front porch trash

front porch trash

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I wouldn't wish an abscessed tooth on my worst enemy. Pain and swelling and just generally feeling cruddy.

I have a crown that came off several years ago, just after I lost my job. I just got it re-glued and went on with life. Well, I knew that the glue wouldn't hold up forever and eventually I would have to deal with it. Now is the time to deal with it.

Over the past holiday weekend I developed a toothache. That little toothache quickly developed into full blown trouble. Swollen face and sore mouth and just generally feeling cruddy. Don't bend over because your head will explode!!

Went to my dentist to get started on antibiotics so the tooth issue could be resolved. Great news, two teeth may be involved!  Monster abscess!! Can it get any better?  Tooth 12 and 13 may need root canals and crowns. May? When was the last time your dentist said you may need a root canal and you didn't get it?

My dentist couldn't handle the root canal so I called for an appointment for a consultation to maybe get seen by the endodontist for work on the teeth and they are full until February. My dentist was nice enough to give me a referral to the UNC dental school for the work on my teeth. At least I can afford to go there since the work is done by students and much cheaper. But the wait is longer.

Well, the good news is that I can see out of my left eye better and the swelling is going down and I am feeling just a little less cruddy and I may be able to bend over by this weekend to help lay more tile at SmartA** house. And also with the toothache I tend to eat less and eat softer foods, so there is a slim chance that I may loose weight. So I am down but not out!!

Today is SmartA** birthday and it is the first time in forever that I just don't feel like making a cake. She may just have to settle for cupcakes or an Edwards Hershey chocolate pie. I'm voting for the pie.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


These little boxes may not look like much to the untrained eye but they truly are boxes from hell. There are 25 boxes of floor tile in that stack of boxes. Each box weighs 50 lbs.50 LBS!!!!

My daughter, SmartA**, is painting and replacing the flooring in her new house before she moves in. Those boxes are enough to cover the floor in her family room, entry hall, other hall, bedroom and studio. She ordered them from the home improvement store and they were going to charge $80 to deliver. That's money she could use to purchase enough tile to do the two bathrooms. So when they came in we took our little Toyota pick-up to get them. The home improvement store is only about a mile from her house. Easy peasy. Or so you would think.

First of all, the flat of boxes were too heavy for the truck. 1250 lbs bottomed out the bed of the truck.  We could make two trips? Then the nice service manager said we could use their rental truck, free of charge, to take them to her house. Yeah!!

But once we got them there we had to unload them. Funny thing, they forgot to include that nice forklift with the truck. SweetiePie took them off of the flat and put them on the tailgate and SmartA** and I carried them inside. One.By.One. 50.Pounds.Each. That just about wiped me out even though I only carried 13 of them. When the flat was empty, SmartA** said, "I'm keeping the free wood. I've earned it"

And then after we got all of the boxes in, we put the first coat of paint on both bathrooms. We almost had to crawl home.
Cabinets are next!!
Anyone care to help remove these cabinets and build cabinets that open on both sides so we can use vintage windows for doors? Easy Peasy? Right? Please say yes!!! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I can't believe it finally happened. My baby grandson has grown up.

He can't be 16 years old today, he just can't. I haven't gotten any older, so he couldn't possibly have aged either.
The prince, and the two princess
When he was born and ready to come home, the apartment that his Mom and Dad lived in decided that it would be a good time to fumigate for bugs. You can't bring a baby home when they are fumigating. So, he gets to come to Grandma's house.!!! Where to sleep? No crib at Grandma's yet. No dresser drawer. Where? How about a laundry basket? Works for me. Worked for him.

Now I wish he was still able to fit in that basket. He is now taller than most of the family and he is catching up to his dad really fast. His braces are off and he is a handsome young man. He has been driving for a while now and was brave enough to drive my car, a 5-speed, and did really good. Even went through a license check with flying colors.

But it would be nice if they could stay little forever!!

