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, April 10, 2016

Neosho City Wide Yard Sales

Thursday night I ran through all the yard sales listed - over 250 in all - and chose the ones that looked the most promising - School Sales, Church Sales, Fundraisers and any sale that listed Vintage.  Lara gave me a heads up about an app that routes your trip form location to location, so I loaded all the addresses into it  right before I went to bed.  

Traffic is really horrible on the Interstate until after 8:00, so I knew I either had to go well before - like at 6:30 or wait until 8:00 when it subsided.  Since we all know I am not a morning person, you can guess which choice I took.  I was ready to leave at 8:00.  We swung through ChickfilA for a biscuit and then we were on our way. Right before we crossed the Missouri border and entered the land of nothing - straight highways and no businesses or houses - my tiny bladder with it's cup o' coffee in it was screaming STOP NOW.  A normal person would stop at McDonald's or a Gas Station for a bathroom break.  But, not me.  Nope.  I knew that a brand new Goodwill had just opened in that very town not more than a week ago.  Goodwill is the only thrift with a clean bathroom so WIN WIN.  We were the fist customers as soon as they opened the door.  Luckily the bathrooms were right by the front door so sweet relief was quick.  Ahhhhhh!  Of course I had to look around while I was there!  This town is a Village  - not a town or a city - a Village.  It is comprised of numerous golf courses, country clubs, homes and very few businesses.  The median age is 61 and there is no school and hardly any children.  Therefore, I pictured the place smack dab full of vintage goodness.  And, I was actually right - but it was really expensive.  Things I expected to be $10 were $25 - so I won't be putting it on my "GO TO" list unless I happen to be passing by.  

Now, having said that - I actually found one of my best finds of the day there.

Giant vintage snowman cookie jar.  For FIVE DOLLARS.  There were a dozen handmade cups around him that matched - each one had wonkier and wonkier eyes.  Like the person that made them just got sick of painting those DAMN SNOWMAN EYES.  I hate separating things, but I only wanted the cookie jar, so I left all those wonky eyed snowmen on the shelf.  As we drove, about thirty minutes up the road, I said completely out of the blue,"Why does a cookie jar need cups?"  Then I was guilt free about leaving those wonky eyes little SOB's.  

When we got to Neosho, I took the first turn into downtown.  We passed up a big parking lot full of vendors and made a mental note to go back to that sale at some point.  The first big intersection had about a billion signs pointing in every direction, so I went that way.  I was not prepared for what I found  - the street at the top of the hill was Oak Ridge (one Lara had said always had good sales). The street had been turned into a one way to handle all the traffic and foot traffic.  You just parked where you could and took off on foot.  We parked at the top of a steep incline and I prayed the car wouldn't get towed or just flat out roll down the hill before we returned.  We took off to the left and started shopping in yards.  Each yard had many people set up selling, plus there were random hot dog, cotton candy, kettle corn and tamale stands along the way.  Cars were single file bumper to bumper and the foot traffic was going in each direction with people pushing strollers, cart and even wheelbarrows full of stuff they had bought.

This was the only picture of a corner that I managed to get - signs everywhere.  
Loved that it was CASH Street too.  

My first purchase was a vintage Fisher Price Dog pull toy for $1.00.  Cheap cute vintage right off the bat?  This was going to be THE BEST DAY EVER. Although it might be TIRING. (I learned in the 4th grade about foreshadowing when it comes to writing.  That's when you hint at something that will happen later in the story.  You, my friends,  have just been foreshadowed.)

We continued up the street until we couldn't see the car anymore, then crossed the street to hit the sales on that side until we got back to the car.  I had a small tote bag and I had it half full of random things when we got back to the car.  We loaded up and turned down the street to find a better place to park.  There was a Church sale, so we found the one and only empty spot at the end of the sidewalk in the grass.  I pulled in and we got out and started walking up the block.  We ended back up at the church and bought a few things - so we headed to the car to unload.  When I started the car, it made a DING and the low pressure tire light came on.  It does that from time to time, so it didn't surprise me. What did surprise me was when I pulled out onto the street, the passenger front wheel was about six inches lower than the rest of the car.  We stopped and got out to discover not just a flat, but a tire with a huge gash in it. Ugh.  My world flashed before my eyes - I was in another STATE!  What was I going to do?  That's when my little baby boy plucked his pacifier out of his mouth and looked up at me and said, "I can change it".  I swear to you - that was the first time that I have been happy that he is a grown man and not my little baby boy anymore.  (Upon investigation, we had ran over the remnants of a street sign that had been broken off about 1" from the ground in the grass.  Sliced the crap out of that tire.) 

