What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Junk Ranch Spring Edition 2019

Another Junk Ranch is in the books!

Wednesday is the day we start set up.  But, this particular Wednesday was a wash out - it poured rain all day and the fields and street were flooded.  The Junk Ranch takes place in a big old field, so it was a nervous day waiting to see what Thursday would bring.  Luckily, the rain stopped late Wednesday night and the sun came out early on Thursday.  Load in was delayed until noon Thursday to give the field time to dry out.  My spot was a little soft, so I had to carry all my items into the field before setup.  I usually set up my booth on Wednesday and then have all day Thursday to get the merchandise displayed, plus a couple hours on Friday morning to finish up.  But, this time I had five hours to do it all PLUS carry it all in.  I was an emotional mess.  But, I had The Bean and The Breadman with me plus a fabulous Ranch Hand named Tadpole came to my rescue with a Gator.  The boys piled in on the Gator and Tadpole drove it to me.  I started setting up the area while they schlepped it all to me.  I ended up having it show ready in less than five hours from pull in to pull out time.  It was nice to know that I was able to do that - but I really don't want to have to do it again.  I was EXHAUSTED.  

The show hours were a bit different this year so maybe we could beat the heat.  The gates opened at 8:00 am each day and closed at 3:00 on Friday and 4:00 on Saturday.  It was still hot even though we had earlier hours and it was two weeks earlier than usual.  But, it stayed dry, so that was what really mattered for a successful show for me.  

I have found a lot of  vintage paintings this year and I found an easel, so I made a little art corner.  I sold quite a few of the paintings.  It also blocked the area where the two tent legs were awkward.  

My best friend from high school came to see me!  We have only seen each other twice in over thirty years.  I didn't have much time to talk, but it sure was sweet of her to come see me!

This little sweetie got the vintage sombrero from my booth.  It was the real deal and child sized.  I have never seen such a cute sombrero.  Or little customer, for that matter!  

The little gals were investigating the inside of the old metal dollhouse that was under the table.  

My sign out front.  I need to have it permanently painted because I have to redo it every show and sometimes every day if the moisture gets it.  

Okay, more booth shots.  I just threw it all up this time, but I did make some themed vignettes.  Side-eye Jesus got a lot of attention, but didn't sell.  That's okay by me, because he's a conversation starter.  

I really never know what all I have because I buy it, price it and store it all year long.  When I started putting it out, I had chickens, sheep, pigs, butter boxes, butter signs, milk bottles and breadboards - so a farmyard theme developed on this side.  One gal picked up a butter box and said, "What would anyone DO with an old butter box?"  Then she opened it and declared, "IT IS EMPTY".  I think she was in for a difficult day out on that field if the thought of a vintage NOS butter box baffled her that much.  It made me chuckle.  

I enjoyed the "scary doll" holding a pistol.  The gun sold pretty early, the doll did not.    

A truly horrible shot, but I took some old book pages from a 1930's Farm Animal book and framed them.  I sold most of them and now I need to find more because they were SUPER CUTE.  

I love old toys and I always take a lot, but they really don't sell well.  But, this time I sold a lot of them!  Yeah!  

Always plenty to see in my booth.

This side was pretty much all the things that I had taken to the Junk ranch a time of two, so I marked it all down and then I even had a half price sale on Saturday afternoon to move some of it out.  Now it will go to the booth.  

The souvenir plates are popular lately.  I have about 50 of them, but only took some with me.  I thought people hung them on the wall, but most of them said the actually eat on them!

This was the half off area before I made it half off, I had to pull somethings that I didn't want to practically give away.  Like that Irmi lamp.  

Cowboy area, office supply area, coffee area.  I still love my crates - easy to make small things seem like big areas.  

I had a few extra tubs full, so I just let people dig in them. It was interesting that the mentality of digging in boxes meant that they wanted it super cheap.  That's why I prefer to display it -but I'm still cheap on my prices.  

Annalee's are popular too.  Thank goodness!