Happy Birthday Basket Boy!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I've had an ebay store now since August 2010. It took several months to get the hang of how to list, categories and just the feel of everything going. Of course, once you get a idea of how things go ebay changes the rules. I guess that's just how it goes.

When I signed up for my store I didn't choose to do international shipping. I had shipped international in the past and it was a hassle. Customs forms and such. I thought it was a waste of time. BIG mistake.

Beginning in September 2012 I decided to change to international shipping. I had shipped a few things international, but on an item by item basis. Printing shipping tags for international shipments is no harder than an ordinary shipping label. Punch it in, print the tag, sign the label and you are done.

Sales wise it has been a boost. In November and December I did lots of international shipping. Four pair of boots went to Canada, some snow clothing and sweaters. Sweaters to Norway, stitch kit to Russia, puzzle to South Korea, Vogue patterns to France and more that I can't remember.

It was a bit of a hassle changing my listings to international shipping as they came up for renewal. You have to know the weight of everything. I pretty much guessed at most items. You handle all this stuff a dozen times before you store it away and you get a feel for the weight. The only thing so far that I was under weight on was the puzzle to South Korea. I still made money, maybe a dollar. At least it was not a loss.

So, if you aren't doing International First Class Shipping you should be. Why not get some of the money back that we've been sending overseas all these years?

Works for me!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013


I'll miss her when she moves.

My daughter, Smarta**, bought a house. My baby! So she is moving out, again. She moved out several years ago and lived on her own in a 5th wheel camper. I think she learned rather quickly that the space in a camper is very limited and it is hard to heat and cool. But when it started to leak, it was either spend a bunch to fix it or move on. She chose to sell it as it was and move back home to save enough to afford something without wheels. Good move. During that time she was able to pay off the mortgage on a piece of property and buy and pay off a car. Good girl!!

She purchased an older home about 18 miles from us. It is in a nice neighborhood and was in pretty good shape. Needed painting and the floors needed to be updated.

She isn't married and doesn't have a boy friend. So guess who gets to help paint and rip up carpet and all that good stuff? Yep, good ole' Mom and Dad. My poor arms and legs are killing me!! Up and down the ladder and down on the floor and all sorts of good things.

She closed on the 27th of Dec and immediately started to renovate. All of the carpet is up and we finished painting the last room this weekend. Now all we need to do are the paint bathrooms and change out some cabinets that she wants to update.

Thanks goodness the painting is done. She has cathedral ceilings in her kitchen, dining and family room. No one wants to climb the ladder to do the very top of the ceilings. SweetiePie has a bad knee and can't get up on the ladder for too long. SmartA** has a bad knee and vertigo issues and will not get up on a ladder or even a step stool unless she absolutely has no other choice. So guess who gets to climb the tall ladder? But, it's done and we can move on.
The two princess came to "help" change orange
sherbert into blue
Now to remove the kitchen cabinets over the bar and put in a cabinet with glass doors on both sides. Its going to be so cool. If we don't screw it up. We are hoping to find some old windows to use for the glass doors and we will just have to build a frame for them. Habitat for Humanity here we come!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Thrifting has been good to me this year.

Last year I was just getting started in my ebay store and learning what to sell. I am still learning and I fear that it is an ever evolving process. Trends change,tastes change, and customer demographics change. Also, what I can buy depends on what other people donate or sell at yard and estate sales.

I had a great December. I had a very good year. I was able to go shopping and I had the opportunity to sell some wonderful things. Along the way I learned some valuable lessons. Some good, some not so good.

Valuable lesson #1: Not all people are honest.
As much as we want to believe that all people are good, tell you the truth, and do the right thing, that isn't always the case. I sold quite a few pairs of shoes this year. Most sales were completed without any problems. I have learned that you need to mark your items so that when someone returns a damaged item you can be sure it is yours. For example, I received a pair of Dansko shoes back that were damaged. Dansko shoes have molded vinyl or wooden soles with rubber treads. I can't imagine what type of thing you would have to do with your foot to break a pair of Dansko soles like this.
Both shoes cracked  and chunks out of the heel.
The innocent "I've only worn them once" just doesn't ring true in this case. If the buyer did only wear them once, what the hell was she doing that would cause this type of damage!?

