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Posts Tagged ‘Books’

[tweetmeme]About 2 weeks ago I put up a poll about your local library use.
Here are the results.

Do you use your local library?
67% Yes
33% No

If they answered yes, they were asked to complete the following questions.

How many books do you have checked out usually?
80% 1-3    20% 5-10

What types of books do you usually check out?
50% Fiction  50% Non-Fiction

What genre of books do you read?
Romance 22.22%
Thriller 22.22%
Humor 22.22%
Sci-Fi 11.11%
Self Help 11.11%
Other 11.11%

Do you find your own books, or request them online and have them waiting for you?
80% find their books on their own
20% request them and have them waiting

I’m surprised at the large percentage that don’t use the library.  Honestly, how many people go back and re-read books?  I understand buying reference books, but book that are read for pleasure – I can probably think of less than 5 books I’ve re-read in my life.

Do you re-read books?
If so, what are some that you’re gone back to read again?

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[tweetmeme]

Here’s my strategy to have the most organized and efficient yard sale (garage sale, tag sale, estate sale, flea market) hunt.

I start on a Thursday night….  Why Thursday you ask?  Lately I’m finding that many people in the capital region are hosting their yard sales on Fridays as well as over the weekend.  There are two schools of thought.  Go on Friday to get the best selection before things are picked over, or go on Sunday when you think people will drop their prices the lowest because they don’t want to have to pack their things back up.

Research

Go online to the Times Union (or whatever your local paper may be) and go to their garage and estate sale section and copy and paste the ads I’d be interested in to a word document.  I also check Craig’s List and do the same thing.  As I’m doing this I try to group them all to geographic areas.  Check out  sales in more affluent areas.  People in these areas tend to replace things more often with higher quality items.  Though if you’re looking for antiques and vintage items you might do better in an older area of homes with retirees, etc.

How do I get there?

I put the addresses into a program such as Rand McNally, Map Quest, or Google Maps.  I use the “add additional location” feature that most mapping websites now offer.  I put in the addresses of the sales I’d like to visit.  Once they’re in the program and the pins are placed on the map, I can sort them by the best order to visit them.  I don’t want to be driving north and then south and back north again.  With gas hovering at $3/gallon I try to be smart about things and not be driving in all different directions.  Once I have a route planned I number the ads in the order I want to visit them.  I highlight the address and the hours of the yard sale.  When I’m in my car I program all the addresses into my GPS unit.  My Garmin has a “recently found” feature to make it easy to go to each address on my list.
**While writing this I discovered a cool site called Yard Sale Treasure Map that looks pretty cool for mapping routes as well.  I tried it out over the weekend and it works well, but if you want to modify the route or the order based on the time a yard sale is ending, I don’t believe it let’s you do this.  I’m still learning though….**

What do I bring with me and my interesting way to “haggle”?


I tend to bring a small tape measure, a note pad and pen, in a small purse or wallet with me. Other items that might be a good idea are sunglasses, sunblock, bubble wrap for fragile items, shopping bags, a couple of bottles of water, and some hand wipes for grimy items and to wipe your hands when they dirty.  I try to have small bills if possible and also load a small handful of change in the bottom.  I keep larger bills in a separate section of the wallet.  On more than one occasion while paying at a yard sale I’ve owed the person $10 – as I start pulling out singles, by the time I get up to $7 or $8 they say “that’s good enough, don’t worry about it.”  I just saved $2 or $3 without even saying a word.

Some people suggest picking out everything you’d like and then make them an offer on the lot of things.  If it adds up to $15 you could nicely ask them if they’d accept $12 for it all.  Have $12 in your hand when you ask – nobody wants to see you stuff that money back into your pocket if they say no.  If you have a $20 in your hand they’re less apt to drop their price, so bringing small bills is always a good idea.

Another way to get a good price is this one – if you’re buying a woman’s item wait until the wife is distracted and ask the husband and if it’s a male’s item wait until the husband is distracted and ask the wife.  If they’re not emotionally attached to the item, the opposite spouse is apt to give you a lower price to just get rid of the item.  Also they might not know the value of the item either.  I scored an authentic Coach purse for $3 this way once 😉

If you’re going to yard sales with your kids, have them pay for the purchases.  Many times people don’t like to take money from kids so they tell them to just take it, or they reduce the price.  Plus helps teach your kids how to handle money.

If you see an items that you’d like, but it’s priced higher than you’d like, you may try giving the yard sale host/hostess your name and number or a business card.  Tell them you’d like the item but don’t want to pay that much.  If they don’t sell it by the end of the day and would drop the price to give you a call.  You’ve got nothing to lose right?

