Saturday, September 11, 2010


I've been on vacation from my job for the past three weeks, and I have no idea why I never took a three week vacation before. I have plenty of time saved up from working here nearly ten years. I guess I was being frugal with my leave time, as I try to be with other resources, but a longer time off has been so nice that I have seen the light on this one. I know I will most likely never ever catch up with my work, but I was never going to catch up anyway—there’s always more to do. We are not big travelers and had various appointments to keep, so we stayed home, slept in our own bed, and had a few special dinners out. I always say we live in a resort anyway, complete with a pool and a hammock. What more could one want on a vacation?

Friday we took a little day trip. We talked about driving up to LA to the county art museum, but ended up instead in Long Beach. Long Beach? some of you are saying in a skeptical tone of voice. But it was great. Had a lovely lunch in a crepe restaurant we hadn't been to before, then hit Retro Row on 4th Street where there are a number of stores featuring Midcentury Modern stuff. Saw several pieces of furniture to drool over, but they had antique store prices. The most satisfying part of the day for me was seeing things I had bought at yard sales and the prices they would bring in a store. My $5.00 Siesta chair was there.
The one in the store had the footstool with it and the pair were marked $395. I win! We saw lots of Heywood-Wakefield priced about twenty times higher than our vanity.
I even saw a brown version of this mystery teapot I bought a while back.
Asked the dealer if he knew anything about it since there were no markings on the bottom, and he said there are some but they’re very faint. We made out the word Japan (no surprise there) and he kept studying the faint marks in the glaze. He finally decided he could see ‘Robert Steven’ and then a last name starting with a W. That’s enough for a librarian to go on! Didn’t find much info, but apparently the designer was Robert Steven Witkoff. I paid fifty cents or a buck for mine, the one in the store was marked $49. I win again!

One of the places we perused was a vintage clothing store. Thought you might enjoy seeing the doors on their dressing rooms.
There are also a few thrift stores on Retro Row. The Assistance League store was quite nice and I fell into conversation with the volunteer who was rearranging the vintage purses. They were fun but I didn’t see anything I liked as much as the ones I already have, like my little Saks bag I picked up a couple of years ago.
She had most of the bags arranged to her liking but there was a little coin purse that wouldn’t stand right. “This needs some stuffing,” she said. “You got anything in your bra?” I cracked up, then assured her there was nothing in there I could spare.

We started home and hit the freeway, merging into the crawling Friday evening traffic. We looked at each other and agreed we were awfully glad we hadn't gone all the way to LA.

Today I hit the road again with my friend Marcia and her sister Lynn, who was visiting from Sacramento. We got started a little bit late, because someone’s alarm didn’t go off. Fortunately I didn’t see anyone driving off from a sale with something I really wanted. Good thing, or someone would have been in trouble! But it didn’t matter, we all found stuff we could use, and these doggies were at home and willing to visit. First was this cutie, whose name was Cody or Cokie or something like that. (Sorry, old age. I never worry when I can't remember a person’s name, but it seems strange not to remember a dog’s.)
Scout was sequestered in his garage, and told us how very much he wanted to come out to help us shop.
Oreo, according to his owner, is the fastest and cutest dog at the dog park. Certainly has some of the finest ears.
Thought for a while I was going to make it home without buying anything, but ultimately spent $4.55. You may remember I bought my hubs a pair of Levi’s a couple of weeks ago, and rather than take their picture I had you imagine them. So now you have to change your mental picture. They were marked the right size, but had shrunk and were too small. So take the Levi’s out of the picture and substitute a pair of straight cut Ralph Lauren jeans. This pair is a little roomy, but I figure that’s a plus since they’re intended for working in the yard. And don’t you love being able to use a pricey brand for yard work? Ralph's jeans start at $75 and go up from there—unless you buy them on a driveway, when the price goes down. Way, way down.

A few stops later we were looking at some items and the lady told us that anything on the table was a dime. I saw this box of foam shapes and asked how much for the whole box.
She mulled it over, then said, “A dime.” I said I liked her, she spoke my language. So I ended up with a two dozen green hands and these cute little craft thingies where you glue in a kid’s picture and it has a magnet on the back. Future door prizes.

I also bought some red spray paint (I must have something that needs to be painted red)
some bookmarks
and a catch-and-toss game with polar bears from her. Ended up parting with a whole fifty five cents there.
Down the road I bought this book to give my next door neighbor.
She is a brand new kindergarten teacher; after years of being an aide she has her own classroom now. She will definitely need Frog and Toad.

I'll include some of these stickers I scored from a retired teacher, and the rest will be for my children’s librarians.

The retired teacher had a lot of bunny items, and I succumbed to the charms of these bunny pot feet.
Had to explain to my hubs what they are for (to keep plant pots from marring your deck or patio). I really got them for him, because our retirement house has that fabulous deck, and I know he will want to keep it pristine. And for that, of course he will need bunny pot feet.

Thanks to all who left kind words about my book! If you’ve ordered a copy and find you like it, it would be great if you could leave a short review on Amazon or Smashwords to help us create some buzz. And no worries that I'll stop being the Queen of Fifty Cents—that will never happen!


  1. You really got a great selection today!!

    Keep your eye out for the movie.... it is really so much better than you would think... there's also a really fun inside joke - you have to watch it just for that joke i think!!

  2. Awesome finds. The last sale I went to everything was a nickel. You can't beat that. What book? I must have missed that post. I assume it is on Amazon and will look for Queen of Fifty Cents.

  3. Many Congratulations on getting your book published. I love cosy crime so I'll have to look out for it (I'm in UK).
    Great finds you picked up this week, Especially the foam shapes for kids.
    Off to read a bit of your book from link in last post. Bx

  4. Great buys! Loved the vintage fridge changing room door. :)

  5. Happy you had a great vacation. Sometimes those close to home can be the best.

  6. How nice to have the value of your finds confirmed! Looks like you had a lovely day out.

  7. Hello :) Visiting from Apron Thrift Girl! I use to read Frog and Toad as a child. I love those two toads. So happy to see that book :) Those dressing room doors are amazing!

  8. WOW fab finds, well done. Hope you have a stupendous week ;-)

  9. Love the bunny pot feet, made me giggle I can see the bunnies heading off in different directions!
    Great doors.

  10. Hello from another 1950's southern CA blogger. No surprise the prices in the shops were so high! They are on to mid-century here in our area, and they never let us forget it ha ha.

    Great finds!

  11. I have spent a wonderful morning curled up in bed disocovering your blog and I just love it. Fantastic blend of humour, whimsy and plain old bargain hunting. Thank you.

  12. The bunny feet have my vote. I want some now! xx

  13. Amazing story about the Robert Steven Witkoff teapot! I am a librarian and collector too - actually have an online store and just listing this teapot in cream:


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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