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, May 26, 2016

The One Where She Rambles

Just popping in to say Hello and I'm sorry I haven't posted in awhile.  I mean, I know it's not like you guys are just sitting at home saying, "Geez, I wish Shara would post on her blog."  But, I haven't blogged in awhile and the "Are you okay?" emails and texts have started.  So, here I am saying I am okay.

The Junk Ranch is in fifteen days (minus a day for loading and a day for setting up, so that is really thirteen days) plus I am trying to do all my regular chores around here plus keep up with two booths, manage my ebay sales (slow, but picking up), hunt and gather Junk Ranch merchandise, get it organized and priced plus figure out the layout of the booth.  Lara and I have been in the back yard facing out into the parking lot for the past events, but this time we are up front - the second and third booth right by the gate with 248 booths out past ours.  Every single person will have to walk past our booth.  So, figuring out a new layout, what you want people to notice and all that is hard.  I can only guess and figure it out when I get there.  Luckily, Lara and I are together so we will make it work.  I am getting excited - still SO much to do make, organize, find, price and prepare.  But, it always gets done.  

Here is an article about The Junk Ranch on the State of Arkansas Website.  I saw the article and then I noticed that the ONLY photo for the entire Junk Ranch is MY BOOTH.  Eh gads.  I sent Lara a text  - "Look!  What were they thinking?"  To which she replied - "Who do you think wrote the article?"  I forgot she was doing the press for the event!  "I got your back," she said.  :)  SO between being featured on the STATE PAGE and the new gate side booth - the pressure for perfection is BIG TIME.

In between each Junk Ranch, I swear that I will get more organized here at home and have a designated area for all incoming merchandise that will be delegated to the Junk Ranch.  But, every time, I have things in my office, the living room (projects I am making), the garage, the driveway, the backyard and in both sheds.  Plus I always go pull things from both booths.  I have a lot of stuff scattered around between the house and the booths.  Sometimes during the Junk Ranch, when I am trying to go to sleep, I think about all the things I have in my house, plus both the booths and an entire tent full of things sitting out in a field and I start to get a little overwhelmed with my "stuff". But, it is how I contribute and make the money that I make, so it is what it is.  And, I LOVE doing it. I really, really do.  I will never complain about any of it except to say that I am exhausted by the time the show starts and that's when the work really begins!  

In my spare time, I am on the computer looking for jobs for The Breadman and filling out applications for him.  (I am the one looking on the computer because he works nights and has to sleep during the day when the jobs are being posted). His job is deplorable and I will find him a better job.  He just had his third pay cut in as many months.  I honestly don't understand how a job can cut your pay while you are still doing the very same job the entire time.  Plus, they will not pay him for more than a certain amount of hours, even if he works over that (which he does).  Then to add insult to injury - the first week of the last HUGE pay cut (a 35% weekly cut) they didn't even bother to pay him!  Oh, we forgot to turn in your hours.  Seriously.  This is not a Mom and Pop place - this is a huge nationwide company.  I don't understand it.  Having said that - this was not said to make you worry about us or feel sorry for us. But, damn, it's not right.  I'm sure you will agree!  So, a new job MUST happen.   *On a funny note - I get emails from all the job sites whenever a position comes in that he is qualified for so I can apply.  We get emails for Route, Sales and Delivery.  So  he gets job postings for truck driver routes, sales of everything from insurance to propane and delivery of everything from furniture to babies.  Yes, I said babies.  He gets all sorts of job openings delivering babies at the hospital!  So, if you ever go have a baby - I strongly recommend that you ask to see their credentials!  

Last night it stormed all night long.  The power went off at 3:00 and didn't come back on until after 10:00.  I am a bad sleeper already - I sleep with a fan to drown out sounds.  But with no power, I had no fan which meant I heard every single noise.  Including the husband (it was his night off) snoring like a freight train.  I kicked him in the shin to make him turn over and then he was quiet at least.  But it was windy and pouring rain and in the incredibly dark and quiet house, it was SO loud out there. Needless to say, I was up most of the night.  Honestly, I don't know why I am still up at nearly midnight tonight.  I am TIRED!

I will be back when I am less tired and less whiny.

That could take awhile.  


Monday, May 16, 2016

The Week in Junk and Mother's Day Too

We had a little backyard BBQ for Mother's Day.  My Mom, Step-Father and the three of us sat under the shade trees and had hot dogs.  Tres fancy.  I didn't have to cook, so it was fine by me.

The Bean wore his "I Like Mama" shirt.  

(I held the phone up to take this photo and he looks eleven feet tall!)

