Get your shotgun???

I am just like every other mom in this world.  I think I have some gorgeous girls.  I know I am biased, because I also think my fur baby “Birdie” is the cutest dog alive. Here is a picture for reference:

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We get stopped a few times by people who tell us we have a pretty baby.  We constantly get told we have a “cute son”, our daughters are often mis gendered.  It does not bother me, I am used to it.  People comment on their hair and eyes and dimples.  Sometimes I do get annoyed or caught off guard when someone asks “what are they” or “what is she”, so I usually answer “A Virgo”.

We were on a bus in Niagara, I was sitting with Sidney (the almost 3 year old) and across and a little bit up April was sitting with Maxine (almost 1 year old).  A older gentleman was sitting next to April and Maxine and kept complimenting Max on her beauty.  He said, “She must be a daddy’s girl” April responded “She is mommy’s girl”.  He went on “Oh no, that must be daddy’s girl.  I hope daddy has a shot gun”  April just responded “She is mommy’s girl”

A few days later when we were driving home, we stopped at a rest stop.  I waited in the car with Maxine who was sleeping and April took Sidney inside.  April came back and said while she was waiting in line another man started a conversation with her.  He also said “She must be daddy’s girl. I hope daddy has a shot gun” April used the “She is mommy’s girl” response once again.

I know a day will come when the girls will respond for themselves that they have two mommies.  I have no idea how people will react, I just hope for their sake they react positively.

Although we are just back from a vacation to Canada, tomorrow we leave for another mini-vacation to Provincetown. (I have entered a point in my life where making memories is more important than making money)  PTown is a gay mecca.  It is one of my favorite places in the world. Every week of the summer they have themes. Everything from  Women’s week, Bear week, gay pilots week, you name it you can find in in PTown.  This week is family week.  Hosted by The Family Equality Council, family week is s big gathering of LGBT families, where there are lesbian moms, gay dads, transgendered couples with kids, every combination of gender / sex / ethnicities and race are represented.  It is amazing the combination of families.  I love going there and being surrounded with families like mine.  I love having the girls be able to be with other kids that have similar family structures.  It is a place where you just feel 100% comfortable, no questions asked.  Best of all, I know I won’t be told “That must be daddy’s girl, daddy better have a shot gun!”

Niagara Falls Vacation

I am just back from vacation.  We went to Niagara Falls and camped at Jellystone Park.  When I say “Camped”, we were in a Trailer and ate s’mores every night.  I am not a camper by any stretch of the imagination. I actually have a “NO CAMPING” clause in the pseudo prenup that I always remind my wife about.

We went and hung out with our girls “diblings”.  For those unfamiliar with that term, that is the word some people use when talking about donor siblings.  There are a bunch of families in Canada, so we decided to do a trip up there and meet some.

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There are a great number of varying perspectives about children meeting their diblings. Some moms want nothing to do with donor siblings or the donor.  I can understand that point of view, but I want my girls to be able to grow up knowing their “Family”.  They do have a unique set of circumstances within their family, and I want to raise them so see all types of families and appreciate the differences.  And I feel lucky that I ended up in this group of “sister moms” because each are incredible people.  There are “SBC” Single by choice mothers, heterosexual couples, lesbian and transgendered families…every type of family structure you can imagine.  The one thing we all have in common is we all had to try extra hard to have our children, and all our children are loved.  I can’t see a problem with wanting my girls to be surrounded by love and unquestioning acceptance.  And there are so many role models for my girls (and for myself).  A large percentage of my sister moms have Master’s Degrees, Ph.Ds, and many are career focused.

As for Canada, I loved it.  I have to say, I am impressed with Canadian women.  We met two Single moms there, one was actually camping in a tent with her two daughters!  Now that is some hard cord stuff.

Other things I noticed about Canada:

  1. Canadians are really nice.  I was driving and obviously unfamiliar with the road, and at one point I had to cut over 4 lanes. Not one driver honked, yelled, or chucked the bird my way!
  2. Canadians are honest.  I had brought a few coins from my shop that were Canadian,  I didn’t know if the coins were ok, because they were old.  When we first got there I went to buy a fry at McDonalds, so I asked the woman at the window. The woman at the window said the coins were fine, but I over paid!
  3. Guacamole is free.  FREE.  I added guacamole once when we were ordering something and I didn’t get the usual “THE GUAC IS EXTRA” and when I checked the bill, there was nothing added.
  4. Canadian Hershey chocolate is better.  We went to the Hershey store and they had a separate section for Canadian and for American chocolate.  The Canadian Hershey Chocolate was creamier.  I never knew how waxy the American Chocolate tasted until I had a comparison.
  5. American Water is better.  I think they add vitamins or something to the water.  I drink a ton of water, but when I was there I didn’t like the taste.

Anyway, that was my trip.  I had a few strange things happen there, but I will save that for the next blog post 🙂

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Jewelry Trends….

I just got back from Brimfield.  I usually go to all the shows, May, July, and September to shop at least one day per show, sometimes two days.  I have worked many shows, for a few different dealers until I set up myself.  What is interesting about Brimfield is how you get to see trends.

