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Posts Tagged ‘Instagram’

There’s been a #20beautifulwomen challenge going around on Instagram for some time now. You’re supposed to post a picture of yourself when you feel most beautiful and then tag 20 other women to participate. Literally these selfies are all up in my feed. I’m not a huge fan of selfies–either for myself or others. I don’t mind  people posting pictures of themselves but it’s hard for me to understand several times a day like there’s nothing else out there as important. I haven’t been tagged which either means that people know I don’t go for that nonsense or they don’t think I’m beautiful. I’ve been dreading possibly getting tagged and having to explain my aversion to having my picture taken. Surprisingly, maybe a third that are doing it say they dislike having their picture taken. That is hard for me to believe. They are some of the prettiest out there.

I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about this topic but the conclusions I came to surprised me. Some of the people who did the #20beautifulwomen challenge said things like “everyone is beautiful” or “all women are beautiful” or “we’re all beautiful”. I disagree wholeheartedly. NOT everyone is beautiful physically. There are a lot of unattractive or downright ugly people. Maybe not so much on Instagram but out in real life. You’ll see people that will make your skin crawl. A lot of the physically beautiful people are shallow or ugly inside which negates their beauty, at least in my eyes. Then there’s the people who you don’t consider beautiful at first but as you get to know them, you’re kind of struck by their beauty in every day things. Like their generosity or kindness makes them beautiful. Or how they care for their children with such love or how they handle customers or coworkers with so much humor and grace. Some people are beautiful on the outside, some are beautiful on the inside and some are beautiful inside and out.

I’ve tried to examine why I personally hate having my picture taken. It’s not just how I look physically. I don’t really think I’m ugly even though I’m overweight and have any number or imperfections. A large majority of pictures I have my eyes shut in which makes me look like a dork. That’s beside the point. I don’t like having that kind of attention where I know I’ll be judged. All this time I thought it was self-loathing. I don’t really like myself. I searched on WordPress under self-loathing and it has people who REALLY hate themselves and are into self-mutilation and self harm. That is so far from me. I don’t want to hurt myself in any way, shape or form. I appreciate the body I have and that I’m able to walk, talk and function as a normal person. I don’t take those things for granted. I do have constant feelings of self doubt. What it boils down to is  I don’t believe in myself.

Beauty is nothing more than confidence. If you are a confident person, you will come across as beautiful. You will project the image that you believe you are beautiful. You are in charge and know what you’re doing. Most of the time I feel like I’m posing as an adult. An imposter who is just winging it as I go through life.

I have a whole other post I need to write about being overweight and what that does to a person’s psyche. Especially a lifetime of being fat and all that goes with it. To shorten the story some, I’ll just say that I was fat since birth. As kids will, I was constantly teased and called Fatso. It made me cry. I cried a lot. I felt powerless over my weight and powerless over how others saw me. I was bullied by 3 different kids in our neighborhood, one included daily beatings. Society was different back then and it was just accepted. An older 6th grade girl got up in my face one day (about 2 inches away) on the school playground at recess. I wasn’t older than 3rd grade but may have been even younger. I didn’t know this girl from Adam and she felt the need to say, “You are so ugly.” Wow. It was unprovoked and I had no response. I just started to cry. Looking back, this girl was super homely herself but I would never go out of my way to hurt someone like that, even if it was true.

Obviously, I have gotten over the above incident and the majority of the other teasing and name calling. However, it did change me in a profound way. I became even shyer. I was a shy kid already and this just made me go into my shell more. I had friends but for the most part, I tried to blend into the woodwork. If someone felt the need to tell me I was ugly, I needed to not be seen. To stay out of the way and not make people have to look at me. When I got to Jr. High School (7th-9th grade), it was a new start and I rose above all this. I even became somewhat popular and loved school. This lasted until I went to High School.

Anyway, feeling that kind of judgement makes me self conscious about everything I do in public. To this day, I’m horribly self-conscious. I don’t know how to fix it. Even making someone wait behind me while I count out change in the checkout lane makes me nervous. I feel like I’m not worthy of holding them up. Or any number of things I might do in front of someone, I feel like even if they don’t say anything they are thinking bad things of me. I don’t talk about this but it is always there.

I don’t feel worthy as a human being a lot of the time. I avoid mirrors. I was raised without a lot of compliments. My dad never gave compliments and my mom was raised without getting them so for her, the best thing she could say was that I looked, “Clean from home.” My dad never told me he loved me which is par for his generation but it still made me insecure. My mom told me and I believed her. I always felt like parents are supposed to love you and when one of them can’t, it has to be my fault. Well, after my dad died, I figured out it had nothing to do with me. However, it still had been ingrained in me for my entire childhood. I would hear my dad talking about my acne or how I needed to lose weight. Even my mom wanted me to lose weight the worst way. I have never wanted to be loved for physical beauty. The Amish side of me wants to be loved because I’m a good person. My husband has told me I’m beautiful (once in a blue moon) but I have a hard time believing it. He also likes to tell me, “You’re such a good person.” I believe him but wonder why no one else notices.