I am not one to haggle.  It’s not in my nature.  I did have a situation which became humorous.  The person had an attachment for a Kitchen Aid mixer.  I asked how much they wanted for it.  (For the record I can’t stand it when people don’t put prices on their items.  I don’t like feeling like they change the price based on the appearance or actions of the person who asks)  When she told me $25 I said thank you and put the box back on the table.  She asked me how much I thought it should be.  I told her “I don’t know, but I can’t afford $25 right now.”  She kept pushing me “What would you be willing to pay?”  Finally I told her $7 or $8.  When she asked her husband he said “I paid like $40 for it and it’s never been used.”  I assured her it was fine, I respected that he wanted more for it, I just couldn’t afford it.  She went back and told her about my $7-$8 comment and he said “Well I really don’t want to pack it back into my garage so just give it to her for that.”  And that’s how I got it for $7.  I didn’t haggle, I didn’t intend to haggle, but by being honest and friendly I found a treasure.

Things to keep in mind.

Wood furniture can be refinished or repainted.  Last summer I got an end table, a plant stand, and two night stands.  I painted the plant stand and two night stands, put new hardware on the night stands and they look awesome!!  I recently picked up a desk – I’m still on the fence if I want to refinish it or if I want to paint it.

Smell things.  I know this kind of sounds silly, but if you’re a non-smoker buying something from a smoker’s home you might not be happy in the long run.  When you’re outside in the sun, it’s not always apparent unless you get up close and personal with the item.  Keep this in mind for books too.

If you’re looking for something specific ASK.  You could get lucky.  It’s possible the person has what you’re looking for in their basement and they didn’t think to put it out in their yard sale until you mentioned it.  Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask right?

Be careful buying glass items.  I’ve learned to remove the price tag because on more than one occasion it was covering a chip or crack in the item.

Make sure you get what you pay for.  People have been known to buy a replacement item and place their old item in the old items box, so make sure you open the box to make sure what’s on the box picture is what’s really in there.

Check DVDs and CDs for scratches.  Also make sure you’re not buying Sponge Bob’s Greatest Hits and get home to find a slasher movie in it, etc.

Be friendly.  It’s more fun that way.

Things to keep in mind if you’re hosting a yard sale.

Stick to your times.  I cannot stress this enough!!!  There is nothing more frustrating than driving 15 miles and finding out you packed up your yard sale 3 hours early!

Take down your signs after.  As I’m driving around to the advertised sales, I always keep my eyes open for yard sale signs at the end of streets.  If your yard sale is over though, take down your sign so people like me don’t go on a wild goose chase looking for a yard sale that’s not going on!

Don’t try to get $5 for an item that has the Target price tag on it that says you got it for $1.50.

Do you like going to yard sales?
If so, do you have a strategy?
Have you had any cool finds?

Please comment and subscribe.

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Do you utilize your local library?

My title of this actually implies that I spend quite a bit of time in mine, but lately it’s been quite the opposite.
I tend to go online and search out books I’d like and I request them.  When I get to the library, they scan my card and go to the reserved shelf and give me my stack.  It’s great!  I don’t need to search or go into “the stacks” at all.

Occasionally I do still take a wander up the aisles and scan through the new book shelf to see if anything catches my eye, but I usually have enough reserved that I can barely lift my back after I check them out….

Lately I’ve been reading (well it’s more like detailed skimming) books about blogging, job searching, management skills (just to keep me on my toes), cookbooks, and trivia type books.

Do you use your library?
Have you read anything good lately?

Please comment and subscribe.

If you’d like to see what I’ve read lately you can check out my GoodReads Account.

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As some of you know, I love to go to yard sales / tag sales / estate sales / rummage sales – whatever you want to call them.  This past Friday I picked up a book called 101 Ways to Find God’s Purpose For Your Life.  There were lots of good points in this book.  Now I don’t want to turn my blog into a religious blog.  Even though I am religious, I don’t push my thoughts and beliefs on others except to say that the 10 commandments all boil down to the “Golden Rule” – Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

Anywho – this book does make good points.

#1 – Discover Your Strengths

“Think back to when you were a child.  What were some of your favorite things to do?  Did you care for injured animals, love to draw pictures, or delight in playing with friends?  Now think of the ways those traits manifest themselves in your life today.  Do you still collect “strays” – animals or people?  Do you express yourself artistically through decorating and creating?  Do you love to fix broken things?  Do you enjoy opening your home to family and friends?”

