Yard Sale Musings....

Monday, June 26, 2006

Well, it's done....the first yard sale is history. The weather last week was harsh...in the 90s with high humidity. Since I had decided to hold the sale in the garage to allow for a "rain or shine" event, that meant a lot of time was spent sorting things out and making sure people could walk around to see everything. Friday morning arrived...it wasn't even 7 am and I heard a car drive in. YIKES! The ad said 9 am and NO EARLY BIRDS. I hadn't even gotten in the shower yet. Fortunately my neighbor knew what was up and asked them to come back later. Phew!

Well, since I was now awake I figured I might as well get up. Grabbed a quick shower, ate a quick breakfast and grabbed a cup of coffee. My neighbor came over to get the signs so she could put them out while I put the finishing touches on the sale items.

At 8:30 I opened the garage door...had 2 guys there within minutes. By 9 am I was slammed....thank goodness for my neighbor and a good friend from Cookeville who helped me out. I couldn't have done it without them. For two hours we were non-stop, and then we stayed pretty steady until around 1 pm. By 2:30 the storms were moving in and I sent my help homeward. I had one lady coming back after 3 pm to pick up a few things so I cooled down in the house while I waited for her. The heat had been unbearable but could have been worse if not for two borrowed fans.

She came with her husband, bought a few more things and after they left I hit the shower. Now that felt good....I was exhausted but excited because I knew it had been a good day. As I sat watching a great show on that I had TiVo'd from The Travel Channel, RV Crazy, the doorbell rang. It was the girlfriend of my mailman's son (got that? ). She brought a girlfriend with her, who had been working, and they wanted to see if I would let them go through the yard sale stuff. Heck yeah! An hour and $50 later they left.

Did I mention that my mailman came by Thursday and bought about $85 worth of stuff and not 2 hours later his wife came by and bought my two bar stools as well as about half my Christmas stuff...now toss in his son & girlfriend who bought my coffee/end table set, my old stereo and some other smaller stuff (plus what she picked up later Friday night). Gotta love mailmen....

Saturday was slower, probably due to everyone enjoying the cooler temperatures brought by the rain moving through the night before. The day started off slowly but by 10 am it picked up and stayed fairly steady till around 1 pm again. By 2:30 we started packing it in....and of course this is when my neighbors decided to make an appearance. They were only browsing and not seriously - more interested in chatting.

Got everything condensed in the garage, a bit jumbled which means I have more sorting to do before the next sale, but at least my motorcycle and my car are back inside. Later in the afternoon the mailman's son, girlfriend, her girlfriend and that girlfriend's boyfriend (got that? ) stopped by to pickup two swords I was holding for them. Before they left I had sold more furniture to them, as well as a promise of bringing someone who might be interested in my motorcycle knick-knacks. Great to have friends....

I settled down to relaz and did a tally for the two days. Not counting the furniture sold I netted over $1200. Not bad for a country yard sale....I hope the next one does that well! Less than two weeks and I have a lot to get done.

Till next time - keep on rollin', Froggi/Donna

Faster than a speeding bullet....

Monday, June 19, 2006

I thought I was making good progress towards the yard sale, really I did. Enough that I could take some time off today and visit with a good friend while her bike was being serviced. Enough that I could spend some time chatting in the forums and sending off emails this afternoon. I did spend about 2 hours bagging & tagging more things...

Then the phone range...late...9:30 pm. It was the buyer. She wanted to bring her other daughter out to see the house tomorrow. Okay, that's fine. Then she started hemming & hawing...we need to talk, she says. More hemming and hawing....oh no, I think. Does she want to back out? I've sold all my furniture...my house is a disaster....my garage is full of sale stuff.

Turns out that she is closing on her house July 15th but has until July 30th to vacate the premises. Okay....no problem with that. I had intended to move out the last weekend of the month anyway, with the closing scheduled on the 31st. First problem is that her kids, who are moving her, will not be in town the weekend we were all going to move. Then she lets the bomb drop...she wants to close early.

Hmmm, not a huge problem except that I have a lot to get done in less time and really need to know when we'll close. More chatting and we are going to try to close both houses on the 15th and I'll rent the house back for a week. This is actually good news for me....it gives me a week of having CASH IN HAND to buy my RV, pick it up and actually load my stuff directly into it!

She's going to contact our realtor (we're using the same one) tomorrow to see if we can pull this off. So things are moving faster than a speeding bullet around here!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Late at night....or is it early in the morning?

Friday, June 16, 2006

What am I doing up at one in the morning? Heck if I know....I was tired at 9:00 but didn't go to bed. So here I am now, on my second wind and wide awake. How much do you want to bet someone will call me before 9 am...how do I know? Because it's already happened twice this week.

