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.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Accidents Happen and My Thrifty Finds

Today I pulled all the Easter things from my booth and immediately took them to the thrift to donate them.  I debated keeping them or sorting through them, but in the end, I just gave them all to the thrift.  I just have so much stuff that some of it really needs to GO!  I did sell a good amount of it, so that's good. 

I did find a few goodies at the thrift, but I did something really awful.  I was looking at a jewelry box, and I had one of those shopping basket on my arm.  When I turned around to walk away, my basket hit a HUGE clay vase that was siting on the edge of the table.  That thing was GIANT.  It hit the floor and sounded like a semi full of dishes hit the floor.  It got so quiet in there after the crash.  I was horrified that it happened, but even more horrified when I spied a piece of the tag that said $19.99 on it.  Holy hell - I am going to have to pay $20.00 for a broken vase!  As I picked up the pieces, I cannot tell you how many customers came to group around me, mouth agape and stare at me.  "Uh-Oh, you broke it," one helpful lady pointed out.  Geez, it was an accident, I didn't mean to break it!  One by one they all left, but not one single thrift store person came to see what all the noise was about.  I picked it all up and piled the pieces up on the table when finally a lady came out of the back.  She looked at the floor and she looked at the pieces then she said, "Oh, let me get that - don't you worry about it one little bit, honey!  Accidents happen!"  WHEW.  She was super nice about it.  About a year ago at a thrift, I went to take a string of vintage beads off a display when the string broke and those damn beads fell and bounced all over the store.  I was so embarrassed and to make it worse, the old hag at the register went on and on and on about how I "needed to be careful when I handle things in a store" like I was four years old or something.  So, for this lady to be nice to me was, well, nice!

I had a guilty conscience and needed to buy something!  Luckily, I managed to find a few goodies that I liked.

The biggest set of nesting dolls I have found so far!  I spotted them in a cart "to be priced", so I stood by it until the pricing guy came back.  He priced them $1.75 and handed them to me.  I asked about several items and he priced them all $1.75.  I passed on a few.  I also found the old red Lustroware silverware drawer for 79¢.

This sweet vintage doggie planter was.....wait for it......$1.75.  The price of the day!  Cute little faces, though.

I was surprised to see this University of Alabama hat - actually, I found two of them.  They were made in the early 1970's right here in my town.  "Hog Hats" are very popular here - big red Razorbacks that sit on your head.  But, I have never seen any other mascot depicted as such.  Any Crimson Tide fans here know what these are called???  The old Hog Hats sell for $50.00 or so, so I am hoping the same is true for these.  Did I mention that the hats were...wait for it...$1.75?

I was looking at an old sewing machine mounted on a desk and on a whim, I pulled open one of the drawers.  I was surprised to find all the drawers packed with old patterns, thread, sewing implements and trims.  I dug through it and pulled out two Bucilla needlepoint kits and a couple other vintage items (Which I forgot to photograph....) and went to find out how much they would be.  I was told that the contents go with the sewing machine.  Well, I thought that was just dumb - who is going to use all that stuff and the machine?  So, I asked my friend at the the pricing cart and he priced the pile....wait for it.....$1.75.  :D

A couple weeks ago it was Spring Clean Up in the town where my Grandmother's house is located.  All week long I kept saying that we needed to go out there and put some junk from the garage and the shed out for Spring Clean-Up.  Finally on Thursday, we headed out to pull some junk out.  Never, ever, did it ever cross my mind that there would be JUNK on the road for FREE.  What a dolt!  Once I found a pile and realized it - I spent about two hours driving around town looking for goodies.  In the end, I only found a few things, but the thrill of it was quite fun!  Everything I brought home was from the same house.
This heavy old file box opens at the top and has a drawer at the bottom.  Not only does it lock, but the keys were inside it in a tiny envelope taped to the top of the lid.  I also found a blue train case which is already at the booth. 

