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, December 15, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Really cold. It was 17 degrees when I got up and I never saw it go above 21 degrees all day. We rarely ever go below the freezing mark for more than a day, so this is pretty darn cold for Arkansas. We had sleet last night with more falling as I speak, or rather write. Every single school district was closed today except our town. (Another reason to count ourselves lucky that we are no longer a part of that B.S.). The cancelled schools are scrolling across the bottom of the TV for tomorrow already tonight.

I bought this vintage Knickerbocker Gingerbread Man several years ago. When you wind him up, he plays music and his head and arms move. He moves very slowly and is slightly creepy, yet cute. I found the Gingerbread Man book in my old toy box awhile back. It even has my name written in pencil (largely, I might add) and my entire phone number (including area code) so that if I lost it, it would be returned. It seems I did that to most of my belongings.

They are forecasting freezing rain and freezing temperatures through Friday. I am glad that I finished my shopping, got my baking things and am ready to hunker down and enjoy the holiday season.

This is my vintage tree. The tree isn't vintage, but the ornaments are all vintage - picked up one by one for 5¢ to 25¢ each.
Today The Bean and I finished wrapping presents. I normally wrap them all up the day before we open them, so it is nice to have it done now. We exchange a lot of gifts at our house. One item might cost a good amount of money, but then the next two or three are thrift store finds, garage sale items or fun things we picked up here and there. So, there is always a lot of wrapping to be done.

I noticed this year that many of my ornaments are house shaped and most of the ornaments are red. I adore those little composition headed guys. I bought 17 of them in an old candy box for 25¢.
I still have to wrap The Bean's gifts. Once upon a time all his presents were ginormous, "Some assembly required" and require wire cutters to get them out of the &#*& box. Now most everything fits in the palm of my hand - video games, DVD's, CD's and the only asked for item - an I-POD Nano in a horrifying ugly orange color. So ugly, it had to be special ordered because stores don't carry that color. I can see why. Actually, it isn't that ugly. The Bean has loved "Don't shoot! I'm not a deer" orange his whoooole life. He will be beyond happy. I did have to buy a few big items and some Dollar Store junk to fill up the ridiculously huge stocking that I bought him his first Christmas. "Oh, he could fit in it!" we joked. Well, now that he's 13, he could still almost fit in it. What was I thinking??? It takes a ton of crap to fill that thing up. But, I will do it until he's 40 if I choose to do so.

The Statue of Liberty ornament is the only new ornament on the tree. When you turn the lights on the tree, the Star Spangled Banner plays. I think it just starts our day off right.
Later this week will start doing some baking. Not a lot of variety,but we have to make toffee and a couple types of fudge -or it just won't seem like Christmas. Last year we made these wonderful Coconut Snowflake Cookies. You put coconut extract in the dough. Then you made a glaze with coconut extract that you poor over the cookies. And, then, you make icing with more coconut icing and pipe on the decoration. We discovered last year that these cookies intensify in flavor after about three days. The longer you have them, the better they get. We joke that they are so good that you never want to eat them because, "They'll be even better tomorrow".

The mercury glass candles were a find that I had for quite awhile before I even knew what they were. I had them in my crafting supplies and then one day I found the candle clips and wah-lah, I put two and two together and figured it out. Doh!

When I went shopping last week, I was sure to pick up flour, sugar, etc. so I would have everything I needed to make the Coconut Snowflakes. Today when I found the recipe, I noticed the first item on the list was a roll of prepared Sugar Cookie Dough. I seriously do not remember cheating and using prepared dough. I remember them being a big darn deal to make.
I hope it doesn't get bad again tonight. I have a hankering to hit the Super Cheap Thrift in the morning. They will be closing on Saturday for two weeks as will most of the thrift stores. This is the only time of the year to find vintage Christmas, so I want to go do some digging. As you can see, my tree is really bare and needs a few more ornaments. ;o)


  1. GORGEOUS Tree!!!
    ...and I ADORE COCONUT (especially when filled with rum and a cute umbrella straw...) and PLEASE, PLEASE can I have the recipe for those cookies?!?! ...pretty please...

  2. The tree is so cute with a mix of ornaments. Since I do mine in all glass I had never realized how cute it would be everything on there all at once!

  3. Beautiful!

    (My blog post title was the exact same thing last night, I'll have you know!!)

  4. I have that same Gingerbread Man and I just sold that same book on etsy, now wouldn't it have been cute to put with my gingy man like you did! LOVE your tree, it's beautiful!

  5. Anonymous8:48 PM

    I am in love with that Christmas tree. It looks fabulous! You did a great job (especially finding them all so cheap!) Barbara


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