Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Rambles

To Infinity

Believe it or not, I did not use all my folding tables.



The whole thing.

The tables run the entire width of our back yard, plus some overlap onto the neighbors!

The dude in charge.

I'd buy a book or two from this man.  Would you?

I forgot to take an after pic, so you'll have to take my word for it, but there was nothing left.  Not a book.  Not a page.  Not a word. It was all sold!

People were buying them by the stack and by the sack.  Some people brought their own bags and filled them.  I had some boxes for people who bought a lot and ended up using quite a few of them.  Even the postal carrier walking by on his route bought a couple books.

There were a few dealers that came by, but most of the folks were actually readers.  I had a long visit with one woman who sells on the side, but is also a book lover.  I only had two dudes show up with scanners, but they stayed polite, so I let them stay.  One of them said to the woman  I was talking to:  "I don't know how you pick what you're going to sell."  We both just rolled our eyes at him.  He tried to talk to me about the virtues of selling books online and how great his little app was, but I just tuned him.  I've dealt with this guy before.  I've also seen him at a couple of community sales trying to sell the books he had bought from me for less than he paid me for them.

Based on the subject matter of my books, I had an awful lot of interesting conversations with people.  One woman finally stopped and said, "So are you Catholic or are you Jewish?  I can't figure this out."  The look on her face when I said "Neither." was priceless.  I just like to read about a lot of different stuff.  I didn't bother to point out to her all the books on Wicca and Paganism.  Several people told me that I would be an interesting person to have coffee with.

My favorite part was making recommendations for people based on their selections and complimenting their choices.  A lot of people got a lot of good reads and that makes me happy.  This is the first sale I've ever had when just about everyone who came bought stuff.  Really.  Even the guy who was there at the very beginning, but left without buying something.  He came back towards the end and bought two books.  He was disappointed that the other things he had looked at were gone.

The guy from the secondhand store down the street came by.  I had sent him an invite on Facebook and kind of hinted that I would be open to an offer on the remainders after the sale was over.  He bought two boxes on his first visit.  After the sale was over, I pulled some of the religious books to take to the booth, then he made me a decent offer on the remainder, so I took it.  And, BAM!  No more books!

My scan on Friday was a nightmare.  First off, I got there and they told me that my appointment was actually for Thursday!  Still not sure how I managed to mix that up.  They told me they would work me in, so I checked in and waited.  It didn't take them long to get to me at all, but the we found out that my port seems to be clogged or something.  They could not get a blood draw from it, so they could not use it.  I'll have to get that checked out.

We had to go into my crappy veins.  Thankfully, it only took two sticks.  Then I got scanned.  I'm starting to feel like an old document.  I go to get the results tomorrow.  I'll let you all know what happens later in the week, after I've had the time to process it.

Booth sales have been decent this week.  A couple of days have been excellent, others have been okay, and only one was below satisfactory.  I'm not going to make my initial goal for the month, but I will have the best month ever at this store.  That's good enough for me right now. Someone even bought my stalker!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Woo Hoo!

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell have another duet album coming out soon! I'm totally psyched about it!  Here's the title cut, which is only seven different kinds of awesome.

I have seriously been playing this over and over.  I love it!

Woo Hoo!

Friday, March 27, 2015










Thursday, March 26, 2015

I seem to have acquired a stalker...

Complete with a creepy smile to boot!

He's some racing dude.  A vendor at the old Peddlers Mall gave him to another vendor as the store was closing and that vendor turned around and gave him to me.  I put him in the booth over the weekend, and he's been creeping me out ever since.

Every time I turn around, he startles me.  It's like there's a person standing there in the middle of everything.  Staring. Grinning. Standing.

I moved him out in to the aisle on Sunday so I could get some work done and kept catching glimpses of him in the corner of my eye and thinking he was a customer!  Staring. Grinning. Standing.

Do you think I should get a restraining order?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Well now, this is embarassing!

Someone secretly made a video of me working out at the gym and then put it online!  Oh no!

