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 30, 2011

That Yard Sale I Promised

Yesterday I needed to make a run for Vicks, Kleenex and Mucinex because I could feel the crud coming on.  And, it has.  Achoo.  Since I was on a medicine run, I decided that I needed a dose of the best medicine - a trip to The Super Cheap Thrift.  Thrift-therapy!

After we left the thrift, I drove to the other end of town (which for you big city slickers - is about a mile in this particular town!) and what did my little eye spy but a flourescent green sign on a street corner!  Could it be?  Would it be?  It was!   The sign said "MOVING SALE!" (It actually said HUGE Moving Sale, but I never pay any attention to that word "huge").

I turned left at the sign, (which only said "HUGE MOVING SALE" and nothing about distance or direction) and started up the street.  About a mile down the road I spotted a lonely green arrow flapping in the breeze, then another one in about another mile and so forth and so on.  When I was just about to give up and turn around, I would spot a flash of green in the distance and I would keep on going.  Finally I saw one more "MOVING SALE" sign that appeared to lead into a gravel driveway.  I turned into the driveway only to discover that it was actually a gravel/dirt road that went straight up a huge mountain.....for three miles!  Three miles on a dirt road!  And, yes, I kept on going.  I told The Bean, "We can't give up now!"  It was a beautiful day - 74 degrees in January!  Why not follow thorugh on our adventure?

We passed pastures and water tanks and barns and not much else for quite awhile.  Then we stumbled upon a row of old trailers complete with pit bulls tied up outside.  Your not typical yet very sterotypical "Arkansas" residence.  A bit farther up the road, we came to a sawmill and a very nice two story home beside it with the last of the now familiar green signs in the yard.  Eureka!  We had arrived!

When the lady greeted us, I asked "Where are we?"  then proceeded to ask if the address was this town or that town.  I knew where we were, I wasn't lost, I was just curious.  Well, she got kind of cranky and said, "Oh you just think you are in the middle of nowhere, but you aren't!"  And her husband said, "You are LOST, that's where you are!"  Kind of rude, I thought.  I wanted to tell them that they really should have put 17 miles ahead on that sign of theirs since that was the final amount of miles we drove to get there!  What sort of morons do they think will drive 17 miles to a yard sale.  Oh, wait a minute.  I resemble that remark!

As for their sale......they had a lot of deep sea fishing equipment.  Which you really need on top of "Blue Mountain" in Arkansas sky high in the Boston Mountains.  And lots of Christmas stuff including one of those dopey blow up Santa's sitting in a recliner for your front yard.  I did manage to get about 85 glass ornaments for next year's Christmas wreath making.  If I make it that long - they are all red, silver and blue and I am picturing a red/silver/blue Patriotic wreath.  Wouldn't that be totally awesome?  I also scrounged up five Jewel Brtite ornaments and an Irmi baby mobile mechanism with the lullaby in it.  Was it worth driving nearly 40 miles?  Probably not, but then again, I always say half the fun of the hunt is the adventure getting there. 

I'll share photos of the SCT purchases later as Blogger, once again, does not want to load my photos.  Grumble. 
Like most of the country - we seem to be in for a Winter Storm, ice, rain, sleet, snow, who the heck knows at this point.  I can handle rain.  I can handle snow.  Sleet and ice is a whole 'nuther ball of wax.  I am not prepared for days without power especially since the forecasted temperature for later in this week is ONE.  My Mom just got her pipes fixed, we all live in all electric houses.  Lordy, please don't let the power go off!  Everyone stay safe out there!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Today I bought a brand new washing machine.

I am very excited over this. 

And, that makes me a little bit sad. 

It should really take something BIG to make me this excited.



Not a washing machine.


I guess it's true.  I really am a Stay at Home MOM.

With loads and loads of smelly Breadman laundry.

Oh wellz.

**The old one was 19 years old, but still running like a charm.  Just time to get a bigger one that actually matches the dryer we bought last year.