I never was a morning person...much prefer to stay up late and then sleep in. Now that I'm working most of the day on sorting out what stuff I will keep, what I will send to the kids, what I will sell and what goes in the trash, I find my evenings are spent searching for the perfect "wheel estate" for me. Well, here are some late night/early morning ramblings....

You know what that means...more indecision. This was the week of the diesel pusher....found several nice ones. Then I started reading about the expensive maintenance, the additional pre-sale inspections and I started to get nervous about it. So, do I now go back to looking at gas motorhomes and hope I can find one that will allow me to mount a lift on the back? Do I keep researching toy haulers and hope I can find a decent used one-ton truck? It truly seems there is no perfect solution so I will keep attempting to make the decision that is MOST right for me.

The good news is that I've made good progress on the yard sale sorting....the kitchen is 90% done, the shed is 95% done, the garage is 99% done and the attic is 100% done. Gee, that only leaves the living room, dining room, utility room, two bedrooms, 5 closets and one office. In addition, a lot of the furniture has been sold, at least the major pieces - still have small pieces (misc tables, chairs, etc.) with my bedroom set, the dining room hutch, living room entertainment center and the washer and dryer being the bigger pieces left to sell.

More and more local folks are hearing the news about my selling the house and hitting the road in an RV. Most are impressed, I just don't understand that. To me it's just living life....always keeping something to look forward to up ahead. I'm really getting excited and look forward to getting on the road. It's really hard deciding what I'll keep since I don't know the configuration of my new home. But worst case, I'll store it or sell it at the last minute.

If you've never been in any type of motorhome or travel trailer, you may not realize how little wall space there is for hanging pictures and photos (in addition to the problems of keeping them hanging). But I have a couple of special things that will get hung - one way or another.

The first is a sign I saw in a catalog and I just knew it was meant for me - I've uploaded a photo of it. The second is one I will treasure forever. It is a custom painting done for my by my neighbor, a beautiful landscape of the Tennessee mountains with her trademark unusual tree in the forefront. On the back she put a photo of her and her husband. Tennessee will always be a very special place for me.

I've been thinking about the little things - sitting out under the awning watching the birds and squirrels play while I read. Meeting new folks from all over the country. Visiting family and old friends as I travel. Taking things slower....slowing down....relaxing.....smelling the roses.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Women, Winter, Motorcycles & Bathrooms

Sunday, June 11, 2006

There is an email making the rounds that every woman can relate to....discussing in detail the horrors we, as women, have to deal with every day when using public restrooms. No toilet paper, wet seats, no liners, doors that don't lock and THE STANCE.

After reading it recently, I thought it was time to write about a lesser known side....dealing with public restrooms while riding a motorcycle in cold weather. This is written from fact...based upon my trips in the last couple of years.

Now imagine a cold winter day, your bladder has reacted in double-time to the one cup of coffee you just HAD to have at the last gas stop - used to warm your hands as well as your insides - and the vibration of the motorcycle combined with the cold.

You spy a gas station, pull in and immediately have to decide, pump gas first and move bike out of the way or is it slow enough that you can head to the bathroom first. Sometimes the decision is made for you, you KNOW that you can't take the time to get gas first.

So you head inside, praying that this isn't one of the 10% of places that still have outside bathrooms. Depending on how cold you are and how much function is left in your fingers, you may or may not take off your helmet.

Ah, you spot the sign! It's inside and available. If you took off your helmet you now have to find a place for it, preferably not the floor. If you're real lucky you get a handicapped stall with a Koala baby seat, pull it down and start stacking up the gear. Next best case is the Koala seat outside the stall where you can at least drop the helmet and maybe your jacket.

Now remember, it's COLD. This isn't just a matter of unzipping your jeans. Oh no, that would be too easy. First you have to unzip your jacket because it's 3/4 length. Of course this is only done after taking off gloves & glove liners. Then you have to unzip the polar fleece under that. Since it's really cold we now have to negotiate the textile riding pants (zipper number 3), zipper on jeans, and then a layer of either polar fleece or at a minimum tights. Finally down to the last layer - undies. Plus, with each layer peeled off, the stack of material above your knees goes higher...so now one last push to be sure you can clear the cloth.

Now you go into the stance, having done your best to follow the wipe/line it procedure outlined in the other post. At least you have your Kleenex if needed...well, you do if you didn't leave your jacket outside with your helmet. No purse to worry about at least.....ahhhhhh, there is no better feeling.

