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.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Junking For Junk Food and MORE

The Week after The Junk Ranch, I wasn't feeling my junk ju-ju at all.  I was junked out.  But you know what I needed?  A cake.  Yep.  A big old cake with frosting.  I didn't really need it, but I wanted it.  I never eat much during the Junk Ranch itself and I was depleted of fluids and had low blood sugar.  So, my brain was saying, "Cake.  Cake.  Cake."  

Now, I had heard a rumor that the Salvation Army had starting getting the day old bakery items from Sam's Club and they were FREE.  So, I decided that maybe I would see if I had any junking ju-ju and maybe, just maybe there might be a little something for my sweet tooth there.  And, maybe something in the junk department too.  

When we walked in, I spotted the shelving full of baked goods, and The Bean spotted a huge stuffed Tiger sitting not to far from it.  He went to look at the Tiger while I went to the "Antiques" area  for a look.  You have to make a purchase to get a free bakery item and I had no intention of buying a giant stuffed Tiger!!!  I didn't find anything, so I went to look at the stuffed Tiger (with my eyes gled towards the CAKE area)  Then I got closer to the Tiger.  He was big.  Like, life sized. HUGE.

As soon as I got close to it, I could tell it was old. There was a tiny tear by his ear and I could see it was stuffed with excelsior.  I realized it was Mohair.  And he had huge glass eyes. Then it hit me, "I think this is a STEIFF!"  I told The Bean that I thought this was really something.  He said, "It's only $4.00"  SOLD!  (There was an old Christmas bow around his neck, which made him look tacky.  But, luckily, that came right off.)

It barely fit in the car!! Luckily, I had just left the booth and unloaded a bunch of junk, or I never could have squeezed him in there.  He weighs about 65-80 pounds, I think.  He is so heavy and just beautifully made.  

A lot of googling and research lead me to this:  He is a Studio Steiff, which means he was hand crafted by a team of people over the course of a few days to a few weeks.  Steiff made three different sizes of these Studio Steiff Tigers and he is the largest of the three.  He was most likely for a huge store - like a Macy's Steiff Christmas display.  His eyes glow in the dark, which is a little jarring when you forget he is sitting in the garage.  Ahem.

He's fantastic - don't you think?  Have you ever seen such a HUGE Steiff???

I've seen a value for him ranging from $350-$1800.  I really like that $1800 amount!  :D  He has that tiny tear by his ear that I mentioned and his mouth has been relined with a reddish corduroy. He is also missing four large carved wooden teeth.  I am assuming those were removed for safety.  Someone said he was faded, but his color is consistent, on his stomach and in the crevices of his legs where light would never hit.  So, I'm not sure it is actually faded.

I would LOVE to know where he came from right  here in my town.  Who owned it?  Where did they get it?  Where did they keep him?  Why did they get rid of it?  Fascinating.  

I shared him on a Facebook of thrifters and one of the members shared it on a Steiff page.  I got a lot of response to purchase him - but MAN - shipping would be a beast. (HA! GET IT!)  It would require a trip to the UPS store to be boxed up, then another trip to the BUS STATION to send him on a Greyhound Bus.  Apparently, shipping through Greyhound is completely normal  - but it is all new to me and it sort of freaks me out to think of buying a stuffed tiger a bus ticket?!?!?  Who am I?  Calvin - sending Hobbs off on vacation???  I'd really prefer to sell him locally or meet someone an hour or so away.  More money to me and not to Greyhound.  

I may take him to the Fall Junk Ranch just as a lure into the booth.  But, he's about as big AS my booth.  He'd be a great photo op too.  For now, he's in the garage taking up the space of a Smart Car.  Thinking, thinking, thinking.  I'll keep you posted!

But, here's what you REALLY WANT TO KNOW.  Yes, I got a cake.  A two layer white cake with buttercream icing and PINK roses - just like I get for my Birthday - and it was FREEEEEE.  And, it was DELICIOUS.  $4.00 for a $1000 Steiff and a $25 cake.  YES, PLEASE!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Spring Junk Ranch 2018 Recap

Man, the Junk Ranch seems to roll around fast, doesn't it?  Only a bit over 100 days until I do it all over again.  Spring Junk Ranch is hard for me - I don't really know what to take, so I just take everything I find.  It's just a hodge-podge of junk.  But, the way I set up my crates, each little cubby is a vignette all of it's own, so even though it is all different, it all flows okay.  But, will it sell?  Who knows until you get there.  I don't do gardening stuff and there aren't many holidays this time of year, so I struggle with a theme.  Fall JR is great, all the vintage Christmas I can scrounge up, vintage Fall, vintage Halloween, Vintage Thanksgiving, there's no end to it.  Easy to shop for, but lots of prep too.  I make a lot of it - and by that, I mean I buy random boxes of Christmas and then sort it all out and make dozens of vintage ornaments or baggies of like things.  There's a lot of prep work.  

