Monday, January 7, 2013

January weather

There's still snow on the ground this Monday morning, but by this weekend it is supposed to be up in the 60's.  Next week back down into the 30's for highs.  No wonder our bodies get all out of kilter this time of year.  It will be nice to turn the heaters off for a few days.

I didn't get the rosemary dug up before the snow, and I wonder if it made it through the cold spell.  I think I will be digging it up on Saturday and bringing it in the house.  I still have some green catnip, poking up through the snow, so the cats are happy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ebay cycles

I'm not sure how EBAY works, and I have been a seller on there for almost 15 years.  Usually the 3 months leading up to Christmas are pretty busy, and the summers are very slow.  In the olden days, when I was keeping listings pretty active, I could easily sell close to $2000 a month, but it cost a lot less to list and the Final Value Fees were a much smaller percentage, so I was comfortable listing things with low prices.  Now the listing fees are higher and auctions pay FVF not only on the ending price, but also on the shipping.  I am much less likely to sell anything for less than $15 because it just isn't worth the trouble.  If I was only selling one item over and over, I could afford to sell cheaply because there would be no effort in the listing process. My items are all unique though, so the process of listing is a little more involved.

Strangely enough, this week between Christmas and New Years has been very good.  I guess people are spending their Christmas money?  I don't know, but I have had several higher priced sales.  It seems like my auctions become much more visible in cycles.  I won't have any sales for a week, and then all of a sudden I will get four items sold out of my EBAY store in one day, going all over the country.  I try to keep a few auctions up all the time, and the rest is sitting in the store.  Unfortunately, the store FVF's are higher than the auctions, even though the listing fees are less.

I have some really nice vintage items listed at ETSY, and when I find a vintage item I list it first on EBAY, then move it over to ETSY if it doesn't sell.

I also have quite a few books listed on AMAZON, and just wait on notification from them.  There is no listing fee there, but they take a chunk for commission.

As I have been going through the boxes of books, I am finding that I saved some that may have been worth listing years ago, but are no longer worth the effort, so they are going out on Freecycle.

Slowly but surely I will get the house ready.  Slowly.  Slowly.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

End of 2012

29th December, 2012

I obviously have not been very consistent this year, posting rarely.   I have spent considerable time at my Mom's but finally managed to get some work done on the outside of the house.  Siding was completed, with one new window and a larger back door.  I also had them build me new steps to the back door with a 4 inch rise, which makes it easier for these arthritic knees to climb.  I will get some pictures in the spring, when it is pretty out there.  Right now we just got another 3-4 inches of snow on top of the 8 inches we got on the 26th.  It is wet and heavy, and I will get out and clean off the car, but I am stocked up so don't have to leave anytime soon.  I filled up the van gas tank on the 24th, before the storm.  Gas was $3.05.  Now it is $3.35.  Crazy.

I need to do a new pantry challenge, and continue purging the books.  I have had close to 40 boxes of books picked up by freecyclers, and more to come.  I have about 200 listings up on EBAY, and need to continue listing more box lots of books and the rest of the clothes.

2013 is going to be a very busy year, travel wise.  I have a nephew getting married in Dallas in March, Brian Retiring in New York in May, DeToy reunion in Iowa in July, niece getting married in Colorado in September and I am probably leaving something out.  I am also expecting 3 new baby relatives this spring.  :Life is good.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Do I want to get into the Drugstore coupon mode again?

I don't know.  I have mostly enough stuff stocked up, but when they are willing to pay me to do it, I find it hard to resist.  Walgreens is a mile from my house, and I pass it on the way to almost anywhere, so it doesn't require any extra trips.  They have a rebate program where if you allow them to put it on their rebate card they give you an extra 10%.  The only things I get are free after rebate, so they are money makers.  The Register Reward program has a few Free after RR, and those are the ones I look at closely.

This week I had 7.20 left on my rebate card, and a 5RR for being an AARP card carrying member and buying $25 worth of stuff last week in one transaction ( rebate things that will actually make me money).

