Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Garage Sales Are Serious Business

This past weekend, I went to Fort Worth, Tx to hold a garage sale with my mom and sisters. We had several people give us items to sell. This sale was massive. It took a great deal of our time to go through, price, and organize the items. It took the better part of each morning to set up. We had some hiccups, but all in all it was successful and fun. However, I took a few things away from this sale that will hopefully help me in the future.

1. You will at some point be in a very bad mood.

     Let's get real. Garage sales are exhausting. They take a lot of prep time. They take a lot of physical work.  You most likely will go to bed late doing last minute details. You will have to get up incredibly early to set up. You'll be hot, sweaty, sunburned, hungry, thirsty, busy, ect ect. Tensions will rise and you and your helpers will at some point greatly disagree on things as simple as the price of items, where to place the items, who's turn it is for a break... So just try your best to realize that we're all in the same shoes. We're all tired and at the end of the day when you're counting your cash and enjoying the AC, things will be brighter.

2. People are going to stop and shop as soon as they see your garage door open. Just go with it.

We could not set up fast enough. On Friday, we were not fully set up until noon. We had non stop steady stream of customers until 2 pm when we finally closed out of exhaustion. Most of the customers were understanding. We had to explain to several people we had 100's of items of items yet to be pulled out to the sale and to check back by in an hour or 2. Most of them did. Saturday was much easier to set up because we stashed everything within easy reach.

3. Definitely hold your sale on a Friday!

On Friday we had an average of 10-20 customers shopping at all times between 7am and 12pm. Most people work during the week and open their sales up on Saturday. Those who can open on Friday will get a lot of action. Friday garage salers are serious. They have a plan and know what their doing. They know you are open and will come find you. Saturday you are competing with a lot more people. So, definitely open up on Friday. You will be amazed!

4. You can sell ANYTHING, if the price is right.

Here is a list of random items we sold: old make up, old non valuable jewelry, old clothes, paintings that would make anyone cringe, engineering text books that had been revised about 10 times since, VHS, broken things, old magazines ect. Some lady even wanted to buy the box of gallon size baggies we were using! LOL

5.  When you want stuff gone, be ready to make crazy deals!

We had tables and bins set up for "fill a bag for $1". In it wasn't anything of value, but people went nuts filling those bags. We kept walking around and adding more things to the table as the day went on. We didnt want to haul any books or other media back in the house. So we did another fill a bag for a $1 sale with that Saturday afternoon. That's a quick way to get rid of things you plan to just throw away after the sale.

6. People are Weird!

Some guy bought a Lion King sleeping bag and a painting that, if you held it right, it looks like a butt. Another couple of customers starting fighting over items. We got some interesting characters, but it was great! We'd just laugh and go on to the next person!

7. People will steal.

We knew a few things had gone missing. The best story was a lady stole a pair of shoes. She walked off in our shoes and left behind her janky old flip flops! I honestly just let those instances go. What are you going to do? Run after someone who stole $5 worth of stuff?? Not worth it. Keep anything valuable close to you. Keep an eye on customers and interact with everyone. If they feel you are watching, they'll be more than likely move on to another sale.

8. Be prepared!

 While setting up we got sick of "how much is this??"  Get all signs done, items priced and sorted prior to the sale. You want to set up and be done. Have an extension cord ready for people to plug items in and test. If something doesn't turn on, give it away. We gave away a broken paper shredder. Plugged it in and it didn't work. I told the customer they could have it and see if they could fix it. They gladly took it! Have plenty of change ready. This is important. I was able to give change to everyone who needed it. I even had enough change for a lady who only had a $100. I would not have done it unless I had a million $20's.

9. Have Help

I think our biggest problem was not having enough help. Our sale was massive and we really needed about 2-3 more people Friday. We were completely overwhelmed. Saturday was better, but we still could have used help. If you expect a lot of Spanish speaking customers, it could be helpful to have someone who is able to at least communicate minimally. If all else fails, learn Spanish numbers so you can barter with your Spanish speaking customers. It's really not that hard! Come on "Cinco dollars" is not that hard and they will appreciate your effort.