After reaching adulthood, no one dared say outright how fat I was or call me Fatso. But I would catch people talking about me behind my back. Like in a bathroom stall at work. I almost had a panic attack when I heard 2 women I hardly knew talking about me and just picking me apart. They didn’t know I was in there and I stayed in there until they left so they never knew. These 2 women were about the same size as me, maybe a bit bigger. They dolled themselves up though with makeup and hairspray. I just didn’t measure up to their standards.

I don’t know how to love myself. Or even like myself. There’s parts of me that I like but not my looks. It wouldn’t matter if I lost weight, I would still feel the same way about myself. I know this because when I was younger, I did lose weight and I still had no confidence or self esteem.

I admit I am a bit jealous of those with high self esteem. Those that can look at themselves in a mirror and think they look fabulous. I’ve often wondered how everyone else gets such a high opinion of themselves. Do they give themselves pep talks daily? Tell themselves how wonderful they are if no one else will? There’s a woman about 650 lbs. on Instagram who people are constantly telling her “you’re so beautiful”. I don’t get it. I’m not saying she couldn’t be beautiful at that weight. I don’t know if they really mean it since to me, she’s not. But she acts like she believes it and agrees with them. I wouldn’t want people telling that to me unless they truly felt that way and even then it would make me uncomfortable.

There’s a book I heard about called “Unworthy: How To Stop Hating Yourself” by Anneli Rufus. If anyone’s read this and think it would help, let me know. Otherwise if you’ve gone through anything similar or know what steps to take to make me like myself, do tell. I’m all ears! In the meantime, I’ll be looking at all the selfies for the #20beautifulwomenchallenge and feeling left out and out of place. I should be used to it by now, I’ve had enough practice.

 

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Today has been such a good day. Nothing special but still remarkable in and of itself. I had almost no leg and back pain which is miraculous. Some days it’s really bad and it pretty much varies every day. After the worst winter I’ve ever lived through, full of cold and snow and no Spring at all, today’s weather was sunny and in the 80’s. The dogs and I had the best walk we’ve had this year. We took our usual route but the dogs were so well behaved. Not perfect but the closest they’ve been in a long time. They didn’t pull on the leash like fiends which in turn makes my back and legs hurt worse. They walked nicely with slack in the leash most of the time. This put me in a fantastic mood. I was talking to them as we walked and praising them which probably helped them be better (except for Elvis who can’t hear). Nothing awful happened on the walk which is an anomoly. Yesterday, halfway through our walk, we were charged from across the street by a giant black lab. The owner didn’t have the dog on a leash and ran over saying, “He’s just a puppy. Only 2 years old.” I didn’t waste my breath trying to tell her 2 yrs. old is not a puppy. When we got home, I put some vintage tunes on the boom box in the kitchen and started making dinner. I whipped up a cold pasta salad with chicken and lots of assorted veggies. I love those and that’s my favorite way to eat when it’s hot outside. I was going to make a rhubarb cake but ran out of time. Hopefully, this weekend I’ll get to it since all our rhubarb is ready to pick.

I had another sale on Instagram last night. I’ve been trying different nights and different themes. Last night was just random items which doesn’t seem to go over as well as all one type. Last week I had another random sale and the week before that I had a religious sale. The first of the month I had an angel sale. I’m thinking of doing that once a month. So many factors come into play, the day and time you have the sale, who’s online then, the price you list it at, what others are looking for and how much money they’ve got available to spend. I’ll just keep plugging along. It really has me inspired though. I wake up every morning thinking about what I’m going to sell next, etc. I’ve been really flexible with letting people pay when it’s convenient and so far people are really pleased I’m willing to work with them. I want to keep it a good, positive experience, not just for me but for the customers as well.

I don’t want anyone to think everything is rosy for me though. Because we have to keep things interesting at all times… Last Friday morning (May 17th), before 9 am, hubby went to fill up the Jeep with gas before we left to go treasure hunting. He goes to a gas station in town, less than a mile away. Before he could even get there, some guy in a Mack Rolloff truck (like a garbage or recycling truck) hit him. Greg had just turned the corner (right) and was a block from the gas station. The truck was in the left lane (speeding) and started going into hubby’s lane. He touched him in front and the headlight on the driver’s side just flew off and the front got crushed including the grill. He called me to tell me so I wouldn’t worry. The guy was in his work truck and on the job so it was lucky he pulled over. Greg called the cops and it took them over half an hour to arrive. Then the police officer took statements and gave the other driver a citation because he was at fault. His truck didn’t have a mark on it from the incident. The Jeep was driveable so Greg finally got gas and came home. I told him to call our insurance co. immediately and he spent a large chunk of time on the phone with them. They told him which body shop to take it to. It’s in the next town over (Des Plaines) so I followed him there in my car so we could get an estimate and drop it off.

