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, May 31, 2007

May 31st

A long long time ago, I was in college and my Mom was newly divorced and living in a little house in the country. We would meet on Saturday afternoons and go to the laundry mat to do our weekly laundry. Since I lived near the campus, all the laundry mats were always packed. So, we would drive all the way across town to the "seedier" part of town to a laundymat that was usually empty. We would load up the washers and start them all at the same time. Back then, it took over an hour for a wash cycle. Across the street from the Laundry there was a Family Dollar. We would walk over there while our clothes washed and buy fabric softener, chips or a drink. Sometimes, payday was a week away and we wouldn't buy anything - we would just look around and make fun of things. We like to laugh and can find humor in a great number of ways. (Carrying a 19" color TV up a flight of stairs is one of the funniest things we ever did - we laughed until we nearly dropped it over the edge of the staircase). One of the most humorous things at this particular Family Dollar was the Manager with the odd curly red hair who looked at us the minute we walked into the store and watched us the entire time we were in the store. Not a glance here and there, but he stared at us. Glared at us. Piericing eyes. My Mom called him, "That Creepy Guy." Every week we would go in there and he wouldn't ever speak - he just stared at us. *Shutter*

One summer day I was at work at the grocery store and I went in the back room to get some merchandise. When I stepped into the back someone yelled, "Hey, Shara - come meet the new guy." Oh, that's right, you guessed it. It was the "Creepy Guy"!!! "The Creepy Guy" was now working with me. I mentioned this to my Mom later that day, who put her finger firmly in my face and said, "YOU stay away from that guy. He is C*R*E*E*P*Y!!" She thought he was creepy and up to no good. "Yes, Mom. I will stay away from him." *Shutter*

And I did. As much as one can stay away from someone in a small grocery store where you have to be in the same backroom and the same aisles and the same breakroom all day. And there are only a handful of people working there and you are friends with all of them except "Creepy Guy". So, you can't exactly NOT talk to "Creepy Guy" when everyone else is starting to talk to him. So, I listened to "Creepy Guy" and what he had to say. And, I discovered that "Creepy Guy" was a pretty nice guy. Very nice in fact. And, not really creepy at all. And, really sort of sweet. And kind of cute. And, he no longer has curly hair as his perm has grown out. (Seriously? a perm?) And I discovered that he came from a complete and total hillbilly up bringing and it is a wonder that the man had enough sense to come to town and get a job and join society and be a fairly normal human being. (Except for that whole "Creepy Guy" thing). He also told me one day that he remembered me and my Mom from the Family Dollar. He said it was the store policy to look at each and every person that entered the door - note what shoes they were wearing when they came in the door and when they left (apparently Family Dollar is a hotbed of shoe stealing activity) and note when they left the store. So he was watching us to see if we were shoplifting $3.00 athletic shoes, that explains part of the whole creepy guy thing. It also let me know what sort of a shady shoe stealing character I must have looked like.

We would talk at work and on our lunch and breaks. On Halloween we had a party at work and I brought the deocrations and food (Geez, I've always been the party planner). He helped me carry things out to my car at the end of the day and we ended up standing in the parking lot and talking for three hours. As other people would come and go they would say, "Where's the party?". We called that our "Parking Lot Party" - known as the "PLP" after that day.

I remember one day it rained really hard and there were reports of flooding out in the Hillbillyland from which he sprung. He was unable to make it to work because the roads were washed out and some bridges were underwater. He did make it down from Hillbilly Mountain to the itty bitty so-called town below the mountain to see the flooding himself. He called me at my apartment, the first time he had ever called me, to say he was checking on me and worried about me in the flood. I took that to mean that he was starting to care about me since I lived on top of a big mountain in the city and there was no way flood waters could have affected my life in any way, shape or form.

About a year into our friendship, I got transferred to a new location. I wasn't sure what would happen to us. I hadn't been in a real relationship before (sad, but very true), but I felt this one had potential. On May 31st, a friend called to say she would be in town and that we should go out on the town that night. I decided to bite the bullet and ask him to go with me. I called him very early in the morning before he was awake and alert up on Hillbilly Mountain. He said, he'd think about it. Well, okay, then. Maybe I should rethink my feelings. That afternoon on the way home, I drove by to see him at work to see if he was going to go or not. He hemmed and hawed around and I never came out to ask him either. My Mom was with me and finally, very exasperated, she said, "Are you going to go or NOT?" "Yes," he said. Well, good god, he could have said that earlier. So, we went out that night and one thing led to another and we decided we cared about each other and wanted to be more than friends. Just like that. *Poof* He spent the night at my apartment that night. No hanky panky - it was just too late to drive home to Hillbilly Mountain and we had a couple Rum and Cokes to celebrate the new relationship. That morning when he left to go to work, he just stood there at the door. I finally leaned in and kissed him. He kind of stared at me in the old "Creepy Guy" way. He said that shocked him. Well, I thought I was a newbie to this relationship thing. What kind of a guy was I dealing with???

Now fast forward on to the very romantic proposal. As if. We went to Pizza Hut with his best friend from high school and his wife. Before the pizza came, the wife threw her checkbook calendar over to my "Creepy Guy" and told him to pick out a wedding date. And, so he did. And that is how I suddenly found myself "engaged" although I don't think I ever actually used that term until right now. At least he did have the thoughtfulness to pick the very date that we went out and our relationship began - May 31st.

