Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Last week on facebook I posted a series of photo examples* of the many miserable monkey-themed torments which were routinely inflicted upon Baby Boomer-era kids. It's one of my theories as to why the world is the way it is today. It's difficult to undo that kind of psychological trauma and its long-term ramifications.

But worse, far worse, than the monkey madness was the damage wreaked by the diabolical child abuse torture known as clown cruelty. I can only surmise that, having endured the physical and emotional scars of World War II, our post-war parents unwittingly sought to dilute their own pain by deflecting some of it off on their offspring. It was a case of being born at the wrong time.

This insidious practice typically began in infancy.

There were clown baby bottles. So much more nurturing than a silly old-fashioned mother.

Crib blankets and nursery decor were rife with the hideous creatures.

There were clown rattles to hang in the crib. (Choking on one of the small parts was the only option to limit one's exposure.) 


Sinister floppy clown toys were designed to leer alarmingly at baby during naptime. These were typically produced by the dozens for church and school bazaars by seemingly sweet grandmotherly types whose intentions remain unclear.

Even the nightlights and nursery lamps were clown-themed. (You'll notice how many of us are still afraid of the dark.)

But the torture didn't end in infancy.

Once we were on solid food, we ate with clowns.

Clown cereal for breakfast...

Served to us in clown dishes...

With, to keep us company in our high chair, yet another clown.

After breakfast, we were plopped in front of the television to watch the morning spate of kiddie programs.

From Romper Room...

...to Howdy Doody...
..to that nadir of ghastly boredom and grotesque dreariness, Bozo the Clown.

We kiddos were understandably cranky by that time, so Mom lulled us into an uneasy afternoon sleep by reading to us. About clowns.


When we awoke, we were patted on the head and encouraged to play.

With clowns.





Eventually, we were freed from our cocoon of clowndom and launched into the larger world of school. But even then, we were not quite free.

From the rude jolt of the clown alarm clock...

...to the lunchroom barrage of clown lunchboxes and thermoses...

...in lesson time and art class alike, we had clowns.

And then, when we finally returned home...

We got our afternoon snack: milk and cookies. Cookies--from a clown jar.

And for a special treat, we might be taken out in the evening for an exciting supper of hamburger and fries. 

Promoted  by a clown.

Needless to say, many of us baby boomers became raging alcoholics, forever attempting to escape the surreal images of our twisted childhood memories. Alas, I fear it is a forlorn hope.


So just hand over the obnoxious creepy chocolate dude and no one gets hurt.



Friday, June 2, 2017

Going, going, GONE! (I Hope)


My mom wasn't into soap operas, so I grew up with morning game shows blaring across the tube during summer vacation: Concentration, Jeopardy!, Hollywood Squares, and that tacky horror of horrors, Let's Make a Deal. (Mom always excused herself from watching that one.)

I got to thinking about that old show this week when I launched my Etsy shop's "Hot Summer Sale". I got the idea from another seller who was closing her shop. It's got something of the  "do I dare or don't I?" risk aspect which would have made old Monty Hall proud. I've discounted masses of items I'm eager to unload, but there's a twist.

Here's the scoop:

From now until June 10, the discount is 20% off.

From June 10 until June 20, the discount is 30% off.

And from June 20 - June 30, the discount is 40% off.

And after that, the majority of the discounted items that haven't sold I'm donating to charity. It's just time for them to GO.

So the question is, do you want to gamble and wait until some terrific kitsch goody is a whopping 40% off, or do you risk someone else swooping in and whisking it away from you now or next week, when the discount is less, but the pickings are better? It's up to you!

You can see just the discounted items here:


Or, you can check out the entire shop here to mix sale and non-sale items:


Okay, enough about the sale.

I want to show you my garage sale finds! It is Friday, after all. And I spent a whopping $1.70. Let me show you what I found.

Today's 95 cent haul.