As I’m driving behind Greg, we’re half a block from turning into the body shop. We’re both in the right lane, going to turn right into the driveway for the place. All of a sudden, at the intersection on the left, a guy with a truck and a small trailer behind (like they go around with for grass cutting in the area–they keep their lawn mowers and leaf blowers inside the trailer) pulls out just as Greg is going by the intersection. He was going way too fast and just watching from behind, I was afraid the trailer would go flying into Greg’s vehicle or he’d try to cut him off. You could just tell how careless a driver the guy was. He was in the left lane, right next to Greg and all of a sudden decided to get in the right lane like he didn’t see Greg was there! Greg laid on the horn and the guy finally stayed in his lane. Back in my car, watching all this, I BURST OUT LAUGHING. I almost busted a gut laughing. Of course, it wasn’t funny at all but the IRONY of this almost happening again to Greg in the span of a few hours was too much! That pretty much confirms that our life is like a live version of Family Guy. 😉

The cop had estimated the damage between $500-1500. He said if it was over $1500, he’d have to fill out the back of the accident report and mail it in to the state. The body shop told us it would be more like $2500. Our insurance co. was going to pay, we have to pay our $250 deductible. Then our insurance co. is going to go after his insurance co. to get the money back. Besides it being an inconvenience, the expense and time lost to dealing with it, the worst part is that it’s going to take 2 weeks for them to get it done. We were planning to go for a short vacation from Memorial Day to the following Sunday. Possibly up to Green Bay, WI. Now we had to cancel that but hubby is still taking the 2 vacation days and we’re just staying home that week. We’ve got plenty to do but it’s still a disappointment. If this had happened a week earlier (OR NOT AT ALL), this wouldn’t have affected vacation plans.

The Sat. before this, I had finally taken my car to get a new battery. It had been dead for a couple of months and i knew I wouldn’t drive it until the weather got better so we just left it sit. We took it to Sam’s Club and it was still under warranty so we should’ve gotten a partial refund on a new one. Instead, the nice kid at the desk gave me the battery free. Greg & I were afraid to breathe when he said this. I couldn’t believe this! Things like this never happen to me! It put me on Cloud 9 for a few days straight. It turns out it was good that we didn’t wait another week or we wouldn’t have had a car that ran…

After we dropped the Jeep off, it was raining and dreary all day. That didn’t keep us from our usual treasure hunting. In fact, I drove us in my car all day long. I’m like the little old lady that only drives her car to church once a week. Instead, I might drive mine to the library or to get milk. It’s 21 years old and has 36, 700 miles!! It’s my baby and I love driivng and couldn’t love a new car as much as I love it. I only like to drive between 10-1 pm when the traffic isn’t bad and only when the weather is good and when I’m going somewhere I’ve been before. I wish I was kidding! So here I am out of my comfort zone, driving at all hours, in the worst weather and to strange places. It was so good for me and just what I needed. But I got my fill and on Sat. we only went to 1 place and I let Greg drive. Even though I’m a great driver, he dislikes being a passenger. I love being a passenger just because I don’t have to pay attention and can look at the clouds and everything else under the sun. So we were happy with that.

Sat. we went to the most interesting estate sale in memory. It was a 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse type building in the Wicker Park area of Chicago. It was a single family residence of 2 artists. I can’t imagine having that much room or being that rich! It even had a courtyard that was once a sculpture garden. Talk about eclectic taste. We got there about 50 minutes late and when we went to get a number, we were 109 and 110. They were on 40! So we walked a couple blocks away to Division St. and went to the bathroom in Starbucks. By the time we got back, they were only on number 50! We expected to wait most of the day but it was only about 40 minutes total. Instead of the usual crowd, it was mostly neighborhood people who walked there and had never been to an estate sale! So like 20 people or more just left without waiting after getting a number. We went in and took our time (about 2 hours) walked through the place! We spent some money ($129) but didn’t go hog wild. I was looking for one unique art piece for us to keep to remember being there. I didn’t see it until a woman had it in her hand and was taking it to someone to get a price quote. A lot wasn’t marked. The guy told her $60 and she left with it. I was heartbroken. It was a cross made out of bottlecaps and had a doll face in the middle and said Lean on me. It’s hard to explain. I didn’t even get a picture of it. A lot of the art pieces were expensive and at first they weren’t giving any money off the price. As time went on and depending who you  dealt with (there was a different person running it in each room), you could do better. A few things were more than I wanted to pay but then we got a few things so cheap, I’d be embarrassed to say!! We left feeling really good about things. 🙂

In the next few weeks I’m going to branch out to selling vintage sheets and pillowcases and ephemera like postcards and old greeting cards with cool graphics. Prior to seeing all this on Instagram, I had no idea people were in the market for any of that stuff. They want the sheets from the ’70’s or older with the funky floral patterns but also any loud pattern. I’ve been hoarding them when I find decent ones at a sale. Not all estate sales have sheets, maybe only one a weekend, if that. Then they might not be any good. You really have to look through them. I’ve had a hard time finding any postcards or greeting cards that aren’t being sold singly for $1 or more at an estate sale. I try to get a handful or box for one price and usually can’t. I lucked out and got a bag of greeting cards from the 1960’s and a handful of postcards from the 1910’s this past weekend. Such fun to look through! 🙂

So just like the weather improving, parts of my life aren’t so bad. I’ve got reason to be thankful and happy despite the hard times. I hope everyone else sees it that way too.

