Sunday, March 28, 2010

Junk In, Junk Out

My usual rule is that if I add something I have to get rid of something. With the recent changes in my kitchen I found that I just had too much stuff that wasn't getting used, too, so some things had to go. And then there were these recent finds:

for two years I have been searching for one of these--a Simplex copper tea kettle, made in England. Usually they go for around $70 on eBay, too high for me. This one with its spring-rimmed bottom that is made for use on gas stoves, was listed as "copper kettle" with no brand name and I was the only bidder at $24.99.

The funny part: I found another listed in a similar way for $13.49 so I bid on it too, figuring I'd lose on one of the other--both auctions ended at the same time. Up until two hours before the end, I was winning both! Then the other auction took off while this one did not. Whew! These kettles have built-in whistles and wood handles that do not get hot. Mine was pretty dirty, and you can see the water spots where I hadn't quite finished buffing it out after cleaning it. Some people like to the look of the tarnish, but I prefer the bright copper gleam.

This colander was another eBay find. I was looking for a gray graniteware colander actually, but was using a variety of search terms to see if one was listed, like the kettle, in a way that made it harder to find. Mis-spellings, incorrect placement of the brand name in the listing, or using wrong terms can make an item invisible to searchers. This turned up in a search on just the term colander, as a "Dutch" colander. It too was very tarnished but cleaned up beautifully. My kitchen now has the added glow of copper with these two pieces. And I'll have the added chore of keeping them clean.

With the reorganizing I've been doing, I've had to make decisions about what to keep and what to send down the road. While sorting my cooking tools drawer I was surprised to find I had two egg slicers, three cheese slicers, myriad wooden spoons, two meat thermometers, two biscuit cutters, three get the picture. The fun of buying odd boxes of miscellany at auctions is that you find all sorts of things you weren't expecting--and of course a lot of duplicates for what you already have.
Fortunately most of the dishes and other extra items are finding new homes with friends and family. I bought the Dazey butter churn in this photo for the jar--the top needs repair but I thought the jar would fit my current churn that does not have the Dazey logo on it, even though it is a Dazey churn. My daughter-in-law will take this one and Aaron will fix the lid.

The old colander with its bent leg is really not old--I bought it at a department store called Heck's in the late 1970's. It's small and chipped but it will find a home, I'm sure, with a happy Goodwill shopper. A few items in this box have already found homes. The rest will end up at my favorite donation center.
Are you doing spring cleaning and getting rid of stuff too? What's the oddest thing you've ever found as you sorted? I suppose mine is the broken foot from a milk glass cat figurine I've had since I was twelve. The foot broke soon after I received the cat as a birthday gift, and for over 50 years I've kept it, thinking that one day I'll glue it back on. The day just hasn't come yet.


Susan at Stony River said...

Congratulations on that kettle! I shop at ebay the same way, looking for hard-to-find things -- I search by keyword then scan the categories for something way off-base for instance.

Good luck keeping that copper shining!

Spring cleaning's going on here too, I'm packing up a lot of things for charity donations and a lot of stuff is going to the dump. The rest is getting packed - something might happen to ruin it all of course, but it looks like we're really moving in May. OMG.

Country Whispers said...

Amazing what we all will find as we clean and clean deep.
I am waiting for school to be over so that I have lots of time to clean and clean good. I too will find lots to get rid of. I always box everything up and then my SIL and I have a large yardsale every summer.
This year will be no different.

Nance said...

I try to adhere to that same rule, if one comes in, one goes out. I am soooo much better about obeying that rule that I used to be . . . but it is still hard, still a rule I have to remind myself of. It is not "second nature" yet.

I do enjoy your writings . . . and identify with your topics. Think of you, yet, everyday. Take care.

Janet, said...

I've been cleaning out since the first of the year. I went through the attic and boxed up a lot of stuff to get rid of. Now I can walk through the attic. But the garage is another thing. We can't walk through it. I usually have a yard sale, too.This years will be a doozy. Now, if I can just stop going to yard sales and bringing more stuff in. I can't remember what the oddest thing is that I have found. You've got lots of neat stuff!

Jason Burns said...

I've been doing spring cleaning too - amazing how much junk I accumulate, what with my weekly trips to Goodwill. I'm hesitant to get rid of anything, as we are still remodeling the house and I don't want to get rid of something and then need it later. But some things are easy to get rid of - especially if they break and I've never used it.

And HECK'S is a store I know well. There was one in Moorefield, WV where we went shopping when I was a kid. There were around twelve of us piled into a pickup, so it was inevitable someone would get lost. Turns out, it was me. I was left behind by accident in the Heck's store! My parents noticed it and came back for me, but for a while I was on my own. I was only about 6 or so, I think.

Tipper said...

I've been in the sorting out mood too and have gotten rid of a car load of stuff. Oddest thing-hmmm nothing comes to mind. But your little figurine reminds me of a little broken dog that sits in my kitchen window. My husband found it in the middle of the woods in south GA when he was deer hunting several years ago.

Maggie and Roger said...

I used to always find those old thermometers with the bottom broken out. I was bad about sticking them in a junk cup. Now we're digital so I don't have the problem of breaking them but they are still stuck in a pen/junk mug...

Twisted Fencepost said...

No, I haven't started spring cleaning yet, but it's coming. Been too busy with way too many other things lately.
I like the shiney copper look too.

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