We had a simple wedding. I told the Preacher that it would be a small wedding. I have a big family and there are lots and lots and lots of family members out on Hillbilly Mountain. We sent out a lot of invitations. But, for some reason, I didn't envision many people coming. It was just the ceremony followed by cake in the reception hall, so I didn't bother with RSVP's. Imagine my surprise when over 120 people showed up in this tiny little church. My father's Great-Aunt who I hadn't seen since I was five was thee, all my aunts and uncles from Kansas from both sides arrived and every single person up on Hillbilly Mountain came to town - many wearing their finest overalls - to attend the wedding, not to mentin every single employee of the store where we both worked. It was a simple thrifty wedding as we were pretty poor and working for minimum wage. I planned it all, bought the food, made the party trays for the Rehearsal Dinner, made all the flowers and made all the decorations and decorated the church and reception hall. I did it on a mere pitance. My Mom bought my dress which was a pretty ivory taffetta dress - advertised as a Bridesmaid Dress in the JC Penney's catalog and priced at $99.00. My Dad bought the wedding cake. We paid for everything else. It was nice enough, but now that I am in the land of thriftiness and frugalness, I know that I could do so much more for the money.

We couldn't afford much of a honeymoon, so we planned on going to Branson for a day or two. I had babysat for a family for about 10 years and I was very close to the Mom. They owned a townhouse on a golf course up in a fancy little village. They offered the townhouse to us for our honeymoon and I have always been so grateful to them for that act of kindness. After DH made me leave the wedding reception (we were one of the last ones to leave because I was having fun seeing everyone!) we stopped at a McDonald's for something to eat. The girl at the drive thru window looked in the car at us and said, "Ya'll look nice - whatcha been doin'?" At the time, I found that so funny. Actually, it still is pretty funny.

So, now you have "TMI" (too much information) - about "How I Met My Husband". Otherwise known as "Shoe Thief Weds Creepy Guy."

The "Creepy Guy" Family

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

JUNK Swap Update: Today is mail day. Please mail your swap package and
then email your partner and me (or leave a comment on this post) saying
that you have mailed it. SvelteSTUFF reports a 15 lb package and I have
a 10 lb. package - That's 25 pounds of JUNK with only two people
reporting in so far. I'm late inposting this - I was without Internet this morning *gasp* and I was forced to CLEAN HOUSE instead of piddle on the computer.

Have you ever seen such PINK Hydrangeas? These are growing in my backyard and just make me happy.

We fired up our new grill yesterday for the obligatory Memorial Day BBQ.
DH had just put the chicken breast and turkey burgers on the grill, when,
literally, out of nowhere, came a torential downpour. He made it to the
front porch but left the food on the grill. Luckily, the rain only
lasted about ten minutes and the food cooked just fine. Actually, it
turned out better than usual, because he couldn't stab it with a fork and
turn it over a million times. Earlier in the day we were at the cemetary
putting out flowers and a sudden rainshower hit then too. Luckily we
were almost to the car at that point, but we had just walked about a
block from the car and were on our way back. I can't get wet since I'm made of pure sugar and all. I told DS that when I wass little and he actually used to protect me from the rain so I wouldn't melt.

We stopped at an indoor sale yesterday on the way home from the cemetary.
It has been sort of a permanent indoor garage sale for the past two
months. The items are all priced with flea market tags and higher prices
than any yard sale I've ever seen. But, yesterday was the last day and
everything was 50% off. That's more my style. I did discover that I
should have looked at all the prices on my first visit a month ago
because I found some good deals. For instance, I saw three pieces of
matte white pottery on a table. One was priced $19.99, one was $29.99
and one was $1.00. Now, I'll give you three guesses as to which one I
bought....ha! They had items from different families and all different
people priced things in their own way. Hence, the $1.00 piece of
pottery. Actually, it was only 50¢ afer the discount! I also bought a
big glass biscuit jar. I had just seen these at Wal-Mart the other day
for nearly $20.00. It is new, but has that vintage candy counter look to
it. I decided to put my vintage cookie cutter collection in it and then
I could add to it until it was full. Well, whoopsie, I had enough to
chuck it full plus enough for another jar (or two).

At the Salvation Army on Friday I found five old glass jars with metal
screw on lids. I know they sell new versions of these old jars for
storage, so I was excited to find old ones! And, they were only $1.00
each. They have the old purple ink price on top that reads 239¢. I
think these might have been peanut butter jars. I can see them full of
buttons, ribbons, spools or beans, rice and macaroni or flour, sugar,
cornmeal, etc. Of course, candy would be cool, but who needs five huige
jars of candy!

Friday I received a fun package from Miss Heidi at Vacuuming in High Heels and Pearls. She sent me, for absolutely no reason at all, the vey nicest package of fruity goodness.
Love, love, love the fun fruit potholders. So fun, so vintage and so me.
She handmade the cards and the folder - the whole enchilada. What talent! I didn't even know she made cards! And, she made them and desgned them just for me. Oh, it gave me a tingly happy feeling the rest of the day to be the recipient of goodies for no reason at all. Thank you Heidi. You are a good Blog Buddy!

And, for a chuckle, here's a photo to make you say, "Whattha.......". I
bought this game at a yard sale last week called "Butt-head". You put
the caps on and throw balls at each others heads. I think this might be
more of an adult drinking game, but it provided many a chuckle this
weekend with family members. (Yes, DS is in a wheelchair - I hate it
when he sits in his Great-Grandmother's wheelchair - but he thinks it is
fun!) That's my Uncle with him doning a Butthead hat too.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

What's Shakin'?

