Archives for category: Troy

It even makes coffee!

Deep breaths, Janet, she told herself. Standing alone in her boss’s office, she looked around, a bit wildly, at the familiar surroundings of bookshelves, manuals, loose papers (ugh!), and worn desk and chair.

It was no use; she couldn’t fool herself into thinking it was just another day. Her space had been taken over by a handful of businessmen; she’d heard them come in while she was desperately searching for the instructions that were supposed to come with this accursed machine.

Nerves made her stomach wobble. It was even worse than before her New York presentation, because her boss had asked her to cook. Well, to prepare coffee, but that was practically the same thing.

Fumbling with the cord, she plugged the new coffee percolator into the wall. This, at least, she could do. As for the rest, she’d just have to guess.

Troy filled up the bottom with water from the tap in the adjacent bathroom. It wasn’t terribly cold, but it would be heated anyway, right? And it was obvious enough that she’d have to put the coffee in the basket. But how much? This was where she always went wrong.

Opening the package of strong-smelling, shiny brown beans, she found a little metal scoop. Let’s see, she thought. Six people, two cups each… two scoops a piece? The basket didn’t look like it would hold twenty four scoops of this stuff, but there was only one way to find out. She heard Mr. Thackeray’s voice outside the door. “-just going to check on that coffee.” Janet gulped and scooped faster.

“My dear, how are you doing?” The man raised his white eyebrows and poked his fingers in the beans. “Now this is a style of coffee I’ve never seen before.”

Oh, no. Troy felt her face heating. Her boss thankfully stopped looking over her shoulder, and went to get a square box with a crank from a low cabinet.

“Here,” he said. “You go out and entertain the boys, and I’ll put the coffee on.”

She paused in the doorway and watched him scoop the coffee beans into the box and turn the crank vigorously. “Do you… do you need milk or something? Sugar?”

Mr. Thackeray just waved her off. “Go on, start a brainy conversation with ’em,” he said. “I’ve got this covered.”

Chilton 1950’s coffee percolator.
Makes 30 cups for any social, church, or office function.
Excellent working condition (we tested it.)

Original Etsy Listing ->


Found new, in the box!

There are bosses…..grind grind grind…..and then there are bosses…..grind grind grind.

How could he ask me such a thing, Troy muttered to herself. She and her boss, always strictly business….grind grind grind. Her office, his office….grind grind grind. Her job, his job….grind grind grind…..until this!

“I can hear you out there, Troy,” Mr. Thackeray bellowed from his desk. “If you want to discuss, let’s discuss.”

Grind grind grind.

“It’s a simple request. A, a favor really,” he tried again.

Grind grind grind.

“I take it back, okay?” Thackeray said from her office doorway. “He’s coming into town, he doesn’t know a soul. I thought the two of you might enjoy getting a bite to eat together.”

“Excuse me, Mr. Thackeray. Your nephew?” Troy said. “This isn’t even above and beyond. It changes our whole office dynamic.”

There was no disputing that fact. Thackeray Inventions was a two-person office. Two people and a couple dozen 1 inch pencils.

Vintage Boston Portable Champion Sharpener with box in excellent condition for vintage modern offices.


Original Etsy listing ->

Glass Pyrex butter dish in perfect condition!


Vintage 60’s: Pyrex Covered Butter Dish, “Butterfly Gold”

From whereiusedtolive

Vintage 60's: Pyrex Covered Butter Dish, "Butterfly Gold"
Vintage 60's: Pyrex Covered Butter Dish, "Butterfly Gold" Vintage 60's: Pyrex Covered Butter Dish, "Butterfly Gold" Vintage 60's: Pyrex Covered Butter Dish, "Butterfly Gold" Vintage 60's: Pyrex Covered Butter Dish, "Butterfly Gold"
~ A Troy Story Timestamp ~

“Every young wife needs one,” said Mrs. Pauline Thackeray, holding out a small box wrapped in shiny gold paper. It looked more like a Christmas present than a wedding gift.

“Thank you,” Janet said, resisting the urge to shake it. “I know I’ll love it.” She just hoped it wasn’t yet another cookbook or recipe card set. They meant well, but Janet had a gut feeling that the effort was useless.

“Well, go on and open it, dear,” the big woman said.

Janet tore open the paper, which she noticed had a subtle snowflake design. She was already smiling about Pauline’s wrapping, and that was handy because what she unwrapped was… a butter dish.

