Saturday, February 28, 2015

Retro Y'all!

You certainly can't get more retro than that outfit, can you?  Linda always could rock those 70's fashions!

You could also rock a country song like nobody's business!

Thursday, February 26, 2015


It's legislative session time again here in Kentucky.  Actually, the session is wrapping up pretty soon.  I dread this time of year, because inevitably some numbskull will do something like this and it ends up making national news.  Way to go for home state pride.  Woo hoo!  (There are a lot of details missing from the linked story that help make the whole issue that much more frustrating.)  Seriously, sometimes I am embarrassed to be from this state.  And I have lived here pretty much my whole freaking life!!

These are the times when I have to remind myself of something cool about Kentucky to calm down. Like...  Like...  Like...

My Morning Jacket is from Louisville!

(They're even playing in Louisville in that clip.)

So, yeah, I gotta be better at taking the good with the bad when it comes to these parts.  But that bill is still horrible and needs to be stopped.

If you'll excuse me, I need to go make some phone calls and send some emails.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Personal Tenets

We've all got them, those beliefs that form and shape who we are at the core of our beings.  From time to time I mention one of mine in passing in a post, but this may be the first time I've actually devoted a whole post to one.

That should tell you that, as far as personal tenets go, this one is a biggie.

Are you ready?  Sure?  Okay, then.  Here goes.

Every fat guy should own at least one t-shirt that says "Athletic Department" on it.  I've got mine!

It was one of my purchases for personal use during the closing days at my old mall.  Some times, you buy 50-75% off stuff to re-sell (re-re-sell?).  Other times, you buy it for your own use.  I mean, I had this personal tenet and didn't actually have such a shirt!

It's such a relief to have that taken care of!

Honestly, I get a little tickled wearing that shirt.  I'm not only quite obviously not athletic, but also so totally clueless that I wouldn't know a double dribble from a foul ball from a fumble.  I think the reason that my mom ended up having two kids was to make sure that she had one she could discuss UK basketball with.  Good thing, too!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Rambles

So, I ended up not leaving the house last week, except for one trip to the booths.  It was cold, snowy, icky, wet, and just not pleasant.  The streets stayed nasty all week, so every work day I would have had got cancelled.  No complaints from me.  Turns out I really needed the rest more than I thought. I had some things in the house to price, which kept me busy.  And there's nothing wrong with a good nap (or a dozen) on a cold winter's day.

It's supposed to stay cold this week, but the white stuff is clearing out.  By the end of the week, we'll be into better weather.  I'm finally going to get that Goodwill trip in, plus a few more errands.  Depending on how wet the back yard still is, I'm going to try and work on the booth stuff in the shed.  I don't have a lot to do, so maybe I can get it done, even if it's a little muddy.  

I have four-five banana boxes with my religious merch in them that I would like to get all stacked together so I can grab them this weekend.  They're all labeled, so it should be easy to do.  I also have about six boxes with unpriced stuff in them that I would like to pull into the house to work on.  My goal is to have a full van load (or two) to take to the booths on Saturday.

I'm also planning on my first midweek booth work day for this store on Wednesday.  I've got a lot of work to do right now.  The manager offered a booth swap to me and I decided to take it.  I'm moving from a really cool spot in the back that I would not normally give up to an end corner double booth on the same row where my other booth is.  The temptation of having everything all together, plus the double-spread end row booth is too much to say no to.  The nice thing is that I can move a bit at a time over several days and avoid the rushed clutter that I cam dealing with now.

I actually headed out on Saturday to start the work, but the new space was not totally cleared out, so I couldn't.  It's supposed to be all cleared out in a couple of days, so I'm going back Wednesday to start moving and cleaning up.  Since I couldn't do anything on Saturday, I hit up a nearby thrift.

Of course, I found a few things. 

I got the bunny stuff to tide me over until I can dig my little Easter stash out of whichever storage place it's in.  I thought the tins were cute.  The Ponderosa Ranch tin cups aren't old, but they are cool.  The Angel graphic novels were a fun find.  They had a huge stack of comics, but they were a tad much for my tastes right now.  I'm going to have to wait for them to go half price in a week or two. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wolf Pack

I had two thoughts when I saw this mirror for sale. 

That damn price tag does not want to come off!

The first was:  "I'm going to get that."  The second?  This:

This one almost became yesterday's "Retro Y'all!" post, but I like to use the original music videos for that, and I could not find a decent quality copy to use. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Retro Y'all!

Here's one I ran across looking for vids for yesterday's post.  It's just totally too good not to share.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Dad

Today would have been my dad's 85th birthday.  That seems like a lot to me.  In June, he'll have been gone ten years.  That seems like a lot too.  Life is passing by too damn fast, you know.

I don't write a lot about him, because we really weren't as close as my mom and I were.  He was stationed overseas a lot while I was growing up, so we saw him just a few times a year.  Then when he retired from the Army, my parents divorced soon after.  There are a lot of memories associated with that time that I don't like to dwell on, and most of them relate to him.  It took me years to work past all that.

I'm glad I was able to do that.  I know too many people who are still screwed up from their relationships with dead parents that now can't be fixed.  What I have discovered over the years is some really nice memories buried under all the rotten ones.  Those are the ones I want to remember.

