16 Tons

In case you haven’t noticed, our new engrossing obsession is the ninety-nine cent room at Goodwill.  We haven’t done much else for WEEKS.  I have always said it is the thrill of the hunt that keeps rabid collectors in the game.  It isn’t what you already have that sets your little heart a-racing, it’s what MIGHT be out there waiting for you!  Luckily, along with the occasional goody for ourselves, the bins throw out plenty of blog fodder.  The only problem with this whole project, is that both of us find ourselves rubbing our aching shoulders and feeling like we have tossed well over 16 tons into the next bin.  Maybe next week we will take up singing while we do it.  Just so you have my ear worm, here is my favorite version of 16 Tons.

We have no idea what major health condition this cow is suffering from, but we are really worried:

heavenly-cowThis makes Mad Cow Disease look tame, doesn’t it?  Not only did its head forget to grow along with its body, but it is being photobombed by a comet on its side.  We refused to rescue this one and add it to the shelf to keep it from breaking.  We are hoping it died a merciful death … quickly.

Oh, the ’70s were bad:

straight-up-huggy-bear-pimp-hatAnd don’t forget to imagine it with the midi-coat and boots.  No matter how hard you tried with this, you still ended up looking like Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch.  I feel bad that I don’t have a photo for you, but trust me, the pimp look just doesn’t work.  It’s too bad, because the fabric on this hat is miraculous stuff.  Beautifully soft, and probably pretty warm, too.

While we are here, check out this coat:

vintage-mod-coatNot sure if this is late ’60s or early ’70s, but that lining is a real eye-opener.  At least you only blinded yourself with this coat, but that only works if you are into masochism.

If self-torture doesn’t work, we found this:

oh-my!-feather-love-cuffsThe box was empty, so it makes you wonder if someone was too embarrassed by the box and still wanted to surprise their sweetie, or if the donor just wanted to start odd conversations in the back of Goodwill.  ????  One never knows.

Speaking of brain teasers, this one had us scratching our heads:

cat-bagSo did a cat COME with the bag?  Are you supposed to put your current cat in the bag?  Are you supposed to draw up the drawstring nice and tight once the cat is in the bag?  When do you let the cat out of the bag?  I am pretty sure my feline would not be the least “purrrrfectly content” anywhere within a mile radius of said cat bag.  This was probably not the best seller at the local pet shop ever.

I found this earlier this week, when I made a foray to the bins without my partner in crime.  Ran into another friend and her teenage daughter there.  I tried to get her to purchase this skirt.  She gave me a dirty look:

20170221_120027.jpgI get that you might have yarn scraps to use up, but please, just burn them.  Not only is it obscenely short, it is obscenely ugly.  I can’t think of any reason that anyone would have ever thought this to be good for anything.  The only word for it is UGH.

Maybe you could pair the skirt with these:

oh-those-golden-slippersI like shiny things just as much as anyone, but I draw the line at golden snow boots.  Actually, I would bet that they wouldn’t even be good for snow, so they are just useless unless you want to turn your red coat inside out and be blinding from top to bottom.  Might as well add the hat and skirt too.  OMG, I just terrified myself.

OK, after all that, you deserve something cute.  How about this adorable tea towel:

painted-day-of-the-week-towelThe design was only painted on, so not as good as it could be, and it was sadly stained, so Deb was not forced to rescue the sweet little dog in the corner and take it home.  We only found the one towel, so the rest of the days of the week were missing.  Looks like this was well-loved and well-used, which is actually the happiest thing for it.

This was kind of fun, too:

barbie-gameA vintage Barbie game.  This one saved me from myself by missing pieces.  I am so bad about dragging something home because it is “only” 99¢.  I just love the older graphics, and the ones that are even older yet are even better, but I am waiting for a vintage Queen of the Prom game to show up.  I just know for 99¢, it will happen!

And for our final head-scratcher of the week (sounds like we have fleas, doesn’t it?):

sky-portopottieWe have the flying port-a-potty.  We giggled for 10 minutes after seeing this.  The building below it is under construction, so we assumed they were moving it up the roof, so no one had to march down five stories to use the facilities, but it sure looked odd going up.  Also I am worried about having to clean it.  Will it fly again when they need to pump it out, or do they raise the truck up there, too?  We were also hoping they checked the occupancy before the crane took off.  Otherwise it might have been something straight out of a bad comedy movie.  It could inspire a lifelong fear of flying toilets!

