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.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Let's Run Away

I woke up today with only one thought - I want to run away. Not forever. Just for the day. No responsibilities, no grocery shopping, no laundry, no homeschooling, no watching the cats to make sure they are okay, no vacuuming, no nothing. Just a day of nothing.

So we headed out to see where we would end up. (Although I had a pretty good idea where I wanted to end up when it was all said and done).

On the way to nowhere in particular, we passed by this entrance to a house. Not a Country Club or a fancy-schmancy hotel, just a house. Albeit a three story house with a pool, lighted tennis court, lighted basketball court and seven car garage. Man, the junk I could store in that garage.....

I suspect their entryway cost more than my entire house. See the call box? You have to be "buzzed' in.....
And, we passed by this driveway which I think must lead to a gnome home surrounded by red capped toadstools and tiny gnomes. Or not.

This is "my"house. I love it. Whenever I am in the area, I go look at it. It's not that big or fancy, it just looks like a house that I would love and I could scatter junk about and it would still look nice, yet homey. When I win the lottery......it shall be mine.

And now for your consideration - "The World's Dumbest Driveway".

I wish there would have been a car parked in the driveway. It is seriously the dumbest driveway ever. It never ceases to amaze me.
See how steep it is? I do hope they don't put their kid on a tricycle and send him down it. Wheeeee!

So, where did we end up on our quest to do nothing? I bet Oliveoyl knows.
OOPS. The store of fabulous things of all sorts for practically nothing. Yippee!

This full size house sits in a teeny tiny spot inside OOPS. Oops is huge. Bigger than a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
There are pallets and pallets of candles. Home Interiors candles, Hannas Candles (QVC) and other brands of candles. I bought a huge White Chocolate Home Interiors soy candle for $2.50. Be careful with that candle, Bean!

Because, "You brake, you buy!"

I've never even ventured into the floral section. It's probably 5,000 sq. ft. or so. I am so not a floral person - silk/plastic floral anyway. They are getting ready for Memorial Day, so the cemetery flowers were a bit out of control today. The do have this big display of fake food that I wanted to photograph, but the workers wouldn't leave. Big fake cheese wheels, sausages, loaves of bread, heads of lettuce, pineapple rings, bags of grapes, etc. It's the realistic stuff like they use in deli displays. The Bean was rather obsessed with a large bag of rubber spaghetti. I'm amazed that he didn't purchase it.
These gnomes were about 3.5 feet tall. Rows and rows of gnomes in various poses. $39.99 if you're so inclined. I thought gnomes were supposed to be small?

I bought a few things, but nothing stellar. I usually pick up small things for gifts, swaps and for myself. I'm completely smitten with birds and eggs right now, so I found a few things along those lines for myself.
After we left OOPS, we headed to the newest Bargain store in the area. The store that should be outlawed. The most evil-est store ever.
The Little Debbie Store. I mean seriously. A complete and total store of nothing but Little Debbie Cakes. I said, "Oh we'll just go look around. We won't really buy anything." Famous last words. Most of these boxes of cakes were 3/99¢ or 2/$1.00. One was 99¢. Luckily, we have that new freezer in the garage all but empty. Now it's full of Little Debbie Cakes. Have you ever tried the Fancy Cakes? They are like little individual wedding cakes. And, now they have Mary Englebreit packaging, which makes them all the more fabulous.
Tomorrow there is a real live garage sale advertised just up the street. And there is snow forecasted. What will happen? Tune in tomorrow for another exciting post! (ha)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Shall We Talk About Today?

What shall we talk about today?

Well, I know one thing for sure. We will not be talking about how I got pulled over by a Motorcycle cop today.

