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.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Week in Junk: Pickin' Time on 59

Earlier in the week, I was reading Craigslist and I saw mention of a 26 mile long yard sale RIGHT UP THE ROAD.  Whut?  Why did I not know about this?????  Thankfully I saw it BEFORE it happened, so I made plans to go!  It started on Thursday, but I had to stay home to sign for our new phones that were being delivered (I got a new iphone 6 - can I get a HOLLA?  My Lord  - it is fantastic!)  

So, Friday, we set out to the sales - it is really about a 35 minute drive from my house and I chose to take the scenic route.  About halfway there, it started to sprinkle ever so slightly and sporadically. And then, the skies opened.  Nooooooooooo!  We decided to go ahead and go and see what happened.  Thanks to that trusty new phone, we were able to watch the live radar which indicated it would most likely quit about 11:00 and then the sun would come out.  And, almost like clockwork, it did exactly that!  Yay!  While it rained, we went to three different thrifts and found a few goodies. 

There were supposed to be about 50 people set up at the airport, so we headed there first.  Everyone was sitting around in yellow slickers and the merchandise was under tarps.  We decided to continue on up to the next town on the map and see what we could find to do.  We found an indoor Masonic sale and a big covered pavilion with about twenty vendors under it.  Right when we got to the Masonic sale, it stopped raining. We continued on the rest of the 26 miles hitting as many sales as we could find and buying something at nearly every one.  Except the live bird tent.  No live birds for us.  

After a few stops, the back of the car was starting to fill up.  That tiered basket was at the Salvation Army and was only $3.00.  I bought it to sell, but it has quickly become my FAVORITE thing.  It is so handy for displaying things.  A couple rubber squeaker toys, two Russ figures, a wooden game and a pile of wonderful old teacher magazines from the 1940's with great graphics.  The magazines weren't priced, so I asked and was told $2.00.  Now, was that $2.00 for all of them or $2.00 each?  I never know how to ask.  So, when I went to pay, I asked again, "So what do I owe you?"  She said, "Oh those magazines, what did I say?  Two dollars?"  Dammit.  Still not an exact answer. I handed her a five and hoped for change, but if she asked for more I would say I thought I gave her a ten. (Does that make sense?)  She took my five and handed me back $3.00 - so $2.00 for ALL.  Yay! That was a long winded story, but when it was playing out, I thought, oh, my blog readers will TOTALLY get this.  

The last sale at the end of the route was a wet soggy mess.  It was fantastic.  :D  They buy storage units and just sit the stuff all over their property.  Boxes and tubs everywhere.  They hadn't bothered to cover much of it up, so everything was either damp, wet, sopping wet or holding water.  They did have all those books you see - almost an entire elementary school library - but they had covered them up in the rain.  Those book were one of those things that I wish I had a truck and I wish I had more storage.  I would have offered a deal on all of them.  As they were, they were a Walmart bag full for $1.00.  I only picked out all the older books - Little Golden Books, Elf Books and Tiny Tot books - I managed to get 35 books in my bag.  I found quite a bit there and as I was leaving I spotted a wire freezer basket, so I went for another dig and pulled out a pumpkin blowmold, an array of vintage glasses and some pottery.  He only charged me $1.00 for the basket full.  I suspect that if I lived near that mess, I would be a frequent shopper.  (Except for the fact that the equally soggy guy at the sale seemed to kind of like me a little too much and was giving off a weird vibe.  He was nice - but maybe a little too nice?)  He really only seemed to be concerned with making a little money - I don't mean a lot of money - just sell it and get some money in return.  He wasn't concerned about what you bought. I could have dug a lot longer, but it was getting warm, we were hungry and I sliced my finger on something so I figured I might want to go wash it up before I died of tetanus.  

Freezer basket topped to the brim - I paid $8 for it all.  There was some good stuff in there.  

Vintage Napcoware Halloween planter - I don't see much vintage Halloween.

NIP Gurley candle.  It has a UPC on it, but it's still "vintage".  It's on ebay.

These are Paraseal Air Fresheners which are made exactly like the Wizard Air Fresheners that are so hot right now.  We had tons of those when I was a kid.  I think I still have some in the Halloween bins.  Anyway, they are on ebay too.

I spotted old fabric, and I could tell it was a tablecloth.  As soon as I saw it had cactus and cowboys on it, I knew I had struck tablecloth GOLD.  I shoved it in my pile without even looking at it.  When I could get a look at it - it is DELICIOUS.  Cowboys, guns, cactus, horses?  Yes, please!  Plus, it is a Startex.  The granddaddy of tablecloths! It has a few stains that will get treated, then on to ebay.

After a Sonic run, we headed back to the airport.  It was sunny and dry and even more vendors had set up since that morning.  My first purchase was this vintage Runnin' Hawg Razorback belt buckle. (That photo refuses to turn).  It is on ebay too.  (That handy new iphone makes listing a snap!)

My next purchase was this set of Ransburg Canisters.  I didn't realize they were different colors until I got home- they are pretty, but not my style.  They will go to the college booth for someone's retro apartment. 