10. Have Fun

Most people will be fun to talk to. Send someone to grab donuts at breakfast and order pizza at lunch. If you'll be up and moving constantly like we were, get carb rich meals and snacks. Keep gatorade, sodas and water bottles in the fridge. You want to run in and grab and go. Relax when you can. Cut people deals. It's a garage sale after all! They aren't going to pay high prices! Slash prices when you are getting tired. Pack up when they customers slow way down. Order pizza and relax. You've just gotten cash for your junk and made some customers very happy!!!

11. Tamales

If someone is driving around selling tamales out of their van..... buy them. You will not regret it. Home made tamales are amazing.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Look Back...In Memphis

Exactly 10 years ago I was just hitting the 3rd trimester of my first pregnancy. March 7th 2002, marked the very first day I became a mom. It's funny how much things have changed since then. I like to think I am older and wiser! Like everyone else, I just got here by trial and error!

With my first pregnancy I learned some very valuable lessons. The first and most important being, you have no earthly idea what it means to love your child until you have one. There's no way to explain it. It's a secret club and we couldn't give away the secret if we tried. It's not always instantaneous, but it does happen. For me, the second I saw Gabrielle, my heart and soul changed. I've never been the same since.

The second thing I learned, pregnancy and childbirth....SUCKS. I know some of you out there loved being pregnant. All I can do is assume you were unconscious the whole 9 months, or you completely forgot. I have never forgotten, In fact, one of the first things I realized with this pregnancy was "oh god, these next 9 months are going to suck". Sometimes you just gotta be real with yourself. I promise you, I am terrified of delivering her. That is some serious pain and yes I choose to do it drug free. Sometimes you just gotta experience it all to really appreciate it. Plus, I want to see if Greg will pass out.

The last big lesson I learned? You win some, you lose some... friends. It's a tough pill to swallow. Some people just don't know how to handle a friend with a baby. Suddenly, you can't just go out. Trust me, most won't be able to understand why you aren't comfortable leaving your baby with a sitter. Inevitably, these friends will call less. However, you'll meet other parents. You'll spend HOURS over coffee sharing birth stories and laughing about how sleep deprived you are. You may not stay friends forever, eventually parenting styles drive people apart (or their precious child grows up to be a real brat) and you part ways. Sometimes, you stay friends for years to come, despite life changes.

My second pregnancy just gave me lessons to build on the first ones. That's when Nicholas came blazing a trail into this world! July 5, 2005!!!! You want to talk about being thrown for a loop? That was this boy!!! Everything from the pregnancy and birth to the years to come was different! I thought I knew what to do! This showed me that every single pregnancy and every child is very different from the last.

My biggest lesson with Nick was that a pregnancy REALLY can surprise you in every way. First being the whole positive pregnancy test once you realize you have no idea when your last period was. Then, to having a VERY big belly very quickly. The worst part? Did you know a pregnancy REALLY can go 10 months??? No, I am dead serious. I know... I did it. Did you also know that you can give birth at home, with zero pain meds to a baby that is 9 pounds??? I also know this to be true. I did it. Guess what else??? Your tailbone can dislocated. You dont want to know how I know this, trust me.

My most surprising lesson was that boys are truly magical to their mommies! Nothing against girls, but boys just loooooooove their mommies and that is an amazing feeling to be had. Nick and I are still super close to this day. Of course Gabby and I have a very different bond and no less special. It's just a given that boys are closer to their moms and girls tend to be closer to their dads and Gabby certainly has been. (of course, not always the case, but it certainly has been with my 2).

The best thing both pregnancies taught me is that while pregnancy sucks, it's so worth it. It's 9 months of hell, but it ends with a very special gift. So, here I sit. I'm on the last leg of my pregnancy. The days are flying by. Baby number 3 will be here very soon. I'm sure she'll have a whole new set of lessons for us all!!!


Friday, November 4, 2011

10 Weeks To Go... In Memphis

I haven't been blogging much. As I have done with my chronic illness, I have tried to refrain from posting much about my pregnancy. Also, with my illness, a few posts have slipped by, here's one about my current "situation".

Presley's upcoming birth is imminent. I AM going to have a baby soon. This cannot be avoided. I can't even pretend to not be pregnant. The kicks, the cramps, the bladder, all remind me at every possible moment that space is being rented out and it's getting to be a tight fit.

