Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ups and Downs and All Arounds

Goodness, it's been a strange week.

Saturday we took granddaughter Haley to Charleston so she could participate in the annual Capital City Challenge, the Charleston triathlon (bike, run, kayak). It was a beautiful day for the event and this year there were twice as many entrants as last year. Haley, however, was the youngest by far--no one else in the race was under 19 years old. So she won first place in her class, of course--but better than that, she improved her time from last year by about 30 minutes. So she was very happy about that. I have to admit to getting granny jitters to think of her out on the Great Kanawha River all alone in her kayak, but she did superbly. Why do I worry?

After the race I drove to Sutton in cerntral West Virginia to attend a meeting for a new project for West Virginia Writers. I had time to kill so of course I used it wisely--browsing in junk shops :) I got lucky, too, finding a Fenton glass bear for a dollar, lovely table linens, some dishes made in Paden City, West Virginia, and many other pieces of vintage glass. Most of these items will eventually be listed on my eBay auctions.

eBay has become a good little sideline over the past two months. I'm not making a fortune, but I am meeting my goal of paying for my phone, cell and satellite internet costs with some $$ left over. I'm learning a lot too as I research various glassware, learn what sells and what won't (hobnail milk glass-no one seems to want it. Aprons? everyone wants them!). I'm also still selling books on Amazon and while not as lucrative as eBay it is a lot easier to sell books, and so much easier to pack them. It's not the income producer that eBay is, however. Still, every little trickle of money is helpful. If you want to look at what's listed right now, check my sidebar link. My inventory is down a little because I can't list items until the computer is working again (insert frustrated sigh).

Sunday morning was devoted to reviewing stories for the Mothman Festival that afternoon. I had my set list but there were two new ones I wanted to tell and I needed to be sure I had them down well enough for performance. We drove to Point Pleasant that afternoon and enjoyed the sight of people dressed as Men in Black and Mothman after the storytelling. I was in the State Theater for the performance and was very pleased with the audience. Since this gig was finalized only a week before, it had little publicity but there weer 50 attentive people there to listen.

Mothman, some of you might know, was an apparition that scared many people in the Point Pleasant area in the 1960's. Described as a large, gray creature with red eyes and large wings, the creature was said to be able to fly 60 mph. Many people credited Mothman with some of the disasters and troubles that have occurred since the sighting, like the collapse of the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River. Many theories have been advanced as to what Mothman actually was, and there is a whole museum dedicated to the story in Point Pleasant.

My computer modem quit working Sunday morning, so that's been an interesting wrinkle in my usual routime. Since I place many listings to end on the weekends, it meant I had no way to verify and ship my orders. I worked on it for a while and concluded there was no hope, so Monday I called Hughesnet and ordered a new one. The tech on the phone offered a free replacement! How cool is that! So I sprung for expedited shipping and hope the thing will arrive today or tomrrow.

Without the computer, there was only one thing to do--use my new smartphone to look up what sold, pack and weigh the items, then head to the library to print shipping and labels. That's what I did. It was cumbersome and took more time than I wanted to spend, but the packages got shipped.

On the return trip home, we stopped to talk with a neighbor who is getting ready to build a new house. Larry has some block laying in his future, I think. While we were talking he asked us if we wanted the little log building on the property. You know what my answer was! So we have another project to work on over the winter.

(The log room we are currently working on is moving slowly ahead--the footer is ready and the block for the foundation will arrive this week. We plan to get the subfloor in place and the logs stacked before winter, but the way things are going we might not get that far before the ground gets too muddy to work.)

My cell phone rang as we were discussing the log building with our neighbor--it was the delivery truck with the gas refrigerator we've been waiting for. He had it ready to deliver--on a tractor trailer! Now if you've been reading my blog for a while you know there is no way a tractor trailer can get to my house, and really should not even try to get up Joe's Run. So Larry and the neighbor went out to meet the truck and brought the fridge home at last. I am not happy at all with Lehman's Hardware about this shipping service. We paid for delivery to our house, but it turned out to be a total hassle. word to the wise if you ever buy an appliance from them--they seem to be clueless about how to arrange a suitable delivery to a place in the country.

We finally settled down to dinner and then decided to watch a movie--a rare thing for me since I am usually busy with computer work in the evenings. Just as we got settled someone knocked on the door. Visitors! We spent the evening talking with them. It was a nice way to end the day.

Sometime in the night the electricity went off. I woke to a pitch black room. Expecting it to be back on shortly, I snuggled under the quilts to sleep some more. We woke at 8 am, late for us but it was dark and gloomy outside and there was still no electricity. I got up and called the power company--the power would not be back on until 2pm. That kind of messed up our plans to put in the new fridge, so we decided to take care of some business in town, mail more eBay packages and so forth. So that's where I am now, at the library printing labels, catching up on email and writing this blog.

This is only Tuesday. I wonder what other surprises we'll have this week. 


momalizzie said...

Good grief!!! That's what I would have been saying by now. Your patience is a virtue, Sue. I hope I learn it one day. Happy to hear about another log building coming your way, you guys sure do put them to good use!! Hope things get much better for you as the week goes on, the sun has chased the clouds away for the time being.

Nance said...

I can tell, Sue, you are a product of Depression-era parents. You adapt, adjust, make do, make up, improvise and . . . when you have to . . punt! You just so make me think of my dad and his creativity, his unflappability, his even keel. : ) Can't wait to hear now of TWO log rooms going up. Bless Larry's heart. and if I ever want anything from Lehman's Hardware, think I better drive there and pick it up!

Granny Sue said...

It's funny--when I was working all of this would have stressed me out, but now it's just a change of direction.

The last kink was a sudden drip from the bathroom ceiling. A leak started around where Larry put the vent through for the water heater. He got that fixed this evening, I got the computer fixed and the power company got the lights back on so all is right again.

Except for this nasty sore throat...

ann alka WorkingBoomer said...

I can really relate to your blog. Writing is good for us too.

Janet, said...

Seems like you are doing good with your Ebay shop. I've always thought of selling stuff on the internet, but haven't gotten up the courage to do it yet. I have so much stuff I could get rid of.

Granny Sue said...

Anna, you are right. Writing helps keep me organized and allows me to meet a lot of nice people :)

eBay is a lot of work, Janet. And it takes a lot of space! I have to have boxes and envelopes of various sizes, bubble wrap (BIG rolls), labels, etc. I don't really have space for it so my office is a nightmare as all this crowds in with the storytelling stuff. Then there are the things I'm selling, also piled up in here. I'm a little claustrophobic so it drives me crazy. Until I can figure out a method and space to store everything, I just have to put up with it.

Not everything I list sells, either. Then what to do with the leftovers? Relist them? Take to Goodwill? Store for a future try? Store for a yard sale? I've sent a few things to Goodwill, but have others I'm keeping until I can decide what to do with them. If I had a garage or outbuilding to do this work, that would be perfect.

It takes time too, looking things up, taking the photos, writing the descriptions, answering questions, dealing with buyers, leaving feedback. Overall it's been worth it since I'm not working but I do not think it would be doable if I had a full-time job still.

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