My favorite find - a tiny little stool, barely big enough for one foot.  Maybe it is a plant stand or something.  It is only about 10" tall.  It's dadgum cute, that's what it is!  I am amazed at the amount of work someone will go to to make something.
The Bean, although embarrassed by MOM jumping out and digging in JUNK by the road, didn't hesitate to roll down the window and point out the tiny hammer lying in the driveway.  When I picked it up, I spotted the axe handle sticking out from under an old shower curtain.  I would have hated to see these go to the landfill.
There was a big plastic sack full of Christmas stuff, so I just heaved it in the car to look at when I got home. I crossed my fingers there weren't rats (or worse) in it. When I got home and sorted out the junky stuff, I was happy to unearth a ton of tacky plastic flowers. I hate silk flowers, but tacky plastic flowers are just too darn fun! And, free ones ROCK!

I drove by a house five times because I spotted an old barnwood table sitting by the curb.  I finally decided to grab it even though it was going to fill up the car.  But, as luck would have it, I have an entire house at my disposal right up the street, so I could drop things off as needed.  As it turned out, when I got the table unloaded, it was in worse condition than I first realized.  If I had a little bit more skill, I could have fixed it up.  Instead, I sat it at the curb and hoped that someone else might rescue it and fix it up.

Have you found any good junk lately?  At the thrifts or by the road?

Monday, April 25, 2011


Oh my goodness - the rain we have had!  The weatherman says we have received about 18" of rain in the past few days.  It rains and it rains and it rains.  Crazy hard and crazy fast.  Yesterday the ditches filled up and the yard across the street had water standing in it, but once the rain subsided for a while, it drained away.  But, today it rained absolute buckets.  I was beginning to think the water was going to come into the house if it kept up at the rate it was falling. 
I took these about 11:00 and before another five inches of rain fell.  After that, you couldn't see the street, the grass or anything else but water, water, water. 

This is the two yards across the street - before the extra five inches.  After that, it looked like a lake with trees in it.  It was trash day and bags of trash kept sweeping down the street blocking the culverts.  The man next door and the Bean and I set out to keep the culverts clear, but it wasn't easy. 

This house is directly across the street - that's her garden in the background.  Or rather, what used to be her garden.  It got really deep by the end of the day.  The pasture behind her house had at least a foot of water standing in it too.

We live near the city park which has a small creek that runs through it.  The creek is usually about five feet across and only a couple feet deep.  Today it was running about 100 feet across and I don't even want to know how deep.  The force was so intense that it actually raised up part of the street that runs over it and broke off the street signs.  I know that a lot of you have probably been around floods, but to those of us that live in the Ozark Mountains, it isn't something we have had to deal with before and it is scary stuff. 

The Breadman found himself in Oklahoma and news that the highways were closing down due to the Illinois River flooding the highways.  He stopped working and drove back towards town to beat the rising waters.  He made it back, but still had to be diverted and take different routes back to work and home including our very own street that was closed.  He came home looking a bit like a drowned rat and was not in the very best of moods.  But, at least he finally got home.

Right now it isn't raining or thundering or lightning and it is so quiet!  I forgot how the night is supposed to be quiet!  It is supposed to rain again tomorrow and Wednesday, but hopefully, this break will let it not flood so badly again.   The weatherman just said that the amount of rain we have had would be equal to TWELVE FEET of snow.  Shazam! 

*Thanks to those of you that emailed to see if we were okay - I really appreciate it.  And to Vintage Whimsy that was so worried about tornadoes - none hear, thank goodness, but Southern Arkansas is getting slammed bad.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

No Easter for YOU!

Today is a regular ordinary day at my house.  No Easter activites for us.  We were supposed to have a family picnic at the park for our Easter.  But, the park where we were going to have our picnic is currently under water. We have had nearly nine inches of rain in as many days.  Hail nearly every day, enough thunder that the cat has been under the bed for days and more lightening strikes than I can count.  It is raining so hard right now that I can barely hear the news on TV.  It is supposed to rain for four more days, but I really don't see where on earth it is going to go!  