I am going to call it quits for this week, as we had a tiny bit of snow, and for some reason our power keeps flickering.  You would think it was a blizzard instead of a half an inch of light white stuff.  Till next week.Save





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Is it Really February?

Of course, even discussing our unseasonable weather will curse us with a subzero blizzard but, I can’t help but notice that we are having April-like weather and temperatures.  As I write this at 2 pm, two days after Valentine’s Day, it’s 70º F outside.  A friend told me her iris are growing.  I gave my apple tree a hard stare and told its buds to stay tight.  We all love this weather, but it plays hell with our vegetation.  That’s why when you drive 20 miles out of town, all you see is brown grass, with an occasional cottonwood tree next to a creek.  The Pawnee Grasslands are a prime example of what eastern Colorado naturally looks like.

But I digress.  We have been mining the bins to good effect for weeks now.  It’s getting to the point that we might need two carts if I’m not careful.  And I’m not the only one:


As full as this cart is, we see plenty that are piled even higher.  If you find a good bin, you can fill a cart in a hurry.  Over the last month, I’ve found my niece three cashmere sweaters, clothing from The Loft, and a Vera Wang dress with its tags still on.  It’s hard to pass on those kinds of bargains.

But digging in the bins is not all wine and roses:


The three worst things in bins are: hangers, electrical cords, and yarn.  I’ve been known to pull out my Swiss army knife and cut the cord, literally.  Kathy wanted that white fence in the front of this mess.  It took a bit of finagling to untangle this snag of frustration, but she did it.  Things occasionally get so tortuous that it takes both of us to heave the enormous nexus of evil into the next bin over so we can ignore it and keep digging.  I frequently rub my shoulder Friday evening wondering why it hurts, and then remember—oh yeah, bins.

It’s kind of late now, but I should warn you there is a clown later on.  I’m not showing it next because I want to build tension.  ;- )

When you come down to it, there are things just as bad as clowns, like this lamp:


Gosh, I hope this is a Christmas decoration so it’s only out for a month, max, instead of all year long!  If this were my night-light, I would say, “turn on the dark”.  We didn’t pick Grandma up to see if she stands on her feet, or lies in a coffin when in use.

This is a little girl’s dress (we feel the need to say that out loud):


Do you know how hard it is to make an ugly little girl’s dress?  This might be the only one we’ve seen in a year.  Usually, those dresses are so cute that we wish we knew an eight-year-old to give them to.  Seriously, this is only fit for a Halloween costume or the rag bin.

I love boxes:

inlaid-box  inlaid-box-marks

But, having said that, I really like vintage ones.  This was really hard to leave behind as it is inlaid wood from Italy.  Such a bargain, too, at 99¢.  Since I didn’t drag it home, we put it on the shelf near the checkout where people stack the nice things they find rolling around in the bins.  Sort of a safe place, if you will.  It was gone the next time we came, so someone liked it.

I saw this sweet vintage baby doll and loved its dress:


I bought it because I think the dress will sell on Etsy. The doll, on the other hand:


We nicknamed her Devil Doll.  Those eyes are straight out of The Exorcist!  You can’t see it in this picture, but her hair went straight up six inches in the back, sort of like you-know-who in the wind.  I didn’t know what to do with her besides burying her in my backyard in sanctified ground.  Rather than going to all the trouble of buying holy water and praying, I decided to clean her up:


That white film came off her glass eyes at the cost of a few eye lashes.  She still is kind of stained, even after scrubbing, but I did get her hair clean and combed—a major accomplishment.  Last week I found that little dress in the bins, so she is all ready to go back out into the world better than I found her.  Besides the cute green dress in the first picture, she had one of those Carters undershirts on with snaps on cloth tabs.  I can remember those from my own childhood, lo those many years ago.  It’s a long shot, but if any of you want her, she’s yours for the shipping.  I feel for well-loved dollies, but there isn’t room in my house for things I don’t love.

Okay, bring in the clown:


I found his face particularly disturbing.  B.H. is now calling me a clown racist—he likes the eyes.  What is even more disturbing is that some well-meaning crafter made him!  We can only hope that she didn’t give him to an innocent child!  Well, he’s in the bins, and hopefully he ends up where he ultimately belongs, in the landfill.

