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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boo yah!

Well, it's Halloween. But you can't really tell it around here. I never did decorate the house. I did put a few things out on the porch to fool my neighbors into thinking that I did decorate. No costume for DS this year. He'll pass out the candy here instead. I got him a Jumbo sized Hershey Bar since that is his favorite, a fallish 500 pc. puzzle of pumpkins and the DVD "Monster House". There's a funny story about that purchase. When I went to buy it at Walmart yesterday they had the movie by itself for $19.96 and the movie in a box with a book, poster and 3-D glasses for $19.96. So, I opted for the bonus pack since it was the same price. When I got home I opened the box to put everything in a trick or treat pumpkin. Much to my surprise, somone at the DVD factory was sleeping on the job because my bonus box had TWO DVD's in the box plus the book, poster and glasses. So, cha-ching. I'll list the other one on half.com or trade it on my refunding board for some gooides of some sort.

I'm on my way to school to prepare for the Red Ribbon Rally. It is 45 degrees and very windy and I get to spend the day out on the football field. So, I will have chapped skin and bone-straight wind-whipped hair by the end of the day and, most likely, bronchitis by the end of the week! I am supposed to blow up 1,000 red helium balloons. Hmmmm, I wonder why I'm not getting dressed and going - could it be that I would rather NOT???? I like to volunteer, but sometimes I get really get the bad jobs.

Here's DS last year as a vampire. He had just gotten his reading glasses and had to wear them every day.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Weekend Notes

Yesterday DS and I went with my Mom and my Stepfather to clean out his Mom's storage unit. He passed away this summer and yesterday was the day that everyone could get together to go through the stuff. I am a step child and don't know the family too well, so I was hesitant to get in there and dig around. I did try to help my Mom and StepDad find some things that I knew they had given her or that they would want for their home. The whole family went through everything then set box after box to the side to go to the Salvation Army. It seemed okay to me at that point, to go through that stuff and get some things. I ended up with some fun things for the yard and the flower garden. I also ended up with her jewelry boxes full of costume jewelry. I have sorted it all out and culled out the newer plasticky stuff. There is some really great crystal and rhinestone jewelry in there. I might send some back to the other girls in the family, but then again, they did deem it junk yesterday so I'm not sure what I will do with it. Right now it is just fun to look at it.

Tuesday is the Red Ribbon Drug Free Rally at school so I will be there most of the day getting ready for that. It is a lot of fun - the University football players and cheerleaders come and talk to the kids and get them all pumped up. Then the kids walk the perimeter of the football field then get free popcorn and cokes. Then they climb up on the bleachers and sit with their friends and listen to a rock band. They have fun and I enjoy getting to be with the kids when they are cutting loose. This is DS and his friend last year at the rally.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A meeting, a thrift stop and a $1.00 pie

I had a two and a half hour meeting this morning. It literally sucked the life out of me and hassmade me bone tired all day. Once the meeting was FINALLY over, I decided to go to the cheap thrift on a hunt. I got a 1903 copy of "Eight Cousins" by Louisa May Alcott. Old books aren't worth big money, but I love the history and the look of them. It was only 15¢. I also bought a historic romance novel based on the Klu Klux Klan from 1920. Not sure how I feel about that book... It was 15¢ too.

After the thrift I went to my Dillon's one last time before it closes. They are starting to mark down lots of stuff in preparation for the new owners. Today the bakery was on clearance. I got a huge coconut cream pie for $1.00 and a nice big party tray with five kids of breads (cranberry, pumpkin, etc.) on it for $1.00. It is in the freezer awaiting a holiday function. So, this won't be my last trip after all if they are giving stuff away at those prices!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mom's Gotta Brag a Bit

Today was the Honor Roll Assembly at my son's school. He has always made A's and B's but since third grade, he has had a C in Math. This year he has a high B in Math and all A's in everything else. So, he made the A/B Honor Roll. The teacher's got up and gave out awards to a few students too. He ended up getting the "Life In The Food Chain" Award for outstanding Science work and the "Reading Award" for outstanding reading (filling out his reading log, reading every day and reading when he has free time and hasn't been told to read). So, needless to say, Mom and Daddy are very proud tonight! Well, and every other day too!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A New Look for monkeybox

