Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Pulling Teeth, Broken Toes and other Tiny Things


My dining room table is a hot mess. It’s covered with tiny stuff in piles of like tiny stuff waiting to get photographed for wholesale lots to sell on eBay. Along with the tiny stuff are tiny plastic zip lock bags in sizes from a half inch square to three by four inches. I don’t know how other people ship their smalls after selling a lot but I put mine in bags because: 1) I have them left over from the days when we used to sell smalls at our antique mall booths; 2) In bags the items are less likely to damage one another during shipping, and 3) It makes a better impression when the high bidder opens their box to have things all ready to price and hang in an antique booth, thus they are more likely to give me good feedback. eBay sellers live for good feedback. 

After putting together 20 to 30 like smalls and laying them out to photograph they are put in the zip lock bags then into a box or bubble envelope to get weighed. To list items you have to feed the package weight and size into the e-Bay software. It’s a lot of work but what choice do I have? Donating smalls to Goodwill would be like throwing money out the window of a moving car. And they probably wouldn't recognize charms given away at the 1937 World’s Fair or premiums from old time radio shows and cereal boxes or Victorian memorial 'hair rings' nor would they recognize a highly prized cigarette lighter like one I just sold on eBay for over $400 or a 1929 patent pending Walt Disney tiny creation worth a couple of hundred. Knowledge is power but it can also be a burden. The local auction house isn’t a good place to send smalls either because they allow people to walk around the building to look at stuff in the week prior to the auctions and all the valuable smalls would (and do) get pillaged out the lots.

My garage is also a hot mess. I’ve been putting stuff from inside the house out there to take to the auction house in the spring and while I should be keeping a running inventory list as I go, I haven’t been doing it. Why? Because I keep changing my mind between what goes in a Goodwill box and what goes in the auction. And once in a while I’ll even bring something back in the house to put it in my once beautiful library where eBay Center has trashed my library with the stuff waiting in various stages in the listing process. But right now I’m concentrating on emptying out a large glass showcase in that room so it can get sold next summer which is where the smalls on my dining room table have been living for the past twenty years. I've done the math and figure over the next nine months if I keep the pressure on myself I'll be able to have 360 more e-Bay auctions and that should put me in good shape. Kaput. Finished. Out of the collectibles marketplace for the first time in sixty years. Then I'll work on selling art and furniture.

New topic: I broke my middle toe. I accidentally tripped on the bathroom scales and if you don’t already know it, let me be the first to tell you that bathrooms scales are evil. Not only are they nasty liars they also mock you, then they trip you and break your bones. The first day it happened I could barely walk and didn’t want to but I had places to go and things I had to do like get a haircut and buy the dog a few necessities. When I got home I iced my toe down, took a Meloxicam which, I’m told, is just a juiced up Motrin. It’s a prescription for arm pain from my failed elbow surgery for when I over do using my arm but I figured that the Meloxicam could find its way down to the toe. And it did. My toe is quite red below (not to be confused with under) the nailbed but the blues on the rest of the toe have faded some. Dr. Google sent me to Amazon to get some broken toe wraps for support and they’ll be here tomorrow.

Writing this blog entry today is like pulling teeth. So far I’ve only written 657 words and I’ve got nothing left floating around inside my head to share. I strive to keep my blogs between 900 to a 1,000 words and usually I’m struggling to edit out sections because I tend to run long with the first draft. Not today. Today I’m struggling to write my quota so I can leave the keyboard. By the way, “like pulling teeth” is an idiom that’s been around since the 1830s---before modern dentistry---that now describes something that is tedious and tiring to do. But in my family it was more than an idiom. Enter my dad and his handy dandy pair of pliers. He was in charge of that chore---literally---and I’m not talking about baby teeth that were about to fall out although I do vaguely remember him helping one or two of those out of my brother's and my head. My grandfather lived with my family for a while and he’d never been to a dentist and wasn’t about to start in his old age. So it fell to my dad to do the deed of pulling teeth that were too painful to stay in my grandfather’s mouth. I don’t know if there was a bottle of whiskey involved in the process but it wouldn’t surprise me. And with that last sentence completed I now have 895 words which means I’m going to make my minimum quota with a few words left over to spare and I’m out of here! The grocery store is calling my name. ©

33 comments:

  1. You now Jean, you are like the Ever Ready Rabbit. This is compliment because you do so much and I feel like I do nothing. I tell Mary Lou just throw the stuff away or give it to the poor. I don't want to have to put up with all the stuff we have in our house. When the time comes to leave, I just want to leave and not want to deal with the stuff that I have totalled in the life. As I've said before, I would cruise on a ship for the rest of my life and when I die, just drop me over board. That's illegal I know. ha,ha,ha.I'm crazy right now because I got a bad cold and it's driving me nuts.Taaaaake care of your toe. See ya my friend. I haven't forgotten about you

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. I'm glad you're in a position where you can just walk away, Paul. But for me it's catch-22. I will need the money I get from selling off the stuff and if I don't sell it, I can't move on to a smaller place with a better sense of community as I age.

