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 16, 2014

Farm Fresh at The Junk Ranch

Okay....ready?  Let's GO!  (LONG POST with LOTS of photos!)

The wonderful ladies that run the Junk Ranch have purchased this massive property compete with an old house and a huge barn on it solely for the purpose of The Junk Ranch Sale.  There is a new bypass going around the city and this new property backs right up to the bypass.  It isn't open yet, so it was kind of a meandering ride through town through residential streets and then out into the country to it this year.  But that was good because lots of people stopped in at the shops and flea markets, got a bite to eat and a giant Sonic drink to bring with them.  So, the whole town profited from The Junk Ranch.  I hear my booth was mobbed, so that is great too.

Amy (the brains behind the sale) was nice enough to let some of us come out and drop off out items on Thursday so we could do a quick set up on Friday morning.  The Bean and I set up the tent and tables, made a run home for the merchandise and then dropped that off as well.  Lara dropped off her items later and sent me a text - "your gigantic pile is cracking me up."  Oh, yes, I take a lot of stuff.  *Note: If you think mainly dealing in smalls is easy - you are wrong.  It took me the exact same amount of time to pack up my stuff and load it as the people behind us who had two spaces full of furniture and old rusty junk.  (Of course, they had a honking truck and a huge trailer and I was loading into an Escape and a small pick up).

It opened for the Early Shopping Event at 2:00.  At about 1:15 we looked and the parking lot was sparse and we started to worry that no one would come.  About fifteen minutes later I glanced up and saw this:

Well, alrighty then.  Let's get this started!  As luck would have it, Lara and I were under the ONLY tree on the property so it was quite the popular destination.  SHADE.  Some people would just kind of wander up under the tree and stand there and blink.  Like, they were readjusting after re-entry from the sun.  Then, they would start shopping again.  

Let's have a look at the set-up before they ascended.  

Coming around the corner, you could see all of Lara's wonderful painted chalkboards.  Sadly, that big giant one fell over and broke in the night.  But, that was our only casualty.  Well, that and the Diet Coke spills she kept suffering.  :(

Lara's sweet pastel candy colored furniture, frames, chalkboards and gorgeous hand painted signs.  She sold all but one of her signs.  Yes!
*Dontcha just love my pink tent?  I do.  

More painted signs, chalkboards and other great things.  Look at that loooong rose print!  It's hanging in a Civil War General's house as we speak - they were happy to find it.  

The Bean and Lara running to finish up before the gates opened.

*I could not do this without The Bean's help.  I told him that he did not have to go at all and if he did, he did not have to work.  "If you are there, I am there," he said.  That boy worked his patootie off.  And he is as red as a beet.  Sunburned and exhausted.  Bless that boys heart.  I gave him $50.00, which he refused.  But it's in his wallet.  SHHHH.

Lara was sweet enough to put my succulent gardens on her side on that metal AV table.  The table sold right off the bat - I never did sell any of those planters.  They were all the rage a month ago.  Now, nada.  But, that's okay.  You gotta try new things, right?  Back the back we had our check out table under the tree.  We took the shade before anyone else could get it.  Mean or smart.  You decide.

Lara had made the most awesome bags of ephemera.  It took all my strength not to just hand over my cash box and buy them all.  Mine were pitiful compared to hers.  Also, look at those awesome racks she has thrifted lately.  That blue one is awesome.  

 And now for my side.
I had tried to take "departments" of merchandise - picnic, linens, baby/toys, ephemera, handmade.  Then some randomness to throw in for everyone.  It made doing displays easier. I could see one of those Thermos jugs in every booth around us.  But, MINE sold first!  Sweet color, I think.

Pretty sure that my tiny shopping cart has seen it's last show.  Too many people see it and want to buy it.  Then you tell them, not for sale and they aren't happy about it.  I sold a lot of clipboards.  

I sold some jewelry - not  a lot, but some.  It's a certain look since it is vintage fabric, so it won't appeal to everyone. I'm happy when someone does appreciate it.  One lady bought $50.00 worth at once, so that was nice.  Another lady looked at every single one and asked tons of questions about the fabric and the history and she touched them and she went on and on and on and then.......she left.  She did ask for a card and asked if she could email me for orders at Christmas.  
 I couldn't figure out how to use my banner, so I made this chalkboard sign.  I drew the toadstool because a) I thought it was cute, b) it complemented my Jello mold toadstools and c) that is about my limit for artsy drawings.  But, I think the Jello molds ended up looking like part of my sign instead of actually being for sale.  I did sell several of them and I heard lots of people comment on them.  
Coming around to the other side.  Lots to look at everywhere!
I put vintage kid stuff low so the littles would see it.  I didn't realize that silly laundry bag was visible though.  That's how I tote my jewelry!    *Note to self:  Hide that dumb thing!
Yes, the heads drew a lot of attention.  One lady picked one up, stuck it beside her daughter, tapped her on the shoulder and...well, you can guess what happened next. It involves some high-pitched screams and a few choice words.  And a lot of laughter from her mom, me and Lara.  :)  An art teacher bought one to use as a model in his class.  That made me happy.  The other one is still rolling around in the back of the car, waiting to give me a heart attack one of these days.  

