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, November 27, 2006

I Wish I Was Dumbledore

Every time I read Harry Potter or see a Harry Potter movie I say outloud, "I wish I was Dumbledore!" When the Hogswart students are in the great hall - Dumbledore will smoothly glide his wand across the air, say "LET THE FEAST BEGIN" and *POOF* the feast is on the table, the candles are aflame, the fire is blazing and the holiday decorations are complete. Wouldn't it be nice?

So, rather than getting up off my duff and actually decorating right now - here are photos from last year! (I have no idea why the url is showing up in addition to the photo - sometimes blogger is a bear!)

This isn't the best photo of the tree. In fact, I have a new tree this year with a ...remote control. Ooooh! Off to the left you can see my three foot tall 1950's rubber face Santa. I bought him at a yard sale for $2.00. I bought him to sell, but fell in love with him so now he guards the tree every year. This picture must have been taken on Christmas Eve, because we don't put presents under the tree until then.

This is on top of the Entertainment Center. I love my big natural looking Father Christmas in the center. I got him at a thrift store for $2.00. (Hmmmm, I see a theme here!) The trees on either side of him are decorated with little paper mache people that I found at a garage sale in a Russell Stover candy box for 25¢. That was a find. Again, I thought I would sell them, but there they sit on my tree. The little cardboard houses are old light covers that I got at a thrift store for 10¢ each last year. The house on the left is a part of my one of a kind village. Why is it a one of a kind? Because my village is comprised of only General stores and Grocery stores, that's why! DH and I met while working in a grocery store so for our first Christmas we bought a grocery store to start our village. But, the next year we found a different grocery store and suddenly we had a village of gorcery stores. Last year I got a Walton's 5 & 10 (the original Wal-Mart store) and this year I have already spotted a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

This is my ever growing Santa collection. Every year I think I will cull it down and get rid of some, but I never do. I remember where I got each and every one of them! One of them is from my Christmas when I was three years old. I especially like Santas made of other things. I have an acorn, a walnut, a crushed tin can, a paint brush, an okra pod, a golf ball, a gourd and lots of other little oddities painted to look like a Santa. Of couse, I have the paper cup Santa from DS's Kindergarten days in there too. On the back of the chair you can see the giant Santa hat that I picked up at a thrift several years ago for $1.00. I put it on the back of the chair so the chair is "wearing" it. Last year I kept finding it in the middle of the floor. I asked DS if he kept moving it and he denied it. So, I spied around the corner one day and saw our little girl kitty pulling that giant hat across the floor. I don't know what she was thinking!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gobble, Gobble

I bet I am the only person in America that comes home from a day of Thanksgiving dinners and needs something to eat. I am a bit of a weird eater. I really don't like to eat other people's cooking very much. And I really, really hate creamy gooey things like green bean casserole, creamed corn, gravy, etc. And, I don't like any of my food to touch and I only eat one thing at a time. When I am eating at my house, none of this is a problem. But, when I go to someone's house and see all these casserole dishes full of unidentifable food and no one is even quite sure who made what, it is a problem. I usually eat a big piece of turkey and a roll. And today, even the turkey was problematic as I only eat fish and poultry products and someone had brought a big ham and thrown pieces of the ham on top of the turkey platter covering up most of the turkey. Ham cooties! I fished out a piece from the outer edge at the bottom that I felt was cootie free and ate that. I did eat a small piece of pumpkin spice cake that I took and a small piece of pumpkin pie that DH's grandma had made.

In the afternoon we went to my Dad's house where there was no food at all since he decided he didn't want to do Thanksgiving dinner. So, instead, we went to the lake and walked the shoreline and gathered up rocks and sticks to bring home for the yard.

After we left his house we toured tow different cities and looked at Christmas lights. One town had a huge park fully light up and it was absolutely stunning. We got out and walked the walking trail in and out of the lights. DS really enjoyed it and didn't want to leave. We will go back Saturday night for a Christmas parade and walk the trail again.

We finally got home about 7:00 and I devoured a tureky sandwich. I knew I wouldn't eat much today, so I had baked our very own turkey yesterday so we could eat our fill of it in sandwiches over the next few days. I love turkey sandwiches! I just wish I had a slice of cold pumpkin pie too!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Little of This, A Little of That

Gone, but not forgotten. I have been away for awhile. But, not completely by choice. I swtiched this blog over to the "New and Improved" Beta Blogger and then I couldn't find the darn dashboard again! I think I've finally found it and bookmarked it, so maybe I can post again some time soon!