Congratulations to Carol S. for winning the drawing for “Crap at my Parents’ House”.  Hope you get many laughs from it and pass it on to someone who needs it.

Thanks for reading.  As always, don’t forget our Facebook and Pinterest pages.



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Love is in the Air

Love is in the air, or is that dust?  As the wind is starting its annual March thing a little early, I am going with dust, or mag chloride, or something.  What ever it is, it’s making me sneeze!  I get a little testy around this time of year, as the allergies are already starting, so forgive me if I am less than romantic this time around.  Then again, it might have something to do with the poor taste of the Valentine gifts that we have rounded up this year.

Let’s start with the ubiquitous “Love Monkey”:

i-kind-of-feel-sorry-for-himWhat is it about monkeys that make folks at the gift-giving industry think of love?  We seem to come up with a monkey every year, so I know they make them constantly.  I am hoping they are not trying to point out that all men are apes, and need love to keep them in line.  Speaking for ourselves, our hubbies are waaaaaay better than that.  At least they always have the good taste to pass right by the primates, and pick out a better gift.

Of course they are both rather into superheroes, so we are hoping they don’t spot this:

put-him-in-the-moodHoly Cup Size, Batman, it’s a nightie!  I suppose the woman who wore this, was desperate to get her fella’s nose out of the latest comic book, but I think there had better have been a mask involved too.  Most guys would rather go for Catwoman anyway.  Whatever … it obviously didn’t work, as it made the bins at Goodwill.  Maybe the next gal will have more than ninety-nine cents worth of luck with it.

Now we actually rather liked this:

valentine-hankySeriously, if my hubby gave me this and a nice card, I would be delighted.  Now, all you guys shopping for monkeys had better take note.  This is cheaper, and cute as can be.  We are pretty sure it was a charming Valentine gift for another lady in the past, but we don’t mine sharing, just more love to go around.

I know flowers are super expensive this time of year, for no good reason other than they can, but this is ridiculous:

2017-02-08-14.46.51.jpg.jpgHe just sent a photo of roses?  I guess they don’t wilt, and they probably cost a whole lot less, but we are betting this guy got the cold shoulder that evening.  I just don’t see this working out for anyone, so don’t cheap out this way.

Of course, this amphibian might not be the way to go either:


He had better turn into a heck of a prince, complete with a yacht and a summer home in Spain, if he wants my smooch.  He isn’t even so homely he passes into cute.  Just a sad little frog with a ruffled collar.  The wreath would probably be better off without him.

This last item really did it for us:

box-of-chocolateThis is the top of a lovely chocolate box, and here is the side to prove this rather large tin receptacle was full of the food of the gods:

chocolate-box-labelIt does say chocolates.  Kind of hard to read, but the sale was busy.  This box was well over 12 inches long and 4 inches tall.  That is my kind of box.  And back then, they didn’t cheap out and fill it with cardboard to make it look good.  It was obviously a pretty special gift to come in such a lovely tin.  Heck, we would take the empty tin, that is how weird we are.

Guys, take note: it really is the thought that counts, so take some time, pick something special, and I bet that gal will melt.  Actually, ladies, this goes for you too; who says the fellas have to do all the work!

Don’t forget to enter the contest from last week for the book give-a-way.  We will be doing the drawing on Valentine’s Day.  There aren’t too many entries yet, so make sure to leave a comment or a like, here or on Facebook under last week’s post!  Hope your Valentine is special!





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Book Review: Crap at my Parents’ House

It’s February and time for some fun.  We were shopping at ARC and saw this book:

Crap at my parent's house

What an awesome title, plus it was half-off!  It seemed right up our alley since we comment on this stuff ALL THE TIME.  After reading it, we know that our suspicions of where our “finds” come from were right!

The author, Joel Dovev, writes in the introduction that “I can’t be the only one who’s a little confused (and somewhat appalled) by parental taste in decorating”.  He created a website, which is now a Tumblr blog, CrapAtMyParentsHouse and started posting pictures.  Then people submitted pictures of their own, and, lucky for us, he ended up writing a book.  He also has a Facebook page, if you are interested.

