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.

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Hey, Hey, Hey. It’s ME

 Hello out there. I don’t know if anyone ever even looks here anymore.  I thought I would always blog and then I slowed down and then I seemed to have stopped altogether.  But, I miss my people and I miss writing. So I ordered myself a handy little Bluetooth keyboard to attach to my iPad, so here we go!

Losing my Mom hit me really hard.  My life suddenly changed. I lost my best friend that I had my entire life. It was so unreal to me.  And then I had to go to her house and start going through her things and sorting and throwing away and donating and all those other terribly hard things that must be done.  

In November I did a show in Conway and came home with Covid. The Bean had it really bad. I called to check in on my stepdad and he was sick too.  After nearly three weeks in the hospital, he died of Covid on December 3rd.  It hit me all over again. Now the house that was void of my Mom was just empty,  I loved him very much and he loved me too,  I still cannot believe they are both gone. The house has been emptied, we had an Auction and now the house has sold.  Finished  

Last weekend we had the Fall Junk Ranch. It was a record breaker in sales for me and almost everyone else too,  I’ve started selling more of my handmade creations and only Holiday vintage instead of so much random vintage.  I love making vignettes and pretty displays.  

I started making only Christmas, but I have evolved into Halloween, Thanksgiving and Patriotic.  

Christmas creations.

I still like going to the Goodwill bins and digging for treasure.  I don’t have my booth anymore. So I have to be careful of what and how much I buy.  I mostly look for things I can use in my creations.  My other mental health escape is to go to the casino and listen to the music and sleep in the hotel. Last week I went and played $55. I hit a jackpot, which was QUITE the thrill.  It was a once in a life time thrill.  But, my first thought was that I wanted to call my Mom and then I started crying.   Grief is a strange thing. I just sneaks up on you. No one ever asks how I am doing now that a year has passed.  It still hurts.

I’ll do my best to get back on here, share my finds and see what’s going on with you. And be more upbeat. 


Sunday, June 13, 2021

Thank you & The Spring Junk Ranch 2021

 I wanted to pop in say thankyou for the nice words about my sweet Mom.  I miss her more than I can tell you. I always thought I would just curl up in a ball on the floor and cease to function when I lost her.  But, I have been so calm through it.  I feel her hand on my shoulder.  I know how incredibly lucky I was to have her my whole life.  I just feel blessed to have had her and her never ending love.  I have received cards and gifts from you sweet blog readers and IG friends.  More than I did from my own family.  Isn't that interesting to think that people that feel like they know you are compelled to send you a card, but people that actually DO know you and are related don't?  It's weird.  But, I thank all of you so much.  

The Junk Ranch was last week.  I thought about not doing it, but I really needed something to focus on.  So, I did it.  I swear to you, I do not remember really doing it.  I mean, I remember it, but I guess I was on autopilot, because it just flew by and wasn't the big deal setting up and tearing down like I usually think it is.  I guess everything else has been so hard, that is seemed easy.  I don't know how to explain it.

My patriotic/Americana area 

I took Christmas.  In June.  It sold!  

I like to make displays front back and side to side.

I have service for 86 of this beautiful vintage dinnerware.  I sold TWO PLATES.  And I only did that to make one persistent lady happy.

I sold a lot off this display and ended up donating the pink hutch.  It's currently at Goodwill for twice what I had it priced!


I bought that bench for $20 and thought it would sell.  It's made of landscape timbers and is heavy as hell.  It didn't sell, so I brought it home and put it in the yard.  I've never been good with selling big stuff.  I don't know why I try!  I should just stick to the smalls.

The dishes are amazing.  And SO HEAVY.

It was a good show and the weather cooperated.  The week before it poured rain and this week it was almost 100 degrees and SO humid.  

Thanks for stoppin in!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

My Mumsie


I lost my Mom on May 9th. She was fine April 28th, but then she wasn’t herself. An ambulance was called. She had a UTI. It went sepsis. Her kidneys shut down and her lungs stopped working. She was moved the hospice House on May 6. I was able to stay with her 24 hours a day. She was asleep the entire time until she suddenly woke up on Wednesday. She saw me and her face lit up. “There’s my girl. My beautiful girl!”  I was able to get her on video telling me that she loved me and to never forget that she loved me. and then, she was out again. It was the saddest and happiest few minutes of my life. 

My Mother and I were absolute best friends. Losing her means losing half of myself. I am broken and sad. But I am also very calm. I believe she’s walking me through the pain. It happened so quick and out of nowhere. But she didn’t suffer. She was taken care of at the hospital and at Hospice. I was able to be with her. She didn’t look like herself at the end and she didn’t speak, except for those few minutes, in almost two weeks. It was just her shell there. When she took her last breath, it was very deep. My stepfather, who rarely hears anything, heard it and said, “That’s it.”  It was almost a relief at that point. 