I decided to change the look of this blog this morning. I like the parchment look - it ooks like it's my journal. My old template had a lot of pink in it, which I happen to love, but it didn't suit the photos of DS that I post all the time. So, I think I will keep this one......for a while anyway.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Another Saturday Adventure

This week DS and I headed back towards the same little town we went to last weekend. I saw an ad for a Tractor Pull and thought that might be a fun event. I had never been to a Tractor Pull and could have never imagined what I saw! Tons of tractors, souped up racing tractors, glorified garden tractors, kids pedal car tractors and everything in between.

I have such a thing for old rusty stuff. I'm not sure why. I love the architectural lines of it. And the history that made it look the way it does. I don't know that the tall gizmo is or was, but it has a warning on it about keeping "Apendages free of the mechanism". Ouch!

I didn't know there were this many tractors in the whole state, let alone in one place! You can see the pretty scenery that we had to enjoy behind the tractors. Peak season for Fall colors is next week. There are already a few good spots of color.

This tree is in the cemetery across from the school. I have watched this tree for six years as I have taken my son to school. It is the first tree in town to get color and always one of the very most beautiful!

Friday, October 20, 2006

What a SIlly Boy

If you knew my son from school -you would be shocked at these photos. He is Mr. Business, Mr. Serious at school. Mr. Rule-Follower, Mr. Perfect. His teacher's say, "I just wish he would come out of his shell." Well, guess what - he is a crackpot - a nut job- a goofy kid. He just knows he needs to be all business at school. Beisdes, don't the kids that act like THIS (see above photos) get in TROUBLE at school anyway?????

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Little Girl Gets Her Dolly - 35 Years Later

When I was little my family would go to all the craft fairs. I would see these dolls that were called Topsy Turvy dolls - it was Lille Red Riding Hood on one "end". Then flip her skirt over her head and it is Grandma - turn her night cap over and it is the big, bad wolf. I always wanted one of these dolls. And, I don't know why I never got one - I don't think I ever asked for one, or I probably would have gotten one. I never asked for much and what I did ask for I usually got from Santa or for my birthday. Anyway, at my favorite cheap thrift last Saturday I found one of these dolls. She's handmade, which is the type I always wanted. And, the even better part, she was priced at the magic amount of 25¢.

Yesterday I went to Target and cruised the Halloween stuff looking to see if I wanted to go back for the 50%, 75% or 90% off sales. Verdict - yep. DS loves goofy t-shirts, PJ bottoms and boxers and I can normally stock up for pennies at the 90% off sale.

DH took me to one of my thrifts yesterday too. I say he "took me" because I have bum knee that goes out of whack occassionally and it is out of whack right now. He delivered me right to the door and picked me up when I was done. What service! I found this awesome old picnic basket for $4.00. It has 1960's mushroom motif contact paper on the inside, but that is long gone by now. The little handmade crows are so sweet. DS's Indian name is Crow Walker - so I am always on the prowl for crows. I picked up on priced $1.00 and was happy to pay $1.00 for each of them. But, when I checked out one was priced 50¢, so they only charged me $1.00 for both of them. Deal! The little piece of potery is for my collection of miniature handmade pottery. That was 25¢. The beautiful blueish purplish pottery bowl was from the Salvation Army the day before for only $2.00. It is very heavy and so beautiful. I'm going to fill it with my new love - Vanilla Tootsie Rolls. Mmmmmm.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cookies, Cookies & More Cookies

By 9:30 this morning I had baked 12 dozen cookies. I volunteered at school baking Otis Spunkmeyer cookies for the 5th-6th grade fundraiser. They have Otis Spunkmeyer air heated ovens and frozen dough. It was super easy and the cookies smelled great. I think it would be an excellent fundraiser for just about any club or organization. My mom envisioned me in an apron with flour, eggs and sugar everywhere. That reminded me of the old Rice Krispies commercial where the lady throws flour in her face to make it look like she had "baked". The school sells the cookes for 50¢ each. I baked 144 so that's $72.00 in cookie sales. They use the money to things for the nine weeks auction. The kids are rewarded for grades, homework, random acts of kindness, showing responsibility, etc. with virtual money. At the end of the nine weeks they get to bid on items at the auction and spend their money. I am curious to see what sort of items the auction off as the prices must be really inflated. My DS has over $2,000.00 to spend. So, I'm pretty sure a pencil will be a couple hundred dollars!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Pillow, a Rolling Pin & Some Leaves