This got me thinking.  I do tend to collect strays.  I have always been one of those people who tries to be friendly to everyone.  I’m the one who tries to find the wall-flower or shy person and draw them into the conversation.  Sometimes it is more of a challenge than others.  I do tend to be that kind of friend that will drop everything to help a friend who needs it.   I never noticed until recently that people who do this seem to be a rarity.  The older I get the more I look around and notice that so many people seem to be out for themselves and couldn’t give-a-crap about the person standing next to them.  Where did common decency go??  It makes me sad.

Recently I had a friend tell me I need to learn to be more of a self-centered-Bitch.  Can you believe it?  In no way am I a door-mat, but I give too much of myself and then I end up getting my feelings hurt by those people I gave to because they show their true colors and don’t care about anyone but themselves.  Apparently I don’t fit into the take-take-take society that’s appearing all around me….

I always considered it my strength that I could help people.  Lately it’s turning out to be more of a weakness, but I keep hoping that will change.  I do have some friends that do appreciate all that I have to offer with my friendship, but I’ve also learned that many take it for granted.  In times of crisis you learn who’s a friend to value and who’s the friend who’s all for themselves.

What strengths, gifts and talents do you have?
Do you use them to help people?

Please comment and subscribe.

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Great Book!!

I started reading this book last night.  It’s kind of interesting to see what people say when they’re on their death beds!
One that sounds like something I would say was:

“Throw a quilt over her.”

FREDERICK THE GREAT

Emperor Frederick the Great of Prussia was a splendid ruler.  During his long reign in the late 18th century, he abolished religious persecution, established a free press, and protected private property.  Nonetheless, he believed his subjects were ignorant cattle and reserved his affection for his army and his pet dogs.  For his deathbed, he saw his favorite greyhound shivering, and issued this order to his valet.

This sounds like something I would do on my deathbed if Isabella was sitting next to be shivering.  She’d most likely be shivering from fear of what her life would be like without me!

Any idea of what you think you might say on your deathbed?

Please comment and subscribe.

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Hmmm…  What to blog about??  Dog poop? Nah, I think Rob Madeo has that covered….
Baby poop?  Nah, the Mommy blogs have stunk up the place with that…
Farting?  Nope, covered that last week….

If I do this to a clock will time slow down a bit?

Let’s talk a little bit about things I need to accomplish….

I MUST get my taxes done.  The 15th isn’t too far off!!  My accountant is probably swamped and I really don’t want to file an extension this year because there is a slight chance I’m going to have to pay in.  Even though it’s slight have you seen the interest and penalties they charge?  I’d be better off going to a bookie!  Seriously!  The news said something this morning about 6% interest.  BULL$HIT!  I know someone who owed $90 to the state.  He mailed in a check for the $90 around October of that tax year.  He has a bill for $120 which is all interest and penalties.  That’s more than 100%!!

I need to go to DMV and renew my registration on my motorcycle and check when my inspection is due.

I need to make a ton of phone calls.  One to a hotel, one to a friend about a trip, a couple to banks, a couple to home contractors, and one to my old employer about transferring my 401(k)….  I dread ALL of these calls!

My Friend Who Needs Relationship Advice

I also need to call my friend who needed relationship advice (my most popular blog to date) to check in with him.  I don’t dread that call because I genuinely care, but I know I’ll need to block out a good chunk of time for it.

I need to apply to more jobs.  I have companies in mind that I want to look into but not enough hours in the day to research them all!

I need to start figuring out what’s for dinner in advance.  I hate the never-ending argument with Michael.

I need to clean up things around the house.   Sort through piles of mail, etc.

I need to return books to the library.

Miss Isabella

And best of all – I need to cuddle with Miss Isabella 🙂

There’s more on my to-do list but I’d be here all day!!

Do any of you have organization tips to help my days go smoother?

Please comment and subscribe.

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Last year I read a blog that mentioned the blogger’s favorite websites.  I figured why hoard them when I can share them with you!  Here’s a compilation of some of my favorites.  Over time I hope to add to it.  I want to know what some of your favorite websites are too!  Comment away!!

