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, March 31, 2009

Estate Sale Stories & Treasures

Friday I went to an Estate sale. It had been advertised on Craigslist for two weeks with teasers, but no address. They didn't want people dropping in to shop so they didn't announce the address until Thursday night. I don't usually go to company run Estate Sales thinking I will find much that I can afford, but I do go to have a look, generally. When I read the address, I realized that it wasn't more than a mile from my house. I got there about 10:30 Friday morning. I knew it would be crowded with dealers and buyers so I didn't get in a hurry to be there first thing. And actually, the sort of things I seem to like, no one else wants anyway. (Fancy that, right?)

When I got there the house was bursting at the seams with things. Here is a photo tour of the Sale. It was chock full of mid-century furniture, lots of collectibles from around the world and thousands, I kid you not, thousands of owls. They were cool and interesting owls from around the world and not kitchy 1970's avacado green and orange owls. When I started looking at the sort of things that interest me, aka JUNK, and was pleased to see that the prices were affordable. So, I dug in to see what I could find.

The first thing I found that made me eternally happy were these old journals.

They were in a box that said, "$2.00," so I pawed through them to see which ones I wanted to buy. That's when the guy working there told me that the entire box was $2.00. I handed him two bucks PRONTO and sent The Bean to the car with my treasures. These are financial records, every line of every book lists every cent that the home owner's (Marge) Mother had keep as well as Betty in her adult years. On 12-26-1927 the Mom purchased two rolls of toilet tissue for .05¢ each. On 12-27-1927 she paid $25.00 to the hospital for "Baby - Marge." T.P. CHECK! Baby CHECK!

Marge, who was actually known as Betty, went to The University of Kansas - KU and was a proud Jayhawk supporter. I found many old Jayhawk items including all her Jayhawker Yearbooks from 1947-1952. I always look at old yearbooks, but they are usually priced $10.00 each or more at sales. These were $1.00 each, so I bought them all. Not only are the yearbooks pristine, but they are chock full of extra newspapers, Sorority leaflets, commencement announcements, calendars and photographs. I have learned quite a bit about Betty. She got her Bachelor's in 1949 and her Law Degree in 1952.

Another fabulous Jayyhawk item was this fantastic old suitcase that I saw on a top shelf several times over the course of the two different days that I was there. It wasn't until I was about to leave the last day, that I pulled it down to look at it and was very pleased to see the 1920's Jayhawk mascot printed on the old suitcase. It is fantastic. It is worn and old, but isn't that what makes it truly cool?

Betty was the President of the American Camping Association when it first began. She authored many books on outdoor recreation (which explained the lack of crafty, baking, holiday items and the over abundance of skis, croquet, tents, tennis and golf equipment in her house). I bought the books that she wrote along with her whistle, her felt ACA felt headband and a few other personal items of hers. The WM is a letter form William and Mary University and belonged to a woman named Dorothy Harris who was an advocate for Woman's sports and has an endowment named after her. Betty wrote one of her books, "A Leader's guide to nature Oriented Activities" while at Iowa State University - hence the Iowa Hawkeye glasses. I bought eleven of those. Everything is pictured on a great old apron made of a feedsack. The old chopsticks were just plain fun.
The Bean pulled out this great old typewriter with glass keys from under a shelf. I was amazed no one else had spotted it until late Sunday afternoon. I know people take them apart. I know people like the keys. But, I love old typewriters and just don't think I can destroy it. I have one just like this already, so it does need to be sold - intact.

Games, games, games.....and my feet! Such a lame photo. All of these great old games and puzzles were only $1.00-50¢ each. Love the HOO DOO box graphics, don't you? That tiny little ping pong set is stamped JAPAN on the back. All of these items were used in Betty's outdoor recreation

I spotted a gorgeous old Simtex tablecloth on Friday for $8.00. It was under a pile of other table linens that did not interest me. $8.00 is more than my budget allows for tablecloths because I don't need any more tablecloths. But, I love them! I will admit, that I did put it back under the pile of other linens and hope it might be there on Sunday for half price day.

