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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Booth, Fires & Thrift Finds

Hey - I'm well.  Yay!  That crud kicked my butt.  I mean, I knew I was sick, but I am a WOMAN, so I keep on plugging along doing what needs to be done.  Dishes, laundry, dinner, errands, I did it all. But, I was exhausted pretty much after folding a load of towels.  Then, one day about two weeks later, I felt better and the next day I felt great!  And my brain suddenly started working again and I got back to thinking about the new booth and getting some things done.  I hope you don't get it, but if you do - USE YOUR HEAD and rest.  (I do still have a bit of a cough, but I attribute that to all the freaking pollen in the air.)

I hadn't been to the booth for two weeks since I was sick, so it was a disaster yesterday.  Have I mentioned that Lara is getting her own booth? She's moving to a booth upstairs, so I will have this big corner all to myself.  In preparation of that, I moved all of my items to the left of the booth and put all of hers on the right.  All those display pieces on the wall are hers as well as that blue table in front of the gallery wall.  She is taking all those things out, so I will have that big wall to fill.  I have all my shelves from my old booth, so I will take in a couple sets of shelves and stack them up for a big display.  The owner is insistent that all downstairs booths have furniture in them, so I will look for some random piece of furniture to put in there.  I don't sell furniture as a rule.  I have sold a few chairs and shelves and ottomans and such.  But, I have no desire to find and paint furniture.  I am happy that Lara likes doing it - but it is not for me.  We are giving up the extra set of shelves we rent, so in the end, my rent will only go up bout $15 more than I pay currently.  I still want a booth out in Prairie Grove where the Junk Ranch is and all the flea markets are located.  My old store just wasn't cutting it, so I had to leave.  But, I want to be in that town somewhere else.  

Let's see.  What else?

Oh, yes! I was at a corner the other day and I looked over and there was my Grandmother sitting beside me driving a nice new white car.  Here's the really crazy part.  SHE'S DEAD.  I mean, this lady looked exactly like her and it left me feeling all weird.

We heard on the news that there was a big grass fire in our town.  Then we realized that it was just down the street at the back of the park.  So we walked down to check it out.  (Notice the shorts in mid February.  It has been in the 80's some days here lately.  Crazy weather.)  Anyway, the fire was out and everyone was gone by the time we got there.  But, it was so windy that it could have been really bad.  We are in the middle of a Red Flag burn ban here.  So, burning is not permitted.

A couple days later I was leaving the Super Cheap Thrift which is about twelve miles away and I spotted smoke.  I thought it would be on top of the hill when I got there, but it kept on moving further away as I drove.  

It ended up being a controlled burn by the city at the Water Treatment Plant Nature Reserve.  It was a crazy amount of smoke, so I was glad that it wasn't something like a house or the school.

Saturday we went to our Mardi Gras parade.  I used to try and take tons of photos because it is such a bright, happy parade with all the colors and the beads flying.  But, then I decided that it is best enjoyed by being present and actually watching it and catching beads.  I did get a photo of this guy - he's been in the parade for as long as I can remember carrying that same old umbrella.  When the parade is over, the floats go park and they play Zydeco music and everyone dances.  They throw a lot more beads - better ones than they do at the parade and they even tear down the floats and pass out pieces to the crowds.   We got a lot of beads, which are fun at the parade. But then you get home and think why did I want these beads????  I'd love to go to a real Mardi Gras parade some day.

I did a little thrifting as usual.

I found this at the Super Cheap Thrift.  It's signed and apparently a collectible in the primitive country decorating world.  It's on ebay, so we shall see.  

A quick stop at Goodwill on the way to the grocery store brought me several good finds.  The turkey platter is absolutely giant.  Very heavy and well made.  There isn't a mark on it, so I am still trying to research it a bit.  It will go to the Fall Junk Ranch.  It would cost a college tuition to mail it.  Heavy! It is sitting on the biggest Lazy Susan I have ever seen.  It is bigger around that my arms can reach, so I couldn't even carry it.  I am going to paint it and maybe stencil something around the edges.  I really don't do that sort of thing much.  But, I did a couple things for the last Junk Ranch and they sold right off the bat.  Who am I to turn down money?  It would be great on the center of a nice farm table.  