Valuable lesson #2: Go with the gut (after you check ebay completed sales).
Ever see some things when you are thrifting that you just KNOW are going to be a good sale? Me too. But the gut sometimes is not as accurate as checking what sales have been on ebay. And then again you can't just use the completed sales to figure out whether or not to purchase. It takes time and practice to figure it all out. I'm still working on it just like most sellers on ebay.

Valuable lesson #3: If you can grab a good item out of the cart at GW, go for it.
We all know the rules. Don't touch the stuff in the cart. You must wait until it is on the shelf before you dive in. was busy that day and there was only one salesperson on the floor and the cart was just sitting there and IT was cute and IT was marked and IT was a great price and no one was watching....

Now on to the YEAR IN THRIFT
I did very well this year, especially November and December. I have had very few days (knock on wood) that I have had no sales. My yearly average has been around 3 sales per day. Not too bad considering that I have only been doing this for 15 months full time.

It's no secret that I love my favorite thrift. They have bins that are (were) 25 cents per item!!! I have picked up some wonderful things. They also have a wonderful free area. I have picked up some wonderful things there also.
My very best super duper 25c item was

A women's First Gear Motorcycle riding jacket. Not new and not in perfect condition, but still a lot of wear left in the jacket especially if you are just learning to ride and want protection from the pavement. Sold for $45

My very best item from the free bin:
It sold and I deleted the picture but it was a Cow Lovey. A blanket for a baby, black and white spotted with the cutest ever cow head. It was brand new, never washed, no spots and in perfect condition. I couldn't believe that it sold so quickly, and for $50.

My very best item I sold for someone else:
My daughter, SmartA**, sometimes has me sell things for her. We split the proceeds, after expenses, 50-50.
I do all the cleaning, photos, listing and shipping. She picked up a bunch of vintage role playing games from the 80's for $1 each. The best one that sold was DragonQuest. It wasn't complete, but had most of the instructions and almost all of the game pieces. Sold for $215.00

My most surprising sale:
This was a tie between a vintage textbook and a plastic Pringles container.
I had read that Pringles containers (the plastic two piece single serving lunch box size) sold well. This was a lime green single serving Pringles container that I paid 15c for and sold for $10 in a matter of hours after listing.
The book that sold was "The Perception of the Visual World", a 1950 textbook. Not in perfect condition so I listed it at $142.00. When I listed there was another, better condition book on ebay for $300. Took 9 months to sell but received full price.Purchased at my favorite thrift on buy one get one free day for 42c.Sold to a bookstore in San Francisco, so you know the price was marked up when my buyer sold it to his customer.

My best sale ever:

A vintage 1950 Kay Bojesen teak dog. An original, not a reproduction, in excellent condition and marked correctly. This was my item removed from the cart at GW that I spotted and just had to have. When I saw the name, and it was marked Denmark I thought I could get $100-200 for it. Mid Century Modern, Denmark and Teak!! Didn't bother to check ebay completed, just grabbed the dog.When I did my research I found out that the last original one sold on ebay for $757.00. I held on to it and listed after Thanksgiving so that it would end just after Christmas. Listed for $899.00 and never expected to get that amount. Just wanted someone to "get a bargain" and offer me less. Had several offers and no one wanted to pay a fair price. Lowball offers of $250 to $500. After listing ended (about 15 minutes after the listing ended!) a buyer that had bid earlier contacted me and offered $750.00, which is what I originally thought I could expect to get for the little guy. I relisted and he purchased. Originally paid $4.

Now, I don't expect to find another Kay Bojesen dog next year. But you better believe that I will be keeping my eyes open for one. And for Pringles chip containers!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that ebay sales were fantastic.

My first New Year's Resolution is to be a better blogger. I hope that I can get caught up with everything and get back to blogging.