Now I have to find a new gym.  Oh bother!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Is anyone still out there?

If any of you bailed on me after yesterday's pity party, I wouldn't blame you.  I haven't been that self-indulgent on the blog in a long time.  I'd take the post down, but that feels almost dishonest to me.  Sometimes, I do selfish things, even on my blog.

Anyway, please accept my apologies.  I was on a real downer over my booth sales, plus I hadn't slept well the night before, and kind of put my common sense on hold. Never blog when you're cranky.

The worst part about that post is that there were quite a few non-miserable things that I was planning to write about in that post, but I let the negativity overwhelm me.

We finally got the official copy of the wedding license last week.  Unfortunately, there's an error on it.  See if you can tell what it is.

No.  It's not that they didn't use my full name.  Although I wish they had.

Did you catch that?

I'm not sure if one can be one of the people getting married AND the judge officiating the ceremony.  I'm also really sure that there was a judge in the room that day.  A female judge.  Without a beard.

I'm going to have to call and get that fixed.  Only us.....

Speaking of the wedding, I need to send some public thank you's to Heidi in Denver and Janet in Pennsylvania for the very sweet wedding acknowledgements they sent me.  It really touched both me and Keith that you all thought enough to do that.  When I told Keith that I had gotten mail from a couple of blog readers, he said that I had some pretty cool people reading my blog.  He doesn't know the half of it.

I threw myself into book sorting yesterday and brightened my mood considerably.  I'm planning on having a yard sale/book sale on Saturday in an effort to downsize my library.  There's too much of it to try and run through the booth as is without creating a HUGE backlog in my already crowded storage.  My plan is to use the sale to thin it out, then split the leftovers between the booth and donations and Half-Price Books.

I got two of the book shelves in my junk room condensed down to about 3/4 of one of them.  I still have two more to go.  One of the remaining shelf is going to become my main tchotchke display shelf, so I can try to reign that hoard in a bit.  There's just too much stuff around here!

I'm debating whether or not I want to tackle the two shelves in the living room, which I thinned down a couple of years ago.  I think I might leave them, since I have about a dozen (!) tubs in the backyard shed to go through.  My name is Eddie Mitchell and I am a book hoarder lover.  If you are in the area and want to browse through an eclectic range of books this weekend, come on by.  Nothing vintage in this sale.  No comic books or graphic novels, but PLENTY of just about anything else you can imagine, including books about comics and cartooning.  I hope I have enough tables for this mess.  Prices are going to be cheap too.  Cheap, I tell you.

Sales are on a temporary pick up again, at least until Louisville (Thursday) and Kentucky (Sunday) play again.  This store has been such a struggle for me from the beginning as far as sales go.  I just didn't handle it very well when my first real momentum got derailed.  Then I dragged you all along with me.

Sorry about that.  Here's a little something to make up for it:

One last note, I love all your comments and notes and have gotten better at replying like a polite blogger should.  For some reason, I've stopped getting email notices when a couple of you comment.  I'm not sure what's going on, but please know that I'm not ignoring you.  Also, there's a good handful of regular commenters without an email attached to your profile, which means I can't respond directly.  I appreciate your comments too!  Thanks for hanging with me!

PS to Sandy in PA:  You did make me chuckle yesterday!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Rambles

Almost titled this one "Monday Ram-blahs."  I guess you could say I've been in a bit of a funk over the last couple of days.  I'll get over it.  Probably.

As predicted, the basketball tournament torpedoed sales last week.  From Monday to Wednesday, my sales dropped off a whopping 90%!  I am not exaggerating that in the least.  I really went from $50 a day (on Monday) to $5 (on Wednesday). 

I know by now this time is coming.  It does so every year, but I had been riding such a high earlier in the month, that the crash is particularly hard this time.  Bummer.  I've been feeling a bit discouraged over the whole thing.  I did have a good, strong day on Sunday, but the tournament has two (!) more weekends to run.  Sigh!