Troy almost groaned. Not another cooking present! Renewing her smile, she lifted her head to thank Pauline.

Pauline put a plump hand on her arm. “Now, let me give you some advice. Toast only needs the use of a toaster. Muffins can be bought from any bakery. Any overcooked vegetable can be salvaged with a pat of butter. Just take it from me,” and the large woman winked. “You need all the help you can get, especially if you’re a working woman.”

Troy glanced at the small, milky-white glass dish with its cheerful gold design, and pictured it on her table for years to come. “Pauline,” she said, “you’re a lifesaver.”

Pyrex Covered Glass Butter Dish, “Butterfly Gold”
~ Comes with lid to keep your cat off the counter.

Original listing on Etsy (sold) ->

Heavy Inca Ware vintage serving dishes.

The one good thing about not being able to cook, Janet thought, running lightly up the apartment stairs after midnight, was having almost no dishes to wash.

Unlocking her door, she caught herself smiling as she went to the kitchen counter and collected the wine glasses. The Thackerays were certainly odd. It wasn’t everyone’s older, almost grandfatherly, boss who arranged blind dates for their single (and, all right, lonely) assistant.

Oh, sure, Mr. Thackeray said it was a favor to him, to keep his nephew Michael company, but Troy had known exactly what he was about.

She’d been so sure that his wife would be dreadful, and his nephew a bore or a patsy, but neither of those had been true. Mrs. Thackeray (“Call me Pauline, won’t you?”) was a large, generous woman in every way — a big heart, big body, much perfume, and a loud, rich laugh. She’d been a comic opera singer, Pauline had told Troy, and relatively famous.

Janet thought she could still detect traces of Pauline’s perfume in her kitchen. Before this, she couldn’t have imagined her boss being married. He was just so eccentric! But now, she could easily see how *two* eccentric people could find happiness together.

She dried the wine glasses carefully with a clean towel, and placed them on the shelf above the sink, liking how the four of them looked in a row. Then, there had been Michael Thackeray.

After hearing her sister complain about men so much, Janet had expected him to either be handsome and boring, or smart and fidgety. Michael had been neither, but fairly quiet, relaxed, and not handsome, but not homely, either. Janet got a feeling there had been a brain in there, and that he could become a real friend if they ever met again.

Somehow, she thought, her boss had a knack for making the most unlikely things come true. Troy looked around for the last things to wash, the olive dishes, only to spot them in a shadowed corner of the counter.

When she brought them into the light, she saw that one was empty… and the other was full of olive pits. She hadn’t eaten any, and she couldn’t remember her boss or Michael eating any, either.

Janet’s night ended with a poser: How on earth could one person eat so many olives??

Original listing, still available on Etsy ->

Link to Chapter 1.

Cotton napkins in a pattern that screams "vintage." Could you get any more old fashioned?

Oh. The. Nerve. The nerve of her boss to go and arrange a blind date for her. And then, to propose, “Let’s make it a foursome,” with a faux gregarious chuckle. Her boss never chuckled.

So, for tonight’s entertainment, there would be Janet and her “date”, the boss’s nephew who was probably a real Poindexter. There’d also be her boss and his wife, whom Janet had never met but pictured an Aunt Bee type in floral dress and matching hat. It was a recipe for disaster, and Janet wished she could just spill it into the sink like most of her cooking.

Janet didn’t cook, didn’t like to cook. Nonetheless, she was trying her best to arrange cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the tiny counter in her kitchenette. A pitcher of martinis, a bowl of olives and her one set of cotton napkins. Four people and five napkins—that was the right equation for when, oops, she spilled her drink in her boss’s lap.

She would much rather have spent the evening with an old issue of Popular Mechanics.

Original listing, still available on Etsy ->

Link to Chapter 1.

Samsonite train case. Photo with faux vintage effects in Photoshop!

Only silence greeted Janet Troy as she stepped into her small apartment. Everything was still as she left it, but she couldn’t pretend that she was coming home after an ordinary day at Thackeray. Troy suddenly felt as though her kitchenette was a movie set, and she had suddenly forgotten all her lines.

Sighing, she set the borrowed overnight case on the dinette table. She was just tired from the long weekend. Perhaps it would settle her spirits, to have everything was in its rightful place. Snapping open the metal clasps, Troy began removing the contents.