My Step-Father fell asleep.  
I guess our stimulating conversation wasn't enough to keep him awake.  :)

We were sitting in my old Motel Chairs and it was like The Breadman was sinking in quick sand all of the sudden as his chair went down.  He was trapped - couldn't get up, so OF COURSE I took the time to take a photo.  Or nine.  Poor chair.  Off to the metal shop it will go.

As I ran to buy the aforementioned hot dogs, I stopped at one yard sale.  I mean, it was Mother's Day and I am a Mother and I needed to go to a sale - so I did!  As I walked up, I spotted lots of tubs of Christmas stuff - lots of new stuff and lots of junk.  But, I saw five boxes of old ornaments and enough other old stuff that I asked, "How much?"  The lady said, "We've been out here all day and you are the first person to even look at it.  How about $5.0 for everything?"  SOLD.  They loaded up four Uhaul boxes of Christmas and loaded it in my car.  I never even touched any of it.  They even dug a bunch out of a trash can that they had deemed "junk" - it was some of the better stuff!  I dug through all four boxes and re-donated three and a half boxes back to Goodwill. 

There were the boxes of ornaments I mentioned (And forgot to photograph) plus these goodies. Glass garland - my very favorite thing to find EVER.  Not a big string - but enough to make me happy.

I stopped into Habit for Humanity this week - only the second time I have ever been.  A lady that worked there was very happy to see me  - she hadn't seen me in forever - how have I been?????  I have no clue who she is  - isn't that AWFUL???  But, she was so happy to see me that she let me dig in the Christmas boxes and pull out a few goodies.  And, she only charged me a dollar for all three things.  When I went to check out - I told them "Sandy said I could buy these for $1.00". Oh.  They were SO NOT happy with Sandy.  The lady told me Christmas was in a room where I wasn't allowed (this was a pallet on the floor - not in a room) and the man told me that the whole pallet was shrink wrapped (it wasn't) and there was a big sign on it (there wasn't) saying the whole pallet was one price. I told them they could keep the items, I didn't want to make trouble.  "It's fine," they said.  "THIS time."  I don't think I'll be going back any time soon.  Sorry Sandy.  

I bought all these colored floodlights at a Church Sale - actually I bought about a dozen of them.  I don't know why - they just looked like big jewels or candy all together.  I think a red, yellow and green on a shelf in a boys room would be cute.  I'll schlep them to the Junk Racnh and see if anyone bites.  

I got this cool shelf at the $5.00 Christmas sale. It will go in one of the booths to use.

Yesterday I went to this sale.  I have been there three other times  - they are cleaning out their Mom's house and she kept everything.  I mean honestly - every thing.  It's all clean and well cared for - plus it's almost all $1.00 or less.  I don't know if you can see the fence - but there must have been five hundred clothes hangers hanging on that fence.  That must have taken forever.  At each sale - they usually have mass quantities of the same sort of things.  Not some of everything - but lots of a few things.  This time it was books, chairs, plastic tables and hangers.  There must have been a thousand books and they were fill a paper shopping bag for $1.00.  I have a self imposed book ban, but come on - a dollar a bag?  I filled up four bags and got probably 100 books.  I went through them today and donated about fifteen back to Goodwill.  I'm sure more will go as I look them all up.  There were 1980's coloring books - Mr. T, Captain Planet, New Kids on The Block and more.  Concert programs for John Denver, The Carpenters, Bob Hope and Circus programs, cookbooks, teacher books and about twenty five old school readers.  It was crazy fun filling up those bags.  I swear, if I had a workshop, I would have just bought them all and dealt with them at my leisure.  I know there was money there.  

Oh yes, they also had suitcases.  

I bought them all - for five dollars total.  I'm thinking the red, white and blue theme will go with my camping/summer vacation theme at the Junk Ranch.  

I rescued this sweet handmade kitty and a Playskool Water Pet that is ebay bound.

A tiny denim jacket that says HOWDY.  I mean, how cute is THAT?

I spotted this box full of glass garland siting on a shelf - how could it still be there at noon?  But, thank heavens it was and now it's MINE for the princely sum of twenty five cents - six long strands of red/pink garland.  OH, HAPPY DAY!

Some fun stuff too - the glass garland (AGAIN), Bozo, old kid card sets, a teeny Santa mug, a fun Red Nose Light Santa on the card and a great chalkboard.  There was more in my pile, which I had left by the table where they told me to leave it so it would be safe, but as I was shopping, I saw a lady walk by with something that I knew was in my pile.  I let it go since it wasn't the garland (TOUCH THE GARLAND AND I WILL CUT YOU LADY), but I wonder if anything else I had in my pile was missing?  I have short term memory when I am at a yard sale - when I get home and unload I am all "Oh I forgot about that!"  - so I will just think that only one thing was missing and not worry about it.  