I am ready to decorate for Christmas even though it is one huge job. I strip my living room, kitchen and bathroom down to basically just furniture and then I decorate. Well, actually, since the rooms are then bare, I sweep the ceiling to get down the dust bunnies, then I move the furniture and vacuum under it all then I dust and clean everything like crazy. THEN I decorate. I have so much Christmas stuff that I have to strip the houe down to the bare bones. But, then it lloks like a Christmas Wonderland and I love it.

Turkey Day in Thursday. We will go to my husband's Aunt and Uncle's for "dinner" which is lunch to you and me city folk. We normally go to my Dad's in the afternoon too. But, he has deemed that "unnecessary" this year and will be going out to eat with his "lady friend" instead. Whatever. Friday my Mom, step father, my family, my grandmother and my great Uncle will get together for a later Thanksgiving dinner.

There will be no Black Friday shopping for me. I hate crowwds and I am about finished shopping anyway. We are in the market for a big TV and there is a 42" plasma on sale, but doubt I can talk DH to get up early and go buy it.

I bought a big cardboard box full of ornaments at the thrift last week for $1.50. I could tell there were a few old glass ornaments in there and some Hallmark ornaments too, so I decided to buy them. When I emptied out the box I found these three sweet little jewels at the bottom of the box. They are hand carved and handpainted and just wonderful. My kitchen is chock full of folk art watermelons so I am happy to have saved them form that box!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gone Thriftin' Again

I headed out to my favortie super cheap thrift store today. They were just putting out the Christmas stuff. I stood there for about 30 minutes looking at every single little item. Plus they kept bringing more out. I found this great old handmade needlepoint tree skirt (cat not included) for $2.00.
I got all this great Christmas stuff for next to nothing too. The bell with the poinsettia on top lights up and cost a mere 45¢. The hand carved reindeer was 45¢, Vintage JAPAN Dog and Cat Salt and Peppers were 30¢, the Hallmark Horse Ornament from 1994 was 25¢, the Music box needs a little work but it was only 45¢, The itty bitty tiny paper mache Santa was 5¢ and matches a bunch of angels I already own, the box of glass ornaments was 55¢, the candy garland was 55¢ and the Santa on a flying pig was 25¢. DS collects pigs so I like to find him a different pig ornament every year.
I got all these things for resell too. Mirro Aluminum Cocktail Shaker 45¢, Bamboo Cup from Aiea, Hawaii 25¢, England Floral Motif Hinged lid tin 25¢( Have I mentioned my tin collection? Oye vey), Rain Gauge from old Feed Store 35¢, Christmas pin that I forgot to put in the other photo 25¢, Aluminum Gingerbread man cookie cutter 5¢, Tupperware Salt and Pepper Set 45¢, Tupperware four piece spice set with hanging rack and spice labels 45¢. I'm not a Tupperware gal - but I think it sells for fairly good $$$.
I also got a set of four cast iron and wooden serving plates for $2.60. These are heavy wooden bases with the cast iron inserts. You put the cast iron insert into the oven to heat it up and then serve a steak on it. The metal inserts on these are shaped like cows and very unique. I really thought I could sell them on ebay, but now that I have them home, I realize they weigh about 15 pounds and shipping will be through the roof. But, I will still list them. If someone wants them badly enough, they will pay the shipping.
I went to a yard sale on Wednesday (weird, huh?) and found this fabulous picture. They had a bunch of picture frames in a box for 25¢ each. I spotted this fabulous picture of a little guy dressed like a cowboy. Too cute! I think it's from the 1950's or so. I need to get a more appropriate frame for it. I hate those tacky cheapy looking gold frames.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Today I sent DS off to school and left DH home and set out on a bargain quest. I wasn't really looking for anything in particular - just a deal. I started off at Target. I knew the Halloweeen merchandise went to 90% off yesterday so I thought I might find a hidden deal somewhere. I didn't go yesterday on purpose, first off, we were sick and secondly, I didn't want to be tempted by any decorations or things we didn't need. I mean, everything looks good at 90% off! When I got there, all the Halloween was gone - Christmas stuff was everywhere! But, I went down the candy aisle and looked for out of place items, items with "FUN SIZE" written on the bags, one of a kind items and bags with fall leaves or Halloween motifs. I took it all to the scanners and price checked it. I ended up with one 1000 Grand bar bag for 21¢, Big bag of Sweetarts for 19¢, Nestle Assortment for 42¢, M&M fun size bag for 21¢, two different Starburst bags for 19¢ each, Snickers with Almonds for 19¢, York Peppermint Pattiesfor 21¢, Kissables for 27¢, Mounds for 21¢ and two bags of Milky Ways for 21¢ each. I bought all that and a deck of cards from the Dollar Spot for a grand total of $4.07. My checker was about as happy as I was to see such a deal! A lot of this will go to school for prizes and auction items. Some will go in the freezer and some will go straight to my rear end!