Back tomorrow with an adventure that lead to the FIRST YARD SALE OF 2011.  (And it was sort of a bust, but that's okay.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

CSNStores Review - Swing sets

CSNStores has graciously offered me a chance to review another item from one of more than 200 stores.  CSNStores carries everything under the sun including a complete line of swing sets.  (When I was little, I had a cheapo swing set.  My Dad never properly installed it - it just sat on the ground.  So, I wasn't allowed to go any higher than straight out because the legs of the swingset would lift up off the ground.  Every once in awhile I would be a little overzealous and go really high and my Mom would see the two front legs coming off of the ground and come screaming out the backdoor - "Stoooooooooooooop!  YOU ARE GOING TO TIP OVER!") 
 CSNStores carries everything form your basic swing set to the best of the best.
The swing set at our City Park isn't even this nice!

If you are in the market for a swing set be sure to check out Swingsetsandmore.com

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thrifty Finds - It's About Time!

Today I managed to go to two thrift stores and I actually found a few things at both of them.  I hadn't been to one of these thrifts in about two years since they primarily only handle clothing.  They do have a few knick knacky things here and there and generally at really cheap prices, so I decided to have a look since I was driving by.  The first thing I saw when I walked in was a glass showcase full of dishes with a sign that said "Antiques".  I figured they had hit the big time and the prices would be sky high, but then I saw that most of the dishes in the case were $1.00 or so.  I love thrifts that just get it in and move it out - no worry about high prices and what things are "worth".

Because the pickings are think at the thrifts right now, I find myself looking in every area for anything.  Anything at all!  Case in point - the purse and the hockey jersey.  I never look at the men's clothes or the purses. 
The hockey jersey is from the 2004 All Star Game.  One just like it sold for $34.00 a few days ago.  I paid $3.00 for this one - so that's a good enough profit.

The purse - well, it caught my eye because it was pink.  And, I do love my pink.  I could tell it was a good quality handbag, but I was actually surprised to discover the COACH tag with a serial number inside.  I was pleased to see it was only $2.50 too.  However, the thrift chose to price it with a Sharpie ON the actual bag on the inside.  Why, oh why did they do that???????  I am hesitant to sell purses because there are so many counterfeits out there.  I just may have myself a fancy dancy new purse!

I also found a nice piece of white pottery, a very sweet piece of Washington State Pottery, a handful of vintage hankies, a first edition Harry Potter, a copy of New Moon and that big blue picnic basket in the top photo.  I don't really consider that a picnic basket because it doesn't fit into my collection.  But, it will still make handy dandy storage for my felt.  The lady that runs the thrift told me $3.00 for the handful of hankies.  But, when I checked out, my sweet little ancient lady friend scoffed at $3.00, said, "That's too much!"  and charged me $1.00.  She always gives me a deal.  I love her! (And not just because she gives me deals).

And this - a vintage 1970's Executive Solid State Calculator.  I got excited when I saw the box because old calculators can bring in big bucks. 
But, probably not this one.  Still, it was funny and it was only 50¢, so I brought it home.

I have sworn off white pottery and culled out a good portion of my collection, but now I keep finding it.  So far, it has all been going to the booth.   But, me likes this one.  :D
 I love this sweet little green piece.  The second I saw it, I loved it.  When I got home, I remembered why:
That little one was one of the very first pieces of pottery that I ever found.  It started my collection and my love of pottery.  (Which is good or bad, depending on who you are...Breadman)  The small one is signed Virginia Walker and the large one is marked Washington State with a VW under it.  Could they both be from the same maker?  Now, that would be cool!  I suppose it would be only be fitting to end my collection with this piece since the other one started it.

HAHAHAHAHAHA.  Had you going there, didn't I?  Stop collecting.  *Snort*  Now, that is a good one! 

It was fun to get out and find a few treasures - some to keep, some to sell.  I am itching for a good rummage sale, but I think I have awhile to wait still. 

Have you found any good junk this week?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nut & Honey

It's been a week since I blogged.  Hmmm.  You would think I would have lots to report.  But, I got nuthin.  I know I promised a story about something that I witnessed - something warm and fuzzy.  But, I have been encouraged to write it down and submit it to be "hopefully" published.  Once I get it on paper and mailed off, I will share it.  It's a good story.  I promise.