Based on first half of the month sales, I had a pretty hefty month end total as my goal this time around.  I think I'm still going to come out okay at the end of the month, but there's no way I'll make my goal now.  Ebb and flow.  I know it's a fact of this business, but I'll never get used to it or like it.

It's very early in the yard sale season here, which means they're hit or miss.  It also means they're farther apart than I like.  Once the season starts in full, I tend to hit the ones I know will be good  from past experience and stay mostly in my own central area otherwise.  It saves a lot of useless travel and frustration.  I'll branch out for something that seems extremely special, but I tend to stick to the established patterns.

This weekend, we ended up going from one end of the county to the other and coming up basically empty.  We went to a find-raising sale at an American Legion post that promised thirty sellers.  Of course, that ended up being more like ten.  Who weren't anywhere around their stuff when I tried to buy something.  Who were wildly over-priced when I could find someone to ask.  One seller even tried to lay a guilt trip on me to get me to buy something.  I'm sorry, but "You know what this is for." is not a way to get me to spend money.

After that, we went to what had been advertised as a neighborhood sale, but ended up being one house with about ten things for sale.  Really? There was a house in the neighborhood with a bookshelf sitting at the curb.  We debated back and forth about it and drove past a couple of times.  Finally, we saw a woman in the yard acting like she was waiting for someone to come pick her up.  We asked her if the shelf was free, and she said "Oh no.  It's five dollars."  We bought the self, but it was all just too weird.

After that, we went to a video store that's getting ready to close.  I bought a display rack there.  They had another rack that I wanted, but I have no room for it anywhere.  Today is the last day, I'm going to pop over there one more time to see if they've lowered prices any more.  Keith found a copy of one of my favorite movies there, so I got that too.

We ended up going by the storage unit to actually make a van load for the booth.  This is the second time we've filled up the van from the unit,  yet the unit is still full all the way to the door!  I think it violates the known laws of physics, mass, and volume.  Mind-boggling.

On the way to the booth, we decided to take the dog for a ride.

He likes to hang his head out the window.

Good boy!
I spent the rest of the weekend at the booth, cleaning and restocking.  Hopefully, that will work a change in the sales.

My scan is this Friday.  We'll see what happens, I guess.  Sorry this one is a bit of a downer.  I'll work on cheerfulness this week.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Your Chiquito of the Month Catch-Up

Here are the January and February pics from the Chiquito calendar.


This is one of those sleeping poses I was talking about in Wednesday's post!  He seriously does this all the time.  How can you not love it?


Look at that face!  You just have to love it to pieces, I tell you!


Here's the cover for the calendar.

This was right after he came to live with us.  He has always had to greet us when we come home. Vociferously and enthusiastically.  The first one home gets the most intense treatment.  It's like we've been gone for days.  Seriously.

So on this day, Keith got home first.  He did the whole "love the kitty" routine, then bent over to take his shoes off.  Chiquito, not being done with the loving part, hopped up on the table, then crawled over on Keith's back and started kneading and purring.  Keith said it was hard to keep him balanced, but he managed to grab his camera and snap this shot.  I love it.  It so totally captures the sweet natures of both my fellows.

I'm so freaking lucky.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Here a Junk, There a Junk, Everywhere a Junk Junk!

I managed to get out and hit some stores this week.  On Tuesday, I met with my uncle, and we went to the store that's always been our usual spot.  I found some good stuff.

I'm going to call this one "Classic Grandma Boudoir Chest." 

Lots of littles.  I love the 4 Thieves vinegar bottle.  The Madonna in the little wooden niche I'm keeping.  I'm also probably keeping the blue one.  I got four of those little milk glass spade dishes.  Usually, I find the full set of card suites, but this time there were only spades.  I love big beer mugs like the Michelob one here.

The little plate has nursery rhymes all around it.

Here's a close up of that vinegar bottle.

"Alleged."  I love it!  Is this because the thieves haven't had their trial yet?  Here's the story of Four Thieves Vinegar, just in case you've never heard about it.  Maybe the bottle was "alleged" to hold this stuff, but it was never proven?