I think of my mom whenever I hear certain Johnny Cash songs, because she liked them and sang them a lot.  I think of my dad whenever I hear any Johnny Cash song, because he was the one that made me a Johnny Cash fan.  (He's also the one the really jump-started my comic book collection.  An awful lot of those things that make me me are due to him.  I've only recently started to realize this.)

When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I spent a lot of time trying to have surgery.  I know that sounds kind of weird, but I was scheduled for a procedure that I needed several times, but it kept getting postponed. The first time it got postponed because I was sick.  We did go to the hospital, but they wouldn't admit me for the procedure.  I can't remember why it didn't happen the second time.  I think it might have been due to my bloodwork, because I do remember getting that far.  I also remember feeling kind of bad that time, because Dad was in Germany by then, and he came all the way back home for the surgery.  I was also very embarrassed at school, because for the second time, I had told everyone I was going to be out for about three weeks and collected homework and everything.

When the surgery finally happened, he came back again from Germany.  If I'm remembering right, he got there after the procedure had been one, but was there to take me home.  He had brought me some comics (of course), but also something else:  an 8-track tape player!  And a box of tapes!  (I think I just dated myself there...)

It was a mixed bag of tapes.  I really didn't have much of a developed taste in music at that point.  I think the story goes that someone owed my dad money and gave him the player and tapes to pay off the debt.  The ones that I remember the best (and that I probably played the most) were several by Johnny Cash, two from the Beach Boys, and a home recording of Linda Ronstadt's greatest hits.  (I'm going to be doing a long post on her soon.)

I had that tape player for a long while.  My first copy of the much beloved Grease soundtrack was on 8-track.  I don't know whatever happened to it or the tapes, but I remember laying in bed during my three week recovery period and listening to them over and over.

The other day, I was messing around on YouTube (like always) and found this Roseanne Cash song.  She recorded it with her father right before he died.  That got me to thinking about Johnny Cash, then about my dad.  Then I remembered that his birthday was coming up and knew that I wanted to use it in a post about him.

Another song with a Cash connection that makes me think of Dad is this one.  It's one Cash recorded as part of The Highwaymen.

The song was written by Guy Clark and makes me think about my dad whenever I hear it.  When he was in the hospital before he died, Keith and I had tickets to see Guy Clark in Nashville.  My brother agreed to stay with Dad so we could go.  He always plays this song as it is one of his better known.  When they got to the part about "the son of a bitch is coming" (that's the original line) I burst into tears.  I've had a hard time listening to it ever since.  My dad died six weeks later.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  We miss you a lot. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Tale of Ezale

Easel fever seems to be sweeping the junking blogs.  First, Shara found the most awesome easel ever.  Then, Linda found a cute little easel.  During the mall closing, I found one too!  It's vintage, aluminum, and a table top model, which means it's also portable.

Isn't it cute?

My favorite part of the whole thing is the tag the vendor put on it:  Ezale.  Now, I'm not really one to make fun of the spelling issues of others.  I have enough of my own.  Hell, I had to look up whether the correct spelling is "easel" or "easle."  No, it wasn't the spelling that struck my fancy.  It was the word itself.

"Ezale" sounds to me like it should be the name of one of those older country ladies I went to church with when I was a kid.  Or one of those elderly aunts that you would only see at family reunions and such.  I'm almost positive that I knew someone named "Ezale" in those days.  If I didn't I should have.  It's such a good name.

That got me to thinking.  What if Ezale was an artist?  What if this was her easel?  What if that wasn't really a price tag, but her way of marking her easel so no one would take it?   What if Ezale was known for her paintings?  In a small town like I grew up in, everyone would know about Miss Ezale and her paintings.  I bet she could be found somewhere every day with her easel set up, making a new painting.  The story probably went like this:

Ezale took her easel wherever she'd go
From the warm summer beaches to the glorious snow

Ezale was an artist.  How she loved to paint!
She used to tell others:  "With no easel, I can't."

"The easel holds my canvas the way I like it.  Just so.
It helps me make paintings wherever I go."

I'm also thinking that Miss Ezale was a bit absent-minded, hence the need to add "for painting" to her tag, so she would not forget what she was supposed to do with her easel.  The whole town is still taking about the time she showed up in the park with her blender and tried to paint a picture with it.  There are even whispers about the little notes she has to herself all over her house, so she won't forget things.  ("Take your night gown off before you get in the shower" is a local favorite.)  Everyone knows that artists are a little quirky and eccentric, so nobody really questions it too much.  Miss Ezale is the town artistic genius and the local color all rolled up into one.  Everybody loves Miss Ezale.

Then I got to thinking a little bit more.  What if Ezale wasn't the painter, but the name the painter gave to the easel?  I name objects all the time.  Lots of other people do too.  That would certainly explain the price tag.  Ezale actually was for sale!  I think that the new story would go something like this:

Ezale is my easel.  She holds my canvas up for me.
She holds it nice and high, and I paint what I see.

She's my most faithful assistant, my dear Ezale.
Without her all my paintings would surely always fail.

I love my dear Ezale.  We shall never part.
If it weren't for sweet Ezale, I could not make my art.

Every item has a story.  Sometimes you know them.  Sometimes you have to make them up.  Don't tell me I'm the only one who does this.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fun Finds from All Over

I've started pricing the stuff I have at home to clear up my junk room and get things ready to go to the booth.  This is a combination of a thrift run, the New Year's Big Flea, and stuff I got during the closing.  These are only highlights.  Some stuff is sellable, but not blog-worthy.  The blog is for the best stuff.  Only the best for you guys.  Or at least what I think is the best.  All those boring feedsack quilts and Shaker furniture just goes straight to the booth.  You all get the comic books and Beanie Babies.  (Just kidding.  Sort of.)