 

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I am ready to drop from exhaustion over the past 10 days. I took the plunge and started an Instagram shop on Valentine’s Day. I’d been thinking about it since I found the vintage community with tens of thousands of people on there a few months back. After watching and trying to learn how it’s done, the time finally came to stop agonizing over it and JUST DO IT. There are two ways to open a store on there. Start promoting it for MONTHS, telling everyone you’ll open when you have x amount of followers (usually at least 150), running contests, etc. The other way is to just announce it and start listing things. Which is what I did. I’m not saying one is better than the other, it’s just personal preference. I’m proud to say that within the first week I’d gained 150 followers and now after 10 days, I’m at 167. I can see how this is going to take time to build up a business. I’ve had 14 sales and one of them a repeat customer! 🙂 Sadly, I can see how people are all gung-ho when they start and get discouraged and quit fairly soon. I’m going to stick with it as long as I can.

Shop Introduction

Shop Introduction

I try to pick out new items in the morning and then photograph them between 11 am and 1 pm when the lighting is best. After lunch, I measure and write up a brief description on paper. I’ve been listing every night after supper. Sometimes supper is late like 8 pm  because I’ve been busy wrapping a package or doing paperwork. We watch the Winter Olympics while I’m writing up the descriptions on my iphone. I have done the entire shop from my iphone. Since my 8 yr. old computer does not work that well, I thought it was preferable. So far it’s taking me too long to list each thing. I know I put a lot more description than is needed but I want people to know exactly what they’re getting so there’s no problems later. The first night I put on all stuffed animals or plush (new with tags) and they haven’t sold. The next night I put all shot glasses and those didn’t go either. It could be that not enough people saw them. The 3rd night I started putting on a random assortment of things to appeal to a wider range of people. That seemed to be working so I’ve stuck with that. The things I think people would go nuts over, no one cares about. My favorite listings are a Hawaiian hula skirt from 1969, a ceramic lady with scarf flower frog, Nestle Quik rabbit cup, tin banks, a handpainted tin mirror from Mexico, Corn Flakes tshirt and hat, an Afro-Italian silent butler, a plasic wicker purse and a plastic thermoset leaf and vine necklace. None of these sold. Go figure.
Ceramic Personal Mail Holder

Ceramic Personal Mail Holder

The most successful sellers on Instagram seem to be the ones who not only give good customer service but are very social with customers. I’ve been shipping out immediately but haven’t had as much time as I’d like to socialize. Having the 2 accounts, I don’t get time to get over to my original account. I was afraid that was going to happen. There’s also a learning curve with shipping. When we sold on ebay in the past, we shipped everything Priority Mail and the buyer paid the postage. Now I try to include the shipping in the price. I know when I see something I want on there, when it says “plus shipping”, it turns me off. I always assume it’s a lot. In truth, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. When something is under 13 ounces, it can go first class and that’s usually under $3.50 depending on the weight. When I charge $10 shipped, I am paying the $3.50 shipping out of my own pocket, plus whatever the item cost me plus Paypal fee. It’s just the cost of doing business. I understand that and accept it. If it goes over 13 ounces, then it either goes Parcel Post or Priority Mail. Sometimes it’s only 20 cents difference to send it Priority. Other times it’s the same. So already I’ve sent 3 things Priority because they were heavier than I thought. I also have to look into some of the “bags” to ship in. Some sellers just bubblewrap things good and put them in a bag. I never would have thought of that!
Hedwig Owl Mug from Harry Potter

Hedwig Owl Mug from Harry Potter

I have some postcards and pictures I want to list but am unsure how to charge for shipping or mail them. I don’t know if they need to be in something heavier than an envelope like cardboard? I’ve been doing the best that I can to try to gain a good reputation. I can see how if a person got a bad one, it would end their Instagram selling just through word of moouth alone. It’s hard to know what to price things at. There are people selling things $2 plus shipping and I don’t want to do that. God bless them if they can afford to do that. They must be getting their stuff a lot cheaper than I am. I try to sell things that have some worth. At the end of the day, I want something for my trouble. When I price something and it doesn’t sell immediately, I think it has more to do with the right person not seeing it yet.
Lenox Elephant Hinged Box

Lenox Elephant Hinged Box

When buying, I usually know right away when I see something if I want it. If I don’t, I walk around and think about it. If I’m still thinking about it after awhile, then I definitely want it. If I don’t, then I pass. The way the successful sellers do it, when they have a sale, they list things and people are snatching them up the second they go on. Basically, the first person that sees it, gets it and everyone else afterwards just looks at it longingly. I hope someday my stuff starts selling that way! 😉
Creepy Doll Head

Creepy Doll Head

As for only selling in the USA, it’s mostly due to the cost of postage. It cost like $87 to mail a hankie to Australia. Nobody wants to pay that kind of shipping nor do I want them to. Worse still, I don’t trust myself to calculate International rates correctly and would probably end up eating most of the shipping by accident.
Smokey The Bear Salt & Pepper