Folksy/craftsy looking Madonna and Child, vintage religious booklets, and primitive crucifixion figure.  The two kneeling girls represent two of the three visionaries of Fatima.  They're headed to the collection. 

I've never been into old photos, but this packet was cheap enough.  I could see an old church bulletin and religious pamphlet in the bag with the pictures.

Vintage religious comic?  Yes, please!  It's not in the best shape, but it comes from David Cook, publisher of the classic Bible in comic form, The Picture Bible.  I'm totally nuts about religious and educational comics and snatch them up whenever I find them for my collection.

Later that afternoon, I had to go pick up a prescription, which took me right by another store.  On the way home, I decided to hit up a couple of other stores in the neighborhood. Believe it or not, there's a secondhand store right down the street from me that I had never been to.

I found some stuff.  (Of course!)

Sweet detail on the potty chair.

I found this window in the trash!

The fruit crate is missing one board on the bottom, but I can see someone turning it into a shelf anyway.

This is a rosary making kit.  There are thirteen complete rosaries in it, plus all the crucifixes, beads, and medals for making more.   I need to figure out a way to display them without everything getting all tangled.

That's probably the most store junking I've done in one day in ages!  A perfect way to spend a really nice day.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Big Flea Finds!

I know you don't believe it looking at my granny cart, but it was slow going for a while at the big flea on Sunday.  Since it was a regular show, with no special antique wing, all of the older, cooler stuff was mixed in with all the folks selling socks, honey, roofing services and salvage groceries.  I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those kinds of vendors.  One of the things I like about a good flea is the eclectic mix of goods.  I always find a few things for my own personal enjoyment, especially with the salvage groceries.  Besides, there are always folks selling Avon and the like who have a small table set up with a few other cheap, interesting items for sale.  I've found a lot of things from set ups like that over the years.

I always get so wrapped up in my shopping that I forget to take pics.  Sorry about that.  One track mind, I guess.  Instead here are some of the finds.

I bought some more comics there.   I always buy some comics there.  Since I spent a lot of space on comics in Monday's post, I'll just hit one highlight here.  I was pleasantly surprised to find this.

I don't run across these Whitman Dynabrite comics very often.

Of course, you have already seen the charmer on the bottom step, sitting atop the granny cart.  The red wagon is well-made and cool, but not that old.  I got a good price on it using my killer bargaining skills.

Speaking of bargaining, it took a little work, but I got this bad boy down to a decent price.  I could not pass him by.  He's awesome.

These busty beauties almost got me in trouble.  The dealer had a sign that everything in her booth was a dollar, the kind of thing you do not have to tell me twice.  I was picking one of them up, when she said:  "Those are a dollar too.  I don't think a lot of people have realized that they are for sale.  For a dollar, you can take those ta-ta's home."  By this time, I'm holding both of them.  She's talking loudly, and the place gets quiet.  Folks in the next stall start staring at us.  All of a sudden, she points at the figures in my hands and says, even more loudly:  "I meant those ta-ta's.  Not these ta-ta's!"  Of course she points at her chest while she's saying it.  Now everyone is staring at me like I'm some kind of a ta-ta freak or something.  (As if!) 

Some of the smaller finds.

A metal flower frog for a buck?  More, please!  The dealer I got that from had been moving things over to his dollar table all day to reduce his carry out load.  He said he was surprised that the frog had stayed there all day.

Ew!  I need to clean these babies.

I got five of these great cocktail glasses from the same guy.  They have a little frosted spot on the glass where the host could write a guest's name and their drink order.  Cool.

I paid a lot more for these than I ever do, but I wanted them for my collection.  They're all quite old.  I've never seen an Altar Society pin like that before.  Cool.

