Friday, December 31, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 31st

Well, we've done our annual journal & reflected on 2010. It's been a year like no other ... so it's not too surprising that it's ending like no other. Today was just plain weird.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 29th & 30th

Just when I thought I wouldn't know what to do with my "free" day on the 29th, in terms of theming ... DH failed in his self-appointed duty for light removal & second check for ornaments ... and as a result, we've lost an ornament that we purchased the year we got married.


The past 2 weeks have seen me doing a lot of reviewing about the year, so it was interesting to go through the photos & decide what I wanted to highlight, and therefore, keep close to memory. most of it had to do with new adventures and tried-and-true relationships!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 28th

The theme for today is "indulgence." As it happens, I took a picture of our kitchen cabinet last night, just to document how it looks. And thus, it became part of posterity. And my posterior's getting a bit on the large side.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 26th & 27th

I decided to record some of the things we were actually doing on these days.

The 26th called for a bit of a photo collage (a freebie I got at my local CVS store. Sweet.):


The 27th, though, was photo-less. I did, however, snag the watercolored "thank you" that my husband made with his new watercolors & resist crayons, as he was only using it to take a photo that he texted his brother. I was happy to repurpose it & include 3 years' worth of gift lists, which I use to write my own thank you notes!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 25th

I couldn't resist making a page for today, just from leftovers. I used some wonderfully smelling wrapping paper (red with embossed reindeers) from a package of Lush goodies & then used several tags leftover from gifts. Each of them will bring back memories in years to come!


And here are a couple more photos from the last 24 hours:





Friday, December 24, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 24th

I am pleased to report that I've got nothing on the schedule today, except to relax. I need to run to the grocery store to buy ingredients for our dinner - pizza! - and that's pretty much it. Snow has started to gently fall, from a party sunny sky. Very pretty. I've got my JYC page done for today & am just going to R-E-L-A-X!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 23rd


I am so geeked about my new winter coat, a gift from my friend, Kim!

Journal Your Christmas, December 21st

I had to wait to do this page until I could print out the photo I took on the 21st. I am pretty happy, as it highlights not only my new snowflake carousel candle, but also my attempt at "bokeh", those circular fuzzy lights in the background.


I also got the photo from today printed out -- a story I want to document more than the stockings entry posited by Shimelle, which I've done for 4 years. Time for new stories!

Journal Your Christmas, December 22nd

I've only got a couple of things left to do.


And they're all getting done today. Sweet. And snow's in the forecast for tomorrow. Currently, a 70% change. Oh, I hope, I hope, I hope!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 20th

As Merrick pointed out in response to this post, I kind of already had my surprise page figured out. I mean I didn't know that until (a) Merrick mentioned it and (b) I finally caught up on Shimelle's prompts to realize I was looking for a surprise to document.

So, I used my cutest paper (new stuff from Echo Park that I'd just bought from House of Paper), fished out a Hello Kitty die cut that had fallen off a fridge magnet, and used as much bling as I could find. Cute + Hello Kitty + bling = Lani. Or at least it does in my mind.


Journal Your Christmas, December 19th

I seem to be running a couple of days behind, no matter what I do, so I'll just run with it.


Yesterday was really emotionally rough. I talked to a good friend & to my husband, about our adoption process. I feel tremendously supported by friends and family, but it's getting hard to "keep the faith." Well intended comments of "it'll happen" and "someday" just fall flat. I'm deeply wounded & I haven't yet figured my path out of this. I do have some more clarity that I need to stop trying so hard - there is absolutely no correlation between my expending energy and a baby arriving on our doorstep. I really am not a fan of being unable to influence the situation, but I am reminded that I've done all I can & need to let go. Easier said than done.

So, that's the reason for the simple plea to Santa.

Monday, December 20, 2010

In other developments ...

My brain is so very full. So, as a gift to myself this holiday season, I'm taking a week off from having my online "stores" open. I'm thrilled to raise more money for the adoption process, but I need a break.

