Saturday, July 11, 2009

It’s over! Done! Kaput!

O thank you sweet baby jeebus, the garage sale is over! I'd dance a jig if I had the energy. I honestly don't feel bad, just mentally tired--sitting in the garage makes for a long day, although it's a nice chance to sharpen your math skills by making change. Ha!

When I got up at 7 AM, it was pouring down rain. I'm talking major gullywasher, with lightning and thunder. I was not worried, because I'd been following the news and checking the weather, and the forecast of "it will clear up by 9 AM" held true. It ended up being a beautiful day, and once it cleared off, we had steady business just like yesterday. My folks and Ken's Mom and stepdad were here, so they helped and provided company, and they also got to visit and talk and get to know each other a little better. We actually had a fun day, and it seemed that the time passed fairly quickly. My sister came by, too, and it was great to have Cousin Shane stop by for a visit! It had been a while since my folks had seen him, and I know they were delighted to get caught up with him, and my sister was happy to see him, too. He's such a peach. Love you, Shane!

Talked with some neighbors, including an older gentleman who lives nearby, and used to live across the road when Nutwood was a real live depot. There's a raised area by the house across the street that Shane and I discovered when we were snooping investigating the place when it was for sale, and that's where the depot was! The guy said he remembers when this was a dirt road, then when it was gravel, and now it's paved. It's very cool to hear a little about the history of our place, and what it used to be like back in the 1920's. Sold a few more large things today, like Ken's compound bow. A guy stopped by first thing this morning and was interested in it, but his price was a little lower than we were willing to take, but he came back later and we agreed on something in-between. Sold!

We had many people who said they were glad we had the big sign out by our driveway, because they'd have never found our place otherwise. Several people have said that in the past, and I usually say, "Sometimes that's a good thing!" It's not necessarily bad to be a little out of the way, a little hard to find, somewhat inaccessible...just a tiny bit hard to get.

Andy and Opie As is the way with Karma, we had something today that counteracted the bad mojo of the Mean Video Lady of yesterday. A couple stopped by with their two young boys. This was around noon, when I had started marking things down. They bought a few things, and were really nice, and when they headed back to their car, Ken's Mom said to me, "I'm kind of surprised they didn't buy those two kids' fishing poles. I would have thought that would be great for two little boys." I said, "Oh yeah, I meant to mark those down. What did I have on those? Five dollars?" I grabbed my Sharpie and went out to mark the fishing poles down to three dollars each. The family was just getting ready to drive off, but as soon as I came back in and sat down, the mom got out of their vehicle, headed back in, and grabbed those two poles and bought them.

She said they were thinking of them for the two boys (but I guess they didn't want to spend the extra bucks), but they saw me go out there and she said, "I think she's marking them down!" So she headed back in and grabbed them, and as she left, I told our folks, "That just made my day." The two boys were playing with them in the driveway, and she had a hard time getting them back into the car! Have fun, boys, and maybe someday, I'll meet you down by the fishin' hole!

Friday, July 10, 2009

One down, one to go

Day One of Operation Garage Sale is under our belts, and it was a good day. We did indeed have a couple of people show up at 7:30--grrrr--and they sat in the driveway for about 15 minutes before we were ready to head out. A lot of people don't start their sales until 9 AM, so give us a break, people! Turns out that they were highly motivated to buy the washer and dryer we were selling, so that was our first sale. They were elderly people whose daughter and her four sons were living with them, and they were working on getting their daughter set up in her own apartment. Very nice people, and I hope our reasonably-priced used washer and dryer will help with that!

We sold enough things that we were able to get much of the stuff off of the floors and onto the tables, so it was a pretty good day for a weekday. Late in the day, we sold our old kitchen table and chairs, so that was another big item we got rid of, and with my sister buying the bunk beds, we've made a decent chunk o' change so far. I think there's enough good stuff for people tomorrow, and I anticipate a little more action on a Saturday. It was fairly steady today, and there was enough downtime in the afternoon that I would have been able to do Facebook updates or tweet, but it was a little too much hassle to take my laptop and power supply out there. I read my book instead and made good progress on that.

Everyone was really nice, especially the stoner-type guy who bought a mouse (not the kind that Sheeba has been catching lately) and talked about transferring his vinyl to his computer. I've been thinking about that lately--you can get turntables with USB connections, and I've got two boxes of albums in the basement--so I picked his brain a little on that subject. (Note to self: belt drive, not servo motor.) I don't know if he was really a stoner, but he was sort of like that...very genial and talkative and just a really nice guy. The only person that was a little bit nasty was a lady in the morning. She was looking at a box of Disney videos--tapes, not DVDs--and we had $2 on them. I still think that $2 for a Disney video isn't too bad, because a lot of people still have VHS players, and Disney videos aren't cheap...but we marked them down to $1. Anyhoo, she held one up and this is how it went:

Mean Lady: [in an incredulous voice] Two dollars for this?

