Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will

by Katy on June 6, 2024 · 29 comments

In the mood to see what I found at my local Goodwill yesterday? Good. Bad. Questionable.

Like this tin featuring a bedraggled group of pilgrims. Nobody looks happy, which I’m guessing is historically accurate.

Especially this guy (William Bradford?) who should be avoided at all costs!

Did not buy.

I was momentary tempted by this $4.99 gnome watering can and even put it in my basket, but I surrendered it at the register. Again . . . I don’t need that disturbing face in my life. The mustache originating in the nostrils cannot be unseen!

I was unable to resist this $4.99 “Fit by Katy” T-shirt, which was weirdly long and actually spelled my name correctly. It’s a bit flared at the bottom, which’ll make it the perfect sleep shirt. It’ll also come in handy if I’m struck by a case of spontaneous amnesia.

I did succumb to this practical purchase — a $2.99 file folder case. I’d been wanting one for my late father-in-law’s paper trail. He died without a will and the executor paperwork for my husband is finicky and excessive. I unsuccessfully asked  for one in my Buy Nothing group, so this was a depressingly perfect find!

Yay me?

I balanced the dullness and practicality of the last find with this antique “craft project” clock case. (You can see that someone wrote “craft project” on the glass if you look closely.) Sure, it has no clock face, but the antique brass gears are beautiful in their own way. The beehive and florals are reverse painted on the glass panel below and aged to perfection. $7.99

Do I need it? No, but there was no way this gem wasn’t coming home with me!

I was thisclose to buying this vintage ceramic lamp, but I ended up leaving it behind for someone else. The glaze work and colors were exquisite, but single lamps can be hard to sell. Priced at just $12.99, I left this bargain for some other lucky shopper.

I’ve saved the best (worst?) for last, as I came across this book and had to investigate further. After all, what am I if not a married woman?

Please note the author’s name is “Hugh R. High.”

Get it? The only way to achieve “marital bliss” is be secretly drunk! Ha ha, women are terrible and the only way to handle marriage is to be a closet drinker. So hilarious!

Nope! Sexist bullshit gag gift stays at Goodwill.


Would you have bought any of these bad or questionable items? Keep in mind that it was 10%-off senior discount day, (you only have to be 55) which made my bargains extra bargain-y.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Ava June 6, 2024 at 1:15 pm

That gnome watering can is wonderful except, as you said, for the nose mustache. It actually looks more like tusks to me which is even worse.


Texas gal June 6, 2024 at 6:27 pm

I agree with Ava — the gnome or elf or brownie or whatever he is supposed to be certainly looks like he’s grown tusks!

I think William Bradford reminds me of a more modern politician, but I can’t think of who it might be. John Connally? Nah… Maybe an actor playing a bad guy.

Meanwhile, for any reader who lives in Central Texas from Bell to McLennan Counties: The Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries stores are repeating their summertime reading promotion. Any child from infant to Grade 12 can go to a Heart of Texas Goodwill store on a FRIDAY and they will give them a free book. OK, it is a “preowned” book but the price is right. The rule is one free book per kid per store. (Yes, this is a chain of thrift stores…so if you have the time….) And it is only on Fridays and only until school is back in session.

The GWs have tons of books, and most are just a couple of dollars. If you want 20% off any donated GW merch, donate something and ask for the coupon. Or, find one of those “Locals Love Us” books being given away free at regular stores; there is a 20% GW coupon in the back. The coupon is good 7 days a week but is only good for donated items. (The GWs also sell socks and underwear and other items that are not donated.)

Now, this has to be a HEART OF TEXAS-affiliated Goodwill; if you are somewhere else, your GW stores probably aren’t doing this same promotion.


Katy June 7, 2024 at 11:06 am

I love that your Goodwills are doing that literacy promotion! I would’ve loved that as a kid. Heck, I’d love it as an adult!


Bee June 6, 2024 at 1:19 pm

These posts are always fun. I don’t remember seeing one for a while. I absolutely love the colors in the lamp. Turquoise and pink are very South Florida!


Katy June 7, 2024 at 11:07 am

It really was an amazing lamp!


A. Marie June 6, 2024 at 1:56 pm

You certainly have interesting Goodwills in Portland. A few comments:

(1) Re: the depressingly practical file folder case: I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record (for everyone out there old enough to remember LPs) about this, but the kindest things we can all do for those we leave behind are to get our personal business in some sort of order, get our end-of-life paperwork made out, and leave clear indications about our other last wishes and other business (including passwords to online accounts).

(2) The “Fit by Katy” shirt is a total hoot.

(3) And I think I’d have left everything there that you did, with the possible exception of the lamp. I agree with Bee that the colors are great.


Selena June 6, 2024 at 7:27 pm

Yeah I have the “I am dead folder” in the office. Not too hard to find and too bad IF you have to do a little work. The 7 figures should make them soon forget what little effort they have to exert.


Katy June 7, 2024 at 11:09 am

I have a “I am Dead” notebook, but it’s probably time to update it.


Kara June 6, 2024 at 2:29 pm

I wouldn’t have bought any of them.