Just then, the phone rang, cutting into the quiet. Dropping her unfolded nightgown on the table, she hurried for the receiver. Who would be calling her now, at night? “Hello?”


Her sister’s exuberant shriek made Troy hold the phone away from her ear. “Oh, hello, Penny,” she said. “How are you?”

“I’m just marvelous, but what about you? You must have had a screaming good time in New York!”

Troy’s memory supplied snapshots of the trip: the airplane, the presentation, the luxurious hotel, the host at the lobby. “It was… the presentation went well,” she began.

“Didn’t you take the ferry?” Penny’s voice was indignant. “Or at least see Chinatown?”

Troy leaned against her kitchen counter. “I’m afraid we didn’t have much time. It was only two nights, and I was too nervous to think of anything on the first night,” she said, in a rush of honesty.

“I can’t imagine! If it were me, I would have fainted, or started laughing, or something else awful. Did you use the Max Factor?”

Smiling, Janet glanced at the train case which still contained some of her sister’s cosmetic impressive collection. “Yes, I did. It was very handy, thank you.” She couldn’t bring herself to imitate Penny’s overt glamour, but the subtle lipstick, blush, and foundation had handily concealed her fatigued complexion. “Thank you for the loan of your case.”

“So,” Penny said in a business-like tone. “Did you meet any men?”

“Everyone in the audience was a man,” Troy said.

“That wasn’t what I meant, and you know it.”

Troy recalled the hotel employee, looking smart in his uniform, who had seemed to share her enthusiasm for modern inventions. “There was someone,” she said. “But I only spoke with him once. It was nothing to take note of.”

“Oh, Janet,” said her sister. “There’s a fab guy out there for you. I’ll call you in a few days, promise.”

Janet returned to Penny’s traveling case after she’d hung up the telephone. Its vivid floral print no longer seemed to mock her for what she didn’t possess, but hinted instead at a lively future.

Original listing, still available on Etsy ->

Link to Chapter 1.

Vintage Rolodex!

Janet Troy collapsed on the springy hotel bed’s yellow floral coverlet, exhausted. She was still jittery from uncharacteristic nerves, but according to Mr. Thackeray, she had kept calm and coherent.

It had been inspiring, she had to admit, to have all those eyes fixed on her. She hadn’t expected herself to have any sort of flair for public speaking. And she’d been especially gratified that they had come to her, not her boss, with their questions at the end.

Troy opened her large handbag and took out her black address book, and several other loose pages and business cards spilled out. “Damn it,” she said, glaring as they settled on the floor and slipped under bed.

How she loathed loose paper, easily misplaced, and so easily lost. These papers were particularly precious, containing the addresses, names, and telephone numbers of interested parties. She had, unfortunately, run out of room in her address book and had to resort to pages torn out of an attendee’s notebook.

Stepping out into the hall, she knocked on the door next to hers. “Mr. Thackeray?” she called. “I’m going out for a few hours, shopping. Do you need me for anything?”

A muffled negative was the only reply. She walked down the lush, carpeted stairs to the main lobby where a receptionist in hotel livery waited. “Excuse me,” Troy said, “but can you tell me where the nearest stationers…” She stopped, transfixed by something she saw at the front desk.

“Madam?” prompted the receptionist.

“Can you tell me where I can get one of those?” she asked, a bit breathlessly, pointing like a child at the small, absolutely perfect, rotating file card holder. It was exactly what she needed.

“Ah, the Rolodex?” The man held it up as though it were a crystal objet d’art. “We just started using them,” he said. “A very useful device for keeping track of important guests and contacts.” He flipped through the cards, flashing immaculately-written names and numbers.

“It’s wonderful,” Troy said, resisting the urge to lean over the counter. “Where can I get one?”

“They came by special order,” was the reply.

Janet’s spirits fell, but she persevered. “Do you know of anywhere in town that would carry them?”

“How many do you need?”

The receptionist seemed to be enjoying her desperation, but Troy didn’t let him needle her. “Just one.”

“I happen to know of a place. Please wait a moment.” The man turned his back and disappeared into a back office. When he returned, he carried a gray object in his hands. Leaning toward her, he whispered, “Don’t tell a soul,” and motioned for her handbag.

Janet Troy beamed all the way back up the stairs, even if her bag contained a heavy, odd lump. Now, if she only had a nice, sharp pencil…

Archived listing (item has been sold) ->

Link to Chapter 1.