Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween


Monday, October 29, 2012

Saving The Best For Last ...Part II

...Yard sales are a lot of work. The problem I always have is that I never have enough tables. I usually end up using cinder blocks and long boards to make tables that are only about a foot off the ground. One guy in the past commented that if I was going to have a yard sale that I ought to rent some tables or something; put a little money into it, he said. I was ticked at first but as I started moving containers from the basement, the attic, the upstairs and two storage units it was becoming obvious that I needed more tables.

The weather forecast was promising for the upcoming weekend so I found a place (the only place) in town that rented tables. I got four 8-foot tables for $32. I thought that was a pretty good deal and I could return the tables the following Monday.

I spent the better part of Thursday designing the layout of the yard sale. You wouldn't think it was that difficult, right? Put up some tables and throw out the junk. Not at my house--it's all about the flow. I live at the bottom of a hill, my yard is filled with holes and there's a big anthill right smack in the middle of the yard. Table placement is everything.

Mom called late afternoon and wanted to know if there was room for her to bring some stuff to sell. The more the merrier I told her and she didn't even have to bring her own table.

"What'cha mean, I don't need to bring my own table? I've always had to in the past," she said.

"I know, but I rented tables this year."

"Holy crap! I knew I raised a smart kid. I'll be there at 7:00 a.m."

"No, you won't. It's still dark at that time, come about nine and bring me a biscuit."

"Okay," she agreed. (My mom is the greatest!)

The next day stated off with a bang. We had the usual early birds, men that were looking for scrap metal and old lawn mowers (that they would take off my hands for free) and the same lady that comes to all of my yard sales and wants me to donate a bunch of stuff to her church.

Mom showed up right on time as usual biscuit in hand and was very impressed with the layout of the yard sale. "Looks good, you've got everything laid out perfectly. All of the Christmas items are in one spot and you've got the fake trees all set up. You're gonna do good, that's for sure."

Over the next three days we had a lot of fun meeting people and getting rid of a lot of stuff. We had sold a bunch of the Christmas decorations but not any of the fake trees.  It was late Sunday afternoon when I said to Mom, "I'm beginning to wonder if we're gonna sell the artificial trees or not. It sure is getting late."

"You never know who is gonna show up," she said.

"I know." 

A few minutes later a car pulled down the driveway and a lady jumped out. "Oh, good, you're still open. I've been wanting to stop but I had to work all weekend, " she said as she walked straight up to the artificial trees. "This is incredible, just incredible," she gushed as looked over the two artificial trees and the other decorations.

"You looking for a fake tree?" I asked.

"Yes, I am. What are you asking?"

What happened in the next ten minutes was almost to good to be true. That lady bought every Christmas decoration I had except for one small box of items and one of the artificial trees. It was a yard sellers dream come true. The very last customer had spent the most money and took at least an hours worth of work off my hands.

Mom was right,  you never know who is gonna show up. Sometimes, you just need to have a little patience.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Saving The Best For Last...Part I

I 've become addicted to the new television show Storage Wars. It's not that I haven't been aware of storage auctions (I have) but I like the characters and the treasures they find. Furthermore, I like that the stars of the shows are able to have their items appraised and know what they are worth without spending hours of time on the Internet doing research.

I've been a treasure hunter for a long time. I've been going to yard sales and flea markets for years looking for just the perfect troll to add to my collection. I've also started doing a little bit of selling on eBay so I am always looking for something that I might buy and then resell. Right now, I'm into different kinds of sports' jerseys. (Looking for a particular jersey for your favorite team? Just drop me a line and I can probably get it for you.)

Anyhow, I mentioned in the last post that I was having a yard sale and would let you know how it turned out. Well, I must say that months of hard work paid off. Last March, I purchased my first storage unit at a storage auction. Luckily, the contents weren't desirable to some folks so I got it for a couple hundred bucks; practically a steal.

Do you know what was inside? Christmas decorations! Yep, a whole storage unit filled mostly with large boxes and 45-gallon tubs of Christmas decorations. Artificial trees and dancing reindeer; a big, huge animated Christmas tree outside light display and a whole tub of brand new extension cords--that tub alone almost paid for the unit. I was in heaven! (For all of you new folks, I decorate outside for Christmas and it gets bigger every year.)

Also inside the unit was one of those bullet-shaped luggage racks that I sold on Craigslist in just a few weeks and that paid for most of the unit. Everything else I sold was going to be pure profit.