 I did mange to make Duckie Cupcakes.  They are delish!  And cute too, if I do say so myself.
I couldn't bring myself to eat those orange slice beaks though.  I loathe orange slices.  Orange slices, circus peanuts and those hard shelled marshmallow Hide N Seek eggs are all disgusting.  Blech.

We colored some eggs and I may have hidden them for The Bean.  It's tradition at this point.  I know he is technically "too old" but who am I to be the Easter Egg Nazi? "No eggs for YOU!"  He got a basket full of goodies including a gift card, so he did alright.  I remember the good old days when the Breadman brought me home a bunny or some chocolate.  I think he forgot he used to do that too.

We had a slight break in the raini today for about an hour so we decided to weather the elements and go to Sam's for a few items.    It was our first trip out in days.  We drove all the way across town through the puddles and drizzle.  Do you know what?  Sam's is CLOSED on Easter Sunday!  Whodathunkit!  I am glad they were closed since it is a holiday.  I just wish I would have known before we floated over there!

I suppose I will throw us together some sort of Easter Dinner.  Well, dinner at the least.  I hope everyone had a good Easter and enjoyed it more than I did!

***We will have that picnic and Easter baskets and such - it just might be ahwile!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Peek at Topeka

My family moved to Arkansas right before my 5th birthday.  I consider myself to be from Arkansas.  But, there is a part of me that loves Kansas and Topeka in particular.  Whenever we visit, we have a list of places to visit - our old house (which was a terrible run down mess this trip, so sad), my mom's childhood home, the State Capital, Bobo's Drive-In (as featured on Diners, Drive-In's and Dives) - I still haven't ever eaten there, though, Gage Park and the High School.  On this visit, we spent the bulk of our outdoor time at Gage Park.

In the park, there is a little train that goes all around the park so you can see everything. Gage Park has a Rose Garden, the Zoo, the Aquatic park, Playland and lots of hidden gems.  I used to ride the train when I was little and whenever we go back, given the chance, I like to ride it again.  We had a bit of time before the Memorial this weekend, so we all went to the Park before we went to the cemetery. 

I didn't know how much the train would cost to ride, so I grabbed a ten and wished for the best.  I haven't been there in awhile and everything costs a fortune now, so what did I expect, right? But, it was only $1.25 a ticket.  A great, fun bargain!   They give you a golden token with the train on it to give to the Conductor.  I bought an extra one for The Bean to keep as a souvenir.  He likes tokens, pressed pennies and coins as his souvenirs. (I don't know those four girls in front, but the rest of the passengers are my family.  We did actually have a few kids with us, so we were legit for riding the train.)  
The conductor talked the entire time.  But, it sounded like the grown-ups on Charlie Brown.  "Wah-wah-wah-wah-wah-wah."  I bet he is exhausted every night with all the talking, and no one ever understands a word he says.  Bless his heart.

As we rounded one corner, I spotted this huge blast of color.  Then I realized it was tulips - hundreds and hundreds of tulips.  I tell you, it took every fiber of my being not to hop off that train and run straight to them.  But, I didn't and the train kept on going.  When we got off, I wanted to go back to the tulips, but there just wasn't enough time. 
The next day, the family was still all together with no obligations and nothing to do but just be together.  It was a gorgeous Spring day, so I suggested (begged) that we all go back to the tulips.  I had to see them up close!  The colors were amazing!  I was lucky to get this one photo without people in it - it was crazy busy with photo ops and professional photographers.

This is what most of my photos looked like - full of gorgeous tulips and strangers behinds!

The colors were amazing!
Beautiful red tulips.
Brilliant orange tulips!
Sunny yellow tulips.
My personal favorite - yummy pink tulips.
A rainbow of pinks and purples.
 The Bean's favorites - bright orange tulips.
Photo Op - Little girl in tutu hunting Easter Eggs by the tulips.  They actually had a little pink grand piano that they stuck in the pink tulips.  They put her in a pink tutu and sat her at the piano.  I really wanted to sneak a photo, but it would have been too obvious.  It was cute, but a bit overkill to me.

