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.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Week in Junk: Christmas and Pricing

Hey there.  It's me.  Just checking in to say "Hey there. It's me".  Ha.  

I'm still going back and forth to my Mom's helping with things, buying provisions, delivering prescriptions and the like.  My step father is feeling better, but he is still so very dizzy from one of his medications.  The doctor took him off of the medication but said it could be 36 days before he isn't dizzy anymore.  Isn't that crazy that he had his chest cracked open and had heart surgery and none of that bothers him, but the medication has him sitting in a chair unable to hardly move?  It's crazy, I tell you.  What was also crazy was when the Cardiologist told him that he better call the VA and make sure they were going to pay for that visit before she even would see him. I just do not understand the medical field and insurance.  (This is not a political thing.)

In the times between, I am trying to keep my head above water over here with my chores, trying to keep the booth stocked, trying to hunt down Junk Ranch inventory and yes, preparing for yet another Junk Ranch on October 6th.  That will be here before you know it.  ACK.  I am particularly unprepared this time, but it'll get done.  Even if it kills me.  And it very well might this time.

Friday I went to a few sales that I saw on Craiglist.  That isn't really like me - I usually just see what signs I see and don't travel too far to sales.  But, one in particular looked like lots of things I love and the prices looked very affordable.  The other sounded like a good Estate Sale that promised "lots to dig through".  I went to the affordable sale first because in the ad I saw a plaid metal picnic basket and I WANTED IT.  But, of course, I knew I would be late and miss it.  (And I did.)  When I got to the sale, my eyes were scanning the driveway for that tin when I heard, "Hi Shara". The sale was a fellow flea market booth friend from my old store.  She was cleaning out stock and it was cheap.  She said I thought of you when I put out that plaid picnic tin.  DAGNABIT.  I got a few things from her and headed on to the digger sale.

Along the way I spotted an ESTATE SALE sign that pointed into a bunch of new condos.  I decided to stop since it was right there.  It was a fancy condo full of fancy things and the prices were fancy as well.  I decided to duck into the garage where I can usually find something that I can afford.  That's when I spotted a giant cardboard box under a table with a glimpse of Christmas sticking through.  I barely looked in the box after I realized that the whole box was only $2.00.  Was it worth it?

Uh, YES.  There were old sets of lights and some ornaments in there too.  But the ornaments were the best part FOR SURE.    That photo garnered over 400 likes on IG, so I guess lots of people love vintage Christmas.  (duh).

On to the Digger Sale which was an entire yard just covered in lines of boxes.  Lots of boxes.  SO many boxes.  I spotted this area off to the side: All Christmas 5/$1.00 so I went for a dig.  Sadly, it was all newer Dollar Store / Hobby Lobby and mediocre at best.  I did find a few glass and brass deer.  Deer always sell  - new or old.  I dug in all those boxes until I was a sweaty mess and bought very little.  Gosh, I hope my estate sale garners more money and has more interesting things than all of that....stuff.  The people having the sale were so very nice that I wanted to buy a lot.  But, it just wasn't there.  As I learned from "Backyard Bounty" (Netflix - have you watched it?) the sale was "Good from far and far from good".

Saturday I went a sale that had six older people sitting in the garage. They all greeted me and made small talk.  I spotted a shoe box full of older Christmas decorations - no glass ornaments, just wooden ones and a few homemade ones.  Nothing spectacular, but good for wreath making.  Then I spotted some older tablecloths being used on the tables and they said they were for sale for $1.00, so I helped the take them off the tables and put everything back.  I found an old tree skirt and an armful of Christmas things like a homemade tacky Santa with a good old paper mache face, a pair of ceramic HOMCO angels and a stuffed reindeer.  I went up to start sorting it all out so we could decided what to pay (nothing was marked,  Did I mention that?  That's important.) when the little old lady said, "$25.00 please."  Uh, what?  I had no more than about $10.00 worth of stuff in my pile.  I very politely said I would need to put some things back because I didn't even have $25.00 on me.  They were still very nice about it, but after I did pay for what I wanted, they discussed me as I walked away and I felt very, very small.  But, geez, I can't just pay crazy prices for stuff that isn't even worth that.  Onward and upward.