Typewriters are not easy sellers.  Too heavy to carry around.  The little kids sure do like banging on the keys though, don't they?  

I put some "people" in the old dollhouse for character.  A lady bought the head for her daughters father in law who is a ventriloquist.  Who knew people still did that????  The house didn't sell, which is okay.  I love it.  

Stuff, stuff and more stuff.  It's interesting to look at this and see all that sold.  I'd say about 40 things are missing from the shelves  that I can notice off the bat.  

Vintage toys.  I ended up moving these to a table the next day.  The very first guy in the booth was also the very first guy in the booth last year.  I recognized him immediately and thought, "Crap".  He was the first customer and he wanted huge discounts on everything.  He said, "Now listen, I'm going to buy a lot, so deal with me."  That just means you lose more and more money, right?  What kind of a "deal" is that?  He makes me uncomfortable, but then he pays you compliments on your set up so you start to like him, then he points at a ten dollar item and offers three for it.  Then you don't like him again.  He bought five toys on this rack, one being that Mickey Mouse in the red wheel on the second shelf.  When I packed that in the car, I said, "If this stupid thing sells, I will be amazed."  It has been in three booths and two vintage markets.  Nothing, not one looksie.  That was one of the things that he bought.  I dealt with him, mostly to get him moving on so I could deal with real customers.  He had a team of other guys with him doing the same thing, it was weird.  I was glad to get him moving along.  I'm sure he will be first in the booth in October.  :( *I still made money on what he bought and I unloaded Mickey, so it's all good.)

I tied all the aprons to this old crib side.  I made a sign that read, "These aprons worn by Mama.  They aren't perfect.  Neither was Mama."  I hear a lot of "Mom" and "Grandma" chatter while people looked through the aprons.  *Does anyone know what that white thing is?  I thought I could do something clever with it, but I never have.  

The bassinet was loaded with vintage linens and was a hot mess all weekend.  People love to dig and so do I, so that was fine with me.  I moved this under the tree by the aprons the next day.  I sold a lot more after I moved it.  We had to get a handle on the traffic flow to figure things out.  

The inside had all the paper and ephemera in it to protect it from the elements.  We left it sitting all night as is and not one thing moved (except her giant chalkboard, oddly enough).  I sold a lot of stuff on this side, but you could never tell it in the end because it was all small and plenty of each item.  I have all these new old stock soda labels like "Banana Squash" and "She Limeade" and a lot of other cute labels.  One lady handed me this tiny pile and it was $24.00 worth and I felt BAD for taking that much money for such wee things. But, gee, I had priced it and she happily paid for it.  I just feel weird sometimes.  But, then I get happy because they are excited to have found it.  That is one fun thing about sales like this - people want to hear the history of your items and they are happy to share their plans for it with you.  You can't do that at the Mall or the Grocery Store.  "What are you going to do with all those potatoes?"  Said no one ever.

I managed to make a fast, fat run through the property to see what was happening.  From our vantage point, we could only see a handful of booths.  So, I was shocked at ALL THE JUNK there was on the property.  Amazing things!

This was the booth directly behind us.  

And the one across from them.  

Oh wait, I have to get back - our booth is hammered!

Shoppers on Lara's side.

Shoppers on my side.  
Something for everyone!

This photo is to remind me of my first sale after "Mr. Deal With Me".  A lady bought one hundred dollars worth of Scrabble words (and that train case).  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Then she tells me that she owns a 20,000 ft store and no one has these and she loves them and could I make more on consignment if needed.  Uh, yea, I could!  She also asked me to bring my jewelry down to her store.  She said, "Your packaging is impeccable".  "Hey lady, you had me at impeccable!" :D  The store is over the mountain and an hour drive, so I will have to think about it.  She is supposed to email me.  

Okay, let's take a quick tour.

Junk outside the barn.  

Junk inside the barn.

Junk in the field.

The Junk Ranch!

OH NO!  A BIG pink shopping cart!  Oh my!

Junk in front of the barn.

Isn't that the coolest old barn? 
 They put a huge new metal roof on it and finished up the day before the sale.  


Junkity Junk.

The barn is just so cool.  Such a great place for this sale!

Day two from behind.  Lara sold ton of her bigger pieces.  I sold a lot, but it's hard to tell from my set up.

The show closed at 5:00 and we were loaded up and on our way by 7:00.  Last year The Breadman came to pick up the tables and shelving. It was pouring rain and he HATES to be wet, so he just stood there, under the tent and expected ME to load the tables so he could stay dry. (He had to stay DRY because he was on his way to an OUTDOOR football game.  Helloooooooo?) In my anger, rage and over whleming tiredness, I picked up an old Royal typewriter and THREW it about ten feet away.  Normally, I can barely lift the thing, so my super human pissed off strength was in full mode. Something had to get a dose of my anger, so it was the typewriter.  THIS year he stood there and stared at the back of the truck for I SWEAR to you TEN MINUTES without blinking trying to figure out how to load it when I knew in my mind exaclty how it needed to be loaded for it all to fit.  I was tired, hot and hungry and I wanted to LEAVE, but he just.stood.there.  So, something had to be sacrificed or I was going to be FORCED to KILL him.  