And speaking of money for the adoption process, you have to hear this story. I was stunned to receive a $100 donation from my best friend from middle school, Lani. I mean that we keep in touch & she's always been a sweet human being, but I just couldn't fathom why she'd suddenly feel so generous. The story is precious. I'll let her tell it in her own words, after I commented on how much she's like a magic pixie:

"I have a funny story to tell you about $100....About a month ago, I found a $100 bill on the street. In Manhattan. I really did. Just like a movie. I stopped and looked around, to see if anyone was missing it, but no one was there. (And I know better than to go up to strangers and ask them if they lost $100.) Anyway, I had to ask my bf if it was real (because I don't think I've seen one since I was a waitress, but he works in retail so he knows). He said it was. So I thought, hm, I want to do something *really special* with it! But what????? And see - I found something! So it really DID find its way to you through magic!! :)"

So there you have it. In some ways, it feels like the Universe is guiding us closer to becoming parents. And in other ways, it feels like it's just laughing its ass off at us. Like when the person who organized the fundraising raffle left a very hurtful voicemail saying what a disappointment I was to have failed to thank any of the donors. Yeah ... uh that was because she never gave me a list. Since she's the one who solicited the donations, and I'm no mind-reader, I couldn't thank anybody. And yeah, uh, I asked for the list & she just didn't give it to me! It stung like hell to be told "I hope that if you're ever fortunate enough to become parents you'll show more love and kindness towards that child than you did to anyone who was part of the raffle."

And that's when I think about Lani & her bright smile & our friendship throughout middle school, learning origami & calligraphy, caring for her guinea pig Fuz & my rat Peppermint, walking to school and talking, and mooning over Hello Kitty gear. And I think about how some people shine bright & are truly the best example of humanity.

That's about the time I start smiling & tearing up & feeling just dandy.

So, thanks, Lani. For way more than you know.

Journal Your Christmas, December 16th - 18th

Slowly but surely, as I pare away things from everyday workload & holiday extras, I am catching up on my pages!




Saturday, December 18, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 15th

I've been trying to use the things I hoard, so I parted with a fun, old library bit ... plus some Susan Branch (I think) Christmas stickers!


Fruit Soup recipe

I asked my mom-in-law for the fruit soup recipe (I'd had it stored on the computer before it fried, but that didn't help me, now that I have many folks inquiring), and she provided it to me. She also mentioned that I will not find it in any cookbook, because she invented it while she was pregnant with my husband's older sister! So, I am loathe to post it into the world of the internet, but if you are interested, I will share it with you via email, as long as you promise to give her credit! *smile* So, let me know if you want it & I'll share it! It is quite tasty, and most of it should be prepared the day before, with just a finishing touch on Christmas morning.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 14th


I decided to write about how much we love charitable giving this time of year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 13th


The holiday song that makes me happiest can be found here. Ken just wants me to stop playing it, hence the use of the Quiet sticker!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 9th - 12th





Finally I'm caught up! And yes, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. I am doing both 8 x 8 and 8 1/2 x 11 pages, using up old page protectors.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 8th


Oh, and we got our camera back. Just in time for Cookie Day!

Journal Your Christmas, December 7th

Lagging behind ... but between the frustrating-sad news on Friday & gearing up for Cookie Day at 1 pm today ... it's understandable. I'll probably catch up later tonight or tomorrow.


Friday, December 10, 2010


I'm several days behind on my Journal Your Christmas. A by-product of the pre-Cookie Day frenzy for the most part. And my working extra hours. Today's work day, though, is shorter than other days this week. Which meant I was able to field the call from the adoption agency. To find out that a prospective birthmother that viewed our profile ... has chosen another family.

For the most part, we're unaware of when our profile is being shown, but occasionally, when a situation has a component the agency's not sure we're 100% okay with, they run it past us to be certain. Totally makes sense and it needs to be done. It also means we're on pins and needles until we hear the results.

Well, not too many pins and needles. About now, we're feeling pretty numb. It's hard to get excited about the possibility of being selected when it has failed to happen time and time again. So, there's the update. My heart feels like it has another crack in it, but the news isn't having a huge emotional impact.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 6th

I was thinking about how Christmases have been different, good or bad. And then I was looking in past years' journals & seeing how in both 2008 and 2009, I wrote words about hoping an adoption would come through in the following year. So, it felt appropriate to write about how it'd take a miracle for this Christmas to bring us what we really want.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 5th

The internet went down last night, right after I scanned the page. Grrr. So annoying. Anyway, as I start a very busy week, here's Sunday's page. We'll see if I can keep up the rest of the week, or if I lag behind as pressure builds as we prep for Cookie Day.

December 5th

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 4th

Today was pretty damned close to perfect. In the wake of being sick for two weeks (I'm just now off cold & cough medicine for 24 hours!), it was sheer delight to spend most of my day just having fun with my honey.