The only indulgence I allowed myself during the whole closing month at the Peddlers Mall was a trip to the New Year's big flea.  We got our notice on Jan 2, and I was already planning on going Jan 4.  It's an important buying trip for me, since this is the time they add the extra antique wing, which means 400 extra dealers, none of whom are selling socks or salvage groceries.  I will always love the variety and eclecticity of a good flea market, but the chance to see a whole huge room of cool stuff is always too good to miss.

I always go on the last day, because a lot of the antique dealers have huge mark downs on that day.  There's always a lot of good stuff for a buck or so.  One couple comes from somewhere in Indiana with overstock and leftovers and such from their store.  At the beginning of the big flea, everything is in the 2-5 buck range.  On the last day, it's all a dollar.  I usually hit them a couple of times.

We were running late this year and didn't get there until early afternoon.  I was walking away from their table after buying several dollar items, when I heard the magic words:  "As soon as he gets back from the bathroom, it's all going to be a dollar a bag."  That's certainly worth waiting for!  I can put a lot in a bag.  I mean, there are always things that I like that I don't get because there are nicer things that I want to use my dollar to get.  I filled three bags.

At that point, I was feeling kind of light-headed, so I needed to sit down and rest.  After a nice break, I decided to go back to this booth and see if I could maybe fill another bag, now that others had thinned the tables out a bit.  I always seem to be able to find some good stuff that others leave behind.  Right when I got there, I heard the other magic words:  "It's all free now.  There are boxes under the tables if you need one."  You don't have to tell me twice.  Free is even better than a buck a bag!

The two boxes on top of the granny cart are filled with free stuff!

Sadly, most of what I got that day has already been priced, shipped over to a booth, and sold.  All I have left is a few Christmas items that I had set aside to deal with after the move out madness was over.

I loved the bright colors and cute pictures on these china cups.  So sweet.  I don't think they're that old, but I like them anyway.  They're now in storage for December.  This is the mark on the bottom.

Maybe the Queen will come around to these parts and purchase them?

I generally don't do a lot of Christmas tins.  They're kind of a dime a dozen, honestly.  I couldn't resist the shape of this one.  Again, not super old, but charming.  Charming counts for a lot in my book.

I also grabbed this handful of scissors during the "free phase."  Just because I could.  And because scissors are one of those things I can never keep track of.  Not much left to show you out of a pretty great haul.  Sorry about that.

One of the first things I did after I woke up from my recovery hibernation last week was go to a thrift.  I didn't need to.  I didn't need anything.  But I wanted to, just because I hadn't been able to in so very long.  I didn't pick up much but there were a few things.

One of my rules is "Never pass up a cheap Madonna and Child."  Especially when you are trying to re-establish your religious section.

I'm thinking this might be a planter?  It's a bit large to be a creamer, it seems to me.

Anything card or poker themed is a sure seller for me.  I wish all four suites had been there, but this was all I found.  Oh well.

Another section I need to get set up quick is my Asian section.  It's another good seller for me.  This sweet little geisha will be joining everything else.

I have to admit that I am probably more in love with candle stick holders in general than I should be.  I try to be really tough on myself so that I won't be everyone I see, but the style of this pair won me over.  They remind me of something you might see on the Gold Country Girls blog, only not quite as colorful.  By the way, that's a really fun blog to follow and you should do that if you aren't already.


This dish had an obvious repair to the handle, plus mad crazing, but I had to get it.   All that stuff is character to me, kind of like my own obvious repairs and mad crazing.  Every mark tells a story, you know?

Let me wrap this up with a few items from my mall closing days shopping and scavenging.

There is nothing special about this basket at all, except that it was free and I liked it.  I'm picturing it filled with Easter bunnies and eggs.  I picked up a lot of baskets during the closing.  They make good display.  I never do very much for the holidays that aren't Halloween and Christmas, but I do keep a small stock of stuff.  I never got to do anything for Valentines due to the move, so I am looking forward to putting a little Easter out.  And St Patrick's.  And Derby. C'mon Spring!  (Won't be long now.  Today is Ash Wednesday, after all.)

This school bell is huge!  It's not old, but it is striking.  Interestingly, it's an award that was given to a local newscaster in the 80's for education coverage.  That's all engraved on the other side.  What's even more interesting is that I got it from a vendor who gets his stuff exclusively from storage unit auctions.  There's a story here somewhere.

I have been eying this pretty enameled brass dish ever since the mall opened.  No kidding.  The 45 dollar (!) price tag put me off, as it seems to have done every other potential buyer for the last five and a half years.

The only reason I can think of for such an outrageous price is this original price tag of 191.00.  It probably never occurred to the vendor that this is not in US dollars.   Anyway, with a very drastic markdown, and 50% off that price, I was able to acquire it for a much more reasonable price.

I actually got these mini baseball player bobblers before the holidays, but never got the chance to put them out.  This was a bulk buy--this is only about half of them--from an evicted booth.

Finally, this awesome vintage portable Royal typewriter with case, manuals, and a spare ribbon!  It's in great shape, except for a small split in the zipper near the front of the case.  I'm thinking someone is going to love it.  I've got a lot of pics, so that I can put it on Craigslist after I get it to the booth.

