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The Weeklies ~ Week 29

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The Weekly Re-cap: We talked about how to kill mosquitoes and where to get yummy cupcakes.  I taught you how to cook a yummy meal that will feed you for days.  I told you who I thought should take their shirt off in the next Twilight movie.  I relayed a story of a man who helped feed some soldiers on their way to warIsabella showed off her work ethic and I told you my strategy to find treasures at yard sales.  Finally I put up a post about my 200th blog.  There we talked about my top 3 posts to-date.

The Weekly Guest Blog Posts: For the past 2 weeks Kristi Gustafson who writes the On The Edge blog for the Times Union has been on vacation.  While she was out she had scheduled guest blogs to fill the time she was out of the office.  Michael and I were featured in the following:  What Is A Friend?My Dog Is My ChildMeet Rose Winters (AKA Dozenroses13) & Meet Michael Henry (AKA: Michael @tcrpmg) Click the links, check them out, and comment away!

The Weekly Yay: Michael and the Times Union FINALLY launched the long-overdue Biker Blog.  Check it out and leave him some comment love!

The Weekly Read: I’m working on reading The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.

The Weekly Music: U2 – Even Better Than The Real Thing I heard the song the other day and can’t get it out of my head.  That’s not a bad thing.  I love the song!!

The Weekly Movie: Flight of the Navigator (1986)

The Weekly Time Waster: Google Chrome.  I tried using it a few weeks ago and it kept slowing down my computer and crashing.  So I stopped using it, but my Firefox kept getting hung up.  It shouldn’t take 5 minutes for a page to load.  It was worse than waiting for dial-up!  You can’t imagine how many times I was ready to throw something!  So yesterday I finally decided to uninstall Google Chrome and that seems to have been the problem!  (Yeah, I know, you’re shocked, I’m not putting any links to Google Chrome because I don’t want to encourage ANYONE to install it!!)

The Weekly Downer: There never seems to be enough time to catch up on reading all the blogs I love!

The Weekly Worst Piece of Crap on TV: Wipeout – If I want to watch people run into walls and fall on their face, I can watch myself in a mirror….

The Weekly Food: Italian Goulash, Moe’s Pulled Pork Rice Bowl, French Toast, and Potato Chips.

The Weekly Interesting Fact: In comparison to the size of its body, a Chihuahua has the largest brains among all the breeds of dogs. **

The Weekly Birthdays: John Conklin, Mike Rojas, Nadine Avery, Paul ‘Ozzie’ Cooper, Rory Woods, Wade Clark, Andy Sleurs, Rachel Armstrong, Darla Poisson, Melissa Markle, Sari Medick, Brandon Powers, Gino Balacic, Ismay Ashley, Terri Rossi, Kristi Gustafson, Yvonne Turchetti and an extra special 40th Birthday shout-out to Kerm Tristani.  I hope you all had fabulous birthdays.  Leave a comment and tell us what you did for your special day.

The Weekly Birthday Wish: Kristi Gustafson really wants an electric toothbrush 🙂

The Weekly Activity: Job search (Times Union Job Fair) and blogging.

The Weekly new people I’ve found on Twitter: I created a new Twitter name GiveAwaysForYou to post up giveaway tweets so they don’t flood my Dozenroses13 feed.  Hopefully one day I’ll be posting my own giveaways.

The Weekly Charity I’m Pimping: Kristi Gustafson will be guest bartending Monday July 26 from 5:30-7:30PM at the award-winning Dale Miller Restaurant.  Dale Miller is generously donating 25% of the bar proceeds from the evening to the programs and services of Equinox, Inc. For more information please visit the event page on Facebook.

The Weekly Countdown: Michael & Angela’s photo reception: 2 Days

Weekly Grand Totals: 100+ comments on the Let’s Ride 1st post in the Times Union’s Biker Blog which Michael writes.

The Weekly Hypothetical:

The Weekly Not-So-Hypothetical:  If I told you Michael wanted me to go outside with him so he could “show me his zucchini.”  What would you say?

Please comment and subscribe.