Ken: It's a Disney video.

Mean Lady: That's not a video. It's a VHS.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Loaded and ready for bear!

Stuff Don't worry, that's just a figure of speech.

One of my sisters and my folks came over this afternoon, and Mom had a whole bunch more stuff to set up. MAN, we've got a lot of stuff out there! Here's some of it...and I couldn't fit all the tables into one picture. I can't say I'm looking forward to this tomorrow, but the sooner we get going, the sooner it will be over! We'll be leaving for Florida in a week, so we're hoping for some good vacation money!

It also looks as if the weather is going to cooperate. Hot and humid tomorrow, but no rain until late afternoon, and then rain ending Saturday morning. We might get sprinkled on a little bit, but the bulk of the days should be clear. I put the signs up late this afternoon, so now it's just a matter of getting up at an ungodly hour for me: 7 AM. Arghhhh! If people show up before 8, I'll be pissed, but it seems like there's always someone who believes that their time is more valuable than yours and shows up before you're open.

Stuff2 Ken and I are hoping that we'll get a wireless signal in the garage, so you might be subjected to get to enjoy some live garage sale coverage tomorrow. Try to contain your excitement! Actually, I would probably do that on Facebook or Twitter rather than here.

For two days, the peace and quiet at Nutwood will be shattered, but I think I'll survive, as will the birds and other critters. Stay tuned for pictures of our newest residents, who I just saw this morning: twin fawns! All together now...Awwwww! (They really are adorable!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A woman gets weary

Apparently, so does a man, because Ken is napping on the couch!

All of Ken's Mom's stuff is priced, and tomorrow my folks will come over to put up their stuff. Four more tables. Gahhhh. Mom said, "We'll be there in the morning." I said, "No no no. Afternoon. Around one." No morning! No! Holy moley, what am I going to do Friday and Saturday?!

Part of my fatigue comes from hearing last night that FM was going to let CH move back in. Not as a reconciliation, but because he said it was half his house, too, and he was tired of living in another family member's basement, and he was moving back. I don't THINK SO!

My head didn't explode, but it was a close thing.

I called FM pronto, and both Ken and I had some very earnest discussions with her, mostly consisting of "Do not let him back in the house!" I said that I had a very bad feeling about it, I don't trust him, and I am concerned about her safety. If he tries to pull this "It's half my house, too," let him cry to his lawyer and file something. We both asked her, "Do you feel safe about having him there?" When she answered no, it was like, well, there you go. Do not let him back in the house. I'm happy to report that she took our concerns to heart, and called him and said she'd changed her mind.

The guy is such a dumbass that after 31 years, he hasn't figured out that you don't fuck with our family. We're an easygoing bunch, we're kind and affable...some might even say somewhat lovable. But I will eat your soul before I let you hurt my family. If he'd been paying attention for the past three decades, he would know this. I guess when you're so enamored of yourself, you don't have a lot of time to spare to get to know your in-laws. I suspect he might come to regret that. [evil grin]

Hey, happier subject! I got a notice from our fabulous St. Joseph County Public Library that the book I'd requested as a transfer was in. I also read online today that our library ranked seventh in the nation in libraries serving communities of 100,000-249,999. How cool is that? Of course, the rankings are lagging behind a little bit, and budget cuts have resulted in cuts in library programs and hours, so in a couple of years, our ranking might not be as high. I'll enjoy it for now, though, and I have to say that I really do love our library! Anyhoo, I stopped in to pick up the book that was patiently waiting for me, and made the mistake of stopping to look at the two shelves of books for sale. I checked out one book and bought three! It's hard to go wrong with $1 hardback and trade paperback books, though. The one I was most pleased about was a copy of The Robe from the 40's. I love antique books, and was very happy to find one at our library!

Beth + Ken = Hercules

Proving once again that two are greater than one, Ken and I put the hurt on the piles of STUFF in the garage. Grrrr, take that, Stuff! While he was being a despot, or something like that, I finished the signs, got the ad placed, and started setting things up and pricing them. I got three tables of things priced, and when Ken got home, we decided to work into the evening to really get a handle on it. He switched out the washer and dryer (thanks to Ken's Mom and stepdad for the almost-new pair!) and we got the rest of the tables set up. We have so much stuff that I called Mom and said they should bring a couple more tables. Our original plan was to use just the double side of the garage, but that plan has been modified, and we will be using all three bays in the garage, plus putting some stuff out in the driveway. This is ridiculous.