Next week I have to take my Dad to the hospital to have his Pacemaker replaced.  Or "have my batteries changed" as he says.  It's supposed to be easy  - just a local anesthetic and a small incision. But, it sounds kind of scary to me.  His pacemaker is actually fine, but they need to replace it now, because insurance won't cover it after June.  Isn't that crazy that insurance won't cover a Pacemaker battery?  Isn't that sort of important???  Hopefully it will go quick and without an issue.  If you know anyone that has had it done - let me know so I can either calm down or totally freak out.  Thanks! 

But first - tonight we are in a Tornado Watch.  Let's get through that FIRST!  Stay safe out there!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sales, Bronchitis and Zombies

This weekend brought a couple emails and texts asking if I was okay - where was I - what had happened.  I love it that you guys actually MISS me and come looking for me.  I won't say that same old thing about not having much to blog about (even though it's true!). So, I'll just ramble and talk and see where we go.  Buckle up, my friends!

The week before last one of my favorite LOL ( Little Old Lady) thrifts had an ad on Criagslist (Lord knows who posted it because I am sure that none of the people that volunteer there know how to use a computer) that the ENTIRE store was half off all week.  Of course, I had to go.  Twice!  

On the first trip, I got this sweet Paint by Number.  I never buy paintings, but I keep finding ones that speak to me.  They'll all go to the Junk Ranch.

On the second trip, I sent the Breadman up to the courthouse to pay our taxes while I shopped.  It's a small thrift and I usually only buy a few things.  When he came back to pick me up, he commented that he had trouble getting in the front door because "someone" had put a pile of stuff in the way. That someone was me.  I had spotted a small red suit case and I was carrying it around, Then I spotted a big old hard suitcase under a table, so I grabbed that.  When the ladies behind the counter saw what I was carrying, they asked me if I wanted to see any more "old stuff".  Uh, yes please.  They brought out a very old and heavy medicine cabinet with glass shelves and a big old washboard.

I didn't get photos of any of that, except here is the washboard and the giant suitcase is under it.  I paid $9 for everything after it was half off.  I want to re-purpose the washboard as a memo board with milkcap magnets and a little bread pan notepad holder.  

The Salvation Army is across the street, so I had to stop.  They rarely have anything of interest to me so I never go.  But, if you are across the street - why not stop?  

I found this lovely painting and another one of a cabin with a fisherman on the lake.  All that lodge-y, cabin-y stuff is hot now.  I think?

I also found this fabulous vintage tablecloth.  Now, I haven't found a vintage tablecloth in forever and I have NEVER found one at the Salvation Army.  So, that was a double whammy of goodness.  It was $4 and I had to think a minute if I should buy it or not.  I'm pretty cheap, but heck, that's a good price for a little happiness.

I saw an ad for a Sunday Sale a few weeks ago.  It was further than I usually ever go to a sale and it meant I had to take the Interstate.  Which I DO NOT DO.  But, for some reason, I really felt like I needed to go to this sale.  There were pictures showing things that looked right up my alley and I could see some prices, so I decided I would be brave and go.  When I got there, the lady having the sale was very sweet - talked to me and told me little stories about each thing I picked up.  Not in an annoying "THAT'S OLD AND AN ANTIQUE" way, but in an "I picked that up at an old house" sort of way.  I gathered up an assortment of things and went to pay.

I bought the old cutlery tray, small pixie, an assortment of old Valentines, a sweet deer pin, the baby cup and a couple handfuls of old millinery flowers.   (The cups came from Goodwill on the way home).  