Here was the line behind me at load in.

And the line in front of me.  

I had my first theft.  It really made me sick.  I wouldn't have noticed it if it hadn't of been the single most expensive thing in my booth!  I had two really old cast iron Turkey doorstops.  They were iron and super heavy and worth double the $68 I had on each one.  I had gone to the bathroom and when I came back, I noticed one was gone.  I was excited!  Until The Bean and Lara said no one had paid either of them for it.  The next day, the owners of TJR told me that someone else had a metal bird stolen from their booth.  So, someone had made a game of stealing metal birds!  I bet they took more, but people either didn't realize it or didn't report it.  

It's always fun selling at the Junk Ranch, but by the time we are all done tearing it down, we almost all say we are DONE and will never do it again.  But, then a few weeks pass and we all get excited about it again.  I think it's like having a baby.  You forget the bad part and just remember the  good stuff.  The good stuff for me are all the friends I have made with the vendors and my favorite customers that drive across town to see me and that drive from states away to see me.  They bring me gifts, cookies and homemade sweet tea.  Seriously, great folks.  

So with that, I have started making and buying all ready!  October will be here soon!  :D

PS If you read this - please leave a comment?  Just so I know that someone is reading it somewhere.  

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Neosho Citywide Sales

The Bean and I got up early Friday morning and headed to Neosho.  He's still my yard sale road trip buddy, which is nice for a multitude of reasons.  I wouldn't travel alone, I love his company, he shops too and in case there's another F-L-A-T, he can change it for me.  We usually stop at the AR state line and hit Goodwill right as they are opening to use the restroom and to make a quick run through the aisles.  This time we were too early to do that (I WAS TOO EARLY!), so we just got some gas and used the restroom there (TMI?).  We hit our first sales in Neosho about 9:00, which I am sure is late to the die-hards, but there's a drive and I really don't want to deal with the die-hards that are there trying to get the furniture and tools and stuff very first thing.  I never go in mind of what I want - I am just happy to find what I do find.

First stop was at a motel where people set up in the parking lot.  It's really more new stuff, but The Bean collects knives, so he usually finds one there.  So, I stop there first thing to appease him.  There is also this family that buys storage sheds and estate sales and they bring all the clothes and leftover household goods and smalls there.  They line them up on these 40 foot long tables and everything is a quarter.  A lot of times it is store buyouts and there is old medicine and crap that no one wants.  But, this time there was a lot of older stuff like I like.  I spent $10.00, so that was 40 items.  I dug and found a pocket of vintage Christmas, which was probably my best find of the day, really.  It wasn't a lot, but it was in perfect condition and the price was certainly right.

I got most of that Christmas there, but I did find a little bit here and there throughout the day.  The old indents are my favorite and I need them for inventory - but COME ON!  They cost a quarter for all of them and they are beautiful.  So, that will be a conundrum for me.  There's a sneak peak of some of my finds.  

I found this Holt Howard soup tureen at a Church Sale about noon.  I was amazed it was still there - and only $2.00!  The tomato shakers were by it, so I put them inside the tureen along with a little 10¢ Kewpie doll.  When I got home, they were still inside so I'm not sure I paid for them.  I thought the shakers went with the tureen, but they were priced $3.00.  I did tip them $2.00, bit now I have guilt over that $1.00.  I will remember next year and tip more.  Things like that really bother me!

We stopped at an antique store that had tents set up in the parking lot.  I scored the vintage musical bunny out of a bin at a tent full of newer baby junk.  You never know when you will find an oddball vintage item.  So much of this stuff was picked up an item here, an item there.  But in the end, it looks like a lot and it all meshes together.  

Close up of the Christmas because WHY NOT?  Those indents are so, so fabulous.  

The Quince and Cherry prints were at a sale with a lot of good stuff, but nothing was priced.  My pet peeve.  But, then I noticed a sign - everything $1.00.  Well, WHOOPIE!  I only bought seven things because we were afoot and the car was a long ways away.  

