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, September 04, 2007

I'm always showing pictures of the things I drag home. So, today, I thought I would show some photos of my house and what I do with those things.
I've always had a love old advertising items - tins and signs in particular. My bathroom is decorated in a General Store theme, yes, my bathroom. I have these items in those elusive cabintets above the fridge. I am 5'2" (well, more like 5"1 1/2") so I cannot access those cabinets without a step ladder. I did have the punch bowl and the stock pot up there, until I realized, "Hey, I could put a lot of crap up there!" so I did. I took the cabinet doors off and they are inside the cabinets on the back so if we ever move (hahahahahahahahaha) I can put them back up.

Most of these things came from yard sales and thrift stores. I do a lot of my tin hunting in the manly section of yard sales and thrift stores. I usually find tins and cans full of screws and nails for cheap. I dump the screws and nuts and I have a cool old tin. I particularly like the old Brach's Cordial Cherry box in this photo. It's hard to find a pristine old cardboard box. The tobacco tins came from the eaves in DH's Grandma's barn. His Grandfather had tobacco tins stuck everywhere. There is a slat missing in the floor of her porch. I asked her once why no one ever fixed it and she told me that her husband always threw stuff in that hole - old tobacco tins, snuff cans, jars and bottles. I am dying to pry those boards up and see what lurks under there. That little Skippy jar is the first thing I ever listed on ebay. It ended with a $40.00 bid, but then the lady contacted me and accused me of trying "to steal money from her grandchildren's mouth" for selling a Skippy jar because Skippy had stolen the cartoon character from her father. Whatever, nutbag. Sale cancelled and I just kept it to remind me that even though my first stab at ebay wasn't a good one, but all the ones after that were good ones.
The spice tins are my newest thing. I guess people are discovering them in their grandparents cabinets, seeing that they are no longer in "tins" and sticking them in their garge sales. I usually only pay 5¢-25¢ each. I got three this weekend for 5¢ each. I sold a Red Owl Shrimp Spice tin for $50.00 once, so I always pick them up and research them. If they sell - to ebay to go, if not, to the cabinet they go. I discovered the Shara Soda bottle on ebay one day when I put my name in the Search bar. I really didn't expect anything to come up except the Shara dolls from the 1980's and the Australian singer Shara Nelson, so I was surprised when the Shara Soda bottle popped up. I bid on it, but was outbid. I found another one later and won it. Then, one day, DH slammed the kitchen door and I heard a crash. "ANYTHING, but the Shara Soda bottle!" I said. "Uh, we have a problem" he said. Yep, smashed. So, I kept looking and found an entire wooden case full of Shara Soda bottles - cola, orange, rootbeer and lemon lime all in the case with Shara Soda on the side. It cost me a small fortune to have it shipped, but I sprang for it. The little red SHARA license plate is from my bicylce when I was a kid. The curve of the banana seat dented the top a bit. There's a Hunt's tomato sauce can behind the Shara Soda bottle that isn't that old - it's from about 1990. I was working in the grocery store stocking tomato sauce. I pulled this one out of the case and noticed it was sealed, but empty. So, I paid for it (15¢) and put it in my apartment. We all had to start somewere with our collecting.... Here in front of the cabinet for this photo only is my STUFF THAT LOOKS LIKE STUFF collection. Ever heard of a collection like that one?

7-UP can #1 - Music box that plays Love Story - this was a premium when Love Story was released (1970's?).

7-UP can #2 - A light with a cool flickering green bulb.

Delmonte corn can - A bank

Heinz LITE Ketchup bottle - actually this is a radio.

Coor's can - another radio

Macaroni and Cheese box - another radio

RC Cola can - a safe for hiding your money and jewels in the fridge.

Coca-Cola bottle - another radio - My dad brought this home to me when I was about seven years old.

There's also a Campbell's Soup can bank, a Campbell's Soup can safe and a Campbell's Soup can timer. On top of the old cracker tin is a Polaroid camera that is a bank. You can also spot a Velveeta Shells and Cheese box camera.

That silly lemon head guy you can see peeking out was in DH's Mother's refrigerator when we cleaned out her house. He said it had baking Soda in it as long as he can remember.

So, this is one little corner of my house. It is freshly dusted and rearranged so it was the perfect time to photograph it. This will be my new goal - dust it, rearrange it and show it on my blog.


  1. Anonymous3:44 PM

    I felt like I was playing a game trying to find the little lemon head...he sure was hidden well! I love your collection. I remember a lot of those items from my younger days. I have never seen any bottles of Shara cola...are they from your part of the country?

    Are you surviving your son being back in school? As I told you, my daughter is back from college and now living at home working on a second degree and working in an office. I have to admit that it was nice to have her here this weekend knowing that she did not have to go back to Raleigh yesterday.


  2. Shara, you have so much imagination! I see so many things I'd like to collect only I don't know what I would do with them. You seem to have a gift for it.

  3. Hey, you have Prince Albert in a can, you better let him out cuz he can't breathe. BAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Blogger was being persnickety yesterday and today so if I don't comment it is THEIR fault.

    I didn't want you to think I had ignored the previous post. I took time to pause and reflect on family and friends that have served. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Thanks for sharing, neat collection! I laughed out loud at the Skippy ebay debacle. People are too funny!

  5. I was given Hungarian Paprika at a moving sale I went to today. I have two packages of the same brand, and was thinking you might like it for your collection (though I am not really sure that it would fit in) or maybe you would just like to try to cook with it. Either way, if you would like me to send you a package let me know. I will post pictures on my blog and on the forum later today.

    Dazzling Darling


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