Then I went to Petsmart for badly needed food for the three kitties. Petsmart sent one of our cats a birthday card yesterday. It had a coupon in it for a free $4.00 cat toy. I got a kick out of that. So, I picked her out a six pack of rattly mice for free. I also used four free coupons for Whiska Lickins cat treats. The free coupons have been in the Tidy Cat bags lately. And I used $8.00 worth of coupons for the cat food. My total dropped $16.00 after coupons. I got some serious eye ball rolling from the chick behind me in line who had to wait while they did my coupons. It only took about a half a minute extra to do them so she didn't have to wait very long. Her main problen was she was buying a 50 lb. bag of dog food and didn't bother to get a cart for it. So, whe had to stand there and hold it. Oh well, it was good for her upper body strength!

Since I was close to Chick-fil-A I snuck up there for a box of nuggets for lunch. I love those things! I've been trying to win a party platter on their website, but no luck. DS and DH love Chick-fil-A too so I had to hide my trash so they wouldn't know where I had been!

After that I went to Hobby Lobby and eh gads, right in front of the door was all the Halloween marked 80% off. Look away! Look away! I did fall for a cool sign to stick in the yard that says "Trick or Treat" with a black cat for $1.99. I also found some scrapbooking items marked down in there, so I got away from Hobby Lobby with a bagful for $8.00.

I hit two thrifts on the way home. At one I spent a whopping 50¢ for a Whitey Herzog Bobble head for DH. The lady that works there sent home a Beanie Baby for DS too. They told me that they would be putting out all the Christmas on Monday so I will be the first one there on Wendesday when they open for the week. At the Salvation Army I got a 1996 Longaberger cracker basket with liner for $1.00, a seagrass basket in the shape of a bird for 50¢ and a "Swinger" for $1.00. What is a "Swinger" you might very well ask? Well, it's a drinking glass on a chain that you where around your neck to "leave your hands free for better things". OMG! The picture on the box shows a guy all hoochy-goo with a lady at a party. It is too funny! The chain is a thick cheesy silver chain. It would be great for a "Tacky Gift Exchange" that I am in on - but I think I will hold on to it for a fun family member gift or maybe ebay.

That concludes the play by play of my deal hunting day. ;o)

I swear, I get such a high when I find a deal!

Monday, November 06, 2006

An 18 Minute School Day

DS has had a bit of a chest and head cold since Friday. We did our usual thing on Saturday as we had made a commitment, but her lazed around yesterday. He is taking Robitussin Cough Gels (one of the greatest inventions, ever!), a generic cold medication and Muscinex (another fabulous invention) and feels better when he is medicated. So, this morning, we got up and usual and discovered, much to my dismay, that I had the dreaded funk too. We did our usual morning routine, lunch packed, breakfast eaten, clothes on, armpits deodorized, teeth brushed, etc. and went on our way to school. I dropped him off, drove the entire 1.1 miles back to the house, walked in, made the bed and the phone rang. It was the school nurse saying he was sick and needed to go home. He has a very sweet and caring teacher and she noticed him blowing his nose. She sent him to the nurse saying he wasn't the type to complain, so she was sending him home. He was only at school 18 minutes! I really would not have gotten up at 6:00 am and done all of that for 18 minutes! It's nearly 5:00 PM and he seems to be feeling better. He is building a big house out of Lego's and smashing a remote control Hummer into it, so I assume he feels better.

