The WiFi saga continued from last week, including getting locked out of my internet entirely because I was playing with the settings. I nearly gave up on life. Today my unlimited WiFi is back in effect and here comes a blog post.
This morning when I ran out to my second estate sale, conveniently located in Brooklyn. I managed to get all the way there and then remember that I had forgotten cash (apparently the last estate sale adventure didn’t teach me anything) and had to walk six blocks to find an atm. After righting that wrong, I still made it early enough to be in the first batch of people into the (adorable) house. Everything was great except a lady who started screaming because they wouldn’t let her support dog in. Everyone else ran in with eyes averted like little mice, me included.
I went straight to the clothing, and found an actual Armani jacket and a Carolina Herrera beaded camisole. I grabbed some other stuff (Burberry trench, a La Perla robe, the pants to go with the CH top and what may have been a vintage linen dress with no label) with hope in my heart and headed down the (lovely and enviable) stairs to get some financial perspective before continuing to shop. I had made sure not to take too much money out, so for what I had in my overall pocket I got two pieces. I’m sure if I had argued I could have gotten a little more off but in light of the labels and the condition of the pieces, I know I was getting my money’s worth. They’re gorgeous… and worth more than I paid.
So a tense and scary week turned into fruitful and productive day. Next week is facing my tax bill and other grown up tasks but for right this minute, watching Clueless, with three gadgets running and a bunch of tabs open.
Had a crappy day so my blog post is late. 10 o’clock last night my WiFi disappeared. Luckily I have books and I had some relaxing music downloaded and I was sleepy. But at 5 am I was up and the WiFi was still out. I tromped to the subway to use the free WiFi and signed up for WiFi on my phone, which I’ve been putting off. Then I wasted all morning calling the company I get WiFi from and going to a brick and mortar store where I wasted an hour waiting only to be told that they had no compatible hotspots.
And then I spent another hour wrangling a hotspot out of these people, who should have offered to replace the one I had in the first place. Then I found out that I’ve been overpaying for years and have a mass of money on my account so I don’t have to pay the bill for awhile. Just a wild ride, and every twist pointed out how little I’ve paid attention since setting up the account. Hopefully I’ve got it all squared away so that I can have another five years of taking my wifi for granted.
The last horror was finally getting into a state of peace, partially achieved by lighting a citrus scented candle. As I passed the windowsill where the candle was, I noticed a mass of ants crawling which then had to be dispatched. Right now I’m eating pancakes, watching Upstairs, Downstairs on my phone and feeling itchy.
I was having a hard time with my weight loss plan so I had to start walking with ankle weights four mornings a week. There’s a running track near my building so I can walk over, do a few laps and climb the stairs of the bleachers. I have a quick toning set that I do just to work my muscles but I wasn’t doing any cardio. I have my riding lessons for balance and posture. I’m consciously rewarding good behavior with fresh fruit and home cooking. My big health plan is working towards being out of the house and interacting with life instead of being fearfully holed up inside.
I tried to get back to riding my bike, but I only went once, I pretended it’s because the bike is too heavy, but it’s because I have to keep stopping to catch my breath and I’m embarrassed. When I got the bike last summer, I thought this was going to get me out of the house and make me more active. I love riding, especially in the mornings when streets are mostly empty. But instead of getting better, I got lazier. My rides got shorter instead of longer, and it felt like my legs were made of lead. Then I just stopped and didn’t ride anymore. It was depressing. But life is still going on and being overweight and inactive in the summer feels like too much of a cross to bear.
I also had to look at my hard cider and wine intake. Apparently I love to drink. I can drink Bloody Marys all day and feel nothing now. I love hard cider and can kill a six pack in a few hours. My grandfather died of alcohol poisoning, a fact that never had any relation to my drinking habits, but I never really had the time, energy or money to drink as much as I’ve been doing. So while I’m not afraid of being an alcoholic, I know that it would be easy for me to become one and mess up my life. So I have to up my water intake, and I bribe myself with sparkling water and probiotic carbonated beverages. The crisply popping bubbles remind me of hard cider and McDonald’s sodas.
Not trying to be a supermodel or ig model, I just want to be happy to wake up everyday.
Pre-pandemic I had a list of things that I wanted to learn. Basically playing catch up and giving myself what I didn’t get as a kid. This week it was horseback riding lessons. Why? I don’t know. But I read Black Beauty a ton of times as a kid, so maybe that’s it. And I like the idea of having this be an option for me. I can walk, ride a bike or take a horse.