I'm just getting started working on things, so I'll have some more to show tomorrow for sure.  Everything I got at the mall on the next to the last day of business came home with me, since I would have been moving it out anyway.  I made two other large purchases during closing that are in storage.  I'm glad that this lot made it home, as it is giving me something to do right now while it's so cold and snowy outside.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snowed In Monday Rambles

Well, this is the view outside my kitchen door today.

That's Keith shoveling snow.  Silly man.  Doesn't he know it's still snowing?  And this is the view outside the back door.

It's supposed to keep doing this. All.  Day.  Long.

So, all things considered, I don't think I'll be going to Goodwill as planned.  Instead, I shall stay in and blog, eat apple pie, drink hot chocolate, price and photograph cool finds, make popcorn, do laundry, listen to music, and take a nap.

Of course, it's 3:30 in the afternoon as I'm typing this, so the work is proceeding, well, slowly.  I have gotten the nap out of the way (of course), and am currently listening to music, so it's picking up a little.  I'm being kind of lazy because I have already found out that I won't be working tomorrow. Actually, the rest of the week looks pretty doubtful.  I do need to get to that laundry, or else I'll be going to Goodwill anyway.  To find clean undies.  (TMI?)

With that settled, let's move on to other things.  We got our "wedding rings" on Saturday!  It seemed like the thing to do on Valentines Day, plus we had a Groupon.  I think they came out really well.

I mean, if you're going to wait until your fifties to get your first tattoo, it might as well be your husband's initial.  Seriously, we are so not jewelry people, and I would be the first one to lose a ring.  It just didn't seem worth the expense.  I think we can keep up with our fingers pretty well.  (Unless one of us takes up meat carving as a hobby.)

The original idea was to use all three of our initials, plus I wanted the wedding date as well.  Turns out that there's a limit to what you can put on one finger.  Glad I found that out before I asked for the Constitution on my other hand.  To keep it legible and prevent everything fading into an unreadable mush, we went with just first initials.  That actually solved a bit of a dilemma regarding my initials, which happen to be the same as a former boss I had who was, well, psycho.  She also insisted on going by those initials as her name, further complicating the issue.  Truth be told, I had them first, but she ranks very high on my list of people I never want to interact with under any circumstances again EVER.  Seriously, she could be standing outside my door with one of those big-ass Publishers Clearinghouse checks, and I would refuse to open it.  It was that bad.  Definitely not something either of us want to have associated with our marriage.

I like the way they turned out.  It's bold. Kind of quirky.  And really so very Keith and Eddie.  We had the spot of color added to keep it from looking too biker or prison-ish.  Quirky? Yes, yes we are.  Bad-ass mofo?  So very much not.

That shine on the tats (I can say that now.  We got tats!) is from the ointment we have to put on them for the first few days.  In case you were wondering, it didn't hurt at all.  Seriously.  I've been in more pain at the cancer center in the pre-port days.  (Engage!)  The only real feeling I had was like a mild sunburn, and that was right after he finished the tattoo.

Overall, it was a very cool experience.  The guy who did it for us (Smithers) was way cool and loved the idea that this was our wedding rings.  We went to Triumph Tattoos.  If you're ever in Louisville and need a tattoo, I recommend them.  (I guess you can "need" a tattoo?)  Somewhere in the back of our heads, we're both contemplating another one.  I can see why people get into tats.

On Friday, I went out to the booths for the first time since the move.  The manager looked at me and said:  "Are you all rested up from the move?"  I said I was and she added:  "Good.  Because your booths look like crap."

She's right.

Gaze in terror and flee!  AIIEEE!

I want to put up a sign that says "Pardon our mess, until we figure out what the hell we're doing."

During the move, I just told folks to drop stuff off at that store and "stick it wherever it will fit."  The goal was moving, not pretty.  Now I have to go back and make all that pretty again.  I didn't take a pic of the other booth, which was waaaaaaay worse. I worked on it several hours on Friday and got it to the point of being "passable."  As in it might pass for being a booth and not a junk pile, but not much more.

Surprisingly, sales have been pretty decent since the move.  A few of the large pieces I brought over have sold already.   My theory is that they were the ones people could get to.  I did move all of the large ticket items around to where they were accessible, in hopes of continuing that trend.

Also on Friday, I picked up some surplus equipment for free, including some old transcription/dictation recorders.  You know, the ones with the foot pedals?  That one prompted the old "Just because it's free, you don't have to take it" lecture from Keith.  I hear that every so often.  It makes him feel better or something.  Well, I sold every one of those suckers on Saturday.  Not that I'm gloating or anything.

It was so good this weekend to have normal errands and stuff to do, instead of booth moving.  It was just so relaxing and fun!

I was planning on going over to the booths to finish up the straightening on Wednesday, then do a super-major restock on Saturday.  However, I think the weather has scrambled those plans.  I'm not able to get into shed or storage to get stuff ready right now.  Plus, I just found out that the town where this store is located has declared a weather-related state of emergency and closed the streets to everyone except emergency personnel.  So much for sales today.  (And maybe the rest of the week.)  Dang.  At least I know that I'll be in for a good day once it clears up.  Nothing makes for crowds of eager shoppers like cabin fever.