I think I got the chocolate box there.  And that embroidered baby announcement.  The people selling it liked it, but wondered who would want such a thing.  "Lots of people", I said.  I bought the old Goodyear breast pump from a scroungy, but very nice, guy in a roller rink parking lot.  He looked at it to determine what it was and then said, "Ouch".  :)  I don't understand how so many people are selling things that don't know what they have until I walk up with it.  

Can you see the elephants on the card tablecloth?  The glass heart was a 25¢ impulse buy because it looked nicer than usual.  It turned out to be a Robert Held piece from Canada worth about $40.00.  

Dogs and deer were at the 25¢ tables sale.  They'll be worked into something Christmas-y.  That fruit is old and made of wax.  I rarely find that stuff in good shape.  The BINGO thing is a box top, but still cool.  The roller skate is Avon, which I do not like - but I am on the hunt for some roller skating items, so I grabbed it.  

Some books and odds and ends.  If I like it and it's cheap - I buy it.  I bought a box full of those white balls, pool chalk and lots of other weird gaming stuff.  Someone guessed the balls are Foosball balls, and I think they are right.  

I picked these up at the quarter sale.  I thought someone might like them for a buck or two.  I have young customers looking for "old stuff" from the mid 80's.  Ermergerd.  They are kitschy enough someone might like them.  


When I was unpacking, I found these sweet little Wintery barn paintings in my bag.  I'd never seen them before - what on earth?  Then I flipped them over and found the little girls on the reverse.  So, I accidentally scored some nice paintings too.  

The Bean has a collection of mini monuments, so it was fun to find these three to add to the collection.  

On the way home, we stopped at the Goodwill because it was 4:50, and the traffic from Walmart corporate was about to let out.  I'd rather kill time that be in all that traffic.  Plus hello?  Goodwill!  It was there that I found the most hideous thing EVER.  


Can you EVEN?  

The vintage doodads aren't a bad addition - but all those dang 1980's bows?  Blech.  

I thought it was a ceramic light up tree and I could tell it was hot glue, so I thought I could pop off the stuff and hopefully the tree would be salvageable.  

*Fingers crossed!


Although it's not a lighted tree - just a tree.  But it's still pretty neat and I know it will sell.  

Plus I saved the good vintage stuff for my creations too.


So, next weekend there are TWO citywide sales - one in Bella Vista and one in Elkins - both about equal distances from my house - 20 minutes or so.  Bella Vista is sprawling and on hills, but I had good luck last year.  Elkins is a new sale this year, so who knows?  There are a lot of brand new homes and a lot of really old small houses (Yes, please), so it could be a mixed bag.  Either way, I'll be back with a report!  I'm trying to get back on the blogging train.  Woo-woooooooo! :D

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Where O' Where........?

Where o' Where has the time GONE?????  That reminds me of the old HEEHAW "Where o' Where are you tonight...?" skit. But, I'll spare you my singing and Raspberry blowing.

I always think I need to blog- but I really don't go anywhere fun this time of year and the junk is in short supply.  There are three citywide sales coming up in April, so I am excited for that.  One is in Neosho, MO which is about 80 miles away, but a straight shot up the four lane divided highway, so it's an easy trip.  Another is in Bella Vista which is only maybe 35 miles away.  Bella Vista is a "village" that is nothing but retired people and about thirty golf courses and Country Clubs.  It sounds like vintage heaven, but in reality - they all retired there and had an estate/moving sale before they moved to sell off all that cool old vintage junk.  Damn them.  But, it's close and you can still find some vintage, so why not go?  The third is a new one in Elkins which is just a hop and skip up the highway.  It's an older town with new subdivisions, so it should be a mix of old and new.  I intend to sniff out the old stuff.  :)