I planned on keeping some of the decorations for myself and selling the rest. The problem was that nobody wanted to buy Christmas decorations in March so I then had to store the decorations myself. Luckily, I had just cleaned out the basement and had lots of room.

Fast forward to October and that's where the yard sale comes in...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yard Sale Adventures

****We're having a yard sale this weekend in between the showers and unexpected thunderstorms. Enjoy this classic post from a previous attempt!****

So, I was crazy enough to have another yard sale before winter set in, by myself. I asked mom if she wanted to come help but she thought I was nuts for trying to have a sale this late in the year and she wasn't participating. (I guess it didn't matter that I was selling some of her stuff)

Anyhow, midway between my umpteenth visit to the basement, attic, and storage building, my back gave out. I backed into the metal part on my utility trailer and gave myself a six inch long bruise and then I sprained my ankle when I doubled over in pain from bumping the trailer.

Needless to say, it was after 10:30 AM this morning before I had put my signs up by the road, and by yard sale standards, that was extremely late if I hoped to make any money.

Since I live at the bottom of a hill I get a lot of folks that slow down and then realize that I am at the bottom of a hill and keep on going. Fine! If you're too lazy to get out and look then you probably want to complain about the prices of everything and want me to sell you a twenty-five dollar item for twenty-five cents. Keep going, I don't want your business anyway.

The first guy that pulled up wanted to by my utility trailer.

The second guy that pulled up wanted to buy my utility trailer.

The third guy that pulled up wanted to buy my utility trailer.

The fourth guy that pulled up wanted to know if I had any mowers I wanted to get rid of. Now, that's a loaded question. I've discussed before about my piece of crap mower and what you don't know is that the danged thing broke down again earlier this year. I took the guy to the basement and showed him the mower and he started asking if my tools, my fishing poles, and my Christmas decorations were for sale. He made me a tad nervous so I hightailed it back up front.


Later, someone wanted to buy my leaf rake. Another wanted to by a bistro table (which I don't have) and someone else wanted to buy a microwave.

Mom called early afternoon and asked how things were going. I was bellyaching about my bruised butt (which was the part that ran into the trailer), my ankle that I had wrapped in an ace bandage that was horribly swollen and how everyone wanted to buy everything, especially my trailer, that wasn't for sale. Mom's response: "I didn't know you was selling your trailer. How much you want for it?"

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Something To Warm Up With...A Cherry Fork Memory...Mac & Cheese

In my family, homemade macaroni and cheese has a place of honor. It all started with my Mamaw, my dad's mother, and has continued on through the family, at least with my sister and me.

Mamaw's macaroni and cheese was to die for. I only got to eat it one or two times a year, usually Christmas or Thanksgiving, but the weeks leading up to those festive occasions never went fast enough for me. I couldn't wait for the holiday season to begin on Cherry Fork Road. We hosted a dinner party every Christmas and Mamaw's macaroni & cheese was always on the menu. We ate it until we were as stuffed as the holiday bird.

Once we moved to Georgia and began to go our separate ways the macaroni and cheese seemed to be forgotten. Mamaw had passed away, Sister was always working, I was in college and Mom made a version of mac & cheese that none of us liked. I'm not sure what she put in it but I think onions and some kind of topping were included and that was nowhere close to Mamaw's recipe. I was disappointed to say the least.

Over the next few years Sister changed jobs and had a bit more time around the Holidays. We usually got together for about 48 hours when she would fly to Atlanta on Christmas Eve and then Mom would drive her back to Ohio to spend a few days. This was a happy time because Sister had mastered (if not bettered) Mamaw's recipe and we would eat enough to keep us going until the next year.

Somewhere along the line I grew tired of waiting for the annual macaroni and cheese dinner. I worked for the Post Office for almost ten years through the holiday season and was often, so tired, during our visit that I forgot to get seconds on the mac & cheese and Brother would eat it all. I didn't like that. I didn't like that at all.

So I did what any mac & cheese loving individual would do; I learned to make it for myself. As you can see from the photo, it does look mouth-watering:

For some reason the first weekend of October is usually the first cool weekend we have in North Georgia and nothing says warm me up better than a big pot of mac & cheese. By the way, if you're wondering what is so special about our family's recipe, just be sure and ask the next time I have you over for dinner. Until then...I'm warm and cozy...and I'm keeping it all to myself.



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