As bad as all this snow is, I do know it pales in comparison to what the Northeast has been enduring this winter.  I do hope that everyone's friends and loved ones in that part of the world are safe and warm.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Thoughts from a Closing

There were many things running through my head during the mall closing.  Not all of them were happy memories or near panic attacks about all the work I had to do.  Some were just my usual odd ruminations and rambling thoughts.


It is amazing to me how many people simply don't read signs, don't pay attention to things, make unfounded assumptions (then get angry when they're not correct), and just in general seem content to wander through life in a daze, hoping they don't get hit by a bus.

First, you have the vendors who, despite having the closing letter stapled to their statements, weren't aware that we were closing or had all the information totally wrong, especially the date we had to be out.  One guy was insisting that he had ten more days than we really had.  Nothing in writing ever said that.  Then you had the vendors who owed money and got upset that they had to pay it before they could move their stuff out, just like it said in the letter.  (And in our contracts for that matter.)

And then there are the customers.  Oh, the customers.  The ones who walk in the door assuming everything  everywhere is 75% off.  I got so tired of putting stuff back in my booth that should have been purchased, but wasn't.  $1.99 items that got put back because they weren't 50% off.  Really?  The damn thing was a bargain to begin with!  The worst ones were the ones who saw a 75% off sign in a booth somewhere and decided that it was for everything and would not be dissuaded from that.  I overheard a woman leaving complaining about "all those 50% off signs in front of the store and nothing is 50% off."  (There was one sign on the door for one booth.  Every other sign was about the closing date.)  Even better was the one who told me I was committing "false advertising" because a sign in the booth next to mine had 75% off and my stuff wasn't discounted.  I finally had to move that sign so that it could not be seen by people in my booth.  You'd think that they would just compare the booth number on the sign with the booth number on the tag, but no.

I hope they have better luck with the buses.


I told the cashiers more than once how much I admired them for their restraint and self-control and professionalism during the last days.  I'm not sure I could have done it.  There was some rude, uncalled for behavior going on at times.

At the same time, though, I am always glad to help out when I can.  I do hang out at the register a lot when I'm having a rest break, so customers sometimes think I work there.  I directed customers to the exit, showed them things they were looking for (if I could), gave them negotiating tips for dealing with a vendor, even helped them load things.  (I got a $5 tip for that!  I told her she didn't have to, but she insisted.)  I also helped wrap and bag large orders, which I like doing because I can see if there are things I might like in a booth I've been missing that way.


So why didn't I run a discount?  Well, the main reason is that it's my booth, my business and I don't have to if I don't want to.  So there.

The more complicated reason has to do with profits and motives.  Most folks running discounts were the type who had nowhere else to take stuff and didn't want it going to their houses.  That's not my situation.  There were also a few (like me) who had tons of stuff  and didn't want to do the work of moving it all out.  That's also not my situation.  Since I don't know what my personal health is going to be like over the next few months, I am really terrified of not being able to go out and get stuff.  This way, I have a stash that is all priced up, boxed up, and ready to go.  Just in case.

My goal for the month was to have the largest check of my reselling history.  Since rent was not coming out of it, there was no reason not to shoot for the moon.  I could get a big check with markdowns, but not without writing off most of my profit.  Since my one remaining store is currently an underperformer, I didn't think I could afford to do that.

The funny thing is that even with no discounts, my stuff was still cheaper than several of the sellers who were 50% off!  Often on the same items!  Yet mine got put back!  PEOPLE!


Since the mall wasn't fully rented, several vendors took advantage of the last weeks and spread their stuff into some of the empty spots.  I did this with the things from the storage room that I bought.  I also held on to that room as well, since no one was going to be renting it out again. It made the place look fuller and got more of my stuff in front of folks.


Hang around a all that's closing and you'll get offered all the cheap/free stuff you can stand.  And then some.  Everyone has something they don't want to move or fool with any more.  I got a half dozen or so new (to me) shelves that way.  There were enough, in fact, that I am now able to dedicate my plastic utility shelves totally to my shed and storage.  I had been wanting to get away from using them for display.  I was also given a drop-leaf table, a loveseat, and a very nice upholstered chair.  All that, and a box of nice candles in jars to boot!


Of course, at 50 and 75% off, you can find some goodies!  I would lay in a stash for a couple of days until I had a cartful, then check out.  I got to where I would call the item info out to the cashier and give them the discounted price to speed things along.  I always tried to avoid high traffic times when I did this, since I did tie up a cashier for a little while.  It was fun, for sure.

I used to say that my goal as a junker was to walk out of a store with a receipt as tall as I am.  I did it a couple of times.

I need a new goal now.

Sadly, my excursions in search of discounts led me to several booths I had never visited before because they were outside of my usual mall route, which pretty much just led to my booth and back.  I found at least a couple where the prices were so good before the discounts that I should have been shopping there all along.


There's the free that's handed to you.  Then there's the free you find.  During the clean up after the closing, there are always items that get left behind as people movie out.  Since I planned to do most of my packing up after the last day to maximize sales, I had the opportunity to scavenge a few things that otherwise would have ended up in the trash.  There was a person who was allotted to have first pick at the leftovers, in exchange for cleaning the place up and taking down all the walls, so I made sure that I wasn't impinging upon anything he wanted, before I swooped on something.  It was simple.  You go:  "Hey is that cart trash?"  If they say it is, then ask to grab a couple of things off the top.  Never dig through since everyone is busy.  If they say that they are keeping it, then compliment them on their good taste in items.


