Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I'm totally wanting to blog, and I still can't post any pictures!  Looks like I'll have to roll up my sleeves, put tape on my glasses and turn into a nerd tech and see if I can figure out what's wrong and why I cannot do pictures!  I can upload pictures to facebook, no problem! But here? Nothing! Pooh! Even the printer isn't working and that's more frustrating than not being able to post pictures here. I NEED my printer! [insert pouty face picture here]

The booth we opened up has been doing fabulous!! [insert photo of booth here]

It's absolutely fun and hard work, but mostly fun. It's like walking down memory lane, at times, when I open up one of the many boxes in the basement and rediscover all the stuff I bought over the years and stashed away for our future antique store.  Not quite our own antique store, but I think the booth is a way better decision-- no worries about finding a space and paying rent, the overhead costs, insurance, hiring someone trust-worthy to help run the place, being "stuck" at the shop instead of hunting for more inventory...  At least with a booth, all I need to do is pay a small rental fee, show up once or twice a week and restock, and then they take care of the rest!  I'm free to hunt yard sales, I can stay home and do my schooling with the kids, Andrew can work his hours and not feel like he's working two jobs...  It's really a much better fit!

Our initial thought was to maybe keep the booth until we ran out of things to sell, but it's exceeded my expectations already and I'm really enjoying the whole process.  I like finding stuff, whether it's in my basement or at a yard sale, cleaning it up, pricing it, and then arranging it at the booth once a week. It's thrilling to check online and discover what sold that day and then click on the month's totals and see what we've made so far. We're definitely going to try and continue this for as long as we can! [photo of close-up shot of booth shelves here]

I'm already putting aside items that I want to put out during the winter months and thinking ahead to the holidays. I stare at my booth pictures for hours, trying to mentally move things around, making notes to myself next time I'm there to adjust this or take a better picture of that. Our home is already looking better and less cluttered. I'm excited to see how far we can take this venture of ours.

This new job Andrew has, it's been working out nicely for us with his evening hours. It leaves us with mornings and early afternoons together.  Friday and Saturday finds us cruising the yard sales, looking for more inventory for the booth.  Sunday, I'm cleaning and pricing things.  Monday, Andrew stays home with the kids and I go to the booth for a few hours, maybe one of the girls comes with me.

The current week we're in has been pretty crazy, so I haven't been able to get to the booth yet.  Aiming for tomorrow, but anything can happen between now and then, so I'll just wait and see.  I'm looking forward to going in and restocking items and rearranging shelves.  I have some new shelves to bring in, which will expand my display areas and hopefully will generate more sales.  I constantly think about the booth, my mind's eye picturing the shelves and trying to imagine a better way to display certain items. The booth is still sparse, so there's room for everything, and I like it that way, but I also realize that less things means less sales.  Just need to find that balance between clean and filled versus stuffed and cluttered.

Now if I could just get blogger to post my dang pictures, everything would be hunky-dory!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

::30 days:: Scrapped!

Ugh!  It seems like anything that could go wrong with this project, can and will go wrong!

First, the internet was down for 11 days.

Then, the power was out.

Now, my pictures won't load. Server invalid or something.

So, I'm just about ready to scrap this whole 30 days project and try it again some other time, perhaps when I'm not so busy running here and there, trying to get school supplies and juggling the booth and kids.

Did I mention that Andrew got a job?  Yes!!  He started working last week and while I am beyond thrilled for him and us that he is working again, I sure do miss those 'do-as-we-please' kind of days. It's back to working around a schedule, but I am *not* complaining!  It's been so long since he was out of work and filling out hundreds of job applications, going on countless interviews, and not getting even a single offer. So many times we've held our breath, hoping that finally, this would be the "one," only to get those hopes dashed on the rocks.  Eventually, I just told Andrew, "don't even tell me what job you've applied for, just let me know when there's an interview."

And of course, as soon as the money starts trickling in, along comes something to take it away. Haven't even got his first paycheck yet, and the roof has started leaking.  All these storms have not been kind to our house and while we knew about 2 small leaks, we now have several big ones.  Big enough to make the ceiling in the sun room fall down and several stains in the dining room.  -sigh-  A call to the insurance co. and a roofer recommended.  If the roofer agrees that it's storm damage, then we'll only have to pay the deductible, but if not, and this is what I am afraid of, then we'll have to foot the whole bill. Fingers crossed that the roofer will find it to be storm damaged. *crossing legs, fingers, toes... my it's going to be hard to walk!*

Counting my blessings, though, it's nothing really major or life-threatening.  We're warm and dry and Andrew was up there with the roofing repair kit trying to slap on some kind of temporary fix for the next round of storms headed our way.

