Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. We are delighted that you are here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dashing Through Goodwill . . . .

You might think that I'd take the holidays off from checking
out the goods at our local Goodwill Industries outlet.

You might be wrong.
Me?  Wrong?  Impossible!

Last week, our local Goodwill -- an organization which clearly knows its customers -- sent me an email announcing that all Christmas items were half price.   That's like offering crack to an addict.

I did not leave empty-handed, and my finds went from the sublime to the ridiculous.
The udderly ridiculous.

A 12-inch Christmas platter.  $2.

 Why is this guy grinning?
Because he's come to live at That Old House.  $1.44.
 He comes from a good family, too, and is a canape plate.
 He makes me grin.
 As does this fella:
Another canape plate.  48-cents.  I'm not making that up.
 And from the same fine family, too.
You've probably figured it out already; that was the sublime part of my Goodwill scores.
Now for the ridiculous:
 A Christmas Cow.
At least, I think that's what she is.
 She has ruffles.  Why?  Why?
Hmmm. . . I don't think she likes the teasing.  That is not a friendly cow eye we're getting.
 Uh-oh.  She's turning her back on us, and leaving.
I think we insulted her.
She fulfilled a noble purpose at our party on Saturday; she was one of the Grab Bag prizes.
I put her in; I ended up with her at the end of the game.  Where's the justice?

Think about it: someone had to design this gal, someone else had to buy the design and manufacture it,
someone else had to buy it for retail sale, and still another person had to buy it as a consumer.

Holy. Cow.
Now I'm more than a little abashed at posting to Tabletop Tuesday at Marty's blog,
as the tabletops there are just stunning, and mine clearly is not.

Mine is an Emergency Centerpiece.
It's an object lesson in planning ahead, and what happens when you don't.
It's what you do when, 30 minutes before guests are arriving, you realize that in the
long lists of "to-do" chores . . . you have forgotten to include "centerpiece for dining room table."

And you have no flowers on hand. And no time to buy any.
 You grab the trusty crystal candlesticks off the top of the china closet, rummage in the sideboard
for the little crackly red votives, steal the big crackly red hurricanes from the kitchen hutch,
string them out along a runner on top of a beautiful embroidered tablecloth, step back and think. . .
 "Okay.  Now what?"  Because a hodgepodge of candles on a 10-foot table looks, well, lost.
You need something to tie them together.
More rummaging, this time in the bottoms of some near-empty Rubbermaid bins of Christmas bling.
And . . . what to your wondering eyes should appear, but yards and yards of red wooden beads.
You remember when you used to use them on the big stone mantel at the old house, and indulge
in 32-seconds' worth of nostalgia, before flinging the beads on the table, snaking them through
the candle holders,  and calling it a day -- because you need to get back to the kitchen.

No placesettings on this table.  Dinner was a buffet, and guests could perch
with their plates on their laps, or choose to use the dining room table.

Well, that's it for today.
I'll be off soon for our old neighborhood, about a half hour away, so Alida and I can do some poking around in familiar stores, and drop something off at a former neighbor's home, and maybe get lunch at our favorite Italian place; I think they miss us there.

By the way, the goofy centerpiece looked much better at night, with all the candles lit.  No, really.

Linky parties today:
Twice Owned Tuesday at House Of Grace.

And .... Thrifty Thursday at Tales From Bloggeritaville! 
(Leigh has an especially lovely Christmas message and story.)

Click and visit!  I'm off to do more Santa-ing, and hope that -- like yesterday -- my dear
daughter treats me to coffee and dessert in the middle of the afternoon!  -- Cass


  1. Oh, I LOVE thrift shop finds! Those plates are very pretty!

  2. The plates and the table are very very nice!!!! Hugs and Merry Christmas...Flavia.

  3. If you saw the Nate show today you know your tabletop centerpiece vignette is an artwork destined for great appreciation!
    Your GW emails you and entices you to shop??!?
    Not that I need enticing, but I do enjoy when theys end out discount coupons.
    Love your views on the cow - that before she came to be several people had to approve.

  4. I LOVE that first Christmas platter! LOVE.

    The Christmas Cow is hysterical! She is QUITE a looker AND conversation starter!

  5. Too funny, I think Bessy likes living with you, you might be stuck with her!

  6. I'm jealous. My Goodwill doesn't even know who I am. Maybe they were saving that cow just for you. Have fun shopping and eating at your favorite Italian place!

  7. Holy Cow Batwoman you are a mess. The dining table looks good Cass. I am sure you fed them well and they were quite happy. Happy Christmas!

  8. Such a colorful post! Thanks for having a search on your blog! I am making an apple tart and am always a bit insecure about time and oven temp. i remembered yours so came to your blog and did a search. Amazing! So back to the kitchen to make it, after wishing you the merriest of Christmases!