      You kid about living on a cruise ship but I read an article recently about people who do retire and do just that. Supposedly, it's a trend.

      My husband used to love the Energizer Rabbit. He even had an Energizer Rabbit Christmas stocking he sent away for. And I still have one of the small whine-up rabbits.

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    2. Jean, in reality, I will need to still deal with all the materials in my home. As far as living on a cruise ship, dream on. I may enjoy cruising but to live on a ship, I doubt it. I'm just a normal Italian. Sorry if I gave you another idea.

      Cruisin Paul

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  2. You do have a job and one I wouldn't relish. At least you get along with your boss and you don't have to share your earnings with a bunch of employees. What will you do with all your time when finished? I hope just relax and enjoy.

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    1. LOL I'm hoping to spend a lot of time painting or sewing, but it is going to feel weird to close this chapter in my life. I've been buying and selling off-and-on for a very long time.

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    1. From what I've read it takes 6 weeks. It looks worse than it feels at this point.

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  4. OUCH! I can't even imagine! And not much to do besides ice and pain relief. Awful.

    Good for you for offering your treasures to people who will appreciate them. I must be the only person on earth who had not bought or sold anything on eBay. What a process ... good for you for having the smarts and persistence to sharing your discoveries!

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    1. Better a toe than an arm. I live in fear of breaking my already messed up arm.

      My husband was responsible for find most of the smalls. He could go into an outdoor flea market that covered acres and come out with all kinds of tiny goodies. Big stuff too but that's was mostly sold off after he died. I am enjoying the research though. The history that you get emerged in reminds me of why collectors love this stuff. My problem is I tend to over research. I need enough help in my descriptions but sometimes I get lost in details I don't need.

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  5. Can you explain to me why the bathroom scale gives different answers depending where on the tile bathroom floor it sits? Move it a few inches and I gain a pound. Shift it sideways half a foot and I am 2 pounds lighter than yesterday. Needless to say I keep moving it until it gives me an answer I like.

    To your injusty, if I don't remember to move the scale back to its original position I will stub my toe during a 3 am bathroom trip. I've never broken a toe, but hit something hard enough to let out an inappropriate word or two.

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    1. LOL I actually read the directions on my digital bathroom scales a few years ago when I got it and it said that if you weigh yourself within a half hour the second weight will not be accurate. I do it anyway because the second one is often lighter. I have never tried moving mine around. Next time I'm felling lucky I'll do it. Thanks for the tip. LOL

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  6. Sorry to hear about your toe, Jean! Hope it heals with no issues!

    Deb

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    1. Me too. Those little broken toe things really help and easier than using tape.

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  7. I broke a middle toe over 30 years ago, and I still remember it. It was such a nuisance until it healed. My doctor said I would get arthritis in it, but that has only started a few months ago, so I figure I'm lucky.

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    1. I've already got arthritis in my feet so I won't have to wait thirty years. LOL

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  8. I am so sorry about your broken toe but glad it did not trip you into a worse fall. Still, I know it hurts. Best thing for that is a lemon Bismark and stay off the scales until your toe heals!
    I started reading about the radio prizes. Facinating. I had no idea.
    I saw where a tarot card reader (not Janine) bought a new deck and she commented on the jazzy tissue paper and the included lolly pop she had received in the package. She was so excited. So perhaps throw in a couple of DumDums with your smalls? A prize in every box...haha

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    1. Six weeks of lemon bismarks---how long they say it takes to heal a toe---and I wouldn't want to throuw the scales away! I've got French Toast Scones backing in the oven as I type. Much less damage to the waistline.

      I've been known to put some extra things in my boxes and have gotten them too.

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  9. OUCH! I certainly hope your toe heals quickly. Toes are such stupid little things that get caught in everything.
    On another note, how would I find you on Ebay? You have some very interesting sounding smalls that I'd love to see?

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    1. Don't they ever! I caught my toes on a leg of my old bed so many times, I put foam rubber all around it.

      I'm sorry, but I'm paranoid about sharing information on my blog that would allow someone to find me which they could through my eBay ID. I was stalked once so while I share a lot of stuff on this blog, there are certain lines I won't cross. Hope you understand. I don't even share photos that could be tracked back to my location.

