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, January 31, 2010

Fun in the Snow


Don't do it, Bean!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Power To The People

First it rained.

Then the freezing rain started.

Then the sleet arrived.

A lot of sleet.

Then it stopped.

Then the snow started. 

And it snowed. 

And it snowed.
It's still snowing.  Right now it's about an inch an hour.  Forecast calls for the snow to end about midnight.

That's 11 hours away.

One inch and hour for eleven hours.

Plus the two inches already on the ground.

Plus the accumulated ice and snow under that. 

Shazam!  That's deep!

But, we have power so it's okay by me. 

The heat is on.  The X Games are on TV.  I think I will bake a cake.

All is well!

P.S Thanks for the kind blogposts.  And the email from Heidi early this morning.  And the phone call from Oliveoyl checking on me.  A blog friend that I have never even met - calling to check on me.  So sweet!

I love blogland!

And, I love POWER. :D

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Batten Down The Hatches



coming our way.

Not again.  Please, tell me, not again.

Not again.

If you live around here, not a day goes by without someone mentioning "The Ice Storm" last year. Ironically, exactly one year ago today. We still have limbs hanging from the trees, a patched roof that has to be repaired, broken fence pickets, a smashed BBQ Grill in the side yard and a broken wrought iron gateway. We are not finished repairing from last year!

The trees still look like this - without the ice.  For now. 

It was pretty during the day.  But so scary at night.  Like a war had broke loose with the trees snapping in half and hitting the ground. 

Three days without power, without heat, no showers, no hot food, no coffee and a dark cold house.


Not again.

So, if I disappear...I will be back.  Someday.  Somehow. Stinky and ready for some hot fried potatoes (my comfort food). 

Off to buy massive amounts of bread and milk.  'Cause that's what you do.  Right?

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Sunny Day

Sunday was indeed, a SUN day. The sun shone brightly in the sky and the sky was a vivid blue. With my Etsy Shop in dire need of new merchandise, I grabbed a couple of totes of items, my tiny display table, my wee little chair and my camera and headed out to the front porch to photograph my wares.

I had no idea that it was flippin' freezing until I stepped outside.  But, I already had everything gathered up, so I set up  my mini photo shoot and went to work.

I often wonder what my neighbors think of me....sitting in a child's chair in front of a small table, hanging old purses on my picket fence, happily snapping away with my camera.  I'm sure I do look odd.  But, I really don't care.  I was on a mission!

I got everything measured, photographed and my notes completed on each item.  I even got them all listed, which is  feat unto itself.  And, I already had three sales today. I suppose I will be sitting on the front porch taking photos next Sunday too.  No, wait, we have ICE, 8 inches of snow and negative temperatures coming.  On the Anniversary of the Ice Storm of 2009.  Seriously.  Maybe I will do that whole photography thing next weekend.

*Not to sound like a commercial or anything...BUT....I do have a lot of cool tings in my Etsy Shop and a portion of each sale is going to The Red Cross and Save the Children throughout the month of February (starting today).

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Different Kind of Junking

The Corp of Engineers is letting the water level down at Beaver lake.  Beaver Lake is a man made lake.  In 1966, the same year I was born, but before we lived here, they made Beaver lake.  They flooded 28,370 acres of farmland. People moved out of their homes, but the homes remained, the barns remained, the junk piles, the fences, old cars and tractors - it's all under the water now.  And, when the Lake goes up after lots of rain, stuff pops up.  And, after the water level drops down, things appear n the shore. it's become sort of a family tradition with me, The bean and my Dad to walk the shoreline to see what we can find.  Usually, it's old bottles, old jars,

I lived out at Beaver Lake for my entire childhood and my Dad still lives in thee same house. His hobby is driving round the lake. A lot. Around and around this way and that way. When we went out at Christmas, the water levels were up over the picnic tables and across the roadways. He called me on Wednesday to tell me that the water was dropping fast and lots of "junk" was starting to float up and lay on the shorelines.  That was our cue to haul it out there Pronto!

As you can see, there are a lot of down trees,sticks, driftwood, stumps and other things.  Beer bottles, Gatorade bottles, Bic Lighters and flip flops are a common sight.  Hmmm...what's that square thing in the middle?  Let's check that out.