No, we won't talk about that for sure. We won't talk about the fact that I was coming over the crest of a small hill going North and he was in the other lane cresting over the small hill going South and he couldn't even see me until I saw him. Or how I actually worked and lived on that very street for nearly eight years so I know the speed limit. Or how I had just pulled out of a parking lot and only driven less than a block at the time.
Or how I all but came to a stop when I saw him turn on his lights. Or, how I thought, "He must be leading a funeral," but there wasn't funeral behind him. Or how when he turned around behind me I thought he was going after some hardened criminal that was ahead of me, so I better pull out of his way. Or how I couldn't figure out why he pulled over behind me or why he walked up to The Bean's side of the car and stuck his head in the window. Or how I honest to God could not figure out why he was stopping me. Or how I honestly thought perhaps he needed directions or something.
I was that clueless. Or how when I said, "Yes sir?" in question form he said, "Driving a little fast today aren't we, M'am?' Or how I said with complete and total shock in my voice, "Who ME?" Or how I realized at that moment that I sounded just like those dim wits on "Speeders" who say, "I wasn't doin' no speedin'!" and deny it over and over.
We won't discuss the fact that I. do. not. speed. I am the safest driver. Ever. Ever, I say, Ever. My kid is in the car and he might as well be 4 months old the way I poke along and be Miss Safety. We won't discuss how I am constantly yelling at people on the roads to "slow down!" or saying, "Where's the cops when you need them?" when someone flies past me. We won't discuss how I have never had an accident, had a warning or been pulled over EVER.
No, we won't talk about that. We won't talk about how he asked for my Registration ONLY and then went to call in my license number. We won't talk about how I found an expired Registration first that pacified him until I found the current one and gave that to him. We won't talk about the fact that he NEVER asked me for my Proof of Insurance. Ever. I knew he would need it, but he didn't ask for it. As I was looking for it, he handed me a piece of paper to sign, so I did. Then I asked what it was and he told me it was a Citation for failure to provide Proof of Insurance and that was my Court date. Then he sidled back over to his motorcycle, hopped on and rode off. Or how that left me sitting in the car in tears thinking I had to go to court for not having Proof of Insurance, when I had Proof of Insurance, but he never asked for it.
No, we won't talk about that. Nope. Not today.
What we will talk about is how after that ordeal and a quick trip to the Police Station to show my Proof of Insurance (and pay a $30.00 fine which I am furious about) I made a quick five minutes before they closed run into the thrift store on the way home to try to clear my head. Thrift Therapy, you know.
And, what we talk about is that I found two items that made me simply giddy and made my day end on a much better tone.

Exhibit A:
Seasons of Midwest of Cannon Falls sparkly glittery egg box with oh-so cute Mr. Bunny behind it. Seriously cute. Seriously only $3.00. I'm pretty sure he would have been at least $35.00 regularly.

Check out his little Happy Dance Feet.
His "I don't have to go to Court" Dance.

Oh, he's a cute one. I am so happy the Easter goodies are out in the thrifts.

And some Seasons of Midwest of Cannon Falls Sparkly Glittery carrots. Seriously cute for only $2.00. Although, those two items total $5.00 and I bought two other things and my total came to $4.50, so it was a better bargain than I even realized!
Yes, we will talk about these sparkly glittery thrifty goodies. But, we will not, I repeat, we will not talk about that other stuff. Nope. Nada. No way. * (I do want to mention that I have complete and utter respect for laws, rules and the Police. I just think today was not handled correctly and I am a bit peeved about it.) 'Nough said. Or, 'nough not said.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Something for YOU from ME

Read this entire post and then decide if it is right for you!

The first 5 people that respond to this post will get something made by me, it will be my choice, but made especially for you.

*However...this offer does have some restrictions and limitations (the fine print!!):

*What I create will be just for you.

*I will make no guarantees that you will like it (but I hope you do !)

*You will receive this item before the end of the year (or sooner).

*You will have no idea of what the item is going to be or when you will receive it.

***The catch is that you have to repost this "MEME" and put together something to be sent out as 5 surprises of your own.***

These could be anything...a piece of art, a photo, a poem or haiku, a quote...whatever you like, let your imagination run wild.

I signed up for this at SvelteSTUFF because I thought it sounded like a fun thing to do. I encourage some of you to go to Sue's post and sign up there if my post is full.

Sunset outside my house a few weeks ago. Before the Ice Storm - see the trees all have tops!
(I hate posts without photos.)


Now...what shall I make for you?????

