Get that out of your mouth!

Get that out of your mouth! As a mother of a 3.5 and 1.5 year old, this is a phrase I say often.  You would think I would remember to do that myself.

This week, I went through more silver scrap.  As a reseller, my favorite thing I get to do is go through buckets of silver jewelry that is heading to the refinery.   I get to see all sorts of things, all different pieces of jewelry.

I saw these “items” in my last “picking”.

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I love unusual things.  Anything that grabs my eye, I have to grab.  The item to the right is hollow, and I thought “This is a strange whistle” and I put it to my mouth to see if it worked.  DUMB.  I am dumb.  In my defense, these two items were not together when I pulled them out.  I didn’t see there was a tiny spoon to go with this “tube”.

As soon as I did it, the woman who works at the shop where I do some picking said, That is a coke straw!  Now I have no ideas how many nostrils touched this item, but it went in my mouth. YUCK!  I learn lessons everyday, and this one I will not forget 😉

Daily Texts…

I see so many people writing each day in November about what they are thankful for.  I have so much to be thankful for, #1 being a healthy and happy family.  I hustle, I make enough to get by.  My wife gets to stay home with our girls, and most days she sends me a text with pictures of the girls and what they are doing.

This morning when I was leaving for work, Sidney said “Don’t leave MaTaya” and she blocked the door with some toys.  I said “Baby, I love you sooooo much, but I have to do some stuff to pay the bills. I’ll be back.”

Just a few minutes ago, April sent me a pic of them doing Christmas Ornaments.

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I am so thankful for text messaging!  Some days work is tough, but when I get to see these pics of the girls it makes it all worth it. I am a better provider than a nurturer, so I am happy that April gets to stay home and nurture these girls.  We really do make a good team.

I looked back at the past messages and here are some of my favorite shots 🙂

Here is one, just after Halloween with some face paint.

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This summer was full of walks, and I loved getting these texts 🙂

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Lots of playing in the dirt 🙂

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This one made me laugh out loud!  It is meme ready….

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I have sooooo much to be thankful for, and getting these texts are great reminders of what a great life I have been gifted.

Holiday card

This week we went to JC Penny to take our holiday pictures. Originally, we didn’t have any plan to do an actual photo shoot for the card. We were going to use random candid shots like we did last year…

I just happened to find a few extra dollars in my pocket, so went to Target and picked out some cute Christmas Jammies and then over to JC Penny. We didn’t have an appointment, so we booked the next available and went to get lunch.

For some reason I thought it was going to be easy. Dress up the girls and snap some pictures, how hard could that be? Well it was like herding cats. It was impossible to get them to stand together, they wouldn’t look at the photographer, Sidney kept running out of the room.

April said “I want the girls to have good memories more than good pictures” right as I was about to lose my mind.

I can remember taking the Christmas picture every year and how I hated it. Check out this one from 1982…35 years ago!

My mom had us all dress up in our monogram sweaters and line up on the spiral staircase that went up to Colleen’s and my room. Check out the aftermath photo:

Yup, that is me crying😂. I honestly don’t remember getting through any Christmas photos with out someone crying….usually me.

I am happy to report there were no tears shed at our photo shoot. I really didn’t think we had any good shots at all. I even tried to talk April into skipping out when we were waiting for the photos to download.

Luckily April talked me into waiting and checking out the photos. They were hysterical.

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out pretty good. It is funny looking at them. It had only been 10 minutes since the shoot, where I was so frustrated and angry, but looking at the pictures made me laugh.

The guy showing us the pictures was laughing out loud. He said he loves the pics of the little kids because they are always funny…and he said these were some of the funniest.

Another lesson learned. When you think something is going to come out horrible, give it a chance. Perfection is boring, Imperfection is funny if nothing else.

Hoarders House

This week I got to buy out a hoarders house.  I go into many houses, but this was one of the most impressive collections I have ever seen.

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There was not one spot on any walls that were uncovered. The man who owned the home was placed in a nursing home because he had started to show signs of dementia.