I do think we'll make some decent money, though. Nothing like my folks several years ago...they had a log cabin with all sorts of antiques and collectibles. When they moved out of that place, they sold a lot of that stuff and their garage sale netted them about 20 grand. Haha! Now that is a garage sale!

I missed all of the live coverage of Michael Jackson's memorial service, but I'm okay with that. I caught the highlights on Dateline tonight, and that was enough.

I'm a tired puppy. We got the bulk of it taken care of, though, and that's a big relief. More soon!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Herculean task

Garage sale Today we began our garage sale preparations in earnest, and while I can't say that it was fun, I can say that I tried my best to do so, and it was good to get started.

When Ken was at the office this afternoon, I marked up the signs I bought, and painted a big one for out by the road. I was drinking some Mike's Hard Lemonade, and took the big sign out onto the deck to paint, so that was kind of nice (and yes, I had fun painting, and my sign turned out well). When Ken got home, he set up a few tables, and we started carrying things out to the garage and getting a few things set up on the tables. We both agreed to do a pinky swear after this garage sale to not accumulate so much stuff! Ken found a 35mm camera that I don't even remember having! It seemed to be almost a relic. Of course, a lot of this stuff is coming from cleaning out a couple of rooms that weren't being used, so that added to the mess.

I've got my work cut out for me with getting everything set out on tables and pricing them. Ken's Mom is coming over on Wednesday, and my Mom is coming over either that night or on Thursday, so that should help.

Ken and I were laughing--I guess the term would be 'ruefully'--about how we swore we'd never do this again after our last garage sale, and here we are. We have a lot more stuff to sell than we thought we did, so although it's a pain to get it all set up and priced, I think we'll make a few bucks from it. I'll try to keep reminding myself of that in the next few days. It's always good to get "stuff" cleared out, too, so this is a positive thing. Really. [sigh]

Sunday, July 5, 2009

So sue me!

Palin's office5 I promise you that my blog isn't going to turn into all Palin, all the time. [shudder] Believe me, that will not happen. There are a couple of stories coming out, though, that I want to write about. (I'm including a picture I posted a while back when writing about Palin's office, just because I like the way I have the bear saying "Grrr." It makes me laugh.)

It seems that she posted on her Facebook page, and wrote a little more about her decision to resign. (Here is the full text of Palin's Facebook post.) One of the things she wrote was this:

Yesterday, my family and I announced a decision that is in Alaska's best interest and it always feels good to do what is right.

She then lists some of the things she has done for Alaska. If she's done so many great things, why is it in Alaska's best interest for her to step down? Wouldn't it be better for Alaska for her to stay in office and continue to work her magic? In her press conference, she spoke about lame duck legislators who just travel and don't really do anything. With a year and a half to go on her term, would she necessarily be considered a lame duck? Isn't a year and a half still plenty of time to accomplish things? It really doesn't make much sense. (I know...why am I trying to make sense out of this? I keep thinking there has to be some shred of logic in there somewhere.) She also writes this:

And though it's honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make.

Wow, sounds like she thinks it's all about her. This amazes me. She thinks somehow that she is judged differently by the media. I don't think that's the case at all. Yes, her qualifications and intelligence have been called into question. Whose fault is that? The media isn't making up the things that she says. You own them, Sarah. I'm also intrigued by her use of the phrase "higher calling." Delusions of grandeur? Then this:

I've never thought I needed a title before one's name to forge progress in America.

This is true, but I think it probably helps. I can't help but wonder in which capacity she plans on forging progress.

What really amazed me, though, was reading about Palin’s lawyer's plans to possibly pursue legal action against "Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post," as well as *gasp* bloggers who write defamatory pieces about Palin or the possibility that there might be some sort of scandal involved in her resignation. I don't know anyone who would write such a thing, do you? Nope, not here. Wait, I did write that any rumors I was hearing were just that, unsubstantiated rumors. Whew, I think I'm off the hook. But seriously, dude, what the hell? Just because someone speculates that there might be something more to this weird resignation, and that there could possibly be something a little deeper than what we're seeing and hearing on the surface, you're going to sue them for defamation of character?! Get real.