It's Snow Globe Central at my house.

I went to the Super Cheap Thrift Store yesterday. I wasn't supposed to go, but you know how that goes. I went. In the back, I spotted a cardboard box heaped full of snowglobes. The box said 10¢ each, so I just bought them all rather than being picky and sorting them out. I ended up with 34 of them. There are three doubles, but other than that they are all from different places across the US. They are all only half full of water, but that is pretty much par for the course in vintage snowglobes. Plus, anyone that really collects them knows how to refill them. I found a lot of 17 snowglobes similar to these that sold for $87.00 recently. So, I have high hopes for them.

I also brought home this neat Kwick Kutter in the box. I have several of these and I use them when I make my famous homemade (Jiffy Mix) biscuits and (Pillbury) sugar cookies. This one has a sawtooth edge. I also found the old beat up aluminum colander. It is completely unuseable, but I just loved the look of it. I bet a lot of potatoes and strawberries got washed in it over the years. It will go in the "Old Kitchen Junk" cabinet. Both of these items were 15¢ each. The two matching tins were actually from a different thrift this week for 25¢ each. I bypased one since I do NOT need anymore tins. But, then I spotted the second one and had to gab them both. Made in England tins are my favorites lately.

The wire basket was 45¢ and just looked way too useful to leave there. The Tyson Chef Buddy was 25¢ - I live in Tyson Country and I have a buyer for all things TYSON in VA. His name is Tyson and he will buy anything I list. He wants a leather jacket with the TYSON logo on the back, but I haven't found one of those yet. The puzzle is one of those "Arkie" things for our Puzzle Collection - it was 15¢. The small piece of green pottery is marked CP on the bottom. I just can't seem to leave a piece of pottery a the thrift even if it isn't "my" color. It was only 35¢ and in perfect condition. I do use them on my desk to hold my "junk". I nearly passed right by the blue vase. It was sitting amongst the cheapy florist green and white glass vases and I almost didn't give it a second glance. I did like the cobalt color so I picked it up. That's when I realized it was pottery - I flipped it over and it's Haeger! It still has the paper label on the bottom - It was a steal at 35¢. You can see how I get into trouble at this thrift - cheap, cheap, cheap.

I also found this very cool and hip cigar box purse. It is covered in souvenirs and memoribilia from Vegas - dice, chips from casinoes and playing cards from casinoes. Some of the casines are gone - like the Stardust. It is covered in that heavy clear resin so it is smooth. It has a magnetic drawer closeure and a drawer handle. It is lined in black velvet and has playing cards on the inside too. There is a small gold jewelry looking thing ont he bottom that says "Heidi of Naples" on it. Not sure if that is just decor or really the maker. It came in a black felt bag that matches the lining of the purse. I suppose that is to keep it from being scratched. It was only 75¢ and it is very awesome.

As I type this, I am remembering that I also bought a heavy brass lamp with a cherub on it. Hmmm, it must have rolled under something in the back of the VUE. I need to bring some things in. DH says it isn't normal to have a 1972 Pin The Tail on the Donkey Game and a blowmold Santa in the back of the car. Oh, what does he know?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I See Dumb People

The other day I saw Jesus at the Liquor Store. A least the license plate on the front of the car said "JESUS". I had assumed that if you have a JESUS license plate on the front of the car, you might not want to be seen carrying two cases of beer out to your car. Just a thought.

Lately I have noticed a lot of dumb people out on the roadways. They may not actually be dumb people, but they are definitely doing dumb things.

Dumb Person Number One: I was behind an AmeriGas truck at the stoplight the other day. It was full of all sorts of gas canisters and it had stickers all over the canisters and the trucks that said, "DANGER!", "EXPLOSIVES", "CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE", "STAY BACK", "NO SMOKING", etc. That's when the driver stuck his arm out the window and threw out a cigarette butt. Dumb.

Dumb Person Number Two: I saw a young college aged girl looking in the rear view mirror applying mascara as she drove on the shoulder of the road in a construction zone at about 50 miles per hour. Dumb.

Now the following dumb people were not on the roadway, but were parked at school waiting to pick up their kids. We all line up, roll down the windows, turn off the motor and sit and wait. People tend to get bored and groom while they wait. Yesterday the lady behind me had her pinky finger inserted so far up her nose that you couldn't see it at all. She was going to town on that thing. She must have been in her 60's and should have known better. The guy in front of me rolled his window and stuck his out out the window. He had a big ugly foot in a big ugly sandal. Next thing, I know, he has his pocket knife out working on his toenail. I tried to look away, but the lady was still back there behind me digging away. Today the woman behind me in line (a different one than yesterday) was popping her pimples. One after the other. There is another lady that sits behind me sometimes and she is obsessed with her arms. She pops things and pulls hairs and looks at them. It is really just too much. They need to get a Search-a-word puzzle book like I have so they have something to do other than gross me out.

The point of this post is this: I C U. I see you. Other people can see you too. Don't do anything dumb in public. You are not invisible. Thank you.

Monday, May 21, 2007

And the Junk Partners Are...

*Edited from first post - new arrival to even out the swappers. Link to Flat Rate Boxes added too.

Okay, Ladies, here we go. Ready to Junk? All the names were written on slips of paper and drawn two by two by a sleepy eyed 11 year old boy this morning.

And the partners are:

Anne and Grace

Sue (Sveltestuff at YSQ) No Blog and Heidi S.