A couple of weeks ago I stopped by a thrift and it was wiped out since the college kids had just moved in that weekend.  There was surprisingly little to look at, so I spent some time digging where I don't normally like in the bags of old candles and the crafty floral area.  As I pawed through the bags of half melted candles, I spotted a turkey.  A GURLEY turkey.  Then another and another. Luckily the bags were color coded and were only 50¢ a bag, so For $3.00 I got seven Gurley turkeys. I can't find the photo and they are packed away now.  Sorry about that.  

And then, among the silk flowers and bags of silk vegetables, I found all these glorious beaded strawberries.  FOR FIFTY CENTS!  I bought the berry crate later in the day and it was if it was meant to be.  Now I have to dig in the candles and flowers every week.  They are just beautiful.  I need to sell them.  But, well.  

A few buys from just over the OK line.  The ballet photos are sweet and will go to the Junk Ranch. I'm always buying flashcards and Scrabble letters and dominoes for more necklaces I always SWEAR I am done making.  The elephant thing was in the baby quilts, but I think it might be a tablecloth.  Not sure - but it's handmade and it was $2.00, so I grabbed it.  

Love these old lacing beads that I found in a store that was literally about to cave in and was going out of business.  The lady at the store still had too good of a memory on what she paid for things and she said the word "ebay" repeatedly, so there weren't many deals there.  But, these lacing beads stole my heart.  And, they make a heart.  <3 nbsp="" p="">

Here's the tree skirt I got at the $25 sale.  It was $1.00 and turns out to be my find of the day. Funny that they didn't put value on it.  Neither did I when I grabbed it.  The kit sells for $55, so I am hoping the finished item sells for well more than that.  Fingers crossed.  

Here's hoping I will be back soon with some fun story.  Until then, I am off to the vet with a kitty that isn't quite himself today.  Fingers crossed on that.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bargains Galore on 64 - 2017

My stepfather went home from the hospital on Wednesday (yay!) and even though they need me to help with some household chores, they were both ready for a calm day at home.  So, I decided that I would make a run on Thursday and see what I could find. Fridays usually have more sales, but rain was in the forecast.  In fact, about the time I would have been getting up this morning to go, there were huge cracks of thunder and the rain was pouring down. I was glad that I went yesterday or I wouldn't have been able to go at all!  

We got to the first sale at 10:00, which I KNOW to some die hard junkers, that is almost time to go home, not to be starting.  I am not a morning person and certainly not a good driver early in the morning.  I need my coffee and some wake up time.  We did leave about 8:30, but we stopped for gas, ice and Chick-fil-A biscuits (We get four - two each, one for breakfast and one for lunch.  They are extra good in the cooler after they get cold).  Plus, it is about a 50 mile drive down the mountain and through the tunnel just to the beginning of the sale line.  Lara was ahead of me on the highway giving me a heads up on the sales that were good and not so good. It pays to have an early riser junking buddy!  

When we got to Alma, we made a quick McDonald's bathroom stop and headed onto the first sale.  I always stay on the highway, but off on a side street, I spotted what looked like a big sale, so I pulled through a parking lot and circled around to get to the sale.  All I ended up finding was an old green handled rolling pin.  About five minutes after we got there, an ambulance went by and some people mentioned there was a bad wreck up the street involving a dump truck.  I later found out that it was a prominent older couple from my area that were involved in the wreck - he was killed and she was airlifted to Little Rock and is in stable condition.  The wreck was five minutes up the street and I can't help but think that if I wouldn't have pulled around to that sale, I could have been involved in that wreck.  That might be pushing it, but I felt lucky to be five minutes behind.  I wish that they would have been five minutes behind too.  We never saw any of the wreckage or knew what had happened until today.  

We continued on into Alma hitting spots were there were multiple sales set up - more bang for the buck that way.  A lot of them are more swap meet style setups and others are more pricey junk show set ups.  I prefer good old fashioned garage sales, but I managed to find a bit here and there as we progressed.  

