the best part!  The best part is that I managed to grab it before Douchebag Guy* got his grubby mitts on it!  I kept wanting to prance around, waving it in his face and singsong "I got it and you didn't!"

Yes, I'm a terrible, terrible person.  I'm not proud of myself.

And you can bet I've already posted this puppy on ebay!  Special thanks to the Hubster, who determined that I spelled the name wrong in my listing (I thought it was Catherineholm.  Turns out it's not.)

And while I was at it, I posted a couple of other things on ebay, including the patterns I got a couple of weeks ago.

*Douchebag Guy:  This is a guy who is always at the Goodwill, checking the value of things on ebay, scarfing up everything before anyone else can get to it. Clearly, he's a reseller and this is how he stocks his store.   I once stood behind him in line while he bought--literally--$429.83 worth of stuff.  At the Goodwill.  So you can imagine the sheer volume of stuff.  I had one item in my hand, and he didn't say "Why don't you go first?", as I would have done.  Hence his name.

Well, so kind of exciting, no?  This was the best week of thrifting I've had in quite some time.

Oh, wait.  I almost forgot.  Time for our 

Weekly Dose of WTF  Saw this at the Goodwill and at first I couldn't figure out what it was.  I think it's a monkey.  I always like when people leave the batteries in things like this.  Enjoy the video.  

What I Made Department:

What with one thing and another happening this week, I hardly had to do any cooking at all.  So I made

Renae's Taco Bake!  This recipe came from (I think) a Taste of Home cookbook.  It's basically Chili Mac, so nothing to get excited over.

Meanwhile, it was 50 degrees yesterday.  Today, they're calling for 6-10 inches of snow.  Sheesh.

Since I actually found cool stuff this weekend, I'm proudly linking up with Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/FarmThe Nifty Thrifty  and We Call It Junkin.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Thrifting Find. Singular. Plus an anniversary (of sorts)

Gotta admit, this was one of the worst weeks of thrifting that I've had lately.  Last week, I complained about the fact that despite a whole lot of incoming donations, the shelves were bare.  They weren't quite so bare this week.  In fact, one thrift had a crap-ton of Christmas stuff.  More even than they had during the actual Christmas season.

Of course, all of it was hideous.

Oddly, I came across not one, but two different coffee tables with drawers.  Unfortunately, both were in a condition that was lousy enough that I wasn't sure that I'd be able to restore either to decent shape.  So neither one came home with me.

Other than that, I didn't see anything that was the least bit tempting.  My one find of the day, as a matter of fact, wasn't even for me--it was for the Hubster.  So far, I've used the gift card he gave me for Christmas twice--both times for him!

And here's my sole purchase of the weekend:

1.  Blue Blown Glass Pitcher!  This may be the last piece of blue glass I get for the Hubster.  Seems he has an awful lot of it already.  My eye is automatically drawn to this color (as if you couldn't guess!), so my gut reaction is to buy it.  I know nothing about this, other than it's apparently hand-blown.  Goodwill, $4.00

What I made Department

I was kind of lazy in the kitchen this weekend.  

A:  Buffalo Chicken Barbecue!  This picture is a retread.  For some reason, it came out kind of dry this time.  Still delicious, though.  The recipe is here.

B:  Dr. Martin's Mix!   From The I Hate to Cook Book.  This picture is a retread as well.  See how lazy I was?

C:  World's Easiest Cole Slaw!  I'll include the recipe here since it's so brief:

1 16-oz (or thereabouts) bag of pre-shredded cole slaw mix.  I guess you could do your own, but that would be more trouble.

1C Miracle Whip.  The fat-free kind works very well in this recipe, surprisingly.  Don't use mayonnaise.

1/4C Sugar.

Mix Miracle Whip and sugar in a bowl.  Pour over the cabbage and toss well to coat.  Important:  Let this sit in the fridge overnight before you eat it.  If you eat it right away, it's nasty.

This recipe is supposed to be a clone of KFC Coleslaw.  I've never had The Colonel's cole slaw, so I can't vouch for its authenticity.  It sure is easy though, and good.  I've tried dozens of recipes in my life and this is the one I'm sticking with.

In other news.

It's my anniversary!  As of today, I am officially smoke-free for a whole year.

Go me.

Annnnnd, that's about it, kids.  Hopefully I'll have something better to post about next week (and I'm planning on slipping into a never-been-to thrift today), so keep your fingers crossed for me, will you?

Kind of ashamedly linking up with Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/FarmThe Nifty Thrifty  and We Call It Junkin.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Thrifting Finds #38: What is happening here??