Good grief, even in my limited exposure in Blogtropolis, I've seen some pretty crappy things written about me. It's going to happen, and you just deal with it and move on (or quote refrigerator magnets to make you feel better). Good luck trying to sue someone for writing junk about you--you have to prove that it has affected your earning abilities, or damaged you in such a profound way that your livelihood and life has been affected. It's even worse when you're a public figure, so these idle threats from Palin's lawyer are really bizarre and pointless. And get this: the lawyer said that the New York Times and the Washington Post haven't written anything about any looming Palin scandal, but he believes they're asking questions. "What I've been informed is that they've been interviewing people in Wasilla about this, and have tried to interview the governor's parents about it," he said.

What? Journalists asking questions? Interviewing people? How dare they? Will the insanity never stop?

Birfers This is insanity, but on the lawyer's part, and since she has retained him, I have to presume on Palin's. Being a public figure does not confer immunity against probing questions from the press, and does not preclude criticism. It invites more, as it should. Just ask President Obama, who although he gets obviously good press and fairly favorable coverage from the "mainstream media" (Hey, does that mean that Fox News isn't mainstream? I guess so.), still has some bloggers and pundits calling for his head, sometimes literally. The Birfers are still out there, for Pete's sake. Get a grip, people, stop believing rags like The Globe. He won. He was born in America (Hawaii is part of America, if you recall). Put on your tinfoil hat and let it go. Anyhoo, it comes with the territory. You don't get to sue newspapers because they're asking questions about your conduct. That's what they do.

If your life and actions can't withstand public scrutiny, what are you doing running for office? Ken has a Big Dogs T-shirt that says "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch." Man, no kidding.

Click click BOOM!
Fireworks Animations provided by

Hey y'all, hope everyone had a fun holiday!

Ours was very low-key. Ken had to work today, and I just puttered at home. My sister came over in the afternoon and we chatted for a while. She's going to buy the bunk beds we were putting in our upcoming garage sale, for when her grandkids come to visit, so we made our first sale! It was good to chat with her, and she got a kick out of seeing the birds coming up to the feeders on the deck while she was sitting here. She said, "I've seen quite a variety in just the time I've been here!"

Ken's Mom was making dinner tonight, so we met up at their place. (It's on the way home from Ken's job, so it didn't make sense for him to drive all the way here and pick me up.) Ken's stepbrother and his wife, Jimmy and Paula, were visiting from Illinois, and it was the first time I'd gotten to meet them. I liked them a lot! I look forward to having them visit again, and I said that next time they're here we'll have them all over to our place. It had been some time since Ken got to talk with Jimmy at length, and there was a lot of reminiscing going was quite interesting to hear tales of Ken as a youngster, as well as tales of other youngsters from the same circle! I laughed about that a little bit, but told Ken, "You haven't spent a lot of time with my college friends." I don't really have any deep dark secrets, but I can say that I had me a helluva time! (I got a good education while I was at it, too, don't worry.)

Ken has to work tomorrow, so we had to make an early night of it. Most of the fireworks seem to be done now, so it should be a quiet night.

When I wrote yesterday about Palin's resignation, I said that the consensus is that this is the start of her 2012 Presidential bid. What a difference a day makes! Today, the consensus is that if that was her plan, she pretty much just shot herself in the foot with that weird, nonsensical press conference, as well as stepping down from a chance to garner more knowledge and experience. If she does run in 2012, can you imagine how they'll rip her to shreds? Let me get this straight, Ms. quit your position as Governor of Alaska...but you want the American public to elect you to the highest office in the land? Does that about sum it up?

The other speculation I've heard is that many think that there is a scandal brewing, and she's stepping down before it can hit. Maybe one of her daughters is pregnant. Wait, that already happened. Maybe her in-laws are druggies. Oh yeah, that already happened, too! [putting my snark away...for now] Actually, what I've heard is that the Internal Revenue Service might be involved. Pure speculation at this point, but yikes, you don't want to screw with the IRS.

Whatever her motivation for stepping down--and it might really be that she's doing it for her family...although the fact that stumping as a vice-presidential candidate is probably much harder on the candidate's family than her being Governor would seem to render that argument illogical--I honestly think that this is probably the end of her political career. I wouldn't place bets on that, because who knows what could happen in several years, but this was just a really weird move. Ken thinks that she's going to cash in and get lots of money from speaking engagements. If that's the case, that also speaks volumes to me about her motivations for getting into politics.

I'm not fond of Palin. Shocking, I know! Actually, I've made it very clear how I feel about her. However, I am saying this as someone just looking at all of this with a logical eye. This can't be a good move politically. I suppose we'll hear more in the coming months, and I wouldn't be surprised if there is more to the story.

To put this all in perspective, I'm very grateful that I live in a place where I have the freedom to write about my opinions of politicians and government, and that I am able to contact my legislators (and sometimes even get a reply). I do not take that lightly, believe me.