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.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cheapest Sale. Ever. And fun too!

Thank you for your well wishes about my Kitty Girl, Little Lady. Thank heavens and knock wood and all that stuff, she seems to be her regular self. Playing, eating, drinking, sleeping, being lovey to me...everything that makes her my Little Lady. I don't know what happened to her and I certainly hope it never happens again. She's my girl! Oh, yes, and when I fessed up that I don't leave my house at night, I thought everyone would say, "Oh my goodness - are you for real?" But, it seems there are a bunch of us Homies - staying home at night and not venturing out. Being a stay at home Mom, I have the luxury of shopping during the day, matinees, lunch specials at restaurants - all the things that fit into my thrifty schedule. Night time activities are costly - higher dinner rates, higher movie prices, thrift stores are closed, etc. We've just gotten into the habit of being home in the evenings and that's where we like to be. I must admit, it's nice to know, that it's not just me!
Friday morning I saw a sale on Craigslist touting a huge storage building full of Estate items, "This stuff means nothing to us, it must be gone, nothing will be brought back into the house and everything will be cheap!" Sounded like my sort of sale and was very close to my house. Off we go!
It ended up being at the house of a young married couple. The husband's mother had her things in storage for three or four years and had not even been to the unit once during that time, so she asked her son to sell it all lock, stock and barrel. The mother seemed to love teapots and books. Lordy, I never saw so many of each! The teapots were priced $1.00 each, sets were $2.00, teeny miniature tea sets were 25¢, lots of teapot themed things too. I bought ten rusty teapot drawer handles and a big giant rusty wire teapot for the yard, but those were the only teapot themed items that interested me. (And a box full of miniature tea sets for my Mom for Christmas - don't read this Mumsie!)
On to the books. Tables piled with books, boxes of books, books on the floor - nearly all hardback and in perfect condition. There were brand new high dollar books and very old books - but all were clean, non-stinky (!) and in perfect condition. Books were 25¢ each. No matter what. 25¢ each. Or $5.00 a box. Big boxes. Boxes so big people were staggering trying to get down the driveway with them. I normally give books a once over and pick a couple, but these were priced so inexpensively, that I decided to see what I could find. I started uncovering books on the Cherokees. I ended up finding 60 books about Cherokee history, syllabary, plants, myths, legends, famous Cherokees, etc. 60 books about Native Americans is unheard of - and all in one location! I got all 60 books into one box for $5.00. Then I started a box of my own. I found new decorating books, cook books, craft books like knitting, needlepoint, transfers, very old copies of the Hardy Boys, fun old children's books, books about the Grand Canyon and treasure diving for The Bean and lots more. I ended up with two boxes for $10.00.

Just a few that made me happy. Two brand new Mary Engelbreit books - each priced $20.00 originally.
A very old copy of Fifty Bab Ballads. I've never heard of it, but the book is just wonderful -old graphics, great old cover. Don't you just love the heft of an old book?
I think this book was worth the price of all the rest. Vintage Animals - patterns for vintage quilts, tea towels, pillows and lots more. I hope to make some copies of the patterns and give them a whirl.
When we left, she girl told me they had a house full to bring out, so "Come back tomorrow!" So, I did. When I walked up, she said, "You came back!" I said, "You told me too!" She laughed. She said they brought out a ton of more stuff, but it was pretty much all gone. (I'm not an early yard saler on Saturday's.) I did notice the books were now $2.00 a box, so I looked around some more. The day before there was an older man there looking at the books and he was very territorial about the books. I was going down the line of boxes on the floor looking at the books when he came over, touched me on the shoulder and said, "Those are mine." "Oh, sorry. I had no idea. I went along looking at the next box, but he wouldn't move out of my way. So, I went to the other end of the garage and started digging in boxes. That's when I started finding big coffee table books about Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, the Grand Canyon, Canoeing and other things. Big $60.00 books. I started stacking them up and put The Bean on watchdog detail. I kept looking at books and then I noticed the man was zeroing in on my box of books. I said, "Those are mine" in the same sing songy voice he had used on me, but he didn't budge. He walked around behind the boxes and was going to try (I think) and sneak a couple of my books while The Bean had his back turned and I wasn't looking. I made a head bob towards him so The Bean would see what he was doing. Just when the man thought he had a minute to grab one - The Bean sat on the box. Ha-ha Mister. (Don't worry, I always repay The Bean for helping me and buy him goodies along the way - this weekend he got a Playstation game and a duct tape wallet out of the deal. Not to mention his beloved Grilled Cheese from Sonic!)

Anyway, back to Saturday. Since no one else was looking at the books, I was able to look at every single book on the tables and make yet another box, plus I discovered a box of every Agatha Christie book ever written for $2.00. In the end, I wound up with 169 books for $14.00 - 94 of which went to my Mom and she gave me back $7.00. So, I have 55 books for a total of $7.00. Some will be listed on Amazon (one ((not mine)) is selling at $55.00 right now), lots are for the homeschool library, cookbooks for cooking and selling and so on and so forth.