I sit here in my quiet living room contemplating all that's ahead. Panic slowly sinks in. I'm not ready for this. No one is ever really ready. You can be prepared and have all the necessities, sure. In truth you aren't ever really ready to add a person to your life. It's even worse when you've done it before. You know that your life is about to be turned upside down. That's a scary thought.

What's even scarier is you can't really know how much things will change until they do. Nothing can prepare you! No child birth class or infant CPR will tell you if your baby will cry a lot or be relatively happy (as happy as an infant can be, of course). Nothing will tell you if your baby will sleep a lot or keep you up all night, every night for months. Will she be sensitive to fabrics and diapers like Nick? Will she puke all the time like Gabby? Will she prefer her dad or me? Will she be allergic to cats? Will she be healthy? Will she one day suffer from a chronic illness like me? Will she be pretty, smart, funny? Will she like giraffes? All the questions begin to creep in your mind. Then you realize, you have a connection with this baby inside you, but you don't really know her. She may be part of me, but she's her own person. For the first year or so, communication will be limited.

Then I begin to think about all the possibilities the next few weeks will bring. I'll admit, I'm in panic mode! I like to have control and to feel prepared. Knowing that I can't know every detail freaks me out. I've heard everyone tell me over and over "everything will work out just fine, you'll see". That's fine. Right now, I don't SEE that, so pardon me for completely ignoring what you say. To be honest, it doesn't help. Until I feel like things are under control and my "to do list" is about 10 items shorter, you wont see me relaxing. You want to offer me advice? Come over and help refinish the crib or fix the leaky faucet or any of the other items on the list. Telling me to relax?? AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN! Besides, watching people slowly go insane is funny. Just grab some popcorn and sit back...

Finally, let's have some fun. I do have a super rad baby pool which I think everyone should take part in! It will let you guess everything from birth weight to birth date! Do it, it's fun. It makes me happy. You want me to be happy or else I'll probably sit on you. The winner get's nothing, but all the losers are on diaper duty. Big stakes! ( put steaks first... mmm sounds yummy!)



PS: there will be a birth story post and it will be very descriptive... prepare yourselves now!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Gigantic Jesus....In Eureka Springs!

Greg and I went to Eureka Springs based on the suggestion from several people (by several I mean 2). We found a cool cottage to stay in that was close to town. We didn't really make many plans. Sometimes winging it is best.

The drive was long. By long, I mean terrible for someone who has morning sickness 24/7. I also discovered that my anxiety levels spike when a certain driver flies around corners on mountains. Seeing signs that say "Watch For Falling Rocks" and "Run Away Truck Ramp Ahead" did not help matters one bit. My preference to the ocean makes much more sense now.

We got to the cottage about 5 pm. It really was very cool. The owner came to give us the tour and she seemed to like me quite a bit. Then, much of the decor, music, and books began to make sense. It all featured women. Hmm, interesting! Of course, Greg didn't pick up on any of it. Apparently, the fact that she was flat out flirting with his pregnant wife never crossed his mind. Typical and very funny! Other than awkwardness, the cottage offered many wonderful things. There were deer roaming the yard day and night. The owner provided wonderful organic breakfast items. This place would be awesome in the Spring. She has a lovely garden.

This was Sunday, so about all we could do was grab a nice casual dinner at Chelsea's since pretty much every thing else closed early. It's more of a bar and I can't wait to go back when my beverage intake is not limited to boring crap. I'll be pretty straight forward here, that pizza was freaking awesome. If they want to move to Memphis, I would help them pack.

Day 2: This day was reserved for one thing only, shopping. We walked all over the downtown and let me tell you, it was exhausting. It was also freaking hot. The entire mid south was hit with a heat wave that week. Plus did you know that a town in the mountains is typically hilly?? Add that to walking around in the heat... We did eat at a little restaurant called Oasis. It was good, but interesting. Why so many places serve "Eureka Springs style Mexican" food, I'll never know. I like ACTUAL Mexican food. This whole knock off thing irks me a bit. Oasis was pretty much that. Not bad, mind you. However, when I want that style food, I typically want just plain Mexican. They did serve the throw back sodas, which I love. Shopping and eating downtown left us exhausted and me SUPER cranky. Pregnant+hot+tired=BAD. I mean it was really bad. I have a feeling a few people, mainly Greg wanted to kill me.