Actually, my very first buy of the day was at a swap meet type set up.  An entire shopping bag full of bottle brush trees.  Some old, some new, big and small.  $3 for all of them!

Along the highway there is an old junky dirty outdoor flea market where each vendor has their own shed and they sell out of it. Last year when we were there, I noticed that a lot of the people had cots, a tv and a microwave so I am pretty sure they were living there super cheap.  It was kind of sad but then again, it beats being homeless and they have a way to make some money too.  There is a man there that has a pretty professional set up and you can tell he has a house and a better life.  He sells knives and The Bean loves knives.  So, I always stop there so he can shop.  The Bean made his purchase and then the man looked at me very intently.  "Where you here last year?"  Yes.  "Did you buy things from the vendors down the line?"  Yes.  "There was a Mother /son here last year and she left behind a sack of salt and pepper shakers.  Was it you?"  I said that I didn't remember leaving anything, but I also don't remember what I buy until I go through it the next day.  Then he went over, leaned under a table and pulled out a sack  - "Here you go.  I saved it for you."  FOR A YEAR that man had that sack waiting to return it!  Can you even believe that?  He has some young girls that help him and they were just beaming.  "He's been waiting a year to find the owner of that bag!"  I told him I wasn't even sure it was mine and he said, "I am" and thrust it in my hands.  

There were three sets of salt and pepper shakers in the bag,  I have no memory of them, but they did look like things I might have bought.  Honestly, I try to buy something from each vendor as we pass through because they make me sad.  So, I could have bought them.  Anyway, the story was the best part and really made me happy.  I know he will remember us next year too.  

This awesome old tandem bicycle wasn't priced, so I asked, "How much?".  "Five" the lady responded.  As I wondered if I could bungee it to the roof, she added in a slow Southern drawl, "hundred".  Holy smokes!  

It was cool.  But, not $500 cool.  

This church bell weighted 1260 lbs and was from Calico Rock Arkansas.  I don't have any idea how much it cost, but it was fantastic.  They even rang it while we were shopping!

One sale up a long driveway netted this old picnic basket for $1.00.  It was under a trash bag full of old socks, I kid you not.  That's the only explanation for it still being there at 2:00 in the afternoon.  

I also got this fold up picnic table set there for $5.00.  It was set up and looked so cute - I cannot imagine why no one had bought it?  It was off to the side a bit and sort of looked like it could be a lemonade stand.  Maybe that's why it was still there.  It's not vintage, but I might take it to the Junk Ranch and set it up with cute things on it and hopefully sell it to a camping family.  

I bought these old anthropomorphic watermelon shakers as a present for myself.  They were $5, which is a fortune for me to spend on something so silly.  But, oh how I love them.  They had about ten sets of vintage anthropomorphic shakers and I should have offered a price on the whole lot.  There was money to be made on them.  Oh, well.  

This old spreader has great patina and colors.  It was at a sale in a park and the older couple (like in their 80's) were obviously getting cranky and they were yelling at each other about where to put things.  He set this old spreader in front of her cut glass display and that did not please her.  Oh, it did not.  He looked at me all forlorn and announced it was only $4.00.  So, I bought it.  Maybe I saved their marriage on that one.  I do think it would be cute with a plant or a Mum in it.

In the same park, I bought this oil painting of a Police Officer.  He looks like someone I have seen on the local news.  I'm researching.  I don't know - I just didn't like him leaning against that table in the park, so I rescued him.  A year to the day yesterday an Officer in that town was ambushed and murdered and a few other officers were hurt.  I think he had something to do with this, but I am not sure.  He looks kind, don't you think?

Here's the end of the day loot.  Mostly smalls (and my thumb apparently).  Nothing absolutely fabulous, but it was all fun to find.  Old Halloween makeup, silver trophy bowls, a Lee Wards ornament kit, tins, etc.

The Daniel Boone box was empty and went to my Dad's new neighbor - Daniel Boone.  There's the rolling pin I bought first thing. And my thumb again.  WTH.