As I was paying for the books and a tiny sterling silver box with a Lapis stone inset for 10¢ (and a set of sweet China rice bowls with cats on them that never made it home - boo hoo)I asked about two vintage bowling bags complete with vintage balls and shoes, "$1.00 a bag?" he said. Sold. And that white shelf in the driveway? $1.00?" He said. One dollar, baby!

My treasures photographed better when the garage door was blue. Oh well, its just a white shelf, but it's chippy and shabby and cost a mere dollar bill, so I loves it! And! The best part. I have a place for it. Yea, me!

I did buy a few other things from them. It seemed as I was taking a box down of books down the driveway to the car, I would spot something else along the way. I saw this wool swing coat - it looked vintage and it looked like it could be something. I recently read a blip in Country Living about vintage coats and that stuck in my mind.

It seemed to be in pretty good condition, so I decided to take a chance and ask how much for the coat.

"Clothes are 10¢" was the answer. I gave her a quarter, because I am generous like that. Well, not really generous because when I gave her the quarter, I said, "I reserve the right to grab another piece of clothing on the way out!"

Can you make out the fabulous embroidered floral details on the silk lining? You would almost want a windy gust to blow your coat open!

I grabbed this vintage 1960's dress on my last trip to the car as part of my 25¢ coat plus one purchase. Hippy cool, eh?

A little research on the coat says it is "Mar-Del Modes" Alpaca wool with a real fur collar. There is a black coat nearly identical to it on ebay right now with a Buy It Now of $249.00. Mine has a few loose seams in the armpit areas of the silk lining and it is missing two buttons. But, both those things can be easily fixed.
I got these five little vintage juice glasses for $2.00 at a different sale on Friday. They are cuties. Too little to use, so I think I'll just look at them for awhile,then list them.
This big vintage photo was $1.00 - cool old art deco frame to boot. I think this lady would have made a mean coconut cream pie.

Lastly, a piece of fabric. I read blogs where people are all giddy about fabric, and I really don't get it. I'm not a sewing kind of gal, I don't like window treatments, clothes are not my favorite thing, yadda yada. But, I bought a piece of fabric that made me swoon. I want to marry this fabric. Are you ready?

Oh my goodness.

Too damned cute for words.


Wouldn't this make an awesome blankie?

For me! Seriously! (And it was only a dime!)

I am putting myself on a time out this week. Lots of schoolwork, laundry, finding places for things (books, right now as you might imagine) and pie making for freezing. It is supposed to start freezing outside this week, with cooler days too. I am happy to stay home on cold days and be Miss Frumpy housewife. Wednesday we are taking our Annual Fall Foliage Ride over the mountain and on Saturday The Bean and I are off to see Jack Hanna and his jungle animal friends. Sounds like fun!


  1. What an awesome deal on that coat!! I love all your finds!!


  2. Okay, that settles it. I want to move to Arkansas because y'all have much better yard sales than Maryland does! I am so jealous of all of your great finds!!

  3. That is a good haul! I own a Mar Del coat, faux fur. I got it for $2 at a thrift store with the intention of selling it but I wear it instead...it is too cute to part with!

  4. Oh man, the Midas Junking touch strikes again! That fabric is to die for! I'm not a fabric person either but even that has me drooling. And that coat is so chic! Love it.

  5. That it! I'm movin' to AR! You find the greatest things at the sales in your area! I love the fabric! I'm not a fabric person either, but it so reminds me of when I was but a wee girl!
    I've started a new blog and hope you can pop in from time to time to say hello! Take care!

  6. Oh my gosh...you totally crack me up! I want to come shopping with you!!! Pretty please!

    You got some awesome deals..and treasures!


  7. What wonderful finds! And the Bean is a very smart young man, which I'm sure you already know.

  8. Ok, I think you just out-thrifted me ;o) Good job, I would love to find a sale like this!

  9. OH MY GOSH!! I'm drooling!! I could SO go for a sale like that RIGHT NOW (We're getting our first snow as I type - it's going to be a LONG Winter!!)

    I've been looking for a retro dress like that - size? are you selling? and how much??

  10. I've been playing catch up on reading blogs and just read the past posts of yours that I missed.

    First I wanted to say I'm so happy your little kitty is doing better. How scary. I would have cried too.

    You sure have gotten some darling things for Halloween. Loved seeing them.

    Wow! Can't believe the bargains you find. All those books and those cute vintage holiday items. You are so lucky.

    Where I'm at, our thrift stores are getting harder and harder to find good things at. Seems like they now have an area marked Boutique where anything that is good goes and is marked up to some silly price that is way to high.

    Even our garage sales are getting high priced now.

    So grab what you can when you can before the high prices hit your area too.


  11. I wish I could find a book sale like this! I would be there all day just looking & loading boxes!


I love my comments. I'd love to respond to everyone, but if you don't have an email address tied to your ID, please sign your name so I will know who you are! It makes it nice to know who is saying what. Now, leave a comment! Please? ;o)

I Can See You!

Look at my Visitors!

Fellow Junk Followers