The booth has been doing well.  It's a lot of fun.  It's also a lot of work, cleaning and tagging things, but I'm doing what I love to do, and it's something we have both dreamed of doing for a long time. Today, we passed the lease mark, in other words, after I take out the amount for the rent, the rest is profit!  More than 2 weeks left in the month, so I'm excited to see how much more we'll make!

Peter has just about kicked the pull-ups to the curb!!  He pretty much only uses them at night-time.  Several nights of bed-wetting in a row convinced me to get one last package of night-time pull-ups, but I think it will be the last pack I'll ever have to buy! Yay!!  *happy dance*  It's so weird to go out with all the kids in tow and hear Peter pipe up and say he needs to pee.  I'm so used to just having to take the girls to the restroom, but I am so proud of him.

The garden is going well this year.  We got behind on the weeding after we opened the booth, but the size of the tomatoes this year has me amazed!  That cow manure we spread did wonders!  I've never had such big peppers and tomatoes before!!

The corn on the other hand, still disappoints! foo!  I planted two patches, two different kinds, at different times and both failed.  The first looked like it was doing well, but then there was a dry spell and it seemed to have stunted the growth.  Very few of the corn grew bigger than 2 or 3 inches, so I ended up giving it all to the chickens.  The second patch looked gorgeous, still does!  Lush and green, but a recent check revealed no corn!  It's all stalks and leaves with no cobs?  Wha...?  That does it!  I'm officially giving up on growing corn! I'll just support our local farmers and buy their yummy corn instead.

It's raining again, so I better fetch the buckets and check the leaky spots. Until then.. :o)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

::30 Days:: 11

Mmmm!  There's that banana bread I made the other night.  So good!

Going to the booth tomorrow, so I've been busy cleaning and pricing things, going on line looking up prices, and checking out the 516 Antiques facebook page.

While I've been occupied with "booth business", the kids have been playing together. I love when they include Peter instead of chasing him away.  It sure helps that Peter isn't just grabbing things anymore. He's figuring out how to play along nicely and then everyone gets to have fun and mama doesn't come stomping in growling at people!

All packed up and ready to go! It's been a pretty busy week, so I don't have as much to take into the booth tomorrow, but these totes are loaded to the brim, so it's enough for this time. Looking forward to checking out the booth and restocking more goodies!

Monday, August 13, 2012

::30 Days:: 10

You know summer is coming to an end when it's time to start shopping for school supplies.
Having four children means I have to buy 4 of everything and then some.
I'm thinking I don't have nearly enough tape.  I bought 50 packs last year, and they were gone before the summer, so I'll have to go back for some more later this week. Still need to get glue and more construction paper, but other than that, I think we're set. I think I'll get more water color paints, too, because at 50 cents each, it was a pretty good deal.  Two for each kid isn't going to be enough to last until the next school supply shopping season.

It's the only picture I took for the day. After we got home from the stores, I sent the wild children into the pool and caught up on my emails, still behind from when we had no internet.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

::30 Days:: 9

Finally! Our internet is restored and we are go!
Seems silly to catch up on missed days, so let's just pick up where I left off and pretend the gap between days does not exist, shall we?
So without further ado....

When I walk to the mailbox, I keep an eye out for those wild grapes.  Still green? Birds gobbling them up? Ripe yet? A couple weeks ago, the vines were loaded with grapes, they're dwindling down and I hope there will be enough to pick in the next couple of weeks. Still too early to pick, so fingers crossed the birds don't get what's left!

The last two jars of 2011's wild grape juice concentrate from the freezer. I tried to make it last, making it every now and then. Good stuff! Let's hope I can make at least 10 pints this summer.

Kids and books, it happens.  Put the two together and there's going to be rips, scribbled on pages, broken spines and books dropped in liquid, or food spilled on them. I recently went through our books and pulled out all the damaged ones, too far gone to repair or donate. Waiting for Andrew to make a trash run and throw them away, but in the meantime, the kids are having a blast drawing silly faces on the books, adding captions and mustaches, glasses and zits, and completely changing stories around. The first time I let them do this, I got two hours of quiet! TWO HOURS! Why didn't I think of this before?!?  Letting them draw on these old books is guaranteed leave-mama-alone-time! I just may keep those books around a little while longer!

Made 3 loaves of banana bread tonight. I love when the house smells all banana bread-y and I look forward to eating a slice after it's cold and sat in the fridge overnight. I know what I'm having for a snack tomorrow!

Monday, August 6, 2012

What's the Hold-up??

So sorry for the sudden radio silence.  We had a big storm come through and it knocked out our Internet.  Still have power, still have phone, but NO INTERNET!  Argh!   Finally made it to the library to check things out and I have tons of emails, Facebook notices, and whatever else I do online that's piling up!  I'll pick up where I left off as soon as our Internet comes back on!

The phone guy is supposed to come today, so fingers crossed...