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 12, 2010

Thrift Therapy - It Will Cure What Ails You

This week has been so long.  So difficult.  So tiring.  The hospital, the Rehab Hospital, snow, ice, blah, blah.  I am just so sick of it all.  I was in dire need of some normalcy.  Today, I got it.

The Bean and I (Remember him?  Me, too.  Just barely) had tickets to a play at the Arts Center today for a Murder Mystery called "Laura".  It was set in the 1940's and the clothes and the set were wonderful.  This weekend are the actual dinner theater productions, but today was sort of a dress rehearsal with an audience.  The paper said it was appropriate for Grades 7-9, which I found interesting for a "Murder Mystery" in the first place.  Since it took place in the 1940's, everyone hit the Scotch pretty hard, they said "Damn" a few times and the leading lady said, "You must find me to be a bitch" one.  None of this bothered me, but when I was in the restroom at then end, some of the Mom's were hitting the fans at the "foul" language.  Frankly, I've heard worse on reruns of Friends, so it didn't bother me.  The Bean reads on a very high level and understands thing far beyond his age, so he enjoyed it.  And, I highly doubt he'll be throwing the "B" word in my direction any time soon.  Or hitting the Scotch!

After the play we went to the old timey Hospital Auxiliary Thrift store to do some thrifting.  Just what I needed!
I found a vintage PROBE game - I love these old letter cards.

Multiple copies of a bunch of old circa 1960 craft booklets featuring Ribbon Straw, Fun with Marbles, Flower Making, Chenille Stem Fun and lots of other fabulous 1960's crafts.  The Chenille Stem Booklet features how-to's for lots of chenille stem/spun head creations.  Hello?  I am all over that!  Most of these booklets are bound for my Etsy Shop.

A big vintage children's Book all about Hong Kong for 50¢.
A thick vintage book about all sorts of animals for 50¢
As I paid, the lady told me that books were Buy two, Get One Free, so I went back for another sweet vintage kids book.

I couldn't find one, so I chose this 1936 book about Syphilis.  The weird part about it is that it has a million handwritten notes in it and areas are underlined in red.  Someone had an overt interest in Syphilis!

A giant Ziploc bag revealed these two old molds and the two metal creme horn/ice cream cone forms.  The big cone maker is hand forged with really great patina.  I try to stay away from kitchen collectibles, but  am a sucker for the old hand made things.

Next we went to the new Goodwill.  It is gigantic.  Big as the local grocery store.  It was packed to the gills with stuff.  But, frankly, I was appalled at the prices.  I saw a set of four toadstool shaped napkin rings - not even old - just cute - picked them up, saw "Set of 4 - $10.00" and about died.  THAT'S TOO MUCH!  Even though it was full, I found hardly anything that appealed to me or that I was willing to buy. 

But, then I walked to the furniture area and sitting on top of a table was this:

*Pay no attention to my little helper*
A huge Redman Picnic Basket - the biggest I have ever seen.  You could pack a turkey dinner in that sucker.  It's BIG!  It still has the divider inside, which I always take out, but it's good to get it with it.  Now, I paid way more for this one than I have ever paid for any of my others.  I paid $15.00 for it.  I have been in such thrift withdrawl and had such a bad week that I decided I deserved it.  Poor me, poor  me.  I really do love it and it came to a good home.

Forget the Bean's video games in the background.  Here are my Redman baskets - all stacked neatly in the corner of the living room holding my craft supplies.  I'm still holding out for my holy grail - a Red Redman.  It will come to me one day.  I know it.  The top one looks red in the photo, but it's more of an orange-y brown.

One other item of interest at Goodwill was this box of Giant Sized Number Flash Cards.
Each flash card measures 11" x 14".  They really are Giant!  Wouldn't they be fun for altered art of hanging in a child's room?  There are four sets in the box.  I'll likely keep one set and sell the others in my Etsy Shop.

Getting back in real life - seeing a play, doing a little thrifting  - it was just what I needed.  (I won't let the fact that I discovered my beloved Taco Tico closed after 30 years, my favorite $1.00 Store went out of business and I had a dead car battery at the Rehab Hospital today get me down.) Today was a pretty good day in all.

Tomorrow is the Mardi Gras Parade.  Pretty much one of the best days of the entire year.  Yea, FUN!


  1. Nothing like a little thrifting to get you out of the dumps... especially if another picnic basket is in order! Do you suppose there's a 12-step program for us picnic basket collectors- ha :)

  2. Hard to believe Taco Tico went out of business...they have been there forever!

    I am sad that I cannot visit that Goodwill, but if the prices are that high, maybe for the best!

  3. DH just walked by as I was checking out your Picnic Basket photos... "Hey, that looks like the kitty on the back porch" 8-)

    Have FUN at the Mardi Gras celebration - maybe Scotch?? (no - yick! Might as well chew on some cardboard as to drink that nasty tasting stuff!) I'm sure you can find something to keep you warm and put you in the spirit though!!

  4. What a fun day! I collect picnic baskets, too. I paint them red and fill them with projects I'm working on. One has an on-going quilt project. Another has goodies to make Christmas ornaments. An old silverware box holds my stash of vintage buttons. Enjoy all of your treasures!

  5. Love your treasures - that picnic basket is perfect and I would've paid $15 for it too!

    It's been a tough winter everywhere - I like your attitude about enjoying what you can; and while we have to acknowledge the bad and tiring things, a little thrift therapy can help us let them go.
    Hang in there - Spring is coming!

  6. Well your talking to the girl from "A conversation at Goodwill" I love my finds. You never know what will be there.

  7. Syphilis? Funny! Hey, if you are selling the Hong Kong book, I'm interested. We leave for China Tuesday (although we're not going to HK) and I like having lots of books about China and Vietnam in the house for the kids.

    Love the Valentine girls too!

  8. sounds like a perfect day! I would love to buy a set of the vtg flash cards, just let me know how much !

  9. I love the flashcards--never seen any so big! And those molds are COOL.

    PS--this post just showed up TODAY in my Bloglines. GRRRRRR It's been really slow lately, my move to Google Reader is getting closer and closer.

  10. As always, great finds! I love the giant flashcards. They would make a great craft challenge! :)

  11. Are these redman picnic baskets marked in some way? I saw a red picnic basket at a garage sale, thought of you, looked all over the darn thing for some kind mark and there was nothing. How will I even know a redman if I see one?


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