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.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Decoration aka Memorial Day

Today we went to the small country cemetery to put out flowers.  I had never been to a small country cemetery until I married The Breadman.  I'd never had a grave to visit anywhere before we got married.  The only cemeteries that I knew where the big ones in the bigger towns - nicely groomed grass - one arrangement on or near the headstone.

Then I met The Breadman and married into his hillbilly country life.  Honestly.  The stories I could tell.  (And, I really should,  There are some dandies).  Anyway, the first Memorial Day he said we had to go to "Decoration".  I didn't know what that meant, but he told me that it was the weekend that everyone decorated graves at the cemetery where his Grandfather was buried.  I assumed that meant we would wear our Sunday best, drive out to the cemetery and lay a wreath on his Grandfather's grave.  I wasn't warned their would be fiddlin'.  And pie.  At the cemetery.  But, indeed, there was fiddlin'. And pie.  Lots of pie.  A pie auction in fact.  In the cemetery.  People balancing paper plates full of pie on their knees while they sat precariously balanced on old headstones.  While a couple of old men (that appeared to be moments away from actually being in the cemetery) played the fiddle.  Children ran around the cemetery chasing each other, people walked around looking at each grave, something on the people, the flowers and remembering things about each person.   It was just not how I thought anyone should behave at the cemetery.  But, after awhile, I realized that to them, the cemetery and Decoration, well, it's just a part of life.  The people buried there had done the same thing - bought a slice of pie and then walked around the cemetery looking at the names and remembering each person.  It's simply what was done.  We still go and put flowers at his Grandfather's and Grandma's graves.  But, we don't eat pie.  

Decoration at that cemetery included fiddlin' and pie.  Decoration at the other family cemetery, which is miles away from the other, also includes it's own oddities.  No fiddlin' - but a big potluck dinner at the church which is smack dab in the middle of the cemetery.  Everyone brings card tables and lines them up in a long row, covers them in tablecloths (I spotted three today that I would have loved for my collection) and then out come the potluck dishes.  There are two main family branches at this cemetery - one of the families has this big potluck dinner - they are not our branch, so we are not included in the dinner.  Which is a blessing to me - I do not think I could sit in the cemetery and eat fried chicken.  But, every year the other family does and and more and more people come so it seems to get bigger and bigger.  It's a nice tradition, I suppose.  If you don't mind eating in the cemetery.  

Another thing about country cemeteries is the decorations on the graves.  Not just a saddle on the headstone, or flowers  in an urn.  There are solar lights, Christmas wreaths, Razorbacks, colored rocks, mementos and lots of other interesting things.  Things that will touch your heart.

When we started going to the cemetery all those years ago, the only grave we had to visit was TBM's Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and his stillborn sister.  But, as the years have passed, there are almost more graves to visit that we have time.  

His sister and both of his parents have passed.  All of his Aunts and Uncles except two, friends, neighbors, people he knew when he was a kid, cousins.  Really, it is so sad that so many people are gone.  But when you've been married nearly 21 years, these things tend to happen.  

I don't know this young man, but someone had left him a Red Bull.  I'm sure that was something special between him and a buddy.  

 Do you suppose he loved to mow?  Or he owned a mowing company?  Or he liked to tinker on old mowers?  

This headstone had lots of old artifacts on it - things that had been dug out and found with a metal detector. I wonder why they brought them to the cemetery.  Did they find these things on his property or did he love to go looking for buried junk?  There was part of an old car hood ornament, an old Sheriff badge and some other things that actually had value.  But no one would ever think of stealing them out there.  

Initially, seeing photos of the person was weird to me.  But, now I like it.  This old photo is sweet and sort of funny at the same time.  

Some of the graves are very old and no one puts flowers on them any more.  Every year I think to myself that I should do it, but I never do.  I really should.

This very ornate headstone is from 1912.  It must have cost a lot of money back then, not to mention getting it out to the cemetery - it is in the middle of nowhere now.  It must have really been in the middle of nowhere in 1912.  

We found a series of headstone dating back to the 1840-1870's and they all had the Masonic symbol on them.  The Bean is fascinated by the Masons so this was very interesting to see.  They were Mason's during Lincoln's presidency.  Isn't that amazing?

Twin boys - Ralph and Rapheal Born April 2, 1922.  Raphael died nine months later and Ralph died a month after that.  I suspect the Mother's heart broke too.