My family taking over the park.

Not far from the tulip garden, there is an old carousel.  When I was a kid, and long before that, it was at an old amusement park across town.  When the amusement park closed, the city purchased it and placed it in the center of the park. 
It was such a hit of nostalgia to see the old carousel. 
Around the top, there are handpainted scenes from around Topeka including the State Capital building and such, circa early 1900's.

My animal of choice - the giant bunny.

Although, the chicken rates pretty high too.

Unlike the train, we didn't have any kids with us, but there are no rules on this carousel!  So, you see my cousins and The Bean loaded up and ready to go!  I rode too, but I sat in a bench.  I couldn't find anything low enough to get on by myself!  (I am only thismuch too tall to legally enter the playland at ChickfilA.)

Last stop outside the carousel - what trip to Kansas would be complete without......
The Wizard of Oz!

Jonah makes a stunning Dorothy, doesn't he?

Me as The Scarecrow.  I don't look happy.

The Bean as The Tin Man.

Noah as The Cowardly Lion.

The cutouts were made for children, so we didn't really fit that well.  But, that didn't stop us!

Although the primary mission of our trip was to have a short Memorial for my Grandmother, we managed to have a ton of family time, enjoy the beautiful outdoors, have some childish fun with my cousins and relax.  It was a very good time!  I was lucky to have two Springs this year.  And, that was good because since we got home it has not stopped raining and hailing for days.  Rain, rain, go away!  Bring back the tulips!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thrifty Finds

I had to go to the Flea Market to straighten up today. It was a complete and total mess! I don't know why people have to put things on the floor. I understand a toy or a tablecloth on the floor - but not a set of six cups or a handful of miniature animals. Last week I had bought a display rack and put all the vintage linens on it.  Well, someone had decided that the rack looked better over there and without all those silly linens on it.  Ugh.  That is one complaint I have about the Flea market.  They don't walk the store and straighten it up each day.  I don't mean go booth to booth and straighten every little thing up.  I mean pick up things on the floor and sit up knocked over lamps and such.  If the booth is neat, I will sell more and therefore, so will they.  I have a lot of Easter items in there, so next week it might be time to send the menfolk to the movies one afternoon while I revamp the booth. 

Directly across the street from the Flea market is the biggest thrift in town.  They recently moved in there from up the street.  It is an old water bed store and it is huge.  The biggest thrift I have ever been to, in any case.  If I go to the Flea Market, I have to go to the Thrift Store.  I think it may have hurt business a bit - I know I would rather go to the Thrift than a Flea Market, given the choice.  And, it is across a five lane very busy highway. plus on an awkward intersection, so you sort have have to decide which one you want to go to and that is it.  Time will tell if it helps or hurts.

Today I found a few things that made me happy I maneuvered the busy highway and intersection. 

First up, an old cast iron toy stove.  It is old, rusty and missing a piece, but for 25¢, I think it still might be worth about $20.00 or so. 
I honestly don't even know what this is, but it looked like a toadstool to me and the price ($1.75 minus 25% Blue Tag day) made me pick me up.  It is hand thrown and very heavy.  I'll have to research it a bit.

This old wicker laundry basket was $2.75 minus 75% off orange tag - so I got it for a song at 69¢.  I love old worn baskets for storing things, for display in the Flea Market and for holding vintage linens.

This sweet piece of aqua pottery was my favorite find of the day. I don't normally go for Victorian looking things, but this is super sweet.  The back is what really sold me.

W ((hearts)) K.  Cute, huh?