I can remember a few years ago, everyone was looking for goldfilled watch fobs and chains.  Then there was the year everyone was looking for garnets.  Then mourning jewelry.  Amber and bakelite was very popular a few years ago too.

It is a strange phenomenon, you will have 10 different people come to your booth from 10 different parts of the world (you can tell by the accents) and all will ask for the same items..verbatim!  “Do you have watch fobs”  “Do you have articulating charms” etcetera.  After every show, I would run back to the shop and list anything I might have in the shop that matched what trends I saw.

This show I didn’t set up, I only went to shop, so I don’t know what people are asking for.  It is strange that when I returned home, I had two very similar items on two different platforms sell.  Both were mosaic style earrings.

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This pair of earrings (above) sold on etsy, after initially getting listed in 2013.  This was relisted 11 times!!! Today it was purchased.  (On a side note etsy gives you some great stats to look at)

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This pair of earrings also sold, but on eBay. Unfortunately eBay doesn’t give you the great stats that etsy does, but I know these were most likely listed for as long as the other pair that sold on etsy.

Both sold for around $30.  It is just strange that they are both “mosaic” earrings that had been listed for such a long time, and they both sold on the same day.  Maybe this style is the new / next trend?

Duct Tape Bike

This week I did go to a few yard sales, but the most fun I had was from what I found in the trash.  Of all the things I find in the trash, one of the things I find the most is bikes.  I didn’t have a bike, so I figured I would keep this one and “customize” it.

When I got it, it was in horrible shape.  Rust all over it, flat tires, cob webs, kick stand missing.  I really wish I took a picture of it back then. I brought it over to cousin Julies house and had her son fix it up for me.  I had him change out the seat.. I wanted a big wide seat because my butt always hurts when I ride bikes. When I got the bike back it was perfect, but I decided to customize it.

I did a time-lapse video because time-lapse videos are my favorite.  The whole project took about an hour, but that is because I was stopping and taking a picture after every piece of tape was placed.  If I wasn’t filming, I am sure I could have finished in 20 minutes.

 

 

I think it looks cool. I even fixed up my daughter’s helmet from a lame Disney Princess one to Spike Mohawk Rainbows, with Mac & Cheese, Cats, and trailer park motif!

You can buy a huge lot of duct tape and do one yourself. Click the picture below to get started!Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 11.54.00 AM

Thanks for checking out my project. Please like, subscribe and comment.

Happy Hunting 🙂

The history behind the sale…

I go to a ton of Estate and yard sales.  I try to hit some every week.  Usually, at estate sales, you don’t see the family who owns the items.  Most of the time you just figure it was elderly people that moved into a nursing home or passed away.  You can always tell it is elderly people by the furnishing, pictures, and most of all the lighting.  For some reason elderly people like dim lights.

This week I went to an estate sale in Barrington.  Later that night, my cousin called me to tell me it was the “Barrington Twins” house.  I knew the story, it made national news.

Two 97-year-old twin sisters apparently froze to death Saturday after they fell outside and were stranded overnight just steps from one of their Rhode Island homes.

The sisters had returned to Haley’s home from dinner Friday night with their 89-year-old sister. The younger sister, who lives elsewhere in Barrington and wasn’t named by police, left the two sisters at some point before the falls, police said.

They said Williams was going to her car to leave Haley’s home when she fell in the driveway, near the rear of her vehicle. When Haley attempted to re-enter her home to call for help, police said she may have tripped on a rug in the garage and fallen.

While it is very sad, you have to think they had a pretty wonderful life.  The house was incredible, and they were out enjoying diner with family on their last night.  They did live a long life, that I am sure was filled with its ups and downs, but they came into the world together and they left together.

After that estate sale I went to a yard sale in Bristol.  All the items were Elvis related, so I asked the woman if this was “Elvis’s House”.  Bristol had a man who was known as Elvis. His love for elvis and all things Elvis was incredible. He came to my shop a bunch of times to buy and sell stuff.  (He actually asked me out a few times too)  This past winter he passed away.

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My favorite memory of Elvis was when he came to my store about 5-6 years ago.  He had a box lot of stuff, I don’t even remember what it was he was selling.  A guy working at my store at the time said “I’ll give you $50 for it” and Elvis yelled out “I want $40, I’m not taking any less than $40!”  The friend he was with said “HE JUST SAID HE WOULD GIVE YOU $50 YOU DUMMY!”  Everyone at the store laughed, including Elvis.  You could tell he must have been working himself up to say the “I’m not taking less than $40” line, he must have been practicing that line the whole car ride to the shop. He was such a nice guy.  Especially sad that he had just beaten cancer.  43 is too young to die.

Check out the video, like subscribe, and leave some comments 🙂

Wonka Vision?

I am a film geek.  I can’t count how many times a day I recall something as a film quote or scene from a movie.

That is exactly what happened yesterday, and I immedialty felt like I was reliving a scene from one of my favorite movies.

Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory.  I might know that film word for word.  Remember “Wonka Vision”?

 

(It isn’t my favorite scene, my favorite is when Gene Wilder sings “Pure Imagination” .  That scene is every fat kids dream!)

So, what happened to spark this scene in my mind?  I have been doing more you tubing lately.  There is one channel that I follow and check in with often.  Texas Gal Treasures.

I have been following this channel for a few weeks, since I started Merch by Amazon.  The “Texas Gal” Margaret does a bunch of walk throughs that I have found to be extremely helpful.  She does box openings so I decided to send a box with some jewelry in it.  My shop has a TON, and I am not exaggerating, A TON of jewelry.  I buy it by the pound, and one corner of the shop is dedicated to costume jewelry.  So I grabbed a random box and stuffed it with some jewelry and other odds and ends and sent it down to Texas.

Before I knew it, Margaret was opening the box.  I think it got there in 2 days, but it seemed immediate.  Unfortunately I missed the live box opening.  I saw it when I was checking back on youtube, and it was so cool and weird at the same time.  Weird in an alternate reality sort of way.  Most of the stuff was random stuff that was laying on one of my counters.  So to see it on the other side of the computer screen so fast was strange, sort of like when Mike TeeVee was sent in Wonka Vision!
I send out a bunch of packages every day because I sell on eBay & Etsy, but I never see where it actually goes to, so it was fun to see that.
As a side note, I do think this graphic is actually drawn to scale….
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Blessed….

Some days, actually most days, I think about how blessed I am.  I may not be rich, but I am living my dream.

I just had a film crew at my shop, headed by Nick Marcoux.  I made a film almost 10 years ago with Nick, called Happy Endings? (A documentary where we followed women who worked in Massage Parlors when Prostitution was legal in Rhode Island)  He is still doing filming full time.  He is a teacher at TAPA   (Trinity Academy for Preforming Arts)  He just got access to a SUPER EXTREMELY DOPE TOP O THE LINE CAMERA!  The camera is on loan from Panasonic as a demo.

He has one day to shoot, so he is filming a BBQ show, and he asked to do a profile on my shop and me.

The crew came in and I got to tell some stories on the shop, the youtube channel, and podcast Miseducation & Malarkey.

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When the crew was leaving, the young woman who was part of the crew came up to me and said “I just want you to know you are living my dream”.

(What is funny is I was thinking Nick was living my dream! I would love to film more and make a living at it)

I said, thanks and it struck me how much of a dream I am living.  Sometimes when you hear someone else say it, it really cements how lucky you are into reality.

I never though I would have this life, and everyday I think how lucky I am to have my own shop, and work for my self.  I am not making a ton of money, but I do have a ton of stories, and I make enough to get by.   I am happy.

Connecting with the past

I have tons of random stuff pass through my hands.  Some of the stuff brings memories up.  That is what I love about being in this business, you never know what you will find.

My shop is located in Rhode Island, where I was born and raised. Rhode Island has a very rich history of manufacturing, mostly Costume Jewelry.


Coro, Trifari, you name the costume jewelry company, and it is likely to have had a factory in Rhode Island.


This ring came into the shop today, as a part of a lot I bought.  I thought the design was cute, and upon further inspection I noticed it was marked “Coro” “Sterling” and “pat. Applied for”.

It is unusual to find a piece by a costume jewelry made in Sterling, but what I love most is that it is made by Coro.

My grandparents worked in the Coro factory!  I love to think that this piece could have passed through their hands 70+ years ago.  Who knows? It is a possibility!

The design is cool too, two Hearts with a chain link holding them together.

I think I am going to keep this piece 🙂

Skimming Money

This week it is raining, so I didn’t get to go out to the yard sales.  I have made a goal for myself to do one video a week, so I decided to come into the shop and make a “coin” video.

I am a coin collector.  I love the history of coins, the designs, all things coin related.  I found out about the history of “skimming money” so I figured I would make a vlog about that.  I hope you enjoy it.  Please like, comment and subscribe.

Thanks, Happy Hunting!

Diving into Amazon Merch!

The more I know, the more I do not know.  I find this out everyday.  I have been selling on eBay, etsy, and multiple other online forums for a while now.  I just started Amazon FBA in March, and this week I am starting Amazon Merch.  Merch is P.O.D. Print on demand.  You upload your image / design to a shirt, and when that shirt sells, you get a commission.  Here is one of my first designs that was accepted. (click on it and go right to Amazon!)


I decided on this design because I figure summer is here, and there will be a bunch of Reggae festivals going on, so I am trying to capitalize on that.  I always loved the old school 45 RPM place holder, so I thought it was a good play on the image.  Hopefully it takes off 🙂 If you are interested in buying it, just click the photo and go right to amazon.

I only started this business this week, so I will update the progress in a month to see how it goes.  If you are interested in hustling, please subscribe.  I have been living on the hustle since 2009!  I’m trying to get into more passive income as I am getting older, so follow my journey.

Happy Hunting!