It was! $4.00 is more in my budget, although I rarely ever spend more than $1.00. But, this one is a beaut and well worth the $4.00. I am amazed it is in such nice condition. I have the feeling Betty might have thrown it on the ground by a fire while she roasted wieners for the campers.

Sunday I ventured into the closet for the first time. That is such a personal place and to rifle through drawers just seems wrong. I mentioned this aloud and a lady that was working there said she used to feel the same way until someone told her, "you are not your things. You still existed with or without your things". I suppose those are wise words. But, watching a man rifle through her undies made me nervous.

Between the journals, some paperwork in the journals, the yearbooks, the books and the information that the Estate Sale guy told me, I have put this little biography together about Miss Betty. She was a lawyer in 1952, a world traveler, she saved everything forever, yet it was all incredibly clean and well cared for. She had only lived in her new home for three years, so she carted all that old stuff with her from home to home.

I found this tribute to her online. Betty was a frugal person. Some of her habits later in life reflected the dust bowl and the depression in which she grew up. When she relocated she moved paper cups and paper plates and used tin foil. More than once she moved a 32 oz plastic McDonald’s cup which she used even up to the week she died. She used paper towels and dried them on the sink to be used again. If we sent something over in a zip lock bag, the zip lock bag was returned. She loved her tea, the secret is to get it hot enough, 2 minutes, and she would dip the tea bag 5 times and would use the tea bag 2 times, and sometimes she would proudly get 3 cups out of it. But while she was frugal, she was also generous. I watched her sit and write a pile of checks one Christmas to charities, something she did twice a year, giving away literally thousands of dollars. She loved flowers, chocolate, black licorice, and going out to dinner. She loved nature and pictures and had more pictures than she had wall space. She collected owls and people bought them for her, resulting in a collection of thousands, all quite unique. She loved giving – if you said you liked something, she never forgot it.

I've enjoyed learning more about this interesting lady. I know it's true that everyone has a story. It would be nice to know every person's story before they died and before we are able to go through their belongings. But, if we can't know their story then, it's nice to know part of it now.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Memory Lane

I finally got a working scanner in my house. I am so excited! I had a printer with a scanner, but it quit working. so, I bought a new one and it never worked. Apparently, it was my old antique computer. So, now that I have entered the new Millennium (in 2009), I have a new computer, fancy flat monitor and a scanner. Whoopie!

So, I have been entertaining myself (instead of doing chores and putting up the scads of wonderful Estate Sale finds I bought this weekend. *That is a teaser until the next post.) by scanning in a bunch of old photos.

For your viewing pleasure:

Me on Santa's lap. I was about six years old. I find it interesting that Santa looks like a kid now. Check out the crocheted poncho my Mom made me!
Here I am on my Mom's lap with my Grandmother to the right and my Great Grandmother to the left. Four generations. My Great Grandmother was a cool lady. She always dressed head to toe in one color including high heels. She had dressers ( I repeat entire dressers0 devoted to her costume jewelry collection. She had bracelets, brooches and earring of every style and color. About ten years ago, family members sacked it up in brown lunch bags and sold it by the bag at a yard sale. For $1.00 a bag. I still weep over that. Behind us are scads of old teacher's editions of textbooks. That is where I get my love of old books.

Okay, on to The Bean. I always wished that blogging would have been "in" when he was little. He did so many cute funny things. I took sooooo many cute funny pictures. Here are some of my favorites.


I'm pretty sure there might have been some diaper fillin' going on here. This was about the time we dubbed him "Chubba Bubba".
This is at The Breadman's Grandmother's house. Love that old tractor. The Bean on JUNK!

This was in his car seat in the car. This is still one of my very favorite pictures.
The Bean has always gone thrifting with me. At a sale one day, he spotted this hat and plopped it on his head. And he wore it until it quite literally fell apart. You can see in this photo that it was on it's last leg. We kept his Little Tikes truck in the living room and he "drove" it all the time.
His Kindergarten picture. His teacher said, "Wow. That's some shirt!" He had picked it out himself. When he fake smiled, his eyes would disappear. So, I told him that when it was picture taking time, to pretend like he saw me coming to get him. And, this what we got. And, this is how he always smiled at me when I picked him up at the end of the day. God, I love that kid!

