Wednesday, January 30, 2013

mini got t-boned...

For those of you that are not my "friends" on Facebook, I will share with you on this forum.

Saturday afternoon, Jerome and I were in an accident with our precious MINI.  boo.

We're fine, everyone involved is fine...except for our cars.

We were on 23 Mile Road (yes, that's 15 miles north of the famed 8 Mile Road) heading east just past Gratiot. A car was leaving a Starbucks on the south side of 23 Mile and was going to make a left, crossing two east bound lanes and the left turn lane. The rightmost lane (closest to the Starbucks) was stopped because the cars are in line to either enter the highway or a million other shops on the south side of the street, but our lane was pretty clear.  The guy didn't see us and as we came up to where he was shooting through, either because he was looking at oncoming traffic coming from the east or because there was a taller vehicle blocking his view of us.  Jerome saw him and tried to veer into the left turn lane, but he wasn't quick enough. I could hear the guys car accelerating as he slammed into us. His airbags went off and his car (Chrysler 200) was not drivable and had to be flatbedded...our passenger side door was crushed along with the rear quarter panel.  The passenger door could not open.

We pulled into an Arby's restaurant parking lot and the cops pulled in behind us; blocking us in.

The other driver and his passenger were concerned because I was still sitting in the car.  I had tried to get out the door, but it wouldn't budge, so I just stayed in the car.  I didn't want to crawl over the stick shift and the emergency brake.  I finally decided it would be the right thing to do so that they could see I was OK.

After waiting some time and Jerome taking some pictures of the damage, the officer came to give us our papers back.  He came to the passenger side and I rolled down the window...all the way...dumb move! So, now the window doesn't go back up!  The officer said that he would help us pull it back up once he was done with his explanation.  He tried and couldn't move it up but maybe 2 inches.  Then we heard it break within the door.  BTW, it's cold outside, so we had to go to Lowe's and get some plastic to cover the window.  We really looked like a hooptie.  Well, at least our car is drivable.  The police officer told us that he gave the other driver a ticket.

Sunday we went to the Insurance Adjuster.  Monday I took her into the Collision Shop and we also heard from our insurance stating that they found that we were not at fault so we will not be charged our deductible.  The estimator called on Tuesday and said that they would be replacing the door and the quarter panel, the trim at the bottom of the door and the trim around the wheel well.  He is at this point giving an estimate of around $2,300 and we'll have it back by February 8.  Not too bad.  We'll see when it's all said and done.  They still have to take a look at the sunroof since we noticed a loud rattling sound coming from it when we drove it home from the accident.  Also we have a rust spot on the drivers side rear that we want them to estimate fixing as well.

Friday, January 25, 2013

more eBay drama...

Got an email today from PayPal stating that either the buyer or the bank of the buyer has reversed their payment for an old Hallmark ornament.  They will email again once they finish their "investigation"...

I didn't know that could happen once the money was paid and the item was shipped.

Tried calling PayPal but because Jerome is the one on the account, they won't talk to I have to wait for him to come home from work.

In the meantime they told me I could contact the buyer and ask them why it was reversed...and so I did.

I'm awaiting the answer.

I'm just happy that it hasn't yet happened with any of the other auctions.  These problems are starting to effect my bottom-line!  Actually, it wasn't one of the larger priced items, but I really don't want money to be taken out of my PayPal account once it's in there.  And I want to be paid for what I've already shipped to the person.


I had heard from the buyer over the weekend asking for patience since the payment should have gone through her credit card and not her checking.  The item + shipping was only $ Jerome says, if you don't even have $7 to spare in your checking account, maybe you shouldn't be buying anything on eBay.

Got an email from PayPal today stating that I had won my reversed payment case.  YAY!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

christmases past...and present...

I've been wanting to do a couple of collages using Picasa (for your PC).  They are of our fireplace mantle and our Christmas tree over the past few Christmases.

It's a cute idea and one that I use when I create Alpha-Photos for my friends and family.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

auction anyone?...

I've been spending some time selling stuff on eBay lately.

For the past couple of years I've been going to Salvation Army and Estate Sales looking for deals on glass Christmas ornaments for my wreath making and all the while I've been finding a lot of items that I thought would be worth putting up for sale.

As it turns out, I think I've quadrupled the money I've spent.  And I think I'm addicted now.

Three stories...

Story #1:

I had gone to Salvation Army just before Christmas this year looking for anything they might have as far as glass ornaments.  I typically do not care to spend more than 10 cents a bulb so if something is priced too high, I walk away.  This was the case with a couple sets of vintage Shiny Brite ornaments that I had seen that day.  They were in a bag that was priced at $3.99, for 15 bulbs.  That's more than twice as much as I am really all that willing to pay, so I passed them over and was all the way out to the car when I heard them calling to me "you can sell us on eBay for $9.99" I turned around and went back in to buy them.  So there were two sets; one set of Pink with some mica glitter patterns and silver stripes.  The other was similar, only in Green.  They were in really good condition for their age.  I put them up on eBay for $13.99 for a set of 9 Pinks and $9.99 for a set of 6 Greens.  