I loved this big concrete rabbit by one headstone.  

Another photo  - this one is cool too.

A very simple handmade stone.  It's as sweet and thoughtful as the fancy granite ones.

This giant headstone towers above all the rest.  It's about 5.5 feet tall and about 8' long.  The granite is about a foot thick and it is engraved front and back.  I'm sure it cost more than our new car.  

I honestly never thought I would be blogging about cemeteries and headstones.  But, they are a part of life and part of our journey.

I hope you had a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thrifting Mojo - I've Still Got It

Yesterday I cleaned out my second booth at the Flea Market.  I had taken everything from my booth in town and moved it to the new place on March 31st.  I left it all sit at the marked prices for one week and sold several things.  Then I had a drastic sale and priced things crazy cheap.  It was all still good stuff, but I had just handled it all so much that I was tired of it.  Really tired of it.  I also cleaned some things out of my regular booth and took out some junk from the house and priced it all yard sale cheap.  In the end, I took in about twenty boxes of things and I pulled about three boxes out to be donated.  I dropped it all off at Goodwill today and it felt great!  So great, in fact, that I didn't even go in Goodwill for a look.  Yea, me!

Having said that - I did have my thrift mojo going today and decided to go to a thrift that is one of my favorites, but that I haven't been to in quite sometime.  I told the boys that I wanted to go to see the ladies that worked there more than I expected to find something.  It is run by older ladies and they are all so sweet to us.  Sometimes I just like to say "Hi" to them.

So, I walk in and the lady that is in charge came running to me asking me where I had been and asking me lots of questions.  She knows that I do resell some things, but she doesn't mind and she often asks me questions about the value of things.  I help her look things up on the internet from time to time.  She is the House Mother at a sorority and once the school year ends, she is left with lots of stuff to clear out.  Today she had fifty nice metal folding chairs.  They would be great for anyone needing lots of extra seating or to have in storage just in case.  The only thing is, these chairs have all been decorated by the different sorority girls, so they are painted hot pink, bright purple, neon green and other horrid colors and then they have rhinestones and jewels and rickrack glued on them not to mention their names in big letters on the back - BRITTINY (spelled just like that).  They are truly gaudy.  But, still with a bit of paint and elbow grease, a good deal to the right buyer.  I helped her put an ad on Craigslist with my phone and she was very excited,  Even though she had no idea what Craigslist was......  Hopefully she found a buyer for them.

Since I was in there, you know I took a spin around.  I discovered that you really do have to look at every single thing because there are treasures hidden in the junk.  But, we all know that, of course.

For instance, in the plastic flower and silk plant department, I spotted this lovely Nantucket basket.  It had a rather garish plastic palm fern sticking out of it.  I pulled out the fern and plopped it into a different basket for another lucky buyer to find.  It was $1.00.
This heavy old enamel coffeepot was sticking out from behind the glass coffee carafes.  It is missing the glass insert, but that is okay by me - I will be planting something in it anyway.  It was $1.00.

The last department I hit is the baby area.  I always scan everything looking for vintage baby bibs and baby quilts.  

I wasn't looking for or ever expecting to happen upon this completely adorable Irmi lamp.  What a wonderful find!

The little girl sitting in the rocking chair is knitting.  I think he chair really rocks and the cat on the cushion turns around.  But, I haven't tried it out yet to see how that all works.  This is my third Irmi lamp, so that makes it a collection - but I already considered myself a collector since I ADORE this stuff.  Too darn cute for words.  I consider finding this sweet little lamp my payback for the Craigslist Good Deed.  Is that wrong?

There a ton of sales listed this weekend, which is surprising since it is a holiday.  Not sure if i will go to many - it is supposed to get wicked hot and I think we all know one thing about me - I HATE THE HEAT.  So, we'll see....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cereal Winners

Congrats to Linda, Laurie, Sue and Rebecca - you have each won a coupon for a GIANT box of Honey Bunches of Oats,  Woo hoo.  I will contact you shortly!  Thanks for signing up - I will have another freebie up for grabs soon.