Smokey The Bear Salt & Pepper

I hope everybody who reads my blog checks out my Instagram shop! Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, you can start one just to look. You wouldn’t have to post any pictures unless you wanted to. All pictures in this post are of sold items.  It gives you an idea of some of what I sell. It looks like a lot of ceramic items and it is but also a huge variety of other items. It’s hard to believe it’s stressing me out already. It’s seriously cutting into my blogging time. 😉 I’ll have to figure out a better way to do it so I can still do everything else I need to and nothing suffers.
Lefton Madonna & Child Jesus dated 1957

Lefton Madonna & Child Jesus dated 1957

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Whenever it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, you can rest assured that I’ll eventually turn up with a tale or two to tell. We went a week without Internet access which isn’t exactly conducive to writing. Then we killed a whole day having the AT&T repair guy come out. I got him here 2 days sooner (it was going to be 9 days w/o wifi) because I complained on Twitter. Behold the power of Twitter! He was supposed to be here between 9-11 am and got here at 11:20 am. He was here until after 4 pm. He had to install new fiber optic wires and gave us a new modem. He also put a new box outside and who knows what else. He wouldn’t hook up our Apple Airport Extreme so that’s been just sitting there for a few weeks now. Greg found some directions online about how to do it. Now he just needs some time. I found out yesterday he’ll be going out of town for a week next month for work. I’m already dreading it. It’s not that I can’t handle things alone, it’s just a much bigger burden. At night, our bedtime routine entails him taking the 3 dogs out in the backyard so they can go potty and I take Mom upstairs to the toilet and put her to bed. If I have to take the dogs first, it just complicates things more. I shouldn’t feel bad. Greg’s the one going to Newark, NJ. Ha. At least he’ll know at least 4 people there that week to chum with. In other work news, he was passed over again (don’t ask how many times) for the same job he’s doing now at a  higher pay band. It’s beyond pissing us both off. He started applying for that pay grade at other airports and of course they all want him. I don’t know if I want to move though. All my life I’ve wanted to live in California but this is just the wrong time in my life for it. Time will tell what comes up next.

As I may have mentioned before, this is the weirdest winter in memory. Weather-wise, we’re being hit with tons of snow. Like three times as much as average years and a lot more than the past few years. When the snowflakes stop flying, the temperature drops to sub-zero temps. It’s only good for hibernating bears. For 5 years I’ve been walking the dogs religiously every day. Now since the beginning of Dec., they’ve only had a handful of walks. Not even one day a week. It bothers them a great deal but they still have a yard to run around in for brief intervals. I’ve been housebound way too much. I mean, technically, if I can sit outside in a Packers football game in 5 degree weather for over 3 hours, I can walk the dogs for a half hour. BUT that was largely due to not knowing it was going to be that cold when the tickets were purchased. Sure, it’s winter and all but we’re used to 30 degree winters. Some sunshine once in awhile. I don’t like walking the dogs when it’s under 18 degrees. Maybe that makes me a winp. Amber, the Shiba Inu, does well in cold weather and loves the snow. Elvis, the Jack Russell Terrier, is hearty too. But our Basenji from Africa, Ivy, just can’t take the cold. Her feet freeze and she starts limping after a couple blocks. I also have developed a fear of falling down. There’s a ton of ice on the sidewalks from people who never shoveled their sidewalks and then it snowed on top and then it froze again. In Park Ridge, there isn’t a law saying that homeowners need to clear their sidewalks. You know what that means, just under half don’t even bother. It really sucks. The snowplow piles the snow up at the corners waist-high where you’re supposed to be able to cross! I wouldn’t think of walking without my heavy winter boots but still, it’s not good. We’re expecting 2 more days of snow this week and we’re running out of places to put it.

Have I mentioned I’m going stir crazy? I get out with hubby a bit on the weekends which is good. I’ve become so scattered anymore though. Maybe distracted is a better term. I have the attention span of a gnat. I don’t know what the deal is but I can’t concentrate on anything. I go from one activity to another and never finish. I’m very unsettled. I don’t know how much of it is attributable to the weather and how much to this time of my life and circumstances.

4 years ago I got into the Winter Olympics for the first time! All my life, I’d never cared a hoot about them. I still don’t care for the summer ones. But we started watching the snow and ice sports and had a ball. This year, I was actually looking forward to it. I’ve been recording whatever NBC shows and we watch it at night. The Opening Ceremony is not to be missed. Of course, it helps to have a few drinks and make snarky comments on Twitter. I like the ice skating, hubby likes the luge, we both like the moguls and now our new favorite is called “slopestyle”. Snowboarding down a hill instead of in a half-pipe. The most ridiculous sport has to be curling followed by the biathalon. Cross country skiing and shooting a gun? They go together like peas and carrots! I don’t know if they have a triathalon but I’m sure that includes those 2 things and swimming. 🙂 The commentary is annoying at best. I don’t know who put Bob Costas in charge but it was a poor choice. He’s had a running narrative on his eye infection. Why he’s wearing glasses, how it’s not getting better and comparing himself to a cartoon character (from Peabody & Sherman) and a Superhero (Clark Kent=Superman). I expect him to come out in an eye patch tomorrow just to garner sympathy. 😉