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mardi Gras with the monkeybox Krewe

Today was the big Mardi Gras parade on Dickson Street.

Dickson Street is known around the country as a premiere party spot. They put on one heck of a parade and we always have a blast. It is nothing but fun. We love to watch the people screaming for junky plastic beads. Oh, who am I kidding? We scream too. "Throw me something, Mister!"
This lady was peddling beads out of her bag lady cart. Hmmm...I have a cart like that...Maybe some extra $$ for Shara next year? I am a pretty snappy dresser. I felt bad people were buying beads when thousands of beads were about to be thrown for FREE.

I just love the colors of Mardi Gras and the costumes. It was really cold today, but nice and bright and sunny, so it made for good photos.

We always notice that there are lots of beads stuck up in the trees after the parade passes by. So, this year, The Bean took it upon himself to extract all that he could reach. I said if anyone asks, we work for the city clean up division.

Cool artwork and great colors. It's all so darn festive!

They threw him something! A lot of somethings!

Everyone gets in on the action. This dog was with his owner at the parade. When we were driving down a side street on the way home, we saw a big golden retriever walking down the street. Now, normally, I would stop and find out if he was lost or whatever. But, I felt fairly certain he had an owner because he had a bunch of Mardi Gras beads around his neck. His owner rounded the corner hortly after he did.
People dancing in the streets.
The Eagle dancing with the Sun. Pardon my shadow in the front.

The view up the street as the parade passed us by.

For some reason, this guy absolutely cracked me up. He was at a parade with a pencil stuck behind his ear. I was dying to ask him if he had anything to write with. Little things amuse me.

A dude on a unicycle. We were waiting for the parade and this guy rode by. He wasn't in the parade. He was just going from Point A to point B on his unicycle. Dickson Street is a very unique place. Notice the sandals in 31 degree weather. *See that blue van behind him? TEN giant adult people piled out of that thing. It was like a clown car!

What's that? Cake? King Cake? World Record Breaking King Cake? Count me in!

King Cake...Good! No baby in our cake though.

The cake was 240 feet long. A 2" wide slice was $1.00. That meant they were going to make 1,040 slices out of that cake and there wasn't a chance in hell that they would sell 1,040 slices of cake where they were set up. They did this one other year and we stopped by late in the day for our "slice" and it was about a foot long. We meant to go back at the end and see how big the slices where, but we forgot. Instead, we jumped in the car and drove up and around the crowds to a parking lot to where the parade was to end. The parade drove so slowly up Dickson Street, that when we arrived at the second destination, it was just arriving. So, we saw the entire parade twice. We scored a ton more beads, a CD and free cotton candy when it was all over and the vendors were closing down.

It was a fun, fun day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday's Thrifty and Flower-y Finds

I had an entire car load of donations to make today, so we made a mad dash to the Super Cheap Thrift this morning. And, since I was already there, I went in for a look. The lady behind me in the donation line out back went in the front door ahead of me to shop too. I said, "Take home less than you brought!" She laughed and said I was a bad as her for going in when I should have gone home.

When I was donating things, I spotted an old tole painted trash can sitting by the back wall. It was stacked up with some old planters and looked suspiciously like it might be destined for the dumpster.
I shopped around and saw they had already brought my things in, priced them and were shelving them. They are quick! I didn't see the trash can coming out, so I decided to go ask about it. At some of the thrifts, like the Salvation Army you are asking for trouble if you look in the back or ask about something you see, so I NEVER do it. But, I decided to ask this time. I apologized for bothering a lady that was pricing things, and then I asked about the trash can. She went out back, brought it in and said, "This?" "Yes!", I said. She made a comment about it being "just an old trash can" and then priced it 25¢ and handed it to me.
It's awesome, don't you agree??????? FLOWERS

Among my other treasures of the day:

A FLOUR canister in the shape of a metal milk can for 50¢. I wish they had whole set, but I only saw the FLOUR. I have found bits and pieces in the past over a few weeks, so I might find more, but I'm not counting on it. (It is incredibly hard to take a photo of something metal without showing my house frow self in it!) FLOUR/FLOWER

Okay, my next find is awesome. I love it. But, it is also kind of tacky depending on how you look at it. So, here goes. You be the judge.