The Week in Junk 5/21- Books, Thimbles & A Basket

Time for the Week in Junk.  Last week I did manage to fit in some junking, but I also gathered up a bunch of crap that went straight to Goodwill (yes, I went in and looked and bought a few more things....) and gathered up some new stuff for the booth from my stash. Saturday morning, I went to the Super Cheap Thrift and a few yard sales before we headed out to a birthday party.  The last sale of the day became the last sale of the day when a lady followed me around with a cigarette hanging out of her lip.  My chest filled up all croupy almost immediately, so I called it a day.

The finds.  Yes, I know, you are on the edge of your chair.  ha.
 Ceramic bird feeder to add to the garden junk.  It's new and from Big Lots, but I only paid 25¢ for it at a yard sale.
This cool old metal step ladder was $2.00.  I am going to attempt to shove it behind a bookshelf in my booth so I can use it to reach things.  The booth has eight foot tall walls so I find myself needing a ladder - a lot.  I figure people will want to buy it, so this plan may not work.
I got these three old books at the Super Cheap Thrift.  They have beautiful bindings.
Lovely covers.
Beautiful marbelized end papers.

 They are Law Books from Paris.  One is from 1862 and one is from 1902 - they have all the laws and legislative issues and decisions in them from those years.  They are so heavy and beautiful.  When I paid, the lady said, "Oh, I knew just the right person would have to come in and find those.  I hope they were priced okay?"   These wonderous books were....ten cents each. Any other thrift would have put them behind glass and priced them sky high waiting for that "right person" to come in.  I love my SCT!
A Marlin Fishing Trophy.  
I'm seeing trophies in all the magazines right now.  Maybe I can jump on the bandwagon and sell a few.

The smalls.  The brass spoon is from Lowney's Candy Company about 1905 - it was a premium in a box of chocolates.   Some smalls for the booth - odds and ends.  

A super tiny tea set.  Terribly cute.  I'll probably add this to my miniatures.

An egg cup from South Shore Country Club.  I wonder where that is - any ideas?
 At the sale where I got all these smalls, they had massive amounts of Tiara glass at full blown retail price.  I'm not a glass person and I know little about it, but it all looked over priced to me and not overly special.  I did spot a box of these tiny candle holders under the check out table and thought they were sweet.  As I paid, they told me to take some of those free candle holders in that box.  So I did.  They are pretty cute.
I found this Russel Wright teapot today at Goodwill for $2.00.  It looks like a good seller, so that was a happy find for me.
At the last sale of the day, they had a massive thimble collection.  Well, as massive as a thimble collection can be.  I picked out a Nippon, a Murano glass one, a few wooden ones from Russia and a figural Uncle Sam Hat to buy.    Because There were a few souvenir ones, but most of them are collectible, hand painted, from other countries, advertising, etc.  Old advertising, not the ones you see in the Carol Wright catalogs.  Plus a lot of metal ones, some that appear to be Sterling and possibly a few gold ones. On a whim, I asked, "What would you take for the whole lot?" The lady said she would have to count them and think about it and she really wanted to eat her sandwich and for me to get them for her because she didn't feel like walking out to get them and blah, blah, blah.  *Sigh.  So, I told her never mind, I didn't want to cause so much trouble.  I was just curious.  (Because you never know - they might say five dollars, they might say one hundred dollars.)  She said, "Just bring 'em to me and I'll add it up".  So I did and she proceeded to count them all, add up the prices she had told me per piece, then started doing some math on paper.  She said, "I'm going to name a price and it will be FIRM.  Okay?  $30.00 for them all."  I had considered offering $20.00, we weren't that far off, but I didn't want to spend $30.00.  So, I told her thank you and I appreciated it, but no thank you.  Then she got huffy!  "You had me COUNT them all and do all THAT and now you aren't even going to BUY THEM??"  Jeez, I told her not to do it, but she did.  I said, "I would have offered twenty, but thank you just he same."  She stuck out her hand and said, "I'll take it."  I was happy to get out of there and off that Mery Go Round.  I ended up with nearly 200 thimbles, which I know I can easily sell and ship.  

The week in junk wouldn't be complete without a basket.  A very nice old buttocks basket.  The handles are missing, but for $4.00, I still loved it and it's actually more useful without the handle.  

And you found??????