Excuse the possible butt crack sighting.  Hard to avoid when tire changing.

Long story short (too late, right?) - he changed the tire, we drove to Wal-Mart Tire & Lube, sat by a huge stack of tires for two hours, got a rubber induced migraine and spent $117 on a new tire. BUT! I had the money on me to pay for it (we operate in cash), my son changed the tire for us, we could have had this happen on the Interstate, or we could have had a wreck, Wal-Mart had the right size tire in stock and plenty of other things to be thankful for so I was not upset by it.  I was really only upset that we lost three hours from our fun day of yard saling.  

My view for two hours.

By the time we got back into the groove, most sales were closing up or were running out of merchandise.  We did go back to that big parking lot sale and that is where I got the bulk of my items. I was discouraged at first because many of the vendors had new merchandise like t-shirts, hats, flags and knives.  But, The Bean collects knives (

I dug this little jewel out of the $2.00 table.  She is about three inches tall and just the cutest little cowgirl.  I think she might be Annie Oakley.  At least that's what I have decided.  The horseshoe came from the last sale of the day where upon telling the man my tire woes said if anyone needed a lucky horseshoe that day - it was me. True Dat.

This silly guy was in the $1.00 bin. He makes me chuckle with his gap toothed smile and receding hairline.  

I got so excited over the fact that this little lady is wearing a Mercury Glass Bead necklace that I failed to notice she only has one eye.  LOOK AWAY EDDIE.  I wonder where I can find a wee little eye patch?  Actually, I swear she had an eye when I found her - I think it must have flaked off in the tote bag.  

Next to the doll guy there were long tables set up with cardboard boxes on them three across and about thrifty feet long  They were heaped with junk - old clothes, old pregnancy tests, out dated Hallmark plates and on and on.  They had two guys set up like Carnival Barkers, "Everything's a quarter - ya can't beat the price!"  I didn't see anything on top that looked even remotely interesting. But, any true junker knows you have to at least look a little.  I stared digging, trying not to cut myself on a steak knife or a broken dish and what do you know - I started finding some good old junk.  For a quarter!  

This old Japanese lantern Christmas bulb has seen better days, but it was still worth way more than a quarter.  

Five vintage Miracle Whip jars for 25¢ each.  I love old jars and old jars with cool lids are really fun to have - I like putting random things in them to sell.  The old jar just adds appeal.  

I got an entire sleeve of 200 of these older paper snowcone cones.  I also found a package of not new, but not really old Japanese paper lanterns with honeycomb on them.  They look like the good old ones that are about impossible to find in good condition.  As I dug in the boxes I found one here and one there.  The guy saw me finding them and fished about 30 of them out of one box for me.  So I am in the Japanese paper lantern business now.  I found some old Christian Grade School Science Readers, milk glass coffee cups and a few other things.  I spent $15.00 in the 25¢ bins  - so I got quite a bit of stuff.  

My favorite find from the quarter bins.  A very sweet cuckoo clock wall pocket.  I thought it held a pocket watch in that little square at the bottom - but pocket watches are not square.  Any ideas?

Other random finds from the day:

Lefton Mrs. Claus cup and that Lantern bulb.  Lara was texting me good sales as she hit them - there was one in an old service station that I managed to find.  They were closing up , but let me look quickly.  The main thing I found was an old orange box full of brand new cross stitch kits.  I paid $5.00 for the box and found 19 new kits, plus a bunch of Bucilla rug yarn, hoops, needles, frames and lots of other new craft supplies.  I need to do some research on the kits, but I know I will do okay on them.

Cannon camera lens travel mug - for the college booth.

Random old tools and a horse shoe.  I have this grand idea of making an old sign out of old metal junk that says JUNK.  I found the J and the U. 

Loved this big old print for 50¢.  Had it been original - $4000!  It's a print - whomp whomp.  
But, I still like it.

I spotted an old toothpick box on a table at one sale.  I peeked inside and found....

A blown glass giraffe family.  The little ones are less than an inch tall.

Here's a truck shot - all smalls as usual.  Some old swanky swigs, a pile of costume beads, an old Nylint car carrier, a stuffed fabric bear, Do Not Disturb sign from an old hotel, folding sunglasses, the lanterns, the dolls and a few other things.  Also, my very best and favorite find of the whole day hidden in the middle.  

