Vacation Finds from the Mitten State and Beyond

Hi to everyone from the Big Mitten where I’ve been visiting family.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t been hitting the thrift stores and garage sales–far from it.  It’s almost a vocation with my folks; we will stop anywhere on our way, to almost any occasion, if the sale looks promising and, frequently, even if it doesn’t.

But before we get into all of the finds, I want to share a little adventure we had in Nebraska at a rest area west of Sidney.  Thank goodness Beloved Husband reads signs:

the tip offbecause we didn’t see any snakes–at first.  An older gentleman came over to warn us he had earlier noticed a rattlesnake right where we were currently sitting.  I thought to myself, “Yeah, yeah, sure you saw a rattlesnake.”  Then I looked to the left about ten feet away and saw this creature (I took the picture from much further away, I’m not crazy!):

The old dude was rightOkay, now I was thinking, “Ick, I have to get out of this grass right now!”  So my chihuahua and I went to the car, after warning another couple with kids to be careful.  I was walking under a tree and almost stepped on:

EEK!I high-tailed it to the car and decided that it would be a great alternate place for a picnic.  A friend looked at the last picture and told me this was a king snake, which is a good thing to find at a snake pit of an interstate rest area.  King snakes eat rattlesnakes; this fellow should be pretty full by now.

Days later, on our way to see some art in the park, my parents pulled up at this garage sale:

But this is in Michigan!I’m not sure how an Oklahoman migrated up to the fingernail area of Michigan and had the nerve to put up that tent.  It wasn’t for sale, which is just as well, since no one there would ever buy it.  There were some fun things at the sale, but by far the most interesting was this little gal:

II've been going to garage sa;es a long time, but this is a first!They had baby Nubian goats, and this one decided to go shopping.  She was so funny, and of course climbed on everything because she’s a goat!  Strangely enough, this wasn’t our only encounter with goats.  We shared a roadside park with a whole pick-up load of goats on the north side of the Mackinaw Bridge.  At times, this vacation was pretty odd, even for me.

We made it all the way to Yooper land (aka the upper peninsula of MI) to visit my sisters; of course I had to visit the local thrift store, St. Vincent de Paul.  The first thing to catch my eye was this very confused bunny planter:

One Weird BunnyI can’t get over the fact that he is mostly greenish-yellow with blue ears and pink feet.  Also, if you can explain the flower hat and the wooden pickets he apparently carries on his back, I would be grateful.  He might have a little Hitler mustache too, which is outside of enough!  It’s enough to make you wonder if he’s a cousin to our mascot, Ruffles the Ugly Bunny.

Hunter safety is no joke in a state where lots of kids get a school holiday in the fall for deer hunting season.  But, I think hunter-orange afghans is carrying a good thing too far:

Hunter Safety AfghanIf I had a loaded rifle close at hand, I might be tempted to take a shot at this myself!  Uff da, it sure is loud enough to blind you, if you know what I mean.

I’m not sure you would ever want to turn this lamp on; you would be able to clearly see how ugly it is:

Ugly milkcan lampWhose idea was it to take innocent milk cans (often vintage ones!) and turn them into eyesores?  If you want to make a lamp for your family room, try using driftwood, or maybe a pretty vase.  Hard to go wrong when you use something decorative to start with.

Kathy and I almost always notice ugly dolls:

n Mom, the early yearsI call this pitiful specimen, “Tan Mom–the Early Years.”  Poor little thing, at this rate, her skin will look like a leather wallet by the time she is 40.

How about something fun?  We both have a thing for vintage dishes, and only the fact that no one needs five different sets of dishes kept me from buying them:

Wheat dishes  Wheat pattern dishes
St. Vinny’s does something fun–they have a silent auction case.  Everything on these shelves is being auctioned off; you place your bid in a notebook on top of the case.  I definitely would get in on that action.

I also got to stop at Savers in Rochester, Minnesota on this trip–yay!  However, their dishes weren’t anything to write home about, unless you write for this blog:

Crown Ducal Gainsborough England plateThe white flower border is raised porcelain, which looks very odd with a bouquet of spring flowers decal set on a bright yellow plate.  When I turned the plate over, the mark was Crown Ducal Gainsborough England, which in my ignorance, I thought was a joke.  How many Crown Dukes (whomever that might be) would have this plate on their tables?  Then I googled the mark and found out that they have been making porcelain for nearly 100 years and have produced some lovely things (but not this plate!)–especially chintz patterns.

Can anyone explain these sunglasses to me?

Poor mans version of Zaphod's Peril Sensitive SunglassesI get the vintage looking pair in the front, but the black ones in the back, covered in chains, have me puzzled.  Are they for someone who is too cool to watch where they are going?  Someone so blinged out that the sunglasses felt underdressed?  Just what is their story?

This line of brooches had me smiling:

Whole row of vintage flower broochesNot because they are anything great, but they are all flowers (except the cat one) and are embellished in the craziest, moddest ways.  I have some of those big old flower pins, and I put them on my summer hats just for fun.

Someone donated their pig collection to Savers:

Can't wait until basketball playoffs are over with?I enjoyed seeing that husbands mesmerized by sports television isn’t purely a human problem.  Such a look she is giving him!

Thanks for tuning in this week–if you want to share any of your finds, just email us the picture and a brief description, and we’ll include it in a post.  Our email address is:

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4 Responses to Vacation Finds from the Mitten State and Beyond

  1. Connie says:

    I would have been sorely tempted to make an offer on the baby goat. What a little cutie!

  2. Wow, what a “treasure trove” of oddities this week! I can see someone wearing those sunglasses in a really cheezy 1980’s music video. :p

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