I must interject with a story here.  Last Spring I went to the Neosho City Wide sales in Missouri.  I was all hyped and ready to shop when I ran over a broken street sign post and slashed my tire.  I spent the rest of the day sitting in front of a tire display at Walmart and my junking mood died out.  When we were all repaired, I headed on out to a few sales, but my mind wasn't quite in it.  We stopped at one sale at a house on a steep hill with a curved driveway. I visited with the nice men there and they asked if I was having a fun day and I told them about my tire woes.  As we talked, I spotted the tiniest pair of antique crutches sitting on a table.  They were only about 2.5 feet tall and made of one split piece of wood.  I commented on them, but for some reason I put them down.  I have remembered them since then and I fully intended to stop at that sale next spring and see if by some miracle they still had them.  Why I wanted them, I don't really know. But, they were just one of those things that I will always remember.  (In Junior High, I learned that this is called FORESHADOWING).  Duhn-Duhn-Duhn!

As I was leaving the Sunday Sale, I saw a tiny pair of crutches leaning on the table leg.  They were just like the ones that I had remembered!  I grabbed them and went to pay without even asking how much.  As I paid her the $3 (a steal!), I told her the story I just told you about seeing a pair in Neosho and having remorse about not buying them.  She looked at me for a long time.  And then she said, "I bought those in Neosho.  At a house on a steep hill with a circular driveway."  WHAT THE WHAT? Not only did I get A tiny pair of crutches - I got THE tiny pair of crutches.  Wild, right?  Now, the story would be more fun to tell people if the actual item wan't a tiny pair of crutches, because I realize that's a weird thing.  But, those of us that love junk will get it.  

Do I know what I will do with them?  No.  But, they're mine!  

I have been sick for over a week.  My chest is full, my head is clogged.  I am a notoriously bad medicine taker.  Most medicine makes me groggy if it's for daytime and the nightime stuff keeps me awake.  Plus I sometimes get hives and itchy skin and my hair crawls, so I just don't take much.  I do pound back the Muscinex which has saved me more than a few times.  It just takes a long time to get through stuff.   I stayed home for five days straight before I decided I could venture out.  I sat in the backseat and the Breadman drove us to Sam's.  I stuck out my bottom lip and asked to go to a thrift along the way.

I didn't find much, but he dug in the record box and pulled out this gem.  Rootie Tootie Tootie The Kewpie Bear Song by the Honey Dreamers.  I mean, it makes your teeth hurt to just look at it!

My big day out made me stay home on Thursday but I felt like I could hit a sale on Friday.  It was a digger sale - lots of boxes lined up and piles of junk to dig in.  It was a sad little house in such disrepair.  The house should have been condemned which is sad for the tenant, not to mention the landlord is 93, so that is another family in for a rude awakening soon.  I found a pile of old tins, some Bucilla kits for ebay, some old books and a few other things.  Halfway through my digging, I had a huge horrible hacking coughing attack and when when I stood up, I got vertigo  The lady having the sale offered to get me a chair so I wouldn't pass out on her.  I think I better stay home a few more days.

My best find there was a big sack full of old Stereoscope cards.  I have a ton from my Grandparents and I found a Steroviewer last year, so they are fun to look through.  There are some good ones in there, like this one.  

I stayed home on Saturday, but today I went to another sale.  (Have I mentioned that is has been nearly 80 lately so people are having sales?)  I got some crafty type stuff and these guys.  

They are old bisque.  A sweet old bride and groom with a tulle veil and millinery flowers.  Super sweet.  But, then tonight, I was watching the Walking Dead and I picked them up and realized.....ZOMBIES.    Holy crapola.  I hope they don't come after me in my sleep!  They actually do have a hint of the cuteness that they once had and a bit of old creepiness.  It's borderline.  

After the sale I hit Goodwill and picked up a good Le Creuset for ebay.

And this silly old Japan pig planter for me.  

And now I must go to bed and rest up from another day out.  

Thanks for checking on me.  I'll be back sooner than later, I promise!

Until then......


