Monday, February 24, 2014

Thrifting Finds #45: The Streak is Over!

Well kiddos, this wasn't such a great week for thrifting around here.  Your ol' Uncle Veg got sick on Wednesday (another drippy, messy, snotty cold) and now The Hubster has it, so not only did we do hardly any thrifting at all, but Chez Fondue is now really nothing more than a petri dish of bacteria.

The odd thing is that in all our years together, Hubs and I have never shared a cold.  I have no idea what happened this time.

Anyway, we went out on Saturday just long enough to do the marketing and stop at a single Goodwill.  Unfortunately, the trip yielded nothing.  It was the last Saturday of the month and they were having a 50% off all clothing sale, so the place was mobbed.  I don't think I saw a single thing that was the least bit tempting.

Of course, I'm always thinking of you dear readers, so I snapped a single picture of something that well, just cried out to be photographed and preserved on the interwebz:

If you don't click to embiggen, you'll be sorry

What Is This?  The Girl Child also received this picture with the same question.  She was apparently as befuddled as I was.
So let's break this down and see if we can make some sense out of it.  It seems to be a poodle.  A poodle wearing shoes, a hat, and a rather dressy outfit (one doesn't wear marabou just anywhere, you know.)  Said poodle (who walks upright) looks to have been shopping, as evidenced by the shopping bags in her left hand.  Paw.  Whatever.
I see that she is also carrying a matching purse and a ball of...what?  Flowers?  Shiny crap?  What is that?
In conclusion, then, what we have is a well-dressed poodle who has been out on a shopping spree.

 Your homework:
1.  Why does this exist?

2.  Who thought it up?

And really, that's all I have for this week, I'm afraid.  Hopefully we'll both be feeling chipper next weekend and will be able to get out and find lots of cool stuff on which to report.  So stay tuned, okay?

Abashedly linking up with Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm, The Nifty Thrifty and We Call It Junkin.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Thrifting Finds #44: Another good week!

You know, we here at Fondue HQ (and by "we", I mean "me") are a generally easy-going sort.  Not quite glass-is-half-fullish, but more kind of goofily pleasant.

This weather, though, is turning me into a Grumpy Gus.  Enough already.

Yeah, I know it's useless to complain about the weather, but criminy, this is just getting on my nerves.  It's been a constant barrage of precipitation since early December, mixed in with just enough nice days to lull one into a false sense of security.  Last week (I don't remember the day, they're all a blur now...) we got 18 inches of snow.  Okay, that's not too bad, in the Grand Cosmic Scheme, but WHY ARE THE PILES OF SNOW TEN FEET HIGH????  I think there's some law of physics that's not being adhered to here.

Okay, enough ranting.  Thanks for sticking with me.

Anyway, it was a pretty good weekend at the thrifts, despite the weather.  We skipped a couple of our usual stops because I knew the parking lots were going to be nightmarish.  Two places were having President's Day sales.  The Goodwill had 50% off everything, and it turned into Hillbilly Day/Bring Your Inbred Children and Don't Watch Them Day.  It was kind of awful.  Hubby lasted about 2 minutes before he ran screaming out to the parking lot.  I lasted a little longer, but not much.  The people at Saver's were much better behaved, but there were so many of them that I was starting to get annoyed (and youall know how hard that is.)

Hmmm. I think I just ranted again.  See?  This weather is bringing out the worst in me.

So.  Let's get to the Thrift Finds!  And here I'd like to apologize for the quality of the photographs.  I don't know what happened or why they're all so terrible.  My phone seems to take either really good pictures or really horrid ones, and I can't figure out why it happens.

1.  Vacuum cleaner bags!  Yeah, I know these aren't very exciting, but a pack sets me back five bucks at the sewing machine/vacuum cleaner store.  I couldn't argue with .99 each.  Just to give this a kind of vintage slant, they fit my vacuum which is the same one Laura Petrie won on "Pay As You Go!" in the episode "Coast To Coast Big Mouth."  The last time Saver's had their half-off sale, it was advertised as clothes, bedding, and shoes only, but turned out they were discounting everything in the store.  Didn't happen this time, so .99/each.
By the way, why do sewing machines and vacuum cleaners seem to go together?

