This post contains pictures from my last two visits to my mother’s place.  Get ready for some cool stuff, plus a couple of doozies …

Garfield Book CoversGarfield book covers

Mongol PencilsMongol pencils from the 1970’s (made with REAL lead!)  FWIW, these are no longer made in the US, so if you want these pencils you either have to go to my mother’s place or visit another country!

The New Handwriting SeriesMy brother’s old handwriting workbook

Correct PostureAn example of correct posture from the handwriting workbook

Curved LinesCurved lines

Ann is at Home TodayOkay, so Ann is at home, but there’s an ax around?  What’s THAT about?

Easterners Live in the East“Easterners live in the East”?  Okay, now it’s like you’re not even trying!

Perfume Samples From MagazinesMy mother used to leave these perfume samples in her dressers among her clothes.  I found DOZENS of them as I went through her stuff.

Belt With an Enormous BuckleA belt with an enormous buckle

Riga Blank Address BookA blank address book with Riga (the capital of Latvia) on the cover

A Very Expired Bag of MarshmallowsA very expired bag of marshmallows

Scarf Shoulder PinScarf shoulder pin (so THAT’S how women got them to stay up like that?)

Striped Silk ScarfStriped silk scarf — Hello, 1970’s!  Or … what the hell just happened to my retinas?

Scarf With Russian DollsScarf with Russian nesting dolls

Beaded Tip Shoe LacesBeaded tip shoelaces, featuring the rather alarming shoelace guy

Hair VeilHair veil.  I remember my mother showing this to me when I was a kid; it’s what she wore back in the day when women had to have their heads covered when they went into a church.

Woven Latvian StuffWoven Latvian stuff

Part of the Button CollectionPart of the button collection

Hair Style ProtectorsHair style protectors

No Girdle No GartersThis was on a package of nylon pantyhose.  But wait a minute … if I’m not attaching these to a girdle or a garter belt, how do I put these on???

Panty Hose InstructionsOh, thank goodness.  These Panty-Hose come with instructions explaining how to put them on!

Polka Dot Shower CapPolka-dot shower cap.  Is it just me, or does this model not look particularly thrilled to have landed this gig?

BI THERM Dial ThermometerBI-THERM dial thermometer

Pure Corn Starch FoodservicePure corn starch foodservice.  Hang on … FOODSERVICE???  Hmmm … it looks like this might be the kind of box that was sold to restaurants rather than the general public.  Either that, or it’s just really really REALLY old.  I wonder how old it actually is?

Mysterious Expiration DateWell, THAT doesn’t help!  Is that ’74, or ’84, or AD 04???

A Strange Straining DeviceA strange straining device.  We can’t decide if it’s a giant tea ball or a small pasta strainer.  It’s about the size of a softball, or maybe a little bigger.

Tomato and Steak Knives“Tomato and Steak Knives”?  That seems like a strange marketing decision.  Let’s google this to see if the company is still around … huh … original Bakelite handles?  Retro?  Collectible???  *blinks*  Hmmm.  I might hold off before I start cutting any tomatoes or steaks just yet.

Curious Kitchen ToolsThese were a bunch of curious tools we found in a bag that was in the back of a kitchen cabinet.  Okay, we know that the doohickey on top is a corkscrew, because we’ve used those before.  The big one on the right is a chopper, which we learned because my boyfriend pulled it out of the plastic bag by the blade end (oops!) and because once he got it out of the bag he discovered that it helpfully has the word “chopper” printed on it.  The next one counterclockwise on the bottom is a … cherry pitter?  Maybe?  The other two led to some more questions and some more discoveries …

This One is Still a MysteryOkay, our two prevailing theories are “nutcracker” or “medieval torture device.”  We’re currently still stumped, though.  Any ideas?

A Most Curious DeviceThis one is … a slide rule meets a medieval torture device?  We carefully poked and prodded at the moving parts for a few moments, until my boyfriend suddenly exclaimed, “It’s a Gilhoolie!”  I replied, “Oh, great, you’ve seen one of these before?” but he shook his head and pointed …

GILHOOLIEOh.  Well, that was weird and ridiculous.  But at least it gave us something we could search for on google … so now we know that it’s a kitchen appliance that opens jars and bottles!


Lifetime Bottle CapWe don’t know if the Lifetime Bottle Cap actually works, but we got a big kick out of Mr. Saver!

An Amazingly Awful DressI found this dress all the way in back of one of my mother’s closets, and I can’t express how strange, old, stiff, and HEAVY it was.  I was wondering why she’d kept it all these years, but the Lord & Taylor tag inside told me that it must have once been a pretty expensive purchase.

House of Lee MenuHouse of Lee menu, circa … I have no idea, but things were awfully cheap back then.  I remember going to this restaurant when I was young, but it has long since closed and now there’s a discount store at that address.  I LOVE this menu, so please indulge me while I share a few highlights from olden times …

Chinese AppetizersChinese appetizers, featuring “dim sem” and the curiously named “King Crab Crispies”

Hostile ChickensHostile chickens

Poultry Dishes and a Note About Extra SeatingA list of poultry dishes, plus a warning in red about paying for extra seating.  Was that a holdover from the Great Depression, or something?  Was there a big problem with groups of people trying to save money by all sharing one dish?

Miscellaneous Drinks“Yes, please.  We’re ready to order.  I’ll have a Dubonnett Cocktail, and the lady will have a $1.65 glass of champagne.”

American AppetizersHere we have some appetizers from the “American” section of the menu.  Okay, first I’m bewildered by tomato juice being listed as an appetizer (to be fair, it was also included on a list of soups on another page of this menu).  And second … SHRIMP COCKTAIL WAS $2.00?????

Fancy Seafood DishesYou know this is the fancy section of the menu because all of these dishes are over $3.00 (!!!) and because of the fancy language.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the word “surmounted” on a menu!

Group A Group B OrderingWe got to this page of the menu, and just as I was starting to fixate on the chop suey dishes, my boyfriend exclaimed, “Oh, right!  Remember how you used to order Chinese food this way?  Something from column A and something from column B?”  I stared at him in bewilderment because, no, that was before my time and I’d never ordered food that way.  But the more I thought about it, some old memories reactivated in the back of my brain and I remembered that I’d heard old comedians making “something from column A and something from column B” jokes that had gone over my head at the time.  This page is also notable because it’s the last page of the menu and HERE’S where they give you another price warning in case you were thinking of taking up space and not actually ordering anything.

Thanks for reading, and check back soon for more photo updates!