That evening we chose to do a ghost tour at the Crescent Hotel. First off, I totally want to have a girls trip and stay in that hotel. Not only is it elegant, but it's haunted as well! HOLLA! The hotel has been featured on Ghost Hunters and they even show you some of the footage captured before the tour. The stories are very interesting, regardless if you believe in ghosts. Again, had I been in a position to have a cocktail, we would have had a libation or two at the roof top lounge. Being that I'm a party pooper, we just walked around the gardens. My cousin Erin would love this place, there are cats roaming the gardens and she just LOVES cats....(tee hee) In fact, she'd love the whole town. Lots and lots of cats.

Day 3: Our last full day there, I had only ONE thing on my mind...find a place to swim. Okay, so I should know better than to leave it up to someone else to find what I'm looking for. It took way longer than expected to find and people are not good at giving directions. We found a place on a lovely lake and my swimming fix was achieved. Something unexpected happened... creepy couple attack!!! As I am laying out (i can't get in the water unless I'm hot), I begin to casually listen in on the conversation next to me. It's not like they were whispering. He's asking her if their relationship bothers her. Then he says how it concerned him at first and he shouldn't have the feeling for her that he did, but she was just too sexy. Say what? I take a peak at the couple and immediately tell that she is approximately 15-17, not a day older. Her looks and actions were quite immature. He, was closer to 40. Okay everyone let it all out at once.... EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! The conversation just got weirder from there. I gathered she was pregnant, but he wasn't the father. They talked about their age difference being an issue and if she had told anyone they were seeing each other. Her responses were awkward. It was ridiculous. He actually asked her what her top five albums of all time were. She is 15! She doesn't know what you mean by "album"! She actually responded with "ummm, I don't know..." Ugh. We left around the same time they did. i was very close to telling him to quite being a giant creepo!

That afternoon, we had a late lunch at Sparkey's. Again, with the "Eureka Spring Mexican" type food. What is up with that? Our server pretty much forgot her tables existed. We ate a little, I was tired. So after picking at my food (I've really perfected that), we decided to just head to the cottage and relax. That evening we saw Gigantic Jesus....Boy is that an interesting sight. First off, I don't care about your religious affiliations, he is just creepy. He is not proportionate at all. He actually reminds me of the creepy statues on Never Ending Story. You know, the ones that were the guardians of some gate. Their eyes would open as you passed through and if you weren't worthy, you'd be zapped to death. (technically Atreyu wasn't worthy because they tried to zap him, he just jumped out of the way... I totally don't think that counts). I expected Gigantic Jesus to open his eyes and zap all the people around. I would totally have pulled an Atreyu and jumped out of the way. Not sure about Greg. Hey, when a Gigantic anything is zapping people, it's every man for himself!

That night was REALLY fun. We grabbed some dinner at Lovin' Oven Bakeria and guess what hit me??? That's right people, a fibro flare. Holy cow. I was actually in tears! It was THAT bad. I couldn't even stand up. It rattled me to my bones. It was not a fun rest of the night and since then I have had multiple flares. Ugh...The best part is I can't take my meds because I am pregnant. Yippeee!!!!

Day 4: Good Bye Eureka Springs! Aww such a pretty town. I would have liked to have done more, but we just didn't have the time or energy. We got up early had a pretty flippin good breakfast at Local Flavor. Yummy! Then I checked in to as many places as I could in town so I could gain my mayorships where needed. (I may enjoy foursquare too much) I am happy to say that I am the mayor of most places in Eureka Springs!! We hit up a winery to pick up some gifts and I discovered that state grape of Arkansas is not a tasty fruit...

The drive home wasn't bad. We had a yummy home style type lunch in some hole in the wall restaurant in some hole in the wall town. Seriously, do people choose to live in these places or are they just stuck there??? Of course the food made me extremely ill. Hey, I'm pregnant, it's how I roll. Never the less, we made it home in one piece and to a house full of annoying animals.

So all in all I can sum up Eureka Springs by saying that it is a cool little town. If you like funky art, bars, haunted hotels, beautiful scenery, and huge depictions of Christ, this town is for you. Visit it! I will say for my LGBT pals, I got the feeling that ES is pretty LGBT friendly. I didn't see much in the way of specific bars or hang outs, but I did see a lot of couples walking around. Definitely a plus there!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Monday March 7th, 2011 marks Gabby's 9th Birthday! It seems so long ago that I was pregnant with her, my first child. I experienced so many ups and downs! When she was born I remember being so protective of her. I worried about everything, as most new moms do!