My dad says, "What is it?" I answer, "Some sort of box."  The Bean practically squeals - "That's not a box!  That's a SAFE."  Oh my God!  How may times have you dreamed of finding a SAFE????  The door had been peeled open with a crowbar and it appeared to be full of leaves and water.  So, it was obvious that it had been stolen, opened, emptied and then dumped in the Lake.  But, come on, it's a SAFE, we had to check it out. Just in case.  You never know, right?

I had my old lady "get things off the top shelf" grabby tool with me, so I stuck it in and started pulling out the leaves.  Then I heard a *clink* so I got excited and dug in deeper.  The clink turned out to be car keys.  A bunch of car keys all on different rings.  Then I pulled out a few credit cards, a Credit Union Credit card, some soggy receipts, a smushy paper bag and some more leaves.   I was just about to quit, because it was obviously empty.  Then I saw a flat black book which  thought would be an Address Book sort of pressed against the back wall, so I gabbed it and started to pull it out. That's when I realized I saw COINS.  I started yelling, "It's MONEY, It's MONEY".  I thought we were all three going to have a heart attack!

It was a 1973 Proof Set consisting of a Silver Dollar, Half Dollar, Quarter, Dime, Nickle and Penny.  Face value $1.91, Collectible Value about $10.00, Best Damn Exciting FUN we ever had = PRICELESS!  Can you believe we found a SAFE and there was MONEY in it?  Holy Craaaaaaaap.  (That's my Dad holding it).

I do have names from the Credit Cards, so I am going to try and find the owner.  The coins aren't worth much, but they might be from  the year he was born or something.  I'd love to know the story of the stolen safe.  The Credit Cards aren't even expired yet, so I know that it hasn't really been that long since it was dumped. 

Whew.  That was FUN.

After that, all the other junk, well, looked like.....junk.   We did find a cool handmade box of some sort.  It was all weathered and had awesome old hinges from an old ice box on it.  It was bogged won with lots of leaves and sticks and pretty dirty.  It was also pretty far inland and away from our car so we had to leave it.   I wish we could have gotten it home and worked on it a bit - new screen or chicken wire.  It would have made a neat old display piece.  I don'think anyone else but me would have ever found it let alone appreciated it.  So, The Bean whomped on it and got the hinges for me.  It really was a fun day out in the sun and by the pretty lake.  The level is expected to drop seven feet a day for the next two weeks, so I'm thinnking another trip might be in order!

****Update:  My Dad lives next door to a Sherriff's Deputy.  He told him about the safe, where it was and turned everything over to him.  We are off the hook and did the right thing.  But, it was still EXCITING! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday's Thrifty Find

I finally made it out of the house today. Nine days of home bound sickness was beginning to get to me.  I made a run to The Super Cheap Thrift.  You just never know what you will find there and it's always affordable.  Today's best find - a Set of Safety Posters for Primary Grade Bulletin Boards - circa 1957 for 10¢.

My favorite is the "Keep matches out of baby's reach."  The seven year old can still reach them, but the baby can't.  There are 12 posters in the book and thay are in pristine condition.  I'm not sure what I will do with them, but at 10¢, they are keepers, for sure.

Monday, January 18, 2010

7 Things (Sans Miley)

Pam at One Gal's Trash tagged me today to share seven things about myself that you might not already know.  I was happy to be tagged for this one, since I am severely lacking in any good blogging material.  Thanks Pam!

1.  I was 17 when I lost my last baby tooth.  We hadn't realized that I still had a baby tooth until it just fell out.  I was a Senior in high school and could not imagine going to school the next day without a tooth!  A trip to the Dentist revealed that my adult tooth was in the roof of my mouth so it hadn't pushed out the baby tooth.  I had to have oral surgery to drag the tooth from the roof of my mouth over to where it was supposed to be.  During the oral surgery, I was loopy on laughing gas and I gave the Dentist and the nurse a very long and torrid description of my High School Crush's......shoelaces.