December 4th

Glad I could document all of today's adventures. Grey skies & about 3 1/2" of snowfall made for some interesting photos & opportunities. I always thought it'd be cool to visit downtown Chicago amidst snowy weather, and this was just perfect. And ending our afternoon with hot cocoa, cookies, and the new snowflake candle? Doesn't get much better.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 3rd

I'm getting quite excited. The latest forecast is predicting 3"-5" of snow between tonight and tomorrow evening. Sweet!

I made today's page using a card I'd hoarded from 2007, made by my scrapbooking buddy, Linda, who I had the privilege of meeting in person last year. Was it just last year? Feels like it was a long, long time ago!

December 3rd

I wrote out 2 more cards today. Slowly but surely they'll all get out. I received my first card of the season in today's mail, from my husband's former painting instructor. Today's been busy enough, I've not even had a chance to open it!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 2nd

Anyone who knows me is familiar with my love of snow. We have a light dusting that's managed to survive more than 24 hours. I can hardly wait for the first REAL snowfall of the season.

December second

Oh, please, please,, please let's have snow tomorrow night! I'd love to wake up Saturday to a white landscape!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Journal Your Christmas, December 1st

It's the first of December, so it's time to start my annual Christmas album, using Shimelle Laine's Journal Your Christmas class as a starting point. This is my 5th year doing her class, and I'm not quite sure where this album will take me, but it's always interesting. I decided to document just random thoughts from today, and how I'm feeling calmer than maybe I should.

December first

I thought about adding a bit that we really thought we'd be parents by now, but I opted not to. I'm sure that'll work its way into the album in some form. It's bittersweet ... the past 2 years of albums have made reference to our hope for adoption, and it's hard to contemplate that nothing's come of it yet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No, I'm not going to see a doctor.

Yes, I feel like crap.

No, I'm not going to see a doctor.

This isn't strep. It isn't the flu. It's a really nasty head cold. Plain and simple. I have intermittent congestion, and a cough. A cough that gets worse when I talk. And then I get a splitting headache. And I am not sleeping well.

This does not warrant me going to the doctor. It warrants me getting rest. Period.

And if I hear one more goddamned time that being sleep deprived is good practice for when I have a newborn, I'm going to shoot someone in the face. I do not need practice at being sleep deprived. And if I were feeling as crappy then as I am now, at least I'd be better off in that I was a parent.

So shut up. I've had it.


Thanks for letting me vent. I'm going to go curl up with my vile Robitussin, a box of Kleenex, and brew myself some more tea. God I am sick of tea.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I swear

So, after the raffle, we did a little weekend getaway. We didn't know if we were going to be able to pull it off, but with cheap airfares & a freebie ticket, and us being super-frugal with our food, we did 4 days at Walt Disney World!!


We've gotten pretty good at cutting corners & finding deals, and watching our pennies, so I was very pleased we were able to do a weekend for a couple hundred bucks, including the delicious "Mickey Premium Bar" you see above.

The only downside to the trip was that my honey dropped our digital SLR camera (yeah, the nice one you can see in the header on my blog) on the concrete. The LCD screen was toast & we couldn't tell if it was taking pictures or not. We pulled all the pictures off the camera card when we got home & found out that it was taking fine pictures.


Okay, so that one has a bit of blur ... but the tiger was moving. Note: tigers are BIG animals.

Anyway, when we got back, we hit the ground running. Suddenly, my days were completely full, both with work & with more sales from the,, craigslist, and eBay sites. Very good from a revenue perspective ... but I was really getting worn thin.

This past weekend I ran errands, did some holiday shopping (normally I'm mostly done by now, but the past 2 months I've been so focused on the adoption related stuff, I've only squared away TWO gifts, of about 24 needed!!), and met up with several friends I'd not seen in a while.

Well, yesterday I woke up congested & thought I'd shake it. Nope. I'm down for the count. I took a sick day today & I'm just focusing on staying warm, drinking tea, and trying to send myself healing vibes. Since it's healing for me to connect with others & to feel "caught up," I feel justified in posting here. *grin*

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Raffle was a huge success!

We had the raffle drawing today, at half-time during the Bears game, at a local restaurant/pub. Here are the baskets with items from local area donors:

Gift basket prizes

It was very cool to see the people who turned out to support us - a real warm fuzzy to have my parents & some friends come! Here's my yoga instructor & her mentor, buying tickets!