Of course, I got rid of a few things too.  I gave away stuff that had outlived its usefulness, mostly old display and shelving stuff.  A lot went to folks who also scrap, since there wasn't much other use for it.  I also gave away some small stuff and tossed a few things.  I try to limit what I just flat out toss, because I hate to see things get thrown away that might still have life in them, but when a shelf blew over while we were loading up and smashed to bits, it was an easy call to toss.  The store rented one of those huge commercial dumpsters, and several times it ended up looking like this:

Lots of good things got tossed, which killed me.  I had to keep telling myself that I cannot have all the things, save all the things, or sell all the things.  But I really, really wanted to try.  I just have to content myself with the thought that I tossed stuff out sparingly and tried my darnedest to get things where they would be the most use for others.


Oops.  There goes the language again.  I just get so tired of being tired all the time.  It was very frustrating for me during the closing weeks.  I would just be getting started on something and need to take a break.  Quite a few things that I wanted to do didn't get done the way I wanted because of that, like markdowns, which happened kind of haphazardly and not in the lovely organized fashion I had envisioned.  It dawned on me a couple of days after we finished that the reason the storage unit is fuller than I thought it would be is from the items (most of which were large) that I anticipated would sell with markdowns.  Oh well.  More for later, I suppose.


The whole thing was such a time-eater.  I know I had to do it, but, dude!  I missed out on some other opportunities and things I usually do.  My brother emailed me a couple of days ago, just to make sure I hadn't been sick(er).  He was worried because he hadn't heard from me.  Thrifting?  No time!  Blogging?  No time.  You all are going to be reading January topics in February and March.  I missed a closing sale at Toys R Us and two good estate sales to deal with this madness.  I keep telling myself that I cannot go to all the sales, but still.  I also didn't really get to do my Christmas clearance shopping this year.  I would have just been starting that when we got the closing notice.  There just wasn't time.  Thankfully my discount booth shopping yielded lots of Christmas, since most booths still had theirs out and left it out through the closing.  I don't have a stash like I usually do, but I'll get through.


The biggest bummer of all was the very nice piece that was stolen from me during the chaos of the closing.  It was the first major loss I've ever had.  I've lost smalls here and there, which is usually no biggie.  That's the kind of stuff that happens.  This was a nice, pricey (for me) piece.  I'm still bummed about it.  It's the kind of thing I'll never find again.


Finally, some last looks.  Before we left for the last time, I took some pics.  People always used to talk about how big the store was.  It never felt big to me with all the booths and stuff in it.  Empty?  The place is cavernous!

Also, soulless.


Have you ever seen the ending episode to a TV series where they keep pulling the camera back and suddenly you see the sets and the lights and stuff?  And there are people walking off the set and cleaning up and turning out the lights and then that's all?  That's the way things felt for me right then. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Retro Y'all! Muppet Edition

This one has been stuck in my head all week.  Out of all the many Muppet songs, this is probably my favorite.

Happy Valentines Day!  I hope you find your place to go back to someday.  And someone to go with you.

Dedicated to my sweet husband, Keith!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

One Last Look

This is the space where my booths were.  The floor spots, anyway.  Half of my eight booths were wall spaces.  The worn masking tape shows the original outlines laid out when the store opened.

The rectangle closest to the camera was the first booth I took.  The store had been open a week at that location.  I had been to the grand opening and decided to take the plunge.  I was wanting a wall space, but by the time I talked it over with Keith and headed back the next weekend, all the wall spots were rented out.  This one floor space was just about all that was left.

Most of the floor spaces are 8 x 10, but this one is 8 x 11, so I had to pay a little bit more rent.  Eddie's Attic was born!  Over the years, I've seen a lot of people come and go in the spaces around me, but I was a stable presence in this little back corner of the mall. Eventually, I would have regulars coming in to find me in this regular spot.

After about six months, the people in the booth  diagonally across from mine left, and I rented that spot.  This is the spot with the column in the corner.  I was noticing that my comics, books, CD's and DVD's were selling very well for me. I wanted to expand that into a whole booth.  This one had the advantage of being close to my current spot (easier to stock and tidy), plus it had walls and shelves already installed.  Shelves are good for books, you know.  I had to buy those from the previous vendor, but it was worth it.

I had become friendly with the guy in the space in between my spaces (where the tote lids are).  I started kidding him that I was going to squeeze him out, take over his spot and call my three booth empire "Ed-Mart"!  He had his booth on this side of the mall, and his wife had one on the opposite side.  Eventually, one or the other of them took a new job and had less time for the booths, so they incorporated them together into her booth.  Before he cleared out of his space, he recommended to the manager that she offer me first dibs at the booth.  It was a gesture I will always appreciate.  Of course, I jumped at the chance.  It was also at this point that the manager and I started to get to know each other better.

We had always spoken and been nice to each other, but I am, honestly, kind of shy in person.  It's hard for me to get to know others and vice-versa.  I started making time to hang at the register a little bit and chat with people.  I learned a lot by doing that and made several good friends.  It was also about this time that I started to get to know a few other vendors a little better.

I left the walls up in the book corner because of the shelves, so my space was kind of cut up.  Eventually, I started thinking about ways to unite my spaces.  One option that seemed out of reach was the taking the fourth space in that block, the one where the box of trash is in the picture.   The vendor there gave up the space, but had a ton of walls and shelves built in there.  If I took the space, I would have had to buy them and I didn't want to do that.  For one thing, they were expensive.  For another, I was moving towards ditching my walls entirely.

