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.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

YOU Write the Blog

This email just came in from a friend and reader Laura: "Please post! After a week without a post, I am going through withdrawal symptoms!!!"  Isn't that nice?  It's funny, because I was sitting here staring at a blank NEW POST page and I cannot think of one single thing to blog about.  Eight days without a post is not something I normally do.  Not that I am that interesting because TRUST ME, I am not.  I love to write and I love to blog.  But my brain is full of many, many other things right now.  Things that are weighing heavy on my mind.  Not to worry, they shall pass - No one is sick or dying or getting divorced.  Just lots of THINGS.  

When I was in school from Junior High to College my favorite thing in English or Creative Writing was when the teacher would write a Writing Prompt on the blackboard.  (I just dated myself by saying "blackboard" didn't I?)  On my first day of college we had to write an essay about "My first day at college".  People wrote serious things about their future and growing and higher education.  I wrote about my foreseeable future working at the drive in window at McDonald's because my first day was hard and I didn't know if I was going to make it.  I entitled it "You Want Fires With That?"  My college professor made copies of MY essay and handed it out to the entire class and said, "This is what I want you to write. What YOU want to say, not what you want ME to read."  I gotta say, that turned my first week of college around in a good way.  :)

Anyway - here's an idea - how about you guys throw me some Writing Prompts?  What do you want me to write about?  I'm no expert on anything, but I can fake it or make it up or pull something from my past.  Make it serious or make it fun - your choice!  (If you guys don't help me out, I will be forced to copy some of my love struck junior high diary entries.  Can you say skating rink, THAT CUTE BOY and OH MY GOD FUNKYTOWN IS PLAYING?)   

Let's see what I've gotten myself into here - GO!

And, thank you!


  1. OK, let me be the first! Shara, tell us how you got hooked on thrifting and g'sales. Did your mom take you when you were a little girl? How about telling us about your top 5 thrifting finds that made $$$$ for you? (You've probably already blogged about that but I'm too lazy to look back. But do another one!) How about sharing some more old photos from your childhood? I LOOOVE your groovy pics of little Shara...Any more b/w pics of your G'grandma's parties??? Take a walk down memory lane. You may think its boring but girl, your college prof was right! You have a terrific writing style that makes even the mundane funny and entertaining!! I feel just like Laura! I've been checking my dashboard everyday and NO MONKEYBOX POSTS! There's lots to write about! You are my Erma Bombeck of everyday life! Thank you! :) <3 love rosie

    1. Thanks Rosie - all very good ideas. I have LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of old photos. Prepare yourself!!

    2. YAY! Post those pics! :)

  2. I've missed you also and boy do I get the 'life gets in the way' sometimes! So blog about your life and what makes you Shara. I would love to get to know The Bean a bit more but that might be something you dont' want to share. Just miss your 'voice' in the blogging world.

  3. Glad to know I'm not alone in my wanting more Monkeybox/Shara posts! I've been missing you. Love the ideas for your writing so far. I would love to read your college essay.... can you recreate it? Or maybe it's tucked away in a memory box somewhere among your collections. Hope your worries are small....

  4. Hi Shara, I know that you have collections....Maybe do posts on each collection and how you fell in love with that particular thing.

    Or old pictures are always cool!

  5. I LOVE your blog!

    Here are some things I would love to hear your thoughts on:

    Hobbies as a child
    Were you a Girl Scout?
    Where did you grow up and what was it like?
    Favorite meals to cook
    Major in college…favorite class…did you graduate
    first "real" job
    unmet goals
    biggest disappointment
    favorite teacher and why
    time when you were the most embarrassed
    favorite thing to do on a sunday afternoon when you were a child
    top 5 things you would rescue out of your house (excluding family)
    extracurricular activities in high school
    what your neighborhood is like
    favorite holiday and why
    first date
    top 5 favorite movies
    favorite tv shows as a child

    1. Wow thanks Janie! Such great ideas! I feel like "25 Things You Don't Know About Your favorite Celebrity!" Except I'm not a celebrity! All great ideas!!!!!

  6. You ARE a "celebrity" to your blogging friends. How about what you would do if you won the lottery? I know we all DREAM about it.

  7. Anonymous7:18 PM

    I've missed your posts too! How about
    --the best/funniest/most valuable thing you ever found
    --the biggest "why in the world did I buy that?"
    --the thing you regret not getting
    --the thin you regret getting rid of

  8. Your blog is one of the comforts in my life. Seriously. There's always a smile or a giggle waiting right at the time I really need one. I love your positive spirit and your energy and your collections! I have learned things from your blog that has helped me recognize things to snag when I find them "in the wild." Honestly, anything you write about would be interesting. I'd love to learn more about Amanda--maybe some more pics too. Five people you would love to spend a day with and what you would do with them. (I think a certain cutie whose initials are JT might be on that list.) What are your all time favorite songs? Favorite jokes? I love it when you write about the places and events in your area. What are the five things you most want to do that you have not done yet? I'd also love to have an update on your mother and how she is doing. Just some thoughts at the end of an exhaustive day!

    1. I agree with you EM, I am always glad to see a new post from Shara - always a giggle!
      I hope you are doing well, I follow your blog too :)

  9. 'Ten days to roadtrip... what would your itinerary be?'

  10. Shara,
    I've missed your posts too girl! I always check your blog first and then :( no post. I feel it is YOUR JOB to make me smile so get to it! Just kidding, but you do make me smile. I would love to hear more about you growing up and your parents. I mean, come on, who else had a monkey and drove around in a flowered VW? Fascinating! Plus you and I are about the same age and I was stalking your Pinterest board about things from your childhood and I was like OMG she remembers all these great items that I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT! It was soo fun!

  11. I would love to hear more about Amanda as well!
    As a small time ebay seller I'd love to know your process. From finding the treasure, to storing/cleaning/preparing for sale, any listing tips (I only sell on ebay, Facebook and Craigslist right now) and packaging the shipment.
    And most importantly - where do you store all of your fabulous collections??
    Thanks - glad we've given you some topics, can't wait to hear about everything!

  12. Wow! Lots of great suggestions. This will be fun!


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