Aside from watching the Olympics, we’ve been working on getting our house in order. For years we had plain walls and now we’re slowly hanging our latest vintage acquisitions. A few weeks ago I got a pair of matching wooden shelf units. We finally got them hung on Sat. in our bedroom. We also hung 2 more (different sizes) ship’s wheels in our hallway for a total of 3. We have another one but it’s a bigger size and not sure where it’ll fit. Our house is starting to look like a museum and I’m ok with that. Hubby is getting obsessed with globes. The regular vintage globes in blue and tan and the ones that light up. I love them too. We’ve got a few in the LR and are going to add more to the other rooms. If I can’t travel the world, at least I can dream big! 🙂

With all this time indoors, I’ve been getting more into Instagram. Not in the way I’d like. I haven’t taken hardly any pictures or posted any. Yet I’ve found a community of vintage collectors on there that sell vintage quilts, afghans, sheets, Pyrex, dishes, etc. They do it through Instagram and don’t pay fees. Just the paypal fee for collecting money and the postage fee which some pass on to customers. Some also sell on ebay and etsy but others do a huge business just on IG. I’ve gotten so involved in it. I started followed a lot of people and they post the items they’re selling. Since they only have one of each item and they’re fairly rare finds, they do it by whoever replies first with their email and zip code. This has caused me to spend an inordinate amount of time on there stalking their feeds. I’ve boughten from a few and have added to my glossy bird collection. (We also put up 2 plate rails in the dining room above the windows last week. One has my birds sitting on it, the other has my spaghetti poodles.) I’ve missed a lot of really extraordinary things but of course, none of it is anything I NEED, just stuff I enjoy. I’ve also run across things where they quote a price and while my cheap self is sitting there calculating if I should buy it, someone else comes along and buys it out from under me. Sometimes that’s a blessing.

So over the past few months I’ve been formulating in my mind that I’m going to start selling my excess estate sale goodies on Instagram. Thinning out the vintage and selling things I find that I think others would like. On the one hand, this isn’t that much of a stretch since we were one of the first selling on ebay back in the 1990’s and also still sell collectibles on our website. On the other hand, I’ve never done it in that kind of format. It’s a lot harder than it looks. I don’t gussy up my pictures when I take them. The sellers I’ve seen on IG, “stage” their pictures with a pretty backdrop. They write ON their pictures the price and any other info. They make announcements of sales and giveaways constantly. I don’t know if this is for me! I’ve got the name all picked out and once I’m ready to open, I will announce it on here. I don’t expect to sell to my friends. I’ve never really wanted to because I don’t want there ever to be any hard feelings. Then again, if I could treasure hunt for people and keep an eye out for them for specific items, that’d be pretty cool.

I started another IG account just for this vintage business but haven’t posted to it yet. I’m almost paralyzed with fear. I’m just terrible at starting things. And following through. I get super excited about things and when my enthusiasm wanes, it’s hard to carry on. I’m also worried that it’ll be hard to switch back and forth between accounts. I’m usually on my iphone 4 when I’m on there. I didn’t want to use my regular feed because it’s got a few thousand pics and all personal stuff. I don’t want to chase away the friends I’ve made on there by posting things for sale. Oh, the dilemnas I manufacture for myself.
Valentine's Day Cards

Valentine’s Day Cards

Yesterday I made Valentine’s Day cards on the computer. They turned out cute but I wish I had the time, skill and energy to make them by hand using markers, stickers, rubber stampers, ribbon, beads and all kinds of crafty things. I’m old fashioned enough to enjoy remembering special people by sending them “happy mail”. Most people really don’t care about that anymore. Valentine’s Day used to be my favorite holiday. All of my blog readers are my favorites and I want you all to be my valentine! I hope you have a wonderful day and get some sugar from your sweetheart! If you don’t have a sweetheart, hugs from your dog or cat then. 🙂

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I left out so much from vacation and even now am going to quickly cover some of the things that happened. The first weekend we were in Mississippi (Nov.9-11), they had the First Annual Tunica Balloon Bash. It was hyped to the nines and we didn’t really know what to expect. Supposedly they were having 10 hot air balloons at 4 different locations (casinos) for a total of 40. They were having “balloon glows” on Friday & Sat. evenings for 2 hours. This is where they turn on the propane torches to light up the balloons while they are on the ground. It looks really cool! We were staying at Sam’s Town RV Park, across the street from Hollywood where they were hosting some of the balloons. Hubby and I walked the dogs over there and we both got some really good pictures and I put some of them on Instagram. They were supposed to be offering tethered rides on one of the balloons but it was too windy. This would turn out to be the case for the ENTIRE WEEKEND. It was basically a bust. Not only were there only about 4-5 balloons at each location, they seemed to be doing it half-heartedly. They didn’t even stay the whole 2 hours. The crowd seemed almost half-hearted about it too. There was a fairly long line for rides and when they announced it was too windy, people just dispersed and lost all interest. I wasn’t particularly excited about the whole thing ahead of time but being that close to them in person piqued my interest. I figured it was no big deal but after seeing how hard it was to control the balloons in the wind, it looked quite scary to me! I would be afraid to go up in one unless it was completely calm. Even then, I don’t know if I’ll ever have the opportunity again unless I seek it out. We drove over to the other casinos to see what they had going on for the balloon glow and it was even less! Either that or they’d packed up early.
 