These pictures have nothing in common - just miscellaneous ramblings!
I got this pillow at the Salvation Army for $1.00. It is Needlepoint and has a Warner Brothers Movie Studio tag on it - so I think it must be from a movie. It's a keeper.

This picture is funny. It looks like a rolling pin next to a Ball Canning Jar. And it is - except the rolling pin is 27" long and the jar is 17" tall. I bought the rolling pin for $1.00 at a yard sale. The lady owned a resturant for many years and rolled out all the pie dough with it. It weighs a ton and is just huge. I don't think I even have a piece of countertop wide enough to use it on! My husband bought me the giant canning jar for Christmas a few years ago. I filled it with red glass apples. Every day for exactly two minutes the sun comes through the kitchen window and lights up the glass apples. It's really pretty - but it only lasts two minutes.

Every year we have a family reunion in Carthage, MO. This year we have cancelled it. They have the Maple Leaf Festival in Carthage this weekend. There are thousands of Maple trees in town and they are absolutely gorgeous. I will miss it this year. This is a picture I took last year of some leaves DS and I picked up off the ground.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

And I took the road less travelled, and that has made all the difference

DS and I have a new hobby. On football game days while Daddy is at the game, we head out in the opposite direction of the University and go on an adventure. We go on a road we know, then turn on a road we've never been on before. This week we traveled 21 miles on a curvy, hilly narrow road and only pased one motor vehicle. And I say motor vehicle because that was an ATV and not even a car. We ended up in Morrow, AR which has a post office, car wash and a little store complete with two old men in overalls drinking coffee on the park bench out front. We went into the store, used the restroom and bought an ice cream bar for the ride home. As we followed the roads back out in a different direction, we came acros this old waterwheel. I had been there before, but forgotten about it. It is the only remaining all steel waterwheel left in the US. During the war, they were all dismantled and melted for war efforts.

I just love the old architecture of it and the lines of the wheel and all the old stone work. I don't know who it belongs to anymore. It on the side of the road where there are no houses or people. Sadly, as you can see, kids have put graffiti all over it professing their undying love for one another.
Here's DS in an old stone doorway. He wasn't quite done with that ice cream bar I mentioned.
Don't you love that old round wheel? It looks like a ferris wheel sitting out in the woods.

I love this picture of DS looking out the old window into the mechanics of the wheel. He had to pull himself onto the ledge to look out. After I got home, I realized I should have taken a picture from the other side with his feet sticking in the air.
This old stone window is really interesting. If you go into the "building" per say, you can look out the old window and see an occassional car go up the highway.
Here DS is looking down off about a 100 ft. drop off to the stream that runs beneath the waterwheel.

Even though I think it's sad that people have written graffiti on it and even shot at it (see the bullet holes?) - I think it does add character to it. It's like a huge piece of folk art witting out in the middle of nowhere.
Here's what you see when you drive by. It's the stopping and getting out that reveals the true beauty hidden there. And, isn't that really what life is all about?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I'd Like you To Meet Rosie