Joyce & Laura buying tickets
And it was cool that the patrons were supportive of us -- some of the guys joked that if they won a basket, they also wanted weekend visitation! I told them sure, as long as they take the kid(s) to some sporting events!!! They sold tickets right down to the wire.

Raffle ticket HQ

Here's the event organizer, Robin, her daughter Jessica, and me!

Jessica, Robin, and Latharia

The first prize basket went to a guy named Dave, who had just purchased a ticket that day, from one of Robin's kids. The 2nd prize basket went to one of the guys who works at my husband's office. And the 3rd prize basket went to a lady who'd bought a ticket in the past couple of weeks from the restaurant's staff!

The net result is that we're $618 closer to our goal, and the amount we needs is getting smaller and smaller!! Thank you to everyone who helped and who pitched in and who just generally are thinking great thoughts for us!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Moving in the right direction

So, an update on the raffle: Out of the $300 of tickets the 2 of us were given to sell, we've got only $35 left, plus several people have made some cash donations in lieu of entering the raffle, so I'm pretty excited, because this means we've raised at least $300! We're getting very close to our goal!

I've also managed to get about 1/3 of the carpeting steam-cleaned ... and it felt so good to tackle this project. Now that the air is drier, it's easier to do this, because it only takes a few hours for the carpeting to dry completely! I hope to tackle the remaining 2/3 before my parents arrive Saturday afternoon.

We pursued a lead with respect to a birthmother, but reached a dead end when we found the expenses related to her situation far exceeded our budget. Frustrating, but we're not overly stunned. Even though our budget seems like a ridiculous amount of money to us, we're really at the low end of costs compared to other hopeful adoptive parents.

We've had many people ask us how they can help. Right now, just send some positive energy into the universe! And if you've got leftover stuff for newborns, we'll happily accept it! Other than that, we just have to wait for a birthmother to pick us. If we're still waiting to be parents in another 6 months, we might do another fundraiser of some kind. I am trying to figure out if I can make something (potholders, trivets, who-knows-what) to sell and raise more money. I may just start combing through my craft supplies and start making random things to put up for sale!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

One week to go

Until the raffle! I have to say that we're getting pretty excited. A friend of ours wrote up a news article & has distributed it to several media outlets. I have no idea if anyone will pick it up. I know that the 2 of us have sold $180 of raffle tickets by ourselves & that the person who's organizing it is selling more & has many on hand at the local restaurant where we'll have the drawing next Sunday.

I keep listing stuff on Craiglist & eBay, and have books back up for sale on and Amazon. I've also been trading on SwapMamas for baby care items, so we'll have a small stash at the ready. Every dollar gets us closer to bringing a baby home ... and to getting stuff for the baby!

I'd posted a while back about stuff that I wanted to get done. I've managed the following: haircut for me, new sneakers for my sweetie, most of the herbs harvested, and most of the bills paid. Still feels like we're being nickled & dimed to death. I started to make cathedral window squares to have a portable sewing project & I've asked a good friend to show me a crochet stitch for me to work on. I just do so much better when I have someone do a stitch in front of me.

Still need to steam clean the carpets (probably a project for tomorrow night or Tuesday evening). I need to post more items on Craigslist (it's so time consuming to get pictures & then write up descriptions, but I think it helps a LOT to sell the stuff), and I have some boxes to pack up & send out. I'm starting to feel like I'm on top of things. Feels good.

Friday, October 29, 2010

So the cats didn't throw up.

But I received a $587 medical bill.

I am stunned & outraged. I am so mad I am actually shaking.

Two weeks ago, I went into the doctor's office for a blood draw. (I started Lipitor about 6 weeks ago & they needed to check to make sure it wasn't doing anything wacky to me.) The head nurse said she was having a hard time finding a vein & asked if I was a hard stick. Nope. Never been difficult for anyone to draw my blood. She said she just couldn't do it (this was after she'd dug around in my arm with a needle. Never had THAT happen before, either.) and that "If I can't get it, we can just send you downstairs to the lab." (The office is affiliated with a hospital.)

At that point I'm thinking "I've been fasting for 16 hours. I don't want to drive all the way back here (took us 45 minutes to get there that morning, between distance and traffic). I just want this done. Sounds like they do this kind of thing all the time. Let's just get it done."

So, they write up the order, like they DO this kind of thing all the time, and I go downstairs and get the blood drawn, totally expecting a bill like my husband's had for the same service from this doctor's office. Nope. $587. It's TEN TIMES more expensive.