I have been busy sorting stuff.  A very nice teacher friend retired and cleaned out her craft room.  She had bought and hoarded craft supplies thinking that once she retired, she would craft all day long.  But, when she really DID retire, she decided that she enjoyed being outside painting furniture and working in the yard more that staying inside the house.  So, she cleaned it out and offered it up to me all for FREE.  I was expecting a box or two of craft supplies.  But, when I got there - it was a lot.  Like it filled my car up to the tip top including the passenger seat.  A lot of it was shoe boxes full of random things that needed sorting - I am good at that since I am the queen of shoe boxes full of random crap-ola.  There was boxes of scrapbooking stuff, which I sorted out into keep, donate, sell and give to my scrapbooking friend piles.  The best thing were boxes and totes full of new Stampin' Up Rubber Stamp Sets. I'm still sorting them and researching them to see the best place and way to sell them.  They are heavy, so ebay is debatable.  I may try locally on Facebook or in my booth.  Except she has a booth there and said they never sold well there.  Hmmmmmm.  Sorting her stuff made me want to sort my own stuff.  So,  a lot of mine went to Goodwill so I could make room for some of the things that I kept from her.  The circle of junk.  I mostly kept punches and papers and things I could use for my crafts like banners and a new project I am wanting to try.

Speaking of the booth. I did speak of the booth, didn't I?)  For about five months, the checks have been iffy.  And by iffy, I mean - they have bounced.  That's not good.  It's not that the money isn't there - it's in one account and he transfers it over as the checks come through so they are covered.  Sometimes, he "forgets" to cover them, so they bounce.  He issues a new check and we have to pick it up.  He thinks of this as a a minor inconvenience, when it is actually a real pain in the rear end to have to watch your bank account, make a second trip up for the second check and then hope that one goes through okay.  FINGERS CROSSED.  Sheesh.  Then, this month, I went in on the 1st and was told the checks wouldn't be ready since February was a short month, but they would be in  a couple days.  Okay, I can understand that.  But, what ended up happening, is the checks weren't "ready" until the 13th. And, even when they were "ready" I had to wait while he actually wrote the check that day.  It's such a hassle.  He gets our rent and commission money instantly, but we have to fight to get our money. 

The funny this is, I had decided to leave, so I was having a big sale trying to clear things out.  Then, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and stay - then the check was 13 days late.  (insert forehead smacking emoji here).  So, my booth is a wreck with the sale and people digging in it.  I'm not sure if I am staying or leaving.  My brain says leave, but my wallet likes the money.  But, can I get the money????  Gracious.  What a mess.  

The Junk Ranch is May 31-June 1 from 8-3 this year.  A week early and earlier hours, so hopefully we won't croak form the heat.  It will still be hot though, I am sure.  I still haven't unfurled my tent from the big windstorm at the Holly Jolly JR, so who knows if I am even ready for a show or not.  But, ready or not, it'll be here soon.  I've bought a few things, but mostly plan on taking what I already have and having a sale to clear some stuff out at good prices.  I'm also going to take some Christmas, even though it's June because the Christmas Event was cancelled on the second day and people were wanting certain things I had there then.  I'll just take what I see and throw it together.  I've done this enough times, I can make it NOT look like it's thrown together.  

I stopped into a flea market the other day that I never stop at because it is sparse and not the things I want to buy.  It's still that way, but I did find this tiny box of vintage Christmas ornaments.  It was $5.00, but 40% off, so  nice little treat for my time.  It will go in my collection since it is FREAKING ADORABLE.  You understand, right?  As I checked out the lady informed me that the store was going out of business.  I could have forecast that based on the emptiness and sad booths.  

I picked up a set of these huge brass Lion head drapery tiebacks at Goodwill.  They were in the sealed package from JC Penney's dated 1981.  The plastic was all yellowed, so I opened it for the photos.  I paid $3.98 for them and they sold for....$128!  Whoop!  I accepted a Best Offer on them after a very nice lady sent me messages about them.  I knew they were meant to be with her.  Niceness pays and that's still a heck of a profit.  You just never know what you'll find out there!

I hope you are all well.  And my ALL, I mean the three of you that might pop by to read this post.  If you're on Instagram - follow me at @sharamonkeybox  I post there several times a day.  Junk, journey's, stories and whatever floats my boat.  But, I promise I'll still come here from time to time.  