I was trapped in the hitchen most of this week what with the plumbers and A/C guys here all week. My craft supplies are in the garage, so I decided to get a little crafty. My mom had given me this blank doll form made of muslin - no clothes, face or hair. I was inspired by some Poly-fil which I used to fashion her graying hair. I made her an evening gown, earrings, necklace, bracelet and even a little evening bag. I shouldn't say so, but I love her!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Fall has officially arrived today. Maybe even winter. It was 42 degrees this morning and it was even sleeting for awhile. And here I am, with the A/C guy coming again today. The trees are turning and it is starting to get really pretty. It is time to buy a punkin and some haybales and get the scarecrow out of the storage building. This is my little vingette that I made in the front yard last year. We buy hay, cornshucks and a pumpkin or two. Actually, most of my pumpkins are made of rubber, but you can't tell the diference. I found several of them on clearance at Target for 90% off a few years ago. The old birdhouses and watercan are yard sale purchases. We go scrounging for pinecones, hedgeapples and grapevine to ad to the decor. I always go into the woods amd look for grapevine and make my own grapevine wreaths on the spot. I was on a dirt road doing this once and three different carloads of people stopped to asked me what I was doing and would I teach them to do it too. I just assummed that everyone knew how to make their own wreaths!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Timing Is Everything

Yesterday the A/C guy returned once more to see why the heck our unit keeps shutting off. He investigated it a bit, then left to consult a specialist. He said he would return after lunch. While he ws gone, the plumber came to clean out the line behind our washer. Forty five minutes and $153.00 later he was gone. Cue the A/C guy who returns and announces, not five minutes after the plumber has left that I need to call PLUMBER to replace a valve in the unit. OMG! I could have paid the other guy more $ and had it DONE. So, I have a call into a different plumber that is more local and he is to be here on Thursday about 11:00. I just want all these strange men to GO AWAY and leave me alone. It's 50 degrees outside to, the A/C is not the issue - it's just getting it fixed. And, it is to be 28 on Firday morning and we have no heat right now either.

On a happy note, my vintage magic items ended at $173.00 on Monday night. I only paid $2.00 for them, so that is a nice return. I have had some god sales on ebay this month and am happy about it. And, based on the first paragraph - I need the $$$!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Thrifty Finds this Week

I found these happy little things this week at one of my favorite thrifts. The brightly woven baskets are seagrass, I think. I paid $1.00 for all four baskets. The heart cookie cutter I blogged earlier this week. It is a slice off the top of a coffee can and crimped into a heart shape. The bird cookie cutter is missing it's hadle, but still useable and sweet. They were 50¢ each. The litle row of Indian girls are made of terra cotta and painted in bright colors. They just brought a smile to my face. I paid $2.00 for them, but that is only 40¢ each. The little blue tray matches a tin that I bought at the very same thrift a week ago. It was 25¢.

I went to another thrift on Thursday and found the sweetest little pair of hand sewn white leather baby moccasins with pink beaded rosettes on the toes. They were $1.50 - the same price as the other baby shoes. Lucky price for me, not for them. I will give these to my Mom to display when they do Cherokee talks at school for the kids.

Friday I went to a ton of yard sales. I treid to be selective and didn't bring home that much. My three favorite finds are all for resell. #1 - A Royal Doulton Bunnykins child's set - cup, bowl and plate - $1.00. It was covered in black grease and dirt. I washed it and it is perfect. I love it and would like to keep it - but I will sell it. #2 - 35 old vintge felt pennants from a FREE box. There are several from Santa Claus Land, Indiana; St. Louis Cardinals from 1969; Cracker Jack 100th Anniversary and three from Disneyland. #3 - A huge old wooden rolling pin, It weighs 8 pounds and is 26" long. I have never seen a rolling pin that big! The lady owned a resturant and rolled pie dough with it. I assume it will sell. It was $1.00.

Today I was a good girl and stayed home and went through stuff making a DONATE pile and a GARAGE SALE pile. I have got to have a sale soon. I just need to price stuff - it's all gathered up. Thee is still a month or so of good saling around here.