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  10. Blogging like pulling teeth? I’ve had periods like that but hope they will become a thing of the past. Yuck, pulling teeth with pliers? I am glad we no longer live in the age when that was an option.

    I am thinking of clearing out a few things, nothing on your scale, but I simply can’t be bothered to go through all the palaver involved.

    Sorry about the toe. Both my big toes have bruises from dropping things on them. It used to be my dog who stepped on them, so perhaps I am compensating now?

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    1. The thought of dropping things on my toes makes me wince. I've been there with dogs stepping on my toes but they did less damage than when I accidentally step on theirs.

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  11. yes, I think buyers like well thought out and wrapped package ... and with the odd extra thrown in. I know people who buy on etsy and get extras all the time...probably a bit of a marketing ploy but it sets the buyer up to come back and bid or buy; then that's all good.

    blasted bathroom scales, you can never trust the darn things, looks like your one "jumped out" when you just walking by :-)

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    1. I'm afraid I accidental kicked my scales which is crazy given it sits in the exact place it's always sat and it's not in a crowded place. Darn things!

      I don't have a lot of experience with etsy, but if I ever decide to sell crafts, I might. I hear good things about it.

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    2. You are incredibly dedicated to your ebay listings. Having done a little ebay and etsy, I know what a pain it can be.But, I can understand what I think is your driving motive. Not money, which is, of course, nice but putting unique treasures back in the hands of someone who will love or appreciate them. I applaud this. Also, I don't have any scales. It is bad enough I have to weigh each time I go to the doctor. I hate that part. LOL.

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    3. I get obsessed with weighing myself sometimes but usually it's just once a day. I used to have one that lite up and I'd been known to weigh myself when I got up to pee in the middle of the night. LOL

      You get me regarding collectibles.

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  12. I feel for you with a broken toe -- there's really nothing they can do and they hurt like crazy. I know what you mean about throwing money way but boy, I need a broker for my stuff. Just someone to do the work -- I admire that you are really into it.

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    1. Oh my gosh, I don't know which of us has the biggest job when comparing downsizing. I think your kind of collections have more mass appeal than mine but it's going to be a big job. Most of the "brokers" take 50% of what something sells for and I have only been sending the high ticket stuff off with my friend who does that sort of thing. Starting the process is the hardest part.

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  13. Thank goodness for modern dentistry! Hope your toe heals fast! I know how much it hurts to just bang a toe on something so it must have been pretty painful to break it!

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    1. OHmygod, just thinking about having a tooth pulled without dentist is freaky. We are so spoiled.

      Toe is still swollen but not really painful anymore unless I walk too much.

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  14. Oh, ouch! I have done things like that, although I'm not sure my toes were broken. I'm glad you at least found some relief with that med. And French Toast Scones sound like a great option for healing. :)

    We are starting to get pretty wound up about getting the house ready to sell and purging. DH has finally got the fire in his belly on this one, but he comes up from the basement with one thing each day. My daughter (having a baby just when we are slated to move) is visiting and I'm just trying to spend as much time with her as possible, as she lives overseas. I have committed to visit her when the baby is born, so the more we can have done/prepped the easier life will be. Two great changes in life, but it would be nice if they hadn't come on top of each other. LOL. That said, I'm waking up at 3 and 4AM again. Oy.

    We drove by the area of your new place the other day...looks like the site prep is in full on mode. Exciting for you! :)

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    1. I hate it when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep. Moving---even welcome moves like a brand new house comes with so much stress.

      I haven't seen the new site except in photos. I'm almost afraid to see it now that they've cut so many trees are down.

      The French toast scone are not as good as others I've made,darn it!

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  15. I Love your Writing Style... sorry about your Toe... and Envy your tenacity at Selling Off your Treasures, in so Labor Intensive yet a profitable way. I'm too lazy for E-Bay, tho' I know I could hawk more for a lot more of a profit margin if I were to take the plunge into Online Sales. I've neglected my Antique Mall spaces to a point it's a wonder I've had relatively decent sales at all! I know once everything is out of U-Haul Storage, the Great Purge will be ON and I'll have to develop more discipline to cull the excess and hawk it for maximum profit.

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    1. I really miss having a mall booth. I still had one after my husband died and probably still would if the owner hadn't died. The others around here have such long waiting lists to get into plus I didn't have any way of hauling showcases around. We always had a popular booth because it was all geared to men and they sure didn't mind spending the money.

      Your booth will be full to the rafters once you've got all your stuff unpacked and sorted. You are much better at letting go than I am.

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