Last week it was cold.  And the week before that too.  Plus we had a couple of minor snowfalls.  The pipes at my Mom's house froze, then burst.  She has actually been without running water for two weeks.  The plumber was there Saturday, Sunday and again today, but they are up and running now.  They have been hauling water from my Grandmother's vacant house and rationing it out.  I feel terrible for them - they have run out of clean dishes, clean clothes - clean everything.  And, the plumber went in and out and in and out a million times and tracked mud from one end of the house to the other.  My Mom said she has the rest of her life to clean it up.  And, it just might take her that long.  Hopefully, it will not happen again. For now, she can flush to the toilet over and over again - just to do for fun, just because she can.

I've been sorting junk and putting junk on ebay all week.  Most of it is selling - some just for the minimum bid of $9.99, but that is okay by me.  It's all stuff that has been around here forever and it needs to GO.  I did sell a Hudson Bay Wool Trapper Blanket that I have had in my stash, but wasn't sure if I wanted to let it go or not.  Those neat old blankets are hard to find.  But, I decided it was time to let it go, so I listed it and it sold for $96.00, which is not bad!  I still have a Pendleton Trader blanket that is worth a bout double that - but I don't plan on selling that one.  All of the auctions that ended tonight are going to different people in different areas of Texas.  Weird, huh?

I sold another sock monkey too.  I consistently get good prices for sock monkeys because I give them stories - a history - something to reel in the buyer.  I think it is sort of silly that people read the story and get reeled in, but hey, it works.  Mostly the stories are true - dug out of a box, rescued from the free pile, etc.  I always give them a name too.  This week it was Moe the Monkey that is going to Ohio to cheer up a friend of the buyer. 

I filled up the booth again and pulled a bunch of stuff this weekend.  I am starting to figure out what sells and what doesn't.  Cookie cutters - check, pottery - check, 1980's toys - check, 1950's canister sets - check and anything toadstool - check.  As for NOT selling - vintage Fisher Price toys, ashtrays, matches and kids books.  Live and learn.

I haven't been thrifting at all in forever.  The thrifts are empty and boring right now, so I don't even bother going.  It is about time for a Super Cheap Thrift run.  Maybe Thursday I will have to hit it.  They had an ad in the paper saying that they will not accept donations this month because they have too much stuff.  Yippee.  Bring on the stuff!  :D

I had a phone call tonight and they wanted me to do a "short survey" on The Bean's Vaccination Record.  THIRTY FIVE minutes later, the guy was still asking me questions.  Helllooooo....that is too long to carry out a survey PLUS The Bean is 15 years old.  Do I remember the date he got his Measles Vaccination?  Uh, no, I do not.  His shot record in in our Safety Deposit box and I do not have a photographic memory like Marilu Henner, so I am unable to help you anymore.  *Click*  I felt bad for the poor guy doing the survey, he sounded like he had the flu, blowing his nose, coughing and hacking.  "Ahnd he taked like dis" so I was trying to be nice. 

Let's see if I can find a picture for this random post.

How about a pretty sunset?  You can't go wrong with a pretty sunset.

Maybe I'll be back with an exciting thrift score or a good story later in the week.  Or, maybe I will just jawjack about nothing in particular again.

You can't WAIT, can you?  :D

*You do remember the old Honey Nut Cheerio commercial don't you?  What do you want for breakfast?  "Nuttin' honey".  (Nut & Honey). 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Accidental Collection: Nesting Dolls

