November 30, 2013

First day of ownership

"By Trudy Connor"

Written in November 2014 and forgot to post. Opps.  

Saturday morning, as I drink my coffee our agent called. We agreed to meet at the carriage house to give me the keys.  A grey and rainy day cleaning began. The heart of the home is first! 

First thing, I begin cleaning the dishwasher by running 2 cups of vinegar through a short cycle. The dishwasher does not look heavily soiled. I am lucky.
While the dishwasher runs, I unpack the housewarming gift to myself, the new Mikasa Lucerne White Dinnerware

I was amazed at the number of toast crumbs all over the counters. Nothing was cleaned out after she moved. Cleaning the kitchen cabinets inside and out is next. The shelves needed to be cleaned, oil residue still on the shelves! Microfiber cleaning rags soaked in vinegar tackled the interior and exterior, 3 shelves required the addition of "Bar Keepers Friend" to remove soil.

Just over halfway through the kitchen cabinets the dishwasher stops. Opening the dishwasher door I check the results. The dishwasher looks good no signs heavy soiling left. I ran out of clean cleaning cloths, vinegar, toilet paper and it is time to break for lunch. 

At the rental, I take a break, eat, and talk to my husband. He wants to help. Physically he is unable do much of the labor, I ask him to sort out the stack of paperwork I have not managed to get to.

Next we are out of milk, off to the grocery to stock up on a few items, vinegar, baking soda, toilet paper, and a lasagna for dinner.

Back to the carriage house, and the remainder of the kitchen cabinets. Then I move on to the bathroom mirrors, cabinets, sinks and commodes. The commodes I left with 1 cup of vinegar in each bowl to help lift any heavy soiling. No toilet brush at hand. These will wait until I return. The air conditioner is not cooling. I grab all the manuals for the carriage house before I leave.

Out of steam, and very tired, I return to the rental and start the lasagna. My husband is reading the manuals all nicely organized in a binder. I added the few not in the binder before my husband started to read them.

Sunday, I plan to clean out the refrigerator, laundry cabinets and begin filling with inventory. Christmas Items will go in these. One of the 3 cabinets will have bedding and linens.

I am going to invest in a few Occupancy Sensor light switches for the bathrooms and laundry room. 

November 28, 2013

Our Move Begins

"By Trudy Connor"

Last August we placed an offer on a carriage house in the community we are renting living in.

When we sold our home last year we had a very fast close. I wanted a carriage house and my husband wanted to remain in a "house", thus the decision to rent a carriage house.

Our offer was accepted in Late October, closing looked like it would be in December. The carriage house is an estate sale and short sale, purchased before the housing crash.

Friday November 15th, while packing boxes, Lawyers began "discussing" the carriage house sale.  Here I am with an accepted offer, boxes being packed. Neither lawyer mine, they represented the Estate and Association, as of 3pm our agent did not think the closing would happen at all.

Frustrated I began ironing! Yes ironing, laundry waits for no one.

3:10 we get a call 5 minutes later the agent showed up with the contract completed and the closing began.

Papers flew back and forth as 3 errors were found. They were corrected by 3:30 and the closing commenced the Bank wired the funds. Everything finalized late that evening.

Saturday I get the keys!

Note: I am posting this blog post later than written. I forgot to hit Publish!

November 13, 2013

The beauty of color

"By Trudy Connor"

The beauty of color. Planning and choosing colors is fun!  Until your husband says the blue has to much gray in it! The challenge picking colors out without being in the condo is difficult! I plan to get sample colors made of the following colors! And a few gallons of Oklahoma Wheat. A color I have used in the past and love!

Ralph Lauren Calla Lily for all the doors and moldings, plus interior of closets. Yes I plan to paint the closet interiors before we move in! The perfect time, they are empty!

O the garage floor needs to be painted also!

