There is money in these streets!

Well, sidewalks anyway….

Today just before closing, a man came into the shop with a thousand dollar bill

As you can see, this isn’t your average “Cleveland”. This bill is encased in lucite.

The $1000 bill was printed until 1946, and taken out of circulation in by the federal reserve in 1969 by the federal reserve under the direction of Nixon. Nixon believed the higher denomination currency made it easier for criminals to launder money.

This $1000 was in a sidewalk in Barrington, RI. Apparently a homeowner in Barrington put a $1000, a $100, a $50 and a $20 all in the walkway. The home owner (according to the neighbor) put the money in there and enjoyed watching people trying to dig it out. It had been there for as long as she could remember…and was removed today.

The man who brought the bill in was doing construction on that neighbors house, and decided to take his hammer drill and pull that bad boy out of the ground.

He had already brought it to the bank and they said they could not accept it because they could not physically touch it, so he brought it to me.

I sort of wish I bought it, but I didn’t. I love quirky stories and local history, and this was both. As a mater of fact, I even put something in the sidewalk cement during construction just recently. But I don’t think that someone will try to get it out in 50+ years from now, it is only a buffalo nickel with my initials. (See that blog here: Wet Cement)

I told him he could contact the Internal Revenue Service and they would be able to “remove it from circulation” and would probably send him a check for $720. $1000 minus the 28% tax, cause the government always needs their piece of the action ūüôā

Fake it till you make it

It is just about my 4th anniversary of being totally on my own.  It almost seems like a lifetime away, and such a difference in my life.

The first week in December in 2014, I decided to “fire” all my employees. ¬†I technically can’t call them employees, and because I am still being sued, but I have no other vocabulary to use with the guy who used to work at my shop.

I can remember how scared I was the first day, week, and month when I was out on my own.  I had no idea if I could make it on my own.  I still have moments, but there is nothing like walking into your shop, having your own business.

My friend Nick just did this profile on me and he sent it to me on a day that was sorta slow. ¬†I day I ¬†made no money. ¬†Watching this made me feel proud again. ¬†It didn’t matter that I made zero that day, some days you ¬†make nothing, but there is always potential.

I watch this and think about how far I have come. ¬†The day I opened the shop myself, I was petrified. ¬†I was afraid of failure, but failure was not an option. ¬†I wouldn’t exactly say today that ¬†I made it * but I can guarantee I won’t quit until I do.


**Making it to me would be having a car with heated seats. ¬†I don’t know why I feel that is so luxurious, but I do.

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.


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 ūüôā

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



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


Lots of playing in the dirt ūüôā


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


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

The agony of defeat!

Ok, maybe I’m not impartial, but I think I got robbed.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about how I entered the “Cumberland Farms #1 Fan” contest.

Here is my video to refresh your memory :

At the time, I believed I was only one of 2 entries.  I checked all the hash tags that were required to enter the contest on instagram and youtube.

Well I was surprised to learn that I lost to this guy, who only posted his video yesterday (October 17th)!  In the contest rules all videos had to be posted by October 4th, 2017.

Here is the guy I lost to:

What? Really?

Maybe I am partial, but come on! I had a least a little bit of production value in my video.  Of course being from Rhode Island, I have to believe this guy is related to the judge. Maybe he is splitting MY coffees with one of the judges.

That is the thing with competitions where there is judging. ¬†If it was running, the fastest time wins. (People who know me, know I will never be winning or entering a race) ¬†So you are subjected to personal preference. ¬†And the judges preferred this two note song with words you can’t hear over my submission. ¬†Total bummer. ¬†I know in my heart I am Cumby’s #1 fan, I still am even after this horrific miscarriage of justice.

As far as competitions, I am one win and one loss on the year. ¬†I won the PVDonut Hascon tickets and lost the Cumby’s #1 Fan competition. ¬†The sad thing is I can’t even support PVDonuts for the next eight weeks because my wife is doing a 8 week diet and exercise program, and donuts aren’t exactly “clean eating”. But, the competition I lost…I will still be going to Cumby’s two times a day, supporting them. ¬†That coffee is my crack.


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.


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)


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 ūüôā


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


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.


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.


So I fell behind a bit….

I started this blog / vlog with a goal of one video a week on the hustle. ¬†Then I changed the focus…to more than just the hustle. ¬†Now I see I have fallen behind on my original goal. ¬†It has been one heck of a summer. ¬†I am actually enjoying the summer, not just working. ¬†I guess my goal this summer was to fill my memory bank and not my financial bank. ¬†To that end I have been successful. ¬†I had 3 family trips; Niagara Falls, Family Week in PTown, and a short trip to New Hampshire. ¬†I still haven’t gotten through all the pictures or video on those trips, but before I left I was a subject of someone else’s video.

It is strange to be in front of the camera, and I usually don’t put myself there. ¬†I had to when I got a call from Nick Marcoux. ¬†I can’t say no to Nick. ¬†I feel like Nick is the father to my first child….that child being the film we made together. ¬†Happy Endings? a feature length documentary about Korean Massage Parlors in Rhode Island while prostitution was decriminalized.

Nick is a freelance videographer and a teacher as Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA)  He came across an opportunity to do a demo with a Panasonic Varicam LT.  Nick put the opportunity to work, filming sun up to sun down.  I was one of the short features he did.  It blogged about the day back when it happened in Blessed

The first edited footage has been released and here it is.

The profile on me will be finished in a few weeks. What a great opportunity to be part of this demo. When it is done I will link it here.

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.


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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

Art Festival & 1 Yard Sale

This week, once again, I was planning on filming some trash picking. ¬†Unfortunately, once again it didn’t happen.

On Saturday, cousin Julie was busy with the Young Marines. ¬†Since she wasn’t going sailing, I decided to skip sailing and bring my girls to work. ¬†I wasn’t planning on going to any yard sales, but I got a call from my sister who said there was a yard sale on her street. ¬†Her daughter, Carolyn, has been excited about the youtube channel and asked me to come over with my camera. ¬†So I had to stop there on my way to the shop.

On Sunday we went to the Barrington Arts Festival. ¬†There were a bunch of vendors, some I recognized from the Providence Flea Market. ¬†We brought our other niece, Angie, who also is youtuber. ¬†Something Funny did happen there. ¬†I was filming, doing my walk through, and some random woman came up to me and questioned if I was “allowed” to film. ¬†I just answered “No one has questioned me yet” and I continued on.

Half way through the fest, I let Angie take over the camera.  If you are prone to seizures, I would not recommend watching.  The footage is what you would expect from a little kid. I did enjoy listening to her narrate the footage though.

There were 3 booths I really liked.

I bought a soap with a wonder woman lego inside from LNK Design.  Check out their etsy!

There were the most incredible pocketbooks, but unfortunately I do not carry one ūüė¶ They had pizza, donut, quahog, clutch/hand bags. ¬†These were from Kent Stetson. There are some incredible creations, so check out his shop.

The last booth was Cait Marchetti Jewelry. Very talented young lady that does her own hand drawn enamel work. Her pendants are double sided.  from her website:

Narrative on the front and back sides.

The Potential Series for example, has an organism in an early stage of life on the back,

while on the front is the same organism if allowed to flourish and grow to its full potential.

Check out the video below.  Please subscribe, like, share, and comment.
Thanks for reading…Happy Hunting!