There was supposed to be a balloon race on both Sat. & Sun. mornings and hubby and I actually got up at 7 am and went out to the location of the start of the race (Tunica National Golf Course). We took the dogs with us in the car over there and everybody was just standing around outside. Finally around 8 am, we asked one of the guys (Dan) who was heading to his truck and he said it was cancelled due to the wind. We didn’t bother going on Sun. morning but heard it was the same situation again. How disappointed the balloonists must’ve been! They had to bring their baskets and gear, only to not even use it. Sidenote: I would never be able to fold up one of those balloons after inflation. I can’t even get something back in the original box once I’ve taken it out. 😦 This Dan we met was one of the most friendly people we’ve encountered in the south. His father is a hot air balloon pilot and he’d come along. He does barge maintenance and repair. He’s the first one I met in that line of work. Anyway, he knew what a Basenji was (which is what our dog Ivy is) so that got the conversation going. Then we got to talking about other things in the area, etc. He gave us a business card and told us to call him that night about the balloon glow and that’s when we found out that it was too windy again. All in all, it was a creative idea and I can see the casinos and tourism put a lot of money into it. I would’ve liked to get one of the t-shirts but didn’t see them for sale anywhere! I’ll be curious to see if they try it again next year or nix it entirely. If it wasn’t for the wind, the temperatures were a perfect 72 degrees. If it’d been scheduled for the following weekend, it would’ve been in the mid-40’s!
 
This wasn’t the biggest disappointment while we were there. Saturday Nov. 10th there was a Chili Cookoff at Sam’s Town Casino sanctioned by whoever sanctions those things. It was supposed to be from 8 am until 5 pm. Every Sat. Hollywood has a breakfast buffet (the best around) for 77 cents (comp dollars). We were debating whether to skip it and go early for the cookoff. Who eats chili at 8 am?? Unless you’re working nights, that I can totally see. Instead we decided to go to the buffet early and then head over at 4 pm and still get an hour in at the cookoff. We got there and they were packing up!! It was $2 for all the samples you wanted. They woudn’t even take our money, and told us to go around and see if anyone had any left. We got 2 samples, one without beans (which to me is like gravy) and the other was stone cold. Blech! Hubby had been dreaming of this for weeks. That is one of my pet peeves that things are written/advertised everywhere that it goes until 5 pm and they don’t even stick to it. Maybe it’s our fault for coming at the tail end. This wasn’t 4:45 pm, it was exactly 4 pm. Also we noted how unfriendly a lot of these types of group activities are. The ones entering the contest don’t try to be friendly to patrons, they would rather be downright rude and carry on conversations with their competition. I’ve seen this at anything we go to where we are “outsiders”. Like a dog club activity. We aren’t members but the woman we got Ivy from has invited us to a few things. We went twice and you get there and if you don’t go up to talk to people, no one will approach you and welcome you. For goodness sake! I am not that way. I like to make others feel welcome and can’t stand to see anyone on the sidelines. In the past when we went to some parties for Greg’s work, if someone was a table alone while everyone else was playing darts or some game, I’d be the first to go up to them and chat. I’m sure the alcohol had something to do with it but it’s still in my nature.
 
Other notable things that happened on vacation? I was cleaning the wax out of the tube of one of Mom’s hearing aids with a toothpick and it broke off. Gah! I tried pushing it through with another toothpick and it broke off on top of the other one. No budging it. I panicked at first, then sat down and tried everything until I fixed it. I took the tube out of the aid and manipulated it with a fingernail until I worked it out. Crisis averted.
 
Before vacation my watch band broke. My other watch had a dead battery. So I was wearing Greg’s huge watch (he has 3). I didn’t even care how it looked but while I had the time on vacation, we went to the outlet mall and I got a new battery for the one and a band for the other. There’s a collectibles shop there that has an owner that looks like Santa. He’s always helpful and nice as can be. So put that experience in the plus column
 
The zipper on my silver grey Gloria Vanderbilt (my fave pants brand ever) pants broke. I’ve only worn them a handful of times. I was “saving” them for vacation. I don’t think they can be fixed. It wouldn’t be worth it to spend $10 to get them fixed when I think I paid $20 for them on sale. 😦
 
We got a dehydrator at the same outlet mall. We love the Kitchen Collection store there and always find something cool there. We’d been talking about dehydrating fruit, veggies and meat since getting a ton of beef jerky when we were in Michigan a few months ago. The one we got is a Presto which is made in my hometown of Eau Claire, WI. How ironic. This weekend I’ll get over to the library for a book of recipes so we can try it out. I especially want to do pineapple, bananas and papayas.
 