Thanks for going down Memory Lane with me. I'll be back tomorrow with a ton of photos and stories about an estate Sale that I went to twice this weekend. I spent a TON and I got a TON of super cool great stuff.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rainy Day Finds

The weatherman warned of storms today, but he also said that if and when the storms would hit, they would move out within an hour. Well, today the Super Cheap thrift opens for the week and my Mom had a doctor's appointment in the next building over, so a "chance" of a rainstorm wasn't going to scare me. The Bean and I headed towards the thrift store and just about the time we could see it ahead on the road, the sky literally opened up and dumped buckets. We made it to the thrift store and for a minute, I thought the entire place might blow away. The thrift is in a basic industrial building with a very flat metal roof which made it SO LOUD that it sounded like the end of the world. We looked outside and it really wasn't raining as badly as it sounded. We did our thrifting, then drove over to the doctor to see my Mom. We parked and ran ito the Doctor's Office just as it began to pour. And I mean POUR. We were drenched to the bone, socks, skivvies and all. We visited with my Mom for awhile and then headed home as soon as the rain began to let up. About ten minutes after we got home, everything dried up, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. It seemed fitting that the one hour we were gone from our house would be the one hour it would storm.

At least I got to see my Mom and pick up some pretty neat goodies.

I was digging in the Easter stuff, looking under each and every stuffed bunny and basket when I found this oh so cool vintage beaded egg.
Isn't it lovely? I kept digging, hoping to find a dozen or so more, but this was the only one there. A girl can dream, right?

This was worth the trip to me. Sometimes the Super Cheap Thrift tends to put things out sporadically, so there might be another one show up before it is all said and done.

I also found this old vintage Easter Basket. I love these older ones. It, ahem, reminds me of the one I had as a child. Oh, who am I kidding. I still have it.
I found a dusty old candle ring with ugly dirty flowers on it, brought it home, dismatled it, washed the flowers and aren't the pretty now? LOVE THEM. Ever since this post on Words and Whimsies, I knew I needed to make on of these garlands. Now that I have a start on plastic flowers, I can make one.

I also got this glass covered cake carrier.

Or did I? What do you suppose this is? I think it might be for butter. It is tiny and I love it too. (I love all my JUNK, don't I?) I plan on making a teeny felted cake to put under it.

Speaking of JUNK. This was a great find. I got a huge bag of stencils - paper, cardboard and two sets of these big brass stencils. Some of them have garrish orange paint on them, so I think maybe they are for marking parking lots or construction zones or something. Each letter is about 5" tall. I can think of a million uses for these stencils! Can you?
Somebody went to Pennsylvania....... A brand new Hershey's Chocolate candle that smelled so good when it was burning that I was forced to eat three Hershey's kisses. I promptly blew it out. I must burn this candle with caution. The vintage Snak-Pak consisting of paper napkins and coasters looked like something I could use in some projects. The fact that it had an "Intercourse, Pennsylvania" sticker on did not go unnoticed. And, I did not giggle. Okay, I did.
A set of vintage United States Flash Cards. Love the little hula dancer and the Eskimo. I guess that means they have all 50 states included.
And, lastly, a HUGE heavy wreath completely encrusted in pods, berries, wasp nets, honeycomb, moss, mushrooms, fungus and many other nature-y things. I think it will look awesome on the front door this Fall. That's the thing about thrifting - you gotta get it when you see it, even if it isn't the right season.