We have a saying here in Maryland:  If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes.

Now I'm sure every area has a similar saying, and I'm sure everyone thinks their local weather is particularly variable, but the last month has just been crazy, weather-wise.  We've had snow, freezing rain, sleet, regular rain (a lot), wind, fog, bitter cold, and the week before Christmas, the temperature was 70.  What is happening here??

I'm grateful I don't live in say, Minnesota, where the temperature yesterday was -17F.  That's seventeen degrees below zero.   Not counting the wind chill.  Crazy.

Anyway, things have been cooking right along here at Fondue HQ.  Honey got her stitches taken out (just before Christmas, she had a little goober removed from her neck that turned out the be benign, thank goodness),  all the Christmas stuff has been put away, and I'm trying to get a start on de-cluttering Chez Fondue.  Let's see how long my resolve lasts.

Oh.  Remember the ceramic Christmas tree I got last week with the stupid birds?  Well, I found a local source for regular-shaped bulbs and replaced them.  They were more expensive than getting them from Amazon ($14.50 for 145 of them), but I supported a local business and the woman who sold them to me was amusing.  So I'm happy.

All the dire weather predictions this weekend made us trim our thrifting rounds a little.  Still, I came home with a few things that made me happy.  Before I start, though, here's a question for you:  since the last week of the year is when everyone makes their donations to Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. (for the tax deduction), shouldn't the stores be packed with stuff?  In my experience, everyplace we went had mostly bare shelves.  What's happening here??

Okay, let's go!

1.  Magazine holder!  Yeah, not very exciting, but I can always use another one of these.  Savers had two of them--one was $0.99 and the other was $1.99.  Guess which one I bought?

2.  Max Klein sewing box!  This will replace the one I currently have, which doesn't have the tray insert.  Consequently, everything is just rolling around in the bottom.  I don't know about your monitor, but this looks like a ghastly pea-green to me, but it's really quite avacado-y in real life.  Goodwill, $3.00.

3.  Me in My Kitchen!   Remember the copy of Your Money's Worth that I got a couple of weeks ago?  Well, I found three more volumes from the set at a Goodwill 40 miles away.  Who'd a thunk it?  I haven't really looked through this yet, but my hopes are high for it.  The other volumes I found were Crafts for Fun and Profit and Travel and Leisure.  Had I known that the Goodwill was having a 50% off day, I'd have bought the crafts book, but I didn't, so I, uh, didn't.  Goodwill, $1.31.  (P.S.  Notice the 10-cent price tag from somebody's garage sale.  Yeah, I hate when that happens.)

4.  Doll clothes patterns!  I spotted the Skipper pattern sticking out of a basket of patterns in the crafts section of a Goodwill.  This is not an area I generally look at.  But I picked it up and started rifling through to see if there were any more vintage patterns.  Well, you can see what I found.  One of them is for Miss Revlon and one is for Betsy McCall (I think) and I don't know the names on the other ones.  I got them thinking that they might be worth something on ebay to doll collectors.  Not sure if that's really the case, but at 75 cents a pop, it seemed worth taking a chance.  Goodwill, $0.75/ea.

Which reminds me.  I still have Mom's doll collection.  I should probably do something about that some day.

What I Made Department:

A:  More goop!  Moisturizing goop, that is.  Turns out it's pretty good stuff.  This time around, I used a different scent of baby lotion (Hubby likes it better) and somewhat less petroleum jelly, as I found it a little hard to work in the last time.

B:  Pea soup!  With smoked sausage.  Yeah the picture is kind of unfortunate, but I never claimed to be a photographer.  Suffice it to say that the soup tastes better than it looks.

C:  Roast loin of pork!  I decided we needed to start working on that bigass piece of pork we got last week, so this was the first meal from it.  Yeah, it should look browner and a whole lot better (and I'm not showing you the roasted potatoes that I ended up having to finish in the microwave), but like the pea soup, it tasted pretty darn good.

If there weren't so much candy in the house, I'd have made some peanut butter fudge, too.  I'll wait a little while before I start in on more candy making;  we'd like to continue fitting in our clothes.

Wait!  There's one more thing!

Redneck arm-farting dude!

This is not something I found at a thrift store;  it was brand-new on the shelf at Big Lots.  My question:  Who would buy this?    No, really, who?  I didn't look at the price. This sort of thing just makes me kind of sad.

And that's it, kids.  Linking up this week with Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm, The Nifty Thrifty  and We Call It Junkin