But, hey, you are here to hear about THIS Junk Ranch!  So, here it goes.

The cons: 

It was hot.  Sooooooooo hot.  I pretty much sat in my lawn chair for two days and drank water.  I usually walk around my booth and mingle and straighten.  But, in that 98 degree heat  - nope.  I also feel the need to give you TMI and tell you that I drank over a dozen bottles of water and never peed once.  You're welcome.  Due to the heat, there weren't as many customers.  The ones that were there were shopping.  It was just not the usual amount, I didn't think.  But, who could blame them.  It was SO HOT.  Kudos to the brave souls that did come shop.  And thanks too!

I have always been the first booth insde the gate, so I make a big display on the backside of my booth that gets the shoppers attention.  This time, there was a vendor selling plants beside me.  And, that is perfectly fine.  I just did not see it on the map, so I wasn't prepared.  I already had my display pretty much up when they started bringing in truck after truck of plants.  By the time they were set up, no one could see my back display, which was half of my merchandise.  I think I only sold a handful of things on that side, so every time things sold on the inside, I moved stuff around.  (I know you're reading this Amy - and don't think I am complaining,  I just didn't see them on the map and didn't prepare for it.  MY BAD.  You know I LOVE YOU!) 

The pros:

It's THE JUNK RANCH BABY.  I'ts grown by leaps and bounds and given so much life and opportunity to the area.  As with any big event, lots of smaller pop up events have sprung up in the area on the same day.  That's all fine...EXCEPT that they make stabs at the Junk Ranch - FREE ADMISSION.  Avoid the long lines.  Blah, blah, blah.  They act like 15,000 people just happen to show up to go to their 20 vendor market.  Nope.  They come to The Junk Ranch and then they might hit up your little show too.  But, your show wouldn't be possible without The Junk Ranch.  Plus, the best vendors from around the country are selling there, so by the time four or five smaller shows pop up, the quality of the merchandise is going to start slacking.  Oh, I get really mad when I see the stabs and the posts and hear people talking smack about The Junk Ranch.  It's usually local in towners that won't go, yet people drive from Texas to New York to come shop.,  Their loss, I say.  

My, I do get long winded.  :)

Ok - let's see what I did this year.

I brought this vintage car picnic table to sell.  I really think it is cool, I have no real use for it, but damn it, I love that thing.  But, I mustered up my nerve, priced it and took it.  It folds up like a regular suitcase, but when it's open (as you can see) it becomes a small table.  The vintage dishes even fit inside.  I had found the three little chairs at the thrift for 99 cents each and the chickens at a Church Sale for $1 each the week before The Junk Ranch.  I had no idea what I would do with any of those things other than try to sell them.  But, as I began to set up, this little vignette happened.  It also happened to turn into a photo op for all the kids.  I saw people taking photos with it all weekend.  Funny this is - I don't think anyone even realized it was all for sale.  They just liked taking a photo with it.  I did sell two of the chickens.

The first to this nice lady who already had an identical chicken at hone, but decided she needed a second.

The second to this sweet little guy.  His parents told me that he had a dozen real chickens at home that were his very best friends.  But, the night before, something had come into the yard and killed eight of them.  He was devastated - running all around the yard calling, "Chickie! Chickie!!"  He clutched onto Slim (I had named them Slim, The Colonel, Popeye and Zax), broke out into a huge grin and blew me kisses.  That is the great thing about selling in person - I will always remember that little guy, his kisses and his new friend, Slim.  

Mr. Peanut found a new home with this girl.  I wish I had taken more photos of people with their purchases.  You never know how they will react when you ask to take their photo.  I never want to make anyone mad.  But, the ones I have asked have just been the sweetest about it.  

This is the side that was hidden by the booth next to mine.  I sold very little off of it, but I moved as much as I could as other things sold.  I ended up selling a good amount of it after all.  I just need to make a new layout for the future so I don't have anything risk being hid again.  I expected that accordion to be played all weekend - not a peep.  

This was at the front when you walked up.  I call it the farmhouse area - old general store junk, farmhouse decor, etc.  The stained glass chicken lamps were in my house in the mid 1990's.  Not truly vintage - but they fit the theme and they all three sold.  

This was right in front - my bread and butter.  Scrabble words, Scrabble letters to make you own words, letter card banners and the oversize flash cards.  I sell enough Scrabble letters to pay my rent.  I keep thinking it is a phase that will pass, but KNOCK WOOD, they still sell. 

Random photos from around the booth.  I love using the crates for display and making a theme within each crate.  Sometimes I don't even realize what I have until set up and I see a baby head, a baby shoe planter, baby socks. a tiny dresser and I am BAM - Baby section!  

I took a taste of Christmas.  I sold some.  People wanted to dicker, but I wouldn't budge.  It will all sell at the Fall Show at asking price.  I mean, I give discounts when people buy multiples (without them even asking...) and I give discounts when asked nicely.  But, lowball offers just aren't cool.  Especially when my prices are already low.  