2.  Hot buns!  This is the Poppy Red version of the Avocado bun warmer I got a while back.  You know, the one that didn't work?  I took a chance on this one, and my luck improved; it got nice and hot.  Saver's, $4.00

3.  Holy Cwap, Another Cookbook?  So yeah, I found that I couldn't resist this.  I've only quickly flipped through it so I can't report on it yet, but Family Circle had a reputation for publishing some truly WTF recipes, so I'm hoping to find some good stuff in here.  Saver's, $1.99.

4.  Stretch Vase!  Fabulous, no?  I mean, come on--bask in its glory.  Bask!  This is a big 'un, too--22 inches.  Here's what it looks like in context:

I spotted this baby the moment I walked into the Goodwill.   As gracefully as a gazelle, I sprinted over to the shelf and grabbed it.  I actually said "Snatch!" out loud as I did.  Did the fact that there was a $12.50(!!) price tag on it dampen my joy?  It did not--I have a gift card!  So yeah, I was a happy boy.

Which brings up a point (and I feel another rant coming on):  what is UP with the Goodwill pricing lately?  One of our usual stops seems to have a new pricing person on staff, a person who is apparently convinced that they are reselling gold.  And now another one is suffering from the same disease.  I realize it's all for charity, but come on.  One GW actually had a stack of disposable plastic plates from microwave frozen dinners.  Maybe 40 in the stack?  I didn't count.  Price:  10 bucks.

I know!

In Other News Department:

It's February and I finally got my Christmas present from Hubby!  Okay, let me explain:  I asked for a new cordless drill and flashlight, but I would only let him get one for a price that I thought was reasonable.  Ended up not finding anything, so Hubs gave me a gift card instead.  I bought a drill but couldn't find a rechargeable flashlight that I liked.  They I stumbled across a battery store that would rebuild the non-replaceable batteries from my old drill/flashlight. Great!  I returned the drill I bought and had the batteries rebuilt.  It was kind of expensive, but by doing so I could save not only the drill and flashlight, but also the sander, saber saw, and circular saw that was part of the set.

To make a long story longer, flash forward two weeks to discover that the rebuilt batteries didn't work.  Well, they worked, actually, they just wouldn't recharge.  So I took 'em back.  Bummer.  

There's a bright spot, though:  by sheer accident, I discovered a sale on a drill/flashlight combo that was not only what I wanted, but cheap, too.  So we went to the store and got the set.  I also wanted to get a spare battery, but the difference between the battery alone and the whole set was only five bucks, so I now have a spare drill, flashlight, and charger in stock.  Plus, they gave me a really nice tape measure for free!

Not my picture

I finished our income taxes a couple of weeks ago and when I went to print them out discovered that my printer didn't want to work.  It's always been a little touchy.  After some frustrating time, I managed to get the WiFi back on line and when I clicked Print, everything seemed to work well--except the pages were all blank!  Plenty of ink, so that's not the problem.  Hmmm.  Let me get out the manual and see if i can fix it.

Oh that's right--there is no manual.  You have to read it on the computer.  Well let me tell you, it was the Most.  Incomprehensible.  Manual.  Ever.  Nothing it said to do worked, and half of what it said to do didn't give a clue about to how to do it.  So out the window it went.  Luckily, it didn't cost me anything, as I got it with points from my credit card.

So I decided to go back to a laser printer and the last one I had was a Samsung and I liked it, so that's what I got.

Not my picture.

Now, I could have gotten it for $134.85 from a big online place, or I could get it for $70.00 refurbished from another online place.  I love refurbished stuff because it means someone has actually looked at it and fixed it.  So I went the refurb route and when the site invited me to type in a code to get an additional ten dollars off my order, I did not refuse!  Free shipping? Yes, please!

An apology!

If you sent me a comment last week and it didn't get published, please don't take it personally:  I'm just a jughead.  

What happened was, I selected a bunch of comments to post but I accidentally clicked Delete instead.  I couldn't figure out how to get them back, so they're gone.  I am fairly sure I'm stupid enough to do this again.  Still, I will endeavor not to and in the meantime, please accept my sincere apologies.

All righty.  This post is already too long, so I'm not going to bother posting what I made this weekend (trust me, it was nothing exciting anyway.)