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yard and Garden Junk

When The Breadman was on vacation a few weeks ago, I planned  a super fun stay at home WORK DAY.  He was less than pleased, but I stuck to my guns!  I have a good amount of what I refer to as "junk" in my yard.  For years I have been picking up beat up enamelware, old kettles, rusty wheelbarrows, etc.  And I really do mean "picking up".  I found our big old huge wheelbarrow siting curbside on Spring Clean Up Day.  I happened upon an old dump site on a remote dirt road one day and picked myself up a slew of old buckets, enamel cookery, enamel washtubs and other goodies.  (That was a fun day!)

 My yard isn't fancy - we have done it all ourselves and it may look that way, but I like it.  It's me.  But, we did it all on the cheap or mostly free.
We have bricks all the way around the house as a border.  When they built the house behind us, they left a pile of bricks on the property line that sat for nearly a year after they were done.  So, I put them in our red wagon and hauled them home in a few trips.  Free.  All the "junk" was free, found or found at yard sales.

 If it can hold dirt, I have planted flowers in it - old buckets, pans, washtubs - nothing is safe.  It will all look better when the flowers have grown up a bit.
I've straightened up the bricks since I took this photo.  They were "good enough" according to TBM.  I disagreed.  That iron wheel is h-e-a-v-y.  When I spotted it at a sale,le, they quoted me a price of one dollar - "IF you can pick it up."  Well, ha ha on them, I picked it up and carried it to the car all by myself.  I have JUNKING skills - I can pick up heavier stuff than I can normally.  I don't mind rat droppings or snake skins or spider webs when I am junking,  I am a super-junker!

Our house is white with blue trim, but after some home repairs a few years ago, we had the blue trim replaced with white.  But, then I kind of missed the blue, so I have pops of blue throughout the yard.  

I found this wagon in my Grandmother's shed on about the last visit to her house before it sold.  The frog is really a torch, but we've never used it that way.  The frog came from my Stepfather's Mom's house after she died.
 On the porch, I have a plethera of good junk.  I'll save most of that for another day.  I do have my toolbox full of garden clippers.  I think I found the red pair first, then I started finding pairs with different colored handles.  And, so another collection was born.  There are a lot of dangerous and sharp tools in that box.  The Bean says I am making it easy for murderers that knock on our door.

A few old garden sprinklers I have picked up.  Love the one with the paper label and the red flower decoration.  The one in the front is PINK, even though I know it looks red.
 More junk shots.  When I bought that windmill last summer I intended to find just the right spot for it.  Until I did that, I sat it where you see it.  I got used to looking out the kitchen window and seeing it spin and knowing if it was windy or not.  I guess where I put it was just the right spot after  all.
The very old, very beat up and much loved concrete rabbit.  He went on an adventure once.  In 2006, we came home c\from vacation and someone has stolen him!  I was so sad to lose him not to mention MAD that someone had the NERVE to take him!  I put a sign on our mailbox that said, "STOLEN!  White concrete bunny!  Return him, PLEASE!"  TBM laughed at me, but tow days later the bunny magically appeared on our doorstep.  Either a guilty conscience or a Mom/Dad made them return him.  
 Wherever we go, we bring home a rock as a souvenir.  We have amassed quite a collection of rocks.  We try to find unique rocks or ones with character.  Many have names - you'll see why.

This is the "PT Cruiser" rock.  It really does look like a car, doesn't it?  I schleped that thing on a freaking walking trial up and down a mountain.  The things we do......

This pretty polished red rock stuck out like a sore thumb in a creek.  When it is wet, it is really red.  

A perfectly round white rock from the lake at Grove, OK.

We keep this one partially hidden for our safety.  It's a GUN!

This is a piece of rock that my Mom plucked from the ocean in Aruba.  

A huge piece of Petrified Wood  that was at my Grandmother's in KS, moved to AR with her and now is at my house.  

 More rocks of all kinds.  That hollowed out Native Stone is natural.  I don't know how they get hollowed out like that though.
This rock weighs about 18 pounds.  We found it halfway around a lake and had to carry it along the shore all the way around to get it to the car.  We all took turns carrying it because how often do you find a rock in the shape of your state?  It's a perfect Arkansas shaped rock.

Well, do you think I have a rock in my head?  We like our junk and our rocks, so that's all that matters.  I see people waling up the sidewalk stop to look at our things.  I wonder if they are thinking, "Hey!  That's cool!" or "What's with all the junk?  Call Hoarders!".  :D

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