I made flashcard bundles for every holiday and occasions like "She's having a baby!", "We're getting married!' and everyday things like Gardening and Summer.  I sold a lot, but thankful that I made so many that I still have a good amount for the Fall Show.  They always sell better in the Fall when it's holiday time and gift time and nesting time. 

I bought someone's entire dog collection.  It fit great in this old cubbie I had, but it was on the backside and not easy to see.  I did sell a lot of them though.  

The other side of the booth had random "big" items.  Big for me - still smalls for most vendors.  I have and AWFUL time displaying bigger things.  It's just so much easier for me to put little junk in crates and set it up all cute.  So many of  the vendors have told me that they could NEVER do the little stuff like I do.  I could never handle truckloads of big stuff.  

I had to sneak some crates into that side too.  They're just too handy.  

A lariat, horse ribbons, old overalls and a horse book made a good theme.  I sold a lot of Horse Ribbons, thanks to a feature in Country Living - they are HOT!

I had a bunch of old USA state puzzles, so I made them into magnets.  They are in that old toolbox on the left (because I was an awful photo taker this time).  They sold really well, so I am on the hunt for more puzzles.

Lara's always adorable booth was next to me as always, but since I am the WORST FRIEND EVER, I have no photos to share.  

I say that because look at HER taking professional photos of MY  JUNK.  
I am the worst.  

It was the 5th birthday of the Junk Ranch, so they had all sorts of fun planned.  

All the vendors donated prizes to be given away.  
Plus there were t-shirts and tote bags to buy.

The line at the front gate.  It's always exciting to see the shoppers line up.  
If you build it, they will come!

This way to spin the wheel!

The prize wheel!  This was right across from my booth, and there was a LOT of yelling and excitement!  I gave away a couple gift certificates.  The first lady took a basket of old baseballs and the second lady got an oversize flashcard.  I also had an Instagram giveaway - first person got a $10 gift certificate.  It only took 8 minutes for someone to claim.  She took two milk glass mugs.  It was a lot of fun and my overall cost of the items they took was practically nothing.  So, I will be sure to do that again.  I like to win stuff so I'm sure everyone likes to win something!

There was thins great photo op wall filled with old game boards and board game box tops.  It made the greatest photo op.  At the end of the show. Amy brought me all of the game pieces and told me I could have anything on that wall I wanted.  I'm sure you can guess that I took it all.  It was too much great stuff to go to the landfill.  Thanks Amy.  I have got to be the only person that leaves the Junk ranch with more than I take.  I'm cray-cray.

So, there you have it.  The Spring 2018  Junk Ranch Rundown.  

PS  I've already started getting ready for the Fall Show! 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Twenty Sentences.

 1.  I am here.
 2.  I am alive.
 3.  The emails have started.
 4.  They ask if I am okay because I never post anymore.
 5.  I am tired.
 6.  The business is plugging along fine.
 8.  The Junk Ranch was this weekend.
 9.  It was hot. 
10. Like brain melting hot. 
11. 105 Heat Index
12. I am tired.
13. I saw all my Junk Ranch buddies.
14. I sold stuff.
15. I have stories to tell.
16. I am tired.
17. I'll be back.
18. I promise.
19. Pinky swear.
20. I am tired.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Shara Lee Bought Sara Lee

Yo Yo YO! It's me.  Whomp.  Whomp.

Every night I think "I WILL BLOG TONIGHT!" and then I get all lazy and brain dead and I don't do it.  But, tonight's the night!

So, we bought a business.  We bought the route that the Breadman has run every day for the past five years.  It's a weird thing, but that's how most chip, bread, cracker and cookie businesses are run now.  You buy your route and the company pays you a percent (higher than as when you're an employee).  There are expenses like a route payment, a big box truck truck payment, insurance and other things.  But, the company takes all of that out of your end before you get it, so you are paying, it, but not having to actually "pay" it.  He has a big territory and the possibility of building it up even more, so that is great.  Hopefully, we can pay someone to do part of the work within a year so he can have some structured time off.  He works from 2 am until 5 pm most of the time and no days off either.  

With this comes lots of paperwork, record keeping, planning and thinking and guess who that falls to - lil ole me.  UGH.  Just when I think I can't handle one more thing - BOOM - business licenses and taxes and leasing a truck and getting a million dollars insurance coverage and blah, blah, blah becomes part of my life.  My brain is still full of hospital terms and electrical terms from the past four months.  MY BRAIN IS FULL. 

His route is through Saralee.  That is really strange for me, because that is the thing of childhood taunts and jr. high sexual taunts.  My name is Shara Lee -I dropped the Lee when I was about 9 or so.  But, I got plenty of Muffin jokes and Cake jokes and on and on.  "Nobody doesn't like SaraLee" became "Nobody likes SharaLee!"  So, here sits this big truck with my nemesis on it.  UGH.