The best sales are always the ones where the seller is actually trying to get rid of stuff instead of trying to get a return on their dubious purchases of generic home decor dreariness. Quite by accident, I stumbled across one of those today, and for 95 cents, brought home a delightful jumble of sheer trash. The two vintage hand mirrors are in reasonably good condition and I paid 25 cents apiece for them. The lucite resin-and-shell alligator with the googly eyes was another quarter item--unfortunately I didn't notice his broken off front feet until I got him home, but hey! I'm going to experiment with him in the yard to see if he'll ward my cats off from desecrating freshly weeded flower beds. Otherwise he'll be a paperweight. The wonderful lime green-and-purple dog with the big sad eyes is pure 60's kitsch and, while I may sell him eventually, I'm going to enjoy him for a while first. He was priced at a modest 10 cents, and I'm surprised no one nabbed him before I did. Wishing now I'd kept my hot pink sad-eyed cat figurine set (below) because they'd have made quite a display together! Ah, well.

Sold: sheertrashroadshow.etsy.com

The goofy aerosol can of Avon room freshener spray was an impulse item. It's mostly full and I think it was just a curiosity thing that made me want it. There's no bar code or date on it, but I'm thinking it's of 1970's vintage. Of course I tried it out--but like most old Avon products, it just smelled like Old Avon to me. But then I'm not the best judge. My smeller is sort of selective, I've discovered.

Last but not least, I have a vintage Walt Disney Made in Japan Dumbo figurine, for which I paid another quarter. I took a quick peek on Etsy and saw a few of these with prices ranging from $10 - $20. Mine will probably join them soon as I'm not a big Disney fan. I just recognized this as a desirable collectible so I grabbed it.

Isn't this a darling little doggie? I found him at a thrift shop last week and paid $2 for him. He's a bank, actually. Has a bit of crazing and hairline cracks but no repairs or chips, and he's not going anywhere--at least, not for a while. I'm too busy enjoying him.

However, take a look at the "Alexis Handi-Panti" he's posing with, which is the other item I snared today while perusing the yard sales. I wish I could get it to photograph better, but it's a pretty, frilly little NOS (new old stock) pair of vintage snap-on rubber baby pants in lovely little-girl pink, complete with lace and brocade rose-design trim. Cute as cute can be! I love it when I find a vintage item in its original package. This is dated 1983, and I paid 75 cents for it. 

Last week I found another never-used treasure in an original package, and it's up for sale in the shop already. In today's everyone-including-the-cat-has-a-cell-phone era, it may not seem like such a big deal, but this was state of the art back in the 1960's/1970's when it was manufactured in Taiwan. I'd have throttled someone to have had these to play with as a kid--but these were probably for home office use originally. Or so the wife in the house could summon hubby from the garage when dinner was ready. I'm thinking the set would make an interesting Father's Day gift for some lucky fellow. 


That's it for this round. Happy junking, and do check out the sale!
It's going....   going.... gone!  Get your deal while you can.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Whoo-Hooo! Friday's Finds May 19, 2017

Found on Pinterest.

Faster than a speeding bullet
More powerful than a steamroller
Able to leap tall free boxes in a single bound--
Look! Swooping through sales--
It's a crazed hoarder!
It's an escaped lunatic with incredibly bad taste!

Guess what I did today?

Yes, readers, it's one of those red letter days again, when I celebrate the joy of junque acquired for peanuts. It's Sheer Trash Roadshow's latest edition of "Friday's Finds".

We finally have decent weather on a holiday-free weekend, and the garage sales have sprouted like the lush and rampant weeds in my flower bed. Truly, Spring has sprung. Gotta show you what I snared today!

Now, keep in mind I'm reining myself in these days. And also that some of my finds I can't display here because they're destined as gifts for family members. (Yes, we cheerfully bestow trash on one another for Christmas and birthdays.) But I still have a few delights to show for my efforts today.

My best stop today was the annual rummage sale put on by the local Catholic church. Catholic rummage sales are almost invariably terrific, at least in my estimation. One year I got a piece of dirty barkcloth for $2 and, after hand washing it, sold it on eBay for over $150. Now that was a banner day. (A recap, if you're a glutton for punishment:  sheertrashroadshow.blogspot.com/2013/03/strictly-for-birds.html  ) I also stopped at several garage sales and snared some dubious gems. 

From left to right, feast your eyes on these vintage treasures:
a plastic watering can in ever-popular mid-century aqua, a plastic blow-mold bunny to add to my collection of cute and bizarre vintage rabbits, an Anchor Hocking lustreware coffee mug (very collectible), an aluminum scoop (I find it hard to resist vintage metal scoops and ladles--they look cool and are jolly useful to boot), a chippy chalkware wall plaque featuring a Mexican motif (maybe 1930's vintage?), and a set of glass swan water barometers. This loot cost me all of $3.