Jodi R. and Breanna

Raesha and Shara

Lucy and Merrill

Heidi G. and Andy.

Please contact your partner and check out their blogs if you don't already do so. Get your junk rounded up and load up that box. I cleaned out my kitchen gadget drawer, junk drawer, scrapbooking supplies, stickers, ebay stash, boxlot cast-offs, swap leftovers, freebie samples, jewelry box, craft supplies and linen closet to gather up all the junk that I didn't want but is still really good STUFF!

The reason I chose the Flat Rate Priority Boxes is that you can cram a lot of junk in each box and not worry about the weight of the box. If you decide that your box isn't very heavy and you prefer to send it in a regular box, that is okay. You can work that out with your partner. If your junk won't fit in a Flat Rate box, use a different box - just let your partner know what you are doing, please.

Here are the Flat Rate Boxes so you can see them. There are two sizes available - one is a fat square box to hold litle items: 11" X 8.5" X 5.5" and one is more of a flat rectangular box for papers and items: 11-7/8" x 3-3/8" x 13-5/8". You can cram a LOT into these boxes. Trust me. ;o)

You have a week to find your junk. Mail boxes on Tuesday, May 29th after the Holiday Weekend. If you need to mail it early, before you leave town or something, let your partner know that too. Really, whatever you decide to do is fine by me, just work it out with your partner. Please email me at monkeybox at juno dot com when you mail it.

Once you get your junk - find something fun, something you love, something you haven't a clue what is or something else, and share it with everyone on your blog. Now, get Junkin'! And have fun!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Friday Finds

I hit several sales on Friday morning. I found a few goodies, but
really, I drove far too far out of my way (especially with gas at $3.49 a
gallon this morning) looking for treasures. I came home, did a few
things around the house, got dressed and went off in search of a VFW
Ladies Auxillary Sale in a small neighboring town. This town literally
has less than 400 people in it and no one anywhere even KNEW there was a
VFW in the town. I finally found some directions that led me to the
signs. I followed them too far. I should have turned around, but I just
kept on driving. When I finally got there, I could tell from the road
that it was a bust, but be damned, I would go and I would find something.
The ladies were very nice and tried in vain to sell me boxes of stuff
that I did not want or need including home baked cookies and brownies. I
did buy an old yellow splatterware teapot with lid. It is out on the
potting bench with some pink petunias in it already. I also bought
something I never thought I would buy. A bedpan. Yes, a bed pan. It is
an old white enamel one with black trim. I will most likely plop a
petunia in it and throw it under a tree for my own amusement. I passed
by an old house today that had a yard full of old stuff in it. They had
planted flowers in all of it like I do and most of it looked lovely. I
say most of it, because plunked down right smack dab in the middle of the
front yard was a toilet. Yes, that's right. A toilet. And in that
toilet was a bunch of flowers. I thought to myself, "How tacky. How
absurd. I would never put a toilet in my yard." But, apparently, I will
put a bed pan in my yard. Go figure.

I did find a few goodies. Not too much, but I suppose that is a good
thing as I have a house full, a garage full and a storeage building full.

I did find this neat old wooden piece from an old china cabinet. It was
only $1.00. I like the architectural detail of it. It is broken in two
spots, but I think I can either carve it out on the other side to even it
out, or hang it on the wall and then hang something over it, like a
picture or some decorative plates so the broken part doesn't show. Hmmm,
how would a bed pan look hanging on there?

I got this old Fire King cup in an unusual style for 50¢. When I picked I
up, I just knew it would be perfect in Heidi's kitchen window . It's not
like Heidi lives across the street and I can just run over and give it to
her, right? She is in Colorado for pity's sake. But, it would look good
in that window! The Ransbottom pitcher was 50¢ too. I have several
Ransbottom blue banded pieces. I used to work at a store that carried a
line of Ransbottom pieces at affordable prices. I even have the big five
gallon stoneware drinking dispenser. I got it for $1.00 because the
spicket leaked and someone returned it. I put a new washer in it so it
is good as new. But, really it just sits on top of my old wardrobe for

I digress. What else is new. The metal tumbler is from Germany and will
require some investigating and research. It was 50¢. ( I sense a theme
here). The napkin rings are porcelain and marked JAPAN on the back.
They are perfect - not a teeny chip or anything. Hey, guess what - they
cost 50¢ too. And those monkeys are marked JAPAN on the bottoms. They
are cold painted so I have to be careful with them. Yep, you guessed it
- 50¢ for the pair.

And lastly, the large supply of TUIT's. You know
about these, right? A round TUIT. As in, "When you get around to it,
will you please paint the fence?" So, you hand someone a round TUIT. ha
ha Lame 1950's humor. I paid 50¢ for a bag containing 73 round TUIT's.
I think I am set for awhile. But, I broke a rule. I added some TUIT's
to my "Junk Swap" box. I didn't buy them for the box, but seriously, I
had 73 of them. I could spare a few.

