Friday, May 25, 2012

Missing the "Mommy Days"

 OMG!  I just dropped my daughter off for her last day of high school - EVER!  I can't believe it.  Its just not quite sinking in.  I will never drive my daughter to school again.  After all those times when I complained and thought of how I would rather be sleeping in, I'll never do it again.  I feel almost numb about it.  On one hand I am happy because I will get to sleep in.  On the other hand she has grown up way too fast.  When I dubbed 2012 "The Year of Change" I wasn't really thinking of all the changes that were coming that were beyond my control.  My daughter wants to get a job for the summer and there is part of me that hopes she doesn't find one.  There is a part of me that wants to spend the summer with her just hanging out and enjoying each other's company.  But once again, that is part of my delusional little world.  If she is here all summer with no job, we will most likely get on each other's nerves and under each other's skin.  A shame really considering I consider this her last summer of being a kid.  This is it.  In the fall she'll go off to college and BOOM - adulthood hits.  I look back at the years past and they are full of wonderful memories but now that will change.  There may not be family vacations.  There may not be weekends with pajama days.  I guess everone with children goes through this at some point but I can't help but think it is harder on those of us with only one child.  If you have more than one, when the first one goes off to college you still have the others at home and by the time the last one goes off to college you are already a veteran of the process.  For those of us with one child it hits us extra hard.  Right now I am trying to figure out how and when this actually happened.  When did I get so old that I have a child going off to her last day of high school?  Nothing like adding to my mid-life crisis.  I am going to hit 40 hard next year.  In the meantime, I have to figure out my new identity since I will no longer be mommy.  I will always be a mom don't get me wrong but those "Mommy Days" of her needing me on a daily basis are quickly drawing to a close.  "Mommy Days" - how I will miss you!  So if you have kids, hold them, hug them and hang onto those "Mommy Days".  The time when they will be spreading their wings and leaving the nest will be here before you know it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Come Sale Away with Me

Since many people seem to be cleaning out their closets and thus setting up their own personal castoff consumer magnets frequently known as garage sales, I have decided to address what I as a veteran of both having sales and attending sales consider to be essential garage sale ettiquette.  So if you are planning to have a sale, listen up and take notes people.  Here's my Garage Sale Ettiquette Top Ten.

 #10 - Price appropriately.  You are not Macy's, Kohl's or even Walmart.  Do not price your items like they are new.  They say pricing it AT MOST 20% of what you paid for it is sufficient.  I don't want to pay $30 at a garage sale for a nearly new purse even if it is Vera Bradley.  The cheaper the items, the quicker they move.  And on that note, mark everything clearly while you are at it.  Mass marking with signs (such as all clothes $1) are best.  When it comes to marking items, then pretend you are Macy's or Kohl's.  No bar codes needed though, tags are just fine.

#9 - Don't hover.  I know you want to be helpful but I am not looking for the employee attention that I get at Talbot's, White House/Black Market or even Old Navy when I come to a garage sale.  I will look.  If interested, I will ask.  I don't want to know your opinion of what I should be buying.  Your tastes are not my tastes and to be honest I may be looking just to be polite.  "Helipcoter sellers" beware.

#8 - Be prepared.  Have plenty of bags and change.  If you have bags, I will be more apt to buy more stuff.  If you have change readily available, I will not want to strangle you.  I recently went to a sale where the woman had to go into her house and hunt for five minutes to find $3 change for my $5 bill on a $2 purchase.  Had she not taken my $5 into the house with her, I probably would have left during her monetary scavenger hunt.  Especially be prepared for people to come bearing $20 bills as that is the unit amount dispensed by the ATM.

#7 - Location, location, location.  If the weather is good, and it needs to be to have a successful sale, garage sale doesn't really mean garage.  Put your items in the yard or in the driveway.  I don't want to go into your dark, dank most likely stinky garage to see your items.  Besides, the lighting and head clearance are not helpful when shopping.  And when people do drive-bys (slowing down to see if it is worth getting out of their car), they don't even bother stopping if they can't see anything.

#6 - Be honest.  Multi-family implies lots of items - not two card tables set-up by you and your closest neighbor.  If its a sale of mostly baby items, advertise it that way.  If something doesn't work right or have all the pieces, tell me.  I may still buy it.  Some people are looking for broken things to tinker with.  They may be looking for parts for another item that does work.  Just because you're honest doesn't mean you are not going to make the sale.

#5 - Sign timing.  Once you are ready for customers, put up your signs.  Do not put up signs while you are still setting up.  And you cannot, CANNOT get mad at early birds if you do this.  And don't forget to take your signs down when you are done.  There is nothing worse than chasing down a garage sale that is not actually occuring.  Do not send people on a wild goose chase because you are too lazy or forgetful to complete the art of having a garage sale.