Facebook
If you don’t know what Facebook is I’m guessing you live under a rock and don’t have a computer.  If that’s the case, you’re not reading this….   Have I lost it?  I’m talking to an invisible person….
While you’re over there check out the new page I made Rose’s Recipe Group.  Moving on >>>

MySpace
You won’t find me there quite so often, but I still visit on occasion to check out the blogs.  KTPP, Namaste Theorist, The Dish From The Spoon and The Carcass Cadaver are some of my favorites 🙂

Twitter
Now I’ll start explaining the sites better.  Twitter is basically a status update about what you’re up to.  What are you reading, what are you watching, who’s annoying you at work, what you’re making for dinner – basically anything you want to tell your followers.  The catch?  You only have 140 characters to get your point across.
Some of my favorite people to follow are:
Albany-ish: Michael Henry, Kristi Gustafson, Andrew BaderaEllie, Jerry, Dom, Emily, Albany Kelly, Cute Ella, Swilly, John Jordan, Cassie Cramer, Terri Rossi Albany/Saratoga Realtor, Tweet Up Albany This is our local Tweetup Group!!, Marcus Molinaro – NYS Assemblyman I went to high school with, Meg Sharp, Bill Swallow
Non Local Cool Peeps: Lone Pine Photo Great Photographer in GA, St. Simon’s Elopments If you want a beautiful place to get married, contact Miss. Carla, Shit My Dad Says HILARIOUS!!, In Tune Guitar Picks Michael’s cousin & her husband manufacture guitar picks – cool huh?, Chris Cactus – great blogger
Celebrities: Megan Ward Kate from General Hospital, Scott Reeves Steven Webber on General Hospital, Logan Neitzel runner up on Project Runway, Carol Hannah Whitfield runner up on Project Runway, Alyssa Milano from Who’s the Boss?  and Charmed, Katey Segal from Son’s of Anarchy – AKA Peg Bundy from Married with Children, Carolyn Hennesey Diane from General Hospital – Also on CougarTown, Sutter Ink Creator of Son’s of Anarchy, Sarah Joy Brown was Claudia on General Hospital, Nancy Lee Grahn Alexis on General Hospital, Derk Cheetwood Max on General Hospital, Nia Vardalos from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Peter Facinelli Carlisle Cullen from the Twilight series – Also was on Fast Lane

WordPress
Obviously I spend time here everyday.  So read my blog, subscribe to my blog, comment on my blog….  And while you’re over there check out Michael’s blog The World Through My Lens, Courtney’s Blog Cute~Ella is Bold, and Cassie’s Blog No Day But Today.  There is one other blogger that really amuses me.  Check out Rude Cactus.

Goodreads
I like to read, though I don’t do it as much as I’d like.  Once I discovered this site it became a place to keep track of what I’ve read, what I’m reading, and what I want to read.  Check it out.  I enjoying seeing what books my friends like and don’t like.  I won’t waste my time on a book my friends hated….

Paperback Swap
I don’t know about you, but I hate spending so much money on books.  Paperback Swap is an online community book exchange.  You pay to ship people your books, they pay to ship their books to you.  You earn credits for every book you’ve mailed and can use those credits to request other books.  The only criteria I’ve learned to ask on this site is if the book is from a smoke free environment.

Meetup
Meetup is a great site to get to know people with similar interests.  Awesome for someone who has moved to a new city and/or wants to make friends.  You can join groups all over the country.  If you’re in the Capital Region some of my favorite groups are No Destination which is a motorcycle group, The Capital Region Photography Meetup Group which is Michael’s photography group, and Fun, Fearless Females which is a woman’s group.

Pandora Radio
Panora is a great online radio site.  Basically you search for an artist you like and it will play you music from that artist and other artists they think are similar that you may like also.  It’s a nice way to get introduced to new music.

IMDB: Internet Movie Database
This site is great to research movies, or search for movies based on an actor or actress you like.

Wikipedia
You can research almost anyone or anything on this website.  It isn’t always 100% accurate because content can be updated and changed by the public.  Usually it’s pretty good though for a fast answer.

LaDorkas – National Multiple Sclerosis Walk
These women are incredible and walking for a good cause.
Please donate whatever you can.  They have a hefty goal.
Every dollar gets them closer to a cure for MS.

Brooks BBQ
If you live in NY, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Brooks House of BBQ.  They come to many churches and schools in Upstate, NY for fundraisers.  That’s how we discovered them.  We eventually visited their restaurant in Oneonta, NY and we enjoyed it quite a bit.  On their website at the bottom you can click on BBQ Events to view their catering calendar.

Other sites I enjoy for shopping
:
Adagio Teas – Loose tea and teapots, etc.
Deals Plus+ – coupons and deals to over 15,000 stores you like to shop at – Best Buy, JoAnn’s, Michael’s, etc.
eBay – online auction site
Half – online bookstore – powered by eBay
New York & Co. – Women’s clothing
Pandora Jewelry – Charm Bracelets
Teavana – Loose tea and teapots, etc.

What are some of your favorite websites to visit?
Comment away!

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