A Sun Rubber Ruth Newton Squeaker!  She cleaned up perfectly.  If you are on Instagram - you know that these are highly sought after for collecting, photographing and owning.  I spotted her at the doll guy's table and I sucked all the air out of the vicinity.  She wasn't in a priced area - so I asked the magic question.  His answer?  "Two bucks."  SOLD.

I enjoyed my day minus the tire incident, but that didn't even ruin my day.  I am always up for a day of yard saling and a road trip.  Add in some sweet vintage finds, a day with my kiddo and some car snacks (we found Mother's iced animal cookies at Walmart.  SO GOOD) and you have a good day! Since I had never been to Neosho (the highway bypasses the town so I have never ventured into town on my hundreds of trips past there to Kansas in my lifetime) I didn't know the layout of the town.  Apparently I missed about 75% of the town by bad driving, not planning and the whole tire fiasco.  Live and learn.  I'll go back next year and try the rest of the town. Be sure to check out Lara's blog - she got lots of good, good stuff.  She has been there four years in a row and learned where to go - plus she was on the road before I even got out of bed. She's a good junker so she deserves the good stuff.  


  1. Stupid tire! I would have been pacing and yelling at the mechanics to hurry because I'm missing the good stuff! But you didn't, great finds. A good time and animal crackers! I'd have gone tamales but...

  2. Ugh - the dreaded low pressure sensor. I have a tire that has a slow leak in it (I've even had it "repaired") and that darn thing goes of once every week or 2! Glad you still got some good stuff, even with the tire fiasco!

  3. At least the Bean was able to change the tire. Even with the time lost you found some pretty incredible junk!! I miss a good ole big town sale, I might need to find one soon just because.

  4. I'm glad you found good stuff despite the tire.
    Random thoughts:
    *you would need snowman cups so you can drink milk with your cookies.
    *"Annie Oakley" needs a gun so we can sing the song
    *the one eyed doll really does look like a pirate-I shall call her Captain Jacky.
    *I think the wall pocket might be a perpetual calendar. I have one that has a similar square thingy. It's got numbers on little squares of cardstock that slide behind the bracket.

    1. Now I need those wonky eyed cups, a tiny gun, an eye patch and some cardstock numbers. That means I MUST GO THRIFTING! :D

  5. out of all of that, I love the horseshoe. Is it pink or just in the pick? I remember the hibiscus pics you sold years ago. Too bad this wasn't another one.

    1. It's really more red than pink, but that red shirt makes it look pink. On it's own, it looks red. Wouldn't I love to find a nice stack of those paintings again?????

  6. I hate it when a day of junking that you so look forward to goes another direction. Dang tire and thank goodness for The BEAN! (pacifier out of his mouth and he's a man..hah..you crack me up). At least you still ended up with a trunk shot!

  7. Hmmm, could the cookie jar be an ice bucket? I have a similar one. (the cups?)

  8. Good for you for not letting the whole tire and 3-hour detour from junk suck the wind out of your sail. IT WOULD HAVE RUINED MY DAY!! I would have constantly been thinking that all my good junk was being bought by someone else.

    And you are so right about the Goodwill bathrooms always being clean. It's like that here too! What the heck?

  9. I love to dig in cardboard boxes of $1, 50 or 25 cents. That's the best flea market-ing. I have found some of my best small stuff in boxes like that at Canton First Monday. Love the old MW jars you found. thanks

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  11. I think Tina-Maria is right. I think Mr. Snowman is an ice bucket??? And darn it, now I am going to be thinking of iced animal cookies. Loved those things when I was a kid!!! Off to Wally World!

  12. I may have gotten up earlier than you but you STILL got more awesome stuff than I did! I didn't even see that box of cross stitch kits and I was there before you. You have such an incredible talent for sniffing out the awesome stuff. I'm so sorry about the tire but happy you didn't let it get you down. Next year it will be even better, I promise!!!

  13. What a great recap of your trip to Neosho! I am glad you found enough to make it worthwhile and those cross stitch kits will pay for that tire so thats a score! When I got down to the picture of the trunk shot I spotted that yellow Sun Rubber doll in a nanosecond, I was like "why didn't she tell us about this great find??" haha because it got its own picture farther down! (as of course it should because its freaking AWESOME)
    I have a boy one but I want, no, NEED, a girl one :)

  14. I wonder if the snowman thing was a Christmas punch bowl and not a cookie jar?


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