Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Yard Sale Cure

After we packed up the leftovers from our yard sale a couple of weeks ago, I realized I had done something to my back – and it hurt. (I’m a total pain wimp.) Felt like a pinched nerve by my left shoulder blade. I tried ignoring it (didn’t improve), and had my husband do some Shiatsu massage stuff, and laid on a heating pad. Darned thing hurt all week. By Friday I was contemplating a trip to a chiropracter, but realized I hadn’t tried ice on it. So I put a wet washcloth in the freezer, meaning to lay on it for a while Saturday morning.

Which I forgot to do. But, Saturday afternoon I realized that my back no longer hurt. Now, it might have been that the mere threat of ice was enough to make my back shape up. But I think it was going to a bunch of yard sales that cured me!

No, really. My theory is that the repeated twisting motion of getting in and out of the car all morning eased whatever was out of whack back into place. So the next time you have a pinched nerve, take ten garage sales in the morning, and then let me know if it worked. If we get enough anecdotal evidence, maybe we can get a research grant to really study this. Just imagine, some foundation could give me a whole lot of money to dole out to thrifters with backaches to see if yard sales cure them.

It’s the least I can do for mankind.

Today I succumbed to the lure of some mid-century china. Is this not perfect for a 1957 house in Oregon?


It was a bit of a splurge for me (you know how I get when the price is over fifty cents!) but I took one look at one plate and was a goner.


I didn’t have nearly as much money on me as the price the lady quoted (which I would never have paid anyway), but she immediately said, “Well, how much have you got?” So we explored my billfold and she was okay with what I had, which was half of the price she had said. (Had to go find an ATM afterward so I could keep garaging!) Then she told me it had been her grandmother’s, and that her grandmother had worked at the Vernon Kiln. Which I guess is where this stuff was made, but I’m not completely sure, since this is Winfield china.


She said the employees at the Vernon Kiln got to take turns naming the patterns, though she’s not sure if her grandma ever got to name any. Grandma got complete sets of dishes to give everyone in the family, each grandchild getting a different pattern. This one is called Blue Spruce.

It’s not a complete set, but I’ve never been big on sets of things. This will do us just fine!

As if one vintage china find wasn’t enough, a few sales later I peered into a box of junk and saw this graphic.


Ooooh, cute dog dish, I thought, and pulled it out of the box. And my heart went pitty pat. It’s not a dog dish, it’s a baby food warming dish.



You pour hot water in the spout and it keeps the porcelain bowl warm. The metal handles on the side balance it perfectly in your hand so you can grip the dish and feed baby with the other hand. So there I am on this guy’s driveway, gripping this thing and staring at it as he tells people how much his other things cost. I finally got his attention with “How much?” You know this moment…will the price be low enough that you can justify buying something just because it is adorable? Your heart speeds up just a little, and then he says the magic words:

“Fifty cents.”

I found similar dishes on the Internet, but no others in this pattern. This mark is on the back.


It appears that the company is German, and the only thing I can find that they made were these warming dishes. Talk about a niche market!

I’m almost glad I only found a few other things; how much goodness can one stand in a single morning? Picked up some DVDs


some seeds for the birds I feed at work


and a house o’ blocks…because I love alphabet things.


I’m awfully glad to know that one can be cured BY yard sales – because I sure don’t want to be cured OF them!


  1. Oh, girl! Love the warming plate and you stole it for 50 cents. I totally know that moment when someone tells you the price...and you can't believe your luck. The set of dishes are very nice. I am beginning to go a little nuts for dishes and that must stop since I have a little house.
    So much fun seeing what you got and if you get that grant, I will be a willing volunteer. Anything for science and the good of mankind.

  2. That baby warming dish is gorgeous! I am so envious as I haven't been to any garage/yard sales for a while (a bit chilly here). Great finds.

  3. Well, you know I will be in love with your fabulous finds in dishware! I also think that warming plate is the sweetest thing, especially with that darling little Scottie dog on it!

    Count me in for participating in the yard sale study. Glad you are feeling better.

  4. Beautiful dishes! What a great find! The little warming dish is so adorable! You must learn so many neat little tidbits of information as you do your searches on your garage sale finds!! :)

  5. Love the dishes! When something is right, the price suddenly doesn't seem that important! They will look lovely for breakfast on the deck of the Mid Century Modern estate!

  6. Blue Spruce was a find...
    at our neighborhood sale yesterday no one looked at my china.....and had some good stuff too.

  7. I think yard sales can cure a lot of ills!! What a lovely set of china, perfect for you mid-century home. I love love love the little warming dish!

  8. Oh what gorgeous dishes! I'm yearning for a new set to replace my old, chipped cheap dishes and this would be so wonderful to find. And the warming dish - want.

  9. What a wonderful day you had! The baby dish is so sweet. I love your set of china. It's funny, I have a Grindley serving platter with a very similar design - lovely.

  10. Beautiful china and adorable baby food warming dish. I would have never known what that was! I'm glad to hear that your back is OK. Although I am not eager to injure my back, if I ever do I will be glad to try your prescription of yard sales!

  11. Love your thrift finds. Your story put a grin on my face, I enjoyed it.

  12. I often have pinched nerve in my spine, so although I 'm in Australia, count me in on your GS experiment!!.. nice finds there too. Love the blue spruce.

  13. Such a sweet little baby dish. It's absolutely adorable and what a price! Well done.

    Madison xxx

  14. GREEN with envy over the baby dish. ADORABLE!


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

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