See you then?

Monday, January 28, 2019

January Recap and SOME JUNK!

Not long after my last post, my Mom ended up in the hospital.  She was there the week of Christmas, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I stayed with her the whole time, so we really never had Christmas.  I came home on Christmas day and had a meal and opened gifts.  We only get each other a few things, so it was quick.  The boys pooled their money and bought me a fancy Cannon camera with lenses and tools and a tripod and all sorts of things that I have NO IDEA how to use.  I haven't really even looked at it to be honest.  But, I will. 

I had called my Mom on a Saturday morning and she started off talking okay, then it turned into gibberish.  I manged to get her to hand the phone to my step-dad.  He thought it was her blood sugar and he was giving her peanut butter and juice. He thought she was getting better, but it really scared me, so I suggested that he call an ambulance.  Once it got there, they thought it was a stroke, so they took her to the hospital.  After a blood test, they discovered that she only had four units of blood in her body - normally you have 14-15.  Over the next two days she had six units of blood and two IV's of straight iron.  Man, that iron had her PUMPED UP.  She wanted to do trivia at 1:00 am, watch a movie and talk about food.  It was funny to see her go from talking gibberish (that was not funny - that was terrifying) to being all fired up and wanting to go-go-go!  Apparently, one of her medications has been taking her iron and just flushing it straight through her body instead of using it to make and maintain her blood cells.  She went home on the 26th and promptly got bronchitis and a sinus infection.  GOOD GOD.  Actually, that was about two weeks later - I got those things two days after being home.  She is finally feeling better from that.  She is still weak, but the doctor said that she would be weak from the blood loss for a few months - throw in being sick, and well, yes. 

So, that's my life so far this month.  I am feeling better and have had the junk fever lately.  But, there isn't much good junk out there.  I was hoping that 'Spark Joy" thing would fill up the thrifts.  I think it is- but mostly clothes, books and kitchen stuff.  Not the sort of things I want to find.  Besides, who in their right mind would open a box of vintage Christmas and have it NOT SPARK JOY????

I went to an Estate Sale this weekend.  Twice, in fact.  Thursday I bought a few things and when I left the lady told me it will be REALLY CHEAP on Saturday afternoon.  Well, I'm no fool,  I went back on Saturday afternoon.

I bought this old metal doll crib on Thursday.  There was a huge walk-in closet stuffed full of dolls, barbies, doll clothes and baby clothes.  The crib was in the back full of junk.  I asked how much and it was $20.  Then someone said the dolls were half off, then someone else said the whole closet was half off.  Finally we all agreed that the crib would be $10, so I swooped.  I wish I could keep it, but it will go to the Junk Ranch.  It's a minty green and very sweet.

.I also bought this beautiful California Hand Prints tablecloth on Thursday.  It was the second week of the sale and late in the day, so I cannot imagine how it was still there!  It was $6, but 25% off so that was a no brainer.  It's a keeper!  Everything was 25% off and the dolls were 50% off - when I tallied it up at home, my purchases totaled $52, but I was only charged $20.00.  So, not sure what kind of math that was - but I liked it.  :)

I spotted that huge 5 lb. Louis Sherry Chocolate tin on Thursday, but it was $25.00.   When I left on Saturday, I held it up and the lady flashed five fingers at me.  SOLD.  Also a keeper as I already had the two smaller ones.  

So, Saturday I was in the doll closet looking and the lady stopped by to say "I will make you a good deal on anything in here - we have to get rid of it!"  So, I said, "How about all of it?"  Well, her eyes light up like "YES!".  She thought and said, "$40?" and I said, "SOLD"?  There was a lot of stuff - ten trash bags FULL and boxes and tote bags and baskets and a hamper and on and on.  I got it all organized and a man helped me load it all.  I couldn't even see out the windows!  That;s when I decided I was crazy.  Lol  

Sunday I spent the whole day sorting it.  I have four trash bags going to Goodwill, things for a friend, an ebay pile, a Junk Ranch pile, a booth pile and a things to still research.  There are five Ziplocs full of Barbie clothes and one gallon Ziploc full of nothing but Barbie SHOES.   I mean, that is a LOT of shoes.  