I bought this gorgeous old oil painting at the airport in the ran that morning.  The lady said, "A quarter" and as I walked away, they discussed how pretty it was, how well done it was, how old it was and so on.  So, why did they only want a quarter???  It will go to Lara for her floral wall gallery that she is plotting.  I am happy it will have a good home!

My self imposed NO POTTERY ban was completely ignored.  I paid very, very little for each piece, so I ignored that ban.  The little girl in front will stay with me and maybe that yellow bucket piece.  I may already have one just like it in purple.  And pink.  Whoops.

Somehow this doesn't look as big when he holds it - but this is a gallon bottle of Canadian Club Whiskey.  It is HUGE!  The Bean spotted it at one sale  - it had been wired as a lamp but then some buffoon had cut off the plug.  Why oh why?  We turned it back into a bottle and it will go to the college booth.  ***The Bean had a good run on books at the sales.  That is his number one thing to look for - and knives - and Nerf.  Because you are never too old for Nerf.  

A vintage Rotary Club Razorback - it is on ebay although I don't expect it to sell.  But, why not try? On to the booth if it doesn't sell. 

My favorite spot at the airport was a woman who was scurrying around putting lots of things out and her husband who stood there with his hands in his pockets.  As I rounded the corner to their booth, I could see lots of things that interested me.  But, nothing was priced.  I spotted a bunch of old metal cookie cutters and used those to gauge their pricing structure.  He thought and thought.  Finally he said, "Oh, five cents each".  Okay, thanks!  Then I asked about a Fisher Price tin silo and it was a quarter.  Then I knew I could pretty much pick up anything and afford it.  So, I started gathering things up.  I had quite an armload in the end - lots of small ceramics, a box of old blocks, the silo, a couple dozen cookie cutters and quite a bit more.  He decided $5.25 would be good, plus he threw in an old Donald Duck plastic bank for free.  After we shopped the field, I went back to their booth since she was still putting things out.  I picked up an old coaches whistle, a sewing tape measure and a small plastic vial.  He had disappeared, so I asked her how much and she said, "Two dollars" and gave me a detailed history of each item.  I'm pretty sure he must have been in trouble for letting piles of things for for five cents each.  

All of these tiny treasures came from that booth.  (Except the gnome in the back).  Lots of dogs, cats, horses, a frozen Charolette, bottle brush tree, some vintage Christmas and a lot more.  I love small, so this was the sale for me!


That little gnome and the bottle brush tree are my two favorite finds and keepers for me,  The gnome makes me happy and anytime I see a red base on a bottle brush tree I know it's an old one and it's never leaving!  

I am so happy that I found out about the sale so I could go!  After selling at The Junk Ranch and not buying a thing, I deserved a trip out!  It was fun and I scored some good junk.  A good day all around.  And.....no tetanus!  Yay! 


  1. Well of course that guy at the sale liked you, Shara! Who the heck wouldn't?!

    There is a couple at the flea market and the husband just wants to get rid of stuff and the wife wants to retire off of it. Once, he gave me a price of $2 on a Pyrex bowl and when I handed him the money she screeched "What are you doing? Are you crazy?!" She then proceeded to tell me the bowl was $20. I passed. Poor guy. I saw him visibly flinch when she started yelling.

    I commented on IG yesterday to give me a heads up when that tablecloth hits eBay. It must be mine!


  2. Well done!! And well deserved!!! I've never been to anything like this and I think I'd have loads of fun digging.

  3. What fun! I need a yardsale trip but guess I've missed them all this year. So many good things. I like what you said about the guy wanting to just get rid of things and the wife wanting to retire off it all. So true!

  4. Great finds and I loved reading the story. I think that magnolia painting is my favorite!

  5. Decent road trip of junking. Who doesn't love stuff for a nickel? Phew = tetanus

  6. I've never been to one of those mile long yard sales but I want to one of these days. You found some great stuff, I would have a hard time giving up that tablecloth! Well, I say that until I look up an eBay price and then I'm like SELL!

  7. def needs to be on the list of things to do again next year.

  8. Way fun! We never have those "miles" of sales around here. :(

  9. We don't have the "miles of sales" around here either. I am jealous! LOL! Glad you found so many great things.

  10. Woo! Lots of great finds!! We had our last yard sale route this past weekend. Usually I can fill up the back of my truck. By the time I had reached our last stop - a family run garden center where I always buy my mums and pumpkins - I had hardly filled 2 paper boxes. There were about half as many sales as normal. It was weird because it was sunny and 70 degrees!

  11. Leila3:36 PM

    I collect vintage tablecloths and I have NEVER found a decent one in the wild. Ever. You scored big -- I own that one (got it on ebay) and see it go regularly for $40 and more.

  12. Anonymous8:15 PM

    This one was an excellent read. Look forward to your blog updates EVERY time. Thanks.

  13. WHAT FUN!!
    So.Cool. that The Bean hasn't outgrown 'junkin-with-Mom'!! Is he the Chauffeur now??

  14. What a fab haul! Love that your son loves to go with you.

  15. Looks like it was a good trip and you found some awesome stuff. It's hard to go wrong on those long sales. What kind of books does the Bean like?


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