Saturday, February 04, 2017

Valentine's Day Decorations

In my funk and the process of "pulling my head out (Thank you for all the nice comments.  I see that I am not alone in this funk.  We'll get through it together!) - I decided to put out the Valentine's Day decorations.  I usually only put minor holiday stuff out for two weeks.  But, I needed some happy. So, I happy-ed up the joint.  I live with two guys, so I am always in fear that I will overdo it and they won't be happy.  But, you know what?  IF MAMA AIN'T HAPPY, AIN'T NOBODY HAPPY. Besides, The Breadman literally would not notice anything new in the house.  Ever.  Like, he missed noticing the Christmas tree was up for TWO DAYS. All my seasonal decorations go up on the walls or on shelves, so nothing is in the way. Football viewing and XBox playing are still able to go on uninterrupted.  

I think I have told this story before, but here it comes again.  When we were newly married, we lived in a tiny house in another town.  I was a department manager at a grocery store.  When I was clocking out, I noticed that the guys were taking down all the Valentines Day decorations in the store.  (Do you remember when grocery stores decorated the aisles with big signs, streamers and honeycomb balls and hearts?)  Anyway, they were pulling down these huge 6 foot long signs that said I LOVE YOU. (They were made at the sign shop and matched the window signs that read Eggs 38¢.)  I asked if I could have one and they gave it to me.  (I wish I still had it.  It was awesome). I took it home and hung it in the doorway between the living room and the dining room.  The husband came in the front door, walked through the living room, pushed the I LOVE YOU sign aside and kept on walking. "Hey!"  I said. "Did you even read that?"  "Yeah, I saw it." That was the day I knew that I had married a guy that did not like for care about the holidays.  It was also the day I realized that I could do virtually anything in the house and he wouldn't really give a crap.  BRING ON THE HOLIDAY DECORATIONS!!!!!

Years ago I bought this ugly little painted hutch.  I slapped some white paint on it, and wa-lah, it's one of my favorite little decorating spots.

For years I participated in a handmade swap for Valentines Day.  I have over 150 handmade Valentines from crafters all over the internet.  I love displaying the smaller ones here.  

I love making things of out felt, but I don't do it as often as I would like since it's just for me to keep and not something I can sell.  So, I generally concentrate on listing, pricing or making for profit.  But, making things for me is fun too! 

Display over the couch.  Lots more handmade Valentines.  The red love bug is from my gal Chanelle (AmberRose in the comments).  The chalkboard LOVE sign is from Dollar Tree.  It bothers me that you can buy a knock off sign for $1.00 when people are making them and selling them at the booths.  But, I usually have a dollar and not always $20 to buy local and handmade.  The honeycomb heart is new this year.

Candy tins and some other cute stuff.  I still think getting a box of chocolates is such a fun gift.  But, to get one in a TIN would have been such an elegant gift!  

More handmade Valentines and the obligatory vintage truck and a rubber squeak.  

One of my favorites.  

LOVE letter banner.  I sell a lot of these in the booths and at The Junk Ranch.  It's time to make a new batch.

Huge oversize flash card.  I had the whole A-Z set and sold all but the H for Halloween, W for Witch and V for Valentine.  The C for Camel is in my booth and it will NOT sell.  What the heck?  I thought Hump Day would make it a seller for sure.  

Why, yes.  I do live in a cave.  Bad lamp placement makes this shelf a bugger to photograph.  All my super cute favorites are on this shelf including my Chocolate covered Cherry boxes which is one of my favorite collections.   My grandmother loved them, my husband loves them.  I do not love them.  But the old boxes make me swoon.  They are hard to find, so when I do come across one (or my buddy Chanelle sends me one.....) I am very happy!  

More cherry boxes.  Love that lovebird planet in the middle.  Vintage Valentines stuff is hard to find, other than cards.  

More cherry boxes, handmade Valentines and some vintage hankies.  

The whole enchilada.  

Another photo from the cave.  I want a nice collection of old heart shaped candy boxes, but they elude me.  The ones on either side were from The Bean and my Mom last year.  The other two are older ones that I gussied up with old millinery flowers.  Throw in some cuteness and old Marquee letters and that's all folks!

Do you decorate for Valentines Day?