Effenbee baby doll headed to ebay.

Strawberry Shortcake dolls for ebay.

My favorite things to list and sell - smalls.  They are all in that big chocolate tin, so I can paw through them and decide what to do with each item.  Do you see those TEENY CAT EYE GLASSES?  I mean, seriously!  

Santa will stay at my house.  Because, duh - SANTA.

Here's probably part of the reason that stuff wasn't moving out of the doll closet.  It's a doll size or children's sized set of silverware.  Completely cute and all - but $35.00?  Of course, I got it in the "all for $40.00" haul, so it was a great deal.  I love them and will hang on to them for awhile.  

Buying an entire close like that is a huge amount of work from packing, loading, unloading, sorting, hauling away, selling, pricing, etc.  It takes a lot of time.  But, I think I will probably make $800-$1000 when I am said and done.  So, time is money and money is time.  

Friday night The Bean and I went to a concert and I booked us a motel room for the night.  We were only about 45 minutes away, but it was spitting snow and I knew we wouldn't be headed home until after 1:00 am, so why not play it safe and get a room?  But, when we got there - the SKEEVE factor hit big time.  The rooms were in the process of being renovated, but the tile wasn't complete, the grout was dirty, there was no hot water, there was a quote from the movie "Saw" scribbled inside the bathroom door "Let the games begin..."  There was a small window IN the shower, but no covering.  Oh, I could go on and on.  We complained about the water and were moved to another room.  It was actually renovated and not too bad.  But, I still had the ick factor.  When we got back after the concert, there were 12 men in the parking lot and six went into the room on the left of us and six went into the room on the right of us and I was like, "Oh, HELL NO. I am not staying here!"  So, we grabbed our stuff and hightailed it home.  I think the $62.00 loss on a non-used room was a fair price to pay for not getting robbed and/or murdered.  We had been at the casino and although no one knows if you have won or lost- why not try to rob them anyway - just in case?????  Anyway, the concert was great, I did win a little and we will always remember that motel adventure!  

So, what's going on in your world?

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Holly Jolly Junk Ranch Recap

I survived the Holly Jolly Junk Ranch.  


(That is called Foreshadowing)

On Tuesday on the week of The Junk Ranch, I took my personal blowmold collection out to the property and built a photo op area right inside the front gate.  

The sled and chair belong to The Junk Ranch, but the rest is mine.  

The old bike was sitting there too, so I added a snowman family taking a ride.  It was very cute and it was a hit with the customers on Friday as they came in the gate.  

Since I was on the property Tuesday, I was able to set up my tent and tables, then make trips with merchandise on Wednesday and Thursday in my car - so no van rental this time. The van is handy - but costly to keep the entire five days.  So, it was nice to be able to do it in stages.  The Breadman had offered to bring the giant box truck out on Saturday night so we could just load up will-nilly and be done quickly.  It wasn't to be over until 7:00, so in the dark and cold loading needed to be FAST.  So, he agreed to help, even though he had decided in the Spring that he didn't want to do that anymore.  Don't ask - I have no idea.  

Friday the gates opened at 10:00 for early shopping, then general admission at noon.  There was a line at 10:00 - not the usual long, long line like in the Spring and Fall, but still a good amount of people.  As I was in my booth finishing up, I could hear them talking in line and I heard my name.  A lot.  Like a REAL lot.  When the air horn sounded that the gates were open, the people came in like cattle.  Straight to MY booth.  It was insane!  I had people grabbing things they had spotted on FB and IG that they came specifically hoping to buy.  The line to pay was out of my tent plus people were still shopping.  When it finally slowed down - I looked at the time and it had only been 55 minutes!   I don't normally count money, but I did a quick count and I had sold over $700 in that first 55 minutes.  