We both found this book wicked funny.  Some of the offerings are not safe for work, but most of it is PG at worst.  There are nine chapters covering crap in every room in the house.  I’ve selected a few of my favorites; I hope you find one that tickles your funny bone.  At the bottom of the post, you can find out how to enter a contest to win this book.  I’ll add a warning that there are a couple of truly scary clowns in the book which I didn’t include in the post.

First up:


Just goes to show how something that should be wholesome can have a dark side, too.

I have never seen one of these faucets:


And, I never want to!  Even without the visual of vomit, it’s a scary thing.

I have to admit that this looks familiar:


When all five of us kids, plus spouses, grandkids, and great-grandkids visit my parents, the hallway can look like this.  We were all trained to take our shoes off at the door—do we look like we are made of money?!

This one is a little naughty.  I’ll leave some space so you can sneak up on it if you’re at work:






What in the wide world of sports is going on here?


If you like raccoons, why not enjoy the ones outside that get into your garbage, ponds, and gardens?  If you hate raccoons, why would you want one in your house, especially as decor?

It takes a special Raggedy Ann or Andy to engage my interest.  I’m just not into them:


I’m sure that sleeping in this room would give me nightmares.  My heart goes out to the courageous dog in the middle of this dustbin of dolls.

I’ve never really understood why you can’t just have a plain extra roll of TP near your toilet:

mrs-grimaceeTo my jaundiced eye, a plain roll of TP is less objectionable than this.

The mantel of male icons:

mantel-from-hellAlthough I’m not sure Pee Wee and Woody are quite in Jesus and Elvis’s league.

Wow, you could write a story about the guy in this picture:


Or a song: Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys!

Oh, the irony:


I wrote this post on Groundhog Day.  Poor Phil wouldn’t be amused by this!  Maybe this is the stick they use to make him come out of his burrow.

This looks familiar:


My parents’ house is practically empty of the crap found in this book; my in-laws’ home, on the other hand, was chock-full of this stuff.  This drawer made BH and me laugh out loud.  There was another picture of an oven full of empty pop cans that made us think of the time we turned on the oven in his parents’ house only to find that they stored newspapers in there!

So, if you’re interested in the drawing for this snarky book, please leave a comment here, like this post, or make a comment on our Facebook page.  We’ll hold the drawing February 14th at 6pm MST as our Valentine to you.  I’m happy to ship this book anywhere, so don’t be shy about entering.


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Not Quite Seasonal

Life is still a bit on the odd side for me right now, but my mom is doing better.  She is in a long-term care facility for the next month or so, and the facility is in the next town over.  That means it takes a couple of hours to drive down, sit with her a while and come home.  She is making progress and they have a plan to get her home again, but it will take a while.  It wouldn’t be so bad, but there is no thrift store on the way there, so it is a boring highway drive!  I am just thankful she is doing better, and I want to thank all our readers who sent good thoughts her way.  I am also working in her bead store off and on when my dad can’t do it, so time management is not my best skill right now.  That means I crank out a blog post in any little bit of spare time I have.  Our internet is spotty right now as well.  Sheesh, 2017, can you fix yourself?  On the bright side, we still make time to go dig in the bins every Friday.  I need a break, and this is retail therapy at its finest.

The only problem with bin mining is that you get your stuff just a little bit behind the times.  I apologize in advance for the belated Christmas stuff dotting this post!

So first off, we have the pink yarn bomb tree:

pink-yarn-christmas-treeAt first we thought it was just a nice big pink cone of yarn, and as I have been knitting some “slightly” political hats, I was pleased to find it.  Then, we kept pulling and this came out.  Another in a long line of unlicensed crafting fails.  I guess if it had been wound better, and just had the sequins, we could have given it a pass, but what is the deal with the random blue yarn?  It’s like they stood back, decided it needed something else, and that was the ONLY thing left in their craft stash, so it just had to do.  I am pretty sure I could have come up with a much better use for a ball of pink yarn.

This one made us laugh:

nativity-cookie-kitSeriously?  A gingerbread nativity?  I know darn well, if these were in my house, some joker would come along and eat the baby Jesus on a regular basis.  And who wouldn’t have massive guilt trips when you bit off the Virgin Mary’s head?  Lapsed Catholics would probably need therapy for years for that one.

We actually liked this sparkly little fellow:

sequin-santaWe decided he really was a “jolly old elf”, and if our collective trees didn’t groan under the weight of too many ornaments, we might have brought him home.