All in all, a nice day at the big flea!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Your Chiquito of the Month for March

Keith made me a calendar of pictures of Chiquito for Christmas.  I have been intending to do a post sharing the picture for each month for a while now.  January and February kind of got away from me for reasons that I don't need to repeat again. (Waaaaah! My store got closed!  Waaaaah!)  It slipped my mind this month, but we still have a lot of March left.  I'll do a catch up post in a couple of days with the Jan-Feb pics.  I've already created posts for the rest of the year, so this endeavor will go back on a monthly schedule.

In the March pic, you get two recurrent Chiquito themes.  One is his upside down perspective on the world.  He is the longest, slinkiest, twistiest cat I have ever known.  It's not uncommon to find him completely sacked out, while twisted around with his head upside down, his belly facing to the right and his rear end planted flat on the bed.

Then we have that paw, reaching out for...something.  He is always sticking that paw out for one reason or another.  To shift his water bowl around and splash water out of it.  To play with something.  To tap me on the arm (when I'm on the computer), shoulder (when I'm on the toilet), or face (when I'm asleep) when he wants attention.  A lot of times, you can find him laying asleep with one or both paws completely stretched out like that.  Even when he gets his loving, he'll lift that paw up and flex it while we rub his head.  This isn't usual kitty kneading.  He does this in mid-air!

The other day, I was out thrifting, and I found this:

Even the over-sized ears are perfect!
 Of course, he came home with me.  He's siting on top of my desk, watching me type right now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Display's the Thing

My Easter display:

I know.  Not very inspiring.  I have absolutely no talent for these things.  The best I can do is make sure that things look like they're supposed to be placed together, that this placement has been done deliberately.  For the talentless (like me), this is often quite sufficient.

In the kinds of places where I tend to sell, Easter is not a big merch holiday.  The same for Valentines Day, Independence Day, etc.  Except for a few vendors who buy new goods from wholesalers, you just don't see whole booths done over for these holidays, unlike the big deals that folks do for Christmas and Halloween (the biggies).  The most I've ever done for any of those holidays is a table of stuff.  Usually, just a shelf or two will do.

This is where deliberateness of placement comes into play.  Over the years I've seen a lot of booths where the vendor has taken a small handful of items for a particular holiday, tossed them on a shelf, and there they sit, six months later. 

You know what I'm talking about here.  The jack-o-lantern you see in May.  Or the two boxes of Christmas cards that are still sitting on the same shelf month after month after month.  Sometimes you even see the Easter basket with the box of Valentine cards in it (in August)!  These items typically don't sell because they get tossed in with everything else in the booth and don't stand out in the least bit.  They look and feel almost like afterthoughts.  Sitting there all these weeks after their intended holiday, they make a booth look dated and stale.

It's not always necessary to make a special shelf or table for things, however.  I've seen plenty of vendors with a real talent for styling and displays in their booths who can slip a couple of bunnies or wreaths in and make it work.  These items seem to both fit in with everything and stand out at the same time.  And they sell quickly.  I'm always a little jealous of these skilled vendors, even as I admire their work.

It's folks like me who need to use the element of deliberateness to make their seasonal wares sell.  A nice grouping of items doesn't need to be large to stand out and sell.  It's the thought that goes into it that's the key.

Of course, no matter what path a vendor follows with seasonal/timely items, they need to be removed as soon as possible after their time has passed.  I know there are booths here and there that sell nothing but Christmas (and even a few that do Halloween) all year long, but that's different from what I'm talking about.  Folks like me need to look fresh and create an impression that their spaces are updated frequently who need to watch how long certain items sit around.  You'd be surprised how many people never take their holiday items out.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Rambles

Thanks so much for all the kind words about the new booth set up in yesterday's post.  Believe it or not, much has already changed since I took those pics last week.  The black media rack in the back has sold, along with the MCM coffee table, and one of the bookshelves.  I stopped by on Saturday and dropped off a table and a loveseat, did a little shuffling, and tweaked it all a bit.  It's keeping me hopping, but it's also keeping the space fresh and different.