This is the backside of the booth.  
The Bean snapped a few right before we opened but I never did get any of the inside.  

I shopped carefully for this hot cocoa, plaid throw display.  I thought it turned out great.  That sign was just for sale - I put the Breakfast with Santa on it to give it personality.  I can't tell you how many people asked where the Breakfast with Santa was going to be. I mean, the field is full of painted signs that say BAKERY and FLORIST.  Are people asking them for doughnuts and flowers?  I don't get it.  I ended up stripping it off and putting a clever "THIS SIGN FOR SALE" on it.  

The side customers saw when they came in the gate.  This was Thursday before my neighbors had set up their booth.  

All the vintage.  SO MUCH!

My first customer was Kelly, aka The Rosebud Queen, who bought an armload of stuff but came hoping to get this upcycled pink painting that I had done.  She's so silly - she made me sign the back. Like I'm an artist or something.  

These ladies bought my ornament encrusted wreath.  
They loved it.  I loved them for loving it!

The pink truck full of vintage pink goodies sold later in the day to this nice lady.  It's funny that I ask to take photos of people, but I refuse to have my own taken.  :D

It was a record first day for me.  In fact, I surpassed the entire Fall Show in that one day.  I was pumped.  Saturday was a huge day in town with a Civil War reenactment plus Santa was coming and people were going to be shopping like crazy.  It was going to be a great day.  

The ladies of the Junk Ranch had worked so hard to decorate the property.  The old farmhouse was so cute all lit up.  

The blowmold Santas were fun lit up at night.  

We were supposed to stay open until 7:00, but there was rain and possible storms in the forecast.  We all started moving things in under our tents about 5:30 just in case it rained.  About 6:00, lightening started getting very close, we all shut down and got in our cars to leave.  My tent is always staked to the ground, plus we have weights on each leg and they are staked to the ground.  We added rope from the grommets on the canopy down to more stakes to the ground.  I have walls that come down to the ground, so we put everything under the tent, zipped up the walls and went home.  It was all very tight and secure.  

I was literally running to the car (I don't run) when I tried to get a photo of the old barn, truck and camper.  It was dark and the lightening was really hitting close.  It was scary.  

It rained hard on the way home, but then it stopped.  I watched the weather and the bad storm activity was going South and was missing us.  I took a shower and got in bed about 11:00, but when I checked the weather one more time - a new storm was headed straight for us.  It rained.  Lord, it rained.  Then the winds came.  I have never heard wind so strong and loud.  I was thinking so hard about my tent and my merchandise, that it occurred to me that the house could very well go so I better pay attention to what was happening.  The wind continued for hours.  It was so scary and so upsetting.  I never did go to sleep - I stayed up watching the weather and checking Facebook to see if there was any word on The Junk Ranch.  
About 3:30, there was a Facebook post - "Vendors we are on the grounds doing our best.  If you have an outside canopy - it is mostly likely gone or heavily damaged.  Come as soon as you can"  My heart sank.  I jumped up, put in my contacts, threw on some clothes and I was out there a little after 4:00.  I was envisioning it all gone like you see on TV after a tornado.  Wiped clean.  Just as I was almost there, Amy from the JR texted that my canopy as partially off and to come as soon as I could.  I texted that I was almost there.  I couldn't imagine was I was going to find or see.  I wasn't ready for what I did see.  

My tent.  
All my things I had worked so hard to find and to create.  

It all looked like trash.  There was stuff on the ground.  It was wet or muddy or had grass all over it or all three.  It was so upsetting.  But, what could I do other than just tackle it?  Amy came to my tent and she was so overcome with emotions that she couldn't even speak.  I was upset and sad.  But, no one was hurt.  People could have been killed if it happened during the day.  It could have taken out our homes and our families.  We were all okay.  My tent was the only one that held.  But, the rain soaked the ground which made one stake pull out in the wind, which took the canopy partially off.  A Ranch Hand named Chris had tarped my booth immediately when they found it to save what we could.  I owe a lot to him, Amy and Julie! One leg on my tent has a crease in it, so I am hoping I can get that fixed. Thanks to The Bean, it held.  I am still amazed.  