Lucite roses. I think they are fantastic! I don't know why, but I just love them. And, the price of 20¢ made me happy too. I don't even like rosey things as a rule. FLOWERS!

You like them too, RIGHT?

An ever so sweet vintage bunny planter for 50¢. Oh, how I love cute vintage Easter-y things. I was happy to see that the Easter items were already on display. I need more like a hole in the head. But, like that's going to stop me from buying more. Puh-leeze.

A wee little chick with a baby duck friend. How am I supposed to see this on the shelf for 25¢ and leave it behind? She has a FLOWER on her bonnet.

I love these old wooden JAPAN ornaments. This little guy was 25¢ and just too darn cute.

Lastly, two chalkware bird plaques for 50¢ each. I have a set like this already, but they are black and I've never been completely in love with them. I do love these, however! See the FLOWER on the branch?
I has been along time since I thrifted much of anything cool and vintage. It wasn't much, but it was enough to pacify my digging urge and make me happy. And, you know what they say...If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. (And if Daddy ain't happy, who cares?)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Throw Me Something, Mist-ah

Thanks for all the crow love on the last post. It's nice enough when you make something and like it, but to hear others like it too - well that's just gravy. Or just gravy on the cake. Or icing on the cake. How's that go? ***I even had a comment from Ki of Junk Camp/Country Home magazine. And that was exciting!***

I decided to decorate my tree in a Mardi Gras theme. It's only for a week, then something new will pop into my head. I didn't want to go buy anything for a new theme and we already had a crapload of green, gold and purple beads for the past parades. So, in true Mardi Gras tradition, I stood across the room and threw the beads on the tree and let them land where they fell.

'Scuse the crap under it - I'm in the process of switching out the crafting stuff from Valentine's to Easter/Spring. The craft stuff goes in those picnic baskets on the left.

It isn't exactly bog worthy or even photo worthy. In fact, it's kind of ugly. And it's kind of tacky.

But, at least it looks like a theme tree and not just like I forgot to take down the Christmas tree.

The cats never bother the Christmas tree or any of my decorations. But the rattling beads are driving them crazy. I'm just waiting until I find one of them in it wrestling some beads.

Speaking of the cats. I discovered these two on the bed today - almost touching. None of the cats like each other, let alone cuddle or snuggle with each other. The secret is warm laundry. They all love fresh out of the dryer laundry.
What you can see under Tiger is The Bean's freshly laundered skivies and what you can't see in the back is The Breadman's tidy whities under Little Lady. If you see any of the men in my house scratching their butts next week, play dumb.

I know I will!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Something To Crow About

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day. I was the proud recipient of these lovely hot pink tulips from DH:

And a nice pot of red tulips from The Bean. They are big and opening f-a-s-t. They will lose their petals soon and need to be transplanted outside.
On the crafty front - I've been making felt birds for awhile now - I free form cut them and make each one in about the time it takes to watch a movie. I've gifted and swapped quite a few of them. It occurred to me the other night that I could make the pattern a bit bigger and make a crow.

And, so I did. I found some textured felt that I thought would make interesting textured wings and the beak. The body is basic black felt. I thought he turned out pretty cute, but really just looked more like a blackbird than a crow.
So, I made the pattern even bigger....
And came up with this funny guy. He's big - nearly a foot tall. Pretty much life-sized. I toyed around with pipe cleaner legs and bamboo skewer legs, but I knew he needed kkobby gnarled feet. So, I went out to the ditch that has sticks piled ten feet high and found some knobby crow feet.
I love the buds on the sticks look like claws. I just cut the sticks and hot glued them together to look like bird legs and bird feet.

He makes me happy and I suppose that is all that matters. And, The Bean has deemed him, "Cool."
It's time to take down the Valentine's decorations. What to do, what to do? It's too early to put out Easter since it's nearly two months away. Although, it won't be long before I am ready to put out my glittery chicks and bunnies. I do so love my Easter things. *Sigh* Maybe it's not too early after all.......

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