Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wooden Chair, Chrysanthemum Tea and a Whole Lotta Body Talk

Alright, this is another huge, crazy post. Put the kettle on and settle in for a long read... (I hope this lives up to my promise, Queen of Clearance. If your enthusiasm could be bottled, we'd all be much happier people). Cheers! P.S. I'm up to nine followers. You like me. You really like me!
Duncan and I started off at another church book sale, which I'll get to later. As we were heading home, I saw dozens of signs for a yard sale two streets down from us. When we got there, this cute little wooden chair caught my eye. I thought it was an old school chair. I immediately got Duncan to sit on it. "Hey, it's just your size." The man running the sale told me that it wasn't a tot's chair, but a very old spectator's chair. He said people would fold it up and take it with them to tennis games, etc. For $5.00, I had to have it.

Here it is basking in the afterglow of another great day thrifting. Please excuse our hay-like grass.

As mentioned earlier, St. Luke's Anglican Church had a great book sale this morning. Compared to the raunchy material I found at the United Church last week, this was a classy, well-organized affair. They were playing jazz music and had hanging signs with the various genres that were for sale. Their prices weren't as rock-bottom as the United Church's, but 3 for $1.00 was still pretty good. Here, you'll see a down-homey book of Canadian chow, a Mexican cookbook, a book about North American trees, and a vintage bird identification book.

When I'm a senior citizen, I just know I'll be out there in the woods with my binoculars searching for rare birds.

Here's a happy birder circa 1957, about to photograph a hungry jay.

Gorgeous illustrations from the tree book.

On my way home, I found a house with a "Free Stuff" sign at the curb. I grabbed this English Melamine tea tray which I'll likely use to put plants on in my classroom. During the walk home, I was trying to think of why my instinct told me that I liked it, even though this style isn't really my thing. Then it dawned on me...
Front cover Photo of Kate Bush - Never for Ever
It reminded me of Kate Bush's Never For Ever album art. That psyche of mine.

The back side of the tray is filled with useful information. Thank you Marks and Sparks.

I also found these books at the freebie house. Idioms, plain English, and body talk work well together.

The illustrations in Body Talk are classic. The publisher really tries to sell the book with scientific evidence.

Anger about to be unleashed, or a nice guy in need of a good laxative? You decide.

I know how this is going to end. I've seen The Ice Storm.

There's nothing worse than a man who covers his inadequacy with his hand.

After taking Duncan out for a haircut, we went to one of the most overlooked neighbourhoods in Toronto - Chinatown East. It's not as big as downtown Chinatown, or as glitzy as the Chinese mall land north of the city, but I love my little Chinatown. I've always wanted to thrift at St. Vincent de Paul's Value Shoppe, but this location is always closed when I go past. Today it was open. The store was a dumpy mess and the staff seemed unhappy, but I got some cute cups, which you'll see below.

The Value Shoppe (what's with the spelling of shop?) was steps away from great Chinese stores and restaurants. Here's a ubiquitous scene in Toronto - a TTC streetcar.

My newly coiffed son eats a Chinese hotdog.

I tried chrysanthemum tea. It was sweet and tasted like nothing I can compare it to. I liked it, but I wouldn't want to chug it back on a regular basis.

Here are my Value Shoppe cups. I almost didn't buy them, but when the woman said they were .25 each, I knew I'd regret not buying them. They were made in England.
I think they're pretty in a seventies way.
I bought some groceries in Chinatown. I couldn't resist this sauce. Mang Tomas looks so mysterious. Ken cracked up when I showed it to him: "All purpose sauce? What's in it?"

If you follow this blog, you know how much I love Kate Bush. The hilarious KB parody is from This is Not the Nine O'Clock News. Pamela Stephenson really captured the essence of Kate, right down to name checking Proust and Cocteau. The song is based on "Them Heavy People," but they tack on "Oh England My Lionheart" at the end, but change the lyrics to "England, my Leotard."


  1. Those cups are too cute! I would have bought them for that price too! That chair is an awesome find. Also that free tray is really cute! Im not sure why, but I like it too. Theres a certain something about it! This entry did live up to the hype! Love it! I also love how you mention me in your posts makes me feel special!

  2. You are special. I can tell that you're a good person and fun too.
    Keep smiling!

  3. Oh, just reading that there is somebody else out there who loves my 'Katie Lady' as much as I do makes me smile!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Oui, oui! I adore Kate. I got her autograph twice. I'll have to dig out my treasured autographs some time and write a post about my awkward experiences meeting my musical heroine.

  5. I bet when you turn over those great cups you will see the designer is Cathie Winkle. I keep noticing her dishes here and there and am trying to convince myself to start collecting them as they are so reminiscent of the 50's and 60's.
    I could be wrong about Cathie Winkle, but they 'do' have the look!
    I just found your blog this morning, I live far away from TO but like your adventures in thrifting! J

  6. OH! Those cups are making me SWOOOOOON! What a fabulous find. That and the chinese hot dog...I am hungry! :)

  7. Oops I can't spell...Kathie with a K Winkle. J

  8. Love your posts. I'm a Filipino living in Singapore (I love tapsilog & Mang Tomas sauce); hoping to migrate to Canada (Toronto or Calgary) in a couple years. I also love thrifting; I hit the Salvation Army shops here maybe once a year, but haven't been able to buy much of note recently (bit overpriced I think). No Vinnies here :(. Till next!


About Me

My photo
I'm a slightly off-beat Toronto-area teacher who enjoys writing and photography. I come from a family of collectors and now I'm dragging my own family around to yard sales. It's just a bit of fun. Enjoy the scenes.