Wave & cupcake images from http://weheartit.com
U2 image from http://www.newszoom.com/search/read/inxs/inxs/7/02/
Interesting fact found at http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-chihuahuas-4040.html
Kristi Gustafson image from http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?pid=313244&id=100000018647482
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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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Throughout my life I rarely tend to dream, or at least I don’t tend to remember them.  I do tend to remember a few recurring dreams through the years though.

One that I do recall is that I’d be in my parent’s back yard running around, playing on my swing-set, that sort of thing.  All of a sudden there would be a snake in the grass that I’d trip over, and as soon as I realized that it was a snake that tripped me I’d jump up and start running.  My coherent self would think that I’d run into the house to my Mother, but instead, in my dreams I’d run half way across the back-yard, and up onto the wings of a wing-back chair that was placed in the middle of the yard next to a pine tree that was there.  Then the snake would chase me and slither up the leg of the chair and as soon as it got close enough I’d wake up.  But whenever I’d wake from this dream I’d feel paralyzed.  Eventually I’d choke (because I think I’d stop breathing) and then I’d be able to move again.

This dream freaked me out time after time.

Recently at a yard sale (tag sale, garage sale, flea market – whatever you want to call it) I picked up a book called Dreams: More than 350 Symbols and Interpretations.  According to this book this is what the dream means:


SNAKE
The snake is a difficult dream symbol because it is so widely interpreted among various cultures.  Interpretations run the gamut from blood-curdling fear to wisdom and peace.  These options are determined by literary history and folklore from different cultures, as well as personal experience.

In waking life, it is not uncommon to be afraid of snakes.  For some people, this fear is disruptive and pathological, even to the point that a photo of a snake represents an oppressive threat.  For these people, snake dreams are almost universally bad.  If the dream includes someone who handles snakes, whoever tames the object of the fear is likely a source of wisdom and control in the dreamer’s world, and may be a representation of some aspect of themselves or someone else they know.

Among Asian and Native American cultures, the snake is a wisdom symbol.  The idea of wisdom comes from the snake’s ability to shed its skin and renew itself.  If one dreams of snakes from this perspective it is a dream of renewal, problem-solving, and good tidings in general.

I do vaguely recall at least sometimes when I had that dream, sitting on the back of the chair and watching the snake sit in the seat of the chair shedding its skin.

In Judeo-Christian cultures, the snake is a symbol of temptation or spiritual opposition against reaching one’s goals.  This concept is derived from Bible when Satan tempts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the form of a snake.  Sometimes, a snake dreamt in this context will remind you of a person in your waking life with whom you have a competitive relationship.

I’ve always been fairly competitive when it comes to certain things, so this is a strong possibility.

Finally, Freud and classical psychotherapy have also thrown interpretations into this “pit.”  The contention is that the snake is a type of phallus.  The snake often embodies fear about intercourse and an aversion to it.

Coming up with an insightful interpretation for your dream snake could be tricky.  What emotions are prevalent regarding the snake: fear, respect, or opposition?

Fear

What is your attitude about snakes in waking life: neutral, fearful, or friendly?

Out of those 3 words I’d say fearful, but it’s really more cautious….

Did the snake appear when you were alone or were others with you when the snake entered the dream scene?  What are your feelings about those others?

I was always alone.

Answering these questions should lead towards a productive interpretation of the snake dream.

PARALYSIS
One of the most troubling dream events, and startling physical side-effects of REM, is paralysis.  Large muscle groups often become paralyzed during a dream, presumably to prevent injury to the dreamer in case the dreamer’s instincts would cause a physical reaction to dreaming visuals.  It can be troubling if the dreamer becomes aware of his body in a paralyzed state without being aware of the fact that the mind is still in a dream state.  Suddenly stripped of every physical capacity for defense, the dreamer can experience great panic or victimization in the dream.  This scenario is a troubling version of the lucid dream.  Instead of mind awareness and body control, the dreamer has body awareness and no mind control.

Hundreds of years ago, this phenomenon was observed and named “having a witch on your back.”  The idea was that an unfriendly spirit within the dream had pinned you to your bed.  Indeed, it is not uncommon to have a sense of spiritual oppression in a dream that includes paralysis.

I don’t know if I’m panicked in the dream, but I’m sure I’m panicked when I wake up (or think I’m awake) and don’t feel like I can move….

What strange dreams have you had?
Have you ever tried to figure out what they mean?

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