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Pulling My Head Out

I have had a really bad case of down in the dumps, midlife crisis, fuckitall.  I haven't been sleeping well. My brain is full of what could have been's and what will be's. Things I could have changed in the past and things I certainly cannot prevent from happening in the future. Things have seemed overwhelming to me.  Projects, plans.  All of it.  Just overwhelming. I get so down when I read Facebook posts from friends and family saying awful things about politics and fighting with family and friends.  Life is too short for that stuff. Instead of surfing Facebook at night, I have fallen into the YouTube pit.  Oh, it's a hard one to crawl out of - I have always avoided the time suck of You Tube. But, it has been just what the doctor ordered lately.  I have watched people dumpster diving, people thrifting, little girls dancing, soldiers coming home to their kids and their dogs, road rage, good deeds and on and on.  Oh, such a time suck.  But, such a mental holiday.   

But, today a cloud lifted for no apparent reason and I am feeling like ME again.  Woot!  Someone is sure to say it is Winter Blues, but we have had little to no winter at all this year.  It was 76 degrees yesterday!  Today it was only in the 40's and seemed much more like Winter.  Winter is my JAM. Who knows if this will stay or my fuckitall will kick back in. Hopefully I will get some stuff done and start on my new booth prep and the upcoming Junk Ranch stuff soon.  I ordered a ton of new jewelry making supplies.  I have ideas for new stuff to make.  I think I am coming out of my funk.

Today I snuck out all by myself and hit up a few thrift stores.  I saw on Craigslist that one of my old standby thrifts was 1/2 off all week.  That just does not happen around here.  So, off I went.  I prowled around that thrift for almost an hour.  I spent $13, which means I bought $26 worth of things. I never find that much there, so I am happy that I went.  I found a couple baby afghans, some old beer steins and mugs, a sweet Paint By Number, a cool lucite display rack and a few other things.  All to sell, thank heavens.  

When I left there, I went to the Salvation Army across the road.  They have an "Antiques Corner" where they put all the older stuff, but it isn't priced any higher than the regular stuff.  In fact, it's usually pretty cheap.  Today I found a game called Snap Bowling from the 1970's.  The box was almost as tall as me! It was only $2.00 so I thought it might be missing something.  But it wasn't! Yay!  As I carried it around the store, this guy that was looking at all the games and puzzles spotted that huge box I was carrying.  He read the box and his eyes got big and HE WANTED IT.  But, it was mine.  He followed me all around the store just hoping that I would put it down.  I have done that to people (in a far less creepy way. I hope.) but have never had anyone stalk me in the thrift store. After I paid, I hightailed it to the car and got out of there!  I would hate to get mugged for a $2.00 game.  

*You'll notice there aren't any photos in this post. I can't remember my icloud password and I will be DAMNED if I am going to change it again.  It'll come to me soon. I hope!  :)

Oh, that new booth? It is actually the booth that Lara and I share.  She closed her big booth out at Daisies and Olives and wants her own booth at the store we share.  Which is sort of crazy because I want booth at Daisies and Olives and I'm not over excited about the store where we share the booth. Don't get me wrong, I sell quite a bit there and make decent money.  But, it's not the sort of place where I feel like I can set up a lovely booth with lovely things.  It's more about selling stuff  - household stuff, decor, ugly Christmas sweaters, funny mugs, silly hats and cute things that the college kids can use for a year and re-donate.  It's not about a cohesive look and a theme.  Now, Lara will be able to set up a lovely booth with her pretty and quirky theme and it will look great.  But for what I sell there, I just don't want to make it all my style.  I want to do that in a different store.  I will put some personality into it, but I won't go all out. My stepdad has a big inventory of old military surplus like coats and bags.  I was at the Mall the other day and saw that thin cheaply made look a like Military items are in now.  So, he is going to bring me a bunch of that sort of ting to put in the booth.  The college kids will freak.  Plus, we still have a storage unit full of my Grandmother's things that really needs to go.  So, there will be room for that now too.

Here's to a new month and less fuckitall and more doitall!  Can I get a hellzya?

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