On a different noote: You might remember I mentioned Mr. Bun-Bun living in my yard. Well, my "not so bright" family likes to go out and sit in the new old glider (I
painted it pink by the way) and watch Mr. Bun-Bun frolick in the yard.
One night DS (D as in Duh) would remark, he looks smaller tonight. Then
the next night, DH (D as in Duh again) would say, "His ears look longer
tonight." When we came home today, Mr. Bun-Bun was sitting behind my
Forsythia bush. We snuck in the front door so we wouldn't scare him
away. When I went to the bedroom, I looked out the window and there sat
Mr. Bun-Bun. "My, what a quick hopper Mr. Bun-Bun is," I remarked in my
own "not so bright" way. When I went back out to the kitchen, I looked
out and Mr. Bun-Bun was sitting in the ditch. "Wow - what a hopper", I
thought. So, I went outside to see him up close and there was Mr.
Bun-Bun Number One siting by the ditch, Mr. Bun-Bun Number Two still
sitting behind the Forsythia and, when I went to the backyard, there sat
Mr. Bun-Bun Number Three. Holy Mackaroley, I am up to my carrots in

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Got Junk?

So, how goes the junk hunt? I am afraid I have more junk than one person should own so I am happy to unload it. Of course, I will be receiving a box of junk in return, so it rather defeats the purpose. But, hey another persons junk just may be my treasure! I have rounded up my box of junk and it weighs 9 lbs. NINE POUNDS. That is a lot of junk - and not a brick or a book in the box. And, I still have a bit of room for any more junk that I may find here and there. Junk, junk, junk.

So far we have nine people signed up, so we may do it Round Robin (each person sends to a different person than they receive from), but maybe more people will joiin in on the Junk Swap before Sunday. Mention it on your blog if you haven't already. Thanks!

If you have signed up or are going to sign up for the swap, please email me at monkeybox @juno dot com. (The right way, of course) with your name, blog address and email address so that I can send it to your partner. I have Heidi at Vacuuming and Lucy at Sweet Repeats, but I need the rest, please.

Gotta get to bed so I can go lok at other people's junk tomorrow morning. Yard Sale Day!

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Belated Mother's Day

I hope all the Mom's had a nice Mother's day. I had Mother's Day with my Mom on Saturday. We went to visit my Grandmother, which makes everyone say, "Awww, isn't that sweet". But, my Grandmother is a bitter selfish woman and she always brings us down. That's why went the day before as to not ruin our actual Mother's Day. I like to think that I am a good Mom and I know that I had a great Mom growing up and she is still my best friend. I wish that she would have had a more caring Mom. (This picture was taken in the late 80's which explains the big earrings one me.)

I've had good response to the Junk Swap. Everyone is welcome to participate in the swap if you have a blog or if you have left a comment on here in the past. (So, Sveltstuff - you may play!) I'll add some links tomorrow to some of the newcomers so we can read their thrifty blogs too. Tell your thrifty friends to come Swap Junk too. I seem to have enought Junk to fill a TP box! ;o)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Anybody Wanna Swap Junk???

I have an idea for a mini swap to hold all us "swap addicts" over until the next big one comes along. Tell me what you think. I call it the Junk Box" Swap. I was thinking we could gather up any items that we have, but don't really want anymore. Things that we might sell in our own garage sale (if any of were orgainzed to acutally have one, that is!). I'm thinking about little things - odds and ends - stuff in the junk drawer. How about filling up a big Flat Rate Priority Box with lots of odds and ends of things that we might not want, but that are still in good condition. A CD that you don't like anymore, some costume jewelry, notecards, stickers, unopened bath stuff, bits of paper or ribbons that maybe aren't your kind of thing, swap items you received in the past that are wonderful but not really YOU, advertising things they hand you at the store and you just don't know WHAT to do with them, stuff like that. How about finding something in your kitchen gadget drawer, your desk drawer, your craft supply and even your glove box in the car? Anything goes, just try to cram as much as you can into the box but make sure it will arrive safe. I wouldn't throw in a big glass vase because it would take up too much room not to mention probably break. The very most important rule of this swap is DON'T BUY ANYTHING FOR IT. That will be the hardest part! This swap goes along with the "Use What You Have" theme that is circulating in Blogland, plus, who knows, we might get a tad bit organized and find something we have been missing in our very own house. (We lost our cable remote two years ago and I would give anything to find it!)

The only rules are:

Only send good clean useable junk. It can be new, old, used, vintage, from the future (?) or whatever - just clean and still useable.

Don't go buy anything to add to the box - that includes paper, ribbon and the card!

You have to use the big Priority Box so everyone gets the same amount of Junk. I'll post the box # and the amount it costs to ship it later (Postage rates go up tomorrow).

Open to US bloggers only since we are the only ones that can use Priority Mail. (sorry).
For extra fun - let's all weigh our boxes and count the pieces inside. She who gets the most junk wins (metophorically speaking, that is...)

We can still read each others blog and try to send junk they would like, but really, just load up the box. You might find out that someone's son collects keychains and want to add some junky keychains that you already have to the box. (My son collects keychains, so that's where I got that idea). You're only out postage this one, since the stuff is already junking up your house anyway!

This will be a quickie swap. Leave a comment by Sunday, May 20th. Monday I will mix up the names and let you know your partner's name. We will all mail them on Tuesday May 29th. I know that is fast, but that's half the fun - find your junk, load it up and ship it out. I (heart) JUNK! I know I don't have that big of a readership base, so spread the word to any of your blog buddies that (heart) junk too. This would make a good fun first swap for someone too. Start hunting JUNK today!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fabulous Friday Finds

I'm always on here saying, I found the best sale today. Well, today I really did find the BEST sale EVER. Oh my God. Everything was soooo me. When I walked into this big metal building, I saw things that I wanted everywhere and I didn't know which way to go first. I spotted a cool old tin panel planter so I went that way first. It was $2.25 (in the bottom photos). I used it to hold my purchases until I had more than I could carry (whoopsie) and made a pile. A big pile. In the end, I spent $19.85 which is just a fortune to me at a yard sale, but I go so much cool fabulous really old stuff and brand new items too.