Here's one little good thing for ME - I can use the bread truck to haul my crap-ola to my junk shows.  Yippee.  No more rentals, so more $$ to keep.  So, that will be nice.  

Speaking of which, the Junk Ranch is coming fast.  Hard to think that June 8 is only 52 days away.  I have done NOTHING to prepare other than drag home junk to sell.  Time to get hopping on the fixing up, making and pricing.  I bought a new fancy tent with some of my casino winnings, so I am excited to use that.  It has walls, half walls, a door and all sorts of different ways to set it up.  It's 10 x 10 (my old one was 8 x 8 and that was awkward in a 10 x 10 space) and it's........PINK!  Like Pepto Bismol PINK.  My favorite!  Here it is if you want to see it:  tent

For some reason or another, my icloud account no longer reads my iphone, so I have NO access to any of my photos.  That's half the reason I haven't blogged.  A post without photos is just BORING.  I need to try and figure that out, but my brain is full to the very tippy top.  Someday, hopefully.  If you don't already follow me on Instagram, please do - I post some of my better and fun finds on there almost daily.  I have a lot of IG followers, but I will always love the long time blog readers most.  

I'll be back.  Just like Arnold.  Pinky swear!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Call An Attendant

Not to brag, but just so you won't think that all I do is share bad news and be a general Debbie Downer...........

Thursday I needed a mental health day, so I went on a ride through the country, out by the lake, over to the next county then across the line of Oklahoma and stopped in at the casino.  I had a free meal ticket and a $5 Free Play - so why not.  I spent my $5 Free play - doubled that to $10, but then lost that and the extra $100 I had brought in with me.  The Bean was with me and I asked him to loan me a $20 until we got to the car.  Then I suggested we go into the HIGH ROLLER Room and each play $10, then leave.  Crazy talk from a crazy woman.  

I put my first five in and won $60!  Then I played again and I had $120!  The Bean turned his $10 into $120 too!  Whoop!

He cashed out my ticket and I gave him $100 to hold and while he cashed out his ticket, I went to the back of the room.  I saw a $10 Mr. Moneybags machine.  I sat down and said, "Mr. Moneybags, You've always been my favorite.  Be good to me, please?"  I closed my eyes and hit the button.  I won $70!  I decided to hit it one more time, then go home with my $60.00.  

You can guess where this is going, right???

I hit the button and got a red screen - a red screen means you get a free spin and it will be a winner - usually one to ten times your bet.  So, I thought I was going to maybe win $100.  Whoop!  

But, then, the screen went purple!  

And it said.......

And then it said........

Things got a little blurry after that, but I know for sure I screamed, "CHRISTOPHER!!!! GET OVER HERE!"  And he came running.  

One minute, I had no money, then I had $3200 and still had $60 on the machine and The Bean reminded me that I had given him money to hold too.  I was confused.  But, happy!!

It was very exciting.  VERY.

I pad the taxes on the spot and walked away with $2400.00.  

Not bad for a mental health day, right????

Let's do that again!!!!!

Friday, March 02, 2018

What the heck?

Well, hey!  It's been another wild and crazy month over here.  Everything is fine now, so that's what counts.  My Mom was sent back to the hospital - they thought she had a stroke - but it was really low potassium from all the diuretics that they had put her on in the first place.  She (we) spent one night in the hospital, then went home.  She was released at 8:00 that night too.  What is UP with releasing folks so darn late at night?  Sheesh!  Then at her one week check up from that visit, they determined her Potassium was too HIGH (from the diuretics they had placed her on....), so zoom - back to the ER.  It was pouring rain, thundering and lightening and there we were trying to park and unload at the ER.  The test at the Dr. was either false, or it had dropped during the day, so she went home that evening.  Actually, it was about midnight.  Crazy drive home in the pouring rain again.  But, she is feeling good and everything is good with her right now.  So, that is all that matters.  

And then......

Two weeks ago, I came out of the shower and heard a hissing noise in the laundry room.  Opened the door and the washer hose was a) spraying water b) sparking and c) shooting flames.  What the heck.  I screamed for help and the three of us relay teamed and watched that the fire didn't catch - it was just occasionally shooting a little flame up (but a "little" flame is way too much of a flame in your house!), turned off the breakers and monitored the smoke alarm.  Every thing seemed fine except weird, so we continued on with our evening.  Then The Bean took a shower, but he came out pretty quick.  "I just got shocked in the shower, " he said.  What the heck?!?!  I decided I would call an electrician the next day.  Of course, that was Sunday, so that meant BIG BUCKS.  But, we really didn't want to be electrocuted.  

Sunday the Electrician came, but he was stymied as to what was going on.  Everything he checked, checked out fine.  Then we realized we didn't have any hot water, so he checked the tank and IT started sparking.  What the heck?  He advised calling a plumber to look at the hot water heater.  (I know this is such a long and probably boring story, but it was a nightmare for us!)  So, we had no washer or hot water that night.