2.  My first job was when I was 10.  My Mom and I worked together at a local Grocery Sore during their Anniversary Sale selling hotdogs and cokes.   We dumped package after package of hot dogs into a big Nesco Roaster, boiling weiners until we were sick from the stench.  The hotdogs were a promotional one day a year thing, so they were only 10¢ each.  Families would stop and buy ten to eat then and then want to order 50 to 100 to take home.  We had to cook them, put the hotdogs in the buns, add ketchup, mustard and relish, then put each hot dog in a paper sleeve and then put them in paper bags to carry home.  We finally wised up and just gave them the cold hot dogs and hot dog buns in the original packages to save time.  They were going to have to heat the up later anyway, so why not?

3.  When I was little we lived near the woods.  Not far into the woods, I discovered a bare patch of grass with what looked like there had been a fire in the center at some point.  I was completely convinced that this was an actual Indian camp.  I spent hours sitting there, talking to my Indian friends, stirring up bowls of dirt stew and living the Indian life. 

4.  When I was seven, I saw Santa.  For REAL!  I was sitting at the dining room table and my  Mom was in the kitchen.  Behind her was a door that had little triangle shaped panes of glass in it.  I saw Santa peeking at me peering in the window with his green mittened hands sheilding the glare in the bottom left hand corner.  My Mom saw my face and said, "Shara! What did you see?"  I said, "I saw SANTA!"  And, I know she believed me, because she saw it in my face.  And, all these years alter, even though I have played Santa as a Mom, I KNOW I saw Santa that night.  I know it.

5.  I walked past a pay phone one day as it was ringing. On a whim, I answered it.  It was a local radio station calling to see if anyone would answer it.  Since I did, the DJ's came to me and gave me a $50.00 Gift Card to a local resturant.  I always answered pay phones after that, but it was usually just some cranky guy at the other end.

6.  I love to read US Weekly and watch TMZ.  I love celebrity gossip, celebrity fashion critiques and celebrity love triangles.  I honestly have no idea who 80% of the people are or what they did to be famous - Heidi? Spencer? I have no idea.  But, I love to read it.  My Mom and I both get US Weekly and we pour over it together and discuss everyone.  She doesn't know who anyone is either.  It's our guilty pleasure.

7.  I have a package of mints from our wedding in our freezer.  A friend of ours made them for us in blue and mauve.  After the wedding, there was a baggie full left, so I threw them in the freezer.  Three residences later, three refrigerators later and nineteen years later - I still have them.  I can't throw them away after all this time!  I can't!

I am supposed to tag seven other people, but I will let anyone that may be lacking in blog material hop in and join in on the fun too.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Collections: Gingham Aprons

I have a lot of collections.  In fact, if you ask me what I collect, I would answer "collections".  Some things, I set out to collect, others came to me unknowingly.  Several years ago, I went to a sale and purchased over 50 aprons for 10¢ each.  It was a huge box of aprons!  I took them all home and washed them, only to find an ungodly gnarl of apron ties in the washer that took me days to untangle.  There were many aprons of all sorts in that box.  Aprons for holidays, aprons for every day use, aprons with the grnadkids names on them, aprons with pockets, aprons with holes.  Lots of aprons.  I have given a lot of the aprons away in swaps and in gifts, but I still have a lot of them.  It occured to me one day that if I was going to keep any of these aprons, I needed to find a common theme in the ones that I liked and only collect those.  As I looked through them, I was drawn to the gingham aprons.  Particularly the aprons with chicken scratch on them.  I went through the aprons, found all the gingham aprons and put them in my kitchen.  I have also added several from sales over the years. 

Now I have a virtual rainbow of gingham aprons.  I actually don't have a yellow apron, that is a yellow gingham tablecloth (with chicken scratch) stuck in there to complete the rainbow.  On this year's Wish List when it comes to thrifting:  A yellow gingham apron and a brown gingham apron to complete my rainbow of aprons.  I don't really need a yellow or a brown apron, but that is just part of the thrill of the hunt when it comes to thrifting - finding what you really wanted!

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010: Off With A *BANG*

I have Bronchitis.
We had to spend $700.00 on the truck.
The temperatures were near Zero for a week.
My Mom's pipes froze, burst and she is on Day 9 of NO WATER.

I'll be back when things suck less.