Back when I had an Office Job, once a year, my "Boss" would decide to clean out his office.  He would send me out to the Warehouse to fetch a huge empty trash can and bring it into his office.  He would then proceed to "clean his office" by taking all of his desk drawers out and dumping them into the trash can - no sorting, no separating...just dump and it was done.  Papers, pens, pencils, whatnots, etc. - it just all went straight into the trashcan.   It was then my job to drag the trash can back out to the warehouse for the janitor to dump.  But, what he didn't know was that I would drag that can into my office and proceed to take everything out and sort it out.  I'd put all the pens in the supply drawer, the usable things in our company store and sneak his kids photos and artwork back into his desk in a week or so.  See, I've always been a junker.
The first year I sorted it out, I discovered a small set of Russian Nesting Dolls in his "trash" and I was smitten.  I don't really know why he had then, but I really couldn't understand how he could just throw them away! Since then, I have found many more sets at thrift stores and yard sales.  My Mom has given me several as gifts too.  I have a set of owls in my Halloween decorations, many Santa's and a set of bunnies in the Easter stuff too.  I have more than I even realized!
Some of my sets aren't complete - but since I pick them up for about 25¢, that's okay.
Love these four little ladies.
I like the baby on this set.
These are made of very lightweight wood and handpainted.  Different from the others.
These are the ones I found in the Bosses drawers.  I mean DESK drawers, of course.  Get your mind out of the gutter!  :D
 Another partial set.  Still cute, though.
 I think these are my favorites.  They are very intricately hand painted. 
 Now, some of the newer ones - A Nativity (I need to put this with the Christmas stuff!)
 Native Americans.  Love the little papoose.
 Monkeys.  'Nough said.
 Dolphin, Walrus, Otter, Penguin baby Penguin.
 Lizards, turtles and snakes emerging from eggs. 

As with most of the  things I won, I never set out to actively collect Nesting Dolls.  But, I seem to have a pretty good collection. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday's To Do List

*Wash towels - four loads.  I wait until I have a lot to wash because I find folding towels very therapeutic (and I have an excuse to SIT and watch Ellen while I fold!)

*Find recipe for "the lemon-iest cake ever".  Craving lemon cake - lemony lemon cake with lemon icing.  Yum.
*Bake cake

*Price items to go to the Booth tomorrow
*Contemplate re-opening of the Esty Shop (Haven't sold a thing in months.  This pink file drawer makes me think of re-opening the shop)

*Hit *Refresh* button on My ebay page over and over while hoping to see more bids

*Watch temperature fall throughout the day

*Attempt to locate kitchen table which is rumored to be lurking under mountains of junk, after Christmas sale finds and general stuff......

*Retrievee massive "after holiday" mail load, process and deliver 99.9% of it straight to the Recycle Bin.  (Too many catalogs!)

*Box up Heart to Heart Swap
*Resist urge to get out Valentine Decorations

*Eat lemon-iest cake ever *(Not a chore)

*Dream of winning the Lottery and buying myself a PINK Mini Coopers that I spotted in town the other day.  Cute!

So, what is on your agenda today??????

*Photos of The Bean on a 50 degree Saturday last weekend sandwiched in between two bitterly COLD and snowy weeks.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

First Thrifty Finds of 2011

It is about time!  Finally! - I thrifted a few good items in the past few days.  I know I got all those letters earlier in the week, but that was one lump find and not to keep and blah, blah, blah.  I needed a fix

Sweet JAPAN wooden Letter holder.  I found this at my Flea Market - the owners have a booth where they sell tools, stereo equipment and Made in China knives and swords at high, high prices.  Why they put this fantastic vintage item in there for only 99¢ - well, I have no idea why, but I am glad they did!
I really don't know why I always buy these old balls of crochet yarn - I have a box full in the garage.  But, I always pick them up when they are cheap.  I liked the bright colors in these - maybe I will find a project to use them in someday.  For now, I use them like twine when I wrap packages.

Huge old aluminum tea kettle with wooden handle - $1.00.  For the booth or maybe to water my flowers this summer.
I broke the NO THRIFTED PILLOWS rule on this purchase.  I never look at the pillows because they kind of skeeve me out.  But, this one caught my eye.  It is made out of a vintage Wilendur tablecloth.  It is very clean and like new.  As a tablecloth collector, as a rule, I do not like things made out of tablecloths.  I hate the thought of them being cut up.  But, since this one was already made and it had the magic price of 75¢ - home it came.  And, I am only slightly skeeved about it.  (First one to mention bedbugs is no longer my blog buddy!)
 On to other things - a nice piece of white pottery, weird five hole vase thingy (ideas?), baggie of teeny tiny cowboys and Indians and a handmade coconut husk doll.  (It was daylight when I took this photo, not sure why it looks so darn dark.)
I actually found a yard sale today.  They were down to not much, but they did have baggies of jewelry and jewelry makings on one table.  I asked how much items were and the man told me that each  baggie was $1.00.  I started gathering up baggies and filled a shoe box full.  He ended up only charging me $10.00 for it all.  It is full of lots of Native American beaded earrings, necklaces, bolo ties, a leather necklace, tons of silver (real silver) beads and lots of other items.  I've been looking for a lot of smalls to list - I think I found them. :D  The flower brooch goes straight to my collection.

