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, May 29, 2011

Weekend Finds - Holiday Edition

First, I want to thank everyone one that so graciously sent money to help buy supplies to send to Joplin.  I've already received over $100.00 from you lovely people.  I will go shopping a bit later in the week and get things donated then.  They are going to need donations for months.  If you don't know what I am talking about, please read this post. 

Holiday weekends usually mean a lack of yard sales.  But, Craigslist was thick with ads for this weekend.  I went to a few on Friday, but skipped any sales on Saturday to attend a birthday party for these adorable girls.

 Can you blame me?  Kennedy and Maci turned one yesterday.  I babysat their Mama when she was only two weeks old!  I was only 13 at the time.  As her Mom told this story yesterday, she said, "What was I thinking leaving my newborn with a 13 year old???!"  But, I took good care of her and her older brother, so things went just fine. 

I did got to a few sales on Friday and to one thrift store after the girls birthday party.  I found myself in the neighborhood of one of the areas biggest thrifts in the area after the party, but I never go there.  It is about 30 miles from my house, so I just never go there.  But, it is huge and it was open, so I stopped.  I was disappointed at the selection and at the high prices when I got inside.  I ended up spending a total of $3.05 which included a 1st edition of Eclipse and a book of Gnome Fairy Tales.

I spied this little angel siting on a shelf behinds some tacky collectible bells.  She was just the thing I needed to call the visit worthwhile.  Sweet, vintage and only $1.00.  I was pretty content with her but then I spotted a plastic tub that said CANDLES on it, so I pulled it out.

I dug out one witch, then a pumpkin man, another witch and finally the second witch.  They are all Gurley Candles and oh so wonderful!  I am always excited to find vintage Halloween as it is the hardest thing to find.  The icing on the cake was the price.......4/30¢.  So, I decided that it was certainly worth stopping there if I was in the neighborhood, but I wouldn't make a special trip there.  This was Helping Hands for those of you that know the area.

Friday I got this valet at a yard sale where I filled up a huge tote bag full of things for only $2.00.  It is all just Flea market fodder, nothing to write about.  But, this valet is kind of neat.  He has a place for a man's wallet, jewelry, keys and change.  There is a switch on the back that lights up the candle in the dogs hand.  The light bulb is broken and I don't know where on earth I can ever find a replacement.  But, working or not, he is still unique!

Friday, I bought a photo at a house where I have been to sales in the past.  In fact, about seven years ago, at this particular house, I bought the contents of a man's pockets that he carried in the war as well as his Military discharge papers and his Purple Heart.  When I asked about the items and why on earth they were selling them, the lady told me that they belonged to her Uncle, but he died and didn't have any family, so there "weren't no good to anybody."  I'll always remember those words because, by god, SHE was his family and SHE should have protected and honored that Purple Heart!  The little baggie of things were priced $25.00 and that was my yard sale money for a month, but I handed it over to her and rescued the items.  They are now on display in a Military Museum where people do HONOR those items. 

Okay, so I am off my soapbox now.  Actually, no I am not!  I did quite a bit of research on that man and I found out his name was William (went by Bill) and his wife was Margie.  I found a lot more about him, but I won't go into that right now.  Just remember, his name was Bill and she is Margie.
So, when I arrive at this house, I see clothes and bedding and regular stuff.  But, then I see this wonderful vintage framed print on a table.  It is $5.00 and it speaks to me to buy it.  I just love it for no apparent reason.  When I pay for it, I ask the lady having the sale if she knows the history of it.  Yes, that's my Uncle Bill and my Aunt Margie.  And, that is why is spoke to me.  I was meant to have it!  It is hanging in the living room right now.  Bill and Margie are part of my family now.


  1. Yes, I've come across sales like this quite a few tmes before-- I'm always shocked how people are okay with selling their own family photos/their parents' wedding cake topper, etc. Maybe I'm too sentimental but it depresses me that people are selling their heirlooms at garage sales.

    Am so happy you rescued both this photo and the purple heart!! It's great to hear that you donated the items to a military museum too.

    I used to have really good luck at the Helping Hands though their prices are high on some items. It's probably gotten picked over like all the other AR thrifts :(

  2. How anyone could sell a family member's Purple Heart is way beyond my thinking! Thanks to you, Bill's service to our country is being honored. Bless You Shara!

  3. At least it was you that rescued the purple heart and donated it to the museum. Someone else might have stuck it on Ebay for a quick buck, but you did the honorable thing. And that is why I am proud to call you friend!!

  4. Am sure Bill and Margie would be happy to be called part of your family and am sure they will fit right in. I am always rescuing things like that - it is amazing what people part with.

    p.s. would a nightlight size bulb fit in the valet fellow..or a small Christmas bulb?

  5. It is so sad that someone's Purple Heart did not mean anything to them...how sad! I am so glad you now have a portrait of Bill and Margie and they are now 'family'!

  6. That's amazing, that anyone could even think of selling a purple heart! I have my dad's medal and one day it will go to my daughter, it will hopefully never leave the family unless it's donated to a museum or given (not sold!) to someone who will appreciate it and what it means, as well as who it means. Same thing for my dad's other medals including his Bronze Star. I'm so glad that you rescued the medal from her.

  7. My goodness, Shara. I'm with everyone else on the purple heart! So glad you found it and put it where it belonged. And finding the picture years later is really special. Your Mama brought you up right, as my neighbor used to tell me when we lived in Omaha!

    What fun for you to find the Gurley candles - I have some witches I found at a flea. I was on a business trip with my husband and spent 10 extra minutes in the security line when they showed up as solid objects in my carryon. It was worth it!


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