Here is another “craft fail”:

yardstick-corksSo what is the deal with wine corks glued to a yardstick?  Is it supposed to be decorative?  A long skinny bulletin board?  If so, do you hang it vertically or horizontally?  The only positive thing about this one, is that the gathering of materials had to be delicious.  Well, maybe not so much the yardstick, but those corks sure were fun to amass.

Here is another yarn craft gone terribly awry:

crochet-turtleWhen we first pulled it out, we thought it might have been a hat or seat cushion adorned in the colors of our local university, but then we saw the teeny tiny head.  I think this turtle has some real anatomical problems, beyond the scary color scheme.  With a brain that small, he probably was just fine with being USED as a seat cushion.  Maybe the crafter was just running really low on yarn, and that is all that was left in the skein, but I think a trip to the store might have been in order.  Of course, I am not a sure a larger head would have made any difference in our decision to ridicule this tortoise, but you never know.

Here we have another unfortunate duo:

1980s-geese-are-looking-for-new-homesMother Goose, and her not-too-bright spouse.  At least we didn’t think they looked too with it.  They just have that dopey hick look to them.  Ma Goose at least looks a little on the industrious side, as she is equipped with her apron and hat, and is ready to face the work to be done in the kitchen.  Pa just looks ready for a nap.  We also have to give Ma credit, as just after Deb took this photo she jumped off the side of the box and into our bin of treasures that we were pushing around, as they were out of carts that day:

hey-wait-we-dont-want-youNice try.  We returned her to her estranged husband.

Hope the beginning of your year is doing way better than mine, and they will all improve!  If not, you can always join us here, or on Facebook for a laugh or a smile!Save


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Another Week Mining the Bins

We’ve been having trouble with a mouse, who we named “Brain“.  Thank goodness, we haven’t found that there is a Pinky, yet.  Brain would not get into one of our live traps, and we have five different kinds; they were all out and loaded with peanut butter and dog food.  We did finally catch him by starving him out, but afterwards, while looking in a drawer of kitchen linens, I found evidence of mousey invasion.  ICK!!  So, I had to take the kitchen linens and wash them with bleach, which is a chore.  But, I also had a lot of vintage linens in the same drawer that couldn’t be washed in the washer or dried in the dryer.  They had to be washed by hand in a weak bleach solution, hung on the clothesline (it was only 39ºF), and then ironed dry.  I spent about six hours doing this and now have even more sympathy for the person doing the washing by hand, all the time.  It also does unspeakable things to your hands.

In comparison, writing a blog post is a walk in the park.  This is a regular post, but keep an eye peeled (ouch!) for a book review and giveaway post in a couple of weeks.

The bins at Goodwill are the gift that keeps on giving.  Where else could you find this?

one-of-us-almost-bought-this   wreath-close-up

Vintage plastic Christmas greenery evokes an unusual positive response from me.  I know most people don’t find it amusing, but I have quite a bit of it, usually associated with those fabric elves or wind chimes.  As you can see in this picture, this wreath was in our cart before I came to my senses and sternly told myself that a picture would be good enough!  It’s a lot harder to make that argument when the treasure only costs 99¢.  I really liked the plastic snowmen, too.  Thank goodness, it was gone the next week; I probably couldn’t have held out again.

I’m not sure any of you remember these:

aerobics-album   aeroobics-album-liner

I had Jane Fonda’s aerobics album.  It was such a novel idea to exercise at your convenience in the privacy of your house.  I have to say that there is a problem with playing a record and doing aerobics.  I was very enthusiastic and did lots of jumping around which made my record skip—a lot.  You had to stop and move the arm back to wherever it should have been and then try to remember what you were doing.  I’m sure that things would have gone a little more smoothly, if I kept my record player on a sturdy piece of furniture and not the floor.

We liked the clean lines of this vintage purse:

classy-purse   classy-interior

I wonder what was wrong with it?  It was in pristine condition so obviously she didn’t love it.  We have sooo many purses that we left it behind to be snatched up by someone who would use it.

When this top was first spotted in a bin, we thought it was a ’70s towel:

terry-cloth-mod-shirt  terry-cloth-close-up

After we got it pulled out, we were surprised to see a shirt!  The fabric is still scary, but if it were the world’s shortest beach cover up, at least you wouldn’t have to face it every day like a towel.  OMG, the ’70s have a lot to answer for.