I was thrifting today, looking for teapots (for flower arrangements) for an “English Tea” themed baby shower. I didn’t find any. I did buy a small creamer jug that will work. I also already own a soup tureen and 2 small jugs that will work. So I’m assembling the needed items without much cost ($2 so far). I also bought a pair of short for my grandson for $1.50. That’s it.

My husband succumbed to a solar salesman (he’s the softer touch in this house) and we have their “numbers guy” coming in a few minutes. Since our electricity bill averages $53 a month, I don’t think they’ll beat that. They’ll get a quick no from me. We never have an outage because we’re on the same circuit as the hospital and emergency shelter. And we won’t have an electric car until the batteries are better.


Katy June 7, 2024 at 11:13 am

Sending you big “no thank you” energy with that salesman!


Pat June 6, 2024 at 3:25 pm

You could’ve bought the old pilgrims and did some ghost painting.
I think it’s a hoot to paint in some little ghosties in what are otherwise pretty full pictures.


Katy June 7, 2024 at 11:14 am

You greatly overestimate my artistic skills.


Pat June 6, 2024 at 3:50 pm

You could’ve bought the old pilgrims and did some ghost painting.
I think it’s a hoot to paint in some little ghosties in what are otherwise prettydull pictures.


Selena June 6, 2024 at 7:30 pm

I might have bought watering can. Skipped the shirt without my name. And definitely deemed that lamp butt ugly at the first glance.
One can never had too many file folders. My HSA will soon fill up a filing case. The IRS has deemed record keeping is the responsibility of the HSA owner.


Katy June 7, 2024 at 11:15 am

The thing is that I’m actually low on T-shirts, so this’ll be a good addition.


Jen in Santa Cruz June 6, 2024 at 9:17 pm

This post was just what I needed. A shopping trip to GW/BW, without really going. I love using Google Lens to see what things are worth. I probably would have bought the Gnome Watering Can, but now I can’t un-see the nose rockets. Did you really buy the broken clock?


Katy June 7, 2024 at 11:16 am

I did buy the $6.99 antique clock. I like the brass gears and the case is gorgeous. It’s currently on my mantel.


Lynda McCrimmon June 7, 2024 at 1:54 am

I would have bought the watering can. So unusual. He would look great with all the other unusual things that I have hanging around my patio.


Katy June 7, 2024 at 11:47 am

Now I’mm curious what (who?) else lives on your patio.


CarolineRSA June 7, 2024 at 6:05 am

The angry pilgrim is a ringer for Mr Carson of Downton Abbey


Katy June 7, 2024 at 10:15 am

I guess i should’ve bought it as I already have the Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Patmore and Anna. I almost have the full set!


texasilver June 7, 2024 at 9:10 am

1. My frugal airport trip. The neighbor who usually takes me to the airport was in Ireland. I had to make a plan B. I got a neighbor to drive me 3 miles to the train station. (I gave him a little bag of goodies for his time.) The I used my senior TriRail Easy Pass card to go to the closest station to the airport. Cost 1.25$. I saw online that TriRail was offering a free Uber voucher from the train to various FL airports. I snagged one of those for Uber to the airport. Cost was 11.75 but the voucher covered. I gave the driver a 2$ tip. The cost was 3.25$ vs 26-30$ plus tip to Uber entire way. (I had items for goody bag on hand for my elderly neighbor.) I have more time than $.
2. Before other neighbor went on her trip, she gave me veggies & a bag of oranges to eat. I ate all of it but 1/2 of a cucumber.
3. I found an unopened bottle of Pinot Grigio La Margherita wine made in Italy. I looked it up & it retails for 25$ (US). This will be a gift for a colleague.
4. I am having a very low spend summer as I did not get the usual summer teaching gig I have gotten for the past 20 years.
5. I am teaching HS students for a 2 week STEM/Nursing camp. I have never worked with public school students, so this is a BIG change for me. I have never taught 8 hours at a time. I am exhausted but making it work. So glad today is a day off!


Katy June 7, 2024 at 11:49 am

I’m impressed with the Uber voucher!


V June 7, 2024 at 11:02 am

Katy- like you, I wear masks in indoor public spaces. Your mask looks much like my KN94s, , but I’m not able to find my brand online anymore. Could you share what kind of mask you have, and where you got it? Thank you!


Katy June 7, 2024 at 11:50 am

My husband and I use the Air Queen nanofiber filter mask. It’s Korean and in the purple packaging. I buy them from Schmeff Schmezos.


Cindy Brick June 7, 2024 at 12:09 pm

Hey Katy —
I would have bought the “Marital Bliss” — but just for the flask and cups. I’d deep-six the cover.
I got a similar documents box at a garage sale, only to find real Confederate era money inside…and divorce papers! Fortunately, it was a friend of ours, so we were able to return it. (I didn’t even know this was his second marriage.) I kind of wish he’d let me keep at least one of the Confederate bills, though.
And you’re right — the clock was a no-brainer. What a beautiful thing.

You’re aware of the “Weird Secondhand Finds” page on FB, aren’t you? Good for wasting hours of time…


Katy June 7, 2024 at 12:59 pm

I looked inside the files to see if it came with any bonus extra items. Sadly it didn’t.


Barbara June 19, 2024 at 3:40 pm

I might have bought the pilgrims just because I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s kind of special but, truthfully, what would I do with it besides finding a place to store it.


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