I got up super early and went out to Randall’s Island, then managed to get lost for half an hour. I almost gave up and went home. It just felt like too much. When I finally found the stables I nearly cried in relief. Once I got in it was a flurry of trying on helmets and watching my horse, Cooper, get saddled. I had opted for a Western lesson, with a western saddle. Big difference between English and Western saddles? The western has a horn to grip.
My first lesson was about getting comfortable, so once I clambered on to Cooper’s back we went into a paddock to saunter sedately around in a circle while a trainer held the reins. Then I got to hold the reins. Then I got to balance on the saddle without holding on. Then I got the reins again and started working on steering the horse.
It’s funny, but when I thought about riding a horse, I kind of forgot that horses are living things. It’s mind blowing that this massive animal let me ride on his back. Putting my hand on Cooper’s back filled me with a sense of calm.Riding reminds you that you are dependent on another being who could throw you to the ground without hesitation.
When I got home, I booked my next lesson and shopped for supplies. I found the riding helmet, horse treats and a kids book about horses on Chewy. I got the black jodhpurs on Amazon. Now I can walk around the streets of NY dressed like a lawn jockey.
I did not eat fast food for all of April. No McDonalds breakfast, no dropping in at Burger King or Wendy’s or Starbucks. I had to cook at home. I did eat out a few times, Walgreens sushi, a moment at Mexicue and a farro filled burrito from Dos Toros. But nothing from the usual suspects. I’ve lost six, possibly seven, pounds (the scale flickers) but that’s not the reason. I felt depressed and sluggish, and I was spending money reflexively on food that was not elevating me. I can’t keep spending money on food that made me feel like a bottom feeder.
So here’s a photo dump of food that I ate this month. From salads to burritos to a lot of salmon and back to salad. I backslid, and I ate cookies.
I went to my first estate sale this week. It’s something I’ve built a fantasy around, but most are out in the suburbs or New Jersey so it seemed like too much trouble. Somebody I’m not speaking to now found this one for me on Clubhouse (I’m only mentioning them because I didn’t find this on my own, and want to illustrate how information gets exchanged on there), and it turned out to be an hour from my job and near a bus route. So I went from thinking it was impossible to planning the day and time I was going. Just that quick.
I am going to admit right now that I used this trip as an excuse to get a burrito. The burrito had farro instead of rice, and lean pork instead of beef and this was a business trip, so… Anyway. Managed to get to Port Authority full of food, and only stood at the wrong gate for half an hour. Then I miraculously managed to pull up to the right gate in the neck of time to catch the bus. Magic. It was definitely the burrito that saved me.
The directions were perfect (well, I blinked and missed my stop and had to wait for a bus back and it turned out that I could have walked 🤦🏿♀️), and I was able to find the house easily. There was a line and one woman was loudly complaining, which felt inappropriate on the doorstep of someone’s home. People came flying out with big bags of stuff and then the hardened regulars shouted ‘anything left’, which felt weird to me. Because I could see this happening to me after I’m dead and it gave me chills.
I still went in, but I stayed quiet and patient, looking around the pretty yard with the wishing well, trees and bench feeling strange. Someone thought carefully about this yard and everything in it. Someone chose the monogrammed stone planters that flanked the door and the red paint that made house seem both warm and dramatic. When it was finally my turn to go in, I realized that even though I was uncomfortable I just had to see what the place looked like. And it was just as adorable inside, I can’t lie.
I’m didn’t want to take too many pics, but there was sooooooo much stuff! Housewares, furniture, bags, jewelry, shoes, racks of clothing, Christmas ornaments and chatchkes. At first I felt weird, but then I just started looking and evaluation, realizing that I was touching 90s and Y2Kvintage that had been in use. There some bags that were a little tatty, but would have been at home on SATC. She really liked leather booties with stilletto heels. And embroidered shoes. And colors. And costume jewelry.
I started curating s collection with a theme and I even negotiated a deal on some higher end items when disaster struck… they expected cash. I have some emergency cash I keep around, but I never use it. And they didn’t have WiFi so I couldn’t move money to my PayPal. I thought for a second and ended up leaving everything. Now I realize that I could have asked them to total it and send me an invoice and then I could have picked up my stuff later, but I wasn’t thinking. I just assumed that the universe was telling me to get out of there and leave that dead lady’s stuff alone.
Even though I left empty handed, I’m glad I went. Now I thinking about writing a will with instructions as to how to handle all the stuff I’ll be leaving, passwords to my online shops and blog, plus how the money in my accounts will handled. I’m not sure how long it will be before I brave another estate sale, but it was a good experience overall. At least now I’ve done it.
So I was supposed to blog yesterday and I was working on updating my listings and getting all of my inventory organized by May 1st so that I can start working on my Shopify, sewing projects and making paper. I really meant to do my Saturday post, but I started a club on Clubhouse and the room started at 4pm and didn’t end until 3am. No joke, I actually spent all night on Clubhouse and forgot to blog.