Obviously someone decided to de-seventies their house because we found this, too:


What were they thinking!?  Even in the ’70s this drapery panel would have made people say, “Whoa!”  Again, the only sane use would be for a safety vest, or maybe a pillow for a narcoleptic.  The colors are much too loud to allow any sleep in its vicinity.  Thank goodness there was only one panel; two might have caused a meltdown in your two favorite thrifters.

It’s so sad when crafts fail:


I would think that even an eight-year-old My-Little-Pony-loving girl would quail at this bedroom decoration.  BH mentions that these are Twilight Sparkle colors.  It was about three feet tall before adding in the yarn it hung from.  I’m not sure why the balloon was created by using strips of unadorned plastic canvas, but there you are.  Hopefully, some well-adjusted shopper walked this over to the trash can and made a deposit.  We obviously couldn’t after taking its picture.



This dolly in a pail was disturbing when dragged upwards from the depths of a bin.  It’s perilously close to a clown, so it gave me the heebie-jeebies.

Thanks for visiting the blog this week.  Don’t forget our Facebook page which has different finds, usually good ones, and our Pinterest pages.


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Winter Blahs

Ugh.  The holidays are over and now that snow is just wet mushy slop that gets tracked into the house.  On top of that we had a health scare with my mother.  She is still in intensive care, but on the road to recovery.  Sigh …  How many days till spring?  As I am rather busy right now (We are still having to do inventory in my mom’s shop.  She has a bead store.  How many beads are in there?  Don’t ask!), this will be a short, not-so-sweet post.

I love tatting—to the point of even teaching myself to do needle tatting.  Still haven’t learned with a shuttle, but one of these days I will find someone who knows how to do that and can show me, BUT no matter how much I love it, this stuff stayed put:tit-for-tatUnless you are using this as trim on your safety vest, this has no good use.  That yellow could blind you, if you look at it too long, and who knows what inspired that Pepto-Bismol pink.  Even I was not tempted to rescue this entire bag for 99 cents.  Some things are just better left alone.

Now, for some reason this item rather amused us:

old-hair-dryer-caseEveryone needs a pink, egg-shaped, wig holder.  Can’t you just see that ’70s jet-setting mama toting this along with her pink Samsonite luggage through the airport?  I went on a school trip once with a guy who was saddled with that same luggage, as his dad was on a business trip.  If I remember right, he spent the whole trip trying to carry someone else’s  luggage, and get them to carry his.

This fabric might have come from the same attic as the wig holder:

mod-printThis should have never made it out of the attic, closet, or whatever.  No muumuu would be safe made of this stuff.  It could cause traffic accidents at 100 paces.  I have spent some quality time squinting at it, to see if it would be better in different colors, but I really don’t think so.  Vintage or not, the rag bag is the only spot for it.

This poor fellow crawled out of the bins too:

got-those-doggy-bluesWe aren’t sure if he’s a fox, a squirrel, a long-tailed bunny or a whatsis.  About all we can say on his behalf is that he is green and furry.  Come to think of it, that in itself is pretty darn scary.  If the exterminator told you the house was infested with green and furry, you would move immediately.  He really is a tiny bit cute, but we just don’t know what to call him.

Oh no, the unlicensed crafter has struck again:

lepurchan-with-his-bunniesI am going to have to be fair and guess this was a commercial pattern or kit, but that means there are more folks responsible for this.  Really, it’s not cute; it’s not really very Hummel-y looking, and that lace has got to go.  Those poor bunnies are probably spending all their time trying to make a break for it, and go off to a better-looking owner.

Next up a couple of not-so-horrible travel souvenirs:

pictures-running-the-gamut-from-a-to-zThe paper cutting on the right is pretty amazing.  I am not sure what you do with it, but it is intriguing.  The psuedo-tiki beach photo is really rather fun in a super kitschy sort of way.  I think the frame would make a fun reminder of a tropical vacation with a personal photo placed in it.  Sadly, I am going no place tropical any time soon.  Heavy sigh.

After two weeks of aborted attempts to go shopping, Deb and I are heading out again this week.  Wish us good luck, or bad luck sometimes works too.  Gotta have that blog fodder!  Stay warm, and try not to shovel too much.Save


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