The set of 9 had immediate attention and had its first bid on the first day...and then nothing until the day before the auction ended.  That's when two different bidders started fighting over them.  They ended up going for over $100!  Can you believe that something that I spent 27 cents a bulb for ended up getting nearly $12 a bulb!  This is not typical, by the way, but it does get you hooked!

Story #2:

I went to an Estate Sale in Armada Michigan.  It was held at an old farmhouse.  I was late that day and had about 15 minutes to see if they had anything that I'd like.  I bought the ornaments I could see on the main floor and then was about to leave when I asked if they had anymore Christmas items.  They confirmed that there were more up in a bedroom, so I raced up there and grabbed everything I could see.  They had Ideals Magazines, some old Christmas light replacement bulbs, some glass ornaments and some 1970's Christmas posters.  I bought them all for $7.  When I got home, I separated everything and found that I had some C-6 GE bulbs (I'd sold some before and they had a few bidders) and some C-6 Edison style bulbs with the exhaust tip - I had never before seen bulbs like them.  I did a quick search to see how much they were going for and was blown away.  I put them up immediately and after almost 35 bids in a week between the two of them (C-6 light bulbs), they ended up selling for nearly $175 respectively!  C-R-A-Z-Y!  Again, not typical - just way cool!

Story #3:
This one is still playing out.  I can't remember where or when I got these vintage glass ornaments, but they had some nice coloring and are transparent.  You could see some unique bubbles in the glass and the clipped tip at the end of the bulb that indicates that they are blown glass.  They were not all the same size, but close and they had metal caps that were stamped West Germany.  I had a couple of bidders and I sent them out to the winner last week.  Over the weekend I got a message from the guy claiming they are plastic.  I just can't believe that they are.  There were no plastic mold markings (seams) and all the other things I've already mentioned, but I guess when he sends them back we will see if I was wrong.  Anyway, that is my first unhappy customer.  I will be giving him a full refund.  I am totally dwelling on this and I hope that I am correct and can offer it as a Second Chance to the other bidder, since this guy doesn't seem to want them.

I keep worrying that maybe he'll switch them out with some actual plastic ones - how do you resolve that?  Or that he won't take the same packing precautions that I do and they will break on their way back to me (since they ARE glass).

In time we will see and I will let my public know what happens ;)

*UPDATE: Got home today and found the box of ornaments had been dropped off at the backdoor.  Opened them up and they arrived perfectly fine in the same wrapping that I had put them in.  I had Jerome inspect them and he added a couple other reasons he thinks that they ARE glass; there are chips underneath the metal cap and they are not symmetrical spheres.

My plan is to bring them to the local art center and an Antique store and see what they think.  I have already offered them to the other bidder in a Second Chance offer.  We'll see if they still want it.

another one bites the dust...

Well, I'd say not many people keep up with my blog postings...I rarely, if ever get comments (if you're reading this, please leave me a comment, so I know - thank you).  I had always thought that I was just doing this so that I had a record of things that happened in my life.  I guess that's a good way of looking at it.  Plus it's something that I can refer to when in need of a photo or something that I don't have with me at the time or when I'm trying to remember a story.

Anyway, with all that being said, I wanted to broadcast to the whole wide world that we have paid off the little house!  It took 16 and a half years of paying a mortgage + occasionally extra principal, but it's done now!!!

I put the offer in on this house on my 30th birthday.  I was making $10 an hour at the time.  The house cost me $68,500 in 1996.  Unfortunately, it's not worth that much today because of the economy, but back in 2005 we had an estimate done and they said it was worth $158,000.  I still have that paperwork.  Oh, it is sad that the bubble burst when it did.  Anyway, the current value shouldn't bother me unless I am trying to sell, which I am not.  I love this house and hope to keep it for a long time.

Don't worry, it's not standing there all alone...we rent it out.  We are on our third renters in 7 and a half years.  We've been lucky with our first renter and our latest renter...really good tenants.  Our middle one is another story...which I think I've already covered in this blog.


I am not one to jump up and down about these type of accomplishments because it doesn't come off that well to others.  It seems braggy or there are jealousy's,...but I really wanted to.  I did mention it on FB, with some response but again I don't like making people feel badly about their situations...which in a lot of cases are sort of dire.

So, it's really just gone by without much fanfare.

A friend of mine said that I should feel really good about myself because who else do you know that has done that...?  I answered "my mom and dad".  But truly, they are the only ones that come to least in this country.  Otherwise I can think of Jerome's parents and his sister Sabine...

I told my mom just yesterday and she was impressed and very happy for us, so I did get to say "YAY" when I was with her.

Now I'm just waiting on the Mortgage company to send the paperwork and the escrow balance...they say I should expect it within 30 days.  Then it's mortgage burning party time!