Now, here's the part that pisses me off. Because of this nurse's incompetence & lack of intelligence, *I* am being billed??! Not my fault that she couldn't draw my blood ... and I would've gladly have done it MANY other places or at different time or come up with a totally innovative solution had I KNOWN it would be FIVE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SEVEN DOLLARS! Her blithe "Oh, we'll just send you downstairs" implies she has a working relationship with them ... and knows how much they charge ... and I believe it's HER responsibility to let me know its 10x what they would charge me. All she had to do was say "I could send you down to the lab, but I don't know what they'd charge." That's what *I* would've said.

I called this morning to talk to the hospital, to make sure the charges were right. And then I called the doctor's office & spoke with the head nurse. Her position is that it's not her responsibility to know what the hospital will charge me. My position is that it totally IS her responsibility if (a) it's a very routine test and (b) she's sending me as though she does it all the damned time.

GAH!!!!! Because you know we just have money laying around the house for just this sort of thing.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I am calm. Look at how Zen I am.

Car probably broken beyond repair. Okay. I can adjust.

On Demand doesn't work for my morning workout with a friend. That's okay. I'm just happy that we'd already planned it was at my house so I didn't have to do backflips to figure something out.

I've got some old VHS tapes with workouts on them.

Except now, the VHS machine doesn't work. Yeah. Okay. We'll go for a walk. Yup. That works.

I get home & realize that somehow, a candle was apparently in the sunlight of our bay window during a really sunny day. And black wax has dripped all over the teak table.

I'm just waiting for one of the cats to throw up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm not much into the hard selling ...

... so I've just been distributing flyers about the raffle* & I've been taken aback by the people who come looking for me a day later with money in hand, asking to buy a ticket or 12! And I've had some folks who don't live close by, but who are in Chicagoland, who've wanted to buy some tickets, so I've found a way to get those to them, too. And now ... I've had some internet buds ask where they can get tickets! So, in an attempt to creatively field those requests, here goes!

If you're interested in getting in on the raffle but don't live close enough I can get tickets to you easily, here's my solution:

1) Click on this here donate button:

2) For every 10 dollars you donate, I'll write your name and email address on 11 raffle tickets, and put 'em in the raffle. (Uh, so make sure you note your name & email address in the notes section and/or use an email address to make the donation that's one I can actually find you at.)

3)If you win one of the 3 gift baskets (drawing to be held on November 7th), I'll find a way to disassemble it & ship it to you. Or if you have another person it should be sent to, I'll send it to them, instead. Your call!

*no idea what I'm referring to? Click here or scroll down by a few posts.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Now, with more coverage!

Well, as of yesterday afternoon, we've been activated with the new, nation-wide agency. So, we should have a wider dispersal of our profile. Or at least that is the hope. Wish us luck & keep us in your prayers. We're about $2,000 shy of the next chunk of funds that will be due as soon as we match. We're so very appreciative of everyone who's pitched in and helped out in their own way! Time, funds, goods, hugs -- it's all just tremendously meaningful to us.

I'm now entering a 'nesting' phase. I feel compelled to get as much squared away as possible, before we get The Call. It could happen tomorrow ... it could happen in months ... or years. No way to predict. Trust me, it's hard.

For now, I'll be happy if I can do the following:
1) Get the carpets steam cleaned.
2) Get a haircut. (Uh, my last hair cut was 4/22. I need it.)
3) Get portable sewing and crocheting projects packed up so I'll have something to keep me busy during a long drive, long plane trip, and/or long waits at the hotel/hospital.
4) Get the last of the herbs harvested & turned into something usable
5) Get new sneakers for Ken. (The sole on one is starting to flap.)
6) Get caught up on bills now that we're not being nickeled and dimed to death. It'd be really nice to pay things as they come in so we can just head out & not worry about bills not being paid in our absence.

Yeah. If I could get all that done, I'd be really happy. I already have started a "go" bag. I figure if the folks on Criminal Minds need one for last minute travel, it won't hurt for us to have one, either.

And I'm not listing anything else on eBay once the last auction clears. I don't want to have something sell while we're gone. Yeah, I know. Unlikely, but it's one more thing I don't want to have to worry about.