November 11, 2013

Dream Laundry Room

"By Trudy Connor"

The changes in laundry facilities has become noticeable. I watched and helped my mother and grandmothers do laundry. The old wringer washing machines, scrub boards, rinse tubs, and of course the clothes line. On my grandparents farm the chore began with hauling hot water to the machine in the wash house and filling the 2 rinse tubs. In the summer we pulled the machine and tubs outdoors. Then sorting the clothes emptying the pockets into an old coffee tin. As a young child, I excelled at sorting by colors! The first items washed were always the whites, as they came cleanest with hot water. Wash in the machine and pass through the wringer. Next into the first rinse of hot water hand wring and into the second rinse in cold water. Anything to be pressed was dipped into starch. Then through the wringer again. Before carrying the load to the clothes line the next was dropped into the machine the water was not changed nor heated up. As the basket filled you carried it to the wash line and began hanging. Sheets always pinned on the outside line then pinned to the second line to keep them off the ground. Panties, slips and bras on the 3rd line. Next the shirts and dresses. Then finally a line of pants. While you were hanging on the line the next load is twisting away in the machine.
The biggest difference between the farm and our house in town was is town the machine was in the unfinished basement with a drain in the floor. We used a waxed box to carry clothes up and down the stairs. Making many trips as there were seven of us to do laundry for. The last load was always my fathers work clothes, as he would have oil and grease on them from the machine shop where he worked. By the time we would get to the last load we would begin bringing in the dry clothes. A bottle sprinkler would be used to moisten the shirts before pressing. We would moisten cottons all at once and roll them up one by one. Ironing began with the first shirt rolled. We did not have a steam iron!

Enter today and a new laundry room really a hallway just off the garage. The days of the wringer machine are over and the clothes lines no more. Nostalgic I may be, but I want to improve the function of the laundry room. While not a bad arrangement it needs a few things. This photo is a stock photo!

After all form follows function!

  1. Safety! Yes I need to maintain the walkway as wide as I can to allow my husbands wheelchair to pass through. With my husband's tendency to fall, I need to think high, but not so I this vertically challenged person (me) cannot reach it!
  2. A handy shelf on the back of the washer and dryer would be a great addition, and keep items from dropping behind the appliances!
  3. A way to store hangers.
  4. I need a place to hang clothes coming out of the dryer.
  5. A place to store the ironing board. Yes, I still iron!
  6. A way to sort clothes would be great also! The space is to narrow to sort on the floor my usual way!
  7. Oh, a place to hang jackets also!
  8. I also want a motion sensor light. One that lights the way when I need it and turns itself off when I am not in the room!  Hum, for the bathrooms also?
  9. Cheerful place. Wall color needs to be bright as the room has no windows.
  10. Shipping Station. While I usually do my shipping out of my laundry room. This one does not have counter space! No room for most of my shipping supplies. This will require some thinking.
  11. Cork Board/ note board
  12. Lutron Occupancy Sensor Switch
  13. Drying rack to cut down on energy consumption!

Now how to do it all!

November 9, 2013

Moving Books

"By Trudy Connor"

I sell books on line and have over 2,000 books at the moment. Each book is cataloged and item location is noted. My mind is good but not always good enough to remember where all the books are.

How do I...

  1. Relocate them without jumbling them to much?
  2. Move them without getting hurt?
First I have collected wine boxes yes the boxes have come from Costco and do not have lids. I will be moving my entire inventory myself. The last move I discovered if I used larger boxes I hurt myself. The smaller the box the more trips, but also less risk of injury.
Each of the 12 stacks have between 6 -12 shelves. I have begun at the top keeping the books in order filling a box and placing the box on the shelf the books were on. Items are still actively for sale and I plan to keep them up for sale except for 3 days of actual relocation. Preparation is the key!  Now I have 10 of the stacks boxed up and plan to finish by tomorrow the last stacks.

The actual move will entail loading the car and carrying them to our new home. boxes will be lined up in order I hope. Then the big job will come of disassembling the bookshelves and moving them.  

Two of the bookcases are 8 foot tall and 10 feet long, 4 stacks each.

November 8, 2013

To Choose a blue or is it green

 Blue Silk Dupioni Pinch Pleat Drapery Pair 50" x 120"

"By Trudy Connor"

To Choose a blue or is it green?

Oh these drapes might work well in the adjoining bedroom!

The bathroom project is an interior space receiving no natural light. I want a color with some life to it, but I do not want it jumping at me. My husband is leaning more to the blue grey colors. Until we close on our new home I cannot paint sample swatches. But I am collecting paint swatches to check during the home inspection. A drive to the paint store is in order. Finding colors on line is great, but I know there are subtle differences in each computer.