It was a pretty good week, so I'm linking up with Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farmand We Call It Junkin.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Thrifting Finds #43: A Better Week!

We knew this weekend wasn't going to yield its typical thrifting.  My brother invited us to dinner on Sunday, so our usual Sunday rounds weren't going to happen.  Still, I had planned to drop in to the Goodwill Where We Never Find Anything (except a couple of cool lamps) and the GW in Frederick that we don't get to often.  Not much for a Sunday, but better than nothing.

On Saturday, we stopped in at our local GW, our "usual" Saturday GW, and both branches of the Rescue Mission Thrift (I wanted to get in as many stops as I could since I knew Sunday would be skimpy.)  So overall, we covered 6 thrifts this weekend, which isn't too bad.  What's even better, is that I actually found some stuff!

Want to see what I got?  Well, let's start with this

1. Piece of Avocado deliciousness!  Yessir, it's a mint, still-sealed Rubbermaid Message Center in lovely avocado!  Even still has the little packet of pushpins inside.  Now, this is not really my style, and definitely not my color, so I think I'm going to flip this on the 'bay.  Surely there's someone out there with a Brady Bunch-style kitchen who would be willing to shell out big bucks buy something as cool as this.  Rescue Mission Thrift, $2.00
(I also got a big serving spoon there for a quarter, but didn't take a picture of it.  Not taking pictures became a habit with me, as you'll see in a moment.)

2.   Rubbermaid Bread Keeper!  I've been looking for a Tupperware one but there are none to be found, so I picked this up since it was there.  Just plan on using it to keep bread in the freezer, since it seems to dry out if I freeze it in just the bag.  Goodwill, $2.00

3.  DVD Recorder!  My DVD recorder has been making a noise like a Diesel truck lately, so I figured it was time to replace it.  I wanted a recorder, not just a player, in case we ever want to record anything.  Okay, so we haven't recorded anything at all in years, but you never know.  They're expensive new, so I thought I'd take a chance at the GW.  The first one I saw was 20 bucks and didn't have the remote control.  I hemmed and hawed a little, but just a little.  Then I decided to go through the rest of the pile and see if there was another one.  Well, lo and behold, there was, and it had the cord and the remote.  Best part?  The price was only 10 bucks.  Of course, I had no idea if it would work or not, but I figured for the price, it was worth taking a chance.  I hooked it up and it does indeed work.  It's not great, and some buttons on the remote are kind of touchy, but it's definitely good enough until something better comes along. I looked up some reviews from the past (they don't make it any more), and some of them are absolutely scathing.  Still, for the price, it's fine.  Goodwill, $10.00

4.  Extremely Cool Coffee Pot!  This wasn't a thrift find (they never have cool percolators in the thrifts), but an ebay purchase.  Isn't it the coolest style?  Isn't it the ugliest color?  Do not adjust your monitor--it really is that ugly barf green/yellow.  Once the weather warms up, I plan on spray painting it a lovely off-white.  This is kind of an interesting design, as the percolator started out life as a corn popper.  See the base?  Yeah, that's a popcorn popper with a clear tank glued to the top.  Thrifty engineering, Chilton!  Oh, and it makes coffee that's actually hot, so I'm loving it.  Most other coffee makers seem to make lukewarm coffee.  I can't drink it unless it's scalding.

What I Made This Weekend Department

Not my picture
A:  Chili!  Haven't tasted it yet, but Hubby reports that it was good.  Not as good as his own, but good.  I don't think I've ever made chili before, so I wasn't confident that it would be edible at all.

Not my picture

B:  Cornbread!  To go with the chili, of course.  Hubby also reported that it was good.  It was a mix I got from Aldi.

Nope, this one's not mine, either.

C:  Chicken Pot Pie!  Haven't even baked it yet, so have no idea how it is.  Okay, I've made this hundreds of times before, so pretty sure it'll be at least somewhat better than meh.