Hopefully, that will be sooner than later. 

monkeybox Reviews

monkeybox is happy to be selected to review a product from CSN Stores.  I looked though their stores and see they have a niceselection of items.  I've always wanted a nice set of  bar stools for my kitchen, but I will need to wait a little longer for those. In the meantime, the nice people at CSN stores are sending me a Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 3 Quart Chef's Pan with Lid to review. They have over 200 stores listed at the bottom of the webpage.  Check them out!  And be sure to come back and read my review too.  Thansk CSN!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Word of Wisdom From My Mother

When I was a little girl, my Mother let a colloquialism slip and my little ears were shocked. But, I have remembered it my entire life. And on days like today, I look back fondly on her wise words.
"It's as cold as a Well Digger's ass."
She taught me other things too.

But, that whole "well digger" thing, well that always stuck with me.

It really is indeed, as cold as a Well Diggers.....well, you know.
Stay warm!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Back In The Saddle. The Thrifting Saddle.

Life has gotten a little too heavy on my brain lately. Bills, duties, more snow, frigid temperatures, vehicle repairs, yadda yadda. I needed a ME day. Not a spa day or a mall day or a pamper me day, because that is not me. I needed a thrifting day!

Yesterday, I dropped the boys off to see "Avatar" and I set out to visit every thrift store I could find. I managed to go to three thrifts, a flea market and make another trip back to Target while they were at the movies. Even though I was needing some time to myself, four hours seemed like an eternity to fill. I still ended up sitting in the parking lot for thirty minutes waiting for them, but that did give me time to play with my new "slider" cell phone and download my first "App." Man, I feel so hip! Except that I still use the word "hip"!

Here's the thrifty rundown:

First stop - The Attic Thrift Store. One of my favorites due to the nice ladies that work here and treat me like family.

Great old candy tin chock full of old button cards for $2.50.

A sweet spring-y vintage tablecloth with roses and butterflies for $1.00. A much needed hint of Spring on a 15 degree day.

On to the Peace At Home Thrift - a thrift I used to avoid, but is now under new management with low prices. Yes!

A set of 8 Seasons of Midwest Cannon Falls Bunny and Chick ornaments for $2.00.

I love this stuff, but i would never pay retail for it. So, finding it at the thrift was a definite thrift-Score!

Thrift Store #3 netted only a "Where's Waldo" book and a 4-H rubber stamp, neither worth photographing, yet worth purchasing at only 50¢ each.

With time still left to blow, I decided to stop at a new Flea Market in town. I was curious as to what sort of a Flea market it is because I am wanting to get a Booth. It turned out to be a very nice place with a good selection of items both old and new, so I put my name on a waiting list. Hopefully, I will get a call one of these days.

My very first find was in Booth W-4. When I spotted it, my eyes glazed over, not believing what I had just found. But! It wasn't priced. Oh, crap. I took it to the register and said it wasn't priced. I know you can't buy non-priced things, and I was sick to think it wouldn't be mine. I HAD TO HAVE IT. They said that the booth owner had just left so they would give her a quick call for a price. Luckily, they managed to get her on the phone and she quoted a lovely price of $2.00 for my much loved item.

Oh, did you want to know what it was? Sorry!

Here it is - a pink vintage Shiny Brite. What? Big deal! Why did I nearly croak when I spotted a pink Shiny Brite? (Besides the obvious...Vintage......Pink....Shiny...Brite...)

Because it is HUGE! The one on the right is a regular Shiny Brite - about 8" around. The one on the left that I bought yesterday is 18" around. I have never seen such a huge Shiny Brite! It is marked SHINY BRITE USA on the top. I would have bought it no matter what color it was, but finding a PINK one was simply dee-vine.

More pink - this old Almond Roca tin was $2.00. More than I normally pay for a tin, but it was a really sweetie. "Confectioners to the Elect" Ooo-la-la. It even has the key opener attached to the bottom.