Done, you stand up....now, remember that helmet you left on because you were in a hurry. Well you are quickly reminded when your bent stance slams it into the back of the door (unless, again, you were lucky enough to get an oversized handicapped stall). Hoping you haven't permanently damaged it so that you have no protection in a crash, you start pulling up all the layers and rezipping.

This is when you hope there is no line waiting....it takes time and a lot of it to pull everything back together. When several women are riding together, we find ourselves stumbling out of the stall with layers pulled up but unzipped, finishing that process outside so the next lady can enter and start her own trip of joy.

So the next time you head into a bathroom stall, remember, it could be winter and you could be wearing riding gear!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

It's the little things that get you...

Friday, June 9, 2006

Yesterday I finally started to attack my "stuff". I decided to start in the kitchen...pulling out the things that will get sold, packed away, etc and keeping only what Iwill use in the RV. It's amazing how much emotional impact some things have....I bought a new Corelle dish set (it's running thru the dishwasher now) but I still love my old set. They are the clear ones with swirled flowers cut in that you often see at restaurants. They wear like iron, work in the microwave and are near unbreakable. Can you tell I love them...LOL! Since I have a set for 8, think I am going to pack half away at daughters so I can switch back someday if I want to.

Coffee mugs are hard....I have so many that have memories attached....sending some to my brother & his wife (they'll love me, they don't even drink coffee ). A few will get packed away, a few saved, the rest go into the yard sale where hopefully someone will love them.

I tend to get scattered. Got all the cabinets done (two left to go), hit the front of the frig (gazillion magnets), took a few things out of the laundry room (store a lot of stuff in the back) like candles which then sent me to the china cabinet drawer with more candles....LOL!

At least I'm doing one smart thing - I'm putting yard sale stuff in zip-lock bags (when it will fit) and I'm pricing everything. That way when I get ready to do the yard sale thing, everything will already be marked.

Today I hit a tote I pulled in from the garage, marked as Mike's office stuff. After easily tossing some old BICSI manuals of his yesterday, I wasn't ready for the emotional slam of dealing with these items. Just small things - BICSI conference tags, his address books, the photos from his office, his collection of office mugs, even just seeing his writing on things.

It's been over 19 months and things like this still catch me unawares and bring the tears...not just sad tears but happy ones for the memories they bring to mind. Mike always said we needed something to look forward to and we always managed to do just that. Well, I seem to be following in the same path.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

And you thought it was all settled....

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

It's been almost a week since I signed the contract on the house, hard to believe. Thanks to my back I didn't get anything done until today. Today I attacked my office....I think I will need another day this week and several more next week to finish the paperwork sorting, filing and shredding. Then I get to attack the office "stuff" and see what can be weeded out.

Do I keep the shredder or do I get a cheaper, more portable unit to save space? What printer do I keep? How many pens and notepads will I use in 10 years? Who really needs all these cables anyway....you get the idea. Yup, another several days there.

Before the week is out, I will start taking photos of stuff to sell. I suddenly feel GOOD about clearing out things. I've started a box for each of the kids....there is always stuff they want . Clothes will be the hardest....what to bring with me, what to store and what to get rid of. Means a couple of days trying everything on. UGH!!

The kitchen I've already pretty well decided on what stays & what goes. The linen closet as well, but still have some decisions to make on blankets, bedspreads/quilts. Guess I won't need the dozen or so sleeping pillows anymore....LOL!

But the biggest decision is still up in the air - motorhome or toy hauler. Yup, I'm conflicted again. I like the security and simplicity of the motorhome but also like having my bike stored inside. More on this later....

Till next time - keep on rollin',

The great adventure is finally beginning!

Friday, June 2, 2006

OMG!!!! It happened....they showed the house at 11 am today and I signed the acceptance 1pm today. Closing is scheduled for the end of July - three closings in one day. First, the lady from NY selling her house to buy the house of lady #2 who is buying the house of the lady #3 who is buying mine - got it? ;-)

Now I really have to buckle down and start sorting through stuff. Someone posted in an RVing forum how she handled it and I thought it was a great idea. It's so easy to let it all overwhelm you. Her suggestion was, " I found it was easier for me to get four boxes...one give away, one trash, one keep or to sell, one RV. Then go into one room and start in one corner...and work my way around it. Don't leave that room unless you have to eat or go to the bathroom! Stay focused on that room. Once you get that one done...dispose of the things in the boxes, put them in the motorhome, pack them into permanent boxes to keep stored or to sell...and put the give aways in a bigger box so you can start on another room, with empty boxes! You will get a whole lot done that way."

I'm excited - I'm thrilled - I'm terrified! LOL!! Oh, and I'm back to the decision on motorhome vs. toy hauler fifth wheel. I'll keep you posted!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

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