I need a new old basket like a hole in the head, but that giant beauty was only $5.00, plus I had a nice conversation with the man selling it and found out that his daughter just bought a house up the street from me.  Then, as we were leaving, The Bean picked up a beekeeper hat and the man suggested that he buy it (pointing to me) for his "wife".  I told him I was the Mama and he said "NO" over and over again and kept asking my age.  He was either full of it or just a nice guy.  The poor Bean is mistaken as my husband a lot.  He's used to it.  But, still.  There's a good amount of miscellaneous vintage Christmas under those bottle brush trees (47 in all!) including ornaments, a Gurley candle and some other things that I have long forgotten by this point. 

It's hard to see, but that old wire freezer basket has shelves in it.  It's unusual.  I think some farmhouse chick will pounce on it.  I looked for farmhouse things, but the rolling pin and the baskets were all that I found.  That could be because everyone is looking for it now!

I had that mouse when I was a kid.  I always buy them when I see them.  They usually sell to people with similar memories.  My first Honey Whip jar and it's PINK! Love the old Bowers mint tin.  There is a couple with a huge set up in their backyard full of stuff - a shop building, shed and a huge yard full of tables.  They are only open during the sale and for a couple times a year as a "garage sale". Last year I got a ton of good stuff there - two dozen vintage squeaks for a dime each, a slew of vintage Christmas and a ton of other good cheap stuff.  I was antsy to get there this trip.  But, I think I must have bought all the good stuff last year, because all I bought were a bunch of tins including that Bowers tin and the Mrs. Stevens Cherry tree candy tin in the back.   Also, the stickers are stuck on and I am having a helluva time getting them off.  I don't think I will be as antsy to get there next year.  

The Dundee marmalade crock isn't ancient, but it's been dug up and has that old crazed look to it, so it's cool.  I'm a sucker for old printers blocks.  I dug in a box of hundreds and limited myself to four from my area.  The big one makes Meter Reader tags for the local gas company.  

Those trolls are my money makers.  I need to research more, but I think they are worth about what I paid for everything I bought this trip.  So, not bad.  Two flower brooches for my collection.  I try to sell most of my finds, but some things just warrant hoarding.  Like flower brooches.  And baskets. And picnic baskets.  *cough*

This was from my first stop too.  I loved the box at first sight.

Then I saw the inside.  I wanted it, but a price?  Whew.  $1.00.  SOLD.

The keepers.  The Bowers tin, the landscaping set, the Mr.s Stevens' candy tin and the watermelon shakers. Plus most likely the basket and the picnic basket.  I spent a grand total of $12.75 for all of those things.  Surely I am worth that?  :)  My birthday is Tuesday, so Happy Birthday to me  - here's some old junk.  

It was really, really, REALLY hot and humid and I lost my lust for junk earlier than normal.  We stopped for a cold drink and did a little out of the way sight seeing.  I'll save that for next time.  I will say that Arkansas is such a beautiful place.  I am biased, of course.  But, it really is gorgeous.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

The Week in Junk: Big Money and Some Fancy Stuff Too

Hey guys.  Here I am and I even have some JUNK to share!  Yay me!  My Step-Father had surgery last Wednesday - he ended up having quintuple (!) bypass surgery.  When we left him on Wednesday night, he was flat on his back, on a ventilator and hooked up to all sorts of tubes, wires, monitors and things.  Thursday afternoon when we went back, he was sitting in a chair eating orange slices.  I tell you what, those medical people are marvels.  It's just amazing.  He has made great strides and will be going to Rehab early this week.  My Mom had been doing things and taking care of herself.  I have been to her house almost every day (It is about 70 something miles round trip) and I have taken her to the hospital many of those days (140 something miles round trip).  I have a million things I need to do here and there, but I seem to be in the car a lot.  Anyway, the therapists all say he is doing great and will be as good as new soon.  He just has to heal and build up his stamina.  

Enough medical news.  Sheesh!

I hinted at a big sale last time.  I had been cleaning out the closet in my office the last few weeks and I came across and old book that I had bought who knows where.  It was a blank book full of very old newspaper clipping from the 1870's - 1910.  As I thumbed through it looking at the clippings, I found some pieces of paper in the back of the book.  I pulled them out and thought they would just be some interesting ephemera.  But, I love researching things, so I started looking into them.