Tomorrow is a Banner Day at the Monkeybox house. We are going to the MOVIES. That is not something we do very often because I am super thrifty. I will hide a treat in my purse and The Bean and I take in empty water bottles, so the thrifty part of me won't completely freak. That is, not until The Breadman orders a $6.00 soda. *Gack* (We are going to see Knowing)
**Edited to add that I fill my EMPTY water bottle with water from the Drinking Fountain and The nean splits the $6.00 soda with his Dad in the empty water bottle. I 'm not daring enough to smuggle in drinks. Just a couple candy bars....;o)

Monday, March 23, 2009

That Great Aunt Was One Cool Chick

Sunday morning I was doing my morning check on Craigslist for treasures, when I noticed that there were four yard sales in my town that day. Sunday sales are pretty much unheard of, but Saturday had been a rainy day, so any yard sales that had been planned were cancelled. The Breadman was keeping to himself and being pretty cranky, so The Bean and I headed out to see what we could find. On our return trip home we found The Breadman headfirst in the toilet hurling his guts up. That explained the cranky mood....
I only bought things at one sale, and what I did buy was sort of out of my normal realm. I noticed some vintage clothes on the racks and then I noticed a $1.00 a bag sign, so I started picking up a few things. In the end, the lady told me to take all I wanted for only $1.00. She said they belonged to her Great Aunt she was just happy that someone wanted them. I'm not sure if any of these are worth reselling, but I plan on washing them up and giving it a try.

Fun very stretchy 1960's purple and black zigzag blouse.

Whoa, a vertical zigzag rainbow colored blouse.....very 1970's.
A fun red terry cloth swimsuit cover up. The Great Aunt must have like it because...

She had a red one, a white one and a blue one. How Patriotic!

This sundress has a little pair of matching shorts that goes with it. Love that split and little bow.
A very sheer see through swiss dotted sleeve blouse. Oh la la.

This silky skirt and blouse set has a belt and buckle theme.

This is the item I really wanted, so everything else was just gravy. A vintage tennis dress complete with green tennis racket waist.

Another vintage tennis dress.
I'm not sure if the Great Aunt really swam and played tennis. I'd say she was more of a sit by the pool/tennis court with her Tom Collins kind of gal.
(By the way, the Breadman went to bed, got up a few more times to visit the porcelain throne and then went back to bed. He seems to be fine today. And, no one else got the Creeping Crud from him.)
**Yes, those are sleighbells on the front door. In March. That is my Hillbilly Burglar Alarm. ;o)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Time to Sew

Rebecca at Thrifty Goodness had a Craft Challenge on her blog. She had found these empty elastic cards and wanted to send them to other bloggers to see what sort of crafty inspiration they would conjure in different people's minds.

Since it was an empty elastic card - I knew it had to be sewing related. And, I am sew (ha) not a sewing person. Sew, (ha) I decided to pull out all my crap altered art inspiration boxes and see what I could throw together. In the end, I came up with "Time to Sew".

I placed a sheet of dictionary scrapbook paper on the back, mounted a paper clock face, added the little girl cut from the front of an old pattern package and added in the paper thimble. She is holding a paper rose.

I covered up the back with some Isreal stamps that I got long ago on an envelope from something I sold to a man in Isreal on ebay - aka The good Old Days. That has nothing to do with sewing, but the back needed a little "sumthin, sumthin."
I placed her in a vellum envelope, added the S-E-W letters, a wrapped ofldbakery twine around it and added another paper rose to finish it off. She serves no purpose other than being a piece of altered art, but I think I like her - I really like her!.

I had fun with this and can't wait to see how other people finished theirs. I will be on the lookout for something I can use as a possible "Craft Challenge" someday. Thanks Rebecca!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

You have GOT to be kidding

I found out the Jonas Brothers are going to be in Tulsa in June. I thought that would be a fun trip - take The Bean to see the Jonas Brothers. I like their music and I like the fact that they are upstanding role models to the young set. The fact that they are completely hot doesn't hurt, ya know.
When I saw him.....

I was fortunate to see a lot of big names in concert when I was a teenager like Bon Jovi (speaking of hot) for example. I still have my ticket stub (and Richie Sambora guitar pick I caught) and I paid the princely sum of $13.00 to see them. Apparently those were the proverbial "good ole days".

I'd like to see him now. Ha cha cha.

I headed on over to do a little price checking for tickets. Nosebleed, behind the stage so you can't see tickets start at $86.00. Tickets START at $86.00

Want a better seat?