That's the name of the game (as I sit here listening to Crystal Method) -- less stress. 'Cause once we get The Call, we're just along for the ride.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mind-boggling in more ways than one

1) The new adoption agency completely freaked us out by sending us paperwork that in no way matched what we'd discussed with them thus far. They are now completely apologetic & state that they realize that this has caused us significant stress & made it difficult for us to feel comfortable with them. They've since sent us a new agreement, which I scanned quickly -- it IS what we expected from them initially. We missed our window of time to get it notarized when we had free time on Friday, and now it'll have to wait until later this week. Not coincidentally, later this week, we'll almost certainly have enough cash on hand to pay our initial $10,000 fee. Good timing, yes?

2) A friend continues to go through her library & has donated more books to us. So, I'm back up to almost 650 books on my store site! Manga, graphic novels, kids' series ... lots of good stuff & more going "active" as I continue going through the garage sale books. And as I go through books to update, I've been pulling all the ones that are worth less than 75 cents. We took 6 bags over to Half Price Books this afternoon & made $25. Every buck counts, so I'm not complaining.

3) Ready for the most mind-boggling bit? I met a neighbor at the garage sale on October 3rd. She remembered what I'd told her about our situation & appeared on my front door step last Thursday morning. She had already laid the groundwork for a raffle to help us raise funds! She's already got several local business owners to make donations & is soliciting more. She's working with a local restaurant, DuPage Inn, that's selling raffle tickets at their bar & on November 7th, they'll hold a drawing during halftime of the Bears game for 3 different gift baskets. Is that cool or what? When I mentioned it on Facebook, a friend's husband commented that this should be the kind of thing shown on the evening news. Another friend, who is a journalist, offered to write up a press release. So, who knows how big this will get??

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another ride on the emotional roller coaster

We were all ready to send our homestudy to the new adoption agency ... and then the first one contacted us & asked if we wanted to hold off sending it, because a birthmother was going to be shown our profile. We said to wait & see what happened with her first. Well, after 10 days of being on pins and needles, we now know that the birthmother has disappeared & seems to not be working with the agency after all. *deep sigh* So, we're moving forward with the second agency. The birthmother's due date is October 4th, so we were all braced for possibly having a child within the week. This is just so incredibly painful.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tales in pursuit of an adoption

I have many short tales to share about our raising funds to pursue a nation-wide adoption, so here they are.

It started with me mentioning that I was going through our personal library to put more books up on my store. And a friend told me she was going through her library & wanted to know if I wanted the ones she didn't want. Absolutely! I made mention of it on Facebook & several other friends asked if they could donate. Well, about 600 books later, I've got a ridiculous number of books listed & at one point, I was selling about a book every 6 hours! See what happens when you ask friends for help?

Sometimes it's not even friends. Sometimes it's from just an acquaintance. I posted a lot of my rubberstamps for sale on my blog a while ago. A lady I know only through an online messaging board contacted me & asked me if one particular stamp was available. When I told her it was, she offered me about 10 times what it was worth, saying "It's for a good cause." I just about cried. I mean how cool is that?

I started going through more things around the house, digging through closets & drawers, saying "I want a child more than I want this object." A few of the items I put up for auction on eBay, including a beautiful wooden painted jar that my parents had brought back from a visit to Kaluga, Russia . The thing was gorgeous -- black with gold leafing -- but it was just not my decor, so into a drawer it had gone. I mentioned on my eBay auctions that we were raising funds for adoption, and the winning bidder contacted me to say that he was so very excited. He'd adopted 3 children, two of them actually from Kaluga! Since then, we've been in contact & I dug out another container made in Kaluga, which he bought from me, paying me twice what I'd asked for it. Again ... wow.

Once I'd gone through my closets & drawers, I realized that I'd accumulated a lot of stuff, but I wasn't too keen on having a garage sale, because I remember all too clearly just how much friggin' work they are! Well, wouldn't you know that a friend's teenage daughter was redoing her room and asked if she could donate her stuff to me to sell & make money? I mean this is a no-brainer. When a teenager takes an active interest in our adoption to move forward, I've just got to run with it, right? Her mom even volunteered to manage the sale while we were gone for the first 3 hours of it at the American Heart Association, making it possible for us to be open for business!

While we were at the walk, my friend made a sale to a couple, a ziploc bag full of toy cars that I'd priced for $1. When they found out the sale was raising funds for adoption, they handed her $5 and explained their son was adopted.

One lady stopped by, completely unplanned, in full church attire & when she saw the sale was to raise funds for our adoption, she explained she'd just been to a talk about growing families through adoption. She picked out many things from the sale & said that although she was financially strapped, she believed God would make sure she had enough in her purse to cover everything she wanted, including a framed crewel-work piece that was in her favorite colors with her first initial! I gave her the total, $15 and change. She pulled out a $20 and told me to keep it all. Praise Jesus, indeed!