I discovered they were US Postal Notes and the date on them was the very first date that they were introduced.  It was a form of currency that you took on trains so that you didn't actually have cash on hand, therefore making theft difficult.  When you arrived at your destination, you turned it in and got your cash.  

I looked on ebay, and there were some listed as high as $2,500.00!  But, not a single one had sold in the recent history.  I did a little more research and found an Auction house in CA that buys US Postal Notes.  I sent a quick email with a few photos of the notes.  A few days later I had an offer of $725 for the pair.  I took it and RAN!  The money straight into my PayPal account and I mailed out within the hour.  After fees and shipping, I made about $680.00.  Not bad for something I didn't really even buy or know I owned!  Crazy!

Since I have been busy and will be busy, I haven't had a lot of time to go looking for Junk Ranch fodder.  An IG'er was having a sale and listed a grouping of old green handled kitchen tools for sale. My total including shipping was right at $30.00 for nineteen tools.  That's only $1.75 a piece and I could never find any at sales here for less than that, let alone SO many at once.  Plus they are in fabulous condition.  I had about a dozen of these in red and green at the last Junk Ranch and I sold every one of them.  I priced them from $5-6 for the cookie cutters to $8-18 for the tools.  I will make money on them for sure.  I am trying very hard not to have all the HEART EYES for them. They are just delicious all together, aren't they?

Thursday I stopped at a sale and spotted this sweet little chair for $5.00.  I thought it was cute and someone would like it for a plant on their porch or to hold a big orange pumpkin for Halloween.  As I picked it up to pay for it, I spotted a mark on the bottom.

Heywood Wakefield!  I've never seen that mark with my own eyes before so I got pretty excited!  I will need to strip it, which isn't something I have ever attempted.  But, I think it is worth it to restore it to it's true state.  I still can't believe I found it!  And for only FIVE BUCKS!

Saturday I stopped at the Salvation Army at nearly 4:00 in the afternoon.  I swooped up a good amount of junk for that hour!  The wagon was sitting out in the yard and was priced $5.00.  I thought it would also be a good Junk Ranch Pumpkin/Mum display.  When I went to pay they told me that the outside stuff was only $1.00.  DEAL!  I also found a Pigeon Forge Pottery sugar bowl, a blue bundt pan for my collection and a mid-century ice bucket.  

On my last spin around the store, I spotted a silver punch bowl on a table.  That isn't something I have ever seen before either!  It's a lovely old Japan nickel Silver bowl, ladle and three silver cups.  It was only $7.00.  What were they thinking?  

I want to clean it up, but not polish it.  I like the worn loved look.  I plan on displaying vintage Shiny Brites in it and selling the whole thing at the Junk Ranch.  Since there are only three cups, I think I will put bottle brush trees in them.  They will be quite sweet, I think. (Note to self: Get a glue gun adapter for the car so I can craft while driving.)  HA HA.

There's a dumpy flea market next to the Salvation Army that I hit for the first time too.  I grabbed this old All bucket as soon as the dealer plopped it down.  I paid $12, which is a lot for me.  But, I loved it.  Not sure if I will sell or keep.  Depend on how much meat there is on the bone.  Sometimes you have US Postal Note money burning a hole in your pocket and you just want to buy something. :)

This weekend is Bargains Galore on 64 (180 miles of yard sales), which is my favorite-est thing EVER!  I don't think I am going tobe able to go with all that is happening right now.  But, if the stars align and everyone is in good hands for a day, I might just sneak off for a day of power yard saling.  I usually fill my far for less than $100 and find great things.  I really need vintage Christmas for the Junk Ranch and I usually find a good amount there.  Plus, it is my birthday gift to me from me and really the only gift that I do get.  But, family first, so we will see.  I could use a good day of junking and no stress too, but I usually get stressed that I am off goofing off and not helping someone.  I'll let you know if I'm going and if I do, I will post on Instagram throughout the day too.  Fingers crossed!

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