Then, right after I had my cancer surgery, something major happened.  A mall down the road closed, meaning that there would be a lot of vendors heading our way looking for new booths.  If I didn't hop on that empty spot, I might not be able to get it for a while.  Plus, the store informed me that they could just move the walls out if I didn't want them.  And they offered to buy my walls and shelves from me, so that I could create one big spot!  I was fresh out of surgery, extremely tired and could barely stand.  So, of course, I said yes!

Keith helped me out (i.e. did most of the work) and my four-square dream was realized!  And that big old square remained the heart of my booth for the next two years, with various wall spaces rotating in and out of the picture.  It was a very good fit for me.

Last summer, the rumors started to fly that our closure was imminent.  As in, could happen any minute.  As in, grab your stuff and run!  Flee!  The barbarians are at the gate and they have a wrecking ball!  There was a lot of behind the scenes this and that going on, but that's not mine to comment on publicly.  (I do have some opinions that involve lots of swear words, if you want to ask privately.)  All of that stuff started happening right around the time I started having my best sales ever!  (Isn't that the way it always goes?)

I decided the best route to go was to sit tight, keep having good sales, and wait for definite word.  And the apocalypse didn't happen.  I actually had a thought in the back of my head that it might not happen until this June when the store lease was supposed to be up.  At the very least, I was hoping that we would have until April and get through tax season.  And the hammer fell on January 2.  Happy New Year.

It is what it is. It was what it was.  (And what it was, was wonderful!)  The deed has been done.  Now that I have everything out and a few days of good sleep under my belt, I'm looking forward to finally getting this new store up to snuff.  I took those spots originally to have a place to land when/if the hammer did fall.  I held on to them, even though they weren't performing the way I wanted.  I knew I was going to need them.  I have to admit that at least part of the fault is mine for letting the better selling store eat all my attention.  That issue has been resolved for me, so now it's time to rock and roll.

Look out world.  Eddie's Attic/Booth 62 still has a hell of a lot to do, say, and sell!

Woo hoo!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wednesday Rambles!

Cue theme music!


He lives!

I live!



(For the best effect here, think of this melded with this.  Sort of.  For the real effect, you kind of have to be inside my head.  Trust me.  You do not want to go there.)

I have seriously slept for nearly three days straight, waking only to go pee and get something to eat.  I had no idea that a person could be that tired and actually still count as a living being.  If "Walking Dead" weren't already a thing, I probably could have invented it.

It is done.  I am out.  Thankfully, I was not the last one out, but watching a couple of other vendors--the least organized ones--leave before me was kind of rough.

I started out really organized in the beginning, but by the end it was "cram it where it will fit" mode.  My storage unit is full to the door!  So is the shed in my yard.  (And I had that one half emptied.)

Now comes the hard part.  Getting it all back together.  My priorities right now are four:

1.  Cleaning up and organizing the booths I have left.  We were in "drop it off mode" there for a couple of weeks, so they're kind of a wreck right now.

2. and 3.  Getting my comic books and religious section set up at the new store.  (It's still the "new store" to me.)  Those are my top selling sections, I need them to be operational quick.

4.  Moving several new-to-me large pieces over and getting them priced.  I was given several nice pieces of furniture by vendors who did not want to fool with them during them move.  It's time to turn that generosity into profit!

If I can do all of that relatively quickly, then it will ease the strain in my storage situation, and help that get organized much faster.  I think Keith said it best on Sunday:  "We're finished, but your work is just starting."  I'll get onto some of that this weekend for sure, but there will also be some other things happening.

A long delayed haircut for one.  7,234 loads of laundry.  A well-deserved massage on Sunday.  And I think we're going to get our wedding ring tattoos on Saturday, since it's Valentines Day.  I know that there's a special dinner in there too.

I'll probably get the hair cut today.  I have to go look at some stuff that someone wants to give me to sell.  I really don't need anything, but this is high dollar stuff and it's just going to get tossed otherwise.  I'm appraising it today for possible pick up on Friday.  I might even go to a thrift.  Not to shop, but just to look.  I haven't been in one in ages.  Ages, I tell you!

I need to get as much done today, since we've got a brief warm spell happening.  So brief that it ends tonight.

I have a couple more posts to do about the move out and some thoughts it has generated, but I should have that all out of my system by the weekend.  Yes, I tend to dwell on things forever.  I'm an over-thinker.  It's what we do!  After that, well, it's back to the weirdness.  Thanks for being a part of this journey.  Your encouragement and concerns helped me keep it together through a couple of weeks of near hellish stress.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Pardon the Service Interruption

Today's scheduled installment of Monday Rambles has been postponed until tomorrow, due to the need for a certain junking blogger to catch up on his sleep.  A certain kitty cat is requesting, nay, demanding lots of sleepy time snuggles.

We regret the inconvenience and ask that you please join us tomorrow for our next installment.

Thanks for your understanding.

Chiquito thanks you too!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

All Good Things

It's empty.

There's nothing left.

Eddie's Attic/Booth 62 at the Dixie Peddlers Mall is no more.

One more truckload today and I will be completely out. Gone.  Like I was never there. I may cry.  I did on the last day of sales.  It feels so strange to get only one sales report email a night.  I feel kind of like I did when I graduated high school.  Everyone is heading off in their own direction.  You know you'll see each other again, but it will never be the same.  But it was good while it lasted.