Monday I called Plumbers, but they all said that would be an electrical issue, so I called the Electrician back.  He talked it over with his supervisor and they were here within a few minutes.  The Supervisor told me that our house wan't grounded anymore.  The grounding had failed and the house was trying to ground itself, so it took the hot water line and tried to ground to it.  Nearly electrocuting us.  What the heck?  He said that he worked overseas - he had worked grounding 5000 shower rooms that hadn't been properly grounding and some servicemen had been electrocuted.  That's when I really realized how very lucky were had been.  It took all day to rewire, rebuild the breaker box, put in new grounding, add in a whole house surge protector and a surge protector to the hot water and A/C unit.  That cost $5000.00  Gulp. FIVE THOUSAND. Then we still had to have a plumber come fix the hot water heater for another $250.00. Plus the water buckled our bathroom floor and caused some other minor damages.  

About a week later, I decided to call our insurance just to see if any of it was covered.  I really only thought the bathroom floor might be covered, but our deductible would probably be about as much.  Luckily, I got the nicest adjuster and she listened to my whole story, called the electrician and heard his version of the story (same as mine) and checked our policy.  Much to my surprise, about $4500.00 of it was covered.  So, getting it fixed properly and not being out Five grand, was a really good thing.  Oh, yea - and BONUS - not being electrocuted.  Whoop!  

So, here's the point to this story - if you see sparks coming out when you plug in a plug, or you feel the tingliest tiny shock like a 9 Volt battery on your tongue, call an electrician and see if your house is properly grounded!  Also, if you have damages, call your insurance.  Be nice and ask questions.  They will help you if you have it coming to you. Keep track of everything too.  I mentioned not having the washer and hot water heater for a week and multiple laundry trips and they gave us $15 a load, which was super nice. Also, some of our issues were covered because there are new codes concerning using zinc rods and some other things - insurance pays for code improvements because that is out of your control.  At least our insurance did - your mileage may vary.  



Onward and upward.  The month of close calls - hospital visits, car accidents, electrical issues...it;s all good.  Close call.  

I've been thrifting as much needed thrift therapy and I re-worked my entire booth today.  Oh!  And they are filming the new season of True Detective in town and the set designers have been hitting my booth hard for 1970-80's items.  They bought all my vintage toys and some vintage kitchen stuff.  I can't wait to look for my stuff on HBO!

I'll be back!  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Week in Junk: Money!

Or maybe that's the month in junk or even the year so far in junk.  It's been awhile  Every time I leave the house, I try to go to a thrift store.  That's pretty easy since Goodwill is right up the road and I have to pass it anytime I go there.  I even stopped one day from a quick run home from the hospital.  That makes me sound like a terrible person - but my Mom wanted a travel pillow and I thought looking for one there sounded a lot easier than going to Wal-Mart.  Luckily, I found one  - still in the box!  And for only $2.00.  Plus, I scored an awesome book that was just wheeled out on the cart.

This HUGE Audubon book is about 2.5 feet tall.  I could barely get my arms around it to carry it to the front.  It has over 400 color plates in it and it is amazing!  The retail price was $199!  For a BOOK!  I paid $2.00.  I thought I might ebay it, but the prices range from $500 (YAY) to $25.00 (BOO).  I might schlep it to the Junk Ranch.  I kind of love it though.    

I found this gorgeous piece of vintage pottery shoved behind the glass FTD vases on the bottom shelf at Goodwill.  It was only $1.10!  Now I always look behind the glass vases.  Nothing else yet, but you never know!  I added it to my collection, even though that is supposed to be a big no-no.  But, come on - that color and that price?!?!?

The cart full of new items was just rolled out at The Salvation Army as I got there one afternoon.  I grabbed all these hand-painted china items made by the same lady in 1964-1965.  I don't know if anyone even likes this sort of thing, but I had to rescue it all together and before it got chipped or broken.  It's all done so well.  I will try it at the Junk Ranch.

I went to several thrifts one day and had a pretty good Farmhouse theme sort of day.  Not sure what that cast iron egg shaped pan is for, but it's cool.  Those old folding egg baskets always sell for me.  The milk bottle will get something added like a label.  The house shaped cookie cutters are the Chip and Joanna Gaines stuff from Target.  Funny how fast that hot popular stuff ends up at the thrifts.  The cross stitch isn't farmhouse, but it was 50¢, so why not.  That sort of stuff sells tot he college crowd as it is "vintage" to them.  

These Bedtime Stories books teach a moral or a lesson in each story.  Some of them are truly horrifying.  Poor kid that had to listen to one then go to bed.  Nightmares!

Headed for ebay - I never really buy Pyrex, but I have good luck selling lids on ebay.  It's a pretty one at least.