I have gone to the home two times, filled up a pickup truck both times and my SUV one time, and still haven’t made a dent in the collection.

I deal with a good amount of collectors, and it is interesting to see how people display the items they collect.  One toy dealer who visits my store weekly, puts everything in plastic bins and keeps them hermetically sealed in storage.  Not much fun if you ask me. Sure, his collection will hold value, but I don’t think you get much enjoyment out of your items if you are hiding them away.

The man who owned this home, he displayed everything.  Sure, his items lost value not being in the original packing, but he got to enjoy them.  By the time it came to sell the stuff, he was in a nursing home any way, so did it really matter?

I got a ton of books for Amazon, and 13 boxes of comics.  It is going to take forever to go through everything.  What is interesting was when I got the house, within 5 minutes I thought there was no chance I was going to buy anything because it was so overwhelming.  But after spending a while going through things, I was able to buy some stuff.  It was hard, back breaking work, carrying 200 pounds of books out, but my father alway told me you can make money doing what others refuse to do.  I think the majority of people who would walk into the house would have walked out just due to the smell.  Hopefully the patience will pay off, I am sure it will.

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These pictures are from the cleanest and most organized part of the home, the owners office, where he would customize many of the action figures.

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Bronx Zoo

Sunday was cold and rainy, but we had free tickets to the Bronx zoo.  The ride isn’t too bad from Rhode Island, so we decided to meet up with some of the girls diblings and check out the Bronx Zoo.

Everyone has an opinion about developing relationships with “diblings”, some people even hate the word “dibling”.  My thoughts are that my daughters have biological siblings out there, I think they should have the opportunity to meet them.

Some people in our situation feel you should let the child choose when they turn 18, if they want to meet their “biological” family.  I feel the best way to raise my family is full disclosure on everything.  I want to raise them to see all sorts of families, and to never feel like an outsider.  I want them to have relationships with their brothers and sisters.  I don’t want to just spring it on them when they turn 18.   Besides, the other families are such great families.  Many of the women are great roll models for my girls, many have incredible education (I’m talking Ivy League, one of the few things that impress me) and have multiple degrees, masters and P.H.D.s.  It is amazing we all seem to have clicked and hit it off so well.

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So we got to spend the day with our sister from Harlem, and our sisters (identical twins) from Brooklyn.  “A & Z” (3 years old) from Brooklyn loved interacting with Maxine, who is in awe of all toddlers. Sidney got to run around with all the girls.  We went on our trip to Canada with  “A” from Harlem, and it seems like Sidney has really warmed up to her Harlem family.

It is amazing to think about how these girls will grow up and interact with each other.

The trip was not without any hiccups.  Before we left the zoo to go to Arthur St to eat, we all went to the bathroom.  After Sidney finished, we were still in the bathroom, and we gave her a small box of junior mints from halloween.  Sid was eating them, and one dropped on the floor.  EVERYONE yelled “NOOOOOOO!” but Sid picked it up off the wet floor and ate it.  She is quick, and at this point in her life, I am pretty sure she has great immunities 🙂  (It reminded me of how she drank from the puddles at PRONK.)

Trees in the trash 😢

My (close to 100 years old) neighbor Rosalie, was taken out in an ambulance a few weeks ago.  It has become a common occurrence, sad none the less.  I don’t think she is going to come home this time.

I had only had a few conversations with her.  One of the first times I talked to her was probably close to 10 years ago when we first moved into our house.  I was out side, sitting on our porch smoking when she came to the fence and said “do you want to check out my garden?”

Of course I said yes and walked over. I made it to the door of her greenhouse when I collapsed and had a seizure.  When I came to she was standing there with orange juice.  She was a nurse, and thought I was probably diabetic. 

Luckily, that was the last seizure I have ever had.

I had talked briefly to her, and she said how she was still working as a teaching nurse, teaching women from Africa about nursing.   At 92 she was still working!  She talked about her garden, her flowers and plants.