Gabby's 9 years have been such a joy. She is a wonderful daughter who loves everyone! She is smart and sassy! I can't wait to see what she grows into! For some Gabby fun, here are some of her favorite things!!!


Gabby's All Time Favorite's:

All-Time Favorite…

Snack: watermelon

Drink: cherry limeade

Activity: Wii!

Favorite punctuation: ?

Favorite things to collect: silly bands

Word that's ever been used to describe me: active

Way to relax: lay down and read

Song right now: Just Dance by Lady Gaga

Furniture: bed

Thing that makes me more depressed than anything: not seeing my friends

Things I love to do on rainy days: do art projects

First thing I think when my alarm rings: ugh, school

Last three things I think before drifting off to sleep:
1.school
2.seeing her friends
3.what's for breakfast

Cleaning products: the vaccum

Most beautiful sights I've seen:
horses, Moma's engagement ring, other animals

Kind of books to read: Harry Potter, Goosebumps, Mystery Books

Holiday: Halloween

Movie I saw this year: Despicable Me

Feeling in the world: being happy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Knot Untied.... In Memphis

It seems strange, even now as I write this, that today I woke up not married. I had been married for a little over 13 years. That is, until yesterday. Yes, my divorced was finalized on Valentine's Day. Funny huh? No really, it's okay to laugh. I certainly did. It's incredibly ironic that my divorce papers were signed by the judge on the national day of love!

Now, it wasn't exactly easy. Yes, it was mutual. Besides a few emotional rants here and there, it went incredibly smooth. I will say that no matter how mutual things are, divorce hurts. That's okay, it's actually supposed to. As Lewis CK says "no good marriage ends in divorce." It's true and shows that while painful, it's not actually a bad thing.

I used to have a clear vision of the future. Being with someone for 13 years, you kind of figure out how things will flow. Right now my vision of the future isn't very clear. I have some key things in my mind, but I am starting all over again. Honestly, I'm not in any hurry to figure it all out again. One thing I learned is that our paths twist and turn and sometimes go in circles or briefly stop all together. It's not a bad thing to not have figured it out. I have learned to kind of appreciate life's little surprises and let them come.

So here I am, looking on the outside of a marriage that lasted for 13 years. I'm happy. I'm excited about what my future holds, though I don't know what most of it is. I'm happy who I am with. Greg is an amazing man and I am lucky to have found him. I'm happy with how my kids have turned out and handled this whole process. They are troopers! I'm just simply happy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust.....In Memphis

2011 is here, finally. Most New Year's I am glad to say goodbye to the previous year, never so much so as this year. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, put my children in public school, started college, lost and found faith, became a vegetarian, and began divorce proceedings. All in one year. A bit much one would say. Personally I would say it was WAY too much.

However, 2010 brought many good things. I made friends with wonderful people. Some of these people have become some of the best friends I have ever had. A select few have become closer to me than anyone ever before. For that, I am forever grateful for 2010. Pain was brought, yes, but so was a silver lining.

I completed my first semester of college. I struggled in Algebra, but passed with a B. I loved Social Problems and realized a switch in majors may be in store for me. I learned from my English professor that a "C is successful". I also tested and excelled in my GED. Something I feared, but shockingly tested higher than most high school graduates.

I realized how important my health was to me. I changed my eating habits and don't regret it a bit. I'm a happy non meat eater. I enjoy this side of life immensely. I am thrilled with the friends and loved ones who firmly support me in this.

So all in all, 2010 wasn't all bad. It certainly wasn't all good, or even mostly good. It was filled with immense pain, struggle and frustration. I am so glad it's over. 2011 has already proven to be much better and I am really looking forward to what's in store. No resolutions, I just want to enjoy life. I want to surround myself with those who love me and support me. I want to remove the ones who only hurt and disrespect me. It may not be easy, but I will have the love and support of those who truly care about me. I'd say, I'm off to a good start.

Hello 2011, this is Emily. I wont accept anything but the best from you!