November 5, 2013

New wall colors

"By Trudy Connor"

A change in setting.
A change in life.
A new abode.
Changes to be made.
Handicap alterations needed.
Shower no Tub
Grab Rails
higher toilet.
Storage higher up.
A few of the colors considered.
Hopefully, only 6 weeks to begin the work.
I want to save the floor, a no lip shower in place of the tub. Large medicine cabinet to add storage.  Drawers below would help.


October 25, 2013

Cinderella's White Mouse and Pumpkin Smiley Jack O' Lantern Halloween Decor

"By Trudy Connor"

Cinderella's White Mouse 

Smiley Jack O' Lantern 

Halloween Decor

A spooky evening is coming up! Halloween is a favorite of adults and children.

While a scary decor can be fun sometimes it is just as fun to add a touch of whimsy.

Why is this called a Cinderella's White Mouse Jack O' Lantern you ask? A young girl saw this pumpkin from the back and insisted this was Cinderella's pumpkin. The white mouse turns into a horse that pulls the pumpkin carriage after the pumpkin turns into the carriage. The mouse is just waiting on the magic to appear! When I turned it around she laughed and said they were dressed for Halloween.

As the years have passed I have pictured the young girls face many times. Perhaps this will bring the magic to your home!

October 24, 2013

Blog Revival

"By Trudy Connor"

I want to thank David Kutcher and his Google+ post. A trigger I need to begin blogging again. 

In May I opened an WhatnotGems on Esty shop, slowly building the inventory to 280 listings. Sales have been slow and varied. Several Vintage Patterns, A vintage Movie Projector, some felt, a table cloth, and one of my favorite cordial glasses have found new homes. 

Visitors to my shop have been low, but not missing. The key is patience. Many of the items I have for sale are unique.

How many know to search for a Vintage Smoking Head Ashtray? This Porcelain Whimsy has Wanna See Smoke Come Out My Ears on the base. 

"A single wink and a cigarette resting in my mouth, will produce smoke coming out my ears!"

Do you collect Ashtrays or other tobacciana also known as tobacco artifacts.

Purchased in Japan by a Navy Officer this ashtray was carried by aircraft carrier to the United States. I remained in his collection, until I listed it for sale. The crack in the glazing is original according the the GI.

You can find my Smoking Head listing at WhatnotGem on Etsy.

Thus I have began again, can I maintain this blog is the question!

July 20, 2013

Selling on Line

  1. Selling a wide variety of items, most one of a kind, on the internet variety takes time. 
      Enhanced with colors.
  2. Researching to verify the information is correct. Some Gems collected have no dates, brands, or other marks and my knowledge is just the beginning.
  3. Photography. Being a novice photographer I have learned a lot over the last 2 years. But there is always room for improvement. Taking a marketable image is not always easy.
  4. Editing the photos. 99% of the editing is done on the backgrounds. Very little to the item itself and the usually then only the color adjustment. I want all flaws to show.
  5. Writing the listings. Each item gets different information in the listing. Title, manufacturer, Publisher, Author, Illustrator, MPN, ISBN, UPC, Color, Size, height, length, width, texture, material, description to name a few.
  6. Double checking the condition. This a chance to get a listing correct. I try to list all flaws.
  7. Storing neatly and recording location. Not all items need the locations stored. Selling books entailed over 10,000 titles. With the drop in the book market, Donations have reduced the number. A relocation reshuffled many more titles. A shelf coding helps immensely, as inventory changes and shifts this coding is invaluable.
  8. Determining the price. Although some research has been done, as to price, the numbers a second time. I want to price items fairly.
  9. Now it is time to activate the listing. How does it look? Any errors. Yes I make them. and I correct them when I find them. Hopefully, I do not miss to many.
  10. The hard part, wait to see if an order comes in. I have had items sell the day I list them and other sell a year later.
  11. Shipping, this is the tricky part I usually use the USPS, Books ship media mail, other Items shipping is determined by weight and speed. One Store front has a USPS calculated shipping method the other, strictly a flat rate. Changes in postal rates mean a change in the shipping rate. Invisible cost must be considered. How much does the packaging cost? Bubble wrap tissue paper, shrink wrap, the boxes, envelopes and the shipping tape. Printer ink and labels. Time allowing, I turn used boxes into shipping containers. Recycling is great to a point. As a caregiver I am finding less time to make the boxes. My time is getting more precious.