Section: 108 Row: T
$355.00 (This is almost my car payment)

Not good enough?

Section: 102Row: M

Section: 121 Row: S
$500.00 (This is our house payment)

Section: GA Row: FLOOR

Section: 110 Row: P
$800.00 (This is health insurance, all out utilities, gasoline and groceries for the month.

Section: 110 Row: W
$1,141.00 (This is twice what we paid for an entire week in Las Vegas for two people)

ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY ONE DOLLARS for ONE ticket? Are you kidding me? Who can afford that? I'm not knocking the Jonas Brothers, if people will pay that to see them, get it while you can. But, honestly who can afford to pay $1100 bucks to send your KID to a concert? Heck, we can't really even swing the $86.00 (x3) tickets.

Guess we'll be going to the drive-in instead - all the folks you can cram in the car for $11.00. That's more like it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Just Paid For That

Today was The Breadman's day off so it was Family Day. We......

  • Went to the bank to get Mom some thrifting money for the week

  • Drove through the car wash to wash the six pounds of bird doody that was all over it

  • Dropped The Breadman off for a haircut

  • Ran into a grocery store next door to "admire" the Eclairs and may or not have purchased three

  • Stopped at the bread thrift store for duck bread

  • Ran into the Salvation Army where I left in utter disgust at the lack of merchandise

  • Stopped at the park for PB&J sandwiches, pretzels and string cheese packed by Moi

  • Possibly ate those eclairs we did or did not buy

  • Drove out to show The Breadman a lake he didn't know existed even though he drove within 1/4 mile of it every day for nearly ten years (Don't ask)

  • Drove up "Dead Horse Mountain" (actual name of street on street sign) to cruise million dollar homes on the golf course

  • Stopped at Neighborhood Market for a "few" things, left with a few things for $66.00.

  • Went to cemetery to feed the goofy geese that apparently do not like Wonder Bread

  • Stopped at a thrift to pick up something for a fellow blogger and found a few goodies too.

At that last stop, I spotted a box of older linens sitting by the check out counter. I asked if they were priced and she told me they were so much each depending on size. I secretly wished i could just buy the whole box and go through it at home, but decided to just dig there. I asked the only person working the counter if I could take the box over to the furniture area to look through it and she said yes. So, I took it over to a small end table and started sorting through doiley's, tea towels, pillowcases, tablecloths, etc. I was pretty focused on what I was doing and The Bean and The Breadman were standing there watching me.

That's when this young college aged couple stepped up to me. The guy said, "You'll have to fold that back up, I just paid for it." "What?" I asked. "I just paid for that, you'll have to fold it back up." I stammered, "But, the girl told me I could look at it" thinking to myself I wished that I would have just asked to buy the whole darn box. "Well, I'm sorry, but I just paid for it," he said. I was sick knowing that I would never know what was in the bottom of that box. Slowly I put each item back in because I didn't want to wrinkle them or just stuff them in the box since he had just paid for it. When I was done, I picked up the box and handed it to him.

That's when he looked confused. "What's this? " he said.

"You said you just paid for it, " I said, starting to get a little PO'ed at the whole situation.

That's when his wife realized what was happening, laughed and said, "Not the box! The table! We bought the table!"

He handed me back the box, picked up his table and left, still confused. I'm not sure he really did ever figure out what was going on. He wanted his table and I wanted that box of linens. I asked the boys if I looked stupid and they both said they thought that the couple had bought the box of linens. The Bean said, "I thought now why would be want a bunch of dishcloths like Mom would want?" Hey!

So, what did I find in the box once I realized I could dig in it after all? *My computer is supposed to automatically flip my photos upright, but for some reason tonight it isn't doing it. When I do get them flipped, they flip twice and are upside down. So, sorry for the sideways photos.***

A nice bright linen dishtowel. Love those bright colors. I thought it was a tablecloth when I first spotted it. I wish it would have been....

A sweet pair of embroidered linen Guest Towels.

