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, June 24, 2013

Crime DOES Pay!

Today The Bean and I went to see my Mom.  On the way there, we took a little detour to drive by my Grandmother's old house to see how it looked.  It still looks exactly like it did when she lived there with the exception of three solar lights stuck in the ground by the ramp.  It's really weird.  Nothing else is different.  It look the just same house. 

When we stopped at the corner, I noticed a police car parked by the street.  It was close to the Square and City Hall, so I thought it was court day and he was just parked there.  That's when we saw the Police Officer come dragging a lady out of a house!  She was in a tank top and pajama bottoms.  Well, we were about a half a block up the street and we couldn't see very well, so we drove up for a closer look.  (!)  I called it  "Homeschool Lesson in Legalities."  I mean, really, how many times in your life do you actually get an up close look at an actual arrest?   

(Now might be a good time to tell you that this was in a tiny, little, stuck in the 1980's town of 2,000 people where they have about four policeman and crime is not a real issue.  She probably popped her husband upside the head or wrote a bunch of bad checks or something.  I doubt she was a serial killer or anything.)

Anyway, in order to see better, I swung up a side street, turned around in the gravel alley and came back up to the corner so we were only a house away.  We could see really good!  He handcuffed her, read her her rights, put her in the back of the car with his hand on her head (Just like DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER does it!) then drove off.  We looked all nonchalant when he drove by.  *Whistle*Whistle*Whistle* Like we just happened to be at the corner.  You know.  Natural like.

SO, after our big CRIME ADVENTURE, I had to double back up the street to bet back on the main highway and that is when I saw it.  On the left side of the road.  Near the curb.  In front of an old house. An empty old house.  A....pile....of....trash!  Cleaning out the shed and attic kind of trash.  Screeeeech.  Much to the disapproval of The Bean.  But, man, GOOD TRASH is hard to find.  

Some of it was actual trash.  Well, at least, I assumed it ws trash since it was in trash bags.  OH MY GOD.  I should have looked.  Oh well.  I left behind a couple of old garden hoses and as soon as I got home and saw my garden hose wreath on the front door, I KNEW I should have grabbed them.  Dangit.  I could have sold those wreaths!

The real reason I stopped was I saw a pile of old lampshades.  Lampshades used to have great old wire support structures that looked like a sculpture.  

Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a picture of something made out of wire?  Well, let me tell you, it is HARD.  Here's the best of the worst.  They are great old forms.  And, made of really strong metal.  You can do a number of things with these old forms - add slides for a decorative lampshade, use them in the yard like tomato cages, hang them from the ceiling and attach postcards or ephemera from them with clothespins.  I was happy to find five neat old ones at one time.    Barn Sale bound!

The only other thing I grabbed was this old jar.  I can always use an old jar for something.  It was filthy, but it cleaned up perfectly.  
Once I had it cleaned up, I read the bottom and found out it is actually an old Chick Fount - a Chicken Fountain.  The glass is usually the first thing to break on a chicken waterer, so that was a cool find.  

I hope you've learned your lesson here.  If you ever see anyone getting arrested, stop, watch, listen.  Look for trash piles.  It's all good.  


  1. I am CONVINCED that you have some sort of secret junking power. I can't believe the things you just happen upon. Those lampshade frames are AMAZING and so desirable right now. It's a good thing you're so nice and funny or those of us with less luck might not like you so much. :-)

  2. 'ST. BEAN'... it kinda has a nice ring to it.

    You put that poor child through SO MUCH SHARA!! He is going to make some LUCKY lady an awesome husband some day!!!
    I never thought of that with the lampshades before - NICE!!!

  3. You find the best trash! I love the lampshade frames and 5 of them!!! Girl I need to start driving down some allies!


  4. Hi Shara,
    I am so glad I re-found your blog! I have been looking for what seems like weeks. I googled the phrase "what happened to monkey box blog" and now I know. Thanks so much for all your great stories and pictures. I am always seeing things from my past, I about fell over at the picture of the boy scout cabochon I remember my brothers! If I had to bet, I'd guess he still has it somewhere in his house. Thanks again I feel like I found an old friend. Sorry your blog name got bought up, it just stinks!


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