Today I shopped my own garage looking for Junk Ranch items - I sent a load of crapola off to Goodwill and made some room in the garage.  I'll be back at it all week long - wish me luck!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Whatcha going to do with all that junk?

I'm going to put it on my porch.  It's no secret that I like stuff.  I tend to like cute things in the house and rusty old stuff outside.  Last weekend I pulled everything off the porch, power washed the house and porch (It needs more, but I did it good enough for now) and put out all my summer junk.  

I have a lot of weird oddball things - but all together it looks cohesive.  At least to me it does.  I like it.  I like to use a lot of red things to tie it all together and layer junk upon junk.

I got this metal rack at Hobby Lobby years ago.  I would rather have a vintage piece, but I haven't found one yet.  It needs to be sturdy to hold the weight off all that metal stuff.  

My old garden clippers are one of my very favorite collections.  I love finding new old ones adding them to the old toolbox.  There are so many wonderful chippy old colors.  Lara found a PINK set of clippers once, so I know they exist.  Someday I will add a PINK set to my collection!  The Bean has always said we are so careful to lock our doors, yet we keep a box of weapons out there!  There is a pitchfork and a scythe in the mix too.  

I bought this cool old tool caddy with the intention to sell at the Junk Ranch.  Well, I really didn't appreciate how incredibly AWESOME it was at the time.  I know it looks pink it the photo, but it's really more red - a faded red.  But, still red.  I had a mishmash of odd metal things in my storage. Old springs, claw feet, edger wheels, wire, horseshoes and on and on.  I filled up the cubby and I LOVE IT.  Now I can see all my treasures!

The tall locker was a great $5.00 yard sale find many years ago.  I love the old patina on it.  The dollhouse was $2.00.  I tried to sell it at the booth, but there were no takers.  So, now it is a fancy birdhouse for a nest of noisy baby birds.  The old windows have been hanging there for nearly 20 years.  

Do you see the milk stool?  The coal scuttle?  The sap bucket?  What about a bicycle wheel and an old milk crate?  Don't forget the huge cowbell (or two) and the double "SS" which I now see is backward.  :(

The red metal cart is supposed to go to the Spring Junk Ranch.  BUT WILL IT?  The croquet set is from the yard sale at the D*ggar house.  The cowbell was in The Breadman's grandma's barn.  We found the sections of picket fence in the dumpster.

Let's not forget to mention the giant "S".  Love that "S".  

*The shoes all went inside.  We don't decorate with shoes.  

I love all the colors, the patina and the history of each item.  I might keep every single thing and then again, I might sell half of it in time.  That''s the fun part of junking.  Keep it forever or enjoy it for awhile and pass it on.  For right now, I'm enjoying it all.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Week in Junk & An Expanded Booth

Tuesday Lara and I met up at our booth and took over the set of shelves that is right next to our booth.  When you walk into the long aisle that leads to our booth you can see this set of shelving. Previously the person that had that set of shelving had a lot of scrapbooking stuff, hot rod magazines, Christmas clearance items and the thorn in our side - the famous pumpkin sweater.  They would hang that pumpkin sweater on the board that separates each set of shelving from the next so it would stick way out into the vision line of our booth.  This was in July, by the way, you know - when Pumpkin sweaters are ALL THE RAGE.  Lara and I would often move it down lower on the board so it wasn't right in the line of vision or maybe even (THE HORRORS) move it to the wire grid IN their booth. It drove us crazy with it's tackiness, but since Lara and I are the nicest people EVER, neither one of us ever complained about it.  We did contemplate even actually buying the darn thing, but then what if something equally awful was put in it's place?  We can't buy all the ugly sweaters, can we?  We just worked around it until one day, out of the blue, the owner said, "I'm kicking that lady out next to you - you want those shelves?"  We talked about it for a hot minute and said "YES!"  It's worth the extra $15.00 a month for each of us just to be able to keep it neat and not covering up our stuff.  Plus, since you see it when you walk in, it makes you go straight to our booth in the corner.  Added bonus - Now I can sell my very own stash of PUMPKIN SWEATERS.  Snort.  

Here is our big corner booth.  

*See those big flash cards?  I have a bunch of them, so I framed several and put them in both booths. I sold ten at $15.00 each this month in this booth.  I didn't even think they would sell to the clientele there either.  Surprise!  They are 11 x 14 frames and super hard to find affordably, so I am constantly on the hunt for them.  

And now the set of shelves beside it.  

Lara worked her magic and put up a cute back on the shelves to hang her prints and display vintage goodness under it.  I put all the Razorback and red/white stuff on the bottom two shelves to make a cute display.  I have too much stuff and always seem to take up more space than Lara.  I have told her to shove my stuff to the back or tell me to get rid of things.  But because she truly is the nicest person EVER, she just lets me cram my crap-ola in there.  I will say that stuff sells in that booth.  My other booth is very stagnant and I will probably have to make some decisions about that once the Junk Ranch is over.  It's so odd, I have the same sorts of things in both booths.  One stagnant, the other doing very well.  