I also found an unfinished hand knitted toy dog project and pattern, with all the pieces made and just waiting to be assembled. Looks like someone's project from the 1960's or 1970's. I'll have fun finishing him up. I paid $1 for the privilege--a bit on the high side, but hey! He's hand made!

I blew the last of my loot today at a garage sale I nearly passed by. No vintage "junque" at this one, but I did snare a stack of Civil War history books and I'm fairly salivating at the prospect of delving into them. Paid $1.50 apiece and I'm sad to say I still had to leave some behind. And I had a most enjoyable chat with the seller who was pleased to have found a fellow Civil War buff to take his cherished books off his hands.

Okay, now for a side trip. A couple of Fridays ago when garage sales were non-existent, I ducked into a charity thrift shop and found these wonderful old Gund musical rabbit toys. They cost me $15 apiece and even though that's more than I'd customarily fork out, I was glad to get them. I need to do some more research on them, but my preliminary findings have me convinced they're worth considerably more than I paid. If you have any information about these toys, I'd love to hear it. I'm thinking they're 1960's vintage.

Aren't these guys adorable? They stand 10-10.5" tall. They're in marvelous condition, and she's still sporting her original tag.

Boy Bunny plays "Rock-a-Bye Baby" and Girl Bunny plays "Brahm's Lullaby".

Check out the bottom of their feet! 

Thanks for joining me on today's junking journey. Happy thrifting!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Pal Peppy

Peppy: Pastel Portrait by Julene Baker-Smith; ArtByJulene.etsy.com

About ten and half years ago, two things happened that dramatically changed my life for the better. 

The first was, I ruptured a lumbar disc while practicing throws (I was the one "throwing", if you could call it that--I wasn't very good at it) in a martial arts class. Back spasms and sciatica quickly ensued, and I was more or less a wreck. 

The second thing was, I finally pitched a hissy fit and gave my dog-hating husband an ultimatum: I was getting myself a house dog--maybe even two--and he could like it, or lump it! Not that I hadn't had dogs over the years; when you live in the country, you really need a dog, but my husband decreed they had to live outdoors. 

It seems his mother, back in the 1950's, had scrimped and saved to buy some chicks, and while she was out one day, their old farm dog had somehow managed to get at them and kill them all. She hated dogs ever after and her kids were thoroughly indoctrinated with her attitude, a discovery I somehow didn't make until after I was married and was committed to this bafflingly anti-canine individual. 

But with the kids growing up and leaving home, and with an aching back and shooting pains up the leg, I got mean and fed up and conversation-deprived enough to make a stand, and decided I was getting myself a dog. A little dog I could take with me in the car when I ran errands. The bad back dictated it had to be a miniature or toy breed; I couldn't lift much. I was researching and combing ads for a dog to adopt when my daughter suggested, "Why don't you get a pomeranian?" I'd never even heard of pomeranians, let alone seen one to my knowledge. 

To bring this rambling intro to a close, after a few months of praying for God to give me the right dog and searching to find him, I became the overjoyed owner of a 4-month-old red sable pomeranian puppy whom we named Peppy. You can read more about that here:   sheertrashroadshow.blogspot.com/2014/11/whats-in-name.html

Oh, what a blessed day! I became a happier, nicer, more contented person with my little dog to chat with all day long. We all became nicer people, in fact. Even my dubious better half was won over. Not that he'll ever be a mushy, dog-loving pool of oohing, ahh-ing sentiment like his wife, but he realized these little dogs were good company and entertaining to have around. I say dogs because eventually we ended up with three poms. And in the house, no less! 

All of which brings me back to Peppy, and the reason for this post. Those of you who've followed the blog over the years know Pep's had his ups and downs. A product of "back yard breeding", he inherited some unfortunate health issues. A bit of that is covered here, if you want a recap:  sheertrashroadshow.blogspot.com/2012/05/home-again.html
Pep even had his own Etsy shop, MyPalPeppy, for a few years to raise money for surgery he needed, and then to raise funds for small breed dog rescue efforts. So over the years Peppy developed a modest following of sorts. 