That poor hat box never had a chance.  I was trying to wedge it in the car and then all of a sudden, with no warning.......I was jumping on that thing like I was insane.  Jump.  Jump. Jump. I smashed it and smashed it, then I took off the top and ripped in into a hundred pieces.  Then, I jumped on that box some more.  Just in case.  Then, I frisbeed it over the fence into the dumpster.  That'll teach him. 

*He never even noticed.  *STARE*

*I do not have a temper at. all.  I am even keeled all of the time.  I promise.

Highlights of the day included meeting a blog reader, Laura and her Mother who came and shopped most of the day.  It was so nice meeting you, Laura!  (I didn't have a temper, did I?????)

Sorry to write so much and so long.  I had a great time.  Lara and I are peas in a pod and have a lot of fun together.  (I think.  She might find me to be a big old loser, who knows).  HAHAHAHA.  I am in the long run for this sale.  I want to be 80 years old telling all the whippersnappers, "I've been selling here since the very first sale."  And they will take my photo and put me on TV.  Or it will just beam into people's brains automatically due to high tech.  



  1. Sounds like a great sale! I've been waiting impatiently all day for your post. I lead an exciting life. ;-) Glad you had some shade and sold lots of things. The setup looked great!

  2. well now you had yourself some kind of sale! So glad you had a good sale it makes it all worth it in the end.

  3. Smart to snag the shade! Maybe I can talk some fellow Tx junkers to make a road trip with me in Oct. We can rent a uhaul one way to get all our treasures home. Or maybe I will come be your setter upper/tear downer asst., you know I wouldn't just stand there and *stare* and I am a great packer too, AND I can drive BIG truck if you and Lara decide to sell bigger stuff. See why I need to move there, I would be useful.

  4. So happy it went well despite the tirade with the hat box. My kids often help me at my shows too...they are a godsend and I always pay them. (unlike the Bean, they have no trouble taking my money) What a fun venue to have a show at!

  5. You're a nut. I had to pin that photo of the dollhouse. Love the heads just hanging out in there. Glad you two had a good sale.

  6. Thank you for bringing us out of towners to your sale. This was great fun to read.CONGRATULATIONS on your success!!! :D

  7. Oh, the humanity! Oh, that poor hat box! Glad that was the only casualty of the weekend. Sounds like you made some good contacts and fabulous sales! I think you and Lara ought to try and get your own cable access TV show or something. It would be a hoot. Make sure the Bean takes care of that sunburn and wears more sunscreen in the future! You know how I am about that now.

  8. So happy that you had an exceptional show!! You deserve all the success and more ;-)
    I love love love your commentary (especially how "real" you share your "enthusiasm" with your husband-had me laughing out loud)
    joy-columbus oh

  9. momsav10:35 PM

    I love your blog! I've had a pi$$ poor day and you made me laugh! Can i come live with you? Can you come live with me?
    Thank you from the bottom of my 'pea pickin' heart!
    (I'm a northerner, but i felt the need to channel Tennessee Ernie Ford!)

  10. Oh Shara, your and Lara's booth was fantastic!!! I wish I could have came! The girls told me they are doing it again in October and I WILL BE THERE! Its probably a good thing I didn't make it, I would have bought you out! Your stuff looked amazing :) Glad it went well and no rain! Cracked me about your hubby, smashing that box is exactly something I would do. LOL

  11. So happy for you and Lara having good sales. Husbands are a wonder sometimes. It can be something so simple and they just don't get it.

  12. I saw so many photos of this event on IG. I so wish I lived closer! It reminds me a bit of the Farm Chicks show in Spokane. Sounds like all of your hard work and procrastination, I mean dedication, paid off!


  13. My goodness what a magical place this looks like! I'm so happy to hear your sales went well, and that you had it "made in the shade". Keep up the good work!

  14. I want to climb through my monitor and shop!! It all looks amazing and I'm so happy to hear you sold a ton. Those shows are so much work and I'm surprised it was only a hatbox that took a beating at the end, ;) I totally get that. Thanks for all the photos. I'll never think about potatoes at the grocery store in the same way again.

  15. need to email--too much to say for a blog comment. :) But before I forget--did you sell that S is for Seal giant flash card?

  16. Oh, it was so much fun. I wouldn't do it without you, Shara, it just wouldn't be the same. Who would I keep a running commentary on the goings-on with if not for you? And what would I have done without Christopher chasing down all of my stuff in the wind? He is the BEST. Let me amend my earlier statement: I wouldn't do this without you AND Christopher. So fun.

  17. Also, let me just state for the record: Shara and Christopher set up the tent and tables before the show and helped me hoist my bigger stuff over the fence right before we opened AND took the tables and tents down by themselves, sending me on my way back home and refusing to let me help. I told Shara this relationship is entirely two one-sided and I needed to find something that I can do for HER for about two months straight.

  18. Loved reading all about the show..and the pictures were wonderful. Wish I lived close enough to attend. Glad only the hat box got the worst of your wrath.


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