#4 - Size matters.  Do not put out five items and call it a garage sale.  A garage sale implies that you either a) have enough stuff to fill a garage or b) you have cleaned out your whole garage and are selling most of its contents.  If you don't have enough items to have a sale, wait a year or just wait till the end of the summer.  If you don't have anywhere to store the items you want to sell, then simply donate them and take the tax credit or use Ebay.  When I do a drive-by if you don't have a lot of stuff, then that's what I simply do - drive by.

#3 - Don't smoke.  You are trying to sell me things that you no longer want.  They are used and the last thing I want to know is that they are filled with smoke too.  It doesn't matter how nice something made of fabric is, if the seller is smoking, I don't buy.  Most of the time if the seller is smoking I don't even stay to look.  There is a reason you can't smoke in restaurants and stores.  Treat your garage sale like your personal store.  And just because it is outside doesn't mean nobody else can smell your smoke.  Just don't do it.

#2 - Keep your pets away.  Unless you are selling Fido or Fuzzy, keep them away from the sale.  If you want them to be outside with you, keep them on a leash.  People may be frightened of dogs or simply allergic to them.  I cannot tell you the number of times I have had my toes licked by a roaming dog at a garage sale.  When my toes are wet, I am less likely to make a purchase.

#1 - Be there.  I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to a garage sale, found something I like, and then realized I was alone.  There was nobody there to sell me the item.  If you are going to commit to a garage sale, commit.  The worst garage sale I think I may have ever gone to and surely the most bizarre was void of any seller until a voice came through the door connecting the garage to the house.  It was competing with the TV that was on and it said to ask any questions I may have by yelling into the house.  Yup, she was watching TV and couldn't be bothered to even come to the garage when she knew someone was in there.  Don't be a "ghost seller".

Happy shopping and happy selling everyone!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Warning: Wild Animals on the Loose

Most people encounter wild raccoons or similar undomesticated animals in their neighborhoods.  Me, I live in Suburbia.  Believe it or not, twice within the past month, I have encountered (not that I live in a posh area or anything) wild pure bred poodles.  Poodles.  Just romping along the roadside.  I would have thought had I just seen one that it may have run away but what are the odds of seeing two runaway poodles in the same month.  That is all I have to say today and I'm pretty sure that is all that I need to say.  Nothing in depth.  No serious thoughts to ponder.  I just had to share.  Have a good day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Seriously? Are You Kidding Me?

Sorry its been a bit since I blogged.  I had some ideas for various blogs and maybe I'll revisit those in the future but what got me off my lazy ass and typing today is that my frustration level is through the roof.  If you've been following along over the last year and a half or so, my family almost adopted a young lady from a state that's Far Away.  We didn't go through with it because she had family in Far Away that claimed they wanted to adopt her.  Even if they didn't formally adopt her, we didn't feel it was right to move her to Suburbia.  (Please see previous posts for the whole heart-wrenching story.)  Well, today I found out that said family members with whom she was living have declared that they no longer want her and she has been moved to yet another foster home.  WHAT???  I can't believe we called off our adoption to keep the girl close to family that pulls this kind of crap.  You can't just change your mind like its a sweater you bought at the mall and want to return.  This is a child we are talking about here!  She is a HUMAN BEING with feelings and emotions and . . ugh!!!!!  I have spent the morning texting with her and I just don't know what I can do to help.  I thought Far Away Child Services sucked before, now they officially super suck in my book.  How could this all happen to someone who has already been through so much in life?  Where is the fairness in that?  It seems that in dealing out crappy situations that God could spread the wealth around a little bit.  So now she sits in yet another foster home and I sit here and feel helpless.  It honestly makes me want to call the Suburbia Child Services and see if the adoption attempt can be reinstated.  I don't even know if that's possible but hell, I could do a better job helping her than any of the people in Far Away could.  Maybe getting as far away from Far Away as she can would be a good thing for her.  I hate feeling helpless.  Today is the first day of my "I'm-not-employed-any-more" celebration.  If I hadn't quit, I would be at work right now but instead of enjoying it, I am in a state of mental distress over this whole thing.  I love this little girl.  Even though we didn't officially adopt her, I still consider her family.  It hurts me that another member of my "family" is hurting.  I worry about her and what she may do if she gets too depressed.  She has been through a lot in her young life - more than most of us will go through in an entire lifetime and right now I just want to scoop her up and bring her here and show her what a semi-normal, loving family is like.  Guess I'll spend the next few hours just being frustrated and depressed until hubby gets home so we can talk about this whole situation.  Fun day.  Things like whether or not to quit my job and weight loss seem so insignificant when you get the sudden view of the big picture of life as I have gotten today.   Here's hoping I can come up with a solution.