Anyway, I think the booth and the shelves look great and I know we will see an increase in sales, so that's always a bonus!

On with the JUNK:  I went to a huge Church Sale on Friday afternoon.  Everyone always blogs about Church Sales, but we really don't have any big ones here.  But, Thursday I saw a photo of a Church Sale and it took my breath away because it was indeed - HUGE!  Friday morning was a stormy wet one and I don't venture out in the rain.  But it cleared up about noon, so I headed that way. I did find quite a bit of good stuff, so it was worth the trip.  

From Goodwill - PINK Lucite grapes and green Lucite grapes.  Vintage at Goodwill is a rarity, so this was a happy find.  I found the green ones and carried them up and down the aisles, then on my second round I spotted the PINK ones on the shelf right behind where I had picked up the green ones. How did I not see them then?  Anyway, I am glad I did find them.  I'm going to put them on ebay then in the booth if they don't happen sell.

I found this Jayhawk hat at the Church Sale.  It is hard plastic and unlike any others I can find on the internet.  It is dated 1980 so I am hoping someone will like it - it is on ebay.  My radar is always on for Razorback and Jayhawk stuff.  

From the Church Sale - test tubes.  242 test tubes to be exact.  I found a bag full, then another and then more and more.  I have a huge amount of glitter that I really need to sell.  I was thinking test tubes full of glitter would be a fun way to sell it. Now I need 242 Size 3 corks.  Did you know corks come by size?  Me neither. But now we both know!  

Remember how I talked about buying in bulk on my last post?  Well, here is a great example.  I found a plastic baggie full of vintage Children's scissors.  I hemmed and hawed about it then I realized that I just HAD to have them!  When I counted them there were thirty pairs of scissors in that bag.  I need to think of a clever idea for them.  Or I will put them in a tin and sell them by the piece at the Junk Ranch.  They really are just the sweetest little things.


Church Sale:  This pink chenille tree had so much new dollar store junk on it that I almost didn't notice that it was a PINK CHENILLE TREE.  Uh, hello???  I still can't decide if it's old or a reproduction.  Truthfully, I don't really even care because it is a PINK CHENILLE TREE.  It's delightful.

Church Sale:  These little bisque dolls came in their own little wicker basket.  They are about three inches tall and just the sweetest.  There was a table of older things and I spotted these dolls and a very old porcelain baby doll with sleepy eyes.  I asked how much and a girl at the table told me $2.00 for the small ones, $5.00 for the larger ones.  So, I grabbed these and the baby doll.  When I went to pay (I always take a small load up when things aren't priced to get a feel for what the prices will be) my total for about seven things was $34.00.  "What the heck?" I asked.  The guy told me that my baby doll was $25.00.  YIKES.  I said that I was told it was $5.00, but I understood and I would put her back.  Poor thing.  I really wanted to rescue that baby!

Church Sale:  I managed to find a bit of vintage Christmas on the tables and in the boxes under the tables.  It's always fun to dig through  plastic ornaments and ugly garland and new sets of lights and then find one lone spun head angel at the bottom of the box.  Makes it worth the effort it took!  Most of this will go to the Fall Junk Ranch.  I might have to keep the little Lefton Candy Cane girl.

Today I went to a rare Sunday sale and found a few unique items.

A pocket fetal Doppler system.  I mean, this is a new thing for me to find at a yard sale, that is for darned sure!  I paid $2.00 for it and put it on ebay.  It seems to work although I don't have a pregnant belly to try it out on.  THANK YOU JESUS. :D

These glasses, or so I thought, were unique enough to pick up.  As I was washing them, I spotted a signature on the bottom of each of them.  A flashlight, some sunlight and a magnifying glass later and I could finally make out FENTON on the bottom.  (Man, getting older is FUN!)  They are as big as glasses, but are actually votive holders.  Not sure if they will go on ebay or the booth or ? 

I got a box of old papers to sort through - tax receipts from 1938, birth announcements, baby bracelets, Christmas cards, letters, Pharmaceutical receipts, car tag forms and lots of other old papers from the late 30's to the late 60's.  So far, that little birth announcement for a Christopher (!) and that little beaded baby bracelet sure won my heart over.  

I have a buys few weeks ahead of me - The Junk Ranch is June 10th and that is surprisingly little time to do all that I need to do - and keep up with the bigger booth and my booth and ebay and the house and on and on and on.  Oh yea, and I'm still trying to find the Breadman a new job and a part time job for me.  WHO NEEDS TO SLEEP?  Me, that's who.  Good night!

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