I’d add pictures to this post if it wouldn’t take me like 2 hours to do it. I just don’t have the time to spare right now. Thanks for hanging with me when I’ve been so scarce on here. 😉 BTW, I do realize I said “supposed to be” about a million times in this. “The best laid plans of mice and men” and all that jazz. What kind of plans do mice make, exactly? Bring on the cheese.

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Picture This

We got back from our vacation last Friday and between all the excitement of getting the new iPad2 (this goes at the top of my list of favorite things EVER) and picking out plants for the garden, I haven’t had a moment to get my wits about me. I find myself getting stressed out simply due to the sheer busyness of my life. All the catching up when one returns from a trip is taking place plus starting to plant the garden (should finish tomorrow), getting a mammogram, taking urine samples in for Amber, paying bills, cooking meals and a thousand tiny things too numerous to mention. It makes me wonder how people with kids manage so well. In the midst of this, a brilliant idea came to me.
 
I don’t really have the time to do a post about this justice but can’t hold it in anymore either. I am absolutely loving Instagram! It is like Twitter with pictures. You can “like” others’ photos as well as make comments and even have whole conversations. You can follow different people and check out their photostream. I’ve always loved looking at people’s pictures, no matter the subject. I find it is the quickest way to learn about people’s lives and get to know them as individuals. It is so great to get to peek into people’s homes, see them, their kids, pets. yards, their collections, etc. I am one of the biggest Instagram cheerleaders. It’s like Twitter on crack. 😉 Now that I’ve convinced you all how wonderful it is, get ready.
 
I think we should have an Instagram Convention! Where anyone who wants to from around the country can come together and meet. We can take pictures, of course, but also just get to know., in person, the people we feel we know via Instagram. Silence (you can hear a pin drop). I was afraid of that. I don’t have anything set in stone yet but wanted to send out feelers to see who was definitely interested, who might be interested and who has no interest.
 
First let me say that I in no way feel like I should be the one running this. I’m great at coming up with ideas. I don’t think I’m the big cheese on Instagram (I’ve only got 112 followers where some have thousands). I don’t want to step on any toes or overstep by even suggesting this. The reason I am calling it a convention instead of just a party is because it’s the first one (that I’ve heard about). It’s such a long story but I was a co-host for the very first Slam Convention. Slams are little booklets with questions that you sign with your name and address and answer questions, then send them on to other swappers. There was probably 100 in our slam community and 13 came to the first one back in July 1997. It was Nancy’s idea (host) and she asked if I would help. I didn’t know what I was getting into but said yes. She provided the location, a cute 2 bedroom house in Gulf Shores, AL. My husband took off work and helped me load the car with all my baking & cooking supplies and we drove the 16 hours to AL.
 
It was a very informal setting with people arriving on Thurs. & Friday and leaving on Sunday or Monday. People were flying into Mobile, AL & Pensacola, FL and my hubby and Nancy would take turns taking them to or from the airport. I spent the entire time cooking which I loved. Between the 2 of us, Nancy and i were able to provide food for everyone, including desserts. Due to the expense of buying airline tickets, a lot of people didn’t have extra money for lodging or food. Nancy was able to set up cots in the LR and let several sleep there. Others got hotel rooms nearby. We’d get together every day in the morning and have lunch and dinner together. I made up games to play, gave out prizes, had a ceremony giving out awards for different categories, etc. People would break up into little groups to do different activities like going to the beach or shopping. I thought it was planned really well for being the first one.
 
I just wanted to throw out the idea and see what suggestions people had. I have no intention of doing this alone so anyone who wants to cohost, I’d be thrilled. We need to decide the venue, if someone had a location they could provide or would want to open their home. Or if they knew of a hotel that would give especially good discounts. Or maybe renting a huge beach house where the parties involved would kick in X amount per person.  I live near O’hare airport so picking people up at the Kiss & Fly lot would be easy for me. I could possibly arrange a hotel in the suburbs near me (trying to afford downtown Chicago for several nights is not in my budget). I’d be more than willing to cook. It keeps me from being nervous meeting new people.
 
If anyone likes this idea and wants to be the one to run it, please do! All I want is credit for the idea. Maybe instead of an individual convention, it should just be a party at a blogging convention? I’ve never gone to a blogging convention so I don’t think anything I could put on would rival a sponsored party. Everyone wants plenty of notice so a year from now would give enough time to get time off and make plans. Sometimes I wonder if I can handle the challenge but then I think about how much I love having something to look forward to.
 
Please let me know in the comments if you’d be interested and what the criteria for you to attend something like this would be. Like you’d only go if it was in a certain city or state, or certain month of the year, or if you could bring your family, etc. If you don’t want your thoughts made public, email me at edenbabe@aol.com and I will keep it on the down low. Thank you so much for reading this and any feedback is welcome. As I said, I just came up with the idea and haven’t had time to flesh it out or even bat it around with anyone.

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