Occasionally I buy things at the Flea Market for re-sell.  I watch items and as they get marked down, I swoop in on them.  I have had my eye on a Rushton Doll and a few other vintage toys in one booth for awhile. 
Today when I went to check the prices of those items, I spotted this wonderful Little Bo Peep Kitchen Set.  The refrigerator stands about 15" tall.  They were all made in Booneville, Arkansas in 1966.  Since they were new to the booth, not to mention fabulous and vintage, I never thought they would be affordable.  I was really surprised to see each piece was only $5.00!  I snapped them up Pront-O!  I haven't taken the time to look them all up yet, but I did find sink that had sold for $55.00 recently.   So, I know I will do okay.  If I had room, I would so keep these.  CUTE!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Photo Op


I knew it!

I'm back. Loads and loads of laundry to tend to here at the old monkeybox. I'll be back with stories, lovely photos and the WINNER of the giveaway soon.  We had an awesome weekend filled with good times and beautiful weather.  It was great!

*As for the winner - I have decided to make the box first, then pick a winner.

I'll leave you with a funny story.  Shortly after my Grandmother's Memorial Service, we moved down to the Reflecting Pond to watch the ducks and hand out in this big gazebo so we could visit.  I walked over to this big dead tree that had been carved with birds on it. 
As I was starting to take the photo, this group of people walked up and stood in front of it. As I looked at them, I said to The Bean, "Those people look like they are from Arkansas." Now, I am a proud Arkansan, but I do go to Tractor Pulls, Sorghum Festivals and Apple Festivals, so I do see my fair share of plaid flannel shirts, Wranglers and boots.  It's not like the people of Topeka, Kansas are style setters, but this particular group of people just looked like a group I would see on a normal day.  I knew where they were parked, so I walked up for a closer look and...........

HA!  Cracked me up!  They were from Arkansas!  I asked them where they were from, and after they got the "just fell off a turnip truck" look off their face, they responded a town only about 20 miles away from me.  I guess I just took them by surprise.  They had recently moved to Topeka from Arkansas, so they weren't expecting to see anyone that "recognized" them.  It cracked me and the relatives up that I could spot a fellow Arkansawyer from a distance!

*I've never decided if I am an Arkansan or an Arkansawyer.  I think I am the former and not the latter.

**I just realized it is 4:00 and I haven't made the bed yet.  I think I may have gotten used to Maid Service! 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Patriot Flag

Last weekend, the Patriot Flag came to town.  I hadn't heard of the Patriot Flag until it came to a neighboring city a few days earlier.  When I found out it was coming to our town, I knew we had to go.

The flag is traveling across the US, allowing everyone to view it and then it will be flown at the Pentagon, the site of the Flight 93 crash and at Ground Zero on September 11th, 2011.

The Patriot Flag is 30 feet by 55 feet and weighs 75 pounds.  It was in a carrying case that completely filled up the back of a car.  The case was covered in Fire Department patches from all over the United States.

It took nineteen soldiers and firemen to carry the flag out to the ladder truck and hook it up.  The lady crossing the photo was in charge of the event for my town and for fourteen other towns.  She came up to me and thanked me for coming.  She was very, very proud to be a part of this event.  We expected a huge crowd and got their early in anticipation.  We got there so early, in fact, that we were the very first three people there other than men in uniform.  The crowd was still fairly small when the flag was hoisted and that made me sad.  But, then again, it was a more intimate atmosphere with only one hundred or so people there. 

Firemen in formal dress uniform standing by the bell.  They rang the bell for all the Fireman that died on 9-11.  The Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance and yes, he included "Under God".

It was such an awesome sight seeing this wonderful HUGE flag.

Patriot Flag, flying high.

It is hard to take a photo of  seventy foot high flag and you kid, but I laid in the grass and managed to do it. 

Nineteen Soldiers and Firemen taking it down. 

We really enjoyed seeing the flag, signing the Guestbook and visiting with the Co-Ordinator.  If you get the chance to see the Patriot Flag, you really need to go.  You won't be sorry.

On a less dignified topic......Fireman are hawt

I love a man in uniform.  :)

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