Friday, October 10, 2014

What is your quest?

Post title from the ever classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the Saturday where I kept showing up at sales and finding these awesome vintage items at near giveaway prices that had already been scooped up.  As I was leaving one house, I thought to myself:  "I'm glad I'm not out here looking for vintage items only.  I'd be a wreck after seeing all that."

That got me to thinking about my quest.  What is the driving force that puts me out there every Saturday and as many other days as possible.  Do I have a Holy Grail?  When I walk up to a table and scan my eye over the goodies thereon, what do I want to see leaping out at me?

The short answer is pretty obvious:  Anything that I think I can sell or that I think I might want at a good price.  But that's awfully generic and boring, isn't it?  It's also wonderfully wide open and leaves me so much room in which to roam.  I've gotten several comments lately about the wide selection of items I seem to pick up.  Let's break that short answer down a little more.  Have a glimpse into what's in my head as I go out on the hunt.

I think I have an advantage by selling in a flea market style mall.  I'm not bound to any rules or perceptions of what is or is not "vintage" or an "antique."  If I want to buy and sell that Teletubby, then I can buy and sell that Teletubby.  I also do not have to worry about fighting the myriad of ever-changing eBay rules and regs.   I don't feel bound by what my smart phone might say about what an item is bringing right now in online auctions.  It's incredibly freeing and allows me to take chances and be creative.

Not that there is anything wrong with any of those other venues or styles of doing things,  There's more than one way to be a re-seller.  You have to find what works for you and do it consistently.  I use those tools.  I look things up.  But I also already have a strong innate sense of what is right for me to sell, what my customer base likes, and what my venues will support.  You can't find that in an app.

I'm also a seller, not a maker or re-maker or fixer upper or doer.  I have no, I repeat no discernible talent for that  kind of thing and no patience to try and learn one. I admire those who do, especially the ones with the vision that takes them beyond what they see in front of them and leads them to make it into something classy and timeless, not trendy.  The ones who know when to stop embellishing at just the right moment.  The ones who are quirky and have a sense of humor about what they're creating.  I cannot do this, and it's really better if I don't even try.  I consider myself a sourcer of raw materials for these people.  I have no doubt that there are things that have come out of my booth that are now vastly different from the way they were when they were bought.  I'm happy to have given someone something to work with.

Besides, I battle my own overwhelming sense of procrastination and disorganization every day just to get things priced and placed in a timely fashion.  Like within a week of purchase.  And I still have a store room full of stuff and a mound I call "Mount Backlog" at home.  I shudder to think what it would be like if I were saving things to refinish and repaint and repair.  I think I'd be single for sure!

Somewhere along the path, this turned into a two-parter.  I'm going to cut my general thoughts off here and come back later with something slightly more specific (or at least slightly less general).  If the pics in this post look familiar, it's because they come from previous posts of my hauls.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Anatomy of A Mazda Fill

So you start with a relatively empty van, add a couple of tubs with some paper for the smalls, and take off on your adventure.  Then you buy some things.  At first you just kind of toss them in the back.

Eventually, you reach the point where a rearrange becomes necessary.   We were lucky to be stopped in an empty church parking lot, so we could pull everything out and redo it.

While we were working, a woman stopped and said:  "Think of it like a big puzzle."  Um, thanks, strange woman I have never seen before.

Then you make your last few purchases and top off the lot.

Tah dah!  One full Mazda!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Monday Tuesday Rambles

I'm back!

Please accept my apologies for the lack of content for the last couple of weeks.  Honestly, I just did not have it in me to blog (or do much of anything) for that time.  Losing Kosh triggered the worst depressive episode I've had for quite some time.  I'm coming out of it, slowly, but for a while it just seemed like a heavy weight of sadness had taken everything over for me.

Thanks so much to all of you for the sweet notes about Kosh.  I still owe some of you personal thank you's, which I will be getting to in the next day or so.  I appreciate your concern and sympathies so much.

Due to my funk, I almost skipped out on doing the Highway 60 yard sale on Saturday, but I'm glad I didn't.  It was windy and cold, but I think it did me a lot of good to be out and about.  The sale started in Meade County (near where my dad used to live) and proceeded west through Breckinridge County (near where my mother used to live), so it was kind of like a homecoming of sorts.

Typical roadside view in Meade County. 
 We had planned to make it to Owensboro and then camp on Saturday, but we cut the trip short just shy of Hardinsburg.  The van was full and it would have taken a major repacking effort to make more room for anything else.  We had gotten a later than planned start, because we had both slept through the alarm.  Plus, Meade County had been rich with large group sales and flea markets and treasures.  I was very happy with the load.  It's not about the number of sales you hit.  It's about the treasures you find there.

At the time we turned back, we realized that we still had enough time to stash everything in storage at the Peddlers Mall and get home to Chiquito and our own bed.  And that's what we did.

Here's a little preview of the haul:

The leaf on this desk folds down and collapses the desk to the size of a file cabinet!