The two round rose motif items in the back are big hat boxes with string handles. They still had tags on them for TJ Maxx for $12.00 each. I think they wee $1.25 each. They kept the tags, so I forget. (I will get organized, I will get organized). Love, love, love the old wooden spools in different sizes. Priced at a mere 10¢ each, my heart did a pitter patter on those. For my Santa collection - the set of four nesting dolls was only 10¢ as well. In the middle is a set of four wooden band boxes - new from TJ Maxx too - $2.25 for the set today. The shutters were 15¢ each and then I found a set of brass cabbage shaped door pulls (they're in the front) for 25¢ that I will add to the shutters. When I told the lady that idea, she said, "Wish I would have thought of that...". Oh yes, and the sugared fruit. So much of it. A lady had it all wrangled up iin her arms, and then I gues she decided against it, because on my third or forth trip around, I saw it all sitting there again. It was only about $1.75 for all of it.

Oh, and that Rabbit Topiary spoke to me. I tried to leave it there. I told myself I really didn't need it. Then I saw it was only 40¢. Damn. Hop into my arms little bunny. The red cut glass candle holders were 25¢ for the set. I can't tell if they are old or brand new. But, I like them - they will go into the gift cupboard. The Statue of Liberty Angel actually came from a different sale for 50¢ this morning. But, she really fits into the whole picture, I think.

Here's all that sugared fruit. Tons of it. The grapes are huge and fantastic. I'm not sure if it's worth listing on ebay or not. Maybe so since there is so much of it. Otherwise, it will probably be added to my Fall decor. But, I really should sell it. But, we all know how that usually ends up.....

A close up of the cool spools. 10¢ each. I still can't believe it. I have several old glass fishing net bobbers that I like to balance on the wooden spools. Sounds weird now that I am saying it. I'll have to post a photo. It really looks neat though.

Cute bunny topiary, damn you. That's a pillow covered with ladybugs that says, "A Tiime to Dance". Another mere 10¢ new with tags. Maybe an eventual swap item. (Don't look). The jakect thing is an Arkansas Razorback frame - new in box for $1.00. Another addition to the Razorback extravaganza birthday party for DH tommorrow. I'm going to run DS up to the University after school and take his photo on the new big copper pig fountain that they just installed for it.

I wish this was truly large enough to hold all my JUNK, but if it was, it would be as big as a dumpster. ha ha When I saw the JUNK - I knew I needed it. 75¢.

Here's a better photo of the ladybug pillow. Too cute. The "Gift of Love" figurine above it is from Dillards. It looked expensive so I grabbed it up for 25¢. I'll have to look it up too. Otherwise, into the gift cupboard for an upcoming wedding. Lord, I am cheap.

This is a brand new serving set fo salads and such. Love the ceramic corn on the cob handles. I collect dishes shaped like vegetables (yes, I know. What don't I collect?) These are from Target and were only 75¢. I will use these. I swear.

A less interesting picture, but I wanted to show the tin planter. Everything else is brand new in the package and was a steal. There's a Sunbeam Air Mover fan that was only 15¢, for new packages of Baseball card sleeves - 5¢ each - to make a goodie binder like I saw on Heidi's blog from her Pink & Green Swap, a Rubbermaid Paint Buddy for touch up painting - 25¢, (Don't read this Mumsie) a cool earring organizer for 10¢, a tester bottle of Lady Stetson for 15¢ for Mother's Day (okay, you can read again Mumsie), a new set of juggling balls for 25¢, a new fanny pack for DS to schlep around his Nintendo DS this summer for 15¢ a new cellphone case for my cellphone for 10¢ and last but not least - a GPS system for $2.50. The man said it works fine - still wrapped in bubble wrap. Seemed like a heck of a deal. I get updates for Geocaching in my area and have been wanting to add that to our weekend roadtrips. So, I am hoping this will help make that posible.
I am still amazed that people will have a big sale, advertise, work day and night and then price everything 10¢, 15¢, etc. I mean, thank goodness they do or I wouldn't score all this cool stuff. This lady kept telling me she was thrilled her things were going to a good home. Me too!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Thrifty Finds This Week (So far)

This has been a busy week with all my PTSA activites. You would think I wouldn't have had time to go thrifting, but you were wrong! There's always time for thrifting! The school sent home a wishlist that included old tennis balls, so that was my primary reasoning (excuse) for thrifting. I did find one sad little tennis ball that the nice lady at the thrfit gave me for free. I just put a post on Freecycle, so we'll see if I can find any. They want over 100 so good luck to me!

I found one yard sale this morning and spent a total of $2.00. I got this neat old Dr. Pepper tray for 50¢. It s a reproduction from 1979, but I still ike it. That's a keeper.

This set of Ballonoff canisters for $1.00. These used to be a good seller on ebay, but who knows now. Still a good deal for a buck.

These sweet little fruit motif plates were 25¢ each. Not sure if I will sell them or hold for a swap (don't read this if you ever swap with me). They might wind up over the kitchen cabinet soffit.