She was funny and giving to a fault  she loved me more than anyone could love a person.  She thought I was beautiful, the smartest, the most creative and the best person in the world  I am none of those things but she told me every day that I was those things.

I miss her so much!

Friday, March 05, 2021

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

 I seem to start these posts off the very exact same way  every time, but I honestly can't believe that I haven't been on here since October.  It's such a weird time - it feels like time is standing still but also zooming by.  How can that be???  Also, it is March 2021 and it was JUST March 2020 a few days ago, right? 

My stepfather got both of his Covid vaccines, but no one else int he family has been able to get it.  My Mom and my Dad are eligible, but there aren't enough to go around right now.  My mom isn't concerned - she stays home all the time for real.  Like she has been out of her house maybe four times in the last year?  She is a homebody and hates going anywhere, so this is really like the best thing ever to her.  My stepfather is careful so that he doesn't bring it home to her.  He only goes to the grocery store and thru a drive thru every once in awhile.  Living with my Mom has made him a serious homebody too.  

The Breadman had an appointment for the vaccine, but then the state back stepped and pulled grocery workers off the list.  So, he's waiting again.  He wears a mask, gloves, disinfectants everything and changes as soon as he gets home.  I am careful too and do the same things.  I go grocery shopping in the afternoon on a weekday when it's less crowded.  I still go thrifting - mostly to the Bins.  I can keep my distance in my mask and gloves and have a grand old time.  I tried hitting all the thrifts one day and I had little luck finding anything to buy and I encountered new people at each thrift.  I decided it was safer to make one weekly stop at the bins where I can only encounter a few people and I do stay way more than six feet away from them.

Here are some bin finds from this year.

Fun old cookbooks and a wonderful old chippy paddle.

I love old cookbooks with character.  There are people there scanning books and they toss the beautiful old books off to the side and I POUNCE on them.  The cow is celluloid and the little clock is just sweet as can be.

My friend offered the little chairs to me just as I found the old Bert and Ernie.  Aren't they fun?

This old wicker doll bed rocker was a good find.  The rockers had come off of it, so everyone tossed it away.  I fixed it in about three seconds with the drill.  You have to look for the potential in things at the bins and be prepared to work on somethings.  

This lovely old doll head was just rolling around in the bottom of a bin.  She was headed to the landfill, so I am happy to have saved her.  

This was a big framed portrait - some one pulled the photo out of the frame and I grabbed her.  I cut her out to make it look like she's really there.  She's about two feet tall.  I named her Penny because that's what she cost!  

I grabbed an old Fisher Price barn and found all these guys in the hayloft.  So many!

This old puzzle is just lovely and I ADORE the graphics on the box.

I don't deal in clothes, but I will grab vintage when I find it.  This is a Kenny Rogers Western shirt.  Someone will LOVE it, I think.  

I'm always amazed when I pull a vintage tablecloth out of the linen bins.  

I have bought about 15 quilts this year - most are really great picnic blankets and that is how I will sell them.  But this one seems to date from the Civil War.  I'm going to take it to the local Civil War museum and see if they know more about it. 

I am supposed to be working on taxes, but updating this old blog of mine seemed more important today.

Drop me a comment so I know you're still out there!  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Junk Ranch Fall 2020 COVID Edition

Hello friends.  It seems I only come here occasionally lately. I find Instagram a fast and easy way to post my finds, but I do miss writing here,  IG is all about fast and few words. I am all about the words. Lots of words!!!!

We were able to have the fall Junk Ranch last weekend. It was thought that we might not be able to have it. But the owners worked hard to ensure a safe shopping event and it was approved by the state health department.  People online seemed very excited about the prospect of getting out and doing something fun.. (It has been a long hard year, right?). But, we weren’t entirely sure if the people would actually come.  Well as the old adage goes, if you build it, they will come,  And man did the people show up! Everyone had on their masks and stayed distanced apart.  The line started at 8:00 in the morning and was bumper to bumper until 2:00. People kept arriving after that as well.  Many of the vendors sold out or nearly sold out of inventory. All of the food trucks ran out of food. It was crazy! I sold so much vintage Christmas, other vintage and lots of the things that I had made.  It sure makes me happy when someone walks up holding one of my creations with a big smile on their face.  It was a record show for everyone, I am sure. And we can’t wait for next year. 

Here are a few photos, which look pretty much like all my shows. My set up works great, so why change it? 

One of those smiling faces I mentioned. 

Cubbies full of smalls, vintage holiday and other sweet things. 

I worked until the very last minute setting up, so I was never able to bet photos of ht booth.  Luckily, The Bean ran around and snapped a few just as the air horn sounded and the gates opened.  

 My booth was very busy al day long.  There was a food truck behind me and there were two men running it.  They had watched me setting up my colorful Christmas items and sort of had a look on their face like I wouldn’t sell much.  On Friday about 4:00, they came out to say “Boy oh boy!  You are popular!!!  They came running and they lined up for you!!!”  Made me feel good that the realized it.  