In Other News Department:

Don't you love Walgreen's?  Heaven knows their regular prices are nothing to write home about, but they sure do know how to do a sale.  Between sales, coupons, and Register Cash, I got two big bottles of Scope for $1.50 each (regular price is like $4.79) and two bottles of Hubby's Nivea Shower Gel for $2.50 each (regular price $5.29 each.) Then I used the coupon for a free jar of Noxzema ($4.99.)  Plus, I got 2000 bonus points (worth $2.00) on my card!  After ringing me up, the cashier said "Nice job!"

Since I actually found some good stuff this week, I am proudly linking up with Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farmand We Call It Junkin.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Thrifting Finds #42: The Embarrassing one!

Because there's so little to report.

Yeah, so remember how I complained last week that thrifting wasn't so good?  Seems it happened again.

Anyone surprised?  It's not that the stores weren't stocked.  They all had plenty of stuff, just none of it worth purchasing.

Well, except for that dining room set I would have totally bought if I actually needed one.  But I don't, so I didn't.

Heck, there wasn't even anything WTF-enough to take a picture of.

Hopefully, next week will be better.  If we don't get snowed in.  We're supposed to get snow today (yesterday it was 55 degrees), maybe some more on Wednesday, and again on Saturday.  It's no wonder I'm in a grumpy mood.  Add to that the fact that sometime last night we lost our interwebz (again), phone, and TV and, well, my typically sweet personality is kind of sour today.

Anyway, here's what I got.  You ready?

1.  Glade!  Yeah, it's a Glade scented oil warmer.  With a fan.  Funny story:  I emailed SC Johnson (a family company) asking them if they still made the warmer with the fan.  Got a very nice reply saying no, but they now make a similar item (that switches back and forth between two different scents), and they're sure I'd like the new one so they're sending me a coupon.  I was expecting a dollar-off coupon, but what they sent me was a coupon for a FREE warmer.  Wasn't that nice?  Just goes to show that if you have a question, just email the company and see what happens.  Anyhoo, I saw this and thought I'd get it as a backup.  Rescue Mission Thrift. $4.00  (kind of pricey, I think, but the lady there was really nice, so what the heck?)

In other news:
The ebay auctions for the Cathrineholm fondue pot, the vintage doll clothes patterns and the two random dolls ended.  What a debacle.  The patterns auction went okay but when I looked at the other two, the Cathrineholm winner was in Japan and the doll winner was in Italy!  I was pretty sure I had specified that I don't ship overseas, and was particularly panicked because ebay was reporting that shipping for both items would have been FREE!  WTF, ebay?  So I immediately tried to cancel both of the auctions.  That didn't work, but it all came out okay in the end as both winning bidders had shipping addresses in the US.  I guess they have someone here who resends items.  And then suddenly, the proper shipping charges showed up.
When did ebay get to be so hard?  Years ago I sold stuff fairly regularly and it was always pretty easy.  Now everything seems harder than it needs to be, and they charge a fee based on shipping as well as the final price.  And let's not talk about the Pay Pal fees, either.  I'm going to investigate the whole "pay for shipping and print labels online" thing, as that may save me some steps.

See?  Told you I was in a bad mood!

But they say you should jump back on that horse, so I'm getting a few other things ready to list this week.  I've got too much stuff in the house and it's time to start getting rid of some.  Hopefully I'll make a little profit but I've got a bunch of things I have no idea what I paid for, so heaven only knows.  At least if I can free up some room in the house I'll be happy.

What I made department:

A:  Tater Tot Casserole!  Hubby actually requested this, so I made it.  I think it was the first time he ever asked for a specific dish.  Usually, the conversation goes like this:

Me:  Anything in particular you want for dinner next week?

Hubster:  Oh, whatever.

So when he asked for this, I got on it right away!  The picture, by the way is from Caker Cooking, and if you haven't checked out Brian's site, you totally should.

B.  Italian Wedding Soup!  There are meatballs in it, they're just sunk to the bottom.  This was the first time I've ever made this (I don't think I've ever eaten it before), so I'm not quite sure how it came out.  I tasted a little bit last night and it seemed kind of meh, but soup is often better the next day, so we'll see when we have it tonight.

And that's all the news that fits, kiddos.  Unless of course you want to hear how the power supply for my netbook died, or how I blew out the knee in a pair of jeans, or how the DVD player is acting up....

Should I even bother linking up at all?  Ah, what the hay--Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farmand We Call It Junkin.