Most people had lost their tents - like blown a hundred feet away  - furniture was tossed around, the porta potties had all flipped over, the glass nut roaster counters flipped and broke - there was so much damage.  But, oddly enough?  The Santa blowmolds were all perfectly in their spots - not one had moved an inch.  The Bean had screwed and ziptied them to the house, but the wind must have gone the other direction and saved them.  Honesty, if I would have lost them, I would have been sick.  

I threw away a lot.  Mostly vintage Christmas.  I tried to salvage as much as possible.  

I discovered that when Shiny Brites get wet, the color comes off of them.  That color runs off in the water and that colored water stains.  EVERYTHING.  So, the ornaments had to go, the vintage boxes, the stuff the color ran on to - all of it.  I had a bunch of Hershey's tins that were holding water.  I knew they would rust and/or get mold - so they all went.  The dress form was made of hundreds of layers of newpaper - it swelled up and was a mess.  So, it had to go.  Some of it I might had been able to salvage, but it was a wet rainy day and I didn't have anywhere to spread a thousand things out to dry.  I didn't want mold in the garage, so I just tossed it.  Luckily, most of my handmade stuff had sold the day before and what was left, somehow was perfectly fine.  I didn't have that van and the truck was being used to deliver bread, so we had to load up and make multiple trips home.  But, we got it all done. 

When it was all cleaned up and in the car, I took a look and saved all these little pieces off the ground.  It's all very me and very Holly Jolly Junk Ranch.  

Here are the blowmolds safe and sound on my own porch again.  I keep waiting for them to get stolen or blown away because wouldn't that just be ironic?

As I was pulling off the property Saturday, a couple came in the gate.  I could tell they were confused - no one was taking money (there was a sign that said Event Cancelled, but it had fallen over) and there was a lack of tents and people.  She walked over to me and said, "What's the deal?"  I said that the event had been cancelled due to the weather.  She started shaking and threw her hands up and said, "Well, isn't that JUST terrific?  We drove alllll the way from Fayetteville for NOTHING?????"  (Fayetteville is like ten minutes away, by the way)  I said, "The vendors lost their tents.  Some lost some merchandise.  Some lost everything.  Some are out of business now.  People could have been killed."  She was having none of that.  Never mind that I had been up for 30 straight hours at that point or that I had thrown away a third of my inventory and half of what I had saved was soggy.  SHE had been inconvenienced.  And she was pissed.  PISSED.  I was tired and on the verge of tears.  She just stood there berating me personally and I so badly wanted to push her.  Push her hard right into that mud trench that I had made walking back and forth to my car over and over loading all that wet stuff.  She had on white pants.  It would have been epic.  (Also, who wears WHITE pants to a grassy field after a HUGE rainstorm???)

I didn't push her. Instead, I got in my car and as I looked in the backseat and the muddy, grass covered tables, wet tablecloths and a mud soaked Santa head - It suddenly struck me funny - her rudeness, her lack of caring and that she was being so selfish.  I laughed until I cried.  It was cathartic, I tell you.  Laughter is the best medicine. 

I was home by noon, but I am told that people in town came out to lend a hand with tear down and clean-up.  There are a lot of wonderful caring people in the community.  Thank goodness.  My doorbell rang shortly after I got home and it was a Domino's delivery from Lara.  She had sent us food to feed our tired minds.  Such a sweet thing to do.  <3 nbsp="" p="">

So, the event didn't go as planned.  For me, it was still a success.  I had a great day of sales.  People were so fun and so friendly.  I did lose things, but nothing that I can't find again or make again.  Vintage Christmas is my favorite thing to shop for and to create with so this venue was totally my wheelhouse.  I think we'll try it again.  I mean, it usually doesn't storm like that in December, so why not give it another go?  

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