  9. I love that cow, how cute is old Bessy!
    your tabletop is lovely also, are you ready?

  10. Is the half price sale at G/W still going on? I also found a darling Fitz and Floyd plate on a recent visit to one of my favorite thrift stores. I have it featured in my current post. How lucky that you found so many at the same time and half price ta boot!! Woo hoo!!
    Love your Christmas cow too! Then again I have a soft spot for cute farm animals! I decorated my piggy this year for the holidays!

    Warm wishes!!

  11. I love your platters and your rocking cow is the cutest thing I have ever seen. Your tablescape is stunning. So pretty. Thanks so much for joining TTT. I hope you and your family have a very Blessed Christmas. Hugs, Marty

  12. Wow! Great deal on the F&F plates! Now think about it you too also bought the cow my friend. LOL! I think she deserves a place of honor amongst all the other Christmas goodies. Maybe she will tire of your home and leave with someone next year..or maybe not! LOL! That was a good one!

  13. Cass, I hope you might link up to my Christmas Thrifty Thursday this week! I am so very blessed to call you a friend through blogging!!! I am so grateful for that. Thank you Merry Christmas!!!

  14. LOL- OMGosh- That COW had to have come from Wisconsin! lol Your dining room is gorgeous! Hugs- Diana

  15. Hmmm.. the table way in the back of the dining room caught my eye! haha, leftover from the party maybe?

  16. Say, I could come back again and again, just to read about the cow!
    You got some great buys on the dessert plates. My Goodwill is EXPENSIVE! I get things there from time-to-time, but they're no bargain!

    You did a nice job on the Last Minute Centerpiece.

  17. I love the F&F and the Christmas cow.....well I guess what goes around comes around as the saying goes. I was just at our on line pickup for GW today picking up a mirror that I really didn't think was going to fit in my car. I need to check the descriptions a little better before I bid I guess :) Thanks for the great post and funny tale to go with it.

  18. Everything was so cool especially your Christmas cow. Never saw one of those before. Merry Christmas.

  19. Great Fitz and Floyd finds!!

  20. I think we should all plan a little blogger field trip to your Goodwill in 2011, Cass. Give me a plate with a bow and I am in ceramic heaven; your Christmas cow is a beauty!
    Ho ho ho,

  21. I can see that it would look great in the evening with the candles lit. Good job Cass and in so little time. A true tablescaper at heart.

  22. The center piece is so pretty. Looks like you worked on it for hrs. not spure of the moment. You have such talent. And the Christmas cow reminds me of a bag lady. She's a cutie.

  23. Great finds at Goodwill. I'm jealous! My good friend gave me a gift certificate to GW this year for Christmas. I am going to love that. I was thrilled!!! Love & blessings from NC!

  24. I think your table looks great! The red beads definitely pulled it together.

    Love your Goodwill finds. Wonderful bargains on wonderful stuff!

  25. That cow is a laugh riot! --Merry Christmas--

  26. I love love your elegant dinning room and decorated table... love the centerpiece! Very elegant and festive... thank you for visiting the house in the roses, is always such a joy to see you there! and oh, concerning your comment about my roses, I’d like to explain that those are not new blooms; no roses could survive our winters here. Those are roses from last summer that, for some inexplicable reason, have retained their deep gorgeous red color regardless the amount of snow we have had thus far in the season. The blooms are intact, the petals are intact, and although dried, they’re like gems in the otherwise colorless winter garden. Truly a gift! It amazes me, and I have no explanation for it.

    Have a blessed day dear Cass


  27. Nice deal on the plates.
    You did good on the center piece - pretty!
    Hope you are having a great week.

  28. What great finds. I think your table looks elegant and festive. I have to go do one last minute shop and I pass a goodwill on the way. I think I may need to detour to see what they have. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Merry Christmas.

  29. Christmas Blessings to you and your family, From my mountain to yours Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  30. Holy Cow is right! The designer sure had a lot going on.
    Your centerpiece turned out wonderfully!

  31. Very nice.You will have a wonderful xmas in your new kitchen! lucky you!!!

  32. How wonderful! Great finds, Cass! I think your table is beautiful. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

  33. Holly Cow! I can't believe I missed this post earlier. LOL
    Great finds, Cass! Actually the cow is rather cute. I think it should become a tradition. I love whimsy! I have a Santa riding a rooster. What can I say?
    Hope you are enjoying a beautiful day. Ours is spent by a cozy fire enjoying the quiet of the day.
    Merry, Merry! ~ sarah

  34. How I wish there was a Good Will near here! Oh, I love the platters! Next time, when you find something you do not want, send it to me, for I know I would love it at those Great idea for a quick centerpiece!


Thank you for visiting That Old House; it's always exciting to find new comments -- they are treasured! Because of increasing spam, I have reluctantly eliminated "Anonymous" commenting. Legitimate anonymous commenters, please forgive me! You might try using "Open ID" instead. Blogger's spam software worked for a good long time, but, sadly, no longer.