I have been having killer awesome sales since the beginning of month.  I'm back at the level I was operating on at Dixie, and am starting to surpass it.  In fact, I was telling Keith the other day that I'm not sure my stock of large items in storage is going to last all that long.  He just laughed at me, but he doesn't have the same long view on things that I do.  We'll see I guess.

The real test is coming up as the basketball finals come up.  With UK doing as well as they are, the ball games are going to take a hit on business.  It's inevitable here in that land of the basketball religion.  Right after that comes spring break in these parts, with the Kentucky Derby Festival activities starting up right after that.  Pretty much, the last week of March through the first week of May is a resale desert around here.  I'm waiting to see what happens.

Another big thank you goes to all of you who identified my odd little bookshelf as an encyclopedia shelf.  I appreciate your sharing your knowledge and experience.  I was familiar with the encyclopedia shelves with the little legs, but not the ones with the atlas slot on top.  Now I've got an extra bit of knowledge for my arsenal.  Every day that I can learn something new is a good day!  By the way, that shelf sold pretty quickly.  I'll be keeping my eyes out for more.

I had a hankering to buy lots of comic books this weekend, and that can only mean two things:  Comic Shop Sale and the Big Flea!  There was a HUGE fifty cent comic sale at the comic shop this weekend.  Instead of being a sidewalk sale, like they usually do, this one was indoors, which means that there were a lot more boxes of comics for sale.  Did I find some things to buy?

Judge for yourself.  (Pardon the less than perfect pics.  The lighting in my junk room stinks.  It's warm enough now that I need to move my picture taking operations outside again.)

That's a lot of Crying Freeman!

Both these boxes are full!

Just the kind of oddball stuff I like to read!

While I was getting ready to check out, I noticed a whole box full of trade paperbacks and graphic novels, which are usually marked down, but never to the fifty cent level.  I asked the cashier if they were part of the fifty cent sale and he said they were.  I just scooped up the whole box!

I did manage to find some things for me, in addition to the bulk I bought to resell.

Evil Eye by Richard Sala
This is a series I've been wanting to try.  I like the work of this artist.  He's got a kooky-horror vibe like a lot of others whose work I like.

The Spirit from DC Comics

This is another series I wanted to try.  They had most of the issues at the sale.  Honestly, new comics are way too expensive for me.  They have been for years.  I'm content to wait and scoop up cheap copies at overstock sales like this.  It does kind of limit my ability to make choices about what I want to read, but there is always lots of fun, interesting stuff to be found on the cheap, if you know where to look and how to hunt (which I do).

Superman Family by DC Comics
I also got a nice stash of these cheesy late 70's-early 80's Superman Family dollar comics.  I've got an inordinate fondness for these things.  My inner thirteen year old is kind of tickled.

Looks like Wonder Woman needs a new conditioner.
Speaking of my inner thirteen year old.  This is kind of a tribute to the stories he and I grew up reading.  They've nailed the retro style of the cover perfectly.  Can't wait to read it.  Look at that price!  Told you comics are too expensive these days.

I was determined to hit the big flea this weekend, because this is the first show they've had that wasn't on a holiday weekend in years.  They used to have a flea market just about every month, but in recent years have dwindled down to four major dates:  Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and New Year's.  I was so excited to see them expand a little bit that I wanted to go and show my support for the move, even if I didn't buy anything.  This particular flea market holds a lot of memories and significance for me.  I've attended these shows with Keith, my high school best friend, my college and seminary roommate, my dad, my brother, and my mother, after all.

Well, of course I bought some things.  I'll do another post about these in a few days.

What's in the granny cart?
I'm sticking close to home this week to try and get some projects done.  I'm planning to have a book sale in a couple of weeks, so I need to start getting ready for that.  I will venture out to go junking with my uncle tomorrow.  He has to stick close to home in the winter, due to his own health issues.  We've not seen each other since my birthday in November, so I am looking forward to that.

Speaking of health issues, my own follow up scans are coming up in a couple of weeks.  By the end of the month, I'll know what's going on and what the next steps are.  I'll let you all know something when I do.

Take care and have a good week!