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, September 29, 2013

Barn Sale: The Whole Enchilada

Okay, so here we go.  The Barn Sale is over.  But, I'll start at the beginning.  Thursday morning I loaded up all the tent tent weights, tent sides, card table, display tables, shelving and display items into the car.  I filled up the wooden crates with merchandise and filled up every last empty spot bigger than 6" with something.  Anything - a stuffed dog crammed in this hole, a quilt in that spot, etc.  NO EMPTY SPOTS!  I even made The Bean hold a picnic basket full of merchandise on the way out.  'Cause I am a good mother, that's why.  We unloaded, set up the tent, set up the tables, covered them with my prized tablecloths and put all my display items up the way I had designed it in the side yard.  Went back home and loaded the car up to the headliner, stuffed and tucked in every single thing I could think of and in every conceivable spot and made The Bean hold TWO bags of crap on his lap as well as the cooler between his feet.  On that trip out, the low tire pressure light went on (just because I had five hundred pounds of junk in the car....) so we had to stop at three gas stations until we found a working air machine (AIR costs money?  Really??? It's AIR!) and each time, he had to unload the front seat into the parking lot reload it into the car, then unload it into the parking lot and reload it back into his lap.  Mother of the Year.  

I got everything all set up the way I wanted it and then despite the fact that I had ordered side walls for the canopy, I decided to leave it wide open all night because I had my tables stuck out farther than the sides.  It was a nice calm evening and there was security on sight, so I thought it would be okay.  All night long I had visions of my canopy blowing over the Oklahoma line.  I got up earlier than I planned and went to see if anything was off.  But, it was all perfect - not one thing blown or moved.  The gates opened at 10:00 with what I thought were a few early Shopper passes given out to shop at 9:00.  But, by about 8:45, we were getting flooded with customers.  The very first guy in the booth started asking for a better price on some jewelry and I thought I was going to cry.  Not over the jewelry (It was vintage stuff, not what I made) but because I thought if the first person asked for a better price, then everyone was going to do that.  But, I think only about five people bargained with me and they were all fair offers.  Everyone else grabbed up what they wanted and happily paid for it. No problem.  Whew.  We were open until 7:00 and had no set up or tear down that day, so it was a fun day filled with shoppers and visiting with the surrounding vendors.  It's nice because even though we all had "junk" everyone's junk was different that the others.  So, we weren't really in direct competition.  But then again, we kind of were.  

Lara, of course, was in the booth next to mine.  She has amazing photos of her booth and of mine on her blog.  I am ashamed to say that I barely go to even look at her booth let alone take photos of it!  She also has all too nice things to say about me.  (I paid her to say most of it.)  Back to the story, I had said on the blog that I *hoped* we would ed up in the shade.  Well, I forgot that the lovely Amy that ran the whole event was monitoring my blog so she put me in the shade!  Woo hoo! Thank you Amy!  Lara and I had also requested to be side by side so we could help each other and watch for you know what breaks.  Which is all sort of funny because even though we have emailed back and forth for a few years now, we have only actually met face to face one time for about five minutes.  So, there we were side by side for hours and days  - what if we hated each other.  HA!  I love her!  We got along so well.  She is funny and nice and sweet and generous.  I'll get to that generous part in a bit.  We had fun visiting and selling.  We shared a look when a fellow thrift shop nemesis of ours came cackling through the crowd.  As soon as we heard him, we both whipped our heads toward each other.  Lara would also grab something from her booth and say, "Why can't I sell this?" and the next person through would seen to buy it as if by magic.  It was nice to have fun and deal junk.  Her helpful husband, sweet Mother and adorable TWIN almost three year olds came by for an afternoon visit.  Her little son, Jack, took an immediate liking to The Bean for no apparent reason which made him happy.  Her daughter, Emme, took an immediate liking to my chair.  I liked that too.  Those are great kids and I hope to get to spend some more time with them some day.  

Friday evening we closed up and headed out at about 7:15 and had to be back and ready for business at 8:00.  I didn't sleep that well but I was ready to get up and go when the alarm went off at 5:30.  When I stepped outside to pick up the newspaper, it was a bit breezy.  Visions of my canopy blowing away went through mind once again.  When we got there, the paper items like flash cards and sheet music hadn't moved, but the big heavy vintage BOWLING TROPHIES had blown off the table.  What's up with THAT?  Anyway, I got everything straightened out and the people started rolling in.  Rumor had it that there was rain coming in on Saturday, but the weatherman assured me that it wouldn't be until after 6:00.  We were to close up at 4:00, so I felt safe.  Both Lara and Laurie (from my other side) were watching their different weather apps and giving estimates on when the rain would come.  We weren't supposed to start closing up until 4:00 via the contract, but we did start organizing the things behind the tables and moving a few thing sup under the canopy just in case a wee bit of a tiny sprinkle came along.  What we did not think was going to happen was the heaviest wettest downpour I have ever seen in my life.  Buckets of water pouring down.  We had been told not to pull our cars around to load in the rain, but once it started, everyone else did, so I went to get the car.  I had made the very (un)wise decision to park behind where we were set up, except there was a five rowed barbed wire fence separating me from my car.  So, I had to walk across the yard, the length of the Community Center, the width of the Community Center, the length of the center and then across the field to get to the car.  All the while, the rain was picking up more and more.  Now, I'm no runner.  I can walk pretty fast with my short legs.  But, with the rain in the field with the walnuts rolling and the cowpies steaming, I had to walk at a normal gait or I would have slipped. So, I was really drenched by the time I even got to the car.  