Today, when I was about to leave I noticed her trash was already out on the sidewalk.  Someone had begun to throw out her plants.


I’m not into plants.  I have overgrown grass and not much landscaping in my yard.  Seeing this plant in the trash hurt my heart.  I don’t even know what kind of plant it is, but it is beautiful. Luckily my sister likes plants, so I called her and she just picked it up a few hours ago.  We will see how it adjusts to its new home.

Macaroooooooon

I am 41 years old.  I have traveled all over the US and the world.  I would consider myself a foodie, I have tried many types of foods.  I can remember being in the Virgin Islands at a buffet and filling my plate and not even asking what things were.  My father, a strictly meat and potato Irish man, asked about each dish.  After I had eaten half my plate, my Dad said “Tara, did that taste good?  Do you know what it is?”  I said “It tasted fine, it is chicken”  and my dad said “Sort of, it is bird”  So I asked “what do you mean bird?” and he pointed to a pigeon not far from where we were sitting.  He said the woman who was filling the buffet told him it was bird, and when he asked the same question as me she said “No, it is bird” and pointed to the same pigeon he was now pointing to.

Until a few days ago I could say, I have eaten Pigeon but not macarons.  For some reason I had never tried a macaron, and I didn’t know what I was missing.

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A man I do business with brought me a box filled with assorted macaroons. He gave them to me as a gift for my girls.  It was just their birthdays (3rd and First birthday) so he brought in a “Rainbow of Macrons”.

I brought them home and gave one to Maxine (my 1 year old) She smooshed it into her mouth, dropping half on the floor.  I picked it up and popped it in my mouth.  So my first macaroon was a floor macaroon.

It was nothing like what I expected.  I always passed on getting macarons because I figured they would be a nilla wafer consistency with frosting in the middle.  I like nilla wafers, I always ate them at my grandmothers house. (That house always had nilla wafers, jelly beans, and assorted licorice….aka old people deserts)

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Im not a picky eater, I will try almost anything.  (I actually think the only thing I won’t try is dog) If I saw them in a bakery I would pick something else, because I had prejudged them.

So it took a free box of macarons to get me to try them.  Forty One years, and now I know what I was missing.   I wonder what else I might have prejudged and what I missed out on.  I can tell you a half eaten macaron from the floor  is better than buffet pigeon any day of the week 🙂

 

Update:  I was just told that Macarons were gay oreos, so now I am into them even more!!

Hascon

This week we stepped away from yard sales and did a family event…Hascon.

Billed as a “The Premier Hasbro FANmily event”, the three day event took place in Providence, not far from us.

We live right behind the Hasbro factory….I could throw a My Little Pony and hit the building from my front door.  Luckily we won a family four pack of tickets, so I actually felt like we were living a 2017 version of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate factory!

We won our tickets by getting a special “Pinkie Pie” donut at PVDonuts.  We posted pictures of Sidney eating the donut and we  were chosen!Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 10.45.55 AM

We decided to go to the show on Saturday.  Saturday was a big day for my family.  Sidney had her first soccer game and Maxine had her first birthday!  We left the soccer game, went home to change (we tried to dress up a little) and then we went to PVDonuts. We wanted to thank them for the tickets…..and of course devour a few more donuts.

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The Hascon event was great.  Because there is a My Little Pony movie coming out, there was a ton of MLP stuff.  We didn’t get to see all of the exhibits, We probably only saw 25% of what was offered, but we had fun.   I give major props to Hasbro because the event was not just about pushing their toys, they also had a social message.  They had kids take pledges to not bully and to be inclusive.  They also had kids pick toys to donate to Toys for Tots.

As a Rhode Islander, I am happy to see success for a home grown company that does so much for the community.   Last week when I was driving home from the gym I saw a bunch of people with Hasbro Shirts volunteering, doing the landscaping in front of the junior high, creating a seating space for the kids waiting for class.  A great example to show how a successful business can give back to the community they come from.

Check out the video below to see the inside of Hascon.

 

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.