Saturday we had our Harvest Dinner with the White River Band. I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned that part of our lives. We have Cherokee ancestors and belong to the White River Band of the Northern Cherokees of the Cherokee Nation. Not a band like music, (most people assume that) like a band of Indians or a band of brothers. My step father is the Deputy Band Leader, my Mother is the Treasurer and I am the Editor of the Newsletter. There are lots of other people involved, the three of us just happen to have jobs! We have compiled a cookbook of recipes from modern day (no bake cookies, salads, turkey meatloaf and many, many more)) and recipes from our heritage like Baked Racoon and Corn Pudding. It makes for interesting reading and has a lot of good recipes (well, maybe not the Baked Racoon!). It would make a great gift for anyone that likes cookbooks or has Native American Heritage. If anyone is interested, I have them for $12.50 which includes shipping. All the money goes to support the band and help pay for future powwows, supporting the Angel Ministries for underprivileged Cherokees and many other important things. You can emaiil me at the name of this blog @juno.com. (Maybe that will stop some of the spammers) if you are interested and I promise I won't start selling things on here! (Just this once!)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Here's a picture of my thrift finds from yesterday. I notice now that it is a little fuzzy because I sometimes forget to put the camera on Macro setting once I turn it off. Doh! I mentioned the vintage Christmas items yesterday. I love the little porcelain baby. Her little muslin body is handmade and not very professional. Very homemade, but very cute. Her little diaper even has hand crocheted trim. She was a whole quarter. There are a few pieces of costume jewelry -one of which has three little carved figures on the end to it. It is very interesting. I just love cool old vintage jewelry, but don't have the nerve to wear much of it. I am a little gold hoop kind of gal.
This is the jewelry that I wrote about last wekend from my step grandmother's estate. It's like a big box of chocolates looking in at this jewelry. I love the big chunky oranges and green facet cut beads and the red chunky beads too. The pearls are a pearl collar that would go over a plain colored sweater or a nice blouse - It's not me - but it is pretty.
The set in the box is fantastic. It is Aurora Borealis and in brand new condition. All the earrings are clips. She was a collector of elephants so many of the pins and brooches are elephants. There are a few elephant necklaces too. The upper left corner section is full of Christmas pins and matching earrings. I might convert some of them to pierced and wear them this Christmas.

If you have been reading this blog from the start, you might remember that DH forgot a little Halloween "anniversary" of ours last year. This isn't our wedding anniversary - it's the anniversary of the first day we spent together as friends and had a five hour conversation. The first year he brought me flowers on that date because by that time we were a "couple", the second year he brought me flowers on that date because were engaged, then the third year and every year after that, he brought me flowers because we were married. Then last year, nothing. No mention, nothing. I had a card and a gift for him and when I handed it to him, he said, "Oh, I forgot." The next day he vowed over and over that he would NEVER forget again as he handed me a bouquet of flowers (that were from the REDUCED section - but that was a whole 'nother arguement!). So, Tuesday was Halloween and guess what? He forgot again. I had a card and gift for him which he took, with no question or comment about it. Then last night - two days later - he brought me home flowers again. I appreciate the flowers, but it's not necessary. Just say, "I forgot and I'm sorry." I know it sounds silly, but it was just our special little thing and he forgot about it like it never happened. Okay, whine over.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Okay, so I am two months early. But, I saw my first house today completely decorated for Christmas. And, Wal-Mart looks like the North Pole. Even at the thrift today they had the Christmas stuff starting to roll out. Oh, how I love old Christmas decoations. Vintage Santas, old glass ornaments - even tacky stuff like those bendy elves and pipecleaner winged angels. I've signed up for a Vintage Shristmas swap, so I am on the lookout for goodies for that, goodies for ebay and goodies for me! My thrift purchases from today are still in the car, but I know I got three vintage Santa trays and a Mistletoe "Kissing Ball" comprised of plastic mistletoe and a funny little Santa face pin.

I went to Dillon's - it is starting to empty out getting ready for the big change over. I will miss that store. But, they are still having great deals clearing out the Kroger merchandise. I happened to find something for this years Christmas - something to surely make me the envy or the enemy of the neighbohood. I got one of those HUGE obnoxious snow globes for the front yard. It was priced $150.00. I got it for $40.00. I would never find one that cheap - even AFTER Christmas. DS will be sooooooooooooo excited. He loves those things. So, now we will have the big snowglobe, an 8 foot tall Santa and a 6 foot tall penguin. The house next door has been empty for a year- I wonder if the realtor would mind if I took over that yard too?????

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