I still have some thoughts to share and stories to tell from the last days.  I've had precious little time to write lately (naturally).  I also have a whole ton of things that I had planned to write about in January, until the store closing bomb dropped.  My brain is overly full and needs to be emptied. 

Good-bye to my beloved Dixie Peddlers Mall.  I will miss you.  Thanks for such a good run.  The page has turned, and it's time to write a new chapter in my junking journey.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Still chugging

Most big stuff is out.  My storage room is empty and packed up.  Some things have been given away.  A few have been acquired.  Lots of boxes moved.  Lots more boxes to move.  About three-fourths of the smalls have been boxed and wrapped.

Questions of the moment:

Lordy, where did all this stuff come from?

What is that?

Did I buy that?

How much did I pay for that?

That's still here?

What was I thinking?

Do I want to keep this?

I really thought this would sell?

Why didn't someone buy this?

Am I crazy?

Why is Blogger's spell checker treating the first paragraph of this post like one big, long misspelled word?

I am becoming cautiously optimistic that I just might survive this madness.  I've been over there every day since, well, forever ago at 10-ish.  I decided to go in at noon today and get a little more sleep.  Sweet, sweet sleep. 

I am about half convinced that other vendors are sneaking stuff into my pile so they won't have to move it themselves.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

What have I wrought?

It's moving day!

Dear Lord!

And this is merely the tip of the iceberg! I ran out of time to take any more pics. I had not yet picked my word for 2015, but I think I have it now:


There's a lot of money that ain't being made in those boxes and tubs.  I was worried about being able to do the whole yard sale drill this summer.  I don't think I'll need to.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Tired-Ass Monday Rambles

I am one whooped little puppy!  But the end has come and gone.  Now for....the aftermath!

I had my best sales day ever on the last day.  Set a new one day record for me that will stand for a while, I think.  I also topped $2,000 in sales for the last month.  (I usually don't like to mention numbers, but I'm kind of stoked by the total.  Forgive me if I crow for a sec.)  My check won't be quite that large.  I still have to pay the 6% commission, even if there is no rent coming out.  When I started running ahead of my goal for the month, I charged some purchases against my account instead of paying cash.  I had never done that before, but it enables me to snag some great stuff at great prices.  I figure that, when the dust settles, I've got enough stock for the next 2-3 months in both big and small items.  That also means lots of posts of fabulous finds too!

About that settling dust, however.  Yesterday, I packed and consolidated stuff most of the afternoon.  I got quite a bit done in a short period, so I have big hopes for today.  I need to pull everything out of my storage and get it ready.  Thankfully, about 80% of it is already in boxes.  I'll need to rearrange some things so that the boxes will close, but there won't be a lot of packing there. 

Then there's the booth proper.  There will be a lot of packing there, although it's only about 1/4 full after all the sales.  I left everything on the sales floor, except for my books and some small furniture, which I moved to the other store early.  I wanted to get rid of as much as I could, so I held off on both the packing and the restocking.  I just hope I have enough boxes and paper.  I've been squirreling away boxes for weeks now.  Every time I saw one laying around the store, I snagged it.  I've got a pretty good horde, but I'm taking some more from home today.  You cannot be over-prepared at a time like this.

One of my college roommates hit me up on Facebook Friday and offered his truck to help with some moving on Saturday.  Between his truck and Mazda we got five good loads of furniture out and over to the other store.  My booths there look like a hot mess right now.  They're just crammed with crap.  Prettying that up will have to wait until the weekend.  My sales there really picked up the last couple of weeks.  My books started selling like crazy once I got them over there.  Despite the current mess, my furniture is moving too.  This makes me happy.  I am looking forward to growing this one into what I want it to be.  It's the flagship Peddlers Mall, dammit!  I ought to be rocking the house soon!  Eddie's Attic Style!  Cue the music!

Tomorrow is the move out for everything else.  We're getting a U-Haul to try and get it in one or two fell swoops.  Since I've crammed about as much of my eight booths as I can into the four at the other store, I also had to take a storage place.  I got one with a first month free deal and paid for the second month in advance.  My hope is not to need it after three months.  It is good to have a "home base" for the moment to work and organize.

Wednesday and Thursday will be clean up days.  I might also help a few of my friends there with some of the stuff they have to do, just for old time's sake.  I'll probably also scavenge up a few more goodies if I can.  This is junk set out week in our neighborhood and I've been able to give it no attention whatsoever.  I've been making up for it during the move out from people offering stuff they didn't want to move.  The rainy, cold weather is also putting a damper on the junk set out, so it's all good.  I need to keep telling myself that I cannot have all the things.  (But I can try.)

I am looking forward to Friday, when the frantic pace drops off entirely and I am back to working at my own leisurely amble.  I scored a couple of comfy vintage folding chairs that are going to be my work seats at the storage.

Honestly, I am feeling okay.  I've been drinking lots of water and resting often.  I've just been coming home and going right to bed at the end of the day.  I took this week off from work to lessen the stress a bit.  I am starting to lag and I know that I cannot keep this pace up for too much longer, but I think I ought to be able to see it through and survive.  Thanks for your well wishes and concerns.  I've been taking everything to heart and am well aware of my blog angels watching over me. 

It's almost over.  I'll have some pics when I remember to take them.  Have a good week.