Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will – Bitchy Nurses & Shoe Phones

by Katy on March 28, 2016 · 21 comments

I mentioned the other day that my younger son and I spent some time browsing our local Goodwill in search of hidden treasures. The seventeen year old? He wanted cool stuff to bring home. The forty eight year old? Always in search of the oddest and most wonderful items to photograph for blog posts. It’s an excellent goal for someone who’s trying to:

A) Not become a hoarder.

B) Spend as little money as possible at all times. (Seriously, people. Two kids is college at the same time is going to be tighter for us than an aging celebrity’s forehead!)

First up, this delightful bitchy nurse figurine. Yes, her nose is up in the air and she’s sporting a sour look on her face, but I’m a nurse and I get it. She’s worked 12 hours without a break and needs to pee, which is odd since she’s had zero chance to hydrate. She’s been told by a snotty doctor to carry this tray of mystery disgustingness across the hospital. No wonder she’s pissed. Who can blame her?!

Bitchy nurse

She should be applauded for her efforts to not scream.

Resting nurse face

Second up is this seriously groovy set of vintage kitchen canisters. So very Mad Men! I was tempted to buy them for resale, but I decided to leave them for whichever random Portland hipster spied them next. And knowing Portland, that was likely a fifteen second lag time.

Vintage kitchen canisters

I dare you to not fall in love with these angular graphics!


So much better than this Neal Diamond special. C’mon people, altogether now:

“Forever in blue jeans!”

Well . . . flour storage, that is. Your flour storage would forever be in blue jeans.

Blue jean canisters

I was drawn to this vintage bar stool, of which there were two. I’ve been keeping an eye out for something exactly like this, as I fell in love with a similar one on Little Green Notebook. Yes, it’s super ugly. Vintage, but not cool vintage, but wait one stinking minute before you judge.

vintage bar stool

Look how ugly the Little Green Notebook chair was before she spray painted it. So ugly. So very, very ugly. Have I mentioned that it’s ugly?

Little Green Notebook chair - Before

I think this is one of this most dramatic before-and-after projects on the blogosphere! Alas, I didn’t buy the chair, as it was priced at $19.99, and my budget for this kind of thing right now is curbside find. 

Little Green Notebook - chair after

Luckily, I had all these dogs to cheer my up. Why do they cheer me up?

Ivan The Adorable

Ivan and books

Because my sister’s dog, A.K.A., “Ivan The Adorable” is a mixed breed rescue with similar markings. And thanks to the futuristic world that we currently live in, I was able to text all these photos to my sister in New York City.

By the way, this is my “sad puppy” face. You’re welcome.


Last up in my Goodwill treasure hunt is this Sports Illustrated shoe phone, which featured heavily in countless late night commercials from the early 1980’s.

Shoe phone!

A blast from the past for sure!

Shoe phone!

Oh, Goodwill. . . your diamonds in the rough never fail to amaze!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth March 28, 2016 at 4:57 am

I cannot stress to you how utterly happy I am that I found your site a while back. You had me ROFL throughout this blog! I suwanne, you are a day brightener like no other!


Elizabeth March 28, 2016 at 4:57 am

I suwannee…grrrr I hate to make typos! 😉


JD March 28, 2016 at 6:32 am

I love your Goodwill finds. When you said “shoe phone”, I immediately thought of Maxwell Smart. I would love one of his kind of shoe phones, but of course, would not actually buy one. I am trying to purge, not add to the stuff!
Love the nurse, too. That look on her face says it all!
Hmmm, time to go thrifting to see what kind of silly goods I can find for sheer entertainment value. And maybe find something I actually need, of course! I’ve been on the hunt for a used clothes hamper for weeks now — maybe this week I’ll find one.


Andria March 28, 2016 at 6:44 am

I thought the same thing! I think those were called Sneaker Phones, no? I wanted one so bad, probably just because I saw it on tv. I’m glad my parents never got me one.


Bellen March 28, 2016 at 6:49 am

My sister received that canister set as a shower gift in 1965 and used them until about 1995 until the rubber gasket gave out on the sugar canister.


Marilyn March 28, 2016 at 9:26 am

You did an amazing transformation on the desk chair. It’s now the coolest desk chair ever.


Mariana March 28, 2016 at 10:18 am

Haha love the screenshot of your txt message exchange with a friend. Nordstrom? I don’t think so 😉


Auntie Karen March 28, 2016 at 11:29 am

The chair makeover is smashing, but what really makes it work is the desk update that compliments it. Been doing a bit of house hunting in this area and am dumbfounded by the number of homes sporting yellow walls, and black furniture/cupboards/and curtains! Clean and bright, crisp and white is more appealing to me.


Megg March 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm

I got a free sneaker phone in middle school for selling magazines. I thought I was so cool. Pretty sure my mom did not feel the same way!


Marcia March 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm

I am attracted to the white pitchers in the cupboard above the cool chair. I would have to have bought those if I saw them first.

I have not even been in Goodwill since before Christmas. I am in the DE-cluttering years too. At this rate, it will take two lifetimes. Even my DD says she needs to go in my attic and toss some of her stuff.


Debbie N March 28, 2016 at 12:48 pm

I love those canisters. My mom had some just like it when I was a kid.I probably would have been tempted to buy them.


Sarah G. March 28, 2016 at 1:07 pm

I’m a hospital RN so I totally hear you on the reasons why that statue looks bitchy. She’s doing a great job keeping her mouth shut! It would be a great piece to sit on the counter at any given nursing station!


Jane F March 28, 2016 at 4:01 pm

The funny thing is I much prefer the before chair to the after (though not the goodwill chair)


Jade March 28, 2016 at 5:09 pm

So jealous of your Goodwill stores. We have so many boring op shops in Australia and most are so ridiculously overpriced – yes, you St Vinns. Perhaps there are some good ones that I am yet to find?
That b*** nurse is the fantastic – she certainly looks very displeased.


Gina March 28, 2016 at 5:27 pm

Best Goodwill, Badwill, Questionablewill yet!!! Loved ALL of your finds, expressions & the text with your sis! And I can sympathize with the sourpuss nurse…We’ve all been there.


Bee March 28, 2016 at 5:49 pm

I wish it was frugal to travel to Portland to thrift. You always find such wonderful and fun things!


Jenzer March 28, 2016 at 6:45 pm

Gak, those blue-jean canisters! Foodstuffs and crotch just do NOT go together.


Elizabeth March 29, 2016 at 2:35 am

ROFL Too funny!


JD March 29, 2016 at 5:49 am

Oh, wow, I hadn’t even thought of it that way! You are so RIGHT!


April March 29, 2016 at 7:07 am

Hilarious!!!! LOL.


Diane C March 29, 2016 at 1:43 pm

I remember that chair make-over from a previous post. What struck me was how labor intensive the transformation was. Sure, it looks awesome in the photo, but will it hold up when reality plops its blue-jeaned butt into it repeatedly? Somehow, I don’t think so. I think you were wise indeed to leave those chairs right where they stood. The smart woman chooses her makeover projects vewy, vewy carefully.


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