A peek inside of the things I made.  Sorry it’s a little dark.  I sold a lot and that really made me so very happy.  

I’m posting this on the iPad, which is a first for me.  I’ve never tried the keyboard or blogging from it.  But, I think I have it figured out, so MAYBE I’ll get better at blogging again.  Oddly enough a lot of the Instagrammers are starting blogs and I’m all “I’ve been blogging forever!”

I went to the bins latest week and scored a ton of great old vintage toys.  I couldn’t
believer that I just kept pulling one out after the other.  

Super cute fisher price musical duck pull toy.

Tommy Turtle

Chiming apple that was SUPER ANNOYING in the ride home.

Dying over this chipping old red telephone.

Fisher Price wind up clock.  I found lots more but these were the best scores.  I want a Fisher Price Camper so bad, but I’ll never actually buy one, so I was hoping I would pull one out of there.  Maybe next time?

I hope you are well and thank you for still stopping by from time to time.  A special hello to Janet who I know who’ll see this and always remembers me on my birthday and at Christmas.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Masked Thrifter

Hello again!  Oh, I miss blogging.  I really should get back to it, but really, there is NOTHING blogworthy in my life right now.  Covid is bad here in NW Arkansas.  It is not a second wave, as we did not have it very bad here in the beginning.  Everyone stayed home and it was kind of under control  But then stuff started opening again and the people got restless, so out they went.  There is a very large population of Hispanics and Marshallese in our area.  Most of them live in large family units, which is normally a very wonderful thing.  But, living together, working together, riding together  - once one gets it, everyone in the household gets it.  It is a very scary thing. 

(Hot sweaty me leaving the booth.)

 I do get out, but I always wear a mask, use sanitizer and wash my hands.  I go to the grocery store for us and for my parents, so it seems that I am there a lot.  I go to my booth once a week for a quick straighten up and refill.  I do go thrifting, but maybe just a quick run into Goodwill if I am in the area and the Bis when I start to get a little stir crazy.  I never go crowded places, parties, events, things like that.

The Spring Junk Ranch ended up being canceled, which was a good thing.  Covid was on the uptick and the state made it mandatory that all vendors and shoppers wear a mask.  I am an advocate for masks, but being outside in the open in 100 degree weather, was not sounding great.  The owners made the right decision to cancel, even though it was a tough call.  We are hopeful for October, but it remains to be seen if it will happen or not right now. 

I've been trying to get back into ebay, but with terrible results.  I have had eleven sales in the past few weeks, but had to cancel SIX of them due to people not being able to pay or living out of the country and not wanting to use the Global Shipping System.  What a HUGE waste of time to list and then have to cancel over and over again.  ebay used to be fun, but it really isn't anymore.  People say treat it like a business and don't get your heart involved.  But, that is what made it fun.  

I'm trying to get re-registered with Amazon to sell books, but I can't figure out how to get the individual plan and not the monthly plan.  I seem to be having problems with everything I touch lately.  Lol,  

Here are some things I have bought over the past few months in case you need a little junking fix.

Child's train case.  It is SO CUTE!

A small adorable suitcase.

All new Christmas, but it looks vintage and it all was 25¢ each.  So, YES!

Vintage Shuttlecocks (giggle) in a tin.  10¢

California orange shaker set.

All the vintage Easter fluff I found at the bins.  

A ridiculously HUGE teddy bear from the Bins.  
He was 50¢.
I will put him in the booth at Christmas-Valentines.  

A cute little kitchen set modeled by The (masked) Bean.

Odd's and ends from a few sales on Saturday.

 A vintage honey jar with a great label.

A pixie in a turtle.  That makes complete sense, right?

Random Christmas finds.

An barn sale full of red, white and blue finds.

New framed prints from the Bins.  
Great for the booth and Holly Jolly Junk Ranch.

Bag upon bag of vintage craft rings.  

No idea what I might use them for, but when I find massive amounts of anything useful, I snag it.  

A HUGE bag of great colorful vintage curlers from the Bins.  Again, I dint' have an idea for them when I grabbed them.  I just loved the colors.  

Then I found this GIANT JAR and thought....Hey!  


Great handmade church.  Red feels naughty somehow.  

A quick trip to the Salvation Army. 

Christmas bin finds.

This cute damned cursed bear.  
I have sold him TWICE and had to cancel both times.  I might be forced to keep him, but I am sort of mad at him right now.  

This great Rushton Duck.  Found at the flea market for 99¢.
I did sell him and it was a good sale.  
(But, dang he was CUTE!)

PINK cake carrier pulled out of the bins.

All the Zane Grey books from the bins.  
I wanted them to be featured at the Spring Junk Ranch.  
They look so patriotic!  But, they will keep, I suppose.

I hope you are all well.  Please leave a comment filling me in on your lives.  Plus, I am on Instagram at @sharamonkeybox  I do post mindless drivel on the daily over there.  It is quick and easy .


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