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.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

...And Your Little Dog too!

There's a big Wizard of Oz party in blogland today. And, even though I'm not officially a part of it, I wanted to share my Wizard of Oz memories. I have many reasons to love the Wizard of Oz, two of which include being born in Kansas and surviving (albeit, in the womb) the 1966 Topeka tornado which was at the time, the most expensive tornado to date in US history.

My Mom has loved the Wizard of Oz since she was a little girl. We watched it every year. And only once a year. Because once upon a time, The Wizard of Oz was only on TV once a year. It was on the Friday after Thanksgiving at 7:00. Which also happened to be the exact time the roller skating rink opened. We went skating every single Friday night. With one exception. The Friday after Thanksgiving. I believe (and hope) that that was the only time in my life that I was a surly teenager. "Have to stay home so she can watch the Wizard of Oz. Puleeeeze. Like it isn't the same as it was last year! Hurumph!" But, I gave in and joined her in the "TV room" and we watched it and ate homemade caramel corn. Every year. And, even though I was a tad grumpy about missing skating, I did love the Wizard of Oz too.

This January I took Mumsie and The Bean to see the traveling Broadway production of The Wizard of Oz. It was a late birthday gift to her. As part of her gift on her actual birthday, I got her a pair of Ruby Red Slippers. They were mostly a conversation piece and a fun gift. But, I'll be darned if she didn't actually wear them! She wore them to the play and let me tell you, they did not go un-noticed! It might have been partly because most of the ruby slipper wearing ladies were still young enough that the needed booster seats in their theater seats! One little girl came walking by and Mumsie said, "You have Ruby slippers too!'' And her Mother said, "Oh, she spotted you from waaaay across the room!"' The whole time the little girl was looking at my Mother with much admiration in her eyes.

I've picked up a few Wizard of Oz collectibles along the way at yard sales and the thrifts.
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion Madame Alexander dolls from McDonald's. I picked all of these out of various toy boxes at yard sales or 10¢-25¢ each. Glenda the Good Witch and her not so good sister, The Wicked Witch of the West. "I'm melting, I'm melting!"
Lesser known characters - more from the book than the movie - a couple Munchkin girls.
This summer I bought a big box of Hallmark Christmas ornaments for a couple bucks. When I started sorting through them, I was happy to find these Wizard of Oz ornaments. Tin man, Dorothy, Mayor of Munchkinland, an unidentified Munchkin dude and three Lollipop Guild kids. "We represent the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild and in the name of the Lollipop Guild....Weeeeeeeeeeeeee'd like to welcome you to Munchkinland." (I love the Munchkins).
I won all fifteen characters out of the stuffed animal machine at Wal-Mart. I'm suprisingly good at winning in those machines. It usually only takes me one or two quarters to win. I have them all, but I could only reach these from the top of my storage bins in the garage. I am a bit of a Munchkin myself.

Then there are books of course. This big children's version has sweet illustrations.
This book was give to The Bean when he was far too young to be able to read it. Mumsie couldn't wait to share her favorite book with her Grandson.
I adore this old copy of the Wizard of Oz. It has the sweetest color plates and graphics. I also have an autographed copy of the The Silly Ozbul of Oz and Toto written by Frank Baum's Great Grandson. I seem to have put it somewhere "safe" and now I can't find the darn thing!
And, lastly, these fantabulous Ruby Red Slipper tags arrived in the mail one day via the Wizard of Oz Lovin' Heidi.
Aren't they fab? She was sweet enough to gift Mumsie with some as well. Mumsie has requested that these be put in her urn when she is gone. I think she likes them!


  1. I will never look at Dorothy and her crew the same again. They will always remind me of you now...quite the collection.

  2. Shara! I never knew you were an OZ fan{atic}!!! Is there any other secret we should know about our favorite Monkeybox lady?? No? Well then, "WE..'RE...Off to see the WIZARD...the wonderful Wizard of Oz.......cue the flying monkeys!!! :o} happy Sunday *elaine*

  3. How funny and what acoincidence! My son just got home from a visit in the states and brought me a shirt from my sister. The shirt says 'From the desk of Toto: Dear dorothy, Hate Oz, Took the Shoes, Find Your Own Way Home!'

    I Too, ove the Wizard of Oz and remember waiting for it to come on TV and being so excited, but those darned flying monkey were so scary!

  4. Good morning! I just spotted your blog and had to drop by to say hi! It is a wonderful time to celebrate the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Your post was great and I enjoyed reading it. I hope you have a nice day! Twyla

  5. Oh, the Madame Alexander Mcd's. You spent ten cents each. I spent a billion dollars on Happy Meals with a healthy dose of OCD tossed in to get them all. Come to find out, Boo threw away two witches before I figured out she thought she was scary! Go girl. Love the shoes.

  6. What a wonderful collection! I love it all! My step daughter has the ruby red slippers, also. She's 22 now and I'm pretty sure she still wears them! LOL!

  7. What an interesting post. In the Uk Wizard of Oz would be on our telly around christmas time without fail. I never really liked it but would watch it every year with my mother.
    This year and only last week I read the book Wicked which is about the green witch so your post comes when the story is fresh in my mind.
    I've never ever seen any wizard of oz merchandise over here.


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