One of the funniest moments of the garage sale happened shortly after a neighbor lugged over a giant cooler & told us to sell it & keep the profits. A shiny black Audi pulled up & I joked with my friend that hopefully they'd have some money to spend. Well, he'd spotted the cooler & did a U-Turn to come back. The guy hopped out of the car, neatly groomed with pressed pants & an argyle sweater vest, walked right towards us briskly and asked how much the cooler was. We told him it was $20, and he said he'd take it. We learned that he and his wife were on a way to a christening and they decided to stop. We laughingly asked if this was a typical pre-christening activity for them, as he pulled gifts out of the backseat to make room for the cooler. We also said we hoped this wasn't going to result in marital discord, as his wife continued to sit in the car. He laughed and she said, "Are you kidding me? Now we won't have to borrow a cooler from the new guy anymore!" Happy people all around!

One gruff customer dickered with me over the cost of a cordless drill that was missing a charger. He was a fierce bargainer, and it was clear he was keen on getting a bargain & didn't want to part with his hard-earned cash. We decided upon a price, and he counted out the money. I laughingly mentioned the cookies & brownies we also had for sale and mentioned we were raising funds for adoption. He looked incredibly sheepish, handed me a bunch of singles and said, "Aw, just take it. I don't need no cookies. Give 'em to somebody else." Never would've thunk it!

Lastly, as I've been putting things on Craigslist, I've made some interesting connections. One was a post of someone looking for postage stamp for his collection. Although it turns out my childhood stamp collection is pretty much worthless, he did share his story of how he adopted his 2 kids about 15 and 20 years ago. It encouraged me to keep on pursuing this new agency even though it feels risky & feels overwhelming & really really really freakin' expensive.

Oh, and as a last thought, I'd just like to make mention of all the friends & family who have come out of the woodwork to loan tables, to give me packing materials, to help me set things up, to donate items for us to sell, and just to let me know you're there. It means more than you can possibly know. Thanks for touching my heart & giving me hope.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Books & stamps for sale!

I'm just going to date this post way in the future so it stays at the top, in case people are looking for the stuff I'm trying to sell to raise funds for our adoption process. So, here are all the links you might need!

my eBay store (stamps, scrapbooking stuff, random stuff)
My store (books, movies, music, games) -- I've now got over 600 items for sale! YAY!
My storefront (books) -- I've got over 30 items for sale, now.

Oh, and we'll be having a garage sale the weekend of October 2nd and 3rd ... so if you're local or know of anyone who IS local ... come on by or contact me for details!

Thanks in advance for helping us to fund our adoption! (There's also a donate button on the right hand margin if you are so inclined to send us a few bucks, too!) We'll find a way to make this work!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The garage sale has come and gone ...

...and while I made some money for the adoption fund, I was absolutely stunned with the amount of stuff left. I will almost certainly have a garage sale next weekend as well & hope that more of it will GO! In the meantime, however, my gentle readers, I've got some beautiful scrapbooking stuff that the garage sale shoppers completely gave a pass. If you're interested, or know someone who is, please get in touch with me so I can make some cash. I'll charge you actual shipping costs ... and if I can fit everything you want into a flat rate priority mailer, I'll do that, if it's more economical.

Just click on the thumbnails to see things in detail.

Acrylic stamps:

Covered Albums:
12x12 Creative Memories albumI believe this is an 8x8 sized album6x6 Creative Memories albumBlue Floral 6x6 albumAqua 6x6 albumSummer Stripe 6x6 albumsummer Dots 6x6 albumFall Stripe 6x6 album

Naked/Chipboard/Acrylic Albums:
Treasure Box chipboard 4.5 x 4.53" keepsake cubeTeresa Collins for Junktiz Box album5x7heart sheer binderMaya Road 5x5 square banner/coaster

Cool tool:
Binderie Punch

Heidi Swapp 9x9 Customizable Calendars:
9x9 black calendar9x9 pink calendar

So, it's all brand new. The larger stamp sets retail for $40, the smaller ones for $15 or $20. Albums' original cost range from $7 to $25. I've found the Binderie on sale for $40 in one store, most carry it for closer to $60. Make me a deal. Help fund our adoption. Okay, I'll stop now.