I (Heart) Birds

I know I am getting carried away with all the heart photos lately. But, I was cleaning out my photo folders this morning and I came across this picture I took this summer. I had cleaned out the kitchen cabinets and threw out the remnants of old crackers and cereal to the birds. I put all this stuff out in the backyard on the picnic table for the birds to eat. When I left the next day, this cracker had been chewed into a heart shape and was laying right by my front door. You may be right Oliveoyl - messages!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Janet Huckabee Nature Conservatory Field Trip

On Tuesday I followed three buses full of 5th grades on a field trip. We traveled over the Boston Mountains, through the only tunnel in Arkansas and on to Fort Chaffee in Ft. Smith. The bus drivers had been told that the Conservatory was at Fort Chaffee. When we arrived we were a convoy of three buses and five carloads of parents. We went past the old Refugee housing, past the old military housing and past lots of other empty buildings. We never saw a living soul. Suddenly at the crest of a hill, I could see a huge twelve foot tall chainlink fence topped with barbed wire. There were cameras, loud speaker and sirens on it. But, still no people. Then, like out of a movie, these military vehicles came screaming up the hill from behind the fence. They had their sirens on and all sorts of colored lights flashing everwhere. Out hopped Official Military Officials in full camoflauge. It seems that if we were to have gone a few feet farther, we would have been trespassing on government property and been in BIG trouble. The military officials came out from behind the fence and gace us an Official Miltiary Escort to the Conservatory. The driver of the car got out and waved to the kids and laughed. I suppose he got a big kick out of the bus loads of 10 year olds almost getting arrested. I thought we were headed for the Federal Pen!

When we did arrive at the Conservatory we were about 45 minutes late what with the Federal Offense and all, so they had to put a rush on our tour. First we went on a big hike in the woods. The kids spotted a snake, and much to my surprise, they did not run AWAY from it, but instead TOWARDS it. The trail leader warned us to watch out for ticks and now, even two days later, my back still itches from the mere mentin of that word. ick. We got all hot and sweaty - what a way to start our day. But then we got to go inside to the A/C and look at a bunch of stuffed animals. I don't mean stuffed bears and monkeys like at FAO Schwartz, but the real once they were live now they have glass eyes kind of stuffed animals. I am not into that sort of thing. Let 'em live, I say and let's just look at pictures of the animals. But, I digress. They also had lots of snakes, turtles and lizards in aquariums. I was looking in one aquarium at a rattlesnake when it struck the glass right at me! They can feel free to stuff that guy.

After that we went back outside and down to the lake. They put some of the kids in hipwadders and had them go out and seine the water looking for fish habitats. They kids tought it was funny when the absolute wealthiest, best dressed, head cheerleader girl in school put on the hip wadders. My son hid in the bushes hoping he wouldn't be chosen to don the hipwadders. He wasn't.

Next it was on to the portion where the kids waded out and skimmed the bottom of the lake looking for minnows, fish and on one occassion - a Tic Tac box. One girl exclaimed "This is the best field trip EVER" since they have always been told, "Don't get dirty, don't get near the water" etc. This time it was jump in, dig in the dirt, etc.

I checked DS out at the end of the day so he could ride home with me. I got on the Interstate to come home and kept finding myself headed South instead of North. Even when I turned North the damned exit would curve around and make me head South again. I think we crossed the river six times. I finally figured it out after a Sonic run for some ice cream and we arrived safely home back North.

I'll post pictues later when Blooger decides to BEHAVE......

I (Heart) Cookie Cutters

Since I seem to be on a heart theme lately, I thought I would share this cookie cutter I picked up at a thrift yesterday for 50¢. It's pure genious. Someone has sliced off the top of a metal coffee can and crimped it into the shape of a heart. Why buy a cookie cutter when you can make one? Dh frowned as I bought this, but I just love it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Going, Going, Not Gone!

I spent the day in the garage pricing things from my garage sale. I have so much to get rid of since my flea market went ka-put. But, as always, I end up bringing a couple things back in that where supposed to be sold. Today the wooden cake plate (50¢ at a yard sale), a small wicker basket of vintage metal daisies (25¢ at a thrift) and the tiny little book entitled, "How To Speak Good English" from 1930 showed back up in the house. The book is tiny and the the title humors me. It sounds gramatically incorrect, yet it is correct. I don't know where these three items will end up, but I just can't well them this time!

I spent a large part of the afternoon sitting in the driveway taking pictures of some vintage magic items I have for ebay. I know the passerbys and my neighbors think I am nuts siting there measuring weird stuff and photgraphing it. I don't think anyone knows I sell on ebay. I call my neighbor "Crazy Carl" - I wonder what he calls me........

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