The 3 day Diet start was 10 w/10 RR so I paid for it first with my 5 RR and my rebate card.
Then the Lanacaine was 6 w/6 RR, the Carmex lotion was 4.99 w/4 RR and the walgreens Tampons were 1.50 w/1.50 RR.  There was also a Lipton green tea for .99 w/99 RR.

I used the 10 RR from the first transaction, the rest of my rebate card and 2.02 cash.
I received 12.49 back in RR.  So when I subtract what I started with from what I ended with, I spent 1.73 and have several items for the donation box and several for my first aid kit.

There are a few other rebate items I will be buying with the RR, then I will be done (Maybe) for this month. Walgreens is going to a card based system, like CVS, soon, so I will have to wait and see how that works out.   All in all, I think it is still fun enough for me to continue.  I didn't use any coupons in the above scenario.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sherlock and Abbie, cats 5 & 6

When Morgan disappeared, I had no kitties left in my house, so I found some advertised free at a farm outside town.  I went out to look and was horrified, and so glad that I was going to rescue one of these unfortunate animals.  Sherlock was very interested, and very busy investigating me and snuggled up to my neck when I picked her up.  That was it for me.  Home we went.  She was another gray tabby, and I can't find any pictures of her, probably because she didn't last very long.

I thought she was much younger than she was, because I soon found out that she was pregnant.  She had a single kitten, Abbie.  Abbie was also a neck snuggler, from a very young age.  I was grooming her to be my brother Brian's cat.  One day, when I got home from work, Abbie was struggling to breathe.  She spent that night in an incubator at the vets, and tests showed she was FIV positive, as was her momma.  Abbie passed very quickly.  Sherlock hung on for awhile, not eating, but couldn't be saved.

This experience was one of my growing up stages of pet care.  From this point on, no cat would join the family without first being tested.  It didn't keep me from getting a FIV positive cat in the future, but it started me on my journey of more responsible pet care.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hello again. Long time no see!

Wow, that was a long break.  I am not sure what happened, other than a few trips to Springfield.  I am still doing my kefir and smoothie, though it is often kind of purple these days, because the blueberries are in.  I don't know if I am going to get any blackberries this year, because we have had no rain and are in severe drought in my neck of the woods.  My lawn is brown and crunchy.  The weeds manage okay.  I picked some peas and cucumbers, and have managed to keep the cukes alive, but they are looking pretty sorry these days.

My first trip to Springfield, around Mother's Day, I roped Jeff into helping me build some raised garden boxes in Mom's back garden.  I based them on this Pin from Pinterest, but used 8" boards instead of 6" making it about 15" tall, which is pretty easy to work with.

This last trip was from early June, so I could take care of the critters while she went on a trip to Ireland.  On my way there Tuesday the 5th, I called Matthew and talked about building some drawers for Mom's bottom kitchen cabinets, because she was having some difficulty getting to the things that were stored in the back of them.  Of course, being his father's son, Matthew was at the house Friday when I got back from dropping Mom off for her trip.  He had already unloaded his tools and was ready to hop in the hot tub!  After his soak we went shopping at Lowe's for wood, Ace and finally a specialty hardware store to find 20 full drawer glides.  Jeff was able to come over and help out and he and Vicky brought us dinner Saturday evening.  We finished at 10:30 Saturday night.  Matthew is genius.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Now that I am making a green smoothie every day, incorporating all kinds of fruits and vegetables with my water kefir,  I find that I have a lot of compostable waste on hand.  I wanted to start something that could move with me when I finally get around to selling my house, so I did some research and settled on a worm composting system.  I ordered it last weekend, and the worms arrived on Wednesday, but the composter won't be here until Monday.   Yikes!  I set up a temporary home in a bin with some shredded paper and some of the current compostables.  Hope they are happy where they are and don't decide to go exploring.  Pictures to come when the whole set up is ready to go!