I saw the nicest act of human nature I have ever witnessed in my life today.  I'll be back to share it with you tomorrow.  I'll never forget it.  There is a lot wrong with this world today, but I saw a glimmer of hope.  You'll be touched, I promise.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I don't make many crafts for Christmas since I already have so many decorations.  I do usually make a few things, but I normally give those away.  So, now that Christmas is over, I seem to be on a crafting binge. 

So far I have made:

(15) Teeny Shadowboxes for Sarah's Heart to Heart Swap.  I can't show you inside yet.

(1) Vintage Valentine Corsage for the Sweet Goodness Swap. (Mighty cute, if I do say so myself)  It's only a hint....I haven't mailed it yet - so I can't show it yet!
(1) Medium Felt Autograph Dog from Creative Breathing
(1) Small dog from the same pattern

(3) Beaded dolls based on Oodles post
I was lucky enough to score a nice amount of vintage beads (and a variety of already completed dolls and animals) on ebay for a song that I paid for with my ebay bucks...can you say FREE?)
(1) Vintage Shiny Brite Heart Shaped Wreath
I made a vintage Shiny Brite Wreath at Christmas, took it to the Flea market and sold it for a pretty penny less than 24 hours after I took it in.  I was shocked!  So, I was determined to make a heart shaped one this morning and take it to the Flea Market today.  I gathered up all my vintage red, silver and pink ornaments and started gluing.  I made my heart out of a wire hanger and then wrapped vintage tinsel garland around it.
After I added all the vintage ornaments, I added in some new glittered ornaments, glittery red skeleton keys and red, silver and pink glittered cupcakes.  I had bought all of these things after Christmas for cheap.  I added in some red berries for depth and a nice big red ribbon for hanging at the top.  I hung it up to take a photo of it and something terrible happened.  I fell in love.  I can't sell it!  It's too perfect.  It's a keeper, I'm sorry to say.  I don't have enough to make another one to sell, but what the heck.  I won't make $50.00 selling it, but then again, I won't spend $200.00 trying to find enough "stuff" to make another one to keep!

That is a new crafting all time record for me.  And, I'm not done yet - I thrifted a huge piece of aqua fleece today and it will be magically turning into wee sweet bluebirds in the next few days.  Tweet!

What have YOU made?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Today we had snow.  Today it was 12 degrees when I got up and it never sent over 20 degrees.  Today was a very good day to stay home.  But!  My thriftsense was telling me to go to the Salvation Army.  I rarely ever go to the Salvation Army.  But, when my thriftsense tells me to go, by golly, I go!

When I walked in, I started my route.  You have a thrift store route, too, don't you?  I go in a certain path - it's different at each thrift.  Anyway, I started my route and came upon a huge plastic storage tub filled with huge wooden letters and numbers.  They ranged from about 6" tall to nearly 18" tall.  There were all sorts of scripts, fonts and sizes.  They were all cut out of wood and looked professionally made.
I dug in and found "SHARA" in nice big letters.  But, I figured I better inquire to the price before I got too carried away and before The Bean finished digging for his 11 letter name - so I had to go quickly.  I asked and they were only 25¢ each - no matter the size.  Woohoo.  Letters and numbers are everywhere right now.  I am in love with mixes of letters and different fonts. 
I started digging, thinking of words I could make, names of friends, words for holidays, etc.  Then I realized that I didn't know what to pick out.  I really needed them all.