After I paid for my items, I turned from the table to leave and suddenly I felt myself go airborn. I later found out that there was a cardboard box turned upside down in front of the table that they were using as a display area for about 20 tiny pairs of baby shoes. There was a big piece of strapping tape attached to the side of the box, which apparently stuck to the bottom of my shoe as I "tried" to walk away. I didn't actually fall, I just did this whole Jim Carrey looking act in their driveway. But, I didn't drop my finds. A true yardsaler! It took four of us to pick up the shoes that flew acorss the yard and match them back up into pairs. It was pretty embarrasing at the time, but now I think it must have been pretty comical.

This is a bad picture, but you just have to read the front of my new candy jar I picked up for 50¢ yesterday. It's an Ad for Suppositories. Yum! Candy? Suppositories? What's the difference?

I found these fun cup, bowl and plate sets for $2.00 each at the Salvation Army. I think I had one of these when I was little, because it rings a bell in my head. Or maybe I am just a ding-a-ling. They are still in the original boxes and in completely new condition.

I found this old desk at a yard sale last Saturday. It was only $5.00. It is very heavy cast iron and oak. I am going to attempt to strip it. There are several names and XX + XX's in a heart carved into it, and I think that adds so much character to it. It has the open shelf for books on the back and a spot for an inkwwell. The seat folds up too. It is a really a neat old desk. It had a pile of blankets on it and I don't think anyone realized it was for sale or it would have been sold already.

Hope you find a treasure this weekend! Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bio Poetry by DS

Bio Poetry...by Christopher



Wishes to go to college

Dreams of being a doctor

Wants to live a good life

Who wonders what lies ahead

Who is afraid of War
Who is afraid of hunger

Who likes parents

Who believes anyone can do anything

Who loves animals
Who loves my parents
Who loves to play volleyball
Who loves my friends

Who plans to be a doctor
Who plans to be a good husband
Who plans to be a good person

Who can be the best that I can be.

Okay, I know this was written by my son and all but - you have to agree - that is a tear jerker. A good husband? Who wonders what lies ahead? Oh my heavens.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week at school. I am the Hospitality Coordinator so it is my job to give the teachers little gifts every day and feed them lunch one day. There are 125 teachers, so I need a lot of everything. I have had pretty good luck with parents bringing in food the past two times we fed the teachers, but this time I just decided to buy everything. (Note to Blogger - I did not underline this paragraph and do NOT know how to fix it!)

The PTSA has a $1,000 budget for this, so I am spending it all. I have to deliver a bag to their mailboxes each day in six lounges in two buidings each day this week. Wednesday I have to have lunch delivered in three buildings from 10:30 to 1:00. DH is off on Wednesday, so he will be my personal helper. I made two big Movie Gift packs that include popcorn, candy, popcorn bowls and a DVD Player so they can register to win a nice prize too. I have been working on this day and night for two weeks and will be really, really glad when it is over and done.

But, I am not complaining (well, a little)- I chose to do everything myself and to get committees or helpers. It just isn't worth the trouble asking one person for plates, one for cookies, one for chips, one for cutlery, etc. Case in point - last week I help host an after school event in the library for the teachers while they visited the Book Fair. The Book Fair Coordinator called various parents to bring in cookies and punch. She asked one Mom to send in napkins and cups, but she didn't send them. It is sort of hard to eat cookies without a napkin and drink punch without a cup! (I found some in the lounge). So, I am just doing it myself. Rant over.

Saturday is DH's birthday. He is so hard to buy for - he has no hobbies, no interests. He doesn't read or particularly like a certain type of movie (Okay, he does like John Wayne, but I am not spending good money on a John Wayne movie, especially since he might make me watch it too!), or even listen to music. He does love Arkansas Razorback sports, KC Chiefs, Washington Redskins and the St. Louis Cardinals and "Professional" Wrestling (*hurl*). I did get him a nice Razorback polo shirt (of which he owns about 300 Razorback shirts), a Razorback hat (He owns 25 or so of those) and a nice long sleeved Razorback shirt (yes, he has several of those too).

I found a big sticker, per say, that you put in the back window of your vehicle with the big Razorback emblem on it. It is $20.00 for a glorified STICKER and it will kill me to pay that much, but I suppose I will since I know he will like it. He has his own truck now so he can "Hawg" it all up with all that tacky Razorback stuff. It's not going on MY pretty VUE!

The pictures in this post have nothing to do with anything. I found some pictures of DS on an old file frommy old camera on my computer this morning. He used to be so little! His boxers really clashed with the couch!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Why Men Shouldn't Be Allowed To Leave The House

Yesterday as I stepped into Hobby Lobby - this was the first thing I saw. A husband dead to the world asleep on a 30% off leather chair right in the very front of the store. This is also a very good reason to never leave the house wihtout your camera. DS thought I couldn't get a photo without getting caught, but, ha ha, I got a good one!
After our bargain hunting trip to Hobby Lobby, we stopped in at Kohl's. I've never been to Kohl's, but a friend of mine gave me a $20.00 merchandise credit that was going to expire yesterday. Hey, that's a free $20.00! I was going to just grab something for the gift closet, but then I spotted this clock, thermometer thingamabob. We've been needing an outdoor clock for awhile. This is a copper one and it is 18" tall and very nice. It was priced $69.99, but all summer items were 55% off. So, after discounts and my merchandise credit - I only paid $11.39 for it. My Mom looked through the purses and found a really nice leather bag for $3.60. It was 90% off from $36.20. A heck of a deal. Ds even found a Gameboy DS game for $11.00. I may have to hit Kohl's again - if only for the Clearance!