It’s funny because I was totally stubborn about joining clubhouse. I didn’t have anyone to invite me anyway, which is probably why I was bitter. I joined a Poshmark Accountability group on instagram and over the course of six weeks, made friends with people and ended up getting invited. Then I helped the group leader get on, since she had an Android I coached her through setting up on her iPad. I gave a few invites away on Instagram, too. As a pay it forward thing.
I’m an intermittent user at best, but the magic is that you always seem to pick up some new friends if you participate, not to mention learning a ton about reselling, vintage and just getting a chance to speak to people instead of just trading dm’s or comments. I haven’t spoken on the phone in years, but lately I give people my number so we can talk. It’s wild. I am talking on the phone, laughing, listening, and enjoying the company of people that I’ve never met.
I decided to start my own club because I actually met a reseller here in NY and I realized that while I enjoy meeting people from all over the country, it would be nice to network and hang out with people right here in New York. So far I haven’t gotten that many New Yorkers, but they’re trickling in little by little. And while I kind of try to stay on topic, last night we talked about a frog on a lady’s deck, whether or not we’re just living in a simulation, NFTs, the stock market, and one person went to get her oil changed.
I have been growing into a real adult lately. Paying bills and rent, organizing my business, making soap, avoiding fast food, cleaning my apartment, setting goals and now getting vaccinated. Adulthood is just being your own parent.
I was just complacently ignoring the vaccination frenzy, but then people I knew started getting and I got jealous. So I went on vaccine finder, but I couldn’t get an appointment, so I called 311 and found out that they were doing 24 hour mass vaccinations about an hour from me. I almost got stuck with a three am appointment, but finally got one for 6:30 am. I had to get up at 4:30 am, jump out of bed, wipe myself down and run to the train station where I missed the train because my card didn’t swipe. I was so pissed.
But the train came, I walked down a spooky, deserted block to the vaccination site and got there on time. Of course there was barely anyone there. And once I got registered and registered again, the shot wasn’t that bad. I didn’t even feel it. And I got Moderna, the one I wanted (what? I own one whole share of the company!). They made us sit for 15 minutes to make sure there wasn’t any bad reaction, and then I got scheduled for my second dose. And that was it. I got a vaccination card and a sticker for my trouble.
I made it home, got dressed for work, went to work, came home and fell asleep. My arm hurt and I just felt completely exhausted. Once I woke up, my arm still hurt a bit, but I felt great. And I got it done. I adulted. I’m a badass grownup.
Being a one person business means juggling roles in a timely fashion. I’m the buying and procurement department, the head of inspection and evaluation, the pricing consultant and the marketing department. I was listening to a vintage sellers group on clubhouse and they mentioned ‘rag pickers’. I googled and found a place offering verified vintage to people in the fashion industry… but it’s in Philadelphia.
I live in Brooklyn. Whomp whomp.
Except I got a refund for something which means that I could buy train tickets, lunch and new inventory. I had Friday off, so taking a three hour trip to Philly wouldn’t cause any scheduling problems. We’re not in quarantine, and I have a whole mask wardrobe. A road trip to Bulk Vintage went from not happening to a firm plan. In fact, it became a certainty. So in the rush of planning a trip and going on it, I didn’t get to blog yesterday.
I didn’t take that many photos because I forgot my charger, so this is it. I want to make a big dramatic deal out of it, but I just got up, went to Penn Station, went to Philadelphia, went shopping and then came home. Yep, boring.
I’ve been procrastinating about making soap for weeks now. Tbh, I didn’t want to go in my pocket for supplies while there was a stimulus check on the table. I got mine two weeks ago and ordered more melt and pour soap blocks, liquid color pants and a loaf mold. A loaf mold lets you make ten two inch bars of soap in one go. A loaf mold lets you be creative and make prettier soap. A loaf mold sets you free.
I forgot to take a full photo of the mold, but it’s a silicone rectangle that fits in a wooden box, which holds the sides nice and firm. I decided to remake a Lemon Lavender Sea Salt bar recipe that I developed, but adding lavender colored shea butter soap accents. The first time I made individual bars and it smelled great and was moisturizing, but it didn’t have that artisan soap look. Last night I chopped up the unsold bars, added more lavender buds and rose petals and layered it with colored soap like a layer cake.
I cannot tell you how soothing and satisfying the whole process was. I used to strive towards these massive experiences and now, mixing and coloring soap, I am so happy. It’s such a logical craft. No wasted efforts or movements, no stress, and you get soap at the end.