It's for you kind readers who have a soft spot for my little dog that I report, with sadness, that Peppy's life is drawing to a close. He just turned eleven, and under reasonable circumstances could have expected five, six, or seven more years, but his congenitally weak trachea is giving out, his breathing is labored, and we're out of viable options for treatment. His vet had prepared me for this outcome--I have always known it was inevitable--but somehow I didn't expect his decline so soon or so suddenly. This past weekend was pretty rough. 

Peppy after seeing the vet yesterday and getting a shot... pretty tired out.

Right now Peppy is on medication to keep him comfortable and--hopefully--give him a brief reprieve, but barring a medical miracle, I know I won't have him with me much longer. He's still eating fine (we gave him a mini cupcake last night to celebrate his 11th birthday) and from time to time, he likes to go out in the yard and sniff around. No more running, but he's still giving me his good dog smile and seems interested in what's going on around him.

Peppy, May 15, 2017

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the precious gift of this dear and special friend. How kind You are, to have shared him with me.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift
is from above, coming down from the 
Father of lights, with whom 
there is no variation or shifting shadow.
James 1:17

I'm feeling both sad and glad... Tears? Yeah...  But laughter, too. Pep's a good boy. Treasuring our remaining time together.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The First "Friday's Finds" for 2017

Well, here we are at the tail end of April, and finally we've had a warm and rainless day here in the soggy Pacific Northwest. That's pretty slim pickings for sunshine even in this climate, so it was certainly welcome. It was especially nice to see that a few stalwart individuals even had garage sales going, and I managed to find a couple of goodies. It's been a long time since the last one!

I was surprised and pleased to find this beautiful vintage baby dress for a mere pittance. It's been hand embroidered and trimmed with picot crochet edging. So sweet! The style is early mid-century, not unlike some of my dad's baby clothes which were made in 1927. Not that this little gown dates that far back, but I think 1940's - early 1950's is a reasonable estimate.

I also found some lovely vintage daisy sewing trim at this same sale. I don't do a lot of sewing, but I couldn't resist this. 1970's? 1960's? Pretty stuff, at any rate. And for only a quarter--cheap thrill, indeed!

Next, I found this nifty retro "purse size launderette" set.

It contains an elastic clothesline, plastic hook clothespins, and little packets of detergent, still in its original plastic package. Just the thing for tossing into your suitcase when you go on vacation, so you can swish your undies in the hotel sink and hang them up to dry. I love to find stuff like this! Made in Hong Kong and the U.S.A., so I'm thinking this is from the 1960's.

This next little sweetie is right up my alley: It's kitsch, it's canine, it's cute, and it was cheap! 

This is "Gigi", according to what's left of her original tag, and she's made from wired loopy chenille stems and pipe cleaners. I was thrilled to find her, as she's obviously very old. I've managed to find out that she was originally sold with a miniature bottle of perfume, "Trystess" by Jean D'Arc, and her tag, if entire, would have read, "Gigi The Playful Pup". I don't know when this set was manufactured--the early 1960's, probably, though maybe the 1950's. If you know, tell me, please! I paid sixty cents for this little treasure, and she'll be joining my collection of miniature vintage poodle toys.

And while I'm on the subject of poodles, I've got a couple others I've been meaning to share with you for a while. 

I thought I'd seen everything in the way of vintage yarn poodles. But obviously, I was mistaken! These two gals take kitsch handmade poodles to a whole new level.

Behold! The little grey poodle is neither knit nor crochet, she's been constructed, as it were, from cylindrical bundles of yarn simply tied together, as you can see from the side and bottom views.

With a few pompoms tacked on for ears, nose, and top-knot, she's amazingly simple, and oh-so-cute! 

When it comes to poodle cozies (or "cosies" if you're from the UK) I thought I'd seen them all, from "Gin Poodles" (or bottle cozies) to toilet roll cozies (my own dubious specialty) to teapot cozies to hot water bottle covers. But never have I seen one like this purple pooch. Can you guess her function? I'll wager not. But let me turn her about for a rear view...

Can you believe it? That's a vintage can of aerosol room freshener spray protruding from her backside! Seriously! I wonder if the person who made this stopped to consider the ironic nature of this design. Was it clownish wit, or utter cluelessness that led to this? All I know is, I've never seen one of these before, and I probably never will again--unless I make it myself, of course...   You know I can't resist the idea!