Yes, I know, Easter was a month ago. But, I am a fun and frugal Mom so when I found this Gingerbread Easter House Kit last week for a mere $1.00, I had to buy it. DS had fun building it and decorating it. But, he had the most fun smashing the h-e-double hockey sticks out of it with a hammer. Sadly, it tasted gross and it went in the trash. But, he had fun making it!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

My Blog Friend, Helen

I have a very nice lady named Helen that reads my blog. She is 85 years old and has ben married to her now 90 year old husband for 65 years. She loves thrift stores and yard sales, but doesn't do much of either since she is on a walker now. She and her husband do volunteer at a local soup kitchen and a local food bank in Pennsylvania. They have given their lives to help others. And, now they need help. They lost everything they own in a tragic
fire. I cannot imagine losing everything. The last I knew, her grand daughter and small great grandchild were living with them. So, thank goodness everyone got out okay.

She sounds like a fun lady that is right up our alley - yard sales, thrift stores, coupons and deals in general! I was shocked when she told me that she was 85! I have an address for them if anyone would like to send them a card of encouragement. I feel so bad for them!!!

I'm thinking of you Helen!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How DS Got His Name

My Stepfather has Cherokee heritage. He is the Deputy Band Leader of the White River band which is part of the Cherokee Nation. He is also a Gourd Dancer. Gourd Dancing is done by Veterans for Veterans. We are still trying to trace our immediate family heritage, but until then, my Mom, DS, DH and I have all been adopted into the White River Band. When you are a Native American, or of Native American decent, your name either comes to you or is given to you by an Elder. Case in point, my Stepfather was walking down the street in a very small town, but he still was very much in town, walking along the store fronts. Suddenly out of the sky fell a Graw Hawk at his feet. Hence, my step father's name is "Grayhawk". My Mother had a very real dream that she was a thistle blowing in the wind in a field. She could feel the wind on her and she was a thistle. So, her name is "Gee-Gee" which means Thistle. I was recently given my name, which I will add later, because I cannot remember the corect pronunciation and spelling. But, it means, "Beloved Daughter Hummingbird." "Hummingbird" because I am always so busy and because Hummingbirds are fierce protectors of their babies. "Beloved Daughter" 'cause my Mommy loves me. ;o)

So, this all leads to how DS got his name. Mom has been wanting me to get this story down on "paper" so, here goes. On Thursday, August 31, 1995 I entered the hospital at 6:00 am to be induced into labor. I was in a birthing room that overlooked a very wooded area. We could see birds flying above the tree tops and it was a very peaceful area. Off and on through the day, a crow would land on the windowsill and appear to look into the room. I was there until 7:00 that night while they kept upping my medication to induce labor, but it never happened. They told me to come back the next morning and they would start it all over again. So, I did. But, nothing happened. Again. This brought us to the Labor Day Weekend (ironic, eh?), so the doctors released me until Tuesday morning. After a long weekend, it was Tuesday morning and I was back again to spend yet another day in the hospital with no food, no water, nothing. They upped my drugs more and, you guessed it, nothing happened. Yet again. I went home that night with the big IV stuck in my arm wrapped up with tape. Wednesday morning, September 6th, I returned and announced that IF the baby did not come that day, I was going home to let nature run it's course. Well, apparently, that was a poor choice of words, because the doctor chose to break my water and force the baby out. Ouch. I was in bed for a couple of hours, still waiting for "nature to run it's course" (with the help of the doctor), watching TV, munching ice chips (yum) and visiting with my Mom and DH. All the while, the crow kept coming to visit. Sudenly, without much warning - the contractions began and they came on hard and fast. They were very frequent and DH watched the monitor alerting me that "one was coming". No, sh!t, Sherlock. I believe I was dialated to two at some point and very shortly thereafter I told the nurse I really felt like pushing. She told me that I couldn't possibly feel like pushing since I was only at two. But, she checked me again and - shazam - I was at ten. Go time. OH, but the doctor was busy with another baby, so take your time. Oh, sure, not a problem. When all was said and done, I was in the hospital being induced for four days and only truly in labor for about two hours. During all this time, I had very high blood pressure and they were pumping Patossin (not sure how to spell it correctly) into me to keep me calm and mellow and to keep my blood presure low. Of course, like anything that goes in the Mom (medicine, tequila, bean burritoes, etc.), the medicine also made DS slow and mellow. Plus, since my labor went into full force so quickly, that made DS get caught in the umbilical cord and he was having trouble breathing when he finally came out. The nurse carried him over to the table to get him breathing. I kept asking why he wasn't crying and why couldn't I see him. The nurses were gathred around him and I couldn't hear anything. All of the sudden, the big crow that had been coming to visit, landed on the windowsill once again. He walked the length of the windowsill and over to where DS laid on the table. The crow bowed and dipped at his knees and nodded his head in unison. He paced along the edge of the windowsill then returned to the table area and dipped his head once again. And, then, just as he flew away, I heard my baby cry. Finally. Big happy wails. All of this happened very quickly, only a minute or so. But, I remember it well. When we finally came out of the delivery room with DS lying on my chest, I remember telling my Mom about the crow. She said he had been coming to my room window but kept leaving. I still think he was looking for me and waiting for DS. People think and believe in different things and have different ways of believing in their faith. But, I believe that Crow was sent from a higher place to help DS. My Stepfather gave him the name "Crow Walker" the day he was born.

He was DUE on Septemeber 6th and he was born on Spetember 6th. He knew he wasn't "done" yet! So, he didn't come out until he was ready!

So, how'd I do, Mumsie?

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