A "Wednesday" Tea Towel with a Pickininny girl that says "Wednesday Ah is Lazy."

Politically incorrect? Yes. Cute? Yes!

Every day (except Saturday) tea towels with Native Americans on them. I haven't thoroughly checked these out to see if they are Politically Incorrect too. I think they are respectful - no Redman or "Me Smokum Peace Pipe".

I left a ton of other tea towels and things, but I got the really good stuff. I never used to like linens, now I think I am obsessed.

Speaking of which...there is a sale tomorrow at a house where the lady collects everything, plus she buys at auctions to resell too. I struck up a conversation with her one day at a sale and she said she would stockpile tablecloths for me and have them at the next sale. WooHoo - let's hope she didn't forget me! Cross your fingers!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If You Be Wearin' Green

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No celebrations around here - no parades, no pub crawls. Not sure why it isn't a big deal. I didn't even really notice anyone wearing green today. The only St. Patrick's Day sighting I really had was on the marquee at Chick-fil-A:

"If you wear Green,
On March Seventeen,
You Get Free Ice Cream!"

Well, it was March Seventeen and we were wearing green, so we pulled in and got free Ice Cream. I had to ask for it and the lady rolled her eyes at me, but by Shamrock, we got it.

Hope you had a fun day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh My Glittery Eastery Goodness!

I held out as long as I could. I hadn't put my Spring/Easter decorations out yet. But, today I decided, I just had to see my pretties. I have a lot of Easter. A. Lot. Too much. And, even though there is a lot in these photos, I have a lot more that I didn't put out this year. I decided to only put out my very favorites and mostly all vintage or vintage inspired glittery goodness.

Top of my apothecary cabinet - all chicky themed goodness. I sorted through my vintage postcard collection, sorting out the holidays and realized that I had an inordinate amount of chicky postcards. I put them in my new handy dandy flower frogs, threw in some glittery chicks a vintage basket and a few glittery chicks to finish it off. I found that chick on the egg at Hobby Lobby the other day, but it wasn't priced. I asked at the counter and she called for a price check. No one ever came, so she said, "I'm going to give you this for $3.99 and then I'm going to take 50% off that, how's that sound?" Sounds GOOD to me, lady.

The famous shelf in the corner. Pretty much the holiday shelf in my house. I wasn't completely happy with the whole shelf until I started stuffing the green shreds in around everything and then tucked a pipe cleaner chick in every available cranny. I have always loved those funny pipe cleaner fluffy chicks.

The top shelf is glittery goods and eternal chocolate bunnies. I just love those bunnies that look like chocolate. I need to scoot that vintage Golden Egg Book over so it is more visible. It's an oldie and a goodie.
More chocolate bunnies, my treasured Nicol Sayre bunny (scored for a quarter last summer) and some goodies from Michael's last year. We don't have a Michael's around here and I am longing for a Road trip to check out the Easter Goods. As if I need any more.....
My vintage flocked bunny banks, some glittery eggs, more baby chicks and a few other glittery goodies. I glittered that pinky-purply egg today and got glitter everywhere. (In fact, I blew my nose earlier (TMI) and it was glittery!) The green "egg" in the back is really an old trivet, but it is egg shaped and embossed foil, so I am calling it Easter.
My basket full of Western Germany paper maiche eggs and tin litho eggs. I love that big gold one the best of all.
My Easter Bunny from my childhood. Finally home with me after living with my Dad the past 25 years. He's huge and I don't really have room for him, but by George, I squeezed him in for Easter.
My beloved Annalee bunny - my first gift from Heidi. And, still one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. Thank you, my friend!

My Rushton Bunny doll - scored at a Goodwill while on vacation for 79¢. A lady stalked me while I shopped just hoping I would put her down so she could pounce on her. No such luck, lady.

I'll save the photos of my tree for another day. Don't want to overdo it on one post, you know!
On an unrelated note - Did you see the Space Station go over tonight?
I think it is so cool to be able to see something like that in your very own yard and to think that all of you could stand in your yards and see it at the very same time. Cool beans!

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