I found this sweet little book reading gnome for $1.00. He matches the gnome planter I already had at home perfectly.
At one booth way in the back, I spotted a pile of linens and tablecloths. As I dove in I knew the prices might be high since it was a flea market and not a thrift store, so not to get too excited if I found a good one.
First, I found this fun one with clovers all over it. Perfect for March and St. Patrick' Day.
Then I found this fabulous pastel striped tablecloth. I held my breath as I checked the prices. I read the tags and they said, "OLD SHEET $2.00". An old sheet???? I think NOT! Two pristine vintage tablecloths for $2.00 each - OH YEA! *Note to self: Check Booth B-5 for "Old Sheets" more often!

It felt good to be out like a grown up, hitting the thrifts and finding a few good deals. But, it felt even better to get my boys and come back to my snug house before the negative temperatures hit again. When it ever warms up again, I plan on going out again for another thrifty adventure.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Lots of Bargains. But no Vampires.

Last night, before I went to bed, I was reading Eclipse, the third book in the Twilight series. Although I was trying to concentrate on the story, my mind kept drifting to my plans for the next day. (I knew that it was 90% off Day at Target and my mind was wandering to all the treasures that I might find hidden in the store. It is, perhaps, my favorite day of the year besides my birthday an Christmas.) I knew when I turned the page to Chapter 9, it was a good place to stop. Chapter 9: Target (Huh! I guess even vampires must shop at Target!)

I did find out that my local Target lowered their prices to 90% off yesterday, so I wasn't sure there would be much left. But, boy howdy, there was still a LOT of stuff there. When I get to Target (or anywhere where there is a bargain to be found), go into a bit of a trance. I look at every single item and see it for what it is and determine if I have a need for it. If it's cheap enough, I will find a use for it, though! Today I hit the mother lode of tissue paper, non Christmas-y gift bags and lots of things to use for my Etsy and Ebay packaging. I found rolls of solid color wrapping paper for 15¢ a roll. Fifteen cents! I thought I could use, two, or maybe four, well why not get six, might as well make it eight, okay ten, well why not an even dozen? So, I bought fifteen. Makes sense, right?

A sweet white bird. For my tree? For a wreath? For crafting? If one is good, then.......

There weren't many decorations, which was good because I didn't need or want any decorations, so I didn't need to be tempted! I do love digging in the ornament bins looking for things to use in crafting, package tie-ons, swap items and any other little odds and ends. last year I found a bunch of heart themed items that are perfect on my Valentine tree.
Two is better. Maybe I can find one more somewhere.....

After I left Target, I decided I better top by Hobby Lobby. I was amazed at how little they had left. They usually have aisles and aisles full - today they only had two aisles. It was 80% off, which is cheap, but really sounds expensive after just getting everything for 90% off. 80% costs twice as much as 90%! I only bought some crafting items and left all the fancy and cute stuff behind.

Oh another one! And another and another and another. Fifty three in all. Why? I do not know. I just thought they were so cute that an idea would come to me down the line. At 9¢ each, I still only spent $4.77 - which is the price of five at regular price. So, why not?

Today is really my one and only major retail shopping day of the year. I am not a retail shopper at all. So, Whew! Glad that is over. Back to the thrifts for me!

Speaking of which - I did hit a thrift and I got this super cool old Uncle Sam. His fists are clenched and it says PUNCHING on the box under his feet. Any ideas??????

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Did I Tell You It Snowed?

It snowed last week. It snowed on Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day. We had to move our Christmas festivities until the weekend and later into the next week. Arkansas just isn't prepared for snow and ice. It really wrecks havoc on the roads. But, it sure is pretty when we do get it. I snuck across the street to my neighbors yard to take pictures of these pretty red berries. Well, I thought I snuck until I realized I left big deep footprints from my door to her yard. You can't be sneaky in the snow!
The driveway melted pretty fast with some hard work by The Breadman and The Bean. I liked the white house with the white roof and white yard.
I love my old glider in the snow. I wouldn't want to sit on it right then, but it is still pretty!
When the sun hit the backyard it was completely blinding! I love snow with no footprints in it. It is so perfect.
The backyard through the window. The sun was glinting off the snow so much that I couldn't even see what I was taking a picture of until I was finished.
It was really pretty. But, then it melted away. But, then it snowed again. And that has nearly almost all melted away. But, now it is snowing again. *Sigh*.
I think it is going to be a long Winter.

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