I don't really even remember where I bought this.  Junker brain.  But, it a fabulous souvenir tablecloth.  I need to try it on ebay.  It's dated 1943.  

I did not buy this ghostly looking painting, but I am kind of regretting it for a Halloween display.  It was super eerie!

I spotted this old parking meter at the same exact time a man spotted it and he got to it first.  But, for some strange reason, he walked away so I SWOOPED.  It's an old one - nickels only.  Junk Ranch bound for those men out there.

I spotted these in a cart at a thrift as it was being rolled out (I know what time most of the thrifts roll out new merchandise, don't I?).  This was at a thrift where it has to be put on the shelves before you can buy it, so I stalked the poor lady.  As soon as she plopped them down, I swooped them up.  I absolutely love them, but I will most likely put them on ebay.    

I bought this tiny child size carpet sweeper at an Estate Sale last weekend.  I was feeling sorry for myself and when I spotted it, I wanted it.  SO, I bought it.  It was $15, which is like a lot to me, but so worth it.  I love these old carpet sweepers and I actually use one every day.  This tiny pink one stole my heart.  

Little Queen.  I was told it was a giveaway when someone bought a new full size one.  It really works too!  

Vintage nursery scales, a vintage doll and a flower pin.  The platter is LuRay which I LOVE and would love to own a full set.  I am always looking, wishing and hoping.....

Found these three colored set of dominoes at Goodwill this week.  
Good for necklace making or crafting of some sort.  

And lastly, I grabbed these old overalls at the thrift last week.  I thought they would be fun for the Junk Ranch.  When I got  home, I felt something crinkle in the pocket and I pulled out a $10 bill!  I paid $3 for the overalls.  But, this was my beloved Super Cheap Thrift that does so much for the community - so I will donate it back on my next trip there.  But, it was super fun finding MONEY!!!!!

Monday, February 05, 2018

More Than You Want To Know

Every time I come here, I apologize for not blogging in so long.  And every time it seems I go longer and longer without blogging.  Funny thing is, this year my New Year's resolution was to BLOG MORE. Can you say, Failure?  

So, the day before I was going to do the Cabin Reliever at the local museum - (a reminder since it's been so long - I was invited to showcase some of my collections along with other collectors on a Saturday afternoon - an event intended to get collectors out of the house and people out to see our collections) - my Mom had a doctor's appointment.  Her therapist thought she could benefit from oxygen therapy, so she needed to go to the doctor to have that approved.  When they checked her oxygen level, it was pretty low.  They said she needed to go to the hospital.  After a little discussion about the flu and the crowded ER, they decided to call an ambulance so she could bypass all that waiting room nastiness.  Her O2 level was plenty low, so it was completely acceptable to get the ambulance.  She just didn't want it.  

Once she was at the hospital and oxygen, her levels went up, but her legs were swollen and she had fluid in her heart and lungs.  In the end, she was admitted and I stayed with her for six days and nights.  I think I had no more than three hours sleep each night.  I did get five one night  - but only one the night before.  I swear, hospitals will kill you.  I had to leave the room a lot and be out in the public areas and I was terrified of the flu.  By the last two days, I just stayed in the room, used her bathroom and stayed away from all the germs.  She was diagnosed as having Congestive Heart Failure, which sounds fatal and horrible - but it really is just something to be watched because that is what caused the fluid in her legs.  Her actual heart is great with no blockage.

She got released at 8:30 on a Friday night - left to drive the hour and a half home to have an Oxygen delivery at after midnight.  I got home at 1:15 am.  After her discharge papers were signed, the nurse said she would call for a wheelchair to help us out.  Tick. Tick. Tick. Forty five minutes later we were still waiting.  Now, I know things take time at the hospital, so I didn't cause a fuss.  But, it was getting late and I wanted to get out of there.  She was sitting on her bedside commode (there was no chair), fully dressed with her big coat on (it was 4 degrees that night) waiting for the wheelchair to take her down.  I was standing in the doorway looking down the hall for the wheelchair to arrive when I overhead a nurse on the phone say, "Yes, we have a room open, but the prior patient won't leave the room."  I thought that was funny because who would stay there after they had been discharged?  A few minutes later, a nurse arrived in the room ( I assumed to apologize for it taking SO long to get the wheelchair) and to my SURPRISE, she said she was the hospital/patient liaison for the floor and we needed to exit the room and the hospital immediately since she had been discharged.  

This is where it gets a little fuzzy, but I know I dropped a lot of f bombs.  

"Why the F would we want to stay in this F'ing place after we have already been discharged???? We are F'ing waiting for an F'ing wheelchair!!!!!!!!"

The wheelchair arrived in no less than five seconds by one of our sweet little girl aides.  She apologized all the way down the hall and in the elevator - there had been a shift change and the nurse that discharged us forgot to call for a wheelchair and the new shift didn't know what was going on.  It really was a nightmare.  We got to her house about midnight and I had to sort out her old meds and get her new meds lined out.  I was so tired, I was sobbing, "I'm going to kill her!" I was terrified of mixing up her meds.  But the nurse came out the next day and said I had done it all perfectly.  Thank GOD.