So, I asked at the counter if it would be possible to just buy them all, or did they do that sort of thing.  (In the past, under different management, I would have been escorted off the property for even asking such a thing.  Right, Hope?  And, under different management, they would have been at least $1.00 for the small ones and up to $5.00 for the big ones.)

The checker told me to talk to the manager, so I asked her if she would sell them all for one amount.  She talked it over with the checker and then told her to name a price.  So, we walked back to the giant tub (it's like a tub you would put a Christmas tree in - huge!) and she stood and looked in it for the longest time.  Tick*tick*tick*  In my head, I was wishing for $20.00, but thinking she might say $30.00.  Guess what she said?  $10.00! 

When we paid, one other lady said, "I can't believe you sold all those letters for only $10.00."  Then another lady immediately said, "Thank God they are gone, I have been picking those letters up all day."

When we got home, I counted them and there are 189 total, which is nearly $50.00 worth at the 25¢ price.  Score!  I plan on picking out some to keep, selling some on Etsy and throwing a few in the booth.  I think they will be a lot of fun.  I've already made a montage of various "S's" by the front door. 

*The photos wouldn't load last night.  Now they load but they are washed out.  :(



Today is 1-11-11.

11 is a big deal in my house.

11:11 on the clock is cause for celebration. 

If you see it - YELL it out. 
It's like you won a prize. 

When the date is 11 - we do something special.  A favorite meal, rent a movie, something like that.

Today, 1-11-11 is sort of a practice run for November. 


Now, that is going to be a big deal.

When The Bean was about, oh, I'd say seven or eight, he came up with the idea that when he turned 18 or 21, whatever the legal age is, that he and I would get matching 11:11 tattoos.  I swear, he thought of it. 

I have mine all designed. 

11:11 in a filigree heart with his name wrapped around my wrist, in script so that really only I know what it says.  It will look like a delicate watch.

He just wants something simple like 11:11 where a watch face would be. 

Will I have the nerve when it's time?  I may just end up with 11:11!

Enjoy your day and do something fun!

*11:11 has a whole world of followers.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Pottery

When I decorated for Halloween I took down most of my regular decor in the living room.  When I decorated for Christmas - I took it all down.  Now that the Christmas is all put away, the regular stuff is working it's way back into the living room.  But, I have decided that I must love it or it cannot return.  The first collection to pare down was the pottery.  When I first began collecting pottery, I only wanted vintage Matte White pieces, so that is all I bought.  Then a pale pink pot snuck in, then an aqua pitcher, a yellow vase and so on and so forth.  I sorted through it all and only kept the pieces that I love or at least I love the color of the piece.  I kept the rest of it, in case I get a bigger cabinet someday, because I really do love it all.

 I love it now - but some days I think it might look a little Easter-y.  Lots of pastels in that cabinet!
 I dream of finding a huge chippy white corner cabinet to hold all my pottery.  But, until the thrift Gods bring me one at an affordable price, this old bookshelf from my college apartment will have to do.  :(
 Nearly every piece of pottery I own cost less than $2.00.  All found at yard sales, thrift stores, etc. 
 I've been gifted a few too and those are extra special.  That huge yellow pottery bowl is marked USA on the bottom.  It weighs a ton.  I filled it full of my marble eggs.
 Perhaps that is why it seems a bit Easter-y some days.  The eggs have actually been in a box in the garage for a few years.  It's nice to see them again.
Every time I find a folding ruler, I think to myself, "You need to sell this one".  But, it ends up fitting right in with the rest, so I've never sold a single one.  I've never paid more than $1.00 for one, so I guess it's okay to keep them.
The top shelf is still a work in progress.  That wire aviary thing - I don't know what to do with it - I might put all the wooden spools in it to make room for some more pottery.  I might put some of the white pottery in it.  I might fill it full of my vintage glass fishing floats.  I can't decide.  I bought that huge wooden bowl at a sale this summer for $5.00.  It is made of Olive Wood and it was made in Bethlehem.  The lady said she bought it on her honeymoon in 1950.  It has a bunch of writing on the back, in chalk, all in a different language - Hebrew, I assume.  It's really interesting, but I haven't taken the time to research it yet.

So, what have you done new with your old stuff this year?

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