Those are the pieces that went to the new Peddlers Mall yesterday.  Here is what I took to the other store:

I love me some school desks!

Shelf and wood podium

That shelf is kind of cool.  There's a note on top that it was made for a social studies project, which I am guessing was something about colonial or pioneer living.  The boards all have these adorable, primitive dovetail notches, and the whole thing is held together with wood pegs instead of nails.  I can totally see someone getting this and staining or painting it up nice and purty.  It needs a little gluing around the pegs, but it's pretty sturdy.

I still need to get pics of the smalls, which were pretty awesome this time around.  I had several good scores.

Booth sales have really bottomed out lately.  I ended September well at my original Peddlers.  Not as high as previous months, but still four digits in the gross.  That construction mess is sure hurting though.  I only did about a third of my normal take during the indoor sale.  We are still waiting on the signage to appear.

At the other space, I did okay for a first month, but not near what I was expecting.  I'm struggling to get off the ground there, and it is fueling my fears that I'm only capable of selling in one location. (Which also really added to my latest depressive bout.) They've offered me a double booth starting in November, and I'm going to take it.  At least I'll have all my stuff together in one spot.

The weekend was really pretty good at both locations, however.  It looks like furniture is starting to move again, which is nice.  I've picked up several pieces cheap from vendors who were moving out, so I have a pretty good inventory of big items right now and I would like to move them on!

The home front is kind of odd right now.  Everyone feels Kosh's absence.  I'm still seeing him out of the corner of my eye.  We're keeping an eye on Chiquito, but in some ways it looks like he's not figured out that he's the only cat now.  For the first couple of days, he kept waiting for Kosh to eat when I put the food down.  He very definitely feels the pressure of being home alone all day.  He's become really super clingy when we get home.  I'm giving him all the extra loving I can to help him through.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kosh is gone.

Some posts are very hard to write.  This is going to be one of those.  We had to put Kosh to sleep yesterday.  My dear, sweet old man is gone. And my heart is broken.  I miss him so, so much.  He was 12 years old, which is old for a cat, but I had been hoping for a few more years with my buddy cat.

We got Kosh when he was a baby.  Keith found him while he was working,  abandoned and alone in an empty apartment.  Later that day, Keith showed up at my office with a cardboard cat carrier and this little head popped out when he opened it.  It was love at first sight.

Keith swears he was trying to find another home for the boy, and was just stopping by to say hello.  I know the truth.  He knew I would be unable to resist this little fellow. He was right.

We named him "Kosh" after one of the aliens in Babylon 5.  I was holding him in my lap, and one of the phrases from the show popped into my head:  "We are all Kosh."  So, Kosh he was.  For the longest time, though, we called him "Boy" since he was our only boy kitty at the time.

He had some of the most interesting habits as a baby.  He was all black, except for two white spots on his chest and belly and one little chocolate brown spot that was kind of on his belly and side.  He used to nurse himself on that spot before he went to sleep.  When he got older that place went away, so we always said that he licked the brown right off.

He used to like to crawl up on Keith's chest and take these long kneading walks, with this intent stare.  When he was done with that, he would stop and literally just plop over, trusting that Keith would catch him.  He'd fall asleep like that, and Keith would hold him while he napped.

His appearance did cause some chaos in our social order.  At the time we had two older females, Bennie and Basil.  We had lost sweet, fluffy Brianna several months earlier.  It took some time for the girls to get adjusted to this interloper, but eventually we all gelled into a family unit.

Basil on my lap, baby Kosh beside me and Bennie on a blanket

He was only about four when Basil passed.  She had been the head cat, which was a job that he wanted.  He still had a lot of kitten in him at that point, climbing all over things, getting into stuff, tormenting Bennie from time to time.  About a year later, Chiquito came along and Kosh matured over night.  Having a new kitten in the house really pushed him to grow up.

The night that Basil was put down, he crawled up into bed beside me, just like she used to do.  He pretty much stayed there the rest of his life.  When I was sick last year, he was always right by my side.  We called him my "Doctor Kosh."  He would walk me to the bathroom and lay as close to me as possible and purr to comfort me.

After I came home from surgery

He loved that Sailor Moon blanket
He started acting sluggish over the weekend and stopped eating at all Monday night.  We took him to the vet yesterday and the diagnosis was advanced kidney disease.  Ironically, I was supposed to call this week for an appointment for him to have a six month follow up check up.  The vet said that his levels were so off that there really wasn't any option for treatment.  Even sweet little buddy cats can't get a kidney transplant.  The misery he was already feeling was only going to get worse as the toxins continued to take over his little body.

We held him and loved on him and kissed him and cried over him and made the call that no one wants to make.  I was holding him in my arms as he slipped away.  Now, he's somewhere playing with Basil and Bennie again.

While we're stuck here wondering what to do.

Sweet, sweet Buddy Kosh (2002-2014)