(So, the point of that story is to say I wasn't able to do the Cabin Reliever.  Maybe next year.  Fingers crossed.)

But wait, there's more....

While she was in the hospital, they prescribed her massive amounts of diuretics.  She lost 14 pounds in fluids in those six days.  She was still on the diuretics at home and lost even more fluid.  Her therapist was working with her last Thursday and her left arm fell off her lap and she couldn't use it for awhile.  She tried to grip and nothing would grip.  Her therapist was concerned she was about to have a stroke, so another ambulance came to take her to the hospital.  After lots of MRI's and CT scans, they discovered that it was not a stroke, but that the diuretics had depleted her kidneys and she was having a loss of muscle use and muscle spasms.  So what fixed her in the fist place, made her end up back in the hospital again.  We were only there one night this time while they ironed out her medications.  I never left the room except for one fast trip to the Vending Machine room where I spent $13 on Cheetos and M&M's.  A gal's gotta eat.  :D

I will say that even though she was in the hospital, they determined that she has a healthy heart with no blockage, good lungs, her kidneys are good again, her brain is good, her Carotid Artery is clear and on and on.  So that is all really good news.  

I'm sure that is way more medical history on my Mom than you were ever wanting to read, so I apologize.  But, it's always good for me to document these things for the future.

I've been thinking ahead to the Junk Ranch.  It makes me super nervous to commit to anything anymore with impromptu hospital stays and doctor appointments.  Plus, my Dad just turned 80, but KNOCK WOOD, he is fit as a fiddle.  

I'll be back sooner than later I SWEAR and I will share junk and stuff, I SWEAR!  

Sunday, January 07, 2018

January 2018 - Cabin Fever Reliever

It's a week into the New Year.  I don't think I have written 2018 yet.  Oh wait, yes I did.  On the 2nd, I was turning the corner on my very own street when a dude came barreling off the side street SO fast- ran the stop sign, swung wide into my lame and BAM smacked the side of my car.  Luckily he has insurance (although it's nearly a week later and I still haven't heard back from the insurance adjuster since the initial call), he lives on the street just behind me, he did dent up the car - but it still drives fine, the doors shut okay and most importantly, no one got hurt.  I saw him coming and swerved to the curb or he would have t-boned the drivers side.  Anyway, I wrote 2018 for the first time on the police report.  Now I have to deal with insurance companies, repairs, fighting for a rental and all that jazz.  All because I ran to the corner store for a Powerball and an ICEE.  And, I didn't even win the damn Powerball.  But, hey - it was 12 degrees so my ICEE stayed frozen.  LOOKIN' AT THE BRIGHT SIDE.

I finally got the very last of the Christmas put up - the inside has been done for a few days, but the porch and all the blowmold Santa's were still set up.  It has just been too cold to deal with anything outside.  The lady up the street walked up the other day to tell me that her Grandson has her walk him up every night to see the "Ho-Ho's".  He tired to count them all, but he can't count that high yet.  :D  That made me happy that he enjoyed them all.  It ended up raining all day, so I was glad I got them put away just in the NICK of time.  GET IT?  Ha.

Yesterday I dropped my Stepfather off at the car lot to buy a new car and then I went to seven thrifts all by myself.  The thrifts have been dry and miserable lately.  But, yesterday, I finally had some luck.  I usually avoid the thrifts on Saturday due to the crowds, but maybe I should re-think that logic.  I didn't get any photos due to that rain I mentioned.  I did find two huge folk art metal trays, a metal cake carrier, a metal floral tin and the biggest handmade basket I have ever found.  It is a beauty.  I wish I could keep it, but it is seriously giant.  Every thing will go to the Junk Ranch in June.  Yes, it is time to start thinking about The Junk Ranch.  #10!

Early in December I was contacted by a local Museum and invited to showcase some of my collections at their Cabin Fever Day this coming Saturday.  I don't have one huge collection of any one thing, but I do have lots of collections in general.  So, I am taking about a dozen collections that are displayed in jars, baskets or bowls.  A collection of collections, if you will.  If you follow me on Instagram (sharamonkeybox) you can look at #sharascollectionofcollections to see the nearly 100 collections I have posted already.  It's just a four hour event, so I can't get too involved as far as finding things and tearing up the house.  But, I do want to look like I love my things and I am not just a hoarder.  I am taking the flower brooch pins, souvenir ashtrays, chicken scratch aprons, watermelon potholders, chocolate covered cherry boxes, mercury glass garland and the gum wrapper chains for sure and I am thinking and looking for a few more to take too.  I would like to have done all vintage Christmas, but I think everyone is over Christmas stuff by now.  I'll be sure to post photos of my table and some of the others after the even it over.  I think it will be fun!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry, Merry Christmas!

