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, September 17, 2010

Stuff, stuff, stuff...I am Stuffed Out

Now that we have begun the heavy duty cleaning out of my Grandmother's house, I find myself in a bit of a STUFF overload.  Stuff at my house, stuff at her house, stuff in the car, stuff to be thrown away, stuff to be donated, stuff to be sold, stuff for this family member, stuff for that family member, stuff, stuff, stuff.  It's a lot of stuff.

Dealing with all this stuff has left me completely exhausted and stressed out.  And, what does Shara usually do when she is stressed out?  She goes thrifting.  More stuff.  Stuff, stuff, stuff.  Luckily, I have been able to go to a few thrifts and find only a few things that I had to have.  Less stuff.  That's good

What did I buy?
A nice old vintage CAKE carrier for the booth. 

(OH, my GOD.  I forgot about the booth.  MORE STUFF.  I have stuff everywhere.)

A pink enameled cup of some sort.  I quit buying enameled things years ago.  But, pink enamel?  Are you kidding me? 
An elf for my collection.  My one and only purchase at a thrift store today.

So, that's not that much stuff...right?  One thing to sell, one to keep and the pink cup to be thunk about.  (Thunk is too a word!)

But, then there's the stuff I brought home from my Grandmother's house.

A very lovely vase marked Colo Springs on the bottom.  It isn't my usual pastel white or pottery, but it is so pretty that I decided it would have a good home at my house.
Two boxes of vintage oil pastels.  I love old packaging.
Complete with the oil crayons. 

Now, here's where the stuff gets a little out of control.  But, first, a back story.  Most of my childhood memories of birthday parties, Christmas and Easter are at my Great Grandmother's house.  She was the original Martha Stewart - colored Fiestaware dishes, cut glass dishes with one for sweet pickles ONLY, another for black olives ONLY, etc.  She's the Grandma that had the mini toasting glasses that I love so much.  She always put a number candle on the birthday cakes.  She set a beautiful table, made crepe paper party hats for each occasion and dressed to match it all.

Here is my Great Grandma in her red pantsuit and red party hat sitting in her favorite red chair.  She died when I was only six years old.  She was the only "Grandma" I ever had in the bake you cookies, buy you a doll sort of Grandma.  My Grandmother (her daughter) wasn't that type of Grandma. 

When we started cleaning out the house, I thought I wouldn't get sentimental about things because my Grandmother wasn't the typical Grandma with typical Grandma sort of things.  But, that's when we started unearthing tons of things that belonged to my Great Grandma.  Ohboy.  Things I remember, like dishes and glasses and serving bowls and such.  One of my fondest memories was everyone drinking out of Santa Mugs at Christmas.  I've been searching out vintage Santa Mugs for the past few years and I have amassed quite a collection of them based on that memory.   So, you can imagine how giddy I got when I found a box marked "Santa Mugs" out in the shed.  Could they be?
My great Grandma's actual Santa mugs!  Winkers and blinkers and wide eyes and everything in between.  I still can't believe I found them. 
There was this stack in the box too.  They are a bit smaller and two of them had really bad transfers on their faces.  Three of them weren't bad at all.  After I took this photo, the neighbor cat came over for a visit and jumped on the table.  I heard a *CrAsH* and thought, "My CUPS!"

But, luckily, and I really do mean luckily, the only two that fell and broke were the two that were in really bad shape.  Whew.  They are all back in the box and safe again. 

I am really trying to only bring home the minimum amount of stuff now.  If I really, really, really love it and no one else wants it, I will bring it home.  But, I won't be bringing anything home just for the sake of having it. 

'Cause I am stuffed out.


  1. OH NO! It's contagious!
    Good luck to you! Just don't let anything slide through your fingers that you'll regret later...

  2. I know EXACTLY what you mean by too much stuff, Shara. I'm sitting here right now trying to talk myself out of going yardsaling.
    The wee Pink "cup" is a nursery potty. I have a pale blue one. So, you may not want to drink your morning java out of it.

  3. Anonymous6:38 AM

    What a big job, but I am sure that you will find the right place for all your grandmothers' items. Sometimes a one day break from "the stuff" helps.

  4. Girl you are so right about STUFF! Love the Santa mugs, so glad you found them. Now for the CAT.....OMG....! It made we think how time consuming taking pictures of awesome stuff is...thanks for taking the time.

  5. I also know what you mean...stuffed out! But then I still go out and look and then buy (I am getting better about the stuff I buy). Still you are finding some wonderful memories and things you will want to keep.

    I have used my thrifing budget for the week so I'm for sure staying home and sorting and cleaning today.

  6. That pink enameld cup looks remarkably like a child's chamber pot.

    as for stuff, i got the motherloade today. have no place to put it but i couldn't say no to 20pence stuff.

  7. Glad you found the Santa mugs that brought back those childhood memories...and that the cat didn't cause a complete santa disaster!

  8. The only thing better than Santa mugs are Santa mugs with a history. That's some fabulous collection (even minus two).

  9. Totally feeling STUFF-ed out too. Bleh. Every darn room in my house is a mess and there's nowhere to put anything, and largely it's because of my STUFF.

    Which is not going to stop me from hitting the small-town thrift shops when we go to So. Co. for my grandpa's funeral next week, mind you.

    And a tiny pink enamel chamber pot? For some reason I find that to be hilarious.

  10. Sorry that you have lost your grandma, its not a nice job to go through peoples things but saying that I do love your cups!
    I've gone into stuff overload recently and now I'm being very discriminating, helped by the lack of cheap lovelies when out thrifting.
    Hope the booth is doing well?

  11. Oh my. When you mentioned a crash, you would have thought the cups were mine, I understand how special items are that remind you of fond memories. Your great grandma was watching and made sure only the less favored Santa's were injured.

  12. arlene10:50 PM

    Hello, I occasionally cruise through your blog (I do enjoy the cruise) but today I had to put on the brakes and comment. I have been trying to deal with STUFF too. Hubbs and I are pack rats and then our two mothers died the same year and we inherited a lot of stuff from them. We had to rent TWO storage bins and that has gotten expensive. Hubbs says NO garage sale, so we are starting to load up to take to the thrift shop. Some people will get some really good stuff. But I think I will feel better having weeded down. I AM keeping the bestest stuff though. Good luck.


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