When I was on my way back around the building, driving across the yard, a little girl ran right in front of my car!  I slammed on the brakes and slid.  She ran right into the building and she was fine, but GOD I was scared.  Drenched and panicked and SCARED.  Her Dad was real helpful and yelled HEY WATCH IT!  How about a HEY GOOD DRIVING THANKS FOR NOT KILLING MY DAUGHTER!?

We got the most delicate things like the jewelry and paper items into the car.  The Breadman to came and helped with the metal things and tables to help save us a trip.  I had planned SO hard to pack up in an organized manner and to get it all home in TWO trips.  It took me TWO trips to get it out there, plus I SOLD things, so I could have done it.  Instead, it took three wet drippy messy trips.  In between trips we stopped at Sonic and the carhop was so taken aback by the sheer sight of me that he never spoke or even bothered to close his mouth as he stood looking at me all dripping wet. I don't think it had even rained much there.  So, I am sure I looked like a total and complete lunatic.  Like halfway through my shower I just HAD to jump out and go get some onion rings.

Today we unloaded the last of the things out of the car.  Everything was sopping wet, so we set up the canopy, our chairs and all the merchandise up and down the driveway and sidewalk.  It looked like Sanford and Son were having a sidewalk sale.  Frankly, I'm surprised no one stopped.  If they would have, I would have sold them something!

Things I learned:  Things need to be spread out where they can be seen.  I had the Scrabble tile words in a smaller bowl with just the tags showing and I sold a few.  Then I spread them out onto a big dough bowl where you could read the Scrabble tiles and people started buying them.  So, I did the same thing with everything else I could find.  

I had put out some of those peepholes I bought last summer and put a sign up that said, "These make great telescopes."  Nearly everyone tried it and more often than not, they bought one.  They all chuckled to themselves about it.

The first thing most everyone saw and touched were the old metal cookie cutters.  "My Grandma had that one" they would say.  Words I love to hear when people come into my booth.

Really, I can't think of one bad thing to say about the whole weekend except for that @#*%$# rain.  That sucked.

So, I have rambled on long enough, but I still have more to say.  But, I will do that another day.  (I'm a poet and didn't know it...) :D  

I sold a lot of things, but I sell small things, so I still have a LOT left. So, next Monday I will be having a Farm Fresh Blog Sale with many of the items I still have.  So, if you saw something in any of the photos that you are interested in, let me know and I will see if I still have it.  I do have the yellow canisters, horse ribbons and F is for FISH Flash Card that were specifically asked about in comments.  I'll be gathering things and taking pictures in preparation for that.  I will also have some of my feedsack necklaces, Junk Queen corsages and Birthday corsages available.  

Ok, that is ALL.  Good night!  

(Tomorrow I'll blog about all the fun stuff I brought home and how I didn't even spend a dime on any of it!)


    ...but it sounds like EVERYTHING else was Wonderful!!

  2. Sounds like it was a lot of fun. I know what you mean about selling small stuff. Even on days when I sell a ton of items, sometimes I can't tell it when I look at my space the next day.

  3. I couldn't wait to hear your update. Thanks! Sorry about the rain, but at least you got a good full day and part of a second out of it.

  4. Negotiating in the first hour? Really? Sometimes I wonder about people. Glad to hear all the details, for those of us too chicken to take the plunge!

  5. Aww! I'm blushing! You didn't even tell them about how annoying I was with my constant weather updates. I enjoyed being next door to you and The Bean just as much. Wouldn't have been the same without you! Also, you didn't have time to tell me that story about the little girl what with trying to get out of the rain and what not. How scary.

  6. Sounds like you had a great time despite the rain! This is the kind of thing I would enjoy doing for sure! Can't wait to see what you have for sale!

  7. Hi Sarah,
    I so enjoyed following you through you first barn sale. I know the rain was a mess but hey it added to the journey! I hope you had many sales and are going to do this next year too. I can tell you had an awesome time!

  8. Oh my gosh, thank you for the sneak peek at the "real deal". I hope you had good sales for all the hard work you did. Your booth looked awesome!


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