How can it be Christmas Eve already?  Today I tackled the crowds at the grocery store and picked up the last of the gifts.  It will be a different Christmas here.  Thanksgiving never happened and now Christmas is delayed.  The Bean got sick with a terrible respiratory some or rather the week before Thanksgiving.  He just stopped coughing two days ago.  A little two weeks ago, I woke up to a chest full of congestion.  Later in the day at our usual phone call, I discovered that The Breadman had the same thing.  We've both been fighting it for two weeks.  Yesterday it was 74 degrees and right now it is 34 degrees, rainy and turning into snow.  Being out in that today made my chest a mess again.  My voice is non-existent.  But, I am soldering on and ready to have Christmas.  We are delaying it with my Mom because night before last, her blood sugar dipped to 26 and my stepdad called am ambulance about midnight.  They gave her glucose, an IV and made her a peanut butter sandwich.  She said she woke up and this strange man was shoving a sandwich in her mouth and she didn't understand what was happening.  Her sugar level came up, but now she is constantly checking it (she always did before too) and eating protein to keep it higher.  When she called me the next day (!!!) and told me, I totally lost it.  There wasn't a thing I could have done to help, but MAN, not knowing that happened until the NEXT DAY was brutal.  Thank GOD my stepfather was paying attention to her and realized what was happening.  Thank GOD he was there - she was alone for over a month when he had heart surgery. So, there's that to be grateful for right now.  That all sounds really whiny - right?  We are fine and will get better someday.  It just hangs on forever.  My Mom goes to the doctot on Wednesday, so hopefully he will have some insight.  Although, she has been feeling flu-ish and not eating much if at all, so lesson learned there too.  Hopefully, that is all it was.  FINGERS CROSSED! 

So, having said all that - I didn't think I would ever get all my decorations up this year.  It took me a long time, but I had messes in the house from the shows and things here and there that had to be put somewhere, then I had to box up everything in the living room that is normally out there, haul it to the garage, bring in the totes and then start the merriment.  Except, that a bare living room makes for easy cleaning, so I dusted, vacuumed and shampooed, washed the curtains and all that stuff.  And then I started decorating.  FINALLY.  

I should stop here to say that, OF COURSE, there are bigger problems in this world and heck, even in my own life, than me getting my decorations up.  But, it makes me happy.  It makes me feel like I am doing something that I am good at - making vignettes and displays.  I do so enjoy that.  I get to use the things that I have worked so hard to find over the years.  It makes me love my house, which I don't always love.  It makes me want to try harder to make it a house I love the other eleven months.  And on and on.  You get it, I know.  

Since I always put the same collections in the same places, that is easy - but I always set each collection up differently.  My kneehuggers always have a project or a theme.  I never by new stuff anymore - I just love the old stuff too much.  But, I went to Target and spotted a retro camper.  Ohmygoodness.  I knew right then and there that I was buying that caper and my kneehuggers were going camping!

And, so they did.  (It's such a bad photo - I have asked for gift cards so I can get a new digital camera, so we'll see if that pans out)  It's such a silly thing - all those kneehuggers sitting around a truck and camper.  But, it makes me grin whenever I look at them up there. 

Another new display this year was this Coke Crate. I love all of these cute little figures, but I have never actually used them.  I decided this year that if I didn't use it - it had to go.  So, you can see that I found a place for them.  I did cull out a lot of things to add to The Junk Ranch pile for next Fall.  

My village of Churches is another favorite.  All the pink and the glowing of the lights.  It's dreamy.  

Here's a video of the whole little town I've created with all the best things in the world.  

This photo of my Santa mugs had almost 800 likes on Instagram, which is a lot for my posts.  I guess people still love Santa mugs.  I know I do!

The Santa's in their usual spot.

All my tiny things in the tiny hutch.  

I am obsessed with finding these old Rosbro candy containers - but I haven't found one all year long!  I had those candles in my stash - but I didn't realize they were Rosbro candy containers until I saw then in a magazine.  Whoop!  So,  I added to the collection without even trying.  Luckily, they all fit perfectly in that small shelf, but I am willing to relocate them WHEN I find more.  Cheap.  :)

I hit a thrift in a town I rarely go to and scored all these bottle brush trees.  They aren't vintage, but they look the same as the vintage trees, the price was right and there were about 150 of them, so HELLO, I had to buy them.  Plus, they were ridiculously cheap - I think about $12.0 for all of them.  Great for crafting, snowglobe making, tying to trucks and cars and on and on.  

I do so enjoy the month of December that I get a little sad on the actual day of Christmas.  I leave my things up through New Years and we take the next week to just chill and enjoy the season.  

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  Thank you for your friendship, the comments, the emails and the Christmas Cards.  It means the world to me.  Merry Christmas!!!!  Shara

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